Fairy, Texas. A small town like any other.
Laney Harris didn't want to live there. When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that "boring" would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.
She was right. Boring took on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.
Publisher: Solstice Shadows Publishing
Date Published: February 4, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery/Romance
Word Count: 60,000
Fairy High could have fit into one wing of my old school. The three-story, red brick building looked like it had been around for at least a century—it actually had carvings over two of the doorways that read “Men’s Entrance” and “Women’s Entrance.” I was glad to see that none of the kids paid any attention to those instructions.
“Counselor’s office,” I muttered to myself. At least I wasn’t starting in the middle of a term—though given the fact that there were fewer than 500 students in the entire high school, I didn’t think I was going to be able to go unnoticed, even in the general bustle of the first day back from summer vacation.
I walked through the door marked “Men’s Entrance,” just be contrary, and faced a long hallway lined with heavy wooden doors. The spaces in between the doors were filled with lockers and marble staircases with ornate hand-rails flanked each end of the long hallway. Students poured in behind me, calling out greetings to each other and jostling me off to the side while I tried to get my bearings. None of the doors obviously led to a main office; I was going to have to walk the entire length of the hallway. And people were already starting to stare and whisper.
God. I hated being the new kid.
I took a deep breath and stepped forward. I made it halfway down the hall without seeing anything informative—all the doors had numbers over them and many of them had name plaques, but neither of those things did me any good since I didn’t know the name or office number for the counselor. I was almost getting desperate enough to ask Kayla, but of course she was nowhere to be seen.
I turned back from scanning the halls for her and caught sight of the first adult I’d seen—and almost screamed. As it was, I gasped loudly enough for a guy walking past me to do a double take. The man standing in the open doorway was tall, over six feet, and way skinny—so emaciated that it looked like you ought to be able to see his ribs through his shirt, if his shirt didn’t hang so loosely on him. He had white hair that stuck out in tufts, thin lips, a sharp nose, and pale blue eyes that narrowed as he watched the kids walk past—and all the kids gave him a wide berth without even seeming to notice that they did so. He stood in an empty circle while students streamed around him in the crowded hallway.
But none of that was what made me almost scream.
For a moment, just as I’d turned toward him, I could have sworn that I’d seen the shadow of two huge, black, leathery wings stretched out behind him.
Laney Harris played by Emma Roberts
Physical description: Laney has brown eyes and straight brown hair. A few freckles are dusted across her nose, but she often brushes powder across it to hide them.
Quote that fits her personality: My life sounded a little bit like a word problem: Josh and Mason both want Laney. Mr. Bartlef has mostly invisible bat wings. They all hang out at John Hamilton’s ranch. Assuming that Laney isn’t a total moron, calculate her chances of survival. Have I mentioned how much I hate math?
Best quality: Underneath her surface-level snarkiness, she’s actually kind and loyal.
Worst quality: She often acts without thinking first and ends up in trouble.
Casting choice: I think Emma Roberts could do a great job of pulling off the combination of sweet and snarky necessary to play Laney.
Roger Bartlef played by David Bradley
Age: Indeterminate, but perhaps much older than anyone knows
Physical description: Thin, with white hair that stuck out in tufts, thin lips, a sharp nose, and pale blue eyes—and possibly enormous bat wings that only Laney can see. Also, his breath smells like something may have died in his mouth.
Quote that fits his personality: The two boys who were supposed to be disposing of the boy heard her coming and panicked. They left the body there. They have been dealt with.
Best quality: He believes he is acting in the best interests of his people.
Worst quality: He is utterly ruthless.
Casting choice: David Bradley would make such an excellent villain! He can sneer with the best of them and exude the kind of menace that Bartlef embodies.
The Sound Track:
Devil’s Eyes by Creech Holler
Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming in 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.
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