Lost by M. Lathan
Series: Hidden, #2
Publication date: June 20th 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal
Three months ago, Christine Grant found herself, her love, and impossible friends, while losing the memories of the biggest piece of her past.
Now, her powers are spinning out of control and must be tamed by the woman who saved the world, the same woman Christine is predicted to kill in less than a month.
Wanting to punish catty girls was just the beginning. It’s only a matter of time before she discovers that the world is not as safe from her as she hoped it was.
I’d thought I hated Sienna Martin. That was nothing, a childish grudge. I used to hate Remi until my heart started bleeding for her. That was nothing too. Hate was what I felt for Kamon.
I’d give anything to know what he was up to, pull him out of the shadows and into the light. Was he getting close? Did he know who and what I was?
I welcomed the energy that rushed over my skin, and his name echoed in my head.
He was in New Orleans. I knew it for a fact.
I faintly heard when Nate turned off the TV. I didn’t open my eyes, too wrapped up in the buzzing, in the power I pretended I didn’t have.
Behind my eyelids, I saw a blurry picture of my New Orleans backyard.
Kamon chuckled, circling Lydia Shaw near the pool. “Where is she?” he asked.
“That’s not your business, and stay away from this house.”
“She is very much so my business. A girl with her potential does not come along every day. I noticed it the first time I saw her. I knew then.”
Lydia laughed and stepped closer to his face. “I can’t wait for this to be over,” she said.
My muscles quivered. Lydia and Kamon shook with me.
“Me either. I have big plans. I’ve been working on my new title. What do you think of Emperor Kamon? Too much?” He laughed. “There’s finally a date after your dash. I guess I’m lucky Leah’s so unstable. I know you’re terrified. It’s getting so close. July 4th.”
I shook even harder and heard a far away scream.
Lydia spun around, and Remi wiggled her fingers at her, a taunting wave. Her jet-black hair dangled to her waist now. My Master, My Lord, in a fancy, ancient script, was permanently inked on her stomach, right above her low-cutting leather pants.
“Remi is one of the best things to ever happen to me. Her first offering brought my nemesis barging through the doors. In time, she’ll bring me Leah. I’ve seen July 4th, Lydia. It is your pet’s destiny, and I’m going to help her fulfill it.”
My backyard trembled like an earthquake was ravishing New Orleans, and someone screamed, “Emma, hold her head!”
“Wake up, Chris,” Emma said.
I opened my eyes. Nate and Em were shaking me and swatting at my cheeks. Blood was everywhere – on Nate’s hands, his chest, my pillow.
I’d had another fit. Correction. I was still having a fit, shaking and bleeding and buzzing. Em’s thoughts were frantic and in fluent French. But understandable. I had a feeling she could speak Chinese, and I would understand it right now.
She snapped and disappeared, leaving me alone with Nate. His face vibrated as I shook, and he braced me against his chest.
After a moment, his body tensed against mine, and he drew his arms away, no longer holding me. My nails were in his sides, and they didn’t want to let go.
Embers blew around us, and found their way to his head, circling and sparkling, crowning him with fire. I coughed from the smoke tickling my throat. He didn’t seem to see them at all.
A deep voice I’d never heard screamed, “Dali!” It echoed several times after. With each repeat, Nate clutched his head tighter, in pain.
All day I had been questioning where I belonged. Now I knew. I belonged in a cage, not allowed to roam freely around my enemies.
I didn’t want to hurt him. Or myself. I needed to listen to my body. Someone had told me that. Someone …
A flash of light blinded me, and Sophia and Emma appeared when it cleared.
Sophia pried my clenched jaw open. Something warm filled my mouth and slithered down my throat.
Then there was nothing but darkness.
Sixteen-year-old Leah Grant has given up on being normal. She’d settle for stopping the voices in her head, intrusive visions of the future, and better odds of making it to her seventeenth birthday.
That’s the thing about pretending to be human in a world where magic used to exist – at any moment, her cover could be blown and she’ll be burned to death like the rest of the witches.
Everything changes when she loses control of her powers and flees the orphanage she grew up in. She desperately wants to be invisible but finds her face plastered on every news channel as humans panic over the possible resurgence of her kind. And now the hunters won’t give up until they find her.
Making friends for the first time in her life and falling in love with one of them drives her to discover why she is unlike any being she’s ever met – human or otherwise. The dangerous powers inside of her that would repel Nathan, her new, handsome reason for living, are priceless to some. The locked up forever kind of priceless. And to others, they are too dangerous to allow her to live.
Let’s hope she can stay hidden.
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Character interview: Leah (prior to LOST)
So, Leah … or is it Christine?
Leah is what the nuns named me at my school. My real name is Christine.
Which one would you like me to call you?
Whichever you want.
Okay, I’ll go with Leah. First, I want you to relax. I know what you’re hiding. Your secret is safe with me. Okay?
So when did you first realize you weren’t … human?
It sort of becomes apparent when you can’t seem to think of another room without accidently moving to it.
That must have been scary. I guess I can answer my next question on my own, then. I was going to ask if you had one wish, what would it be. I’d bet it would be to be human. Am I right?
Yeah. Life would be … uh … simpler that way.
Tell me a little about the disguise you keep up. How do you hide your powers?
It’s difficult. I have to be quiet and careful. I have to watch my every move. But I’m still alive so … I obviously don’t suck at it too much.
Obviously. Hats off to you. Have you picked up anything from imitating a human? Do you have typical teenage quirks? A favorite color or food?
I guess I have a favorite food. If oranges count.
Yeah, that counts. What about other typical high school things? Do you have a most embarrassing moment?
There’s too many to choose from. Let me see. Eighth grade, right after a math test I’d completely bombed. I’d been fighting with my magic all day. It seemed like every time I moved, something else in the classroom would move with me. So naturally, I’d stopped moving. A girl I hate, Sienna, screamed my name from the back of class and asked if I was constipated. I guess I looked kind of constipated. Anyway, I tried to move so I wouldn’t look as strange, and the American flag hanging over the chalkboard crashed to Sister Margaret’s desk. Scared out of my mind, I ran out of class. Of course, everyone thought I ran to the bathroom because of stomach issues. They called me Pepto for weeks.
Yikes, that’s embarrassing, all right. It doesn’t sound like you have friends, so what do you do in your spare time?
I draw. I’m pretty good at it. I did a full-scale sketch of the orphanage with shading and everything when I was six. That should have tipped me off that I wasn’t normal.
That sounds spectacular. Do you see yourself becoming an artist when you grow up?
Grow up? I’ve never thought about it. I guess I’ll have to pray that I’ll live long enough to make career decisions. Wish me luck.
Good luck. That’s for chatting with me today.
AUTHOR BIO :
M. Lathan lives in San Antonio with her husband and mini-schnauzer. She enjoys writing and has a B.S. in Psych and a Masters in Counseling. Her passion is a blend of her two interests – creating new worlds and stocking them with crazy people. She enjoys reading anything with interesting characters and writing in front of a window while asking rhetorical questions … like her idol Carrie Bradshaw.
Interview With M.
1. Tell us about your latest release.
In Book One, Christine/Leah learned and forgot a lot about herself. In book two, she has to learn to control her powers while her mysterious past continues to unfold … all while she is predicted to kill her new idol, Lydia Shaw. Wish her luck. It was a fun and exciting story to write. I love to see characters develop and Christine definitely does a lot of growing in this book. I hope you guys enjoy it!
2. What do you think you’re really good at?
This is lame, but clean well. My mother would tell me that as a child when no one wanted to their chores. She’d say, “No one washes dishes like you. Or no one dusts like you.” Eventually, I became a master at it. I am also a vicious Monopoly player. When the rules are thrown out of the window, I will win. Every single time.
3. What do you think you’re really bad at?
So many things! Mostly, I am the worst singer of all time. The problem is, I always have a song in my heart. And I swear I’m on the right key and my husband will beg me to stop singing. My favorite song to belt out is Falling by Florence and the Machine. The o-o-o-o-o part is my favorite and I butcher it every time.
4. Do you have any tattoos? Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?
Yes. I have four stars on my ankle. I got the first one when I was twenty with my best friend. A few months later, I went with my sorority sisters who thought having one star on your ankle was stupid. I had this huge design drawn up with swirls and clouds. I made it to three more stars before I ran out of the chair. It hurt so bad! I couldn’t finish and it is still not finished!
5. Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
No. Everything is different. I live in a different state, have a real job, got married, and got a guardian angel. Change is tough, but I’m adapting well.
6. Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
TONS! That was my thing as a child. And I remember them all. My favorite was a purple blob named Ubby. My mom made every one play along . I kind of miss ‘ole Ubby.
7. Do you have any phobias?
Yes. First, let me say I am easily startled so everything scares me. But I am seriously claustrophobic and I hate large crowds. I make one exception because I’m from Louisiana. Mardi Gras.
8. Any weird things you do when you’re alone?
So many. At some point of every day, I do the robot. Without fail. Or when I walk into a public bathroom and I’m alone, I usually do something odd in the mirror like a dance or a karate move. If someone comes in, I walk off and pretend to be a normal human.
9. What is your favorite quote and why?
Life is a song - sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. Life is love - enjoy it.
I like it because it’s simple and true. Life is not one thing, it’s several, and it takes action to actually enjoy it. You can’t sit back and watch it happen. It’s why I finally stopped writing for myself and decided to put my words out there.
10. Which mythological creature are you most like?
My favorite creature is the Unicorn, no question. I don’t know if I am like it, other than that I do feel odd and like a rare breed sometimes. Mostly, I’m just strange, not really special in any cool way. So my final answer is a strange and uncool unicorn.
11. What are four things you can’t live without?
Phone. Laptop. Wireless. Kindle Mobile App. There are many more, but I’ve gone a day without these things, and trust me, it wasn’t pretty.
12. What is your favorite television show?
Sex and the City! No question. I have every season!
13. What is the story of your first kiss?
Oh, God. Okay. 7th grade. Ms. Calvary’s English. Truth or Dare game. I took the dare and kissed a boy in the back of class as she was teaching. Not my brightest moment.
14. What kind of music you like?
Everything. My itunes shuffle is so confused. One song could be Florence and the Machine, then Jeff Buckley, then Lil Wayne, then Ke$ha. If I can sing or rap along, I’m going to love it.
15. Do you like to dance?
Love to. Now, the question is, do other people like to see me dance. You’d have to ask them. To me, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, as long as you’re having fun.
16. Can you describe your dream home?
Easy. The main home in Book One. Classic Louisiana. Wood floors, ceiling fans, claw tubs, haunting noises. I picture this home with vines growing on the bricks outside, like it’s becoming a part of the lawn.
17. If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?
Juliet. To be the symbol of love would be nuts. To me, most characters are based off of her in many books out there. I’d want to be the original love-struck girl.
18. What is the first curse word that comes to mind? How often and why do you use it?
F-bomb. And a lot. It saves so much time when you think about it. Those four letters mean so many different things such as “Where are my keys? Why did the dog pee on the carpet? When will this traffic clear up?” It’s really efficient to only have to say one word to define so many different feelings.
19. What is your least favorite word?
Ambulance. I can’t say it fast. I typically have to say emergency vehicle so I don’t sound like an idiot. For some reason, I want to put a P in that word that isn’t there.
20. What part of the writing process do you dread?
That part when you want to throw the computer at the wall. Mostly, editing and seeing how blind I am to too/to, there/their, and of/off errors. Then the part after I find those errors and delete the entire scene, add a new one, only to have those errors reincarnate themselves.
21. What is your favorite Joke?
Two muffins are in an oven. One muffin says, “it sure is hot in here.” The other muffin turns around slowly with terror in his eyes and says, “Ah! A talking muffin!”
I die laughing every time I think about that.
22. Where do you get your best ideas?
It’s weird, but I feel stories when I’m in a certain setting. Like if I go to an old house, I may think about the kind of person that lives there, their voice, their secrets and lies. I got the idea for Hidden in BIO lab in college years ago. The classroom made me want to write about a girl in one.
23. What are you working on right now?
Book Three of the Hidden Series, Shattered. It is dual POV Nate and Chris and my favorite so far. I am also working on character shorts and extras from other characters from Hidden that will be released on my website.
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