Title: Dead by Morning (Rituals of the Night #1)
Author: Kayla Krantz
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
"He was real, and he was a monster." Obsession is deadly. No one learns that better than Luna Ketz, a pessimistic high school senior. Caught between the intentions of her stern father and business-minded mother, boys are the last thing on Luna’s mind, but this fact doesn’t detour mysterious bad boy Chance Welfrey from trying to gain her affection. Luna doesn’t think twice about him until girls at their high school begin to disappear. Girls who tended to hurt her. Girls she wished would disappear. When she receives a call from a long-lost friend, normalcy goes out the window as she’s plunged into the paranormal. There’s a world beneath the surface of the unconscious mind, and the killer knows how to navigate it. Luna is in danger and although she can avoid the killer in reality, she cannot avoid him in her dreams. *Rated for mature adult themes and depictions of violence*
Reluctantly, she set her hand in his. His skin felt clammy beneath her fingers, like he had been sweating. Luna wanted to pull her hand back, but she forced herself to keep it there. He closed his fingers around hers and pulled her onto the dance floor, smiling as he did so. The music turned to a slow, sappy song, and Luna had a feeling that was why he wanted to dance. She stayed arm’s length away, barely setting her hands on his hips. Chance’s eye squinted on one side before he forced her arms up onto his shoulders, setting his hands on her waist.
Despite herself, a fierce blush bloomed across her cheeks. This was the most intimate way a man had ever touched her. The places where his hands rested sent electricity through her skin, and she shuffled, hoping against hope that he would loosen his hold, but he wasn’t shy about the move.
As he stepped to the music, she searched his expression for any sign of compassion. “Why do you do this to me?”
“Make me go to things like this. I mean, I know you don’t like me. What could you possibly want from me?”
He looked back at her, and for a minute, he didn’t speak, as if he had been caught off-guard by her question. “I can’t tell you.”
She halted their swaying and narrowed her eyes. “You can blackmail me into going on dates with you, and you can have your friends kidnap me, but you can’t tell me why you do it?”
“Look, you’ll find out eventually, and you won’t like it, I know. I try hard to get you to feel something toward me so that when you find that out, you won’t fight me,” he whispered in her ear.
“Find what out? What could be so bad? Do Susan and Kate and all of them know what it is?” She pulled back to watch his face carefully.
“No, they don’t. No one does. Just keep quiet, okay?”
“Does this have to do with the thing you hide in your pocket?” Luna asked him a bit louder. “Do you have it on you now?” She reached her hand forward to try to touch the side of his pants.
A couple people around them turned to look as she raised her voice to him. Chance caught her wrist easily in his hand, returned their stares, and smiled nervously before looking back at Luna. He had to resist the urge to shake her into silence as he let go of her arm.
“I don’t hide anything in my pocket okay?” he snarled. “That’s all just your imagination, Luna. Now drop it.”
Part of her was frightened by his sudden anger. He was hiding something from her…and from everyone else as well.
“Okay, we’re setting up to play,” a voice called from the stage, pulling the attention off of them. “We need a volunteer singer to help us out.”
“How about Chance does it?” A nearby girl suggested.
The anger dissolved from Chance’s face as he turned to the girl who had spoken, and Luna realized all of his rage had been solely directed at her. She felt oddly cold at the thought.
“Yeah, I’ll do it. Why not?” she barely heard him say.
He let go of her and moved through the cheering crowd toward the stage. The band took its place, and Chance stood at the microphone. He looked completely comfortable up there, normal, as if he weren’t the center of attention. The band began to play “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, and Luna studied Chance. Dipping subtly toward the mic, he began to sing, and his voice surprised her. It sounded beautiful.
As Luna watched him, she couldn’t pick out the detail that had made her dislike him. From a glance, he looked like any other teenage boy. The girls around Luna cheered him on, but she stayed silent. His eyes flicked to her as he reached the chorus of the song, flashing in the lights. Even though she couldn’t put her finger on it, there was something bad about him. Something that separated him from all the other teenage boys and made him a danger to the people who called him ‘friend.’
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
If money were no object and there wasn’t a pandemic circling the world, where would you go for a Spring Break vacation and why?
If I had my choice of places to go, I would want to visit the Museum of Death in New Orleans. I know a lot of people like to go to the beach and stuff for their spring break, but I’ve always had a more Gothic aesthetic so I think it would be an interesting place to check out.
What’s your favorite thing about Spring and why?
While winter is my favorite season, I like spring because for a little while, it feels like everything is brand new. Plants start to grow, and the snow begins to melt and it’s just a beautiful time of year.
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Runs April 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on May 1.
Kayla Krantz is a proud author, responsible for a number of fantasy novels, and is fascinated by the dark and macabre. Stephen King is her all-time inspiration, mixed in with a little bit of Eminem and some faint remnants of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. When she began writing, she started in horror, but somehow drifted into thriller and fantasy. She loves the 1988 movie, “Heathers.” Kayla was born and raised in Michigan, but traveled across the country to where she currently resides, in Texas.
Social Media Links:
Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/cwZHEz