Author: Catherine Mesick
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Sixteen-year-old Katie Wickliff lives quietly in the small town of Elspeth's Grove, unaware of the troubled past that forced her grandmother to flee Russia with her when Katie was only a child. When people in the town begin to disappear, and Katie's own home is attacked by a terrifying creature, Katie and her grandmother return to Russia to find answers.
Pursuing them is the handsome William – who just might be a vampire. Katie discovers that William is indeed partially a vampire, but he is also one of the Sidh, an ancient clan whose members are gifted with great power – a clan to which Katie's deceased mother also belonged.
Soon, Katie discovers that her mother's seemingly natural death was actually murder, and she is forced to confront the question she wants to face the least: Is William her otherworldly protector, or is he the dark creature who killed her mother eleven years ago?
I leaned my forehead against the dark window, welcoming the feel of the cool glass against my feverish skin.
I could feel the night calling to me, though I didn’t exactly know what I meant by that. It had been happening more often lately—it was a strange tugging on my mind.
Something was pulling me out into the dark.
In an unguarded moment, GM had told me that my mother had had visions. The way the night called to me, I wondered if this feeling was the beginning of a vision.
I wished I could talk to my mother. I’d been wishing for that more and more often lately.
I turned away from the window, trying to shake off the feeling that tugged on my mind, and I picked up the framed photograph that always sat next to my bed. In the photo, a man with curly brown hair and a pale, blond woman smiled as they kneeled on either side of a laughing, fair-haired girl of five. The inscription on the back was hidden by the frame, but I knew well what it said. In GM’s busy scrawl were the words Daniel, Katie, Nadya.
My father, me, my mother.
Though the memories were faint, I did remember those early days in Russia. I remembered the big apple tree and the roses that grew at our house. I remembered playing with my red-haired cousin, Odette.
I remembered, too, the day GM had taken the picture. Little had she known then that her son-in-law and her daughter would be dead soon afterward.
My father had died first in an accident in the mountains. My mother died just a few weeks later of a fever, and GM had moved us to the United States shortly after that. We’d been here for eleven years now, and my old life was beyond my reach for good.
I set the picture down.
The darkness continued to call to me, and I tried to force my mind back to reality—back to what was normal and safe and unrelated to the unknown out in the dark.
I thought of my friends—and school—but even as I did so, I felt a sudden, sharp tug on my mind, and I was seized by an irrational desire to run out into the night—and to keep running until I found the source of the summons.
I closed my eyes and willed the feeling away.
After a moment, the night calling began to subside. I concentrated harder, pushing it further away from me. In another few minutes, the feeling was gone entirely. Relief flooded through me.
I was free.
I stood for a moment, breathing hard and looking around at all the familiar objects in my room, as if to reassure myself. Then I climbed back into bed and turned out the light.
I was just drifting off to sleep when I was jolted wide-awake by the sound of a car tearing down our street. The car screeched to a halt somewhere below my window, and then turned sharply into our driveway.
I sat up. I heard the muffled slam of two car doors outside, and I heard GM, who usually kept late hours, hurrying toward the door.
I got out of bed and fumbled in the dark to find a robe. I was puzzled—who could possibly have come to see us in the middle of the night?
As I hurried out of my room, I heard a heavy pounding on the front door, followed by a woman’s cry.
“Anna! Anna Rost! Annushka! Open the door!”
I froze in the hallway. Only GM’s oldest friends called her Annushka—and there were precious few of those.
I heard GM quickly unbolt the door and open it.
“Galina!” GM shouted in shock. Her voice rose even higher. “Aleksandr? Is that you, Aleksandr? How tall you are! I scarcely would have recognized you.”
I wished I could see who was at the door, but I knew that if I went downstairs, GM would just order me back to my room. She clearly recognized her visitors, and they were clearly people she had known back in Russia.
And GM never allowed me to get involved in anything that had to do with the past.
I crept to the top of the stairs but remained in the shadows—the better to hear without being seen.
“Annushka!” Galina cried. She had a heavy Russian accent—much heavier than GM’s. “Annushka! I had scarcely allowed myself to believe that we’d actually found you! Oh, Annushka! After all these years!”
“Hush, Galina, hush,” GM hissed. “You’ll wake my granddaughter. Come in. Quickly, now.”
I could hear the clack of a woman’s footsteps in the hall, followed by a man’s heavier tread. The door was closed and the bolt reset.
GM led her visitors down the hall to the kitchen.
I tiptoed down the stairs and sat on the bottom step. I wouldn’t be able to see into the kitchen from my perch without leaning over the banister, but I knew from experience that I would be able to hear.
GM’s voice floated down the hall to me. “Since you’re here, Galina,” she said, “you and Aleksandr may as well have a seat.”
Apple (iTunes): https://books.apple.com/us/book/pure/id1386778741
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pure-catherine-mesick/1125997596?ean=2940162045113
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Catherine_Mesick_Pure?id=l11mDwAAQBAJ&hl=en_US
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Catherine Mesick is the author of Pure, Firebird, Dangerous Creatures, Ghost Girl, and A Maryland Witch. She is a graduate of Pace University and Susquehanna University. She lives in Maryland.
Visit the author’s website at https://catherinemesick.com and her Facebook page at https://facebook.com/PureBookSeries. You can also connect with her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CatherineMesick.
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