Title: The Hunted
Series: The Abandoned Series, Book 1
Author: C.J. Hart
Published: March 31st, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YAm Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Mild violence, adult language
Recommended Age: 13+
Just your average boy-meets-girl, boy-kills-people story.
The Native American Navajo tribe has stories of a monster so wicked, so blood-thirsty, that they are to be hunted down and slaughtered. But are they just legends? Or is something sinister lurking in the shadows? The Yee Naaldlooshi—skinwalkers—have the ability to transform themselves. And they can be anyone. Anything.
The Hunters—a group dedicated to tracking the creatures—are hot on their trail and they won’t stop until every last one is dead. But are they all as evil as foretold? Seb, alpha of the Taylor, Arizona reservation pack, begins to question the acts of their kind. But he’s broken a rule and must choose between killing the girl he loves or risking everything to save her. Cassie must fight for her survival. The pack is after her. And they’re no joke. Cass is about to find out how sadistic they can be.
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Excerpt from The Hunted by C.J. Hart
— Seb —
The night has begun to creep in. Spooky shadows and hooting owls. A chill shimmers up my spine. Humans have long locked themselves away in their houses. The rez isn’t a place you want to be out in after dark.
Good thing I’m not human.
I sprint into the forest, deep enough so no one can see me strip. When I reach the third fallen log, I stop. Kicking off my shoes, I crumple my shirt and jeans, stuffing them into the backpack and tugging the zipper closed. I cram it in a log.
The prickling of my skin intensifies as my hunger for flesh and blood grows, twisting and churning my stomach. Tugging at my muscles. I leap into the air. Hands and feet turn to paws, fingers and toes to claws. Fur spreads over my whole body, gray with circles of black on my back.
I raise my muzzle into the air and suck in a deep breath. Rust, salt, and sinew fill my nostrils. East. The lake. I pad towards it, silent and starving. Then it hits me. Like a brick wall shooting up, keeping me in my place. Staggering back as the scent of roses and coffee floods my airways, I shake my head to rid myself of the stench. Where’s it coming from? I must find out. I need to. It’s too mouthwatering to resist. I spin, sampling the air around me. West. I charge through the forest, paws crashing against leaves and bracken. I’m making too much noise. I’ve forgotten to care. Lost all rational thoughts.
I pass the invisible border dividing Aeston and Taylor.
A house appears at the edge of the trees, its exterior brown and gray. A blonde girl sits on the porch, candlelight sparking across her face. I freeze, claws digging into soil. She’s reading. The light breeze brings her scent to me. Coffee and roses. Such a sweet, decadent aroma. My mouth waters. She can’t be more than seventeen. I creep as close as I dare, curious. Her hazel eyes dart across the page. What’s she reading?
She doesn’t see me. I slink closer, leaning out of the trees.
A male voice cuts through the air. “Dinner’s ready.”
Her head snaps up. “Coming, Dad!” She marks her page, snuffs the candle flame, and then disappears inside.
I wait. Minutes or hours pass. A light in an upstairs room illuminates. The curtains close. Moments later, the curtains open and the light is extinguished.
I must see more.
About the Author:
Renée Shearer writes young adult fiction under the name of C.J. Hart. Renée is a full-time writer who lives in Sydney, Australia, with a crazy pooch named Abbey and a boisterous, somersaulting rescue budgie named Kaleb. Her days are spent living in her fictional worlds and consuming way too much caffeine. She has an (unhealthy?) obsession with all things cupcake- and coffee-related plus Kerouac and YA dystopia/fantasy books. Renée can often be found surrounded by books, marathoning crime shows and munching on vegan goodies, on Twitter (@Renee_Shearer), Pinterest, or dancing in a rainstorm.
Renée hopes to one day visit Rio and is currently learning Brazilian Portuguese.
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