Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (a day late)

More from Contagious Chaos :)

(And again, remember that this has NOT been seen by an editor yet!)

Copyright Emily Goodwin 2013

Someone screamed again, getting a few of the zombies’ attention. I wanted to shout back a ‘shut the fuck up’ but bit my tongue. Following the sound of the yelling, two zombies broke away from their buddies to walk up the steps and bump into the closed front door. They took a step back and tried again, unable to figure out how to open it.
“It’s a good thing the virus makes people into idiots,” I huffed. “Well, after it makes it homicidal and crazy.”
Hayden nodded. “The mind of a zombie isn’t hard to understand. Well,” he added. “Their thought processes at least. Scientifically, that shit is confusing.” He shook his head and looked at the church, his hazel eyes wide as he tried to come up with a plan of attack.
Another S2—a petite blonde boy who looked to be only about seven—wandered away from the parking lot and crossed the street. Limping, his foot caught on a bag of garbage and sent the contents scattering. Several pop cans rolled to a stop by the curb. The noise was enough to bring a four more zombies out from behind the church. My eyes darted to the herd and then to the boy again. There was no way we could get past the herd and into the church. We knew there had to be over two dozen zombies out front, possibly just as many out back and God-only-knows how many were inside.
“We need to create a diversion,” Hayden whispered. “Even if we did have the ammo, I don’t know if we could get to them before they got to us.”
“Yeah,” I agreed, not taking my eyes off the child zombie. He entered the parking lot of a tiny strip mall, housing a Chinese take-out restaurant, a tanning and nail salon, a dog groomer, and a mattress store. Along with wishing I could order a bowl of chicken fried rice, I had an idea.
“Look.” I pointed behind the strip mall to a park. “There’s an ambulance.”
“What do you want to do with it?”
“Use it to distract the zombies. The siren and flashing lights might be enough to make most of them leave.”
Hayden tipped his head. “If you can get it started. If not…make another alarm go off.”
“It worked before,” I blurted and felt a twist of pain when I thought of Rider and my narrow escape in the zombie filled parking lot. Inadvertently, my face went blank and my eyes drifted to my feet. Hayden put his hand on my cheek and tipped my head up.
“I’m sorry, Riss,” he spoke gently, knowing what memory was causing me pain. “I wish I could tell you it gets better, but it doesn’t—obviously, since I still have nightmares about Ben’s death.”
“You suck at inspirational speeches, you know?”
Hayden laughed. “Yeah, I guess I do.”
I inhaled and mentally shook myself. “Ok…it’s ok. We should go back a little, cross the street, and sneak behind those buildings, down that hill, through the trees and into the park.”
Hayden gave me a nod of approval and we took off, moving as quietly as possible. There was a pile of dead bodies behind the tanning salon. Gagging, I covered my nose and hurried around them.
“Nothing like the smell of death warmed over,” Hayden grimaced. I no longer wanted fried rice. He raised his hand and motioned to a dumpster. “Get him?”
When I nodded, Hayden whistled, drawing the zombie out. As soon as he fell, Hayden jogged over to retrieve the arrow. He flicked off the blood and handed it to me. A few gummies shuffled in the back ally; none were enough of a threat to waste our time killing. We ran down the hill, hopped a fence, and entered the park.
Gravel crunched under my feet as we ran down the track that surrounded an overgrown lawn. Park benches were hidden behind tall weeds. Birds squawked and chirped like normal, oblivious to the never-ending human death.
A make shift shelter had been set up—and taken down by bad weather—in a covered picnic area. The remains of cots, chairs, and coolers full of food were stained from rain and wind and covered with animal droppings. Behind that was the ambulance.
“Wait,” Hayden called when I opened the door to the cab. He pointed to a police car several yards away. The door was ajar and the cop’s corpse was sticking halfway out of the driver’s seat. His hands, arms, and face had been reduced to nothing but bone. He looked around for zombies and snuck to the car. Using his arm to shield his nose, he reached into the car and pulled the officer’s body out.
Blinking hard, he looked away. I never before knew that the smell of rotting could be so strong it burned your eyes. He took the gun from the cop’s belt and then flipped the body over, removing his flashlight and hand cuffs. I nervously looked around as Hayden leaned inside the car, stripping it of anything useful.
“This could come in handy,” he said with a grin when he returned with two bullet proof vests, a shot gun, plus the small items he took off the body. Since it was too much to carry, we put on the vests and shoved the hand cuffs, pistol, and flashlight inside my bag.
“My turn to raid,” I told Hayden. “You still need medical crap.”
He looked at the bloody bandage on his shoulder, which had slipped down and was only covering half the wound. “Nah. I’m fine.”
“It’s not going to heal itself,” I snapped.
“Uh, Riss. It actually will. That’s kinda how wound healing works,” he teased.
“Shut up. You know what I mean.” I took a breath and felt constricted in the vest. “I don’t like this,” I complained and held the bow out for Hayden to take.
“You’ll get used to it,” he informed me. “I didn’t like them at first either. Until it saved my life more than once.” I met Hayden’s eyes. He rarely brought up anything that had to do with his time overseas. He waved his hand. “Get your shit.”

I opened the back door and leaned back in surprise. “Hayden,” I whispered. “You gotta come see this.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Since I finished Contagious Chaos yesterday, what better teaser to post than one from CC? :) I'm excited for this one!! (Nothing has been to the editor yet either, so content is subject to change a wee bit)

Contagious Chaos
Copyright 2013, Emily Goodwin

Brock slowly crawled towards the door. I watched his shadow move behind the shelf. One hand landed on the floor and he leaned his body forward. Then something caught my eye, and I thought it was a bug. My eyes flitted from Brock to the little red dot.
“Stop!” I shouted. Brock froze and flattened himself.
“What?” Brock exclaimed.
“There’s a sight on you,” I whispered.
“Fuck,” Ivan muttered when his gazed fixed on the laser. “They can see us.”
His words sent chills down my spine. I looked at the store front again. Where were the shooters hiding? Were they close?
“What’s behind you?” Hayden asked Brock.
“A room with a table…a break room, maybe? And bathrooms,” Brock explained.
“Any way out?” Hayden asked.
“There is a vent,” Brock said. A moment later something metal clattered to the floor. “I can’t fit, dammit,” he cursed. “It looks like it leads to the side of the building.” He hit the wall in frustration. “I can’t get my shoulders in.” The sound of scuffling echoed through the small diner. “I’m coming back to your side.”
“Not yet. Get back in there,” Hayden told him. “They were aiming for you. And that piece of wood isn’t going to protect you.”
“No,” Brock argued. “I’m not hiding while you fight.”
“Brock,” I pleaded. “I don’t want you to die.”
He picked his head up and looked in our direction. He made a face and pushed himself back, grumbling about how he was joining us the first chance he got.
Jason’s voice over the radio stole my attention and I snapped my head around to stare at the device as if it would allow me to hear better.
“You guys ok?” he asked.
“Janet is dead. We have the others,” Ivan said dryly. “What about you?”
“We got everyone except Jon, Lupe, and Daniel. I think whoever was driving their car got hit; I saw them crash into a fire hydrant. No one got out.”
“How did you get away?” Ivan asked as his eyes scanned the restaurant.
“Wade,” Jason stated, “pulled into an alley. Madison followed. We got out and he led us down the street and into another alley. We went in the back of this store. You got any zombies in there with you?”
“There were a few here. Nothing we couldn’t handle.” A few seconds of silence passed before Jason told us that Wade was back.
“I can see three guys on the roof across from you,” Wade told us. “One has a clear shot inside. There are two guys in the street. Both are wearing body armor. Face and neck are exposed.”
“And at least two more in the lot behind us,” Ivan informed him. “What’s the zombie situation?”
“Streets are starting to fill. Most look like they are in the S3 stage and are moving slow. They don’t pose a threat. It’s the goddamn men out there that are armed to hell I’m worried about. They’ve got you surrounded.”
“Can you take any down?”
“Yes,” Wade said confidently. “Just not from here.”
 “Good,” Ivan said softly. Watch yourself.”
 “This isn’t my first rodeo,” Wade reminded him. “A fifty cal was my best friend for a couple of years.”
“Things are different now,” Ivan slowly replied. His eyes met Hayden’s in an unspoken question. Hayden moved his head up and down curtly. “But if you can get a clear shot, take it.”
“Alright,” Hayden began and leaned toward us. “If Wade makes just one shot, it will take the focus off of us.” He turned around and inspected the kitchen. To the right were the back door and the walkway to the front of the restaurant. To our left was a swinging door that led into the dining area.
“Scratch that plan,” Wade’s frantic voice spoke, causing me to startle. “We got zombies.”
“How many?” Ivan blurted, his eyes widening.
“Enough,” Wade responded before falling silent.
“Wade?” Ivan spoke and got no response. I looked up and met Hayden’s eyes. Though they mirrored my terror, he forced a smile and gave me an encouraging nod. Moving slowly, he edged toward the swinging door.
Suddenly, there was a loud pop followed by a car alarm going off. The blaring siren screeched throughout the still, empty town.
“Turn it off!” one of the guys yelled over the alarm.
“I don’t know how!” the other screamed back. “I ain’t got the keys!”
Hayden snapped his head up and stared at me; we both remembered how quickly the zombies fled to the ambulance. Brock slid his M16 across the floor and stuck his head out from behind the shelf.
“Go,” Ivan instructed.  “Now!”
Taking advantage of the distracting alarm, Brock sprinted back to the kitchen. Ten horribly slow seconds ticked by, each one marked by the Range Rover’s blaring horn.
“Hayden?” Hannah cried, cracking open the freezer.
He waved his hand. “Get back,” he harshly whispered. “Hannah, do not come out!”
She nodded and pulled her head back. The heavy freezer door clicked shut, sending a cloud of dust into the air. Ivan retrieved the keys from his pocket and put his finger over a button. The two men outside were still frantically trying to shut off the alarm.
“Do it,” Brock whispered. “Before they pop the engine and cut something.”
Ivan turned slightly so he could see me. I nodded, agreeing with Brock. He pressed the button, bringing silence to my ringing ears. My breath left me in a ragged huff and my heart continued to pound. A bead of sweat rolled down my neck but I wasn’t going to risk setting down my bow to wipe it away. Hayden scooted his body another few inches.
“We need a visual,” he whispered to me, probably seeing the fear in my eyes as he moved farther away from me. On his hands and knees, he crouched along the counter until he reached the swinging door. Flattening himself on the ground so he wouldn’t knock into the doors, he pulled forward.
Then glass crunched under someone’s foot.

Monday, May 6, 2013

DC revisions

I mean to post this forever ago but didn' least I'm posting it now, right? Better late than never, I suppose!

First of all, congrats Beth to winning the Contagium Celebration Giveaway!! I had fun running the contest and plan on doing another one soon! Contagious is being featured on The Bookish Brunette's Zombie Craze in June, so I will put something together for then :) Maybe I'll even have the new covers to reveal!! (Fingers crossed...I'm still waiting for an update on how things are going)

I had mentioned before that a few things would be different in the re-released versions of C and DC. I altered the ending of DC just a tiny bit, mostly changing the setting and the way the action unfolds with Orissa and Rider. I just wasn't happy with the way those two went off alone. It didn't feel right. It was out of character. So I changed it (a while ago, actually) but never got around to posting about it.

With out further ado, here is the revised (but still unedited) last chapter of Deathly Contagious. :)

Chapter 20 
© Emily Goodwin 

“What?” I asked, terror creeping into my heart.
“The Imperial Lords,” Wade said hoarsely. “That is their car. I remember it.” He looked at Hayden with guilt in his eyes. “We thought we killed them all. I-I don’t know how the last one got away. I hit him in his calf. He would have bled out unless…”
“Unless he got help in time,” Rider finished for him. “But there weren’t others. We made sure of it!”
The terror turned into rage. I wanted to track down the guys in the Mustang and slowly beat the life out of them. I wanted to shoot them in the shoulder so they knew how it felt. Feeling suddenly very protective of Hayden, I stepped in front of him.
Hayden bit his lip, still looking at the road. He was thinking and I could tell he wasn’t sure what to do. Ivan looked just as pissed as I felt.
“Let’s kill those motherfuckers,” I said venomously.
Ivan nodded. “I’d love to,” he agreed.
Hayden shook his head. “We don’t know anything about them. They could be just as armed as we are.”
“We outnumber them!” I told him, assuming it to be true. “You can’t fit that many people in a Mustang.”
Hayden nodded and looked at the guys. “We should follow them; keep a safe distance.”
“And if we’re seen?” Rider asked.
“Open fire,” I answered for Hayden.
The guys nodded. “Sounds like a plan I can follow,” Ivan said deviously. “Mess with my boys and you’re going down.”
“The one you shot who got away,” I said to Wade. “I call dibs. I want to crush every bone in his face and cut off his balls and let him bleed to death.”
Hayden gave me a look that said he was startled by my violence.
“You have no idea what it felt like to think you were dead,” I told him. “I want them to pay for what they did. They almost killed you—almost killed me too. Do you remember the pain you were in? I’m not going to let those assholes die quickly. I want them to feel the life slipping away. I want them to bleed and I want them to hurt.”
“You’re scary when you’re angry,” Rider said after a moment of silence.
“Good,” I spat. I was angry, but not at Rider. I hoped he knew that. “We’re wasting time, let’s go.”
We rushed to the cars, which—thank God—were hidden from view by the garage. If those assholes noticed Hayden’s truck, they would have stopped for sure. I sat up front, pistol at my side. We tore down the road, slowing once we figured we more or less caught up with the Mustang. Thankfully we caught it turning onto a road lined with businesses. It was easy to track their whereabouts by the God-awful music. The base was loud enough to wake the dead.
If that was their goal, they succeeded. Hayden jerked the wheel and we flew down an alley. I imagined it going down in a drive-by fashion. The Mustang revved the engine and there was a short, rapid firing at the zombies before it sped off again.
The dumbasses managed to kill three of the seven zombies that wandered out on the streets. Four zombies weren’t a threat. We could run them over if we had too.
“Oh shit,” Rider said. “Don’t turn around,” he muttered.
Behind us, a half dozen or so crawled out of dark corners, out of broken windows, and from behind dumpsters.
“Riss, can you get them?” Hayden asked. “Where’s your bow?”
“In the bed,” I said grimly. “I can get out and—”
“No,” Hayden interrupted. “If it comes to that, we’ll run them over.”
Hearts pounding, we painfully waited until the thumping base disappeared. A zombie sniffed the air and turned towards us. I removed the knife from around my ankle and waited. My window was still rolled down. I saw Hayden’s fingers touch the window control buttons on his side. My grip tightened on the knife.
Half of her jaw was missing. The skin had rotted off her nose, leaving blackened holes were her nostrils should have been. Boney fingers grabbed the door. I pushed myself up and drove the knife into her forehead. I held onto the handle as she slumped down.
Her head hit the door, splattering blood on my lap and the interior of the truck. I used the hem of my shirt to wipe up it up. Hayden put the truck in reverse and slowly accelerated out of the alley. We wound our way through the town. Momentarily losing sight and sound of the Mustang, I felt a flicker of fear inside of me that I wouldn’t get my revenge.
Then we saw it, zooming down the road, sun glinting off the chrome bumpers.  Staying far behind, we slowed and only sped up once the Mustang turned off the road we were traveling. We continued our game of cat and mouse for another few miles. Then the Mustang hit the brakes and jerked a hard turn to the left.
“Stop,” Brock’s voice came from over the walkie.
“Why?” I answered.
“I know where that road leads,” he told us.
“What is that?” I asked.
“A state mental hospital.”
My blood turned ice cold. “What?” I asked again, even though Brock had been perfectly clear.
“It’s a mental hospital. With a maximum security ward for the criminally insane. Orissa, tell Hayden to pull over.” Having heard Brock, Hayden let off the gas. The SUV pulled up next to us. “I’ve been here before,” Brock told us. “It was a long time ago, but I didn’t forget. That road leads to the hospital.”
“I believe you,” Hayden told him.
“What should we do?” Rider asked from the backseat.
“We should check it out,” Hayden said with a nod. “Brock, do you know your way around?”
Brock shook his head. “I was here six years ago, volunteering with my psych class. I know they added to it since then. It’s well built, strong, and easily guarded. Next to our compound, I would say it’s the safest place to live out the outbreak.”
“And?” I asked, my palms sweating. “Is there a way we can get a look at…at anything?”
“Yeah, well, I think.” Brock nodded. “There is—or was—a greenhouse farm behind the hospital. It was used for therapy, like taking care of plants helps anyone,” he mused and shook his head. “There was some sort of incident and two patients and a guard got killed. They shut it down and now it’s empty. I know there was a story on the news about it right before I got shipped out. I don’t know more details,” he said apologetically.
“Can we get there on a back road? I don’t want to be seen,” Ivan said.
“I think so.” Brock looked out the window and chewed on his lip. “We have to go back to town and turn. Then we should be able to find it.”
“Or,” I said, opening the glove box. “We can find out for sure.”
“Let’s get back into town first,” Hayden suggested. “We stick out right here.”
We turned around and sped into town. With trembling hands, I spread open the map, located where we were at and traced the path around the hospital.
“Be prepared for anything,” Hayden told me quietly. “If it’s bad…Riss I don’t want you there.”
“If it’s bad, it’s because we are killing them,” I told him. “Hayden, I’m getting your revenge.”
He just nodded and put his hand on my thigh for a second before turning the truck around and speeding through the town and onto the road that would take us behind the hospital. My heart was hammering in my throat, my pulse bounding through my body when the greenhouses came into view.
The roof was collapsed on the closest one and another was covered in ivy. I let out a small breath of relief; they weren’t being used at all. I doubted the sons of bitches who shot Hayden gave a crap about the greenhouses anymore. I put the knife back in my boot, an M9 in my waistband, an M16 around my neck, and ammo in my pockets. Ideas of what kind of pain I would inflict first flashed through my brain.
Moving slowly, we crouched our way around the greenhouses, which were all empty. The back of each greenhouse had a large, garage-style door that could manually be lifted and lowered. Thinking it would be good to keep our cars hidden we moved the truck and the SUV inside and closed the door.
We layed down and army crawled through the trees and tall grass. My body hummed with adrenaline. The hospital was surrounded by two rows of twelve foot fencing with rolls of barbed wire at the top. Looking through the scope of my rifle, I could see a man with a gun walking the perimeter. He walked briskly down the fence, looked around, and walked just as quickly back into the hospital.
“If we can get closer we can shoot him,” I whispered.
“I can shoot him from here,” Hayden told me. “I just can’t see him anymore.”
“Look,” Ivan said quietly. “There’s a dry irrigation ditch. It goes around the building. If we use it, we can see what it’s like on the other side.”
“Ok,” Hayden said. “Let’s do it.”
“Someone should stay here to keep watch,” Brock suggested. “Since they seem to use that as an exit. The trees offer good enough cover.” Using his gun, he motioned several yards over to a thicket of bushes and trees.
“I’ll stay,” I offered, hoping that guy would come out of the mental hospital and I could get a clear shot.
“Me too,” Rider offered and clicked on his walkie-talkie. “I’ll let you know if anyone comes out the door.”
Ivan nodded. “Watch and report only. We’re not even going to think about opening fire until we know just who we’re dealing with.” His eyes were on me. I nodded, and as much as I wanted revenge on the people who hurt Hayden, I knew he was right.
“Be careful,” I blurted, not happy with the fact that Hayden was leaving the safety of the thick tree line.
“You too,” Hayden said quietly. He put his hand on my cheek and gave me a quick kiss goodbye. He went first, making sure the coast really was clear. Once in the ditch, he waved the others in. My heart beat faster and faster as they moved away. Sweat rolled down my forehead.
“Riss,” Rider whispered. “Let’s go.”
I nodded and crawled forward, right behind Rider. He would occasionally stop and risk a look above us. We crawled, stopped, looked, and continued, going slow as we wound our way around trees. The thin forest was full of weeds, bugs, and rocks. My hands burned but I didn’t have time to even think about the pain.
Rider looked up and then flattened himself to the ground. Taking the hint I did too. My breath left my lungs, seeming like a dead giveaway to where we were hiding. I took a deep breath and held it. I closed my eyes, trying to calm my racing heart. I didn’t want to get spotted, and I sure as hell didn’t want to get mistaken for a zombie and end up with a bullet in my head.
After what felt like eternity, Rider looked up again and slowly got to his feet. Concealed by thick, green vegetation, it would be impossible for anyone inside the hospital fence to see us. In turn, it was hard for us to see them.
I silently eased forward with painstakingly slow movements. I dropped to my knees and peered through a break in the leaves.
A deep ditch—much like our moats—was in the process of being dug around the fence. It had to be at least twelve feet deep and ten feet wide. A backhoe sat on the other side of the ditch, teasing us. If only we had one of those, I thought bitterly. An obviously handmade bridge had been cast across.
I looked at Rider and pointed to the bridge. Following my finger, he narrowed his eyes.
“What do you think it leads to?” he whispered.
I shook my head. “Maybe just an ‘oh-shit’ bridge. Ya know, in case they have to run.”
Rider nodded and let his eyes run the length of the fence. “There’s something over there, do you see it? It looks like a dog tunneled under the fence.”
Keeping our eyes on the prison and the area behind us, we slipped a few feet deeper into the thicket, wanting to get a better look and understanding of a possible entrance. If the guys needed that bridge to get in or out of the hospital, destroying it could work in our favor.
Something rustled. Rider and I froze, quickly looking all around us. Rider turned to me and shook his head; he didn’t see anything. I looked behind me, gazing in the direction Hayden was in. He was far from us by now, and the greenhouses that hid our cars were probably a mile away. Carefully, Rider and I pressed forward.
It never occurred to me to look up until it was too late. Someone jumped down, landing hard on my back. I fell forward and the wind got knocked out of me. Another launched himself down at Rider. Rider dodged out of the way and rolled to my side. He kicked the guy on top of me hard in the ribs. The guy cried out and pulled a gun from his side.
“No!” I shouted. I struggled to get my own weapon. The other guy was faster. My fingers closed on my knife right as the shot rang out. Birds took flight, the flapping of their wings echoing off the trees. Rider fell to his knees, his hands on his stomach. Blood pooled around his fingers.
“No!” I screamed again. I closed my hand around the knife and sprang up. “Rider!” I cried, rushing over to him. Tears blurred my vision.
“Riss,” he muttered and started coughing. Blood bubbled from his lips.
I crawled to him, crying. He reached out for me and just as our fingers touched, I was jerked away. I swung my hand around and made contact with who ever had a handful of my hair. He yelled in pain and kicked me in the back, his foot hitting my kidney.
I thrashed forward, desperately wanting to get away and get to Rider. I raised my hand again and brought the point of the knife down on the guy’s foot, causing him to scream in pain.
“Dumb bitch,” he howled and grabbed my wrist. The guy who shot Rider walked over. He laughed when he saw me struggling.
“This one seems like fun,” he said and kicked the knife from my hand.
“I will kill you both!” I threatened. I elbowed the guy who was holding me in the ribs and brought my foot up to smash his balls. His grip on my hair loosened and I was able to pull away. The other guy leaned in to grab me. I reached behind me to get the M9 but it wasn’t there. It must have fallen out when the bastard landed on me.
I didn’t have time to get the M16 from around my neck. Something stuck me in the back of the head. Stunned, I wavered. Then I felt a heavy blow to my knees, causing me to fall. I made one last attempt to get to Rider, who was coughing and gurgling up blood.
“I’m sorry,” I cried. My fingers closed around his. He gave them one last squeeze. I made a mad grab for his pistol. I grabbed it, aimed at my attacker and pulled the trigger.
Nothing happened. Unlike me, Rider was smart and kept his safety on. From behind, someone kicked me in the side and then kicked the pistol out of my hands. He raised his foot and it came crashing down on my ribs. A horrible, biting, sharp pain flooded my body. It hurt so badly I could barely breathe.
Hands harshly grabbed a handful of my hair and pulled me back, dragging me over the rough ground. I cried out in protest and in pain when another blow came to my rib cage. Heavy, rough hands gripped my arms.
The guy who attacked Rider picked up my pistol and hit me in the temple. My vision was fuzzy and blood dripped in my face. I struggled to get away, trying to twist and sink my fingernails into my attacker’s skin.
I couldn’t get my feet to work properly. I was a couple yards away from Rider now. I reached up and dug my nails into the guys arm.
“Ah!” he yelled. I heard the familiar sound of a magazine sliding in a gun. The guy stopped dragging me. I felt a bone shattering pain in the back of my head.
And then everything went black.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Review of The Midnight Spell

The Midnight Spell

It has been a while since I've had the time to sit down and read a book in minimal settings. The Midnight Spell by Rhiannon Frater and Kody Boye broke my non-reading cycle. 

I really enjoyed this book. The POV switches every chapter between Christy and Adam. Christy is your typical high school outcast; she doesn't quite fit in, thinks she needs to lose weight, and doesn't dress like the (slutty) popular girls...and is also a witch. Christy's parents are actually very old (and very powerful) witches who have a magic broom, and enchanted house, and a pesky familiar named Callie. Christy complains about how embarrassing her parents are, but I would have LOVED to grown up with them! 

Adam is Christy's best friend and equally outcasted, though it is because he is one of the few gay individuals in the small town of Trinity Springs. Adam is a nice, quiet boy with a very supportive family (and an awesome Mom!) that just wants to be left alone by the popular kids who call him a 'fag' and pick on him. 

I loved the strong bond of friendship between Christy and Adam. Christy wants nothing more than to see her BFF happy and conjures up a love spell for Adam. From there, life gets interesting when it seems the spell as worked. But of course, things aren't what they seem and Adam and Christy's friendship is tested when they have to face something neither are prepared for.

I think my favorite thing about this book was the strong friendship between Christy and Adam. So many books are focused on love, that the strength of a friendship is pushed aside. It was refreshing to have the two main characters NOT fall in love in the end. While this book is fantasy, it still brought up a lot of current issues, like young girls struggling with their weight and image, being a gay adolescent, and bullying.

I definitely recommend this book!!