Welcome to the official blog tour for Christine Johnson’s THE GATHERING DARK. Christine’s upcoming YA release will be out on 2/12/13 from Simon & Schuster. The 5 day tour consists of author guest posts, author picked excerpts, and giveaways.
For today’s stop here on IceyBooks, I’m featuring an excerpt from THE GATHERING DARK, chosen by Christine herself! Read on!
Keira stood in front of the diner at exactly three thirty, with seven dollars and twenty-three cents in her pocket. The angle of the sun kept her from seeing who was inside. Even though she didn’t have the slightest idea what sort of car Walker might drive, it didn’t stop her from scanning the tiny parking lot, looking for something that fit him.
You’re stalling, she chided herself. Get in there and get it over with.
The inside of the diner was dim and it reeked of maple syrup and hot grease. Walker was stretched across one side of a booth near the back of the restaurant, looking oddly at home.
In spite of the fact that it was March, he was wearing a T-shirt that showed off his arms. He raised a languid hand in her directtion, but his eyes were bright.
Admit it, he’s gorgeous.
But that doesn’t make any difference, I still can’t date him, she argued with herself.
Keira marched the length of the restaurant and slid stiffly into the vinyl booth. A cup of tea was already waiting for her, steam curling off its surface. Walker had a mug of coffee at his elbow, pale with milk and a third empty.
“You came,” Walker observed, not bothering to hide the pleasure in his low voice. It rumbled through Keira like an earthquake, sending all of her resolve tumbling to the ground. Everything around them had gone into soft-focus, as though they were the only solid things in the restaurant.
“I said I would, didn’t I?” She’d meant the question to be tart, but all the sting had leaked out of her voice. She drummed her fingers on the edge of the table, trying to regain her balance.
“So you keep your word,” Walker said quietly. “I like that.” He slid a hand across the table and put his fingers on top of hers, stopping her virtual playing mid-chord. “What are you—oh, I get it.” He smiled. It was like the sun on water—a million diamond reflections. Blinding. Wonderful. “You’re playing piano.”
She nodded and slid her hands out from underneath his. Immediately, she wanted to put them back—to feel the touch of his fingertips again. “Nervous habit. Sorry,” she said. “It drives my mom crazy. And most of my teachers, too.” “What were you playing?” He was watching her—listening to her—like she was the only thing in the room.
“Uh, just an étude.” Clearing her throat, she reached for her mug, desperate for something to do with her hands. “This is for me?”
“I hope you don’t mind,” Walker said. “But you might want to—”
She downed a huge gulp, then winced.
“Sorry.” He made a sympathetic face.
“I’m the one who didn’t put in any sugar,” she said, reaching for the canister.
Walker frowned. “You didn’t—it wasn’t too hot? It should be scalding.”
Keira looked down into the mug. “No. It’s bitter. Why?”
The memory of Jeremy’s cigarette pressed against her skin crawled through her memory, and she slapped it away. It was just a coincidence. She’d gotten lucky, that’s all.
Walker reached out a fingertip to touch the side of her ceramic mug, lifting his eyes to study her. “You’re different,” he said slowly. Keira wrinkled her nose, stirring a mountain of sugar into her tea. “You mean I’m weird.”
Walker laughed. “No. Well, yeah, a little I guess.”
She started to cross her arms but he reached across the table and twined his fingers through hers. His touch coursed through her like a drug.
“I like weird,” he murmured, holding her steady with his gaze. She didn’t even try to push him away. She wanted him, and there was nothing she could do about it. The fact of it sat in her middle. With a twist of her wrist, she slid her hand away.
About the Book:
Keira’s hallucinating. First it’s a door hovering above the road; then it’s a tree in her living room. But with her parents fighting and her best friend not speaking to her, Keira can’t tell anyone about her breakdown.
Until she meets Walker. They have an electric connection, and somehow he can see the same shadowy images plaguing Keira.
But trusting Walker may be more dangerous than Keira could have ever imagined. The more she confides in him, the more intense—and frightening—her visions become. Because Walker is not what he appears to be. And neither are her visions.
About the Author:
I grew up in, moved away from, and finally came home to Indianapolis, Indiana. While I was in the “away” part of that adventure, I was living in Chicago, Illinois, where I went to DePaul University and met my husband. I majored in Political Science. For the record, Political Science is a totally useless degree. But it’s also totally fascinating and I loved studying it. I fall into that trap a lot. I graduated with about nine million extra credit hours because I was forever taking classes that seemed “interesting” instead of classes that I needed to fill requirements.
After college, I lived in Chicago for several more years with my husband. I had a string of jobs – some I liked, some I hated, but none of them ever stuck with me as a career. Writing is different. For this job, I could be a workaholic! Anyway, after several more years in Chicago, my husband and I moved back to Indianapolis. (We got tired of constantly looking for street parking in Lakeview.)
Now, I live in an old house in an old neighborhood with my husband and kids. I have too many books and a weakness for anything sweet. I love yoga and cooking, but I’m not much of a movie person. I like watching soccer, and always look forward to the first sweater-worthy days in the fall. But mostly, I like making things up and writing them down and having people read them. So, that’s what I do, and I’m very, very lucky to be doing it!
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Thanks to Christine and in honor of all 6 stops along the tour, we have 6 different prize packs we’re giving away. 2 copies of The Gathering Dark, and 4 swag packs! To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter after the page break. Good luck!