By Melissa A. Craven
Publisher: Midnight Hour Studio
Publication Date: April 1st, 2015
Allie Carmichael has always believed life is simple.
You’re born. You live. You die.
She has no cause to believe that equation works differently for her, but there has to be a reason the world treats her like a pariah.
When an unexpected move to Kelleys Island brings Aidan McBrien crashing into her life, Allie is thrown by his reaction. He doesn’t shrink from her touch. He doesn’t stutter or make a quick exit. He smiles and welcomes her into his circle of friends, who aren’t exactly comfortable with Allie, but they seem to get her in a way most people don’t.
Finally, Allie has a real shot at normal and rides that high right up to her sixteenth birthday when she wakes in agony—an experience Aidan insists they have all faced. She struggles in ignorance, uncertain of what is real and what isn’t. When she emerges, Allie is different. She has always been different, but even among her extraordinary friends, she and Aidan are special.
As Allie struggles to maintain her tenuous grasp on the power that threatens to overwhelm her, she worries she will lose herself in this strange new world. A dangerous world where she will have to fight tooth and nail to defend the power and freedom that is her birthright.
…only Allie hates to fight.
Get dressed. We’re going out.”
“Aidan, it’s late.”
“Do I really have to teach you how to stay up all night?” But Allie wasn’t listening; her head was still spinning.
“Hey, deep breaths.” His tone softened as the odd earthy scent filled her senses.
“I just don’t feel like me.”
“It will get better, I promise.”
“What did you have in mind?” She pulled on her recently discarded jeans and sweater.
“If anyone asks, I left you alone. I may have promised not to bother you.”
“Didja now? I hadn’t noticed.”
“Look at me, Allie.” He tilted her chin up to meet his gaze. “You’re putting up a brave front, but this is me. How are you really doing?”
“I think I’m fine, Aidan. It’s just a lot to take in.”
They headed down to the beach where he had a driftwood fire waiting for them. Allie curled up on the lounge beside him and it was the first time she felt calm all day.
“This is nice.” He pulled her close. “No more secrets.”
“Yeah,” she agreed. She knew she shouldn’t allow the affection they shared, but no one understood her the way he did and she found such comfort in his touch.
She couldn’t help it. It all just came tumbling out. “It’s like my body is rebelling against me, and my mind is running at warp speed. Everything’s so freakin’ loud! I can feel the noise, Aidan! And I can’t concentrate on anything longer than five seconds. I’m all, ‘oooh shiny!’ all the freakin’ time. My vision is weird and I’m dizzy! I’m so sick of thinking about food! And this is supposed to last for weeks?” Her voice came out in a squeak.
“I’ll tell you a secret no one knows but Dad,” he said. “I got through this stage in less than a week and I think you can, too.”
“Cheers to that! Show me!”
“Okay, the important thing to realize is your senses are waking up after laying nearly dormant most of your life. I remember how frustrating those first few days were. You just need to learn how to distinguish what you’re feeling, and it will fade.”
“I take it there are more than the traditional five senses?” She couldn’t keep up with all the weirdness.
“More like eight or nine depending on your strengths.” He laughed at her look of disgust.
“You have a sense of smell and taste, but you also have a sense that is a blend of the two, so it’s really something on its own. For instance, your scent tastes like honey and citrus.”
“I don’t even wear perfume, Aidan.” She rolled her eyes.
“Your natural scent, Allie.”
“So that’s you I smell? Earthy, like evergreen and juniper, and I think it tastes like mint and … dirt.”
“Yes, dirt! You know this is nuts, right?”
“I may have known it was coming, but I had to start here too,” he reminded her.
“I’m never going to wrap my brain around all this.”
“It will take some time, but you will feel more like yourself again.”
Melissa A. Craven (the “A” stands for Ann–in case you were wondering) was born near Atlanta, Georgia, but moved to Cleveland, Ohio at the age of seventeen. She still thinks of Cleveland as home, so it was only natural for Emerge to take place there.
Today, she is back in Atlanta–for some reason she can’t seem to stay away from the ungodly heat that makes her long for things like “lake effect snow” and wind that will knock you flat.
Melissa decided a long time ago that the “life checklist” everyone else was clutching so tightly in their fists, just wasn’t for her. She does everything backwards because she is weird like that, but then, she is an artist and artists are notoriously “unique” and “quirky.”
She is an avid student of art and design, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of West Georgia in 2009. She worked as an interior designer for several years, but she’s always thought she might like to be a writer when she grows up.
In her spare time, if she has any, she enjoys shopping for derelict furniture she refinishes to exercise the interior design part of her brain.
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