Title: Fire Burns
Author: Trista Day
Series: The Unforgiven Series
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Mar 2013
Callie Demasi just started her senior year at Crystalport High and her life couldn't be any more ordinary. Then the nightmares start, and a strange creature tries to attack her in her sleep. If that isn't bad enough, her body starts to do things she never imagined were possible; like hold fire in the palm of her hand. It seems that the only person who knows what's really happening to her is a ghost creature named Draven - if she can keep him from disappearing on her. It's not until after her best friend Zilla is kidnapped, and she meets the handsome and arrogant Cole, that Callie begins to put the pieces together. Will her newfound powers be strong enough to save the life of her BFF, or will they both be doomed to the same fate?
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Trista Day is a married 29 year old mother of two with an obsession for collecting anything Alice in Wonderland and The Labyrinth. In between eating too much chocolate and watching The Fifth Element, she loves to read and write young adult/teen science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance.
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Excerpt (Please Choose Only One)
Sweat beaded on Draven's forehead and trickled down to the ground with a heavy thump as he paced restlessly in front of a pair of massive wrought-iron doors. They were the color of red clay, dirty and swirled with rust. An odd metallic tang permeated his nose and tongue as he scooted closer. Years of humidity and dampness have been unkind to this place, he thought to himself.
He had been working grueling hours as a digger the past few weeks down in the catacombs. It was the same old routine as he mindlessly shoveled mounds of dirt from one pile to the next while his legs and arms begged for him to stop. As he was getting ready to leave his shift, he overheard whispers that Thanatos had summoned Circe to his castle and that she had arrived early this morning. Or was it morning? He didn't know anymore, it was always black as night here in this forsaken place. Draven knew firsthand what cruel things Circe was capable of. You see, Circe was a witch; the kind that buzzed with such enormous power she almost surpassed Thanatos-almost being the key word. She had a reputation for being the purest form of evil and after what she had done to him; there was no doubt in his mind about her true nature. He shivered just thinking about her. Thanatos was much worse. He’s the devil incarnate, literally, and has ruled the Kingdom of Sheol with an iron fist for many decades. So frightfully powerful that even Circe knew when to bow down to him.
Draven shook all of the thoughts and doubt from his mind as he stepped up to the doors. He carefully cracked them open and placed his ear near the hole. Whatever the two of them were planning, it wasn't good.
"What is it you're going to ask of me this time?" he heard Circe cackle.
"Do you remember my most prized pupil?" Thanatos inquired.
"Yes, I remember her quite well," Circe replied.
"Then you'll also recall how she ripped open my heart the day she fled my land and her home."
"Of course I do. How could anyone forget that terrible day." she replied with more than a hint of sarcasm.
"I have news,” he said. “Would it surprise you to know that I've finally found her? That she's settled for a lowly human? Or that she has a child?"
"It does not surprise me," she replied with distaste. "She always longed to be one of them. What I don’t quite understand is how exactly this involves me?"
"How does it ever involve you?" he said frustrated. "I need you to turn her."
"Turn her into what? A vampire? You know that won't work, she's already one of their kind."
"No, you fool," he boomed, "I'm talking about the child of hers."
Draven couldn't see what was going on in that room, but he knew Circe would be smiling. This kind of task was right up her alley.
Circe began to laugh as she said, "Of course! It would be my pleasure, anything for you my dear friend."
Draven stepped back and processed everything he'd overheard. He knew plenty about vampires from living in this rat hole. They were disgusting creatures that fed off of humans for sport. If they were going to condemn an innocent to that fate, he had to stop them. It was then that he knew what he must do; he had to leave immediately and find this child. Nobody would miss him anyway, it’s not like he had any friends here and his dad had gone missing months ago. Searching for his father would just have to be pushed to the side while he helped this child.
As Draven gathered his things to leave he thought about all of the other times he'd overheard conversations similar to this one but never acted on them. Why was this one different? He didn't know, but there was a part of him deep down that urged him forward and that was good enough for him.
“Right,” she said following me inside skipping. I wish I could be as joyous about all
of this as she could. Maybe her positive attitude would rub off on me? Doubtful. Good
thing no one was home again, I thought as I wound my way around the dining room table and into the kitchen. I spun around to face her as she sidled onto a bar stool, folded her hands neatly in her lap and gazed at me levelly. I groaned. “Is this really necessary? Imean what if I can’t control it or something?” I asked.
“Well wouldn’t it be better if you practiced enough to be able to control it then?” she
replied logically. “Besides, it’s an added bonus that I’m here too in case anything should
go wrong. Right?”
She had a point, but I wasn’t certain she knew the extent of this craziness I was about
to unleash here. I sighed resignedly, put my arms out in front of me and closed my eyes.
I concentrated on everything I possibly could involving fire--the smell of brimstone, lava
and the various colors of red, orange, white and even blue flames. I imagined a house
ablaze and the heat that would emanate from it, trying to draw as much of its essence into me as I could. I opened my eyes slowly and found nothing. Exactly what I thought
would happen. I stamped my foot exasperated. “I told you it wouldn’t work.”
“Stop being so dramatic, maybe you didn’t try hard enough. Wait, I know, tell me
what you were thinking or feeling during the times you got that burning sensation.”
I thought back on it. The first time I was dreaming and I couldn’t really remember
anything from it. The second time was at school when Luke tried to kiss me, then the
volleyball tournament when I found out about Luke’s lie and then when he came over
and tried to hurt me. There was probably more, but those were the basics. “Uhm, I think
it might happen when I’m angry or scared, something like that.”
“Okay good, I have an idea. Take three deep cleansing breathes and close your
eyes.” I did as she said, inhaling and exhaling as deeply as possible to relax my muscles
and mind. Then I gently closed my eyelids, waiting for her next instruction. “Now think
back on the night with Luke, try to remember whatever it was he was doing or saying that
set you off.”
My mind tried repeatedly to block out that unpleasant incident, but I knew if I was
going to perform for her I’d have to dredge it up. I remained focused and instantly went
back to when Luke had me pinned against the counter, pulling as much of that fear into
me now. That’s when it hit me. It started in my hands and gradually culminated my
whole body so that when I opened my eyes everything had an orange tint to it. I glanced
around trying to absorb my surroundings through this weird veil of color when I noticed
that Zilla had gotten up from the table and was moving closer to me. She didn’t exactly
look frightened as I originally thought she’d be, more like stunned as she reached into her purse and pulled out her compact. She titled it at just the right angle and I gasped as my
heart skipped a beat. Every last inch of my body, from the top of my head to the tip of
my toes, was literally on fire. I looked like a flaming angel, absolutely terrifying if you
ask me. I lifted my hands up towards my face, inspecting both sides, and then dropped
my head to the floor to check out my feet. I got a wild idea and tried clasping my palms
together which caused the flames to rise higher.
I stood there completely mortified until I staggered forward almost falling flat on my
face, feeling excessively weak and panicked. Okay now how to make it stop? If getting
myself all worked up caused it to ignite, then maybe if I think of something calming it
would fade? I pictured ocean waves lapping at my ankles under pale moonlight,
surrounded by stars and felt the heat glowing through me subside. I took a gander at my
clothes and everything was still in tact. No trace of burn marks which I found odd
considering what happened with Luke. I wouldn’t even have believed what just
happened if it hadn’t been for the look on Zilla’s face. Her jaw was practically dragging
on the floor. When we locked eyes I expected her to throw her arms up above her head
and dip out, but she just smiled as if this was the most normal thing in the world.
“That was off the chains,” she said clapping.
“What? You’ve got to be kidding me. I thought you’d be like freaked out or
something and run screaming from my house.”
“Nah, I dig it. The supernatural stuff tickles my fancy,” she said through giggles. I
must have had the craziest expression on my face because she added, “Don’t look at me
like that I’m not going to sell you to the circus or anything.”
I closed my eyes and concentrated on fire. The way it danced in, around and on my skin like a second layer of protection on a body that sometimes felt like it wasn’t my own. I knew when it was time to start chanting because a deep calming heat washed over me. It started out slow and then as it intensified, so did my words. My head flew back and my eyes flashed open, but I wasn’t in my room, I was somewhere else entirely. Smack dab in the middle of a place that was completely unfamiliar to me. The walls were stained brown with streaks of red; almost like someone had taken a paint can filled with blood and splashed it everywhere. I looked around trying to move, but realized I was sitting in a chair, my hands tied behind my back and my feet chained to the legs. I glanced down trying to figure out a way to break free and noticed that they weren’t my feet at all, they were Zilla’s.
A terrifying realization dawned on me, I was seeing Zilla and wherever she was, she
was in deep trouble. I didn’t know how long the spell would last so I tried to take in
every detail I could. All along the walls were a bunch of tables with some sort of clothlike
material. There were wooden bowls and vials full of weird items. One of the vials
looked like it had eyeballs in it. This must be Circe’s. Just as I thought it she appeared
before me out of thin air. I panicked, my pulse raced and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
My heart wanted to stop beating at the sight of her. She was short and scraggly with wiry salt and pepper speckled hair. She had a crooked nose and broken yellow teeth that had seen better days. She wore a silver robe that was clasped in the front with some sort of stone. I froze. It looked similar to the one I saw in my dream of Zilla. I tried to move my, or rather Zilla’s wrists and felt something dig farther into the skin, the bracelet. I gasped. She folded her hands together and walked towards me/Zilla taking her time and gazing at us intently. She leaned forward and looked directly into my/Zilla’s eyes.
When she spoke her voice sent shivers up and down my spine. “If you ever want to
see your precious friend alive again then you better get here as fast as you can.” She
threw her head back and cackled the most earth-shattering high pitched laugh, then
extended a long wrinkled hand out and touched my/Zilla’s forehead pushing so hard I felt like my/her head would fall off. I was immediately jolted backwards, out of Zilla’s body and back into my room, landing with a thunderous boom on the floor.
He scooted in closer to me smiling and brushed away a strand of fallen hair. The gesture made my face flush so I averted my eyes, trying to find something else
equally compelling to look at.
“Don’t do that,” he said resting his hand under my chin and tilting it back towards
him. “I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable, but I love looking into your eyes.”
“You do?” I asked slightly taken aback. My eyes were usually not the feature guys
liked the most.
“Yes,” he assured me, “I imagine the color of them is like a pool under the shade of a
forest of ancient trees. They remind me of somewhere I grew up.”
I wanted to ask him more about that, but instead I interrupted his kind words by
blurting out, “Why did you want to go out with me?” Way to ruin the moment, I thought
to myself. He frowned. “Sorry,” I said embarrassed. “It’s just that I haven’t really dated
before and usually the guys are into one of my friends, not me.” I sighed and closed my
eyes. “I probably just ruined my chance at a second date didn’t I?”
He shook his head and laughed. “Well, let’s see here, when we first met you were
rude, obnoxious, and a bit on the arrogant side.” I scowled. “Then you came stalking
over to me to apologize, which, if you ask me, was pretty ballsy. Then you hauled off
and kissed me, amazing by the way, even if it was to make another guy jealous. I just
couldn’t help myself after that. You’re enchanting and sassy, everything I want in a
I was so lost in thought that I didn’t even realize when he appeared next to me on the couch. He scared me so bad I actually tried to smack him and when my hand connected knocking him sideways, we both froze. He cocked his eyebrows and said, “How did you do that?”
“Do what?” I asked confused.
“You know what,” he said shakily.
I squirmed under his scrutiny. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t
even know what was supposed to happen just now. All I know is that you scared me and I swung at you. Pretty good reflexes if you ask me.” He remained silent which made me increasingly uncomfortable. “What was supposed to happen anyway?” I asked on the off chance he would have a good explanation.
“You know what was supposed to happen,” he said eyeing me carefully.
“You mean that because you’re a ghost or whatever that I shouldn’t have been able
to actually touch you, right?” I said trying to sound casual when in actuality this
conversation was starting to freak me out.
“Unforgiven, not ghost, but that’s exactly what should have happened,” he said
smirking. “So, how did you do it?”
“I really don’t know,” I said frustrated. “And just where have you been anyway?
You said you were going to come back and you’ve been gone for a really long time.” I
covered my eyes and sat quietly for a little while hoping he’d let me change the subject.
“Touch me again,” he said much to my dismay. I took a peek at him between my
fingers and saw so much longing and hope etched on his face that it made my heart
“Why?” I tried asking nonchalantly. I had an idea, but I wanted to hear him say it.
“You don’t know how long it’s been,” he said shaking his head.
“I don’t,” I said quietly, “but I want to.” For reasons beyond my imagination I wanted to know more about him.
At first, I didnt know if I was going to really enjoy this book. I can honestly say now that I am seeking for the sequel. I have to know what happens. This story is about Callie and a debt her mom owes to a demon named Thanatos. Draven is an Unforgiven who feels it necessary to help Callie to conquer what she needs to. She has an awesome best friend who I found that I really liked. Her name is Zilla and she too has powers. I havent figured out what she is yet. I am dying to know her story. Unfortunately, it has some scenes where you cant help but to tear up. There are many questions left unanswered.
If you love vampires and fire, you will love this book.