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Lizbeth by Ellen Cummins

Good morning and welcome to Spookapalooza! This is my first time here and I’m so excited to share my YA paranormal romance Lizbeth with everyone! Make a comment and you’ll have a chance to win a digital copy of this story that’s filled with magic, blooming young love, and a mind-blowing journey into a dangerous world disguised as paradise. Will light beat out the dark?

Lizbeth is the perfect town—too perfect. Supernatural things live in the lake, revealing the town’s secrets to one person—Addison Flynn—and the burden is almost too much for a girl barely seventeen years old. Yearning for “normal” and true love, she fights for the truth…

And that truth is the key.   EXCERPT:

A cricket jolted me awake and wintery air bit at my eyes. Something about the night was different—I could always sense the change. There was a cast over the water, a misty low cloud. Then I heard it. A wet hand slapping the wood, then another.

Two hands.

I quickly stood up, but was too terrified to turn around. My mouth went so dry that I had to peel my lips away from my teeth with my tongue. I balled up my fists—my fire hadn’t left, just my faith in love. I knew it wasn’t Shay by the weird feeling in my stomach so I swirled around to face it. It was beautiful. He stood there with the drippings of the lake falling like glimmering diamonds onto the wooden planks—he looked like a god. Brown eyes softened by moonlight, cut straight through me like a knife through butter and immediately a spell was cast over me. I let my arms fall dumbly at my sides.

“Um…Hi.” Was all I could spit out. I must’ve looked like a bumbling jerk.

He stared at me for a minute, then the corners of his mouth turned up into the kindest smile I had ever seen, revealing gleaming white teeth. His arms were muscular and lean and his skin wasn’t transparent—just solid and sleek. Wet, brown hair about ear length, stuck to his forehead like the star participant at a high school swim meet. Who was this young man who probably lost his life to a jagged rock or tragic boating accident? The lake stretched for many miles and had inlets and outlets in every county. I would never hear of all lake deaths, but this one wasn’t a local that was for certain. His face was one I would remember.

“Hello.” He said, in a velvet voice. “You are cold?”

I hugged myself to keep from shaking.

“Y-yes,” I stuttered. “Who…are you?” I asked, smoothing over my wild hair.

“My name is Luke.”

Luke…an ordinary name. But this was no ordinary boy at all.

He shifted his weight from one wet foot to the other and cocked his head sideways—his movements were smooth and confident. I looked down, not quite sure what to say next. He made me feel like a little girl on her first day of school, nervous and jumpy. He stared at me for a very long and uncomfortable minute while I stood there fidgeting like an idiot.

“What do they call you here in this place of the swirling birds?”

“My name is Addison Elizabeth Flynn.” I said, feeling warmer. “My friends call me Addie.”

The air began to change again, but this time it was as if someone had turned on the heater. I felt safe and he noticed because his grin grew wider. His lips were plump and red, and his cheeks were dimpled, as deep as the abyss I was quickly falling into.

“Addison. How lovely.” The warm breeze was beginning to dry his hair. “I like it. It means “Angel of the Village. Or, in another language, divine waterfall.” I laughed out loud. “What does it mean in your language?”

“My mom always told me it meant daughter of Adam. She’s kind of a spiritual woman…and she does love her garden. She calls it Eden.”

“Spirits…you know of some?” His eyebrows lifted up in a curious arc. His dimples still as deep as the sea.

“Um, well not exactly…” I couldn’t believe this conversation. This talk of other languages and spirits, standing on the dock talking to this boy was crazy. “I’m not sure, but they are kind of still alive and in a body…but dead.” I cleared my throat. “They come from the lake to ask me for help. For someone in danger.” I expected him to lower his eyes or twitch or something, but his expression never changed.

“But my friend Shay is one of those…lost souls. She is in some kind of trouble.” Remembering Shay sent me into a spin. Lingering here could cost Shay her safety. My heart began to pound in my throat again and tears started to fill my eyes. This was all just so overwhelming and strange.

“No.” He said, reaching a hand out to touch my arm. “We will be sure to help your friend, I know of her.” I flinched as his skin touched mine. I had expected that cold clammy touch I was so used to, but it wasn’t wet and it wasn’t cold. It was warm and soft as a summer’s kiss. He squeezed my arm tenderly with gentle pressure, as if I might break and his touch sent a strong stream of goose bumps through my body. This was crazy.

“Now, go to your home and rest.” He reached up and brushed a straggling hair from my forehead. “Come back tomorrow night and we will find your Shay together.” An electric wave coursed through me as if I’d reached the top of the rollercoaster, and it was that moment before plunging straight down.

“Ok, but make me this one promise.” I reached for his hand. “Tell me this isn’t a dream, and that you’re real.” Something about the whole night reminded me of a fairy tale.

“Oh I am as real as the cricket that is in your hair.” He chuckled. I frantically batted the creepy crawling bug out of my hair, jumping around in a circle until it was gone. “Tomorrow then.”

I laughed. “Tomorrow it is.” I placed my hand in his…it was so strong. And I was totally and completely sprung.

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