Tainted (Demon Within #1)
by Ginna Moran
Publisher: Sunny Palms Press
Publication Date: June 30th 2016
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
Seventeen-year-old Cami Anders uses one word to describe her life: Purgatory. What she doesn’t know is she’s closer to Hell than she thinks.
On the run from the demon that killed her parents, Cami struggles to find her place on the fringes of the Veiled Realm, the part of the world where demons and other creatures lurk in the shadows. Striving to find a normal life in the care of a former demon hunter, who would punch even an angel to protect her, is harder than Cami ever imagined. There’s nothing ordinary about sipping holy water like it’s her beverage of choice, having stare-downs with animalistic demons, and relying on a hunter with enough secrets to fill an ocean to keep her soul safe.
When the demon from Cami’s past arrives to collect her soul, which he believes is rightfully his, she must unravel the secrets her protector has spent the last three years keeping from her. She finds herself questioning her existence and learns that running isn’t the answer. The only way to find normalcy is if she fights for it. But is it worth the risk of losing everything, including her soul, in the end?
I turn on my heels, stomping my way back to the arched doorway that leads to the altar. Footsteps echo behind me. I barely have time to turn before Evan collides into me. We fall to the floor in a tangle of arms and legs. I land on my back with Evan pressed on top of me. Heat blossoms in my cheeks. I’m angry and embarrassed I was defeated so easily.
I freeze as he watches me, his nose almost touching mine. I can’t help breathing deeply. He smells like his pillow—hints of golden amber and raw patchouli mixed with his citrus shampoo.
“Never turn your back on a demon.” His deep voice vibrates through me, sending tingles down my spine.
I lie placidly beneath him. “You’re not a de—” I begin to say, and then laugh.
“That’s beside the point.” Evan’s words wipe the smile from my lips. “You can never let your guard down for anyone—not even me.”
He rolls off me, breathing heavily, attempting to regain his composure. I push off the floor, knocking him on his back, determined not to make the same mistake twice. I’m tempted to help him up, but I picture him yanking me back onto the floor and yelling at me again.
I walk backwards, putting distance between us. The corner of his mouth quirks into a half smile. I narrow my eyes, taking longer strides backwards, my right hand behind me, guiding my way so I don’t bump into the wall I know is coming up behind me.
Evan reaches above his head, pressing his palms flat against the floor, and easily handsprings. His body arches in an elegant swooping motion, and he lands smoothly on his feet. He lurches closer, stalking his prey like a hunter. The predator he is dominates his every movement, every gesture, from his graceful strides to the ferocious glint in his eyes reflecting back at me. Crap, he’s going to try and corner me.
I steady my pace, taking each step one at a time, reaching out to the cool emptiness of the room behind me. It’s a relief to my clammy skin and my tightly wound nerves. I’m not trapped…yet.
I straighten my back. Lifting my chin smugly, I curl my lips into my most dazzling smile.
Without saying a word, he charges at me. I side step out of his way seconds before his arms can wrap around me. I run to the opposite side of the room. Alana would be proud of my ability to stay on the edge of danger without jumping into it. I’m a fast opponent when I’m not scared out of my wits. I can defeat the feline in Evan’s game of cat and mouse.
“You can’t run forever. I will catch you.”
“Want to bet on it?”
About the Author
Ginna Moran is the author of the Destined for Dreams and Finding Nate series. She lives in Austin, Texas but is originally from Southern California.
When she realized her love of writing was her life’s passion, she studied literature and writing at Mira Costa College in Northern San Diego. Besides writing novels, she was the senior editor, content manager, and image coordinator for Crescent House Publishing Inc. for four years.
Aside from Ginna’s professional life, she enjoys binge watching television shows, playing pretend with her daughter, and cuddling with her dogs. Some of her favorite things include chocolate, anything that glitters, digital design work, and organizing her bookshelves.