by Mimi Cross
Publication: May 24th 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Seventeen-year-old Arion Rush has always played the obedient sidekick to her older sister’s flashy femme fatale—until a mysterious boating accident leaves Lilah a silent, traumatized stranger. As her sister awaits medical treatment with their mother, Arion and their father head to his hometown in Maine to prepare a new life for them all. Surrounded by the vast Atlantic, songwriting is Arion’s only solace, her solid ground.
Unexpectedly, Arion blossoms in the tiny coastal town. Friends flock to her, and Logan Delaine, a volatile heartthrob, seems downright smitten. But it’s Bo Summers—a solitary surfer, as alluring as he is aloof—that Arion can’t shake. Meanwhile, Lilah’s worsening condition, a string of local fatalities, and Arion’s own recent brushes with death seem ominously linked…to Bo’s otherworldly family. As Arion’s feelings for Bo intensify and his affections turn possessive, she must make a choice. How will Arion learn to listen to her own voice when Bo’s siren song won’t stop ringing in her ears?
Tuneless humming is coming from the bedroom next to mine. I’ve always been the better singer, no secret. Even before I could talk, I sang. To me, singing feels like . . . flying.
As a little kid I sang in the church choir, later on in the choruses at school, and about six months ago I started writing songs—not that I’d call myself a songwriter yet. My first gig was last week, down in the Mission District. Standing on the spotlit stage of the black box perfor- mance space, I played one long set—twelve tunes total—while hipsters watched with crossed arms.
Performing in front of an audience is a good way to tell if your songs are finished.
The song I’m trying to capture now definitely falls into the not category.
I give the guitar a soft strum—a ghost of a chord slips out. Playing the haunting notes a little louder, I listen for the melody. It’ll come, eventually, but we’re leaving any minute.
Not just leaving . . . moving.
“Do you know,” I whisper sing, “where lost things go?”
In the next room Lilah falls silent. The lyrics tangle in my throat.
My fingers fumble, then jerk—playing a rhythmic pattern atop a single minor chord: one and two, one and two. Words tumble out of me. “Saint Anthony, can you come around? There’s something lost, and it
can’t be found.”
Saint Anthony—is he the one?
A quick Google search on the laptop perched at the end of my bed tells me he is. Saint Anthony is invoked as the finder of lost things. Pulling my guitar closer, I play the line over and over.
“Arion? You up there?”
Dad. After shoving the laptop into my backpack, I shut the guitar in its case and head into the hall. Hands full, I stand in my sister’s doorway.
She doesn’t see me.
Even as thin as she is, even with the ever-present dark shadows beneath her eyes, Lilah is beautiful. Her features are regular and in proportion. Mine . . . are slightly exaggerated. Nose longer, lips fuller. Now, without music to distract me, the tears I’d vowed not to cry fill my eyes. Brown eyes. On a good day, they’re hazel. Maybe.
There’s no mistaking the color of my sister’s eyes. Bright blue. Her hair is black and shiny, cut straight across her forehead and blunt at her shoulders in a way that has always made me think of Cleopatra, but especially since the accident, when she became a mystery to me. Lilah no longer tells me her every thought. She can’t.
My sister blinks her bellflower eyes now, and for a split second— seems to focus on me.
But the illusion vanishes just as quickly. I swallow around the lump in my throat, wondering for the millionth time if she has any idea what’s going on.
~About the Author~
Mimi Cross was born in Toronto, Canada. She received a master’s degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in music from Ithaca College. She has been a performer, a music educator, and a yoga instructor. During the course of her musical career, she’s shared the bill with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Sting. She resides in New Jersey.
Mimi’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Latest posts by Toni (see all)
- Release Week Sneek Peak! Prelude to Mayhem by Edward Aubry - November 30, 2016
- Cover Reveal! The Romeo Catchers by Alys Arden - November 22, 2016
- Excerpt & Giveaway! Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog - November 17, 2016