Writing: REBELLION by C.J., a paranormal romance (excerpt)

I'm so excited to be talking about REBELLION, my fun, frivolous paranormal romance murder mystery. You can read the whole thing on Wattpad and it's up for a Watty! It started as a project among friends but, when my friend stopped talking to me, I shelved it. Years later, when I was in a huge writing slump, I picked it up again, and it became the fire that got me out of my slump and helped me deal with my lingering issues over missing my old friend. If you're looking for something snarky, adventurous, and quick to read, please give it a look. 

the pitch 


Dating in high school isn't usually deadly. Until the supernatural gets involved. 

Chloe Parker is painfully ordinary. A normal family, a normal irritating younger brother, a normal job making smoothies at the local mall. So when Tyler, the metal-loving bad boy who works at the punk clothing store, takes an interest in her, she's convinced he's unhinged. 

The truth is so much stranger. Tyler is a demon, escaped from Hell to enjoy himself as a teenager on Earth. And for some reason, he's set his heart on Chloe. 

No sooner has Chloe dipped her toe in the world of demons and angels than girls start showing up dead, murdered by other demons. Girls who look like her. Because Chloe isn't as ordinary as she seems, and the truth of what she is might just get her killed. Unless they can find the killers first.

an excerpt 

I groaned, ready to fire off a reasonably witty rejection, until I looked up. My entire body crystallized into ice. The freakin’ smirk that had been stuck in my head and distracted me so much it took three tries to do my eyeliner was right above me. 
Before I could say anything coherent, he sat down cross-legged next to me.  “Not bad, eh?” He gestured to the band. “I mean, if they got a bass player who could do more than hit eighth notes.”  I responded with a very clever blink. “So, you came.” 
I was all tensed up, bracing myself for whatever new mean thing he had to say.  If I wasn’t afraid of losing Alicia forever, I probably would have fled in terror.  Instead, I said, “Uh, yeah.”  Why, why couldn’t I seem to form a reasonable thought in front of this guy? If he didn’t already think I was an idiot, he was going to after another few questions. 
He pushed his bangs back. They just fell instantly across his face again, but it made me notice his one visible eye, and how brilliantly grey it was. “So...you come to concerts often?” 
More blinking.  I had no idea whether to be flattered or terrified.  He sounded like a bad movie, only there wasn’t enough tone in his voice to hint at whether I was supposed to be taking him seriously or not.  “Not really.  My friend bought the tickets.”  I was so proud of myself.  A full sentence!  It took me almost thirty seconds to generate it, but it was impossible to think clearly when I was sitting next to someone who was absolutely gorgeous and might or might not be thinking insulting me. Or kidnapping me.
            I may or may not have had a slightly overactive imagination. But why else would a guy who looked like that be talking to a mousy nothing like me?   
“I didn’t mean to make you nervous,” he said quietly. It wasn’t sheepish or anything, just really matter-of-fact.  “I just saw you over here by yourself... I’m not used to having to start conversations.” 
“I can tell.”  What did that even mean? I added quickly, “As you can see, I’m a real pro myself.”
He smirked.  “You do have a way with ums.” 
It was starting to dawn on me that maybe he was being nice.  At the store I thought he had insulted me, but with him sitting next to me, like a normal human being, it seemed that he was just trying really hard to be friendly.  In a sarcastic sort of way that my Neanderthal brain was struggling to comprehend.  My stomach was still doing all sorts of gymnastics, but it wasn’t really unpleasant anymore.  Instead it felt kind of light and airy, probably because I kept noticing that when he smirked his eyes would sort of crinkle and he’d look a little less like a model-robot and a little more like someone I could eat too much popcorn at a movie with.  Assuming he even watched movies.  I knew nothing about him and yet here I was, imagining our first date. Overactive imagination striking again.   
“I’m pretty good with ‘yeahs’ too,” I said quietly.  I already felt my cheeks burning again.  I was pretty sure I looked like a smushed strawberry by now. 
He laughed though, in a friendly way.  The eye-crinkling made me want to stare at him but I didn’t want to look creepy, so I studied the grass.  So instead of creepy, I just looked painfully awkward.
“It’s okay, you can look at me if you want.  I would if I were you.” 
If real people actually did that jaw-dropping thing, I probably would have.  I couldn’t even be annoyed, because I did really want to look at him.  He was smirking when I looked up. 
“You’re really confident, aren’t you.”   
“It’s my only flaw.”
“You also can’t start conversations,” I pointed out. 
“Don’t you think this one is going well?”
“I mean...we moved past the pick up lines.  I guess that’s a good sign.” 
He leaned back comfortably on his forearms, making it very difficult not to ogle his abs. My brain was being extremely untrustworthy today.  “It worked, didn’t it?” 
“Er....what do you mean?” 
“Well now I know more about you than that you work at Smoothie Sultan and don’t know how to close a blender.” 
If he hadn’t been grinning so charmingly at me, I probably would have clammed up again, but there was something reassuring in his expression.  “Hey, it was my first week.” 
“Don’t worry about it.  My first day at Hot Topic, I knocked over an entire Nightmare Before Christmas display.” 
“No. I thought it would make you feel better, though.” And then he winked. Actually winked.   
I rolled my eyes, partly frustrated but mostly just intrigued.  We’d been talking for almost ten minutes now, and I still knew absolutely nothing new about him.  “So....what’s your favorite color?” 
He laughed.  “My favorite color?  Seriously?” 
“I’m trying to learn something about you, since you’re so forthcoming with the facts and all.” Ooh, I’d used my own sarcasm! Finally, my brain had decided to let me look like a real human.
“Oh, alright. It’s pink,” he replied matter-of-factly.
I quirked an eyebrow and looked him over, feeling that his answer had given me the right to.  He was wearing black straight-legged jeans with a heavy wallet chain hanging from his pocket, all-black hi-tops with checkerboard laces, and a short-sleeved button-down shirt that showed off very nicely toned arms...you guessed it, the shirt was also black. 
“Alright, you caught me. Hmm...”  He pondered for a minute. “Well, actually—”   
He was interrupted by, “Hey, Chloe...oh my god!” 
I had never been less excited to see Alicia.  On the other hand, she looked like a string of Christmas lights someone had just plugged in.  Her eyes were open as wide as they could go, and her hands were trembling so badly I thought I was about to wear the plate of nachos she had just brought back.  “Is he sitting with us?” she asked in a high, breathless voice. 
Without my noticing, ‘he’ had gotten to his feet.  “I was just leaving, actually.” 
My stomach panged. I’d been starting to enjoy our very strange conversation. “You could stay if you wanted.  I mean...we wouldn’t mind.”  I tried not to sound too eager as I looked up at him, painfully aware just how tall he was. 
“I shouldn’t.” 
Before he could go, Alicia blurted, “Hey, what’s your name!” 
I hadn’t even though to ask.  He smiled tightly at her.  “Tyler.”  When he looked back at me, he winked.  “See you later.” 
“He’s going to see you later!” Alicia squeaked, not giving him quite long enough to get to a safe distance. I burbled with mortification, sure he had heard her. But there was also some excitement bubbling in there. I wanted to see him later. Even though I had learned exactly nothing about him and it still struck me as odd that he wanted anything to do with me.   

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