With: Tawny Stokes
The last thing a girl as awkward as Dani Gale should be doing is trying to learn the high wire. Yet that’s exactly where Dani ends up—at OZ, the Oswald Zinzendorf School of Circus Arts. Trying to overcome her shyness is near impossible when her new partner—the hottest guy she’s ever laid eyes on, and whose touch seems to give her poise she thought impossible—also seems to be sabotaging her progress.
The last thing Cai Coppersmith needs is a distraction, especially in the form of the new, cute shy girl. He needs to focus on trying not to shape-shift into a tiger on school grounds, and completing his mission to keep Dani from winning the school’s high-wire competition. In fact, the entire safety of OZ is relying on Dani not succeeding. But there’s something about the girl that draws him in. She has magic, he can feel it. So he’ll do what he can to protect her, even if it means pushing her away.
Excerpt from Lions and Tigers and Boys:
I watched as she made her way past me and up the stairs, that little smirk twitching on her big fat lips. A sickening, sinking feeling gripped me hard. Had I just made a deal with the Devil? Maybe that’s where all that heat and wind had come from. Her portal to the underworld.
When she was gone, I turned toward the front door, considering still going out and looking for the tiger. But the thought of exposing myself to the chilly night air in sweat-soaked clothes gave me a few unpleasant shudders. I guess it was back to bed for me. Not that I could sleep or anything. At least I could pretend, wrap up in the blankets, and get warm.
Back in my room, I tore off my hoodie, tossed it on the floor, and grabbed the blanket from my bed. Wrapped in a cotton cocoon, I shuffled to the window. Maybe I could still catch a glimpse of the tiger coming out of the woods. I wondered if I should tell someone about it. A wild animal on the loose seemed like something a person would want to know. Especially at a school for teens.
Forehead pressed to the glass, I peered into the trees, willing the tiger to appear. After ten minutes of staring blankly through the window, I realized it wasn’t going to happen. That I’d missed my opportunity. I took a step in retreat when something caught my eye, and I went back to pressing my face against the glass. Except it wasn’t a tiger strolling out of the woods. It was a boy. A very naked boy, carrying his clothes in his hands.
And not just any naked boy. It was Cai.
I gasped, putting my hand over my mouth so I didn’t wake Anna. I didn’t think it was loud, but unbelievably, Cai must have heard me, because his head snapped up, and he looked right at me. I could only do the panic freeze thing again.
I know I should’ve ducked from the window, or at the very least dropped my gaze. The guy was completely naked for Peter’s sake. Although it was dark out, he just had to be standing in the pool of moonlight. The guy was…um…exquisitely built.
I thought for sure he was going to slap the clothes he was carrying in front of himself, but he didn’t. He held my gaze with no shame whatsoever. He stood there proud and sure with a predatory fierceness that made my body tingle.
Then he smiled.
That’s when everything, the heat, the exhaustion, the humiliation hit me all at once, and I lost my balance. I hit the floor, literally. My face pressed against the hardwood, I promptly passed out.
About Tawny Stokes:
Tawny Stokes has always been a writer. From an early age, she’d spin tales of serial killers in love, vampires taking over the world, and sometimes about fluffy bunnies turned bunnicidal maniacs. An honour student in high school, with a penchant for math and English, you’d never know it by the foot high blue Mohawk and Doc Martens, which often got her into trouble. No longer a Mohawk wearer, Tawny still enjoys old school punk rock, trance, zombie movies, teen horror films, and fluffy bunnies. She lives in Canada with her fantastical daughter, two cats, and spends most of her time creating new stories for teens.
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