Did someone say vampires?! YES! From the author of These Witches Don’t Burn comes The Coldest Touch, a paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Stephenie Meyer.
About The Coldest Touch:
Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother’s death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost.
Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a vampire, and she’s been assigned by the Veil to help Elise master her rare Death Oracle powers.
At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she’s determined to stop the violent death, even if it means sacrificing her own future to secure Claire’s help.
The trouble is, Claire and Elise aren’t the only paranormals in town—a killer is stalking the streets, and Claire can’t seem to shake the pull she feels toward Elise, a romance that could upend the Veil’s mission. But as Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder—can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unraveling her brother’s mysterious death?
Scroll down to see the cover and read an excerpt!
Designer: Samira Iravani | Instagram & Twitter: @suchdainties
Illustrator: Muna Abdirahman | Instagram & Twitter: @munadraws
Ms. Conrad watches me carefully for several seconds before leaning forward. “This isn’t an ultimatum, Elise. I’m asking how I can help. I assume from your return, you want to be here. If that’s true, you need to keep your grades up. I can help you find tutors or—”
“That’s not the issue,” I say, but now that the words are past my lips, I’m at a loss for how to continue. This wasn’t the conversation I expected. At all. I glance at the door, where I’m certain Claire is lingering, waiting to ambush me the moment Ms. Conrad lets me leave.
Can Claire hear everything we’re saying?
How can she be a vampire if I’ve seen her walking in the sun?
“Well, think about it.” Ms. Conrad stands and rounds her desk, coming to a stop in front of me. “If you haven’t seen a grief counselor, that might also be a good idea. I could help you research support groups in the area if you want.” She smiles softly at me, and I’m surprised by the lack of pity there. It’s like she actually wants to understand. Like she cares, despite how little she knows me. “If you like it here, I’ll do what I can to help you stay.”
“Thanks, Ms. Conrad.”
“Anytime, Elise.” She leans forward and pats my hand before I can stop her.
Fear turns my body to stone, making it impossible to pull away from the unwanted touch. Inside my head, I see Ms. Conrad. She’s dressed in jeans and a blue silk blouse, her auburn hair loose around her shoulders. Ms. Conrad doesn’t look any older, her hair the same length and color it is now. She stands frozen on a sidewalk, illuminated by a flickering streetlight.
Is someone there? Her voice carries through the dark, but no one responds.
Then, suddenly, there’s movement at her back, arms wrapping tight around her trembling body. A hand presses against her mouth, smothering a scream. My throat aches from the strength of her stifled shout, and then there’s pain everywhere. There’s pressure at her back and searing heat as something slams into her again and again and again.
I see her fall—see the red blooming across her back—and then the living Ms. Conrad finally takes her hand away. My chair screeches as I scramble to my feet. My heart slams against my ribs as my body is flooded with pain and desperation and fear.
“Elise? Is everything okay?”
No. Nothing is okay. I just saw, just felt, my teacher get murdered and—
Nausea twists in my gut. Bile burns at the back of my throat. Someone is going to murder Ms. Conrad, they’re going to stab her, and I . . . I—
“I have to go.” I stumble toward the door, and the second I pass into the hall, Claire is there.
“What happened? What’s wrong?” The fierceness of her concern overpowers my fear, and she catches me when my knees give out, impossibly strong arms holding me up. “Elise, talk to me. What happened?” She shifts, wrapping her arms around my waist, and I cling to her, to her solid body, to the cool touch of her hands, to the emptiness of my mind. I never want to let go. “What did you see?”
Tears slip down my face, and I’m shaking too much to speak with any coherence. I’ve seen so many deaths since I turned sixteen, but there’s never been anything so violent. So intentional. So— “Ms. Conrad . . . She’s . . . She’s . . . ”
“Shh,” Claire soothes, lifting me so only my toes graze the floor as she leads us farther from the classroom. “It’s going to be okay.”
“But it’s not.” I force myself to breathe until the tightness releases its strangle-hold on my throat. When we finally stop moving, we haven’t gone far, just enough to get around the bend in the hall. I’ve experienced so many deaths I can’t change—illnesses and accidents—but I can’t let Ms. Conrad get murdered.
She doesn’t even get to grow old.
And the weather was still so warm . . .
I stare up at Claire, who’s watching me with such worry and tenderness, I get an idea. “If I let you train me,” I say slowly, noting the way her face lights up at the suggestion, “will you do something for me?”
“Anything,” she promises, her hands still resting on my waist.
I grip tighter to her arms, force myself to hold her strange, hazel gaze. “Then you have to help me stop a murder.”
Coming Dec 7th, 2021! Pre-order your copy here!