Dangerous Boys Volume 1

Five complete novellas by Downunder Young Adult Authors:



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Sara Hantz author photoWritten in the Stars

by Sara Hantz

If Megan messes up one more time her parents will pull her out of boarding school and she’ll never see Dan—the guy she’s been crushing on since forever—again. So when she accidentally crashes a friend’s car, she needs to pay for the repairs… somehow. Desperate, she decides to use her way of knowing stuff to sell psychic dating advice. How hard can it be? Plenty hard. Especially when Megan’s forced to tell the meanest girl in school that Dan is going to ask her out. Only trouble is, Dan can’t stand the girl, leaving Megan begging him for a favor. Megan is in big trouble. She risks losing all the money she’s made and losing the one boy who does dangerous things to her heart.

*****

Maree Anderson author photoTangent (a Liminals prequel)

by Maree Anderson

For two years, lone wolf Rixon has protected Lily… and lied about his true feelings. Best to treat her like a younger sibling, because how could she possibly love a hulking great lummox like him? Then Lily is snatched, and Rix discovers she’s being used in covert experiments. He moves heaven and earth to find her, but Lily is merely bait for the real target: Rix. To keep Lily alive, Rix must use a dangerous liminal ability he’s kept secret his whole life… and risk becoming the one thing he vowed he would never be again: a killer.

*****

Vanessa Barneveld authorphotoLive Fast, Die Young

by Vanessa Barneveld

Molly can’t stand seeing her pal Alex go from straight-A student to rebel without a cause. Alex needs to get back on the path to the Ivy League, and Micromanaging Molly figures serious interference is called for. But the harder Molly pushes Alex, the harder he pushes back.

Alex has two secrets. Number one: He has terminal melanoma. With six months to live, hanging around hospitals definitely counts as wasted time. Alex plans to drop out, surf, drive fast cars…and finally confess secret number two. He’s in love with Molly. Can he tell her before his time is up?

*****

Raising Hell

by Robyn Grady

Insanity runs in the family. Then again, so does warlock blood.

Four years ago, when Brinley Stone’s mom committed suicide, Brin went to live with her aunt in Boston. Now she’s back in her hometown, finishing her all important senior year at Hellaway High. Brin is ready to confront the ghosts from her past. Discovering an overly-protective half human, half demon in the attic is something else again. But the warlock Ruarc Bae is so much more than ‘melt into a puddle’ gorgeous. Bae has an unpleasant job to do. It starts with casting light on the murky secrets that drove Brin’s mother mad.

*****

Dangerous Honesty

by Ebony McKenna

High school junior Bianca is faking the best possible life in Florida, as long she remembers all the lies she’s told. But when she teams up with seriously cute über geek Malcolm–because physics homework isn’t going to write itself–her carefully crafted stories start wobbling like spinning plates on bamboo poles. Bianca is torn between protecting those she loves and unburdening her reality to someone she can trust. Honesty is the best policy, but the truth will put everyone she loves at risk.

*****



Genre: Young Adult; anthology
Format: eBook
Length: Approx 110,000 words
Price: US $3.99 (or US$ equivalent)
Publisher: Downunder YA Authors
Release date: 5 June 2016
ISBN: 9781524200787

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Get a free autograph for your electronic copy of any of my books at Authorgraph:

Maree Anderson Dangerous Boys

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Artwork

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(Click on the image to see the full-size cover.)

Dangerous Boys

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Read an excerpt from TANGENT

By Maree Anderson

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Rixon understood there’d been one big-ass hole in his logic the instant he came to, sprawled on the cold tiles of the toilet stall floor. If anyone had been using the stall when he’d become liminal again, he would have been royally screwed. As it was, he could only hope no one had discovered him while he was out cold… and was even now sprinting off to alert security.

It took two tries to heave his butt off the floor, and he only made it as far as the toilet bowl.

When he’d finished emptying his stomach, he lay there for a bit, curled around the cold porcelain. Sheer willpower finally got him up and moving. Biting his lip to stifle a groan, he slumped atop the toilet seat, elbows braced on knees, head hanging, waiting for the pounding in his skull to ease. Blood throbbed hotly through his veins but his abdomen felt strangely hollow, as though cored by a raging torrent of electricity. His bones, his skin—even his effing hair follicles—hurt. And thinking logically was so not a good idea right now, either, but that didn’t stop his stupid brain from chewing over why’n the heck he felt like shit.

Why’n the heck had this phase affected him so badly?

Huh. Maybe this was the reason lims weren’t supposed to attempt phases to places they’d never been before—because once you exited the subliminal state and your body re-formed, you felt like you’d been steamrollered and turned inside out.

When he could focus without feeling like his head was about to explode, he squinted at the cheap men’s wristwatch Lily had found a few months back. A mere ten minutes had passed but it sure felt like a freaking lifetime. On the plus side, he’d phased to the right place. At least, it was highly unlikely there were two dull gray toilet stall doors inscribed with a message from the Gingerbread Man, exhorting people to run like hell.

Rix climbed to his feet, steadied himself with a palm against one side of the stall, and then stumbled out. He checked the cramped shower stall next to the toilet, and found it empty… thank all popular gods. Hunching over the small washbasin, he splashed cold water on his aching face, and blotted his eyelids and mouth with the frayed sleeve of his coverall.

Better. Kind of. Because the mirror above the washbasin revealed hollowed eyes, ashen skin, and pain grooves etching the bridge of his nose and mouth. Looked like he’d been partying real hard all night and then some, and desperately needed to sleep it off—which, come to think of it, could work to his advantage, because right now he looked nothing like a stealthy intruder about to break someone out.

His brain revved up a gear, prodding him to quit stalling and move his sorry ass. The longer he lingered here, the more chance of getting busted.

He glanced around the bathroom. Yep, the kids had been right on the money; there was a floor-to-ceiling cupboard in the wall on the right. Locked of course, but Rix had never let a basic locking mechanism stop him. He fished the lock picks from his boot, and had the cupboard open in thirty seconds flat.

Broom. Mop. Bucket. A few basic cleaning products. Dust cloths. Hardly worth the effort of locking up. Then again, in the right hands a mop could be a deadly weapon. And that metal bucket would sure do a bit of damage to someone’s skull. Not to mention the unpleasant side effects of copping a faceful of ammonia. But Rix wasn’t looking for weapons. All the kids had described guards armed with Tasers and God knew what else, and Rix wasn’t arrogant enough to believe he could prevail over armed guards. His best bet was to fly under the radar and not get noticed. And, as he’d learned during a temporary stint to cover for a friend, no one took any notice of janitors. All he needed from this cupboard were a few props to beef up his disguise—kind of like strolling around an office building with a clipboard, looking all busy and shit.

He chose the bucket and mop. For good measure, he dumped a container of disinfectant in the bucket.

Geez! Wrinkling his nose at the nostril-searing, eye-watering smell, he filled the empty container with tap water, and dumped that in the bucket, too, swirling the contents. Nice. Anyone got too nosy, he’d accidentally on purpose spill some of this stuff at their feet. Or over their fancy shoes—whatever worked. Should be the perfect deterrent. The empty disinfectant container he refilled with water, capped, and stowed in the cupboard.

Rix grabbed his props, satisfied he’d done what he could. Ignoring his abused muscles and pounding head, he ambled from the bathroom, into the corridor.

His sources had told him where Lily was likely being held and as he walked, he consulted his mental map. Shouldn’t be far now….

Yep. So far, so good. Here was the row of doors the kids had described—each one leading to a small room that served as sleeping quarters.

He eased on up to the first door and paused, making a production of squeezing out his mop and swishing it over the floor. And then he peered through the rectangular viewing window.

His heart galloped when he spotted a figure curled in a fetal position on the narrow bed, facing the wall. He couldn’t see her face. Didn’t need to: He would know her anywhere. Lily. The girl he’d sworn to protect… and failed to keep safe.

As though something inside him had called out to her, she uncurled, rolled toward the door, opened her eyes… and gazed up at him. Her eyes seemed clear. Which meant she wasn’t fighting the effects of drugs. Relief washed through him and he mentally thanked whichever deity happened to be watching over him and Lily right now.

His confidence returning, Rix dumped his mop in the bucket, grinned, and gave Lily a cocky little finger-wave through the window.

Her deep brown eyes widened. And then, to his chagrin, she sat up and made shooing gestures, her lips forming the word Go! over and over.

Take off? Leave her in that sparse, cell-like room? Nyuh uh. Not gonna happen. Lily should know him better than that.

When he beckoned her toward the door, an adamant shake of her head told him she wasn’t about to make this easy. Her eyes rounded as her mouth opened and formed that word again. Go!

Huh. Odds on she was yelling right now. The room must be soundproofed.

Rix tried the door. Also locked. With a fancy keypad that needed an entry code. Typical. But hey, not an insurmountable problem. All he needed to do was phase in, sync his energy vibrations to Lily’s, and phase them both the hell out of this place. And if they’d convinced her to stay—done some head-number on her—well, too damn bad. He’d force a sync and apologize afterward. Like, once he’d gotten her somewhere safe and she could be reasoned with.

Rix mouthed the words, Stay put. Last thing he needed was Lily careening off the bed and ending up in the exact spot he was trying to phase to. If that happened, his energy could instinctively react and catapult him Between as a protective measure.

He couldn’t take that chance.

He held Lily’s gaze, willing her to cooperate, projecting for all he was worth that everything was gonna be okay. He didn’t know what he’d expected to see—happiness that he’d shown up because it proved she meant the world to him, perhaps? At the very least, relief that she was no longer alone. Instead her face kinda froze but her eyes flashed a fear so raw and stark, his stomach swan-dived to his boots.

What the eff? Lily had always seen through Rix’s imposing physical presence. She’d never once been afraid of him.

Too late, he realized she was staring past him. The back of his neck prickled and Rix had just enough time to think, Ah, crap! before something jammed into the base of his spine… and all his nerve endings went supernova.

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Tangent (a Liminals prequel novella) by Maree Anderson

© Copyright 2016,  Maree Anderson

www.mareeanderson.com

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