COVER & EXCERPT REVEAL
DESCENDANTS OF THE CURSE: JESSIE'S AWAKENING by C.S. Kendall
Release Date: May 13, 2020
Cover Design: Melody Barber
Genre: Paranormal / Coming of Age
Jessie Mason is a normal junior in high school with a boyfriend, a lead part in the school musical, and straight A’s.
But on her seventeenth birthday, her parents reveal her true lineage—that she descends from the first ever immortal human race—the Community that drank from the Fountain of Youth millennia ago and unleashed mortality into the world. As the daughter of two original immortals who drank, her genes determine her path and Jessie learns she, too, will live forever. But there is a cost.
The Fountain of Youth must replenish its life-giving stores and to do so, it turns those who benefit from the waters into killers, demanding lives as payment for the eternal life it grants.
Paired with Tyler, another (cute) immortal descendant of the cursed waters, Jessie learns to hear and tame the water’s bloodthirsty voice, channeling her murderous impulses toward the Community’s more…productive use of her killer instincts.
As she leans into her new identity and grapples for control, she can’t help but feel drawn to Tyler, who may be the only person capable of understanding the sacrifices demanded of her. But someone else knows about her and is threatening to reveal her secrets, or worse…
Can Jessie keep those she loves safe by embracing the directives of the beast within? Or will the water’s call get the better of her, destroying not only who she is, but hurting everyone she cares about?
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Something moved inside me, and it took me a moment to recognize what it was. I watched her cry, broken, almost defeated by this immortal burden we bore together, and I felt…helpless. Seeing Jessie this way stirred something in me that had long been dormant, something I’d forced myself to tuck away because feeling it—for anyone—made me dangerous to that person.
But maybe not to her.
In her, I saw myself—the scared, uncertain grieving immortal, full of power not yet understood with no view of the bigger picture, no knowledge that it would be okay in time. I wanted to make her feel better, to bring a smile to her face, to help her recognize her own strength.
But realizing this, at this moment, broke me, too. Because I couldn’t fix this for her. All I could do was be here.
I leaned over her, my eyes fixed on her sad, beautiful face, and retrieved a tissue from the end table. But for a moment, before I grabbed the tissue, I froze, and our eyes locked in some intense exchange of kinship. She knew I understood what this was like. I saw it in her gaze.
When I leaned away, I dabbed the tears with the tissue. She gave me an appreciative smile and something else woke up in her eyes—a brightness. She bit her lip, her gaze trailing just for a moment to my mouth, then back up again. This, of course, dragged my attention to her lips.
I gave myself a mental shake. “It gets easier,” I assured her.
A weak but appreciative smile lifted the corners of her mouth. “What was it like for you?”
I folded my arms behind my head, remembering my own journey. “I didn’t want to accept any of it either. It’s hard to acknowledge what…we are.”
“I mean, who wants to be a ruthless murderer?”
I chuckled, turning my gaze back to her face where it lingered a little too long. “Exactly.” Then I remembered, and a tangible darkness followed the memory. “I was terrified—when my parents first told me and when I started to hear the voice myself. You know, there’s no way to prepare for the actual experience of hearing the water speak to you, even when you know it’s coming. Can you imagine not knowing? Just having those impulses and ugly thoughts?” I shuddered.
“Anyway, once my parents made me quit basketball, I sank into a depression. I totally withdrew—mainly because I’d lost something I really loved, but also because I was just plain scared. I didn’t know how this would manifest or who I could hurt. You know, I have to tell you that I’m impressed with how you haven’t let this end things for you. You’ve gone on with your life. That takes guts.”
Her face dropped.
“Oh no, what’d I say?”
“It’s over for me, too. I got kicked out of the musical today.”
I let a low whistle, regretting my words, the pain they’d put on her face. “Mason—I…I’m really sorry.”
She put her hand up to stop me. “I think it’s for the best. I was determined to hang on to everything, you know? To not let my parents’ birthday revelation change anything about my life. My boyfriend, my best friend, my straight A’s, my lead role…all those things I held on to for dear life.”
She trailed and a dry sob shuddered through her. “But what today taught me is that I never had any control to begin with. Addy said something to me at the park when we were fighting. She told me that I think I’m perfect. She couldn’t be more wrong. I try so hard to be perfect, but I always fall short. Truth is, I’m terrified of failure. And now, I’ve let everyone I love down, including myself. And I don’t know how to recover.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I post entirely too many pictures of my dog, horse, and whatever I am currently obsessed with--and I have Attention Deficit Disorder so obsessions change pretty rapidly.
So here's the deal: most people in my life would be shocked to know I write romance. I've kept my romantic streak pretty much on the down low as it would ruin my street cred as my company's smart-mouthed, no-nonsense administrative assistant. I kinda hate that. Why can't you be snarky and still want a guy to be sweet to you? Anyway, I struggled for years with my writing. I've always enjoyed it, but I was afraid to tell people I wanted to be a writer. I felt like it would be like telling them I wanted to be an actress--or that I wanted to wear a cape while I fought crime.
Actually, I still think I could rock a cape. With proper motivation, I might even be able to run in heels. With seriously proper motivation, I might even be able to run and jump in said heels. Wow, see what I meant about my ADD? Returning to my point in 3...2...1...
So I wrote a bunch of books in secret and now I'm slowly publishing them and the response has been pretty amazing. I'm not special, but OMG my readers make me feel like I am. I'm incredibly lucky to have them. I wish I'd had the courage to publish before now.
Anywho, if you like romantic comedies heavy on the sarcasm and steam, you might like my books. I love to write heroines readers can relate to and heroes who can't help but fall for them.
CONNECT WITH C.S. KENDALL
Facebook Author Page: https://bit.ly/3eEaksV
Goodreads Author Page: https://bit.ly/3arNAcu
Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2VLy1Hk
BookBub Author Page: https://bit.ly/3amGWUJ