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  • Shattered Mirror
  • Written by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  • Format: Paperback | ISBN: 9780440229407
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  • Shattered Mirror
  • Written by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780385729901
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Written by Amelia Atwater-RhodesAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

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List Price: $6.99

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On Sale: December 03, 2001
Pages: | ISBN: 978-0-385-72990-1
Published by : Delacorte Press RH Childrens Books
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vampires (61) fantasy (33) fiction (33) young adult (27) ya (18) witches (16) romance (15) supernatural (12) horror (10) magic (10) amelia atwater-rhodes (8) dark fantasy (8) paranormal (8) twins (5) urban fantasy (4) teen (4) dark (4)
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

To the casual observer, Christopher Ravena and Sarah Vida look like normal high school students. But he’s a vampire who has sworn off human blood, and she’s a witch, a daughter of the most powerful vampire-hunting dynasty in history. Slowly, without meaning to, Sarah finds herself won over by his sensitivity, his gentleness, his kindness.

But his past and her future collide when they both get tangled up with Nikolas, one of the most reviled vampires ever.

Excerpt

CHAPTER 1



Sarah Vida shivered. The aura of vampires seeping from the house in front of her was nearly overwhelming. She drove around the block once, then stopped her car a couple of yards away from the white Volvo she had been following. Her sapphire Jaguar was flashy, and she hadn’t had time to change the plates.

She was lucky she had been planning on crashing a different party, or she would never have been ready for this one. She had come across the white Volvo’s owner at a gas station and had tailed her here.

She cut the motor and ran her fingers through her long blond hair, which was windblown by the drive in the convertible. Flashing a killer smile at no one, she checked her appearance in the rearview mirror. The girl in the glass appeared attractive, wild and carefree. The core of stone was not visible in her reflection.

As she stood, Sarah smoothed down her blue tank top and cream jeans and automatically checked to make sure her knives were in place—one in a spine sheath on her back and one tucked into each calf-high boot. Only then did she approach the house.

With blinds and shades pulled, the house appeared empty from the outside, but the illusion was quickly shattered. Before she even had a chance to knock, someone pulled open the door.

Leech, Sarah thought, disgusted, as she flashed a smile as practiced as the one she had given her rearview mirror at the vampire who had opened the door.

Whoa. Her smile did not waver, even though the vampiric aura in the house hit her like a sledgehammer to her gut. Her skin tingled at the sense of power, the feeling as unpleasant as sandpaper scraping across raw skin.

Unpleasant feeling or no, she began to mingle, looking always for the prey she was risking her neck to find—Nikolas.

Nikolas was one of the most infamous of his kind, a vampire who had hunted blatantly since the 1800s. His first known prey had been a young mother named Elisabeth Vida. Elisabeth had been a witch, a vampire hunter, and incidentally, Sarah’s ancestor. Her family had been hunting Nikolas ever since—without success.

Nikolas was clever—he had to be to have eluded hunters from the most powerful family of witches for so long. But he was also vain, and that would be his downfall. Every one of his victims wore his marks, decorations cut into their arms with the blade of his knife. Nikolas allowed some of his victims to live, but he twisted their minds to make them sickeningly loyal to him. Hunters had caught more than one of those warped humans, but they each professed to choose death before they would betray the vampire.

One of them, however, had made a mistake. A flat tire on the way to this bash had left her fuming at a gas station off Route 95, and she had been too preoccupied to cover the scars on her arms. The attendant, a member of the hunters’ complex system of informants, had called Sarah; she had followed the girl’s white Volvo here.

Taking a breath to focus her senses, Sarah searched the room with all six of them. Human scents mingled with the overpowering aura of vampires. Sarah felt pity and a slight disgust for the living who flitted among the vampires like flies clinging to dead flesh. Though Sarah did see one human boy leaving just after she came in, most of these humans would stay, out of either ignorance or perverted loyalty.

She didn’t like being inside this group without backup, but the short drive between the gas station and this house had only allowed for a few cell-phone calls, which had reached only busy signals and answering machines. She couldn’t risk making a serious kill, outnumbered as she was, but if she played nice tonight, she had a good chance of wangling an invitation to the next bash this group hosted. She could bring in the big guns then.

The trick was to avoid being killed—or munched on. She was posing as free food, human and helpless, but letting a vampire feed on her was further than she was willing to go. Besides, even the weakest vampire would be able to taste the difference between the bland vintage of human blood and the power in her own witch blood.

It was past ten o’clock at night, and the back of Sarah’s neck tingled with apprehension. Any hunter worth her blade generally knew better than to stay at a bash after midnight. Called the Devil’s Hour, midnight was when the killing was done.

Yet if Sarah wanted an invitation, she needed to stay and convince these creatures she was one of the idiotic humans who bared their throats willingly. Any hunter, from the most amateur to the most respected, would give his right eye and his life for a chance to take down a group of vampires this strong.

Sarah befriended the girl she had followed, and within fifteen minutes she had charmed her way into receiving one of the slick white cards that stated the time and location of the next bash this group was hosting.

Now all she had to do was follow the two simplest rules any hunter ever learned: Don’t get caught, and clean up after yourself.

As the Devil’s Hour drew near, Sarah found the weakest of the vampires and made sure she was alone with him when the clock struck.

“I don’t think Kaleo meant this room to be open to the public,” her companion pointed out, referring to their vampire host. Sarah recognized the name with revulsion. Nikolas was not the only creature in this group the hunters would love to take down.

Hiding her thoughts, she smiled and put a hand on her companion’s shoulder, forcing herself to ignore the unpleasant thickness of his aura. “Maybe I just wanted you all to myself,” she teased, meeting his black vampiric eyes.

The fiend got the message and leaned closer to her. Sarah ran her fingers through his ash blond hair, and he wrapped a slender hand around the back of her neck, gently urging her forward.

She leaned her head back, knowing where his gaze would travel. He fell for it, as they always did, and as she felt his lips touch her throat, she reacted.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

About Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes - Shattered Mirror

Photo © Jean Renard

Have you ever run into a teacher at the movie theater? It seems odd, surreal. You know perfectly well your teacher has an existence outside the classroom, but at the same time, it’s so far beyond your ken that experiencing it is almost unreal. Now imagine being the teacher. It’s like being an imaginary person, who has just accidentally walked into the room.

One of the strangest results of having your name on a book jacket is the proliferation of people who know one narrow aspect of your life, and are suddenly surprised to learn there’s more.

For example, last spring, I dressed up as an evil mushroom for a day while attending Anime Boston with my writing group. The day before that, I was Zexion; I still have a short video of myself and my friends, dressed in those costumes, performing the kitty-cat dance in the Prudential lobby. The day before that, I was some character whose name I can’t pronounce with pink hair. It had something to do with bread. I don’t really know, despite my friends’ attempts to prepare me. I hugged a lot of random strangers that day, because apparently when you’re dressed as a beloved character with pink hair, people like to hug you. Thankfully, I’m less Goth than my sometimes-reputation would predict, so I can be Zen about these things.

I was asked to write about “something people don't know about you,” and there it is in a nutshell: I get lumped in with dark fiction, but I have a great capacity for the absurd. I love to laugh.

When I was fourteen, I was one of those kids who wore all black because it matched everything. Seriously. We all say that, but for me it was true; my older sister made such fun of my color-coordination I was paranoid to even wear blue jeans with a colored top for a long time. We're all crazy in middle school, right? Well, I picked up a reputation as a Goth at that point, but it was never a very accurate image.

The truth is, I like to engage with life fully. Given an opportunity to do something I don’t often get a chance to do, I feel the need to try it, even if I suspect I’ll make a fool out of myself. I have swung on a flying trapeze, explored a glacier, and been hit in the face by a shark's tail while scuba diving. I like to throw myself fully into projects and adventures, which is probably how I managed to publish a book in the first place.

At the end of the day, I have this whole life, but what I’ve given to my readers is a name on a book jacket, a paragraph-long author biography, and a story to read that I hope will inspire or at least entertain. This is why I like to introduce myself to my readers, and say to them, “Hey, I’m a real person. I’m not some mythological writing creature. I’m just like you. I don’t have anything you don’t have. Anything I can do, you can do.”
Praise | Awards

Praise

“Fans of the teen goth writer will likely find plenty to feast on here.”–Publishers Weekly

“Readers will be racing to reach [the end] as they devour this compelling tale. Atwater-Rhodes does another fine job of building a suspenseful mood and sustaining it throughout.”–School Library Journal

Awards

WINNER 2002 ALA Quick Pick for Young Adult Reluctant Readers
WINNER 2002 Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List

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