Marinette, her cousin Zach, and their friends have just started college after dealing with the untimely death of Marinette’s family. Everything seems to be going well at the start of school, until they find a strange box hidden on a cliff. Opening the box forces Marinette and the others into a life they never expected to find. Family secrets from the past slowly emerge to reveal that Marinette and Zach had some knowledge of what might be in the hidden box they found. Now these new heroes will have to learn to act as a team, harness their new abilities, and save the world. Twists and turns will force the new heroes into unimaginable battles. Will they be strong enough to defeat the evil they unknowingly released? Or will it consume them?
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have always been inspired by nature and believed everyone is somehow connected to it. In this series I like to use the idea of animal spirits fusing with our souls to grant the heroes special abilities. The world is in such a chaotic spin lately that I felt everyone could use a good pick me up story. I hope you all enjoy it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I used bits and pieces of people I have known throughout my life to create my characters. They aren't exactly one person in particular but a mixture of everyone. For example, my one character Austin is a mix of my husband, my friend Angela, and a little of my older brother's personalities all mixed into one person. His name is actually created by a door dasher I once had. The dasher was awesome in speed, accuracy, and helped me in a bind to grab an extra item when he didn't have to. I liked his name and couldn't think of one for that character and decided to use his.
Funerals have oddity written all over them. After all, it is during funerals that people come from all over to bid a final farewell to someone they once knew, loved, and cherished. Often, they are filled with people sharing lurid details about how they wished they got a final goodbye. For Marinette, this was her third funeral in the past six months. However, this time, the funeral was different in that it left her an orphan, or at least, in a sense, it did. Despite being fraught with conflicting, mostly depressing thoughts, Marinette did manage to ruminate on the succor-inducing fact that she would turn eighteen in three days. This meant she would not be handed over to the state or any such nonsense like that. No one would need to take custody of her, and she would be able to continue living in her now-deceased parents' home, if she chose to. Just two weeks prior, she was finally ‘happy’ after battling the tragic, tumultuous loss of her father and brother after their car mysteriously went over a guard rail after losing its brakes. Having graduated from high school, she had just gotten her acceptance letter from three different universities.
She smiled at the quaint memory of walking into her house and showing the letters to her mom, who was elated at her daughter’s accomplishments. But now that seemingly elusive memory was just as hard to think of as those with her father and brother. In spite of being surrounded by lots of people, she felt disconcertingly alone and devastated, as if the entire world were conniving to somehow mock her decrepit existence. Her aunts, uncles, and grandparents were equally crestfallen. Nevertheless, they all somehow managed to try to remind her that she could stay with any of them; that they all loved her and would be there for her through thick and thin. Yet, a heavy sigh left her lips as she quietly walked away from the overbearing crowd of people that left her unsettled downstairs, heading straight to her parents’ room.
The air inside the room felt stiff and stale, as if the doors hadn’t been open in a long time. Copious amounts of dust lingering on the dresser caught Marinette’s attention. A twinge in her gut made her want to pull out a duster, knowing very well her mother wouldn’t be amused with a dirty dresser. She took a tissue from the box on the dresser and removed some of the dust in a palpably desperate attempt to make herself feel better. But she involuntarily stopped when her hand touched the wooden jewelry box that her father had made for his beautiful bride on their 10th wedding anniversary. Caressing it ever so gently, she found her thoughts drifting helplessly to the last day she heard her mother’s voice.
“Hey Mom, I will be home in an hour; I am just leaving Steve’s house now,” she recalled saying to her. Steve had been her best friend since forever. They grew up together and had a bond that couldn’t be broken.
“Okay, sweetie. I will see you when you get home. I love you,” her mom said in response. A tear fell as Marinette took comfort in the fact that she at least at least I got to hear those three words from her mom, one last time. The memory of her last conversation with her mom was gravid with irony and sadness. Yet a faint smile crept across her otherwise pale face, thanks to that very memory.
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