Today you get a special sneak peek of my latest Shine novella. REVEN, Book One, is scheduled for official release in July. I’ve had so much fun working on this book. To be honest, June and Memphis were some of personal favorite characters to create. I hope my enthusiasm shows in the writing. I can’t wait for this book to be released!
Question: Would you wear combat boots with your prom dress? Why or why not?
I stripped off my stilettos and pulled on my combat boots. I didn’t have time to change my prom dress. Silver satin rustled as I cinched my laces. In the ballroom next door, cheers erupted as the student body elected a new prom queen.
“June Brighton,” I heard Principal Evans call.
The cheers continued. How long would it take them to realize I’d disappeared?
“June Brighton,” the principal repeated.
I winced as he said my name. Being prom queen made my life more complicated. I’d never admit it to anyone, but I felt grateful that the Revens picked tonight to prowl. I had an excuse to avoid all the attention. I wasn’t sure why I felt that way. I wasn’t sure of a lot of things, except that right now, I had to stop the Revens.
“June, where are you?”
The cheers quieted. I almost wanted to go over there so I could end the awkward silence, but thought better of it.
I stood and smoothed my gown. I’d found the pattern three years ago and knew this would be my prom dress. Half my summer savings went into buying the material.
This gown was every little girl’s dream. Layers of ivory and silver satin hugged the bodice. Rhinestones sparkled around the sheer sleeves and scooped neckline. It took me hours to stitch the tiny beads into place. The tiered ruffled skirt flowed to my knees in waves of shimmering taffeta.
But that wasn’t the only reason I’d sewn it myself. I had to make sure the dress was practical. Mom had found some military-grade Kevlar at a surplus store. I’d reinforced the bodice with the body armor, layered the underskirt with a durable polyester blend, even sewn an extra pocket for my knife.
I pulled out my dagger. The familiar pearl handle conformed to my palm. Naomi’s text said the Revens were gathering on the roof. They wouldn’t get away this time. I sighed as I stared at my gown. I’d hoped it wouldn’t come to this. But there was no way I could take down a Reven in this skirt.
I gripped my knife and cut through the fabric around my knees. I sawed at the material until I’d made an ugly serrated gash. I ripped the skirt off, transforming my floor-length gown into a tatty, knee-length skirt. This looked so much easier in the movies, and much more elegant. My heart gave a painful thump as I found the nearest trash can and disposed of the fabric.
Regret nagged at me. I should’ve just made it knee-length in the first place. But my stupid sense of fashion had overridden my rational thoughts. No use crying about it now.
I crept to the dressing room’s door and peeked outside.
Hotel LaBelle is one of the nicer places to stay in Manhattan. My high school doesn’t like to play it cheap. They book the place every year. Tiny chandeliers hung from the ceiling. Plush carpeting covered the hallway’s floor. Lucky for me, the carpet would muffle the sound of my clunky boots.
The hallway was empty, so I snuck outside.
In the ballroom, I heard Principal Evans on the microphone. “If anyone sees June, tell her she’s our new prom queen.”