Dream Wars Saga #2
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Nadette Lawson can sense falsehoods better than a polygraph. Every night for the past two years, the Balasura have been visiting her dreams and trying to deceive her into entering their world, but Nadette has seen through their lies. Now they’re tired of waiting and will do whatever it takes to obtain her. Searching for refuge, Nadette runs into Julian Teagan, a master of deception who, unbeknownst to Nadette, has been sent on a mission to save her. But how can he earn her trust when their whole relationship is rooted in lies?
Insidious meets Charmed in the second installment of Erica Cameron’s Dream War Saga. Through its two new narrators, Deadly Sweet Lies reveals that winning the battle is a far cry from winning the war. The danger is not over. It has hardly even begun.
Pheodora said she wasn’t sure how our abilities would interact with each other, but I never really believed I’d be able to fool a girl who can hear lies. Trying to hide my nervousness, I do as she asks. “Gravity doesn’t exist and the moon is made of whipped cream.”
Her lips twitch into a smile for a second, but that smile barely lasts a breath before she’s standing up and grabbing my hands, pulling me off the chair.
“Do it again,” she demands, staring into my eyes.
“Okay, umm …” My mind goes blank. Scrambling, I glance around the room until I see the TV mounted to the wall. “Television was invented by cavemen and the first car was built by Caesar.”
“Holy shit. You can lie to me. You can lie to me!” Her grip tightens on my arms and her face starts flushing red. I’m so thrown by this whole conversation I can’t even read her face anymore. Is she upset? Happy? I have no clue.
“Uh, I’m sorry?”
She runs closer to the TV and focuses on the reporter. Before more than a minute passes, she cringes and turns away. Her face is unreadable as she walks toward me slowly. A minute passes and then two, and the silence between us starts to feel oppressive and strained. Maybe it would be a good idea to give her some space. If I leave, I can talk to Pheodora and get some advice. Picking my bags up, I step backward. It feels like I shouldn’t turn my back or make any sudden moves around her right now.
Crap. I have never needed someone to trust me this bad and been so completely lost on how to make it happen.
Before I can open my mouth to say goodbye, Nadette spins. “Where are you going?”
“Oh, uh, it just seemed like you wanted me to—”
“No, where are you going? From here. After you meet your friend, where are you headed?”
“I—” Oh, Sinatra bless it. What in the world am I supposed to say now? I haven’t blushed accidentally in years, but I feel my cheeks heating up under her stare. “I, um, I’ve never met the person before today. I got a message. I’m supposed to meet someone here who knows where to go.”
“You traveled all the way across the country to find someone you’ve never met? Do you even know what they look like? Or their name?”
This question is a little easier. I take a deep breath and nod. “They described someone who looked a lot like you, actually. A girl around my age with red hair and green eyes traveling alone. They told me she’d know where to go and I should follow her.”
“God, my life just keeps getting weirder,” she mutters, running her hand over her hair and fussing with her bun. “Who told you this?”
“Someone who found me after I blacked out. She told me that there are some of their kind who hunt humans and others who are trying to help. Told me to leave and find … someone. You?”
“Maybe. Sounds like it. Wish he’d told me to expect company, but he did kind of leave in a hurry.” She seems like she’s half-talking to herself. Before I can ask who “he” is, she jumps tracks again and asks, “How much amethyst or jade or whatever do you have in those bags?”
“Uhh …” I have to replay that in my head a couple of times before I can be sure I heard her right. “Amethyst? Like, the gemstone? None. Why?”
“What stones are you using to keep them away?” Her eyes are too wide again and her skin looks a little green.
What is she talking about? It doesn’t seem like some rocks would protect anyone from anything. “Um, none?”
Nadette gasps and glances at her backpack. “But if they told you to come here, didn’t they warn you how to stay off the radar?”
“N-no.” Should Pheodora have told me that? “I think they planned on keeping an eye on me until I found you.”
“Ugh. This is insane. We’re going to have to get you some of these.” She pulls her backpack into her lap and opens it. Inside is exactly what she said—a lot of stones.
There are some black rocks, a chunk of something green, and a few purple crystals that are probably amethyst. Pretty, but they don’t look particularly protective. Unless they’re ammunition in a slingshot aimed at someone’s head. Nadette seems convinced they can hide her, though. Maybe there’s more to these rocks than it seems.
Nadette is silent for a while, her lips moving slightly as though she’s having a conversation with herself. I shift closer to the edge of my seat, tingles of nervous energy making my stomach churn.
“Do you have cash?” she asks after a few seconds.
“Then buy a ticket on the next train to Saratoga Springs.” She grabs my bags and places them under the bench of seats, resting her feet on top as though she’s standing guard.
“What’s in Saratoga Springs?”
“Nothing that will mean anything to us. We’re headed to a town called Alaster.”
I smile. “Sounds like a deal. I just have one more question.”
She arches her eyebrows and waits.
“What’s your name?”
It takes a few seconds, but then she gives me a slight smile and holds out her hand. “Nadette Lawson.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Nadette. I’m Julian Teagan.” Her hand is shaking slightly, but her grip is strong.
She nods and nudges me toward the ticket counter. “Go buy your ticket then, Julian. We’ve got a ways to travel tonight.”
About the Author
Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dancer, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessive, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon decor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.
Erica is also the author of the Dream Wars Saga series of YA books published by Spencer Hill Press including: Sing Sweet Nightingale, book #1, and Deadly Sweet Lies, book #2. Erica is currently working on book #3 in the series, Such Sweet Sorrow due out in the fall of 2017.