Untold Press is proud to present Freshman Year Freaks, the third and FINAL book in The Clanless Series by J.A. Campbell. For more Untold Press books, visit our website at www.untoldpress.com. Learn all book related news first by signing up for our newsletter!
Freshman Year Freaks
The Clanless, Book 3
J. A. Campbell
Genres: YA Urban Fantasy
Published: March 1st, 2016
Untold Press www.untoldpress.com
The final book in the Clanless Series!
For four grueling years I looked forward to my freshman year of college. It should have been the best time of my life. Unfortunately, I never made it through the first month. Learning how to be a vampire became infinitely more important. Parties and classes and hanging out with my friends got set aside so I could learn how to fight, how to use my powers, and how to survive.
If the school of hard knocks wasn’t bad enough, the school of life decided to test me, too. I leave town and Alexander, the one guy I can’t stand to be around–or without, gets taken by the Sidhe to pay for our supposed crimes. Now its up to me to rescue him and get his elven relatives to leave us alone. Sounds easy right? Try it while you’re being stalked by the vampire who might have made you and a werewolf with a major superiority complex. My friends and I have been through a lot together and there hasn’t been anything we couldn’t overcome. But Freshman year might be more than we can handle…
Being a vampire sucks.
The Clanless Series:
Senior Year Bites
Summer Break Blues
About the Author
Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor.She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult fantasy series Tales of the Travelers. She’s a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers of America Association and the editor for Steampunk Trails fiction magazine.
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Taking a deep breath, I tried again.
“Better, but you still lose the illusion when you walk.”
I sighed and, brow wrinkled with concentration, tried harder.
“You are hopeless.” Yoshi grabbed my arm before I could dodge and pulled me out of the house into the muggy night. The sounds of the city assaulted my ears.
Tires squealed and sirens wailed in the distance. It wasn’t late enough for the city to have quieted from the daytime rush.
I growled a protest, but he ignored me. Knowing from experience that I wasn’t strong enough to get away from my mentor, I ran when he did, dodging pedestrians who wouldn’t even notice our passing. Yoshi dragged me deeper into the city and I slowed to a stop when he let me. We stood on the corner of two busy streets. Exhaust filled the air as cars idled, waiting for the light to change. Horns blared as people tried to hurry in the congestion. Pedestrians skirted around us without appearing to notice that we were there–Yoshi’s powers, not mine.
“What?” I glanced around, certain someone would have heard my yelp. People surrounded us. It wasn’t like we were in the forests of my home.
“You heard me. You can hide, but your illusions, to use one of your quaint phrases, suck. You need to be able to do both. Strip.” He turned his back. “No one can see you.”
Yoshi was a fair teacher, though much older and more powerful than he looked. I’d learned not to argue with direct orders.
Reluctantly, I took off my clothes and handed them to Yoshi when he held out his hand. I crossed my arms over my chest and looked around, feeling self-conscious.
“Okay, now convince me you’re wearing clothes. You have ten minutes before I drop the illusion.”
I muttered impolite words under my breath. Yoshi could hear, but he’d ignore me unless I spoke normally.
“You’re wasting time.”
I concentrated on picturing the outfit I’d just taken off. I visualized the way it looked, remembered the way the cloth felt against my skin, and prayed fervently to whoever might be listening to one young vampire that I’d be able to fool even Yoshi.
“Ready?” He turned around before I could answer and smiled. “Much improved. Now walk home without getting arrested.” He vanished before I could finish my protest.
Once I was sure he had left, taking my clothes and his reliable illusions with him, I cussed. The nearest pedestrians glanced at me and quickly walked away. I swore again, more quietly, but at least they hadn’t noticed my lack of real clothing.
Taking a deep breath, I took a few steps and looked around. No one so much as glanced at me. Either they were all lost in their own little world and avoided noticing to retain their sanity, or my illusion worked fine. Or both.
Encouraged, brow still furrowed in concentration, I headed back at a walk.
I made it back to Yoshi’s corner house without attracting too much attention and without getting arrested. He met me outside the front door of his small townhouse.
“Good job. Now go around through the back, put some clothes on, and meet me in the living room.”
His order seemed a little strange, but I was grateful to be able to go get dressed, so I didn’t argue. My room was on the second floor. I jumped to the ledge and slid my window open before climbing in. Yoshi had thrown my clothes on the bed, but I pulled on a fresh outfit and headed for the living room, wondering what he had in store for me next.
I stopped just outside of the living room, surprised and a little grateful that Yoshi had sent me around back first. However, I wasn’t sure if I should be insulted that he didn’t trust my abilities yet. Walking the rest of the way in, I watched Steph and Gage as they sat nervously on the couch. Yoshi sat across from them, a small, hungry smile on his lips. He wouldn’t hurt them, but they didn’t know that.
Steph twisted her hands, betraying her nerves. Gage sat so still he practically quivered.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about seeing my friends. It felt good to see them, but I wasn’t ready to face them again. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be ready. It was much easier having left my old life behind, but they had to be here for a reason. I wondered where Alexander was. If anyone should have been able to find me, it would have been him.
Taking pity on my friends, I walked farther into the room, scuffing my feet so I wouldn’t startle them.
“Meg!” Steph jumped to her feet and practically tackled me in her enthusiasm to hug me.
I hugged her back. “Hi.”
“Meg, how are you?” Steph released me.
“I’m all right. What are you doing here?” I wanted to ask where Alexander was, but I refrained.
Steph glanced at Gage. “Well, it’s Alexander…” She hesitated. “He’s missing. Or dead.”