Title: Altered to Kill (Finding Nate Book One)
Publisher: Sunny Palms Press
Page Count: 375
Release Date: Fall 2015
Seventeen-year-old Nate Burnham never thought killing would be easy, but when his girlfriend, Mira Everson, is attacked by an incubus disguised as a classmate, Nate discovers love is worth killing for. With the possibility of a grim future, Nate finds himself in the back of an unmarked van with a decision to make—spend life behind bars or enroll in the Special Abilities Task Force run by the Human Preservation Agency. In order to protect Mira, Nate joins the secret organization and is plunged into a world of monsters, murder, and secrecy.
Mira Everson’s life is turned upside down when she discovers Nate has been abducted by scientists who have the ability to rewrite lives. She flees her home to escape a deadly agent sent to kill her, and she must come to terms with the idea that any future contact with Nate could result in her death.
Thrust into a war between humans and creatures, Nate and Mira are fated to fight on opposing sides. Can they unravel the truth or will they face deadly consequences?
I’m going to need a lot more than this dish rag and paper towels to clean up the pool of blood seeping from Ryder’s stomach. The puddle smears when I rub it instead of being soaked up like it should be. “Stop bleeding already, man.” I drop the dish towel, splattering blood on my shoes. “Where the heck is the mop?” I don’t know why I even ask. No one will respond.
I wipe my hands on my jeans without thinking. “Oh, come on!” I’m starting to look like a murderer. Hate to break it to you, Nate, but your appearance is the least of your worries. I’m sweaty, have blood all over me, and I’m sure my eyes are wild.
Think, Nate. Think. Think. Think. I growl like a rabid dog. “Why can’t you just go away?” I kick Ryder’s leg. “You piece of crap lunatic!” I kick him again. “You should be the one going to jail. You attacked my girlfriend. You held a knife to her throat. I heard you tell her how she didn’t deserve to live. How you were going to make her feel the pain she made you feel. But guess what? You did that to yourself. You knew she was in love with me. Mira is my girlfriend. Not yours. And if anyone should deserve to live, it’s her.” I kick him so hard his body rolls over.
What the…? No way. Bodies don’t decompose this fast. Part of the skin on Ryder’s arm is blackening. It looks like it’s raw and melting away, yet Ryder has only been dead for just over an hour. I nudge his arm with the toe of my shoe and it deflates. I jerk back in surprise. It’s foul and intriguing. Does Hollywood keep this postmortem fact a secret? I never knew this about dead bodies. At least he doesn’t stink. Actually, he smells rather nice. Like cinnamon rolls. Man, I’m disgusting.
Morticians have a lot of work to make bodies look presentable. If they threw Ryder in a casket now, it’d have to be closed. He’s nasty looking. But dang, his warm pastry smell is overpowering and making me hungry.
I shake my head to regain focus, but I can’t. My stomach growls. Despite Ryder’s disgusting flesh, his scent is mouthwatering, and I almost want take a bite out of him. Almost. Now that’s one way to get rid of the body.
I yank my shirt over my nose. This body cleanup business is ludicrous. I need to put him in a trash bag and somehow manage to get him in the back of my Ford Ranger without anyone seeing me.
I kick the dishrag away. No point in trying to soak up the blood if Ryder isn’t going to stop bleeding and decomposing. The police would never believe this happened just over an hour ago. Maybe that would help my case. I can find an alibi for another day and time. I wonder if anyone would believe I just stumbled upon him. With the way he looks now, only a DNA test could determine who the body belongs to. He’s in your girlfriend’s kitchen. That still leaves her a suspect.
I stumble around the rotting corpse and yank a few black trash bags from under the sink. They’re impossible to unfold with my gooey fingers, and I shake them until they open. With one hand, I yank Ryder’s blood-matted hair until he’s is sitting up. I let go to adjust the bag when he slumps against my chest. The trash bag slips from my fingers, and my shirt yanks down with Ryder’s weight. The cinnamon roll smell smacks me in the face, and I breathe deeply. “You’re making me so hungry.”
I lean closer and closer. I can’t help it. I can’t do anything to stop myself. I have to taste him. One little bite won’t hurt.
I grab his soft, slimy arm and bring it to my mouth. Don’t do it! This is disgusting. And crazy. And completely not something a normal person would do. Pull it together. Seriously, pull it together! My mind doesn’t want any part of this Ryder tasting, but my hands won’t drop his arm, and my mouth won’t stay shut. I’m really doing this. I’m going to take a bite out of a dead guy.
About The Author
Ginna Moran started writing poetry as a teenager in a spiral notebook that she still has tucked away on her desk today. Her love of writing grew after she graduated high school, and she completed her first unpublished manuscript at age eighteen.
When she realized her love of writing was her life’s passion, she studied literature at Mira Costa College in Northern San Diego. Besides writing young adult novels, she was senior editor, content manager, and image coordinator for Crescent House Publishing Inc. for four years.
Aside from Ginna’s professional life, she enjoys binge watching television shows, playing pretend with her daughter, and cuddling with her dogs. Some of her favorite things include chocolate, anything that glitters, cheesy jokes, and organizing her bookshelf.
Ginna is currently hard at work on her next novel.
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