Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions
A collection of fourteen original teen paranormal short stories from some of today’s bestselling YA talent, united with the common theme of road trips, and edited by bestselling authors Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong.Contributors include:Melissa MarrKelley ArmstrongClaudia GrayKami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (NYT Bestselling authors of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, Little, Brown)Rachel Caine (NYT bestselling author of Morganville Vampire series, Penguin)Carrie Ryan (NYT Bestselling author of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, Delacourt)Jessica Verday (NYT bestselling author of THE HAUNTED and THE HOLLOW, S&S)Rachel Vincent (bestselling adult mass market author and Harlequin YA author)Jennifer Lynn Barnes (RAISED BY WOLVES, Egmont)Jerri Smith-Ready (bestselling adult mass market author w/ YA debut, SHADE, S&S)Sarah Rees Brennan (THE DEMON’S LEXICON, THE DEMON’S CONVENANT, S&S)Kimberley Derting (debut: THE BODY FINDER, 2010 HCCB)Jackson Pearce (SISTERS RED–Little Brown, AS YOU WISH–HCCB)Ally Condie (debut: MATCHED, 11/2010 Dutton)
To Smart Chicks everywhere,we’re grateful that the future is in the hands of so manystrong, clever, and wise girls and women.
Title Page (#u5fa3c4c6-7ee6-5dbe-bde2-fa95defa4799)
Introduction: by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong
Giovanni’s Farewell: by Claudia Gray
Scenic Route: by Carrie Ryan
Red Run: by Kami Garcia
Things About Love: by Jackson Pearce
Niederwald: by Rachel Vincent
Merely Mortal: by Melissa Marr
Facing Facts: by Kelley Armstrong
Let’s Get this Undead Show on the Road: by Sarah Rees Brennan
Bridge: by Jeri Smith-Ready
Skin Contact: by Kimberly Derting
Leaving: by Ally Condie
At The Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show: by Jessica Verday
IV League: by Margaret Stohl
Gargouille: by Mary E. Pearson
The Third Kind: by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Automatic: by Rachel Caine
About the Authors
About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)
ost anthologies start with a theme. This one was a little different: it began with a tour.
Having done a few joint events, we decided that it would be fun to set up a multiauthor, multicity, author-organized tour. Touring is great, but touring with others is even better, both for us and for the readers. So with that in mind, we started talking to authors whose books we liked—books we thought our readers would like too. The response was so overwhelmingly positive that we didn’t get very far down our wish list before the tour was full.
Nineteen authors visited twelve cities on the Smart Chicks Kick It tour. That sounds huge, but it still means we missed a lot of places and a lot of readers. We wondered how we could bring some of that tour experience to readers we couldn’t meet. The solution? An anthology. We’d invite the authors from the tour to contribute a story—schedules permitting. As the 2010 tour got under way and we began inviting authors for 2011, we added two of them to the collection, as a sneak peek at Smart Chicks 2011.
Like the tour itself, the anthology needed a focus. We decided on journeys, trips—including diversions—in keeping with the tour idea. In some stories, the characters embark on actual road trips, getting from point A to point B. But there are other kinds of journeys, and you’ll read those here too, as our characters find their paths and discover things about themselves and their places in the world. We hope you’ll enjoy taking these trips as much as we are enjoying being on the road together.
From somewhere out here,
Kelley & Melissa
Giovanni’s Farewell by Claudia Gray (#uf8d52c92-3b48-5d80-a3f0-d873e99e41c2)
efore I was awake or aware, before my heart began to beat, Cairo was there. We curled around each other in the womb, so much so that the doctors had to pry our limbs apart to deliver us. Until we were four years old, neither of us spoke; we each understood the other without words, and nobody else was as important. There were Mom and Dad, of course, but they always recognized our bond.
He served as my one constant in a life led on four different continents (to date), where instead of schools and suburbs (until a year ago), we’d been taught by various tutors, sometimes Mom’s grad students, the different cities and cultures we lived in, or occasionally just books and our own curiosity. Last year, Mom took a visiting professorship at Georgetown, and for the first time in our lives, we were plunged into a “normal American high school”—the biggest culture shock of all. I adapted well enough; Cairo found it harder. We weren’t like other kids, something he reveled in and I tried to hide. But even as I made new friends and Cairo withdrew into the background, the bond between us never wavered. We were two parts of one whole. Inseparable, forever.
Maybe that was why I tried too hard to hide from the fact that Cairo was . . . changing. Why I denied this new truth until it was beyond denying. Until our first trip to Rome.
“Okay, so, seriously, I don’t get it.” My friend Audrey painted her toenails baby-pink by the gleam of her iPod’s flashlight app, so the chaperones wouldn’t see we were violating the lights-out rule. “Toilets come with seats. Always. So why does every single freakin’ restaurant and museum in Italy have toilets without seats? Do they, like, remove them just to be evil?”
Although the no-toilet-seats thing in Italy was annoying, I’d seen worse. My brother would’ve told Audrey so, explaining that we’d been to archaeological digs in Egypt and Syria where the only bathroom facilities were holes in the ground, and how different cultures look on different things as necessities or luxuries. I just said, “I know. It’s disgusting.”
And the truth was, Rome was kind of a disappointment.
Of all the places we’d lived and traveled, Cairo and I had never made it to Rome before. Strange, considering that Mom and Dad were archaeologists who specialized in the history of the ancient Roman Empire. But their work never took them, nor us, anywhere in Italy. Mom’s research concentrated on Roman settlements in the Middle East, and Dad long ago gave up digging in favor of writing books. He was as serious about history as Mom, but his books still became bestsellers thanks to their flashy titles (like his latest, Cleopatra: Eternal Temptress). So we grew up hearing about how glorious Rome was back in the day. When the school announced the summer trip for Rome, we both wanted to go, and our parents were thrilled we’d finally get to see the city.
But once we arrived, I realized that I knew too much to enjoy this the way my new friends did. The Forum would have been glorious 2,000 years ago; what I saw when we finally visited it was a ruin not unlike ones I’d seen my whole life. Tour guides acted like the Colosseum was just the world’s oldest sports stadium, instead of a place where thousands upon thousands of people and animals were slaughtered. Even the pizza wasn’t as good as it was at Vincenza’s in Falls Church. Instead of having some magnificent, enriching experience, I spent my days wondering which was hotter—Rome in July, or the surface of the sun.
A knock on the hotel room door startled us both. Audrey slid her iPod under the sheets. Mrs. Weaver called, “Ravenna? Are you awake?”
“Just a second.” I threw off the sheet to get out of bed while Audrey tucked herself in and tried to look like she was sleeping. Despite the darkness of the room, I could see her mouth the words What did you do?
Nothing, I mouthed back, as though I had no idea what was going on.
But I did. I knew. With my brother, I always knew.
I cracked open the door to find Mrs. Weaver standing there in a pink plaid bathrobe she couldn’t have wanted any of us to see. I said, “Is Cairo okay?”