Fiction Fest: A look inside Heather Ostler’s ‘The Siren’s Secret’

Sirens Secret 2x3We release our high-quality new titles on the second Tuesday of each month, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to get a peek inside a few of them. In fact, that’s why we created the Fiction Fest series in the first place!

In today’s episode, we take a gander inside Heather Ostler’s “The Siren’s Secret,” which is the sequel to 2012’s “The Shapeshifter’s Secret.”

Although the book won’t drop until June 11, you can pre-order it on BooksAndThings.com, BarnesAndNoble.com and Amazon.com right now.

EXCERPT:

Julia’s life has gone from complicated to nearly impossible! When Julia loses her shapeshifting powers and her appearance changes in alarming ways, she flees to Sirenity, where she learns an incredible secret about her mother. In this thrilling sequel, Julia must take greater risks and make bigger sacrifices as she discovers who she really is and what she can really become.

Julia sat down at the dinner table across from several other soldiers, who were busy conversing about Ossai, Lockham Castle, and the Guild.

“This is for you, sir.” She looked up and saw a young soldier with blond hair carrying a messenger bag. He had been coming by once a week to drop off Lancer’s mail and never stayed longer than ten minutes. He reached into his pack, pulled out a stack of envelopes and a brown package, and gave them to Lancer, Julia’s father.

“Thank you, Radley,” Lancer replied. He flipped through the envelopes absentmindedly and divided them into stacks.

“What’s in the package?” Julia asked. Even though she knew it wasn’t for her, her imagination ran away with fun possibilities. What if it was a care package from Terrence? Or maybe Scarlet had sent a box full of sweet treats?

Julia’s father glanced at the address on the parcel.“It’s nothing,” he said. “It’s probably files from the Ossain government.” He picked up a letter opener and cut across the top of the box. Before opening it, however, he paused. “Actually, I should wait for Liam. These might be the papers he requested.”

He picked up the box and tossed it to a smaller table against the wall. The box flew five feet in the air, landed on the table, and then exploded with a deafening boom. Julia watched as the table underneath the package blew apart, sending wood, drywall, and dust out from the explosion.

“Get down!” Lancer yelled, pushing her back.

She almost fell out of her chair as she scurried away from the blast.

The room fell silent as the group of soldiers ducked and waited to make sure the explosion was over. After thirty seconds, Lancer glanced around. “Everyone okay?”

As the dust settled, Julia saw that the blast had made a gaping hole in the wall with scorch marks that would forever serve as a reminder of the explosion. Below the hole was a pile of wood, what was once the table.

A few soldiers inched near the wood and began looking for any more explosives or dangerous items.

“Radley,” Lancer said, turning to the solider. “Who gave you that package?”

Radley shook his head nervously. “It was just at the Ossain government building waiting for delivery. I promise, sir, I had nothing to do with this.” The color had drained from his face.

Lancer held up a hand. “I know, I know. I’m not blaming you.”

As Julia stood up, she realized that she was shaking. Her father was just about to open that package; if he hadn’t tossed it aside, then it would have blown up in his face. She felt like a brick had hit the pit of her stomach.

“Who was it from then?” she asked in a dry voice.

Lancer wiped some drywall dust from his sleeve. “It was from the Guild,” he answered.

“So they know where we are?” She looked at the hole in the wall and realized she could see through to the living room now.

“No, but they knew I’d take mail from the government. That package was a message from the Guild. They don’t want us to feel safe. They want to make sure we know they’re still in control.”