Zinnia
Angelbound Offspring #3
Christina Bauer
YA, Fantasy
Monster House Books
July 30th 2019

As the last dragon shifter, I live alone, hiding in one of Earth’s sacred deserts. My human handlers tell me that I have no parents, no name, and no purpose other than to train for battle and one day become a vessel for the reincarnation of Chimera, the greatest dragon shifter of all. Sadly, Chimera’s rebirth will mean my own death. But my handlers say this sacrifice is a noble fate that will rebuild the dragon shifter world

I shall die on my seventeenth birthday. That’s five days from now

Then I hear music thumping across the desert. I take my mortal form, follow the sound, and find humans dancing in what they call a rave. There is a stage and a rock band. One thing quickly becomes clear: Unlike the audience, the musicians are dragon shifters, just like me. And one of them, the guitar player Rhodes, makes my knees turn watery. The lead singer, Kaps, has something strangely familiar about her.

It all adds up to one conclusion: My handlers lied to me. I’m not the last of my kind. Memories reappear. I had parents once. Portia and Tempest. I even had a name. Zinnia. Perhaps I have a reason to live as well. I step past the dancing humans to confront the players.

I will find out the full truth, no matter what.

Excerpt: Chapter One

Tucking my unicorn comforter under my chin, I come to a big decision

  Naptime is for losers.

 I may only be nine—well, almost ten—but I know one thing: there are way too many rules for dragon princesses like me. For starters, we’re supposed to take naps every bleeding afternoon. No way. Napping is for babies. That’s why I’m sneaking out today to see my best friend, LT.

 Twisting under my covers, I check out my bedroom. There are pink curtains, white furniture, and the royal crest of Furonium over the door. My parents rule all the dragon shifters, so that crest-thingy hangs everywhere. My sisters, Kaps and Huntress, lie in their bunk beds across the room. So you know, my family stays in human form most of the time. No dragon caves for us, thank you very much. Those places have bats

 Squinting, I look at my sisters more closely.  Are they really out of it? Can I sneak away?  Like always, Kaps lays half-off the top bunk. Wisps of brown hair hang over her mouth, blowing in and out with her snores. I shake my head

 Even asleep, my twin is noisy.

 Meanwhile, Huntress rests curled up on her side. Her shoulders rise and fall silently. Huntress never lets out a sound, even when she’s snoozing.

 That settles it.

 Both my sisters are totally zonked.

 Time to go.

The Kiss

Slipping out from under my covers, I step toward my balcony. Cool air wafts through the curtains. A chill seeps into my skin, so I pull the tie on my silk robe a little tighter.

One moment, the balcony only frames the sight of a darkened forest and flickering stars. A second later, he is there.

My Rhodes.

My Rhana.

He says nothing, merely crosses the space to stand before me. Rhodes cups my face in his hands. The touch is both warm and electric. My body melts to be so near to him. Moonlight dances across his high cheekbones and strong jawline. His green eyes flicker with desire.

Still silent, he guides my mouth to his. At first, our kiss is gentle. A simple sweep of our lips. Then my Rhodes licks along the seam of my mouth, tempting me to open for him.

So I do.

Our kiss deepens. Suddenly, it’s as if I can’t close enough to my Rhana. Our bodies press together, shifting in a dance that has a rhythm all its own. The electric charge of magic surrounds us.

Yes, this is right.

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Christina_Bauer_Zinnia_Special_Edition

https://books.apple.com/us/book/zinnia-special-edition/id1467608381

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