printed copy

Storm: The Elemental Series #1

Brigid Kemmerer

ISBN 9780758272812
Publish Date 4/24/2012
Format Trade Paperback
Categories KTeen , Young Adult

“This book will take your breath away.” —Kim Harrington, author of Clarity and Perception

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn’t want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her.

Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming…

“Five hot guys, one tough heroine, plenty of romance and non-stop action….Elemental is the new series to watch.” —Inara Scott, author of The Marked

“Magic, suspense, and enough twists to keep you reading until sunrise.” —Award-winning author Erica O’Rourke

Chapter One

The self-defense class had been a waste of sixty bucks. Becca hadn’t felt like a victim going in, but she sure did now. When she’d seen the flyers around school advertising a three-hour session with a “women’s defense specialist,” she’d been eager to sign up. But the instructor—really just some college kid named Paul—had been texting half the time, happy enough to pocket their cash in exchange for halfhearted instructions about body blocks and eye gouges. She’d lose another Saturday scrubbing kennels to make this money back.

She’d left her cell phone in her locker, so after class she went to get it. Her best friend had left fourteen texts about some drama with her mom, so Becca stood in the shadowed corridor to write back. Quinn wasn’t exactly patient.

The night air bit at her flushed skin when she slid out the side door, making her wish she’d brought a heavier jacket—but at least the promised rain had held off. Darkness cloaked the now empty parking lot, and her car sat alone near the security lamp in the middle of the cracked concrete.

This was exactly the kind of situation Paul had warned them about: secluded and solitary, offering little visibility. But Becca welcomed the darkness, the silence. She almost wished she smoked, so she could lie on the car’s hood, flick a lighter, and make up names for the constellations while nicotine burned her lungs.

You should be so cool.

Her key found the lock, but the door handle to her aged Honda refused to release. She muttered the obligatory prayer, but nothing happened. Sometimes it took a curse.

Then she heard a muffled shout, a distant scuffle on pavement.

She froze, more curious than afraid. A fight? Here? She saw the combatants, just at the edge of the security light over by the east wing. Three guys fighting, two on one, it looked like. One caught another in a headlock, and the third swung a fist at the captive’s midsection while he struggled.

They weren’t saying anything, making the violence cartoon- ish and unreal, like watching an action movie on mute.

The kid in the headlock twisted free, his liberty quickly rewarded with a fist to the head, sending him into a stagger. Another punch brought him to the ground.

Then he didn’t move. One of the other guys kicked him in the stomach.

She heard that. And the sound made her remember that she was just standing in the middle of a parking lot, watching.

Becca dropped beside her car. Breath whistled into her lungs. She didn’t want to open the door and have the sound or the light draw their attention. She’d call the police. An ambulance. The whole frigging cavalry.

She thrust her hand into her bag for her cell phone.

Dead.

Damn Quinn and her fifty bazillion texts. Becca swore and punched the phone against the pavement. The cover snapped off, skittering away under her car.

Helpful, Bex.

She peeked around the front bumper. The fallen boy lay in a crumpled pile.

They kicked him again.

“Get up,” she whispered.

He didn’t.

She tried to make out who the kids were. Some senior boys got off on violence. She knew a few of them firsthand—some only by reputation. The Merrick twins, maybe? They were circling now, like vultures. One nudged the fallen boy with his foot.

Then he kicked him. “Get up.”

“Yeah,” said the other one. “How’d you get rid of them?”

The voices were sharp, cruel. She held her breath, wishing she could help somehow. But what could she do? Run at them with her water bottle and the splintered plastic of her cell phone? Maybe she could practice that “confident woman’s walk” Paul had demonstrated.

If only she had a weapon, something to level the playing field.

You idiot. You do have a weapon.

Her car.

Adrenaline made for a good ally. She’d barely thought it before she was crawling through the back door and climbing into the driver’s seat, driving straight at them.

She had the satisfaction of watching her headlights illuminate their panic; then they were scrambling, diving to get out of the way. Not the Merrick twins, not anyone she could make out at all. Her foot punched the brakes at the last second, jerking the car to an abrupt stop.

“I called the cops!” she shouted out the window, feeling her heart kick against her ribs. “They’re on their way!”

But the boys were already bolting into the darkness.

Her fingers refused to release the steering wheel for the longest moment. She finally pried them free, and, leaving the engine running, eased out of the car.

She wished she’d turned the car differently, because the boy was mostly in shadow, away from the headlights. He lay facedown, the thick dark hair on his head matted with blood at one temple. They’d done a number on his face: More blood glistened on his swollen brow. Abrasions scored his cheek in various directions, as though he’d met the pavement intimately, and more than once. His black hoodie had taken a beating, and his jeans weren’t much better, sporting a tear down the side of one leg. He was breathing, a rattle of air pulling into his lungs, ending on a slight wheeze each time.

She’d never seen someone beaten so badly.

“Hey.” She gave his shoulder a little shake. He didn’t move.

Those boys had run off on foot. She had no idea if they’d stay gone.

Now what, genius?

She left her car engine running, its headlights cutting a path in the darkness. She reached inside the door and pulled out her half-empty water bottle. She crouched beside him, feeling the cold grit of the pavement through her jeans. Then, using her hand to slow the flow, she trickled water down the side of his face.

At first, nothing happened. She watched in macabre fascination as the water pulled blood across his jaw, trailing over his split lip.

Then he came to with a vengeance.

Becca wasn’t ready for that, for him to explode off the ground in a fury, his fists swinging before his eyes were open.

She was lucky he was injured. She barely got out of his way.

His momentum didn’t last long, however. He staggered to a knee, planting a hand against the pavement. He coughed and it shook his body; then he spit what looked like blood.

Now that he wasn’t lying on the ground, she recognized him. Christopher Merrick. Chris. He was a junior, like she was, but she couldn’t think of two words they’d ever exchanged. He was the Merrick twins’ younger brother, the type of guy who’d slouch in the back of the classroom and stare at the teachers with disdain, daring them to call on him. People left him alone, but that’s how he seemed to like it. An outsider by choice.

Unlike her.

“You gave me water,” he rasped, his head down.

His voice startled her, made her realize she was just standing there, clutching her water bottle so hard it made the plastic crackle.

“Yeah,” she said. “Those guys—they could come back—”

“Are you stupid?”

The derision in his voice was like a punch to the chest. “Funny. I was just asking myself that.”

“No. I just—I could have hurt—” Chris coughed again, then pressed his forehead to the ground, making a low sound in his throat. He spit blood again. She felt like she was standing in the middle of one of those cable crime dramas—the kind where the violence is too much for network television.

“Do you have a cell phone?” She cast a quick look out into the darkness, but the night remained still. “You need an ambulance.”

“I need a damn rainstorm.” He seemed to laugh, but it choked him. “A drizzle. Fog even.”

He was delirious. “Can you get into the car? I can drive you to the hospital.”

“No. Home.”

“Whatever. Climb in the car. Those guys could come back, and I’m not—”

A hand closed on her arm, hot and meaty and painful. A voice spoke from the darkness. “Did you think we wouldn’t wait and see?”

About Brigid Kemmerer:

Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years.

While writing STORM, which focuses on the brother who has the power to control water, Brigid’s personal life ironically was plagued by water problems: Flooded basement. Leaking roof. Broken faucet causing water to spray under kitchen cabinets. One bay window was so damaged by water it almost fell off the side of the house. Considering SPARK, book 2 in the series, is about the brother who controls fire, Brigid is currently making sure all the smoke detectors in her house have batteries!


Average Customer Review

Based on 2 reviews


Customer Review

Teenage problems + powers over the elements=STORM (Sunday, April 1, 2012)
Reviewer: Linda

Becca Chandler stumbles onto a dangerous secret when she saves Chris Merrick from an assault by two thugs. When she takes him home and meets his family she has more questions than answers. Why the hostility? What happened to the Merrick parents? Why are each of the young men in the family drawn to the elements of water, fire, wind and earth? Can they really control them? Who is trying to kill them and why? As Becca gets more involved with the Merricks, her life is put in danger also. Becca’s social problems and her confusion about who to trust ring true. When the author moves from teenage angst to the more fantastical modalities we easily shift into the fictional world she has created. The explanations are surprising and original, and given out to the reader in a way that keeps us reading, and at the end of the book, wanting more. A great first book full of people we like and want to spend time with. This is book one in The Elemental Series. I can’t wait to read what comes next.

A Series that will be worth reading! (Thursday, March 15, 2012)
Reviewer: Leanne

Becca is a typical teenager and is being bullied at school but she's a strong girl and shows a strong front at school and then there is Chris. Chris is one of the schools heart throbs. One night after school activities are done Becca sees Chris being beaten to a pulp. She could not just stand by and watch it happen so she manned up and went to help.
Bet she never thought being a good Samaritan would bring the craziness that would be this book.
Be sure to read it!

This book is delicious from beginning to end. It starts off in a manner that will make you want to read on. The first page got me into the book and I never hesitated on whether or not to continue on. It's not often I find a book that does that for me.

Though there's a lot of characters in this book to remember and follow it's easy to do because each one has it's own personality which separates them very well from each other. The main characters in this story are very easy to like and real.
The book has people with fantastical powers but they are believable because they are very well explained and you can tell the author put a lot of research into the book in order to be able to explain the events of the book.
There was lots of great action, dialogue and enough twists and turns to keep you interested through every chapter.

I highly recommend you add this book to your new series reading list!

5 STARS!


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