QSFer Chris Bedell has a new gay paranormal YA romance out: “Deathly Desires.”
I know what you did last spring…
When 17-year-old Cody’s unrequited crush, Mason, is killed by his friend Veronica, he helps her successfully cover up the murder. That is until the start of their Junior Year, when everyone involved receives a menacing note from someone who knows what they did.
The blackmail about Mason’s death quickly escalates to stalking, arson, and attempted murder. Cody and his friends must discover who found them out before they get killed themselves. And fast.
Noah has an altogether different secret. He’s a grim reaper, escorting people to the afterlife when they die. When his path collides with Cody, a spark soon forms between them. But whether they can make their relationship work is a different question. If Cody and Noah want a real chance at love, they’re going to have to be honest with each other about everything they’ve been hiding from the world.
If you like your PRETTY LITTLE LIARS with a hefty dose of Tara Sim’s TIMEKEEPER, Deathly Desires is the book for you.
CHAPTER 1 CODY Good boys and girls don’t lie. That concept was something I must’ve heard a thousand times from adults when I was in elementary school. However, life was more complicated than simplistic statements. Honesty was sometimes overrated. Like, if someone did something despicable, and nothing good came from confessing the misdeed.
So, I’d forget my discovery this morning no matter how loud my pulse still rang in my ears. Ignoring what happened was the easiest solution. Discussing the event wouldn’t help—it wasn’t like I had a time machine and could undo the past. Besides, I was pretty sure Veronica would give me a dirty look if I didn’t make eye contact ASAP. And I couldn’t blame my distraction on the chattering of voices from customers. We were seated at a table outside in front of Starbucks, not inside. Veronica furrowed her eyebrows. “Something wrong, Cody?”
Damn. Not getting to vent about my “problem” wasn’t my biggest issue. Once I told her what occurred this morning, there was no undoing the revelation. So, I’d have to be certain about being honest if I wanted to tell her the truth.
I sipped my Caramel Macchiato. Then, I smiled. I could pretend to enjoy the mixture of the sweet caramel flavor and bitter espresso taste electrifying my taste buds for a fleeting moment.
She giggled. “Okay. Now I know something is wrong.”
“I’m allowed to be happy.”
“Only if it’s about my upcoming art gallery debut—kidding. Anyway, I’ve never seen you grin before.” Veronica slid her elbows onto the table, and I considered how my grandmother would’ve lectured Veronica about proper etiquette if she were here. Nope. Amusement was only a temporary distraction from this morning’s event. She narrowed her gaze. “I’d wanna know if something was bothering you.”
“Tell me what’s wrong. I’ll find out eventually.”
Sunlight radiated from the sky, and I squinted. I put my right hand in front of my eyes. “I should’ve brought my sunglasses,” I said.
She sipped her Caramel Frappucino. “You can’t change the subject that easily.”
I fidgeted in my chair. “I’m preoccupied because of junior year.”
“It’s only the second day of school…”
Perhaps Veronica should’ve been a detective. Her comment was the type of thing the police would’ve valued. I didn’t know how a cop would have a successful career if he or she couldn’t poke holes in a suspect’s story.
I cleared my throat. “That’s my point. Summer went by faster than expected, and I’m going to have to start thinking about the SAT, college visits, and teachers I want recommendations from.”
Veronica snorted. “You worry too much.”
“Have you met me?”
Wind whistled, ripping a MISSING flier off an adjacent shop window, and pushed it towards us. My gaze lingered on the poster and my body shuddered. Wow. Mason was here even when he wasn’t here; I didn’t need to be confronted with the image of my missing friend.
Veronica glanced at the flier, then looked at me. “Is your nervousness about Mason?”
I drummed my fingers against the table. “I don’t wanna discuss it.”
“He could’ve killed me…”
“I know; I was there too.”
“It’s not like I enjoyed hitting him with a rock,” she whispered. “Although it’d be nice to know where his body went.”
I gritted my teeth. “I never said I blamed you.”
She pushed a lock of brown hair behind her ear. “Wait. Did something happen at school today?”
Forget about being a detective. Veronica could’ve been a psychic. She couldn’t have correctly guessed what was bothering me, yet she had. And if I didn’t do something fast, then my afternoon would be ruined. Discussing Mason wouldn’t help me, so I changed the subject.
“Like your classes so far?” I asked.
“Nice try, but I’m still not that gullible. You’ll need to try harder if you wanna distract me.”
Shit. The universe couldn’t give me a break. I mean, it wouldn’t have been terrible if something went my way for once. But no. That would’ve been too easy. More sweat dripped down my face.
I rubbed my forehead. “You aren’t being logical.”
“I don’t care. We’re doing this.” She unzipped her backpack, took out a piece of paper, and unfolded it. After that, she slid the note to me. “Is this what your note said?”
I pushed the paper back towards her. “Don’t show me this!”
“Tough shit. Life can’t always be fun.” Veronica shoved the note back towards me.
So much for ignoring the issue.
No matter how easy avoiding a problem was, I couldn’t deny how my situation resembled a research paper. Dealing with it sooner rather than later would’ve been the smart move. But I still studied the note for a beat. Almost as if having my eyes glued to the paper changed its message.
But no. The note’s message didn’t change no matter how long I gazed at it:
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID, AND I’M GONNA TO MAKE YOU PAY. KISSES.
Her jaw twitched. “You don’t think someone knows what happened to Mason, do you?”
Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His debut YA Fantasy novel IN THE NAME OF MAGIC was published by NineStar Press in 2018. In addition to his YA Paranormal Romance novel DEATHLY DESIRES, Chris has other forthcoming books.
His YA Thriller BETWEEN LOVE AND MURDER (Between the Lines Publishing) and YA Contemporary I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN (Deep Hearts YA). Furthermore, BLKDOG Publishing released his NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES in July 2019. Chris also graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.