Catch Me When I Fall, by Vicki Leigh
Genre: young-adult, urban-fantasy, paranormal-romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: October 23, 2014
About Catch Me When I Fall:
Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.
Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.
A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.
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EXCERPT FROM CATCH ME WHEN I FALL
Uncrossing my arms, I closed my eyes to evaporate to Rome. When I reopened them, I stood in the grand foyer of Il Palazzo di Santo Stefano, our twelve-story mansion where Catchers and Weavers trained and lived when we weren’t on assignment. The building sat right in the middle of the city, but when living humans walked past our front door, they thought they were passing a laundromat that reeked of dead cat and horse shit. It’s how we kept them out. If any of them could look through the veil, though, they would see a brick fortress that rivaled the most beautiful castles in Europe.
I stomped my black boots on the cream-colored marble floor as I crossed the room, wondering what Giovanni could want with me right now. We usually got at least a week of down time after our charge passed on. The Tuscan-gold walls blurred as I took two stairs at a time up to the twelfth floor, just wanting to get this over with. The staircase split each floor in half, and I turned right toward Giovanni’s study.
Samantha stayed on my heels and paused next to me as I knocked on large, double doors of finished, cherry wood. From inside, Giovanni’s burly guards opened them. Immediately, I was hit with the smell of Giovanni’s cigar and coughed. I had never enjoyed the smell of cigar when I was alive. It was no different now that I was dead.
I passed Seth, Giovanni’s understudy and my best friend, and nodded a “hey” in his direction. My feet trudged across the white carpet to the ornate, cherry desk in the middle of the office. A laptop sat open on it, a sign of Giovanni’s recent technological undertaking, and files were tossed about. I rolled my eyes at his inability to keep anything organized.
“You called for me, sir?”
Behind the desk was a wall-sized window Giovanni continued to stare through, watching the city as if he hadn’t heard me. But I knew he had.
“Shall I come at a later time?” I asked.
At this, Giovanni turned around, staring at me with eyes so black I could see my reflection in them. His dark brown hair had been slicked back today into a small ponytail. I wondered if he knew how much he resembled Dracula with his hair like that. Still, he would’ve blended in with any Italian on the street, so I supposed that’s what he was going for.
“No, per favore. Sit.” He motioned to the dark brown, leather loveseat opposite his desk. I took my seat, moving a gold pillow from underneath me as he continued. “I heard Eva passed earlier this week. How did it happen?”
“In her sleep, sir. She was comfortable.”
“That’s good to hear. It’d be a shame if she died in fear after all these years. Now tell me, how many times did you have to fight off the Nightmares for her?”
“Twenty-five thousand and twenty four, sir.”
“Mamma mia,” he said, his eyes wide. But then he leaned back in his seat, and his face drew back into apathy. “Is that all?”
My jaw clenched. Nobody had gone as long as I had without a break. Any human who died at an old age usually had two Catchers protecting them over their years. Even a week of relaxation kept us from getting overworked and burnt out.
I balled my hands before speaking. “Yes, sir.”
At this, Giovanni stood up. “Well, then I think we must do something about that. You’re my star player. I can’t have you getting rusty.”
I hated when he used sports references like I wasn’t risking my eternity every night.
“How would you feel about taking on a tough case?” His eyes filled with wonder.
About The Author:
Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.
Vicki is an editor for Month9Books and Curiosity Quills Press, an intern at TriadaUS Literary agency, and is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.