Coming this fall… (2018)


Book One: The Good, The Bad, The Cursed

By Heather Killough-Walden

(Excerpt #2)


Angela glanced sidelong at the large man she had barely managed to bind.

“He’s still coming for you,” he told her. “Even now.” She closed her eyes for a moment as his voice rolled over her. “And he won’t be coming alone. I’m betting he’s got a dozen more on your tail by now.”

He was resting against the boulders behind him, his long legs bent, boot heels dug into the dirt in front of him. His head was tilted back on the rocks, and he gazed at her through narrowed slits that were as piercing as they’d ever been. His clothing was torn in a few places, but the bleeding from the gash in his forehead had stopped.

Jacob Crow was a beautiful man. She’d thought as much from the moment she’d first met him. But he was a dangerous man too. Especially to her. Especially now.

She looked away and strode to the fire she’d built, lifting his pack closer so she could go through it with proper lighting.

“You’re only prolonging the inevitable,” he said. It was something she knew he would never normally say, and it sounded strange coming from his lips.

“That isn’t you talking,” she said softly without looking up.



“Then how about this?” he asked next. She did look up now. He lifted away from the wall of rock behind him, strong enough to do so despite the cuffs holding his arms behind his back. He was strong. He was capable. And his motorcycle club “brother,” David was out there somewhere; she could feel it. He was getting closer. One of them, she could handle on a very good day. But both of them, not a chance. She’d only gotten lucky with Jacob. He hadn’t wanted to hurt her. She hadn’t been under the same compunction, hence the gash in his forehead. “You’re wearing yourself down, Angel. You can’t keep this up forever.” He gave her a knowing look, deep and penetrating. “I can tell you’re growing weak.” And then he chuckled, no doubt feeling the gash in his forehead. “Well, at least in magic.”

Angel looked away. She stifled the need to swallow past the tightening of her throat. Instead she said, “You’re not yourself, Jake,” and pulled the rations out of his pack to rip them open. When she turned back to face him, he was simply watching her, his singular, light green eyes glinting. And she knew his mind was working.

Despite everything, Jake wasn’t her enemy. Her enemy was ancient. He’d had a long time to live and a long time to learn, so he was also very smart. He’d proven as much by singling out two of the small handful of men in the entire multiverse who could actually defeat her. He’d somehow gotten to them and turned them to his cause. He’d used powerful magic to do so. It had to be powerful, strong enough to make it past the inked protection both men had tattooed on their bodies.

The ink was a warden thing, and in particular a “Monsters” biker gang thing. Those men, collectively and in warden circles referred to as simply the Monsters, were lead by the most feared warden of the lot: Cain. No one knew how old Cain was, but it was generally agreed he’d been around millennia – and he had learned a thing or two over the years. The ink was one of them. Rumors had it he’d gleaned the trick from someone even older than he was.

Which was why it was so impressive that Malek Taal of the Taal fae had pushed past that ancient inked magic and infiltrated the minds of two Monsters members, siccing them on her like blood hounds. Now he wasn’t the only one hunting her down, and Jacob was right. There were probably actually more. Like maybe their sentinel and friend, Lucian, who went by the shortened name “Luke.”

She’d met Luke once, the same day she met all the Monsters brothers. He was kind and strong and good, and she’d taken an instant liking to him. But if David Sharpe told his sentinel that she needed to be neutralized, he would believe him. They’d known each other for years and they trusted one another. She did not need a sentinel as powerful as Luke thinking she was the bad guy.

It was why she hadn’t called out for her own sentinel. She was half afraid Luke would hear her instead.

Jake was also right about her growing weary. She was using magic to keep the light of the fire from glowing past the boundaries of her camp. She didn’t want to help his brother locate her any easier. And she was using more magic to keep Jacob bound in those cuffs. She didn’t have the strength to cast a healing spell right now, which was why he was still injured. He would heal, and a hell of a lot faster than a human, but she could have seen to it that he bore no mark at all. She definitely didn’t have it in her to throw down with him again.

“What did he tell you, Jake? What does he have you believing about me that makes it so important you turn me in?”

Jacob slowly leaned back. Something uncertain flashed across his strong, handsome features – just for a split instant. But then he shook his head. “That it needs to be done.”

Angel blinked. She frowned. “That’s it? He didn’t tell you I was dangerous? That I was killing innocents or something? That I needed to be neutralized? Reined in? Restrained?”

Jake laughed softly again and let his head fall back against the stone behind him. His laugh was deep and beautiful, and his Adam’s apple moved in his strong throat, tempting her. Making her lips tingle. She recalled the way he felt standing beside her, tall and capable and supportive. He smelled like leather and gun oil and deodorant and battle. Like the song said, fresh from the fight. She’d been instantly, if secretly, smitten.

“I already knew you were dangerous,” he told her. His smile grew bigger, white and predatory. A hint of fang peeked from behind his lips.

Angel looked away again, and now she felt a heat move up through her. Her heart was hammering. Her attention was slipping. Focus, she told herself. You need to keep him restrained. And remember, David is out there –

With that thought, Angel experienced another feeling. It was familiar and hard and grounding. It was the feeling of being watched. Carefully studied. She realized suddenly that she’d had the feeling for a while, but she’d attributed it to Jacob.

At once, she threw up a shield around the camp, using what was left of her magical strength in the defensive move. But she was too slow. The dart made it through just before the shield was erected, and its sharp tip embedded itself firmly in the side of her neck.

She winced and yanked it out as quickly as she could, but she knew the damage was done.

No!she thought, reaching out for magic – any magic – that she could get her mind wrapped around. But the fire crackled blue and black then flared bright, its light expanding suddenly past the spell she’d used to keep it hidden. Her eyes began to close. She heard footsteps on both sides of her, which meant Jake’s cuffs were gone and he was free.

All of her spells were failing at once. David was good. They both were. Hell, this was probably all a set-up. Malek really was smart using them against her.

It was not the most comforting thought to accompany Angel as she felt the two wardens stand over her, and the world faded to darkness behind her lids.

(Monsters is a new paranormal romance series by NYT and USA Today bestseller, Heather Killough-Walden, and is part of the HKW Universe that ties together The Big Bad Wolf series, The Lost Angels series, and The Kings.)


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Teaser from “Monsters,” by Heather Killough-Walden

Excerpt from the “Monsters” series

by Heather Killough-Walden

Book one, “The Good, The Bad, The Cursed” coming 2018

He was furious. There were waves of anger radiating from him like ripples in an upset pond, and the truth was she knew it was her fault. She knew she’d pushed him too far with her words. With her promises. They were threats to him rather than promises, threats of another thousand lifetimes completely and utterly alone.

So now he was pissed. And in a way she’d never witnessed before.

Angela closed her eyes against the sudden, hard sensations that invaded her body, dug deep and made her feel. Her core lit on fire, but not in a bad way. It was a breathless evocation. It was inviting. It was not at all unpleasant.

It was just unwanted.

She’d fallen to her knees, her bound hands behind her, and she didn’t remember hitting the ground. She inhaled sharply and he slid his hand around her throat, tilting her head back against his shoulder. He’d taken a knee behind her.

His lips were at her ear. “I can teach you to find pleasure in absolutely anything I wish,” he told her in that deep voice and thick accent. “All I have to do is make you feel what you’re feeling right now. As I torture and kill those you hold dear, you will be climaxing again and again. Associating their suffering with intense, unforgiving bliss.”

She wanted to flinch away, but ultimately lost the battle and fell into his grasp as his free hand slid along her stomach to encircle her small waist and pull her further back against him. “The next few days can be terribly confusing for you,” he continued. She felt the beginnings of an orgasm work its insidiously delicious way through her body, and her skin flushed. He chuckled as he watched her; she could feel his gaze searing into her as he worked his dark magic. “Or you can cooperate. And there need be no ambivalence. We can leave the suffering out of it.”

He laughed again though, as his fingers inched her shirt up over her taut stomach, exposing an abdomen tightened in mounting pleasure. Wanton fury was coursing through her heated veins. She fought it with every ounce of her mind, but her mind was losing. “Well… to some degree,” he added darkly. “Sex is never quite as good without some amount of pain.”

Angela took a deep, quick breath when lucid thought suddenly broke through his spell and flooded her mind. It was what remained of her own magic, desperately trying to slice through his powerful web. The spell she needed was there, just for a flash, and she grabbed onto it like mad.

She hissed rapidly, “E nochtum quis nanda plu-” but he covered her mouth with his hand, silencing her spell at once, and yanked her hard against the solid muscle of his chest.  Suddenly she was crying out against his palm as not only an intense orgasm ripped through her, but a hard, deep ache blossomed to life as well.

Immediately, she knew what it was. It was the pain they’d warned her about, the kind the Malek Taal were known to inflict on their prey as punishment. It was sexual longing at its foundations, but one so utterly intense, so deep and strong and completely thorough, no sane thought was given free passage through the Taal-maddened mind.

His pain and pleasure were birthed in the same place inside her, and the pain road the tailcoats of her pleasure through every molecule of her being. But as the pleasure ebbed away, the ache grew stronger, and the Malek Taal kept his grip firm, watching her from above as his punishing magic took over.

She felt her chest rise and fall as rapidly as her racing heart, and she knew it would please him. She knew it would satisfy the dominant sadist in him to take in every tiny detail of how she reacted to his manipulations. So she tried to reel it in, tried desperately to shield herself from his perceptions, to hide the primal effect he had on her. But he had silenced her strength in more ways than one, and in that moment, as his infamous punishment grew to an incessant, throbbing ache deep inside her that demanded attention and had her squirming in his tight grip, she realized she had never felt so helpless in her life.

He was winning. This time there were three strikes against her. He’d made every preparation. He’d planned out every careful step. And she’d pushed his final button. Now he exacted his plan with Machiavellian ruthlessness.

Her wrists were bruising in the cuffs he’d placed on her, despite their leather lining. She was simply pulling too hard, too violently.

“I imagine you’re feeling a little uncomfortable right now,” he said softly, so very softly, his accent-lilted words whispering across her skin, his lips beside her ear. She sobbed quietly, the sound hushed by that same hand over her mouth. “But I can help you. I can take that pain away.” Now he did whisper, and his breath against her flesh was laced with more insidious magic. “I know what you need. And I can make it all better, Angel.”

It was becoming too much. As his evil magic rose to a crescendo of agony, she went still in his arms, overwhelmed by her inescapable need. She moaned long and low, and he slowly removed his hand, letting the sound free.

“What do you say?” he asked, still whispering like a lover into her ear.

But she couldn’t say anything at all, and he knew it. All she could do was nod. Just once.

That was all it took.

“That’s my girl,” he said, and she could hear the smile in his words. The hand he held her throat with slid along her skin, grasping her chin to tilt it to the side and expose the column of her throat. She should have been terrified then, but she could not tense any further. Her entire body was a long, lithe vessel composed of completely flexed muscle and heated desperation.

So she only squeezed her eyes shut tight and hoped her teeth wouldn’t crack against each other as he parted his lips and his breath caressed the side of her neck. Her heart was a rapid-fire witness to her misery, and it was no doubt calling to him, speeding through that vein so close to his lips like a fast-flowing river of temptation.

Oh gods, just do it! she thought, wondering why he would make her suffer further when she had already acquiesced. But then she again realized what he was about to do, and the dwindling sanity within her thought, No, wait, please don’t –

And then the wait was over, as just like that his very sharp canines were sinking carefully but deeply into her artery.

Angela’s brown eyes flew open. She could feel them heat up, her captor’s power surging through her in complete domination, no doubt forcing them into amber light. It was probably very pretty – and she couldn’t have cared less. She was changing inside. It was only the beginning, but a switch had been flipped and the pieces had been set in motion.

He wasted no time in taking what he’d laid claim to the first moment he’d laid eyes on her. He pulled her blood out of her body and into his with barely measured impatience, and as he did, the ache inside her transformed. It continued to grow, but its pain was laced with the promise of absolution, with the almost-threat of culmination, and she had no choice but to welcome it with weak and open arms.

Copyright Heather Killough-Walden 2018

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HKW Books is running an international (yes – INTERNATIONAL) giveaway right now that is literally worth thousands. Because there are more than 40 prizes, your chances of winning are excellent.

Everything from $300 custom-made HKW plushies to $50 gift cards to Kindle Fires to audio books will be gifted to randomly drawn winners across the globe. New prizes roll in every day to be added to the giveaway list!

Want to sign up? All you have to do is get a YouTube account and subscribe to Heather’s channel. (Be sure to click the option to be notified when a new HKW Books video goes up or you’ll miss out on the smaller giveaways she does just for loyal subscribers.) Once you’ve subscribed, comment on the video. Then send Heather a Facebook private message to let her know you have. It’s as easy as that! Subscribing and letting her know you’ve done so by following the rules will get your name on the list!

To sign up for the giveaway and help Heather Killough-Walden launch her new YouTube channel, follow this link:

To watch Heather’s second (hilarious) video on her brand new channel, follow this link:

Here’s a link to Heather’s third video (top ten movies that have influenced her writing):

Heather will be using the channel to joke around with her readers, feature reader art, answer reader questions, give exclusive book reveals, run exclusive giveaways, and generally make a fool of herself. 😉 She loves comments and of course very much appreciates subscriptions and thumbs-ups!

She loves her readers! XOXO


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HKW Books YouTube Channel Launches!

HKW Books is running an international (yes – INTERNATIONAL) giveaway right now that is literally worth thousands. Everything from $300 custom-made HKW plushies to $50 gift cards to Kindle Fires to audio books will be gifted to randomly drawn winners across the globe. There will be more than thirty winners, and new prizes roll in every day to be added to the giveaway list!

Wanna sign up? All you have to do is get a YouTube account and subscribe to Heather’s channel. It’s as easy as that! Subscribing (and letting her know you’ve done so by following the rules) will get your name on the list!

To sign up for the giveaway and help Heather Killough-Walden launch her brand new YouTube channel, follow this link:

To watch Heather’s second (hilarious) video on her brand new channel, follow this link:

Heather will be using the channel to joke around with her readers, feature reader art, answer reader questions, give exclusive book reveals, and generally make a fool of herself. 😉 She loves comments and of course very much appreciates subscriptions and thumbs-ups!



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William Balthazar Solan has ruled for eons beyond imagining, always alone as he watches over the spaces between the seconds. But thousands of years ago, Fate created a very special woman. In her William saw a different kind of history, and a rule that was not alone.

Her name was Helena. They fell in love.

But Fate wasn’t finished. Helena is only half of its design. The other half is a six-foot-six blond with cold blue eyes and a taste for blood, Helena’s blood in particular.

His name is Cain.

William and Helena have spent the last few millennia locked in a terrible loop of love and loss as they struggle to be together in the face of a formidable darkness bent on possessing Helena for himself.

But now the chessboard has been turned, the pieces moved. Universes have collided, dimensions have slammed together, and in this new world Fate has no power. This is William’s chance to finally set things right.

All he has to do is convince a woman who doesn’t know or trust him that she’s his long lost love, stop ancient and powerful enemies from destroying the entire planet, and keep Cain from sinking his teeth into Helena all over again.

And unfortunately, in this new world William is also running out of time.

The Time King is the highly anticipated, breathlessly awaited thirteenth and final installment of The Kings series, by NYT and USA Today bestselling paranormal romance author, Heather Killough-Walden.

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

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The Time King – Coming Next Week

IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY! Release Day Reveal!
The Time King
Book (lucky)#13 in The Kings series
by NYT and USA Today bestselling author Heather Killough-Walden

Check in this week (March 19th through March 23rd) on Heather’s Facebook pages, here on her blog, Goodreads, and Amazon for book #13’s release! And get ready because worlds WILL collide!


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The Kings Grande Finale, A Fitting Giveaway, and a New Same-Universe Series

Hi my favorite people!

Coming early 2018 are hoards of fantastic HKW treats! I will of course be releasing The Time King, book 13 in The Kings series, which is the final “official” book in the series. However, rumor has it there will be a 14th “unofficial” book dealing with some of your absolute favorite characters – and the ones you’ve been waiting to see get their happy endings.

Alongside the culmination of this amazing series, a brand new series will be introduced, one that takes place in the same brilliant and vivid paranormal HKW world.

To celebrate the ending and the beginning, an enormous giveaway will take place. The giveaway will be open to my readers internationally and will feature everything from ebooks and the electronic readers to enjoy them on to custom made HKW plushies of some of the paranormal creatures featured in my works. These will also be signed by the author. 🙂 To take part in the giveaway, be sure to catch up with me on Facebook, as that’s where my giveaways are run.

Stay tuned for news on all of these upcoming treats by following me (Heather Killough-Walden) on Amazon, Facebook, and Goodreads. Facebook peeps tend to hear about everything first simply by the speed of the social media. But I do my best to update everyone ASAP when news happens.

Thank you so much for reading, and I look forward to filling your days and nights with the wonder of stories in the future! XOXO

– Heather KW

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The Dragon King, by Heather Killough-Walden

The Dragon King, by Heather Killough-Walden
Coming Wednesday October 25, 2017

Millennia ago, in the time of dragons, love and hate colored the very air monsters breathed. Ancient sorcery coursed through powerful wings like blood, pumped by hearts of magic, and timeless beasts of lore soared over the landscape, terrible and wondrous.
Amidst these beasts of yesteryear, a forbidden love bloomed. A child was born of this love.
But misfortune struck, and a murder rocked the world of the leviathans, tearing the family apart. Years piled atop this monumental death, legends faded and myths were twisted, and time made labyrinths of memories long gone.

Now, in the heart of one of America’s busiest cities, thrives a young woman with no last name. Evangeline is from a time before human tradition and provincialism. She is strong, born of legendary parents, and trained by the hard luck of solitary existence and sheer willpower.
When she learns that she has a fate beyond her control queen to one of the Thirteen Kings – she rebels. Eva refuses to yield despite the king’s tall, strong bearing, vivid gray eyes that see through her, and voice that commands the very elements.
She refuses him, not only because of who she is – but because of who he is.

The catastrophically charismatic Dragon King bent on claiming her is none other than the man who murdered her father thousands of years ago.

But a primordial sleeping force has awakened to finally wreak dark havoc upon the world, and a Traitor to the Kings has returned to hunt Evangeline down. As her life spins out of control, Eva learns that not even her beliefs about the Dragon King are guaranteed. Nothing is black and white. And ultimately, Eva finds herself trapped: Between cruel, heartless evil on one side – and the love of an ancient, dark, and beautiful man on the other.

The Dragon King is book twelve in The Kings series, and follows The Nightmare King, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Killough-Walden.

Coming Wednesday.

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The Fugitive

By Heather Killough-Walden

It was day three of driving ten hours a day.
Time to fill up with gas and hit the head just in case.
At one end of the truck stop, construction was taking place, and a jackhammer wood-pecked noisily at the ground, the sound managing to jackhammer my head instead. I cringed and looked away, but of course that did nothing to stop the noise. People bustled in and out of the store, going in quickly with full bladders and wallets, coming out having emptied them both but holding bags of soft drinks, chips, and candy bars or cigarettes.
There were people gathered around the dumpster, drinking. It was 7:00 a.m. I found myself hoping they were from the night shift and just getting off, maybe an hour from hitting the sack.
We moved to the other end of the truck stop to the gas stations built for regular sized cars and not the behemoths the roads had been created for in the first place. My husband parked. We took turns going to the bathroom.
And when it was his turn and I was again seated in the front passenger seat, I glanced at the clock once more. 7:21. That was when it hit me. I realized the van had become a prison transport vehicle, and my seat nothing more than a long bench. The seatbelt was a set of cuffs complete with ball and chain.
I popped the door open and jumped back out of the van.
When my boots touched down on the pavement, a wave of heat washed over me. The wind kissed my cheek, much too warm for this time of year. But before I’d gone one step, I already felt as if I’d broken my bonds, a new fugitive at the start of her long run from the law of… go back to your shit-dust town where nothing fun ever happens and all you can eat is steak and the temperature never dips below eighty-five degrees and the red air is filled with arsenic traces and dung.
I turned away from the interior of the van, which was now filled to the brim with gas station stop soda bottles, empty fountain drink cups, bags of pretzels, unopened packages of candy, seventeen bags from suitcases to backpacks to make-shift dirty laundry containers and convention goodie holders, one dog, and one daughter. I slammed the door shut behind me and looked to the distance, where the gas station’s parking lot tarmac came to an abrupt end, giving way to dunes of dirt and dried grass. Just beyond them were the railroad tracks.
I walked. I walked with weirdly numb legs as the wind picked up around me, hot and dry. My hair whipped at my face, and the sun burned my right arm. When I reached the end of the lot, I stopped and stared at the metal of the tracks thirty yards away.
The wind proceeded to pick up pieces of trash and send them tumbling around my feet like dancing children. They rolled end over end, some crossing over the toes of my shoes before they traipsed noisily into the dunes and were either caught in the cacti or sent soaring over them. The tracks gleamed in the sunlight, part iron, part rust, all dreams.
I didn’t look back. My feet moved automatically, my thick boots protecting my feet from the cactus spines and debris as I skidded down the ditch and climbed the other side, crossing dunes until I found myself stepping up onto the tracks.
I could go left or right. The wind was blowing from the right. I faced it, allowing my hair to leave my face and trail behind me like a kite. I began walking.
Somewhere behind me, a horn was honking. But no phone was ringing. I’d left it behind. I’d left everything. I kept walking.
The gas station disappeared. The dumpsters, the parking lot, the cars.
And walking.
The buildings vanished, the houses, what was left of a once booming but now rusting and crumbling town… all of it faded away as if burned from a photograph left in the sun.
And walking.
Eventually, there was nothing but desert to either side of me, a long strip of metal trailing straight and unchanging into the unseen distance. I realized that I’d gone crazy. This was insane. I was nuts. I’d just left my family, my vehicle, my belongings behind and had no idea where I was or where I was going. But the realization was fleeting, and if it hadn’t been I would have bullied it into a dark and forgotten corner of my mind anyway. I no longer cared.
My boots continued to pace out the yards between my past and my uncertain immediate future. Inches of metal railing passed beneath me, piling up in my wake in the form of miles. I was burning all over; I could tell. My sunscreen had worn off and I hadn’t reapplied it.
My hair line was thin enough that the sun was even baking the top of my scalp. If I ever found a shower again, it would probably peel off under the percussion of hard water stream and the scraping of my fingernails.
But my mind was wandering as much as my legs now. I was thirsty.
I heard a train whistle. It was an unmistakable and unequalled sound. There was none other on the planet like it. I looked up ahead, for some reason knowing the rail-bound metal dragon would be coming from that direction and not from behind. Far in the distance, a tiny puff of gray-black blotted a bit of the waving mirage of heat that rose from the horizon. It was smoke from the burning of coal. The train was a steam train. Was that even possible? Did anyone use steam trains out here any longer? In the desert? In the middle of nowhere?
I waited a bit, some part of me wanting to test the limits of my fear. Face down an oncoming train. Nothing quite like it to make you feel alive again. The blot of smoke vanished, then came back a second later, stronger and closer. Darker and bigger. On and on, it vanished and was reborn, closing the distance between the beast it was belched from – and me.
The rails beneath my boots began to vibrate. I could now hear the “chugga-chugga” of the train’s metal rods moving forward and back, forward and back, quickly and efficiently. It was a constant and pleasant sound that I had always admired. But right now, it signaled the approach of a beast, hungry to eat the space in front of it.
And I was in the way.
It bore down on me. A hundred yards away. Fifty.
I leapt from the tracks as the whistle screamed, hit the dirt, and rolled. Dust clouded around me, the world shook furiously, and I continued to turn over and over.
I came to a stop several long feet from the vibrating tracks and lay there with my eyes closed as the wheels ate up the ground and the monster roared continuously by. Until, finally, a hot blast of wind and dust and the Doppler effect signaled that the train was now fully past and heading the way I had come.
I smiled to myself – and opened my eyes.
Flat, brown landscape blurred past the van window.
I shifted in my passenger seat, sending blood back into my numb left leg. I glanced over my shoulder to the backseat. My daughter’s fingers button-mashed the “A” button on her Nintendo. Her ears were covered by headphones, so she couldn’t hear the song my husband had just chosen from his steering wheel controls: Dio, “The Last In Line.”
I glanced at the dashboard clock. 7:29. The daydream had taken eight minutes.
Only five hundred and sixty-nine minutes to go.

– Heather Killough-Walden is the New York Times bestselling author of The Kings series, the Big Bad Wolf series, the Lost Angels series, the Neverland series, and the October Trilogy.
This is how she survives long drives.

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My Eclipse Experience

We were thousands of miles from home on August 21st, 2017.
We woke up early, of course. We’d prepared everything the night before, and we were quick out the door.
As we began to hike up the peak in San Francisco, more and more people appeared. It was as if tributaries of humanity were converging on a path of pilgrimage. Families, children, travelers from afar. They carried their solar glasses in one hand, or (as in my case), solar binoculars, and steadily climbed higher and higher, glancing at the overhead cloud cover with worried but hopeful expressions.
There was nervous chatter. As we went, we met one another and talked about our journeys, what had brought us to that one place. Waiting for that one moment that might never come again.
For one family, it was the youngest’s first. But it was also the oldest’s first – and would be her last. For them, and for me, and for everyone, I hoped and wished with all my might.
We made a nest upon a hill and stared out over the bay. Little by little, more people appeared, and the clock ticked on. The talking grew quieter. The glances more hopeful. The temperature dropped, and we knew less of the sun was reaching the land below. Behind those clouds – an eclipse was happening.
And then, suddenly, a young one cried out, “There it is! I see it! I see it!”
Directly on the exclamation’s tail was her mother’s warning, “Not with your own eyes! Use the glasses!”
We all raised our instruments to our faces, lenses shielding retinas. We held our breaths. Through a miracle of timing, a break in the clouds appeared when the moon was at its greatest across the sun, leaving nothing but a crescent sliver of light.
A cheer went up across the peak, as every heart leapt in tandem. There it was. We’d done it. We’d seen it.
In the following minutes, heavy layers of clouds made many of the glasses and binoculars useless, but some no longer cared. They simply looked upward, viewing quick and momentary glances at the dim crescent with unshielded eyes as the moon turned and continued its journey away.
I thought of the old woman and turned to look. She wore a peaceful smile, her own unshielded eyes gazing steadily. It was more important to her. This moment. So important.
It was to a lot of us.

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