Fire and Ice Young Adult and New Adult Books

Samantha P. and the Wishing Well

by April Marcom



"Bind Our Loving Souls" by April Marcom Samantha P. has been full of wishes since the day she was born. When she discovers a magical wishing well that appears out of nowhere, she makes the life-changing wish for a crazy, wonderful, unbelievable romance.

Everett, a half-demon who's magically transported to earth by Samantha P.'s greatest wish yet, longs for the exact same thing when he first lays eyes on her. The catch? He's only allowed three days on earth at every full moon.

Samantha will have to leave her old life behind to attend a boarding school where she hopes to find answers for how to free Everett from an unfair imprisonment with the help of his very frightening all-demon father. Along the way she also uncovers some unsettling secrets surrounding school hauntings and a rather peculiar headmaster. Everything comes together in the end, requiring the greatest sacrifice of all from Samantha P. if she's going to save her beloved half-demon.


 

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Romance
Fantasy

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Excerpt

Chapter One

Two hundred something years of wandering the earth alone was quite enough. Josephine’s days were nothing more than mindless trudging through an ever-changing world, waiting for the next full moon. This was the only time she could be with her son, and she refused to leave the mortal world without him. Her existence had become little more than mourning for the boy locked away because of his mother’s mistake.

But the tables would soon turn; she was sure of that. From the moment she set foot in Fledgling, she could feel something drawing her in. With every step she took, the sensation grew stronger. It was a mixed feeling of power and peace, the first bit of relief she’d felt in centuries, because she knew it had something to do with her son, Everett.

As she entered a grove of red robin bushes, she knelt down and drew on what mysterious power was mounting inside of her. Piece by piece, she built the well she knew would be the key to freeing her son.

It was when she looked up and saw the mortal girl lie down in the grass nearby that she knew the girl would have to be the one to turn it. It’s the girl, she thought bitterly. The girl is the key to everything.

* * *

Samantha had been full of wishes from the day she was born. She was always thankful for what she had but sitting around daydreaming and wishing for all the fantastic things she could imagine was her favorite thing to do.

She wished for things like her room becoming the inside of the top of the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty, then she stared out of her bedroom window, imagining either city below her. Or that she’d open her bedroom door one day only to find colorful balloons and sparkling gift boxes spilling into her room from the hallway.

Over the last couple of years, however, her famous wishes had changed. Her heart wished more and more for romance. One day it was Cory Barrett from math class. The next it was Vincent Goodman, head of the football team. They were nothing more than wishes and dreams, of course, because boys never paid her much attention.

Still, she could often be found lying in her favorite spot in the grass behind her apartment building, wishing away on stars or clouds. Today was no exception.

Samantha went down the second-story stairway, past her best friend Ruby’s apartment, and around back to the green field she’d sprinkled all over with wishes through the years. She laid down in her favorite spot near the bush-lined edge of the grounds to wish about the party she’d be going to in a little while. Her long thick brownish-blond hair fanned out around her head like peacock feathers as she lay in the grass.

She’d be in high school pretty soon and Kelly Bellgrove was throwing a huge party at the old Bellgrove Mansion. The whole Bellgrove clan had more money than they knew what to do with, so they all lived in much newer houses with a modern flare the longstanding family manor lacked. It was enormous and creepy, though, the perfect place for a teenage party. Kelly and Samantha weren’t friends, but Kelly had invited everyone in their grade so they could experience their first real high school party together.

Samantha was just settling into a beautiful wish—a slow song plays, and Scott Carmikle comes over to ask her to dance—when a little miniature pinscher puppy waddled past her. She gasped and turned her head to get a better look as it scurried toward the thick tangle of bushes.

“A puppy!” Samantha stood up and hurried after it.

She loved dogs, but the Moonflower Meadows apartment complex didn’t allow them. Instead she was stuck with a useless fat cat, Chimney, who her mom treated as much like her child as she did Samantha.

Samantha leaned over when she entered the bushes to get a better look around. All was quiet. The puppy had vanished. Instead, a faint glow reflected against the leaves of a tall bush deeper within. Samantha’s curiosity lured her closer, drawing her to the light. On the other side of the illuminated bush, she found the most beautiful wishing well she’d ever seen. Long, curly vines loaded with moonflowers grew out of the hollow inside and carpeted the ground surrounding it.

Samantha swelled with excitement. She’d explored these bushes lots of times and had never seen the wide stone-laid well before. My own secret wish-maker. She ran her fingers along the edge. It quivered with magic. The soft light radiating from inside it was picturesque in the warm setting sun of July.

She reached into her pocket and pulled out a handful of change—six pennies, two dimes, and a quarter. This wish had to count!

Closing her eyes, she squeezed the coins in one fist and wished as hard as she could. “I wish…I wish for a crazy, wonderful, unbelievable romance.” With that, she opened her eyes and tossed it all into the well.

It was barely out of sight before a great whooshing sound pounded against Samantha’s ears and light electrified the dusky night. Samantha shielded her face and fell back with surprise, her hair tangling in the bush’s spindly branches.

“Are you all right?” someone asked in an old English accent as the light began to fade.

Samantha opened her eyes, the light gone completely, and stared up at a strange-looking boy. His palms were pressed against the far edge of the well so he could lean forward to look down at her.

“I, I, I—” She tried to sit up, but the bushes pulled her back by the hair. Her elbows hit the grass and she let out a painful scream.

“Oh dear.” The boy raced around the well to kneel beside her in his out-of-date formalwear. “Let me help you with that.”

“Th, thank you,” Samantha managed, trying to get a good look at him without making it obvious.

She rubbed her trembling fingertips against her leg. The boy was gorgeous and way out of her league. This was a moment to savor.

She was swept away by how magical he seemed. He appeared out of thin air in a blinding flash of light at the moment of her wish. His skin was like porcelain and his dark eyebrows had a prominent arch at the center. Samantha wondered if he could be her wish come true.

She dared to hope.

“There, I think that’s got it.” The boy placed a hand on Samantha’s back to help her sit up. “You really have very beautiful hair.”

Hot boy alarms blared inside Samantha’s head. She barely managed to get out, “Thanks. So do you.” She stared at his shiny black ponytail.

They gazed at each other silently for a moment, an awkward smile on both their lips.

Samantha observed his dark eyes, traced with hints of indigo. What to say, what to say. She patted the side of her leg with a fist.

“I am called Everett.” The boy held out a hand as he stood up.

Samantha took it and stood beside him. Everett was a couple of inches taller than her. “My name’s Samantha, but everyone’s called me Samantha P. since second grade. You can call me whichever.”

“Why do they call you that?”

“Well—halfway through second grade, Samantha Atkins moved here, and she was put in my class, so everyone started calling us Samantha P. and Samantha A. We were in the same class four years in a row, so it kinda stuck. She moved away last summer, but everyone still calls me Samantha P.”

“Samanthaaaaa!” her mom yelled from her bedroom window.

“Everyone except my mom,” Samantha added.

“How interesting,” Everett said. “So, you attend a real school?”

“Sure, don’t you?” Samantha cut back through the bushes, so Everett followed beside her.

“No. My mother taught me how to read and brings me books when she visits, but I have never been to any schools. I’ve been trapped in Maydora for as long as I can remember.” Everett stopped when they broke through the bushes and into the darkening open field. The sun had gone down just enough for the first stars to appear in the sky. Everett stared at everything a little wide-eyed. “This is my first time in your world, my first time to see night, even.”

Samantha stopped and arched an eyebrow. “You’re joking, right?”

“No, unfortunately I am not.”

“Right.” This guy couldn’t be a wish come true. He was a nutcase. Or had he just escaped from being a prisoner somewhere with no windows or any concept of night and day? No. He was acting way too normal for something like that. Plus, his somewhat outdated appearance cast a glimmer of believability to his story. “And you don’t have night in Maydora?”

“No—”

“Samantha!” her mother shouted again through the window’s screen. “What are you doing? You were supposed to be at Ruby’s before it started getting dark. She just called, so you better get over there.”

“Okay,” Samantha shouted back, hoping her mom would go away before she noticed the boy with her. She barely made it five steps before she heard her mom’s voice again.

“Who’s with you out there?”

“Someone I just met, Mom. You don’t know him.” Samantha wished hard that her mom wouldn’t ask anything else.

“Does he go to your school?”

“No, and his name’s Everett.” Samantha couldn’t believe her mom, talking about him like he wasn’t standing right beside her. She rubbed her forehead with one hand, shielding her face and hoping her mom would take notice.

“Well, why don’t you invite him to the party?”

Samantha closed her eyes and sighed. Couldn’t the woman take a hint? She didn’t mind Everett’s delusions much, but she didn’t want everyone from school to think she was a total freak for hanging out with him.

“Okay, Mom,” she shouted.

Her mother finally shut the window as Samantha forced a smile at Everett. His smile, sparkling like white light in the darkness, nearly made her forget what she was saying. For a moment, she did want him to come to the party. Enduring a little ridicule might be worth having her greatest wish granted by him. But then again, starting high school with a reputation for hanging out with psychos would be torture.

Her mom hadn’t left her much choice. “Do you wanna go to a party with me and my friends?”

“Like a birthday party?” Everett’s eyes lit up with enthusiasm.

“No, it’s supposed to be a high school party.”

“A high school party...I’ve never heard of one of those. I would like to attend with you, though.”

They walked in silence until they reached the apartment building and went around the side. What would Ruby and Cynthia say when she showed up on Ruby’s doorstep with this gorgeous, confused guy? After the shock passed, they’d probably be cool. But the party, Samantha had been stressing over it for weeks, what she would wear, who she would talk to, Everett took things to a whole new level.

“So what’s Maydora? Is it here in Connecticut?” Samantha asked.

“No. It isn’t part of your mortal world. It’s an island, although I can’t say where. I only know that it’s a drab world of gray, where no living thing exists.”

Samantha stopped again. This was getting WAY too strange. “You live there. And you said your mom visits you. She’s a living thing.”

“I wouldn’t say she exists there as I do. Besides, she hasn’t been alive in over two centuries by your time.”

Samantha raised an eyebrow again. This was ridiculous. “So, your dead mother visits you on an island in another world. Does that make you dead, too?”

He shrugged.

Samantha could only stare, wondering about this curious boy and his outrageous story. Her eyes widened as she remembered the promise she’d broken to Ruby to turn in her science homework for her a month ago. It landed her best friend a big fat zero and she’d sworn to get revenge on Samantha when she least expected it. This was all a set up. It had to be. It was exactly Ruby’s style.

“This is a prank, right?” Samantha laughed hard enough she put a hand over her stomach. “Ruby’s pranking me for getting her that zero.”

Everett laughed along. “I don’t understand. What’s a prank?”

“Oh, right.” Samantha stood up straight but continued to chuckle. “You don’t know what a prank is because you’ve never been off that island. So am I the only other person you’ve ever met besides your mom?”

“Yes.” He watched her for a moment, smiling. “You’re nothing like her, though. It feels good to be with someone so full of joy.” Everett’s nose twitched as his gaze fell to the ground. “My mother never smiles.”

“Okay, you can drop the act, and be sure to tell Ruby this joke was a flop.” Samantha shook her head as she tried to walk away, but Everett reached for her arm to stop her. She couldn’t believe the warmth of his hand.

“This is no joke, Samantha. I was walking over Maydora’s beach and only blinked before I found myself standing before you.”

Samantha smiled, glad he wasn’t giving up easily. It was more fun this way, and she wasn’t in any hurry to get away from him. “Then why are you acting so calm. If this is your first time off that island, why aren’t you more excited?”

“To be honest, I’m a little worried for you.” He let go of her arm. “You are rather clumsy.”

“What?”

“I found you lying in the grass, tangled up in a bush. Who knows what sort of trouble you could get into if I left you alone?”

“You’re good.” Samantha laughed at this, still convinced he was pulling her leg, even though she knew she was a little clumsy. “I’ll have to tell Ruby to use you for all her practical jokes.”

“Oh, Samantha, this really isn’t a joke.”

Samantha glanced at his eyebrows, sad to think they must have been altered for Ruby’s prank. It was a shame because, to Samantha, the surreal expression they added to Everett’s look made him seem more like a fairytale prince. At least she could use them to expose his fraud. Hopefully he’d laugh about it and they could still go to the party together.

She reached out to touch the point of his left eyebrow. Everett gave her a peculiar look but let her run her fingers over them on both sides. Samantha felt no lumps or unusual lines, only his warm skin.

Her mischievous smile disappeared as he reached out to tuck her unruly hair behind her ear, allowing his thumb to trace the front of it.

“I, I, um—” Samantha stuttered. They were real. They were real and she’d just made a fool of herself. So why was he giving her that amazing smile? “We should go,” she finally said, remembering the party. She led their way around the building, her thoughts racing a mile a minute.