Tru Darling is a Sparkler. She didn’t choose to be almost electrocuted, inherit otherworldly powers, and fall for the hottest evil guy in St. Louis—but that’s exactly what happened. Her power to see true love spark in the eyes of strangers, to watch it flicker with excitement, fuse with its perfect match, or witness it burn out from despair, is a wonderful curse that drains her emotionally and physically. But she can’t afford to be weak while she’s hunting down soul mates, saving others’ faith in love, and contemplating if her hot new boyfriend is her guardian angel or the angel of death. Being a Sparkler may have its perks; enhanced vision, intuition, and physical beauty. But what of the personal costs that come with Tru’s destiny? Constant danger, unbearable pain, and lost souls she just can’t save. Tru must choose between a normal life without love or a birthright that comes with great passion, danger, and responsibility.
“Hi there,” Ginger bounced onto a barstool next to me, her spark still all a tingle.
“Hey, how are you? You look so much better than you did the other day.”
“Oh yeah, that.” Ginger looked down and fiddled with a coaster. “I’m sorry about that. I was kind of crazy for a moment. I really didn’t mean to unload on you like that. But thank you so much for talking to me. I really took what you had to say to heart and got a new outlook on the dating world.”
“Really? What do you mean?”
“Well, you said that I have a soul mate. I figured, why can’t it be Garrett? So I called him, and we’re dating again. It was all a huge misunderstanding. He apologized, and everything is, well, great.”
“What? I said he was not the guy, not your soul mate.”
“Yeah, I know, but really, how do you know that for sure?”
“Because I know,” I almost yelled at her.
She leaned away from me, looking totally freaked. Taking a deep breath, I tried to calm my voice. “What I meant to say is that there is someone better for you, a perfect fit. Someone that won’t make you cry, no matter the misunderstanding.” I was almost pleading with her.
“Yeah, yeah, I know, like a fairytale. That’s all good and stuff, but this is reality. Sometimes you just take what you can get.”
“What? Don’t you want your boyfriend to be ‘the one?’ Why on earth would you settle?” I couldn’t believe she would just give up. I guessed that was what most people did, settle. If you cannot be with the one you love…love the one you’re with.
“I don’t really know you, but you seem like a good person. A little too intense, but a good person. Thanks for the opinion, but I know what I’m doing.” She thought she was much wiser than me, but I could see the little girl inside her that just wanted to be loved. I couldn’t think too badly of her. I remembered not too long ago, lying on the cold ground outside my garage wishing I had someone, anyone, just so I wasn’t alone. But that was before, before I knew what true love was, before I knew it actually existed.
“But,” I started to protest. She held up a hand, and I knew there was no talking to her tonight. Why should I continue to fight? She’d given up. Why couldn’t I?
The burst of cold air rocked the restaurant, making us both shiver and whip our heads towards the open front door. There stood a hooded man covered with snow. He was stamping his feet and cursing the weather under his breath. Then I noticed the small, snow-covered bouquet he held in his hands. It was him, it was Kevin. I almost jumped out of my chair, but something inside me said to sit and wait, to let things happen naturally.
Ginger sat next to me sipping her Coke. I could tell she was about to leave. I overheard the manager talking to Kevin
“I have these flowers to deliver. I’m late. The snow caught everyone off-guard, and it was a parking lot out there.” He took his hood off, and I saw his lovely spark. It pulsed with excitement, and so did my heart. “Is there a Ginger here?”
“Hey, Ginger, I think that guy over there said your name. They may want you or something,” I said, trying to be as nonchalant as I could, although my heart was about to burst. She turned, smiled, and bounced out of the stool. I watched breathlessly.
“You need something?” Ginger asked cheerfully.
“Oh, you are here. These are for you,” the manager said, surprised. Ginger smiled and grabbed the bouquet from Kevin. She buried her nose in the flowers and pulled out the card. She didn’t see him yet. She didn’t look up. He was still standing in front of her, staring at her with wide eyes. Reading the card, she froze, obviously not expecting what was written. I remembered it clearly, since it was from me. It read, Look up to see your future; there was always only One.
Slowly, she raised her head. The spark pulsed, and she saw him. For the first time, she saw him. Kevin looked at her, and his spark intensified. It was so beautiful. The most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Ginger’s spark grew to an intensity I had never seen from her. It was bright and big and completely full of life. The sparks’ yellow edges melted into each other, just as Kyle’s and Jessica’s had. The two sparks enveloped each other, fusing into one. The center was pink, then radiated to a yellow. It filled the entire restaurant. They pulsed to their own beat until they fused completely. Then they beat as one, one amazing love. I gasped and grabbed the bar with my right hand. I could feel my eyes begin to burn from the light, but I couldn’t look away. My head spun, and I could feel myself being drained of energy.
I didn’t notice at first, but I wasn’t alone. He held me from behind with his arm around my waist. He whispered, “You’ve done well, Tru.” I remembered his soft voice from the day Kyle and Jessica fused.
My phantom helper was back. I had thought it was my imagination that day in the church, that he wasn’t real. Now he was here again to support me. He was someone to lean on, someone that could see what I saw, and someone to share this with.
“I thought this would get easier,” I whispered to him.
“It will. I promise,” he whispered. “As the eyes are the windows to the soul, love is a spark of the divine. Bask in its love. Be more than you ever thought you could be. Today and forever, you are gifted.”
“What I really love about this up-and-coming series is the humor and passion. Tru is a great, new heroine that EVERYONE will be cheering for. The novel is paranormal, but no vampires or werewolves here. Just super powers and love-and of course, evil-you have to have evil always trying to get rid of the love.”
“…this book has it all. Can’t wait to find out where the series goes.” Read full review here
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brandi Schmidt lives outside St. Louis with her husband, three beautiful children and one loveable Golden Retriever. She is in love with love and admittedly cries at weddings. Finding her one true love wasn’t too difficult when he walked into her College Chemistry class. Paired up as lab partners, she knew instantly that they certainly did have chemistry. Ten years later, sparks still fly when she looks into his eyes.