A year ago, the Virus killed off most people in the world.
A year ago, strange things started happening to those
who survived. Some of them transformed into something
dark and sinister, while others evolved, becoming
something more, something beyond human.
A year ago, Dani and Zoe were lost. They traversed the
country to find one another, losing some of the people
dearest to them along the way. They fought for their
right to simply live, uncovered long-buried secrets, and
discovered irreversible truths. And after everything Dani
and Zoe have been through—even with the battle
wounds that they bear—they’re still not safe.
It’s time for the struggling to end, for survivors to take back
their lives, their families, their safety. It’s time to really begin
to live, and to do that, they must wait for the first rays of dawn.
An Excerpt from Before the Dawn
For three hours, I’d been sitting at the dining room table, my sketchpad washed in the baleful color of late morning that shone through the narrow windows, overlooking what appeared to be a deserted farm. Everyone was hiding indoors, dehydrating food, wrenching, painting, and—in Annie’s case—playing with kitties, all sheltered from the sudden downpour.
Hearing the creak of the front door opening, I looked up. Tavis stepped inside, rain dripping off his coat as he leaned forward and peered into the dining room at me, his feet planted firmly on the welcome mat.
Tavis smiled, his warm, customary greeting. “Morning.” But even in his natural, easy air, there was something about the way he looked at me that made even the slightest linger of his gaze and the quickest glance seem like something more. I could’ve pried, could’ve peeked and prodded, but I was a little too hesitant to learn the reason.
“You seen our animal whisperer anywhere? We’ve got a horse with colic out here. We could use her Ability.” Tavis pointed to his head.
His facial expressions always made me laugh, and I couldn’t help but smile back at him as I glanced outside. Darker clouds approached quickly from the west. “She’s out with Jason,” I said, “foraging. Hopefully they’ll be home soon.”
“Ah, foraging,” he said with a wink. “Got it.” And then he was out the door, and I watched as he strode back toward the stable.
I took a sip of lukewarm coffee, settling back into work mode, and let out a sigh as I stared down at the start of my second blueprint of the day. I tapped my charcoal pencil on the tabletop and glanced between Jason’s hasty, ill-proportioned sketch and my own, hoping I was interpreting his floorplans for the new smokehouse accurately. I’d gotten quite good at looking past his scribbled letters and numbers, relying mostly on the arrows and the drawing itself to help me decipher the rest.
Footsteps creaking overhead and feminine laughter were followed by a muffled “You wish, buddy” that floated down the stairs of the otherwise silent house. No wonder Harper had been so anxious to rearrange the infirmary. Chris laughed again, a sound I’d been hearing more and more frequently over the months. My eyebrow rose of its own accord, and I reached for the mug beside my sketchpad. A contented smile splayed my lips as I appreciated the happy routine we’d all seemed to fall into, gloomy weather or no.
After draining the contents of my mug, I absently set it aside, deciding the beams in the smokehouse roof needed to be closer together if they were going to support the wide—
An ear-piercing cry rolled in with the distant rumble of thunder.
Eyes narrowed and heartbeat thrumming, I jumped to my feet and gazed through the window at the gravel drive. Opening my mind, I felt Dani’s desperation and anguish before I even saw her.
“—shot!” With hair matted from the rain and her clothes drenched, Dani sprinted clumsily up the driveway, her eyes wide with terror. “He’s been shot!
About the Authors