Katia wasn’t born with her ‘gift’. It was genetically engineered by a madman who once proclaimed to be her father, yet destroyed her for ‘The Greater Good’. After years of abuse and torture, after fighting to complying against her father’s atrocities, after escape and re-capture, and now drawing her dying breath Katia does what she has refused to do—use her gift—to destroy the lab that has been her living hell.
Only she doesn’t die. And she doesn’t escape. She wakes into a new world, weak and disoriented, where nothing makes sense. She is told by Doctor Julius Freeman that she has been found deep underground and has been in an induced coma for over one hundred years. As handsome and as kind as he is, she doesn’t trust him. Doesn’t trust anybody, let alone the most absurd lie she has ever heard.
As Katia staggers through the streets of Melbourne, she realises with a sickening sense of dread that Julius was telling her the truth. But not only has she travelled through a century, so has her father. The peace she so desperately wants, has escaped her again.
Katia stirs more than strictly professional feelings within Julius, however he harbours a dark secret he knows will break Katia apart if she finds out. Blackmailed, Julius needs Katia to end his own nightmare and faces an impossible choice. He ignores his feeling until they burn a simmering ache in his heart.
When Julius is attacked and kidnapped, bleeding and on the verge of death, Katia must face her demons. Fight like she’s never fought before to save the man she loves, or risk everything and became the Hell on Earth her father has groomed her to become.
PRAISE for Gifted
‘… Gifted is very fast paced and had me flying through the pages’
‘Fun Paranormal Romance Read’
‘This is a dark story of torture, torment and triumph. There are scenes that will having you squirming…‘
‘This was a very well written and dynamic, paranormal, futuristic thriller.’
REVIEWS >> ALEMS CORNER
Blistering flames. Acrid smoke. Heat stung my skin. Fumes clogged my throat. I was on hands and knees, dragging in each breath, knowing my body would give out at any moment.
And there was nowhere else I’d rather be.
I don’t know how or why it was here, but it was a godsend. I whispered a prayer of appreciation to whatever deity had thought to start the bushfire. Even it was just a flippant, toss-away thing for an almighty, I was thankful. The flames sent plumes of writhing brown smoke into the sky. My father’s buildings were just beyond the line of flames. So damn close I could taste their desecration, but then the fire headed away from them, turned by a strong wind. I’d waited my life for an opportunity like this, and I wasn’t going to let it slide.
This was my chance to end the hell I’d been living in for years. It was kill or be killed. Both sounded good.
I clutched the trunk of a gum, using it to get to my feet. A wave of giddiness overpowered me. I waited it out. I leaned against the trunk, breathing deeply, the bark prickling into my back. Sweat beaded my face and trickled down my spine. I willed the thought-energy into myself and drew it into my core. I don’t know what to call the energy. It might be my life force. It might be universal energy. I’d had it for as long as I could remember. A gift from my father. My curse and now my savior.
This was what my father—Victor—wanted from me. This was why I’d been left in the middle of the bush for weeks, starving, slowly dying. So he could see how strong I was. How long I could keep on living in these conditions. It was his right, he told me. Years ago, he’d taken me in when there was no one else. A sick child. Too much work for prospective parents when other, healthier children could be adopted. At least he’d named me: Katia.
He’d spent years searching for me after I ran away, and I had to pay for that, too. He said it was the least I could do. That was eight years and several lifetimes ago, before they’d found me and brought me back. It had slowly destroyed me, but I’d resisted him. The nightmares of what he’d made me do when I was a child still woke me at night, sweating and screaming and believing I was still that helpless fourteen-year-old again. Well, I’d show him just what I could do now. Now it was on my terms, and the only people who were going to die this time were the ones who deserved it.
The energy pulsed through my body. It was living, throbbing, vying for life. It screeched through my limbs, spiked my veins. I gritted my teeth, fighting unconsciousness, letting the pain of a thousand needles prick me from the inside. I invited the pain, let the energy feed on it. This was the buildup of eight years of depriving myself. Eight years of letting my energy lie dormant. Letting it rest and build and grow
strong. I wasn’t a naive, weak teenager anymore. I was twenty-four and stronger.
I pried open my eyes, concentrated on the acrid flames. I called the energy from my blood, balled it into my core until it was all I could feel. All I knew. All I was. Then, when it was almost too much for me to restrain, I pushed it from my body, out toward the flames. They exploded, soaring upward until they blocked out the blue of the sky.
For a moment, I thought it hadn’t worked, that I had depleted myself for nothing. Then there was a shift in direction of the flames. They danced and flickered, letting off black smoke at the moving tips, as though they were thinking for themselves. And despite the direction of the wind, the flames moved, charging toward the buildings—that hell on earth. Flames descended, obliterating and destroying. There was a lot to destroy in this area of the Toolangi State Forest.
I laughed. My legs gave out. I sank into the dirt, so dry it spiraled around me and clogged my throat. I closed my eyes, felt a smile on my mouth as I welcomed death. At last, I had ended the nightmare.