Publisher: Penguin Group (
Sales rank: 62,794
Age range: 16 - 18 Years
Series: Dragon Diaries Series, #2
Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)
Order: Barnes & Noble
The new Dragon Diary novel from the author of Flying Blind.
Zoë Sorensson yearns to come into her powers as the only female dragon shifter. But being part of two worlds is more complicated than she expected. It's bad enough that she's the target of the Mages's plan to eliminate all shifters-but she also has to hide her true nature from her human best friend, Megan. But when Megan gets a last-minute invite to the popular kids' Halloween party-hosted by an apprentice Mage-Zoë must save the day and her best friend without revealing her fire- breathing secrets...
Meet the Author
Deborah Cooke has written more than thirty romance novels. When she isn't writing, she can be found knitting, sewing, or hunting for vintage patterns.www.deborahcooke.com
An excerpt from WINGING IT
©2011 Deborah A. Cooke
The black envelope fell out of my locker when I unlocked the door before lunch. It was three weeks after the eclipse and I was worn to a frazzle. I wasn’t sleeping well, probably because I kept waiting for someone to make a move. For the Mages to embark on their plan. They were far too quiet for me to rest easy.
Everything was too quiet. It spooked me.
I let the envelope fall.
Why would someone shove an envelope into my locker, instead of just talking to me? I couldn’t think of one good reason.
I’m not that scary.
And if I am, courtesy of my ability to shift into a dragon at will, no one at school knows it. I’m all about managing information these days. Keeper of the Covenant, that’s me.
Which doesn’t do much for friendships, in case you’re not sure.
The envelope landed right side up, my name printed on the front in sparkly gold ink. Not a mistake then. I lifted it with the toe of my boot, still skeptical. It didn’t look thick enough to hold a practical joke.
Suspicious, me? You bet. Ever since we’d fought the Mages - and won - I’d been expecting them to take another shot. Treaty or not. Their plan was to eliminate shifters, one species at a time, assuming the powers of each kind of shifter as they were moved to the extinction list. We knew that the Pyr were in the hot seat, so to speak.
Just because we’d foiled one plan didn’t convince me that it was over. Just because we had a treaty didn’t persuade me that they would forget the whole thing.
Never mind that Trevor Wilson, the hottest guy in my school, was one of them. He was an apprentice Mage, although I didn’t exactly know their education process, much less how close to graduation he was. I’d been watching him so carefully this fall that my best friend, Meagan, was convinced that I was sweet on him.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
It also compounded the friendship problem because she was sweet on him.
I’d spent all summer in intensive training with my dad, learning to shift more quickly and at will. He timed me and pushed me and made me fly laps around the city at night to build my speed. On the upside, I was getting good at the basic dragon drill.
On the downside, there was a chill between my parents, and it was because of me. My mother didn’t agree with my dad’s decision to train me, and she made her feelings clear. The loft where we lived was about as cozy and homey as a meat locker these days.
Oh, and when I’d finally worked up my nerve to contact the hot motorcycle-riding rebel rocker Jared, he’d sent me only a short reply. Then silence.
Like he was ducking me.
Even after that kiss.
I told myself I didn’t care about that, that my only interest in him was that he had the one copy of the only book about the Pyr that I knew existed.
Even I knew that was a lie.
And then there was that dynamic between Meagan and me. Not good. She had a best friend’s sense of when she wasn’t being told the whole story, and she knew something had happened last spring break. More importantly, she knew that I wasn’t telling her about it.
I couldn’t, not without breaking the Covenant that my dad, leader of the Pyr, made all of the dragon shifters swear.
I picked up the envelope just as Meagan appeared beside me. Her timing was perfect.
Perfectly awful, that is.
“I don’t know.”
She tilted her head to look at it. “Then maybe you should open it and find out. It looks like an invitation.”
I smiled at the very idea. No one ever invited me to anything. I wasn’t a brilliant student like Meagan, although I aced Art every year. I was different, though, and people smelled it on me. Meagan had been my only pal since kindergarten. Until now, I’d liked that just fine. Now, it just made me feel more alone.
Which reminded me of another issue I wanted to avoid with Meagan. My birthday was coming up in two weeks, my sixteenth, and my dad wanted to invite all of the Pyr. That meant my human friends - specifically, my very best friend, who would be Meagan - couldn’t be invited, in case she saw something she shouldn’t.
Having secrets from Meagan sucked, but I couldn’t see a way around it.
I hadn’t yet figured out how I’d tell her about the party she wasn’t invited to attend.
I ripped open the envelope, avoiding the inevitable.
“It is an invitation,” Meagan said, reading over my shoulder. “To Trevor Wilson’s Halloween party!” She was amazed and impressed. “It’s like a dream come true.”
Uh no. In fact, there was a shiver of dread running down my spine. Trevor’s party was the last place I’d be on October 31. It had to be a trick, or a trap, and I wasn’t going to walk right into it - like the heroine in a scary movie, who goes down to the basement by herself, to check out the strange noise, despite the creepy organ music.
Funny that I’d been waiting for something to happen but now that it was happening, I wanted it to stop.
Meagan poked me with one finger. “You must have known!”
“Oh, come on. You’ve been talking to him, haven’t you? He doesn’t invite just anybody.”
“No, I haven’t talked to him at all. You’re the one who tutors him in math.”
Meagan opened her own locker. No envelope fell out.
She rummaged a little, then gave me a look. “I thought we were friends. Forever.” Her voice was quiet and I knew she was hurt.
And I’d done the hurting. Inadvertently, but still. “We are.”
“So, why don’t you tell me what’s going on?”
“There’s nothing going on that you don’t know about.”
Have I mentioned that I’m the world’s worst liar? Well, I am and Meagan has my number. There’s a hazard of having known someone most of your life.
She leaned in really close and said a word I never thought I’d hear cross her lips. “Bullshit.”
“Something happened in
, and you’ve been holding out on me ever since. You never even told me what you said to scare Suzanne so much. Something’s changed. Don’t think I don’t know it. Don’t think it doesn’t hurt my feelings that you won’t tell me.” She took a deep breath and I saw a shimmer of tears on her lashes. Her next words were tight. “If you don’t want to be friends anymore, maybe because you suddenly know all kinds of cool people, then at least have the guts to say so.” Minnesota
“That’s not true.”
Her lips tightened. “Okay, then. Promise me that you’ve told me everything.”
Trust the math queen to have put me in a logical corner. “Well, I haven’t and you know it, but that’s because I can’t, not because I don’t want to.”
“Why can’t you?”
“Because I promised not to tell anyone.”
I fidgeted. There was no way to make this better. “I can’t tell you that.”
“Sounds like the same excuse to me.” She folded her arms across her chest and leaned against the lockers beside mine. “You think I didn’t notice that you haven’t mentioned your birthday party?”
I grimaced. “My dad wants me to have a family party.”
“For your sixteenth? I don’t believe it. Your dad isn’t a jerk.”
I chose not to argue that. “Well, he’s determined this time.”
“Your mom would never put up with it. If he wanted you to have a family party, she’d let you have another one with your friends.” Meagan was on a roll and it wasn’t one that made me look good. “You know what I think? I think you’re having a party and you’re just not inviting me.”
She stared at me, daring me to correct her.
And I couldn’t hold her gaze.
Because she was right.
“Nice, Zoë,” she said, her tone more bitter than I’d ever heard it. Meagan is not a bitch - that I’d made her sound this way said more about me than about her. “Really nice. Here’s hoping that your new friends are more worth keeping than your old ones.” She started to walk away.
“But Meagan, it’s not like that...”
She paused to look back at me. “You can tell me any time how it is,” she said, her gaze hard. “But I know already that you won’t.”
I looked down at the stupid invitation, wishing I’d never gotten it. As much as I liked my new Pyr powers, it really sucked to have to keep everything secret from my best friend.
“Have fun at Trevor’s party,” Meagan added. “And don’t worry about me. I’ve got a new friend of my own.”
She slung her pack over one shoulder and marched down the hall, and I knew I couldn’t change her mind. I watched as she stopped beside the locker of the new girl, the one who had moved to our school this year.
The one I really didn’t like, although I couldn’t have said why.
Jessica has dark hair and dark eyes. She’s slim and pretty and quiet. She’s another math whiz, so she and Meagan bonded in the land where calculating derivatives is as easy as pie. (Pi, maybe. As in recalling the first 100 digits of. So not my territory. Never mind citizenship: I don’t even have a visitor’s visa to that place.) The thing is, I should have liked Jessica, there was no reason why I shouldn’t.
But she gave me the creeps.
I always felt like she was hiding something. It wasn’t just that she wore really baggy clothes - like she’d raided her brother’s closet - or even that she kept a baseball hat jammed over her head all the time.
She smiled at Meagan and hugged her, then over Meagan’s shoulder smiled at me. There was something hungry about that smile, something completely untrustworthy.
Like she had a big secret. As someone who has a pretty hefty secret myself, I think I know something about it.
That smile sent a shudder right down my spine.
And gave me the worst feeling I’ve ever had in my life.
Then it was gone. As if I had imagined it.
Was Meagan in danger? Or was I just seeing things that weren’t there because I was lonely and jealous? It didn’t much matter either way - Meagan wasn’t going to listen to any advice I might give her.
I kicked my locker shut, jammed the invitation into my pack and headed home.
I had no idea how to fix this, and no one to ask.
All this week OTER will be spotlighting award-winning author Deborah Cooke. Today we have, WINGING IT, the first installment in Cooke's Young Adult The Dragon's Diaries.
THE PRIZE: Two lucky reader will have the chance to win the either first two titles, FLYING BLIND and WINGING IT from Cooke's The Dragon Diaries or FLASHFIRE and KISS OF FIRE book seven (7) and one (1).
To enter contest you will need to stop back each day, read the excerpt posted and answer the question or questions of the day.
Tuesday Question: Who is the Keeper of the Covenant?
Contest is open to ALL readers.
Contest runs until January 22
I will contact winners directly on January 23