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Keeper of the Gate by Paula Kennedy

Price:
$4.99
SKU:
978-1-77233-094-6


Product Description

Anna, the girl with flaming red hair and attitude to match, always felt like an outcast. In her final year of high school, when she can’t even connect with the right guy, she meets mysterious bible-loving Devin and feels strangely drawn to him. 

There’s more to Devin than good looks and his weird obsession with scripture, and Anna finally understands theemptiness she’s felt her entire life. Join Anna as she searches for answers about her past with Devin, struggles to accept her true identity, and begins an adventure into the City of Fire to reseal the gates of Hell. 

14+ due to mild violence and adult situations

 

Excerpt:

Backing away, I turned toward the wall. “Can’t you just leave me alone? All I’m asking for is time to say goodbye to my family. Why is that so hard?”

I could feel the heat of him directly behind me but didn’t turn. “You know the reason.” His tone was quiet and serious. “I am not going to repeat myself.”

“Go away, Devin.” Tears of frustration would not be held at bay any longer and my words were laced with hatred. “Just leave me alone!”

“No.”

Heat building in my chest suddenly exploded and I turned and shoved him as hard as I could. He staggered backwards a couple steps, but caught himself easily.

“That was pathetic,” he mumbled and moved back over to me.

“Stay back!” I demanded, fists held defensively forward.

He laughed at my threat and grabbed for both of my wrists. Arms flailing wildly, I avoided his hands but somehow he flipped me around to pin my body against the wall with his. He slipped his legs between mine and spread them wide.

“Get . . .off . . . me.” I huffed under his weight and struggled to pull away. He only dug his knees into the backs of my legs more forcefully. Laughing, he pressed his torso harder against my back before fumbling to grab my wrists.

“Make me leave, Anna,” he whispered breathlessly into my ear as he forced my hands over my head. His fingers dug into my wrists and this brought tears to my eyes.

“You’re hurting me!” I hissed through clenched teeth and leaned away from his face. “Get off me!”

He grunted with the effort and after a bit of a fight took both of my hands in one of his. With his free hand he took a fistful of my hair and yanked my head back.

“Ow!” I swore and blinked tears down my cheeks.

 “You better hurry.” He hissed. “Make me leave before someone gets hurt.”

The heat of his breath in my face fueled the fire in my chest and I screamed in frustration, fear and anger. He laughed gratingly and this only ticked me off more.

“No one can hear you scream. It’s just us.” He pushed my knees painfully into the wall with his legs. “Maybe you like this. Huh?” he asked, pressing his torso harder against me. I cried out as the air was squeezed from my lungs. “I am in complete control, Anna. I could do whatever I pleased with you right now. What are you going to do about it?”

“Why are you doing this to me?” I sobbed and my anger fizzled. My words came out in a great shudder. “Get off. Please.”

“Come on!” Spittle sprayed my cheek when he yelled and I clamped my eyes shut. “You’re not Annalisa Harold.” He yanked my hair again and I whimpered. “Stop crying,” he demanded and let up his grip a fraction. “You’re a warrior. A Keeper of the Gate!” Air huffed from my lips as he pressed against me again. “Now. . .come . . .on! Make me leave!”

I wriggled and struggled to move away but it felt like he was made of iron. I sobbed breathlessly, my muscles spent. His suggestion I was some type of warrior was ridiculous.

Devin’s voice was laced with anger. “He will destroy your family. He will torture your friends. Is that what you want for them?”

I couldn’t breathe, could hardly think of anything but taking a lung full of air. My cheek pressed against the cold drywall and tears dripped like ice down my neck. I wanted to get away from him, wanted to breathe, but sorrow sapped my strength. Perhaps I should give in to him. Perhaps that was what I needed.

I cried then. Long, mournful sobs racked my trapped chest for what felt like hours. We stayed as we were for so long, in fact, the cold in the drywall started to eat itself into my brain. I pleaded, I begged, I screamed, but Devin refused to release me. His breath was like fire in my ear, his body a prison. He was never going to let me go.

Then the images started to come. I was desperate to save my mother, my father, my friends. Scene after scene of my life flashed like lightning in a summer storm and I knew I couldn’t sacrifice them. I didn’t care about myself, I wanted to die, but I couldn’t let my family suffer in my place. They were the innocent. They had loved me like their own.

Drawing what breath I could, I screamed from the pit of my stomach and pushed against the wall with all my might. This last effort created enough space to allow me to turn around. Anger flooded in then and I wanted to kill him. My heart raced, I couldn’t seem to draw enough air, and my body tingled with lightning.

Meeting his eyes, I didn’t miss the look of surprise that swept across his face. Glad I finally had the advantage, I drew a shaking breath before shoving him with as much strength as I could muster. As my fingertips touched his chest, the air came alive with pin pricks of electricity. Amazingly, Devin flew across the room, pulled by some invisible force, and I was left standing alone in shock. His body hit the opposite wall hard enough to knock my clock off the nail, but he was right back on his feet and hardly fazed at all.

He adjusted his glasses and smoothed his hair. “That was good, but it wasn’t good enough.”

Recklessly, he charged at me again but this time I was ready. I lunged into a forward roll away from him, and got back on my feet, fast enough to send a roundhouse kick toward his head.

He blocked my foot skilfully, but I nearly missed a low kick from him toward my right shin and stopped it at the last second. In a flurry of movement, he threw a series of punches toward my head, all of which I blocked with my forearms. Unfortunately, as I was backing up I tripped over a book bag. He grabbed the front of my shirt as I collapsed backwards and my hair brushed the wall.

“Careful,” he said breathlessly, eyes wide with excitement.

“Thanks,” I grunted and wrenched my shirt free of his grip as I jumped back on my feet.

With every inhalation of air my body came more alive. I was electrified, invincible, and going to kick Devin’s ass.

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Product Reviews

  1. Hold on to your wings, Reader. It's going to get hot--and horrifying, and fun!, 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 23rd Dec 2014

    Reading KEEPER OF THE GATE, a paranormal horror adventure by Paula Kennedy, is quite a bit like what I imagine parasailing through a meteor shower might be like. It’s fast, chaotic. There’s so much going on, your mental reflexes will struggle to keep up. And—if you’re into that kind of thing—one Hell of a lot of fun.
    The capital H on “Hell” is intentional, by the way. But wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.
    Annalisa Harold is a senior in high school, with family, friends, and an inexplicable interest in a mysterious boy named Devin. She pals around with her BFF Stacey (whose almost-emo twenty-something brother, Charlie, turns out to be very important, early in the story). She attends classes, plays the game of life with only a passing misgiving at her self-imposed severance from church services—which she does not, herself, understand. She’s going to be a nurse. Here, on the cusp of adulthood, she seems to have most things figured out.
    That’s until she’s attacked in a dark alley by a shadow monster. And rescued by Devin. Well, to say she’s “rescued” by Devin might not be giving Anna enough credit—because the secrets Devin so closely guards serve only to unlock Anna’s own dormant power, and a sleeping secret identity of her own, one that tremulously cradles the fate of the world in her seemingly human hands.
    Devin’s got a brother, too. And if you think your family has issues …
    I have to be careful about giving things away, here. You see, Anna does not, herself, remember much of what she truly is, or was, and that story device serves two essential purposes. First, it’s critical to the plot, as we learn toward the end of the tale. Secondly, it allows the reader to reawaken with Anna, experiencing with her the fulfillment of her cataclysmic potential, even as she expresses her fears and reluctance in terms any 21st century teenager will relate to.
    This is not a “pretty


  2. Chaos, Horror, and Fun 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 22nd Dec 2014

    Reading KEEPER OF THE GATE, a paranormal horror adventure by Paula Kennedy, is quite a bit like what I imagine parasailing through a meteor shower might be like. It’s fast, chaotic. There’s so much going on, your mental reflexes will struggle to keep up. And—if you’re into that kind of thing—one Hell of a lot of fun.
    The capital H on “Hell” is intentional, by the way. But wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.
    Annalisa Harold is a senior in high school, with family, friends, and an inexplicable interest in a mysterious boy named Devin. She pals around with her BFF Stacey (whose almost-emo twenty-something brother, Charlie, turns out to be very important, early in the story). She attends classes, plays the game of life with only a passing misgiving at her self-imposed severance from church services—which she does not, herself, understand. She’s going to be a nurse. Here, on the cusp of adulthood, she seems to have most things figured out.
    That’s until she’s attacked in a dark alley by a shadow monster. And rescued by Devin. Well, to say she’s “rescued” by Devin might not be giving Anna enough credit—because the secrets Devin so closely guards serve only to unlock Anna’s own dormant power, and a sleeping secret identity of her own, one that tremulously cradles the fate of the world in her seemingly human hands.
    Devin’s got a brother, too. And if you think your family has issues …
    I have to be careful about giving things away, here. You see, Anna does not, herself, remember much of what she truly is, or was, and that story device serves two essential purposes. First, it’s critical to the plot, as we learn toward the end of the tale. Secondly, it allows the reader to reawaken with Anna, experiencing with her the fulfillment of her cataclysmic potential, even as she expresses her fears and reluctance in terms any 21st century teenager will relate to.
    This is not a “pretty” paranormal tale—not unless you find self-mortification, immolation, and death by clouds of razor blades attractive. This is a real horror story and a starkly imaginative subterranean fantasy, complete with a tour through the city streets and sewers of the Underworld. Think “Dante’s Inferno” meets “Degrassi,” and you’re close to the vibe created here.
    I’m guessing that what we have here is the opening salvo of a much larger tale. At its end, there is still much to be learned, and a virtually infinite landscape of conflicts still needing resolution. But it’s a self-contained story, as well, as Anna—and the reader—emerge from out of one darkened ally, exhausted but still alive, and look out onto a blossoming, and wholly new, story universe.


  3. Story of good vs evil with characters that stay with you long after the last page 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 22nd Dec 2014

    Let me preface this review by saying that I hardly ever read Young Adult novels. One of the exceptions I make is for novels by Paula Kennedy. I loved her last series and was excited to read this one when she asked me to review it for her. Keeper of the Gate starts out with an awkward high school girl just trying to find where she fits into the world. Plagued by an emptiness that she’s never been able to figure out, never able to find a guy, Anna can’t believe it when her head it turned by the new guy, Devin, only to find out he’s a bible obsessed weirdo. Just her luck. Devin seems to know more about her than he should and his vague warnings and Jekyll and Hyde behavior towards her should have her steering clear of him, but she can’t stay away. Her whole life changes when the truth of her past if revealed to her and the fate of the world is left in her hands. Devin was a complex character that both irritated the hell out of me as well as pulled at my heartstrings. His passion for his lord was palpable and his feelings for Anna were obviously a source of much heartache.

    I absolutely loved this book! Kennedy again has developed characters that seem to have a life of their own. She was able to show Anna as an awkward teenage girl yet at the same time have her be a thousand year old (making an assumption on age) bad ass demon destroying warrior. The underworld she describes left a vivid picture for the reader as a backdrop to the breathtaking story of good versus evil and those in the middle that are charged with keeping the balance. Devin and Anna haven’t left my mind and I want to know more about their past, their future, and the history/future of the other Keepers of the Gate. This is a young adult book but I think any age from 14-adult would enjoy. I read this with my daughter (12) and she enjoyed it immensely and wants more!


  4. 5 Stars 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 17th Nov 2014

    Anna has always felt as though something was wrong with her. What else would explain the inability to keep a boyfriend for more than a few days and the inexplicable emptiness she feels inside that not even the love of her adoptive parents can fill. Stacey and Anna have been best friends since grazed school and encourages Anna to give the guy thing one more chance. Taking that one chance on Devin turns out to be WAY more than what Anna ever imagined. Anna sees things and learns things that blow her mind and turn her world upside down. How does one cope with the knowledge that their whole life has been one big fat lie? That what you thought was real was only a cover to keep you safe from the King Of Darkness himself? Can Anna recover her memories and her abilities in time to stop The Dark Prince from rising and taken over the realms? Or will Devin fail and all be lost?


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