Keeper of the Bees
by Meg Kassel
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: September 4th 2018
“Beauty and the beast like you’ve never imagined!” —New York Times bestselling author Pintip Dunn
KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.
Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.
He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.
Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.
She closes her eyes. Her breath hitches. Then, she does the improbable and throws herself against me, wrapping her arms around my waist.
I am paralyzed. Motionless, breathless in my first embrace in a millennium. To be touched… My eyes close as I tremble from head to toe. The pain is glorious, excruciating.
“Thank you,” she breathes against my chest. “You calm my mind. Why is that?”
“I don’t know.” Speech takes an unbearable effort. I’m overwhelmed in every single possible way—destroyed on a level she can’t begin to comprehend. My arms hover, uncertain how to return her embrace and unsure if I should. Unable to push her away. I feel as though I will shatter if I move, but my arms slowly close around her. One of my hands falls on her hair, where her elastic has loosened. The thin band slips from her hair and falls into my hand. My fingers close around it.
Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.
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