Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 98,000
Set in demon-inhabited St. Louis, Defying Instinct is a mature, romantic, YA Urban Fantasy about 17-year-old Savannah Cole as she transforms from isolated, uncaring, and ugly to beautiful, loving, and loved when the glamour her power-hungry demon mother forced on her at birth is removed. It is complete at 98,000 words.
Like all half-caste demons, Savannah grew up in the human world because of a Treaty signed by leaders of the demon Underrealm and the human Up Above centuries ago. Fighting against dark urges, avoiding physical contact, and keeping the few people who could tolerate her at a distance was just an accepted part of life until three gorgeous demons show up at her work, and everything begins to change. When the glamour that hid her demon features and muted her humanity is lifted, Savannah experiences all the emotions she didn’t even know she was living without in a tidal wave she can’t control. As demonkind begins looking at her as a leader thanks to the political goals of the mother she never wanted to meet, Savannah must decide what is most important—her demon lust for power or her human capacity to love.
“I understand your frustration, ma’am,” my demon half cringed, but the controlled, customer service smile never left my lips. “There’s just nothing I can do for you right now.”
Oh, I could think of a few things I could do for her right now. Smash the cash register over her frail head. Stab her throat with my pencil so her snotty words would stop. Strategically staple her face. That would definitely shut her up.
“That’s not good enough, missy. I was promised my books would arrive today. I’m too old to be waiting around for incompetent…”
“Ma’am,” I said, forcing my tone to stay pleasant. “The Bookstore has no control over deliveries. If you would like to leave your name and phone number, I’ll be happy to have the owner call you.”
The lady scanned my face for the third time, showing the vague disgust and morbid curiosity most people showed when they looked at me.
People’s reactions to my looks were fascinating, mostly because their expressions were all so similar. Squinty eyes, gaping mouths. I wasn’t going to get any prettier. Why did they always look like they expected the view to change?
“Fine,” the woman spat. “I’ll be telling him about your attitude though, missy. See what he thinks about how I’ve been treated.”
I put a notepad and my pencil—not into her throat—into the lady’s hand as I ran through our brief conversation in my head. My attitude was flawless.