ABOUT THE BOOK
Outspoken and independent, Kendra Irisavie has always played by her own rules.
She’s an ondine, a water elemental gifted with the powerful magic of Empath Virtue and trained to be a fighter. Pursued by Aquidae demons, she and her mother remain Rogue, hiding among humans to avoid becoming casualties in an ancient war.
Everything changes when violence erupts on Kendra’s seventeenth birthday. A dark stranger appears, promising answers to her mysterious past and stirring unexpected feelings in her fiercely guarded heart.
But as Kendra uncovers the truth about her heritage and future, she realizes just how deep the lies and deception run.
Now, in the face of unthinkable odds, she will need all her wits, skills, and magic to fulfill an extraordinary prophecy.
The first in a sweeping urban fantasy series, Whirl is the beginning of a young woman’s exhilarating journey for survival, love, and hope as she fights for her place in a world where she doesn’t belong.
- Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
- Series: Ondine Quartet
- Series Order: Book 1
- Length: Novel
- Available formats: Digital and print
- Paperback: 258 pages
- ISBN: 9780984022502 (.mobi) / 9780984022519 (epub) / 9780984022540 (paperback)
The dark shadows of the night cloaked me.
I padded across the grass and approached the house from the back. The only sound vibrating through the hushed spring air was the faint roar of the Pacific Ocean a few blocks away. A sharp, salty tang wafted on the soft breeze and my blood sang from its closeness to the water.
My eyes scanned the area. Nothing.
I released my filters and extended my Virtue outward. Magic’s cool refreshing tingle flowed through me like a bubbling brook.
No human emotions nearby. At one in the morning, the residential street in the bland suburban neighborhood was dark and quiet.
But it didn’t hurt to be too careful.
I slipped past the hedges into the backyard and made my way to the slightly open window. The streetlamp buzzed, casting a slanted yellow light on the bushes and shrubs bordering the small, white house.
The light briefly flickered, ready to burn out. A shadow shifted on the front lawn.
Wary, I stopped, instincts going into high alert. With my back against the sidewall, I hid behind the row of hydrangea bushes and crept forward, staying as low to the ground as possible.
Two figures stood near the sidewalk, their silhouettes highlighted by the wavering light. A twinge of annoyance shot through me at the sight of the familiar female.
She stood with her back to me, facing a tall, dark-haired man. It was hard to make out his features, but my heightened eyesight allowed me to get a pretty good look. He was over six feet, maybe six-two or six-three, and was a little older than me, probably in his early twenties. Thick brown hair curled around his neck onto his shoulders. Gleaming dark eyes. His easy stance exuded an effortless grace and elegance.
A black leather coat came down to his calves, emphasizing the lean, muscled contours of his body. If I’d seen him anywhere else, I definitely would have thought he was hot.
They spoke quietly, almost in whispers, and I couldn’t make out what they were saying.
I had no idea why he was here, but I decided not to stay and find out. Stepping back, my leg brushed against a hard branch and a sharp crackle cut through the air.
For a moment, I thought the dark-haired guy glanced in my direction, but when I blinked, his eyes remained focused on her. Moving quickly, I scrambled to the back of the house. Sliding my hands under the window, I pushed and it slid up without a sound.
I gripped the windowsill and hauled myself through. No curtains or blinds got in my way. What was the point of putting things like that up when you knew you’d only be moving again in a few months?
“I hope you know there are easier ways of entering our home. Like the front door.”
Naida Irisavie stood in the doorway with her arms crossed under her chest. I hated when she did that. She made me feel small even though I was half a foot taller than her. Curly hair, the same honey-brown shade as mine, was tied back into a smooth, clean braid. Hazel eyes glinted at me in disapproval.
No black blood stained her clothes or face, which either meant she had an uneventful patrol or had cleaned up before I arrived.
I leaned over the nightstand to turn on the lamp. “Yes, Mom. I am aware of the front door. But it looked pretty busy tonight. Who was that guy?”
Her mouth tightened. “That’s none of your business.”
“You never think anything is my business.”
“The question is, where were you tonight?”
“I went to check things out.” I tugged off my jacket and sat on the bed. “Thought I’d see what the nightlife is like in this podunk town.”
My nightly explorations over the past week had only proven what I’d already suspected. San Aurelio was no Los Angeles. Only a few measly dance clubs, and the overall vibe was boring and tasteless. If LA’s nightlife was a feast for the senses, the action in this pitiful excuse of a town was the equivalent of going on a starvation diet.
“Kendra, why do you insist on acting without thinking?”
Resentment burned through me. This woman had trained me to be self-reliant. We always knew something could happen, that there was a very real possibility she wouldn’t return one night.
And yet she always made me feel like a helpless kid.
“I was thinking,” I retorted. “I need to get a feel for this place. How can I defend myself or know what my options are if I don’t know the layout?”
“Tell me you at least went out with your dagger.”
I rolled my eyes. “How stupid do you think I am?”
Most parents gave their daughters clothes or other cool girly stuff on their thirteenth birthday. My mother had given me a ten-inch custom silver dagger so I could fight evil, immortal demons.
With a pointed look, I pulled the blade and sheath out from its usual spot at the small of my back and placed them on the nightstand. A silver diamond, engraved into the polished onyx handle, gleamed in the dim light. Made for me by a master knifemaker, the dagger was like an extension of myself and I never went anywhere without it.
Sharp eyes noticed the fresh bruise on my upper arm. “At least you finally went to the dojo. How long?”
“Way too long.”
I glared at her. “He was six-four and two hundred and fifty pounds!”
She continued as though I hadn’t spoken. “How long for the sensei?”
“You have to keep working.” She shook her head. “I did the research on them. They’re humans.” Her voice took on the cold hardness she used during training. “And their resumes are not that impressive. You should’ve had them both down in less than five minutes.”
I couldn’t believe it. The local karate dojo was nationally renowned. I’d taken both the teacher and his best student out in under fifteen minutes, and it still wasn’t good enough.
“Not bad for a sixteen-year-old who’s half their size.” I deliberately made my voice haughty.
“Oh, really? And I suppose ‘not bad’ is enough for fighting Aquidae?” She paused. “I assume you got permission to train there.”
I didn’t bother answering.
“When are you going back?”
I managed a smug look. “Next week. They both need time to physically recover.”
“Work on sparring with them until you can bring them down in under five minutes.”
“And if I do?” I demanded. “Will you finally let me come on patrols with you?”
“No,” she said flatly. “You’re not ready.”
My anger, hurt, and irritation transformed into fury. “I don’t get it. You want me to be independent and self-sufficient. You train me against Aquidae and then you lock me up at home!”
“Because you behave so irresponsibly! What if you had come across one on your way home tonight?”
“Then I would’ve kicked its ass the way you trained me to.”
“When it still takes you ten minutes to take out a human sensei?” Scorn filled her voice. “I’ve told you countless times how fast and strong they are. You cannot imagine —”
“Yeah, yeah. I don’t know how strong they really are.” I made a dismissive gesture. She’d said the same thing thousands of times over the years. “And I probably never will until you actually let me fight one of them!”
Agitated, I jumped off the bed.
“What is that?”
Crap. I’d forgotten about the tattoo.
Annoyed with our move from Los Angeles to a small town in northern California, I’d decided to get a mark of a wave crest. A classmate’s cousin, who was a tattoo artist, used black ink to create the gently curved design. The crest came over my right shoulder, and you could just see the tip of it if you stood in front of me.
I’d been covering it up for the very purpose of avoiding this scene.
“That is just a tattoo,” I said casually, hanging my jacket in the closet. “I’m sure you’ve seen one before.”
She stared at my shoulder as though something alien had grown on it.
“When did you do it?” Anger strummed under her voice.
“I don’t know. Last week sometime, before we moved. ” I shrugged. “What’s the big deal? We’re ondines. Nothing’s wrong with getting a cool tat to represent that.”
“You just turned sixteen! You aren’t supposed to be getting tattoos left and right.”
“Quit overreacting. It’s just one — ”
“Those things are permanent!”
“So you’re saying that at some point in the future I’ll no longer be an ondine and the tattoo won’t be relevant.” Sarcasm dripped off my words. It was my usual smartass reply, the kind that got me into frequent arguments.
She didn’t answer right away. Finally, her gaze shifted back to me. “We’ll discuss this when I get home in the morning.”
“You haven’t gone out on patrol yet?”
“No. There were some things that came up tonight that I had to deal with first.”
Things like that guy you were talking to. I knew better than to ask about him again, though.
“I’m coming with you.” I slid my dagger into its usual spot with one fluid movement.
“No, you’re not. Stay here until I return.” It was like an order from a commanding officer.
I really should’ve been more careful tonight. Catching me sneaking back in may have permanently destroyed any chance I had of going out with her.
“Why?” I crossed my arms in a defiant stance very much like hers.
“Because my job is to protect you from Aquidae. Your father gave his life —“
“I’m not talking about Dad now,” I interrupted, the volume of my voice rising. “I’m talking about how you never let me gain any experience. It’s unfair.”
“You’re not ready. Not when you’re still sneaking out to clubs and getting hidden tattoos.”
Black swirls of frustration and humiliation uncoiled, and I struggled to control it. Tense silence filled the air.
“I may not be the best mother, Kendra.” Her face turned impassive. “But I’m the only one you’ve got. Which means it’s my responsibility to make sure you stay alive for another day.”
I couldn’t believe she had the nerve to pull the motherhood card. “I’m sure I’ll be able to stay alive even without your protection.”
“And saying things like that only shows how much of a child you still are.”
I flushed, but refused to back down. Something flitted through her eyes. It almost seemed like regret. But in the next moment it was gone. Without a word, she turned and left, slamming the front door a bit harder than she needed to.
It was the last time I saw my mother alive.
What Readers Are Saying
In Whirl, Raveling has created a highly original and spellbinding fantasy world full of charismatic characters, a thrilling story, creative fantasy elements, and some sizzling romance…an enchanting, fun, beautifully written novel. A definite MUST read!
– Word Spelunking
5 stars - Top Pick: I loved reading about the world in this book….and the heroine was one I found myself rooting and falling for. I recommend this book to all fans of young adult and mythology.
– Night Owl Reviews
Non-stop action, love and an amazing world that has never been seen before…I am totally addicted to this series and cannot wait for book 2.
– The Kindle Book Review
A powerful fantasy story entwined with danger, romance and action…It kept me at the edge of my seat with its edginess, twists, turns and fantasy adventure.
– Readers Favorite
Whirl is the first book, and debut, in the Ondine Quartet series by Emma Raveling and what a debut it is.
– Supernatural Bookworm
I love when I pick up a book and it totally blows me away – and this was definitely one of those books…this is one of the best Urban Fantasy/Paranormal novels I’ve read. Emma’s writing is fabulous, her characters are engaging, the dialogue is witty and fun. Her books will easily have a permanent home on my shelf.
– Stitch, Read, Cook