Author: Katherine Dell
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Be careful what you wish for.
After moving from Vancouver to isolated Hazelton, BC, high school senior Rachel Barnes hopes she’ll finally find closure and a sense of direction after tragedy has torn her family apart. When she and her friends discover the old spirit box her grandmother gave her, they see it as a chance to wish their troubles away. But the Great Spirits—deer, crow, bear, and the mythical wendigo—give away nothing for free.
So instead of worrying about fitting in and finding a boyfriend, Rachel finds herself in a race to control the malevolent spirit who’s taken up residence in Mason Allen, who she fears and craves in equal measure. What began as a harmless game forces Rachel to confront her past—and offers her a future she never imagined.
Step into a reality that is not as it seems in Book 1 of the Harmless series.
I watch as Julie fills the mugs with water and puts them in the microwave. When they’re done, she plunks a tea bag in each and brings them over to the kitchen table. Sitting with a huff, I plunk myself down on a chair. Wrapping my fingers around the steaming cup of tea, I breathe in deeply. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same effect as that mist. My problems are all still here.
“For the tea? No problem.”
“No, for not leaving.” I drown my tea bag with my spoon, pushing it to the bottom. “I just invited people over for some drinks and cards and . . . that happened!” I motion to the box laying open in the living room. “You guys are never going to want to hang out with me again.”
“I wouldn’t say that. Sure, this is probably the strangest thing any of us has ever seen, but we all like you. Hey.” She gives my shoulder a little push. “Don’t frown too much. You’ll give yourself wrinkles. You’re too pretty for wrinkles. On a different note, I guess we know that wishing box works. I can’t wait for mine to come true. Could you imagine?”
“Why? What did you wish for?”
“For a new community center,” she says. “One with a gym, and a games room, and a place to take classes and work out and stuff. I’ve been on the committee at school for it for, like, two years. It doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to happen.”
I know the project she’s talking about. My grams dragged me to a craft sale at the community center once. The building looks like it’s made entirely out of school portables, like a patchwork quilt. The town has been raising funds for years to build a new one. It’s just one of the many projects Julie gets involved in around here. That’s why she’s a lifer. She loves this town. She’s never going to leave it.
Julie’s watching me over the rim of her cup. “So what was your wish?”
I let the waiting air in my lungs huff out. “I wished that . . . that I knew what I wanted, and that I’d find it here in Hazelton.” Saying it out loud doesn’t sound as awesome as it did in my head. The look on her face makes me wonder if my best friend just found out what a nut bar I really am.
“I like it,” she says finally. “I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for too.” She sounds convincing. Thank God. I don’t know what I’d do without my rock.
“Do you want me to call my mom and ask her if I can stay over? Or you could come stay at my place if you’re too creeped out to stay here alone.”
She knows what I’m thinking without me saying a word. “It’s okay. I’ll be fine.” I’ll be no more screwed up than I already am.
“Okay. I’ll at least help you clean up a bit.” She puts her mug in the sink before going to the living room. I see her hesitate for a second before bending down to sweep the carved animal pieces back into the box. “The wendigo piece isn’t here.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s probably under the couch. I’ll find it later.” Maybe it’s best if no one else but me touches the box from now on. “Do you want me to take you home?”
Signed Paperback of Harmless
About the Author:
Katherine Dell is a young adult fiction author fascinated by the supernatural and the stories that surround them. She began her writing endeavours in 2011 when she wanted to reinvent herself from her previous career as an event planner. When she’s not writing, she can be found in cold hockey arenas sipping coffee, working on her tan at little league games, or trying to keep her dog out of her many gardens. She lives with her husband, two boys, and fur babies, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Q & A’s with Katherine Dell:
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Harmless?
Rachel, Mason, and Nate are my main characters.Rachel, is a disconnected teen who’s trying to find direction after her brother’s death and parents divorce.
Mason is complex. He’s sweet at times and a total jerk at others, but I can’t help but love him! Even though his actions can be erratic and harsh, his reasons for doing horrible things will pull at your heart strings.
And Nate… Nate is perfect. He’s patient, caring, and has seemingly no anterior motives other than to be a good person. All my readers love Nate. Did I mention he’s also gorgeous.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
My favorite character by far is Mason. I think because he’s such a true reflection of an ambiguously moral character. And I think people gravitate to that. Mason does horrible things in the story, but you can’t help but sympathize, and reason with his actions. He’s the bad guy you hate to love.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I camp, I garden, I spend time with family and friends. One of my favorite places to go to relax is the interior of BC. It’s some of the most beautiful country on earth.
How to find time to write as a parent?
I’m lucky enough to be able to stay home, so when my kids are at school, I can write. That’s if I don’t get too distracted with other things, like beautiful weather. September to February are probably my most productive months for writing.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
In general, I’m more on a pantser than a planner, but I do outline a little. I figure it’s good to know what general direction the story is going, but I like to let my characters take it where they may.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Dreamer, storyteller, nature lover, mom.