I stepped outside the department store and felt something squish against my heel where concrete should have been. “Oh no.”

“What’s wrong?” My best friend Quentin shoved the last bit of a soft pretzel into his mouth and passed through the automatic doors, joining me under the mall’s awning. The St. Louis summer night enveloped us like a towel pulled too soon from the dryer, causing beads of sweat to form along my forehead and plaster stray hairs along my cheek in blond lines.

“You tell me.” Balancing the large box I held, I closed my eyes and lifted my foot. “How bad is it?”

Quentin sucked in a sharp breath, rattling the chain hanging from his pocket. “A big ol’ wad of bubblicious bad.”

Opening my eyes, I dared a look. Sure enough, a line of gum stretched from my new DC skate shoe to the sidewalk.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Cole Gibsen

About the book:

Kill Bill meets Buffy in this supernatural samurai tale

Rileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline gave her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn’t explain her dreams of fifteenth century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger warnings. While worrying that she’s going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she’s harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.

Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana–a deadly Japanese sword that’s also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she’s always been and embracing the warrior inside her.

What people are saying:

“This action-packed novel has a unique and compelling plot…even readers who dislike supernatural story lines will enjoy this tale of modern samurais.”–School Library Journal

“Starts with a bang and never lets up. Prepare yourself for a smart, sassy heroine, and seriously swoony romance…with a little butt-kicking thrown in for good measure. A cracking debut.”–Antony John, author of the 2011 Schneider Family Book award-winning Five Flavors of Dumb

Released: March 8, 2012

About the author:

When Cole Gibsen isn’t writing books for young adults, she can be found rocking out with her band, sewing crazy costumes for the fun of it, picking off her nail polish, or drinking milk straight from the jug–provided no one is looking. You can visit her at www.colegibsen.com.