Win a copy of The Exceptionals! Details at the end of this post.


I only hesitated for a moment. I wrapped my hands around the thick black wire and pulled with all of my strength. I felt the energy surge through my body. Everything went from blindingly bright, to gray, then slowly faded to black. I knew this was how it was going to end; in truth I was glad to have it finally over with.

They say your life flashes before your eyes when you are about to die. Mine didn’t – well, not exactly, anyway. My story played out in my head, at least the part that led me to where I am now, lying peacefully on the forest floor.

Tom, a boy I had a crush on for years, finally asked me to the Spring Fling last March. We went with Tom’s best friend Joey and his girlfriend Amber. Not the brightest bulb, Joey tried to sneak beer into the dance when everyone knew the police would be checking the cars. Surprise, surprise, we got caught.

Lakeville High a few days ago, and I would not be dying right now. And yet, if I had to do it over, I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, maybe one thing. I wish I had written it all down, so everyone would know how I ended up like this, and more importantly, that I had no regrets.

I would begin on that blustery March night, and this is what I’d write….

Copyright © 2012 Erin Cashman

About the book:

In a famous family of exceptionally talented people, fifteen-year-old Claire Walker is ordinary . . . or so she leads everyone to believe. Yet the minute she steps out of line, her parents transfer her to Cambial Academy: the prestigious boarding school that her great-grandfather founded for students with supernatural abilities, or “specials”. Although Claire can’t see ghosts or move objects with her mind like the other students, she does have a special she considers too lame to admit: she can hear the thoughts of animals.

Just as she is settling in, one by one the most talented students – the Exceptionals – go missing. In an attempt to find out what happened to them, Claire uncovers a dark prophecy involving a plot to destroy Cambial and a mysterious girl who can communicate with a hawk. Could she be that girl? Does the gorgeous but secretive boy she meets in the woods know more than he is letting on? After years of ignoring her special, Claire decides the time has come to embrace her ability . . . before it’s too late.

What people are saying:

“Debut novelist Cashman delivers an engaging, exciting twist on the school story, introducing readers to a whole new set of supernatural skills and adventures. With its varied and intriguing cast of characters, The Exceptionals will appeal to a wide range of readers, all of whom will be eager to see if there will be forthcoming adventures at Cambial Academy.”–School Library Journal

Released: April 1, 2012

About the author:

Erin Cashman grew up in Framingham, Massachusetts. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bates College and from Boston College Law School. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children. You can visit her at


Erin has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Exceptionals for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter [+1 entry].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on April 18th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!