RenegadeBy: Cambria Hebert
Renegade - Cambria Hebert
Heven and Hell #4
This book can only be dedicated to the fans. It is because of you that I have found the inspiration to write, the drive to succeed, and the determination to make the next book even better than the last. It’s been one hell of a ride, one I will never forget, and I hope you won’t forget it either. Thank you.
I would like to acknowledge the fact that I am not wearing any pants. In honor of this being my last acknowledgements for this series, I decided to wear a dress today. What were you thinking? Weirdos. I have no earthly clue how I managed to write this entire series, but I did. I certainly didn’t do it alone. Many people suffered—I mean, supported me as I wrote this final book. And as I stressed over it. Ha-ha-ha.
I could do my usual and blabber on about my husband, whose never-ending support means so much, and about my children, who put up with my faraway moods and computer time. But I won’t. You all already know how much I love and appreciate my family. (In case you didn’t, I just told you again…)
Instead, I would like to acknowledge all the people who have read this series; who have told a friend about it; who have bought a copy (and not pirated it), gave a copy, and loved a copy. I would like to acknowledge those who always offer a supporting hand or an encouraging word. In a business that can be brutal, cutthroat, and harsh, you all are my sunshine. If you wonder how the words get on these pages, look in the mirror. Never doubt the power of a kind word.
I want to acknowledge a few of my most loyal fans and members of my street team: Sada Maciel, Maghon Thomas, Melissa Stickney, Francesca Smith, Amber Garcia, Gladys Atwell, Derinda Love, Kathryn Jacob, Katie Shelby, Nicole Hammond, Nikki Archer, Katy Austin, Amy Conley, Danielle Smiley, Natasha Anne, Kindlemom, Heidi Permann, Candice Wade Terry, Tracey Spiteri, Peggy Warren, Tamara Beard, Veronica Morfi, Karla Ileana Calzada, Felicia Starr Frame, Brandy Thornton, Brooke Watts DelVecchio, Anna Dase, Kendall McCubbin, Krista Watte Loya, Shieka Doctor, Beth Ann Kozlowski, and Angela Stone.
Also, to the group of authors that understand the daily grind and the work it takes to bring a book to life, the ladies who I can talk to for all things writing and beyond: Amber Garza, Cameo Renae, Lizzy Ford, Melissa Andrea, LP Dover, Tara Brown, Airicka Pheonix, and Tabatha Vargo.
To my book doctor, Cassie McCown, you started out as a beta reader for Masquerade and now you’re the lady who takes my raw books by the horns, grabs her shovel, and gets to work. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into reading my words and making them better. It’s a relief to have someone I can count on to edit and understand the series. To Regina Wamba, your artwork and cover design is magic on a page. I couldn’t imagine anyone better to bring life to my books. To the models, Sara Ritchie (Heven) and Forres Rasmussen (Sam), you’re both hot. Thanks for being on my covers. And for being hot.
Jennifer Pringle, you rock. Thanks for everything and for putting up with my endless texts. (Seriously, I have a texting problem…)
I’d also like to thank the writers of the Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf. What? They’re my favorite TV shows. And seriously, I want to write like that someday. Oh, and to Lindt Chocolate Truffles (the ones with red wrappers), I can always count on you to melt in my mouth.
And, finally, to Starbucks, please keep making me lattes (with caramel) because some days it is only you that can tame the beast.
It begins like usual, the slightest disturbance to my sleep, making me toss and turn until I’m in that place between rest and wakefulness—not fully coherent, but enough so I could have groggy thoughts.
There is pain, not the kind of pain that would make you squirm, just enough to make you feel uncomfortable. It kind of squirms around in my limbs, like adrenaline, but not as insistent, making my body twitch.
My eyes pop open, and I shoot up off the couch, not bothering to grab a T-shirt or the shorts that lay nearby. I won’t need them. I move silently like a cat—like a hound—to the door and slide the lock over and let myself out. It’s cold out. The air doesn’t shock me back into myself. I don’t even shiver.
Then I’m racing through the yard, over the grass, and past the barn. I hear the horses in their stalls, alerted at my presence, but I ignore them and keep running. My bones come unhinged and realign. My spine stretches, begins to reshape, and my body hunches. Black, thick fur sprouts, replacing the smooth skin of my human arm and then finally the switch in my brain flips.