Happy Sunday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for IN EVERY GENERATION by Kendare Blake! I’m so excited to share an excerpt of the book with you today, AND more information about the author and tour, PLUS you can enter the giveaway to win a print copy!In Every Generation by Kendare Blake
Published on January 4, 2022 by Disney-Hyperion
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retellings, Thriller, YA
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram
A new Slayer for a new generation...
Frankie Rosenberg is passionate about the environment, a sophomore at New Sunnydale High School, and the daughter of the most powerful witch in Sunnydale history. Her mom, Willow, is slowly teaching her magic on the condition that she use it to better the world. But Frankie’s happily quiet life is upended when new girl Hailey shows up with news that the annual Slayer convention has been the target of an attack, and all the Slayers—including Buffy, Faith, and Hailey’s older sister Vi—might be dead. That means it’s time for this generation’s Slayer to be born.
But being the first ever Slayer-Witch means learning how to wield a stake while trying to control her budding powers. With the help of Hailey, a werewolf named Jake, and a hot but nerdy sage demon, Frankie must become the Slayer, prevent the Hellmouth from opening again, and find out what happened to her Aunt Buffy, before she’s next.
Vi and Hailey
“Think you bought enough cereal?”
Hailey stood in the kitchen of their small apartment, unloading brown bag after brown bag of the groceries her sister had brought home that morning. Three boxes of cereal—two sugary, one healthy—three loaves of bread (pop two in the freezer), and three gallons of milk, which apparently she would have to drink until she died.
“You love cereal,” Vi responded. “You can eat it for every meal.” But she wasn’t really paying attention. Her domestic duties fulfilled, she had already turned her attention to more important matters at hand: loading weapons into a gray duffel.
Hailey reached into another grocery bag and pulled out handfuls and handfuls of wieners.
“Four packs of hot dogs, Vi? Seriously?”
“You love hot dogs,” Vi replied. “You can eat them for every meal.”
“Maybe I can dip them in milk,” Hailey muttered. It was like this every three months. Before every Slayerfest (which is what they called the regular gatherings of all the remaining slayers— and usually including the legendary Buffy Summers), Vi would go into hyper-overdrive-abandonment-mom mode. She’d load Hailey down with healthy food and junk, and triple-check all the locks on the windows and door of their cramped two-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of The Dalles, Oregon. Even though nothing— absolutely nothing—ever went down in The Dalles, Oregon. Vi had to drive all the way to Portland to do any decent slaying, and even then she said the vamps were weird: They took their dogs every where and chased victims down on pedal bikes, and half of them would only eat vegans.
Hailey sighed. Pacific Northwest vamps were one of a kind. She turned and watched her older sister stuff the duffel with stakes, knives, crosses, and plastic bottles full of holy water. It was mostly a waste. The meetings were for training and shoptalk. The who-died-this-quarter roll call and the candlelight vigil circle for whoever did, or whatever. Hailey didn’t know for certain. She’d never been allowed to go, even though she’d asked to constantly in the beginning, when she first came to live with Vi after their parents died six years ago. Well . . . her parents. She and Vi were half sisters. Hailey was their dad’s from his second marriage. There wasn’t much of a family resemblance—Vi was slim-hipped and narrow-chested, Hailey happily curvaceous. Vi had a thin, frowning mouth, while Hailey’s lips were made for deep reds and sarcastic curling. She’d never really known Vi before the car accident, and when Vi came to pick Hailey up after the accident, Hailey’d thought there’d been a mistake. Until Vi had bent down and looked her in the eyes. Both girls had their father’s eyes.
So off they went, two sisters into the great unknown. Always on their own, and that had always been enough. Vi’s mom was still around somewhere, but Vi kept her hidden, for her own safety. Vi liked to hide things for their own safety.
“Don’t you think you should pack other things?” Hailey asked. “Like underwear and socks?”
Vi stopped and put her hands on her hips. Already she looked less like Vi and more like Vi the Slayer. Vi was lanky and pale. She walked with a slight hunch and had guarded eyes and a kind smile. Vi the Slayer was lithe as a cat. She didn’t walk. She ran. She leapt. Her eyes were hard and focused. She cocked her head at her much younger sister and smiled. “Clothes and stuff are in my backpack.” She turned around the room and surveyed the whole apartment. Final mental checks before she dashed out the door. “Are you all set? Food? Beverages? The internet’s paid up for the next month, so I don’t want to hear any excuses about falling behind like last time—”
“Last time was summer vacation.” Hailey went to high school online. Which was a weird way of putting it. She didn’t “go” to high school anywhere. She did high school from the middle cushion of their couch.
“Either way, I don’t want you sitting around doing nothing but reading your comics the whole time, or traipsing around with those delinquent friends of yours. . . .” Her voice trailed off. Before the Slayerfests, she couldn’t even focus long enough to nag properly.
“Comics are valid forms of literature with highly developed themes, characterization, and story arcs,” Hailey said. “And those delinquents have names.”
“Never mind. Where is this quarter’s fest anyway?” “Halifax.”
“Well, we fly into Halifax. The actual meeting is at this remote resort. Cabins in trees or something.”
Hailey cocked an eyebrow. The meetings were starting to sound less like training and more like retreats. Every slayer in the world hanging out in a tree house wearing a flannel robe and a mud mask. But her only comment was:
“Some of us are portaling in,” said Vi. “Most of the internationals. With Andrew and the other Witchers.”
“He can’t just call them that, you know, just because they’re Watchers with magic. They lack the abs. And the white hair.” Vi snorted. “I’ll tell him you said so.” She held her arm out. “Come here, kid.”
Hailey groaned—she was sixteen, not a kid—but she went and hugged her sister tight. It hadn’t been easy between them at first; Hailey’d been an angry ten-year-old, and scared. And Vi—Vi had been a young slayer, not even thirty yet, with enough on her hands trying to keep herself alive. It had taken time to figure things out. To become a real family, and a team.
“Don’t answer the door without looking to see who it is first.” “Duh, I never do.”
“Don’t go anywhere after dark.”
“Nothing ever happens here after dark.”
“Don’t spend all our money at the bookstore.”
Hailey grinned. “Okay, I promise.”
Vi let go of her and stared at her for so long that it started to get weird.
“What?” Hailey asked, and went back to the couch. “You’re only going to be gone for a few days. I don’t know why you think you have to feed me for two months.” Except she did know why. Vi always stocked her up. Just in case she didn’t make it back.
“Well,” Vi said. “The way you eat . . .” She slung her backpack over her shoulders and reached down for her duffel bag. When she bent, the red roots of her hair stood out in a bright line, growing out under the dark brown dye. Hailey laughed.
“We should have dyed our hair again before you left.” “Oh yeah?” Vi touched her head.
“Yeah. You look like a rooster or something.” Hailey’s own hair was black naturally, inherited from her mom, who’d been Canadian and mixed-race Saulteaux First Nations. Hailey considered it a gift—it made her Goth aesthetic one step easier.
Vi put her hand on the doorknob.
“I don’t know why you have to go to these anymore anyway,” Hailey said. “Haven’t slayers ever heard of teleconferencing?” “Too easy to hack,” Vi said quietly. “Don’t you watch the news?” “I read the news, Luddite. But even I know that demons can’t hack.” What had Vi told her? Most demons and vamps were terrible with gadgets. Need to figure out if your new boyfriend is a demon? FaceTime him. If all you get is thirty seconds of his forehead and a lot of saying “What?” then call your big sister to take him out. “You’re a smart kid, Hailey.”
“I’m not a kid. But yeah, I know.”
“I’ll see you Monday.”
Except that Monday came and went.
Slayerfest had always come and gone, so often and so routinely that Hailey didn’t bother keeping track of them anymore. She should have paid more attention.
On Tuesday morning, she ignored it and told herself Vi was fine. By noon, she was googling reported traffic accidents in and around Halifax. Not long after that, she was pacing and messaging Vi every two minutes like a desperate ex. But there was no response. There’d been no activity on Vi’s accounts for days, not since a few photos she posted of her and a few other slayers hanging out in the city after their plane landed.
“It’s because there’s no service in a tree house,” Hailey muttered. The stupid Slayerfests were always held someplace so remote. She checked her phone again. In her gut, she knew it wasn’t just a lack of service. Something was wrong.
She pulled her backpack out from under her bed and dumped out the junk she usually kept in it: a small stack of graphic novels and manga, a couple of makeup bags, three studded leather bracelets, and a pair of comfy shoes. Also a notebook and some pens. Then she put back the makeup bag with the best eye-shadow palettes and all the leather bracelets and the shoes. And after a moment of consideration, her dog-eared lucky copy of Amulet: The Stonekeeper and the volume of My Hero Academia she hadn’t finished reading yet. The rest of the space she filled with clothes: T-shirts and rolled-up jeans. Black leggings. She winced at her eye liner in the mirror as she twisted her long black hair into a ragged ponytail—the liner was messy and smudged from worry, but she didn’t care. She’d layered up in a hooded sweatshirt and was lacing her boots when someone knocked at the door.
Vi was her first thought. But that was stupid. Vi had a key. Whoever it was knocked again, and Hailey tensed. No one in their apartment complex ever came calling.
She reached for her backpack and looked out her window. She’d never had a need to sneak out of it before, since Vi was gone so much at night anyway. But she could. Their unit was only on the second floor. She could hang and drop.
“Hailey Larsson. You in there?”
“Yeah . . .” Hailey answered hesitantly. She walked slowly to the door. It was a man’s voice, and he knew her name. And she could guess who he was, by his British accent.
“It’s . . . Spike,” he called through the wood.
Spike. Vi’s Watcher. She’d rather it was someone else. Anyone else. An intruder. A lost delivery boy. Because if Spike was there without Vi, it meant that . . .
She unlocked the door and swung it open and saw him standing there. Platinum hair. Black leather duster. A heavy blanket to shield him from the sun. And a look of grim relief to see her. “Hailey,” he said. “We have to talk.”
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What do you think about In Every Generation? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!