Loran knows how dangerous rivalries can be. Being part of the athletics department and the daughter of two members of The Board of Education, she has had a front-row seat to the violence. So, she knows being forced from her school is a death sentence. But Loran is good at adapting and hiding in plain site should be easy. After all, she is one of a thousand faces. Now all she has to do is convince her new friends that she's one of them and pray that she will make it to The Picking alive.
Chris has known Loran since they were kids. He has watched her grow, fall, and succeed. It was only natural that she would notice him and they would fall in love. He would do anything for her and has proven it. His body is littered with scars from attacks meant for her. Having to let her go into enemy territory without him is torture. But he knows she will be fine as long as she follows all the rules he has set out for her. After all, he knows what's best.
As the top basketball player in the nation, Kyle is one of the few faces everyone recognizes. His brains have also gotten him far, scoring him one of the top spots in Kent Wood. He has no trouble getting any girl he wants. So why does the new girl not even notice him? He knows there has to be more to it than a boyfriend waiting at home. After all, that's never stopped girls before. Something about her makes his brain itch and he's pretty sure it has something to do with his rival Chris.
Captain of the cheer squad at Kent Wood and in the top five of her sector there is very little she isn't involved in. Time has taught Hayley that looks can be just as powerful a weapon as knowledge. She has sharpened both like a fine sword. Gossip is her insurance and she uses it to keep those she loves safe. So naturally, she has to be the first to meet the new girl on campus. After all, it's not normal for someone their age to be transferring. There has to be more to the story than Loran is letting on and Hayley will get to the bottom of it.
One of the smartest students at Kent Wood, Shane would rather spend time studying or relaxing with friends than dribbling a ball. Most of his friends are top athletes and bring a lot of attention their way. Shane hates attention but he likes standing in their shadows. There his secrets are safe. There he can stay safe from hurt and heartbreak. Loran brings light to the darkness he wasn't expecting to see until The Picking. He can tell there is something different about her and he wants to know what it is. But getting to know her means leaving Kyle's shadow once and for all. Still, some things are worth stepping into the light for.
Captain of Kent Wood girls varsity basketball, Jaz has a passion for sports and math. A Tom Boy to the heart Jaz can usually be found in a letter jacket with dirty cuffs. But Jaz will be the first to drag her friends on a shopping spree with Hayley. Behind her, a kind personality hides a ruthless streak. Cross her or her loved ones and she will make sure you pay. Her history means she hates those from her rival school. Loran seems like a great girl but Jaz can't help but feel like she knows her and not in a good way.
An engineer by day and a writer at night, Kristin enjoys exploring the worlds of tomorrow. Her passion for writing started young in an eighth-grade writing class and after stumbling through her first novel she fell in love with the process. She finds inspiration in the world around her from her two crazy dogs and little sassy bird to the people she meets on the street. With her debut novel Lighting Rising, Kristin is bringing the world in her imagination to life.