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Kimberly Loth Books

Circus of the Dead Book Six

Circus of the Dead Book Six

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 150 reviews

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Juliette is still reeling from her encounters with a zombie.

She tries to push the whole experience from her mind and focus wholly on her yoga, but even when she’s in the zone, she can still smell the rot of the zombie or see Samuel’s face. She should just go home and forget this island ever existed, but for some reason she can’t.

That means she has to find a job or she’ll be starving soon.

When her plans go awry, Samuel offers her a job helping in the hunt for monsters and she reluctantly agrees.

But when the new monster turns out to be vampire, she realizes she’s made the biggest mistake of her life…

Synopsis

Juliette is still reeling from her encounters with a zombie.

She tries to push the whole experience from her mind and focus wholly on her yoga, but even when she’s in the zone, she can still smell the rot of the zombie or see Samuel’s face. She should just go home and forget this island ever existed, but for some reason she can’t.

That means she has to find a job or she’ll be starving soon.

When her plans go awry, Samuel offers her a job helping in the hunt for monsters and she reluctantly agrees.

But when the new monster turns out to be vampire, she realizes she’s made the biggest mistake of her life…

First Chapter

“Start in Mountain. Inhale up. Exhale fold.”

Serena’s voice has this musical, relaxing quality that centers me every time. I follow her lead, along with my classmates, and give thanks that after four weeks, I’m still here.

“Inhale halfway up. Exhale plank.”

Katy and Dylan flank me as we move as one. Eyes closed, we repeat the sun salutation. The calming music washes over me, taking away any thoughts and worries I have about what tonight is.

The new moon.

Two weeks ago, after Samuel and I saved a little boy from turning into a zombie, we promised each other we would talk the next day.

But we didn’t.

Samuel never reached out. But then again, neither did I. As the days passed, I realized that was a good thing. Nightmares from the evening we burned James still haunt my dreams, and the strange thing is that in half my nightmares, I’m not burning James alive. I’m burning Samuel.

I’m not cut out for hunting murderous creatures. That’s not what I came to Madeline Island to do.

I came here to go after my dream of becoming a yoga instructor, perhaps even opening my own studio. Through yoga, I want to affect people’s lives in a positive way. Like Serena is doing for me right now.

“Let’s get in Lotus Pose,” Serena instructs. “Focus on your breathing. Focus on your inner calm.”

Inner calm. That’s what I need to get to. It’s crazy how the guilt seeps in though. If it wasn’t for Samuel saving me twice, I’d either be dead or turned into a zombie. As one of two people who know what this island is, a part of me thinks I should help in Samuel’s quest to rid the island of creatures.

But I’m not sure I can handle it.

Not to mention, the person I’d have to work with is Samuel Walker. I still don’t know if I can forgive him for the hell he put my family and friends through.

Every time I think about that man, his blonde hair falling in front of those blue—now surprisingly human—eyes, my head hurts. He appears to be nothing of his former self, and yet that’s all I can think about when I see him. No matter how many times he saves my life.

“Are you going to sit in Lotus forever, or do you want to grab that drink?”

I open my eyes to find I’m the only one still seated on the floor. Dylan smiles down at me.

I laugh and take his hand as he pulls me to standing. “A drink sounds great, actually.”

“I’m sure you’re talking about a tall glass of water,” Serena says as she places her things in a cabinet at the front of the room.

“Oh, of course.” Katy laughs at my side. “That’s exactly what we were talking about. Restaurants love if you take up a table and order a round of waters.”

Serena’s smile reflects in the wall of mirrors as she closes the cabinet and then bends down to tie her shoes. She’s one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. I’m not certain of her age, but she appears to be about ten years older than me. She seems like someone who would be really fun to hang out with, instructor or not.

Before I realize what I’m doing, I say, “You should come with us. We’re headed to the burger joint.”

Dylan jabs his elbow into my side.

Serena glances up. “You want me to join you?”

“Only if you’ll drink more than water,” I say, thinking perhaps that’s why Dylan appeared so against inviting her.

“I have been known to throw one back every once in a while. You sure you want me to come?”

I look from Katy to Dylan, who are both nodding. “Yes. If you want to.”

“I’ll see you there.” Serena finishes tying her shoes, stands, and heads to her office. She is as cool as I thought she was. She, Dylan, and Katy can share a few alcoholic beverages while I sip on my fancy non-alcoholic drinks.

As we exit the building, Dylan moans. “You never invite the teacher to hang out with you. There’s an image we have to maintain. She’s totally going to judge everything we do or say.”

“It’s not like you get a grade,” Katy emphasizes for the umpteenth time.

“I know, Katy,” Dylan mocks. “But there are only two internships, and those are awarded subjectively.”

Katy snorts. “You think you’ve got a chance?”

Dylan’s jaw drops around a smile. “Excuse me? Better than your chances.”

“I don’t think so,” Katy teases. We unlock our bikes and put on our helmets. “Of course Miss Juliette is a shoo-in.”

I shake my head because they’ve been ribbing me about how I suck up to Serena all the time. Can’t blame a girl if she loves the material and appears to have a knack for it.

“Once Serena hangs out with us outside of class, she’s going to see a whole new side of you. Who knows what she’ll think of her star pupil.” Dylan smirks, and I hit him on the shoulder. I know he’s joking, but a small part of me wonders if I made a mistake.

I glance up and down the street and take in the huge oak trees that cast some well-needed shade on this hot August day. Perhaps I shouldn’t have asked the person who holds my future in her hands to hang out with me on a social level, but I’m feeling too good right now to let it bring me down.

Katy’s smile is huge as she laughs and bikes away. “See you crazy kids soon. Six p.m.”

Dylan waves and bikes off too.

Hanging out with others makes me feel normal. I missed out on so many things during my seventeen years on the circus island, and I can’t wait to see my new friends again tonight.

A shot of panic ripples through me, and I open my wristlet and find it nearly empty. Mama’s two hundred dollars is almost gone.

Only five dollars left.

With so few expenses over the last four weeks, I managed to make that two hundred dollars last. I don’t have to pay rent, thanks to my scholarship, but now that my landlord is dead, who knows what is going to happen there. I’ve been searching for a job, but they’re so hard to come by.

The five-dollar bill smirks at me. I need a job or the next month, which hopefully will turn into much longer with that internship, will be quite tricky.

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