Welcome to Camp Maple Creek!

Who am I, you ask? My name is Denika Sparrow. You know, like that pirate movie some years back, but no relation. I just finished my junior year in highschool, am about to turn 17, and my mom shipped me off to a mountain camp in Washington. Apparently, it's for gifted teenagers, but I'm certainly not gifted. The only talent I have is drawing manga characters, but I don't think I'm that good. Here is the only manga I've done of myself.

See, I'm not that good. Anywho, Camp Maple Creek is a strange place. They have yet to take us outside, and all the activities are in this huge facility built inside a mountain. i definitely did not think that was how this mountain camp would turn out.

I doubt I'd even enjoy it at all if not for Fionn. He is the most intriguing guy I've ever met, and he's so gorgeous. He inspired me to sketch him, and I think it turned out really well. Probably the best manga I've ever done. His eyes are so mesmerizing and impossibly pale blue. He makes me feel things I've never felt before...

Following is an excerpt from Maple Creek: a Camp for Gifted Teenagers

As I push up to stand, I can't take a step and nearly fall on my face, only breaking my fall at the last second with my hands. Rolling over, I stare in shock at the undone straps of my shoes that are attached to the other shoe. "What the hell?"
"Deni, are you OK?" Amy rushes over to help me back in the chair, and then she helps me untangle the straps and put them back on properly. I turn to glare at the other new kids, looking from one face to the next for the guilty person. Problem is they all look surprised and no one is laughing.
The tears well in my eyes as I look at them, but I blink them back. How can they all look innocent when one of them had to have done it? I've only been at the camp for one day and am already the butt of someone's mean joke. I can't understand why. What is it about me that inspires such pettiness? I shift my gaze to Amy's kind face and am no longer able to hold back the tears. Unwilling to let the others know how upset they've made me, I push up to my feet and bolt from the theater. Lauren calls out my name from the stage, but I don't stop.
I keep running, looking for an escape. There's no front door to use, so I push open the door to the stairs and run up all flights until I can go no higher. Knowing I don't have access to the top floors, I sit on the top step and bury my face in my knees. I let all the years of frustration and loneliness roll out of me as I cry. It isn't
fair. What have I ever done to deserve this? I want to go home and wallow in my room. I'm not welcome here and no longer want to stay. I didn't want to come here in the first place.
The tears flow and snot drips from my nose, but I can't stop crying. At first I'm unaware of the hands gently gripping my upper arms, mostly because that strange sensation sweeps over me again. I involuntarily suck in a breath as it cascades through my body, and my sobs quiet and the tears slowly cease. I focus on what I am feeling as the familiar goose flesh erupts on my skin. It's clearer this time, and not unpleasant at all. In fact it feels good, almost euphoric. I realize Fionn must be the one doing this, but I'm still unable to lift my head to look at him. I wipe my face on the back of my arm and breathe in quickly through my nose, which is all stuffed up.
Finally, I peek at him through the curtain of my hair. His eyes are even more striking this close up, and they mesmerize me. The pupils are tiny, almost completely surrounded by that impossibly pale blue.
I shiver as butterflies erupt in my stomach. Fionn crouches on the step two down from mine, with his arms on either side of me, his hands still gripping my upper arms. My brain refuses to work as I can do nothing but stare into his eyes. "Feelin' better now?"
My lips part in a gasp of surprise at hearing his voice for the first time. There's a slight lilt, but I can't identify the accent. I want him to keep talking.
If I had a book, I'd give it to him and ask him to start reading. "I'm not sure."
His hands release me as he leans slightly away, and he smiles. "Feel like talkin' about it?"
About comes out sounding more like "a boot", and I finally return the smile. "I love your accent. Where are you from?"
He chuckles before standing to his full height. I suck in my breath and push to my feet, so he isn't towering over me. Though I am two steps above him, I'm only slightly taller. He grins at me before moving up a step, which now allows him to look down at me. I tilt my head back to continue meeting his gaze, and my hair falls away from my face.
His fingers flick a few strands from my eyelashes, before slowly wiping a tear from the corner of my eye. "I'd much rather talk about you. What happened to make you so upset?"
I sigh as his voice flows through me. I want him to touch my face again but don't dare ask. I know I should step back, so our bodies aren't so close but can't move. His question finally seeps through my foggy brain, and I shake my head and attempt to brush it off. "Oh, that was nothing."
His head tilts as a frown creases his flawless forehead. "Didn't seem like nothin'."
I shrug and force my gaze away from him. It's harder than it should be. Needing something else to talk about, I remember seeing him in the film. "Fionn, how long have
you been coming to this camp?"
He doesn't respond right away, so I dare turn to look back into his eyes. His intent gaze is studying my face. "How did you know my name?"
I grin, enjoying his surprise. I really should have gotten that counselor's name that was so helpful. "One of the new hires told me. So, how long?"
His frown deepens. "You know you're not supposed to be up here, right?"
His eyes dilate suddenly, covering half the iris, and I step back with a gasp. In that moment he looks ferocious. I don't think I'm afraid of him, only startled at how quickly he can go from comforting to uncomfortable. That strange feeling I get around him seems to undulate and shift and suddenly I'm nauseated.
"What are you doing?" Bile fills my mouth, and I grimace, trying to swallow it. "Please stop."
Guilt and then concern replaces the irritated frown. "Are you OK? You've gone a bit green."
I hold up a hand in front of me as he moves closer, and I take a step away. He clears the last step, and his height this close to me is shocking. He has to be close to 6 1/2 feet tall. "You should know. Every time you're close to me, it gets weird."
He nods and walks around me to the door. He scans his card, and the lock disengages. I think he's actually going to just leave without saying anything, but he pauses to glance at me over his broad shoulder. "You shouldn't get close to me then. Go back downstairs, Denika. You're
missin' tennis."
I'm frozen to the floor as I watch the door close behind him. By the time I think to move, I run forward and hit it with my shoulder, but it's already locked. I spin around and slam my back against the door, feeling utterly stupid. He knows my name, too, and I should have asked how. I thought only the employees know our names and faces. So does he work here, or is he a camper? I don't want him to be an employee, since that would mean he's an adult. No, the employees were told to all call me Deni. He called me by my actual name, and I love the sound of it coming from his mouth. I shake myself. Even if he is my age, that doesn't mean I have a chance with him. Do I really want someone who scares me? No, he doesn't scare me...well, not really. He does fascinate me though, and I can't deny the attraction. I know he feels it, too. He's quite possibly the most gorgeous guy I've ever seen in my life. He is a mystery that I want to solve. No, need to solve.

**This story will now be two books. "A Camp for Gifted Teenagers" is available now and will be free on most online bookstores. The 2nd Book, "A Camp for Gods & Monsters", is avilable for $3.49 on most online booksellers!**