Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Swoon Worthy Wednesday: Dexter O' Neil (School Spirits)

Character: Dexter O'Neil

Nickname: Dex

Age: Junior in High School

Why We Love Him: Dex is HELLA funny! His quips and optimism add a layer of charm to the story and entertain the reader nonstop. He also has a really great and eccentric sense of style that adds flare to his character. From the moment Izzy meets Dex, he becomes a true friend helping her navigate a normal teenage world. He's brave, loyal, and has a big heart. Dex is a character many a lady will be adding to their book boyfriends list!

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt? 


Dex meets Isolde (Izzy) for the first time.

Picking up my speed, I rounded the corner, and suddenly felt like someone was watching me. I glanced up, and sure enough, there was a guy in the bleachers. I only caught a few details as I jogged past-wavy black hair, sunglasses, something weird about his jacket-and when he lifted one hand to wave at me, I ignored him.

He was still there when I went around the second time, but now he was standing up, hands shoved into his pockets, shoulders up against the cold. "Weirdo," I muttered. Okay, so maybe the girl who had just laid out a guy with a dodgeball had no room to talk, but still. Even I knew it wasn't socially acceptable to stare at people.

I pulled my hoodie up and kept running, faster now, and when I made the lap the third time, the bleachers were empty. Awesome. Maybe Watcher Dude had found some other girl to creep on.

Lowering my eyes back to the track, I wondered just how many laps I was supposed to do. The coach had just said "some." Was that a set number that everyone else who went to high school already knew? Did that mean I had to run until the end of P.E.? And would I even be able to hear the bell out-

Suddenly, a pair of shiny black shoes came into view directly in front of me. Watcher dude was standing in the middle of the track. He didn't move as I darted to the side, my sneakers skidding on the dirt as I slowed down.

Breathing hard, I whirled around to face him. "The heck?" I panted.

He took off his sunglasses, and as he hooked them in the collar of his shirt, I noticed that the arms were bright aqua. His eyes were nearly the same shade of blue as he squinted at me. "Is someone trying to murder you?"


Shrugging, he put his hands in the pockets of his jacket. The other boys I'd seen at Mary Evans High were wearing pullover fleeces or North Face jackets, like Adam. This guy was wearing a navy peacoat, and there was a gray scarf twisted into a complicated knot at his throat.

"I've just never seen anyone run . . . determinedly," he said. "So I assumed someone must be chasing you." With an exaggerated lean, he peered down the track. "But that doesn't seem to be the case. So why were you running?"

"Coach Lewis told me to."

"His eyebrows went up. "Ah. So you're being punished for something. Coach Lewis is not the most creative man when it comes to discipline. So let's see . . . "

Looking me up and down, the boy began to circle me. Okay, staring was one thing, but circiling? Yeah, that was totally not cool I moved around with him. "What are you doing?"

"You've definitely got that whole tough chick thing going on. Talking back, maybe? Shouting a four-letter word when you lost a relay race?"

"It's none of your business," I snapped, even as I glanced down and realized he was wearing pin-stripped pants. I didn't even know those still existed. "Why aren't you in P.E.?"

He finally stopped circling and reached into the pocket of his coat. Pulling out an inhaler, he wagged it at me. "Asthma. But rather than just give me another elective, the fascists who run this school make me come to P.E. every day and sit out."

"So why don't you sit out in the gym?"

Grinning, the boy slid the inhaler back into his pocket. "I figured if all I was going to do was sit there, I could at least offer commentary on the athletic prowess of my classmates. Coach Lewis, sadly, did not agree. So now I'm banished to the wilds of the football field. Much like you."

He slid his sunglasses back on. "And now you know my deep dark secret, so it seems only fair that you share yours with me. Oh, I'm Dex, by the way," he added. "Just in case you feel weird sharing deep dark secrets with strangers."

Maybe it was his grin, which was a nice change from the glare/looks of horror I'd gotten in the gym, but I found myself giving a little smile in return. "Izzy. And there, uh, was a dodgeball incident."

"Perhaps the most intriguing phrase I've heard uttered in some time," Dex said, rocking back on his heels. "I'm obviously going to need you to elaborate."

"This jackass hit a girl too hard with one of the balls. So I . . . hit him back."

Dex ducked his head, regarding me over the top of his sunglasses. "Aaaand?"

"And maybe I threw it a little too hard and . . . dislocated his shoulder."

"Whoa, for real?" Dex asked, and for just a second, the act--or whatever it was--slipped, and he just seemed like a normal teenage boy.

A normal teenage boy wearing a cravat, but whatever.

"It was an accident," I said hurriedly, but Dex shook his head.

"Which girl and which jackass?"

"Romy Hayden and Ben . . . something. I don't remember."

"You knocked out Ben McCrary?" he asked, eyes wide.

"I was an accident," I said again. "I threw the ball harder than I meant to."

Dex burst into laughter. "Oh my God, that is the greatest thing I've heard all week. You are my new hero."

Squinting at me, he leaned in and said, "Seriously, I might actually be in love with you now. Would it be awkward if we made out?"

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Check out Author Rachel Hawkins on her Blog, Goodreads, Tumblr and Twitter!

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