Two years ago, Brenna did the unthinkable. She witnessed the aftermath of a murder and accused her only true friend—the first boy she ever loved—of being a killer.
Now sixteen, Brenna returns to Oklahoma only to discover that Isaac "White Bird" Henry isn't in juvie. The half-breed outcast is in a mental hospital, frozen in time, locked in his mind at the worst moment of his life. And when Brenna touches him, she's pulled into his hellish vision quest, seeing terrifying demons and illusions she doesn't understand.
Feeling isolated and alone, she's up against the whole town, targeted by bullying former classmates, a bigoted small town sheriff, and a tribe who refuses to help one of their own. But when Brenna realizes she's as trapped by the past as White Bird is, this time she won't turn her back on him. She's the only one who can free them both.
Even if she has to expose her secret—a "gift" she's kept hidden her whole life.
Harlequin Teen, April 2011, ISBN-13: 978-0-373-21029-9
In The Arms Of Stone Angels made Bookurt's WOOT LIST of 2011. To earn that honor, according to Bookyurt, it has to amp Katie up, geek her out, and leave her ridiculously happy. Katie summed up by saying, "This book took me by storm. I didn't think any YA paranormal could surprise me at this stage, but did this book ever—and wow it packs quite a punch. I've already re-read it twice."
Jen at Fictitious Musings named In The Arms Of Stone Angels as one of her "Most Deliciously Awesome Reads of 2011".
Emerging Novelists recognized In The Arms Of Stone Angels as WINNER of the Best Young Adult Novel of 2011
Booktwirps named In The Arms Of Stone Angels as RUNNER UP in the "Best of 2011—Paranormal Category".
"In her first YA novel, adult thriller writer Dane pens a macabre slow-burner, building tension by alternating Brenna's first-person narrative with sections in omniscient third; Brenna's peers, a deputy, and an observant doctor at White Bird's hospital all contribute insight into the mystery of Heather's death. Thoroughly eerie, the plot includes flashbacks and nightmares involving crossing over into the spirit world, while Dane's well-developed characters provide an authentic exploration of guilt, loyalty, and belonging."
"Deliciously dark! Gritty and suspenseful, In the Arms of Stone Angels is a new take on the paranormal. One of the most compelling and honest voices in young adult fiction!"
—Sophie Jordan, New York Times Bestselling Author of Firelight (Harper Teen Sept 2010)
"In the Arms of Stone Angels is eerie, dark and rich with unforgettable characters. A page turning suspense story that will haunt you long after you finish it. Jordan Dane is a fresh new voice in young adult paranormal fiction."
—P. C. Cast, New York Times Bestseller of the House of Night Series
"Jordan Dane crafts nail-biting thrillers with fully-realized but very damaged characters, and plots that twist and turn and double-back to bite the unwary. Her novels are 21st Noir with guts and heart and a wicked sense of humor."
—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times Bestselling Author of ROT & RUIN
"Jordan Dane's, In the Arms of Stone Angels is an unforgettable young adult story that will leave you sleep deprived as you soon come to realize this is a new, fresh take on the paranormal. Dane has gone over the top to create a wonderful and suspenseful book that any teen will love. Each page brings new and exciting events that are completely unexpected."
—Ryan Raab, Suspense Magazine
"I was mesmerized—and that's not an exaggeration. I highly recommend this to teen readers and to any parent of a teenager who likes to read (even more so to parents who wish their kids would read more). In the Arms of Stone Angels has the pacing, suspense and depth that demonstrates just how good a book can be."
—Chris Beakey, Critically Acclaimed Author of DOUBLE ABDUCTION
"From the first chapter I immediately knew who Brenna was. Sometimes it takes a while to get a feel for a character, and what makes them tick, but Dane introduces the reader to Brenna so effortlessly and with such pin-point accuracy you feel like you are jumping in to a story with someone you've known for years. Everything about Brenna's character was believable. Her FU attitude, her angst and the thoughts going through her head were all things that made her seem real. The plot was perfectly paced and the resolution hit me like a smack to the head. I totally didn't see it coming. Jordan Dane has written an amazing, breath-taking young adult novel. It has paranormal elements mixed with romance, Indian folklore and murder mystery. This book had everything I could have wanted in a great, suspenseful read. The only problem that I had with it was that it ended, and I wanted it to keep going."
—O. Hutchinson, Book Twirps Reviews
"Emotions run high In the Arms of Stone Angels. In a blindingly amazing plot full of intrigue, Jordan Dane takes you through a breathtaking mystery with a paranormal twist like you've never seen before. I don't know how to express its complexity and general awesomeness. It's a story like I've never seen before. A page turner that will keep you up into the wee hours of the morning dying to race to the end. I give it two thumbs up! Five stars! I can't wait to see what Dane brings to the YA genre next."
—Michelle Hawley, The Book Heist
"Jordan Dane did an absolutely breath-taking job of describing [the] dream-state in In the Arms of Stone Angels. At one point the reader is asked to step outside of their comfort zone and enter a state that is considered "real" when actuality it is all inside of her friend's mind. While this could have (very easily) read as hokey or ridiculous it instead reads as original and unflinchingly creative. The mark of a very good storyteller. Even more importantly was the twist at the end of the story which until the last 20 or so pages you couldn't see coming. (A must in any murder mystery) Overall, A very original story with hidden lessons and great writing. Highly recommended for lovers of both mystery and YA."
—Misty Baker, KindleObsessed Reviews
I sleep with the dead.
I don't remember the first time I did it and I try not to think about why. It's just something I do. And my fascination with the dead has become part of me, like the way my middle toes jut out. They make my feet look like they're shooting the finger twenty-four seven. My "screw you" toes are my best feature, but that doesn't mean I brag about them. Those babies are kept under wraps—just for my entertainment—the same way I now keep my habit of sleeping in cemeteries a secret from anyone. Not even my mother knows I sneak out at night sometimes to curl up with the headstones ... and the stillness. Some things are best left unsaid.
In the arms of stone angels, I'm not afraid.
I wish I had remembered the part about not telling secrets when I came across my friend White Bird under the bridge at Cry Baby Creek. A woman's spirit cries for her dead baby and haunts that old rusted steel and wood plank footbridge. I'd seen her plenty of times, I swear to God. She never talked to me. The dead never do. She only cried and clutched the limp body of her baby to her chest.
Back then I didn't fully understand how fragile the barrier was between my world and another existence where the dead grieved over their babies forever. And I had no idea that a change was coming. Someone would alter how I saw the thin veil between my reality and the vast world beyond it.
And that someone was my friend, White Bird.
When I saw him crying in the shadows of that dry creek bed, just like the ghost of that woman, the sight of him sent chills over my skin. I should have paid attention to what my body was telling me back then—to stay away and leave him alone—but I didn't.
He was rocking in the shadows and muttering words I didn't understand. When I got closer, I saw he wasn't alone, but I couldn't see the girl's face. And tears were running down his cheeks. They glistened in the gray of morning, at the razor's edge of dawn. I wish I had stayed where I was that day—hiding in the dark—but my curiosity grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go.
Like an omen, the buzz of flies should have warned me. And thinking back on it, I wished that I had paid more attention to the sound. Even now, a single housefly can trigger that dark memory. And on nights when the dead can't comfort me to sleep, I still hear the unending noise of those flies and I think of him. Our paths had crossed that day for a reason, as if it was always meant to be, and both of us were powerless to stop it.
I remember that morning like it was yesterday and I can't get him out of my head.
White Bird was the first boy I ever loved. He was a half-breed, part Euchee Indian and part whatever. He was an outcast like me, only I couldn't claim anything cool like being Indian. Because he was half-breed and without parents, the Euchee didn't officially claim him, but that didn't matter to White Bird. In his heart he belonged to the Dala, the Bear clan of the tribe, because the bear represented the power of Mother Earth. And the strong animal was a totem sign of the healer. The way I saw it, he had picked his clan well.
In school, the teachers called him by his white name, Isaac Henry. But when it was just the two of us, he preferred I call him by his Indian name and that made me feel real special. He was different from the other boys at my school. I was convinced he had an ancient soul. He was quiet and didn't speak much, even to me. But when he did open his mouth, the other kids listened and so did I.
Some people were scared of him because he was taller and bigger than most of the boys and he kept to himself. Sometimes he would get into fights. But after he got his tribal band tattoos, the fights stopped and everyone left him alone, including his teachers. His tattoos made him look like a man. And that was fine by me.
He wore his dark hair long to his shoulders and his eye color had flecks of gold and green that reminded me of a field of wheat blowing easy in the Oklahoma wind. And his dark skin made me think of a golden swirl of sweet caramel. That's how I thought of him before the nightmare happened. He dominated my mind like a tune I couldn't get out of my head, something unforgettable and special.
White Bird was my first crush.
And in a perfect world, my first crush should have been unforgettable and magic. But when mine turned out to be the worst nightmare of my pathetic excuse for a life, I knew I'd never deserve to be happy and that magic was overrated. And as for White Bird being unforgettable, the day I saw him under that bridge covered in blood and ranting like a crazed meth head over a girl's corpse with a knife in his hand, I knew that image would be burned into my brain forever.
It was highly unlikely that I'd forget him and I made sure he'd never forget me. I was the one who turned him in to the sheriff.
© Jordan Dane