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Read an Excerpt From Sign of the Slayer


Read an Excerpt From Sign of the Slayer

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Read an Excerpt From Sign of the Slayer


Published on August 10, 2023


High school is supposed to be about studying, socializing, and marching-band practice. Not fighting vampires.

We’re thrilled to share an excerpt from Sharina Harris’ Sign of the Slayer, the start of a brand new dark academia series described as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Gilded Onespublishing with Entangled Teen on August 29.

High school is supposed to be about studying, socializing, and marching-band practice. Not fighting vampires. Then one night flipped my world inside out―now, my life sucks. But it isn’t all bad. I’m at a slayer academy, learning things like the real origin of vamps and how to make serious weapons out of thin air.

Every last one of them will pay for what they did. I’m doing great.

Until I come face-to-face with the actual vampire prince…and I’m not sure of anything anymore. Vampires are supposed to be soul-sucking demons. But Khamari is…something else. He’s intelligent and reasonable―and he seems to know things about me that could change everything.

He’s also hiding something big, even from his own kind. And when a threat from an ancient evil is so extreme that a vampire will team up with a slayer to take it down, it isn’t just my need for revenge that’s at stake anymore.

It’s the whole damn world.



I’m jarred awake as my head slams against the back of the seat in front of me. The felt material that scrapes my forehead feels like steel, and I know I’ll have a carpet burn.

Instrument cases fall like raindrops and crash like thunder from the racks above our heads. I duck and dodge the raining horns and flutes and clarinets.

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Sign of the Slayer
Sign of the Slayer

Sign of the Slayer

Deidra screams beside me, and my head snaps toward the sound of a crack. She grabs her bleeding forehead and looks down at her hands. Her fingers shake with blood.

Deidra whimpers. Her mouth moves soundlessly. Strings of saliva drip from between her lips.

“Shit.” I grab her head, holding her together. “We had an accident. I’ll get help.”

She grabs my wrist, holding me in place.

“Okay. I’ll just…” I look around. The bus has stopped, and people are standing and scrambling—struggling to get out of any open window.

A high-pitched scream fills the air. No, not a scream. Screams near the front of the bus.

“R-raven?” Tears roll down Deidra’s cheek.

Someone must’ve died.

A low growl from outside curls around my bones as something rams against the side of the bus and knocks it clean off its axis. It teeters and totters and finally rights itself, but not before my mouth fills with blood. My tongue throbs.

The growling grows louder, nastier. Closer.

The screams bouncing around inside the battered steel grow scarier.

I peer out the window. Stare at the hulking shadow moving along the side of the bus.

A bear? No, that’s impossible.

“Raven?” The pain in Deidra’s voice grabs my attention. Even in the dim light, her eyes look unfocused, as if she is about to pass out. I press harder on the wound. “You’ll be okay,” I say, desperate to help her, to take her pain away, to focus only on her… when the thing from outside suddenly fills the front of the bus.

My hands fall from Dee’s head. How did It get inside?

Air clogs my throat. I blink once, twice, not believing my eyes.

This is no animal—not a bear, not a jackal. It looks like a man. Skin as pale as the moon highlights ruby lips. The irises of his brown eyes are tainted crimson, while the surrounding whites transform to obsidian. Like a snake making room for larger prey, his jaw unhinges as his fangs, dripping with thick, yellow saliva, lengthen.

Holy crap. That’s not… It’s not what I think it is. It can’t be.

I lean closer to Deidra and press my palm against her forehead. I pull her close when I feel her shivering.

Dr. Jeffries pushes himself from the seat.

“Kids, go out the back exit. Now.” His voice is calm in the storm, and he snaps his command as if we’re running drills at practice.

Everyone scrambles, but I’m rooted to my seat, one arm around Deidra’s shoulder, one hand against her forehead. Her sticky blood seeps between my fingers.

Dr. Jeffries shoots the thing a hard glare, and for a split second, I think maybe, just maybe, he can reason with it. “You need to—”

His words are cut off.

The thing, the monster, grips its gnarled fingers around Dr. Jeffries’ throat. His extended fangs sink into his neck. He sucks down Dr. Jeffries’ blood, grunting like a wild hog.

“Oh, my God,” I whisper while everyone screams. “A v-vampire?”

God, how can this be real?

Deidra grabs my fingers and whimpers, and I squeeze back as cold realization hits me. We’re sitting ducks packed in a tin can.

For a few heartbeats, silence fills the air. And then pandemonium breaks.

Cam, who sits behind me, bangs against the window, but it’s jammed.

Do something, gal.” I hear Grandma Lou’s voice urging me to fight.

I can’t. The screams from my bandmates lock my muscles. The vampire is a mere forty feet away.

You gonna let me take you down? You ain’t ready for the world.” In my mind, I see Grandma Lou standing over me, cane pointed at my neck.

I struggle to stand. I feel another tug from Deidra, but I shake off her hand. Shake off my fear.

“D-don’t go.” She shakes her head. “Don’t leave me.”

I hear another howl from outside the bus.

“There’s another monster out there. Get under the seat!” I yell.

The whites of her eyes stretch, but she slumps down.

I take a step forward as the monster tosses Mr. Jeffries’ body through the shattered front window.

A few people stand between me and Deidra and the monster. The others have managed to climb out through the windows, and from the skin-rippling screams, I guess they didn’t make it far.

They’re picking us off.

“Do like I taught you!” a voice inside me orders.

The monster’s attention swings to me. I hold my breath, back away, but he advances. I try to yell. “S-stop!”

He doesn’t stop. He rushes me, swings his fist, and lands a punch on my face. The sheer force of his blow sends my body soaring through the air until my back slams against the exit door.

Somehow, I stand, groaning. Everything hurts.

Tiny explosions detonate inside my skull. The headache from hell doubles my vision, tripling my pain so much that it seizes my muscles.

Lava incinerates my veins. I claw at my wrists. They burn and itch as if something foreign is invading my body.

The pain drops me to my knees. “W-what…what’s happening to me?”

Liters of sweat soak through my T-shirt. All I can do is breathe—breathe through their screams, my pain, and our fear.

After what feels like hours but must be only a few seconds, the pain finally cedes.

The monster stares at me, licking his bloodied mouth. An eerie, Pennywise-the-killer-clown smile stretches his lips. He takes one step and then another, slowly stalking me, eyes glued to me like I’m the snake and he’s the mongoose. I swallow what feels like a cotton ball clogging my throat. He’s deliberately taking his time to amp up my fear.

And sweet baby Jesus, it’s working.

But Deidra needs my help. Gotta save me, save my friends.

My mind clears, and my heart pumps with purpose.

“He’s here!” someone with a deep, guttural voice yells. The vampire, now only ten feet away, snaps his overlarge teeth at me in a silent threat that freezes my heart. With a growl, he whirls, then, in a blur of motion, is off the bus.

My head droops like a wilted flower as I close my eyes, grateful for the reprieve but dreading what comes next. I inhale and instantly regret it when the smell of copper—the smell of blood—fills my nose.

I open my eyes slowly and find the glassy eyes of Cam staring back at me. I look away. An hour ago, those eyes were like a puppy dog seeking my attention, wanting…more from me. The regret that pooled in my stomach for months now turns into lead.

Another explosion rocks my entire body, and a blindingly bright light fills my vision. I kneel as my muscles twist around my bones—compressing and stretching, like they’re trying to fit into another mold.

A thousand sharp, burning needles jab into the flesh of my palms. It feels like a hot poker emblazons my skin. Circles appear on my palms in real time, as if someone is etching them in my hands, and I scream, high and loud.

“Raven!” Deidra shouts, but it sounds like I’m underwater.

“I…” I pant. “S-something’s happening to me.”

She crawls to my side. “You’re glowing.” She grabs my hand and waves it in front of my face.

The light dims, but it’s the shit on my hand that doubles the knots in my stomach. I stroke the intricate design—two inverted triangles, surrounded by a hexagon, two large circles, and three smaller nodes.

“What the hell is this?” I ask, though right after my question, the answer rushes me with clarity.

Deidra points to the nodes. “That’s mercury, sulfur, and salt.”

I nod and swallow—science nerd to the rescue. “It looks like some witch shit.”

She shakes her head. I wince when I notice the blood caked at her temples. “It’s a circle, not a pentagram. But I think it has something to do with that demon. That’s what it was, right?”

Something in my head, my heart, whispers vampire.

I flex my hand and stand. “I think I need to go. Stay here and don’t move.”

“I don’t think I can.” Her eyes are misty. “Don’t leave. Don’t get yourself—”

I point to the dent in the back door. “I did that. I can handle it, but I can’t handle you getting hurt. So please stay here and let me go.”


Excerpted from Sign of the Slayer by Sharina Harris. Entangled Teen, 2023. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author

Sharina Harris


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