Gina's most recent novel, FORSAKEN, the second in the FORLORN series, is about angels, demons and rock 'n roll. She is the co-author of the bestselling THE PRINCE WARRIORS series with Priscilla Shirer.

I’m still trying to figure out how it happened. How did my singing stop Derrick from shooting? How can something so simple as a song affect what happens in the world?

Ralph told me how music has power in the spiritual and physical realm. Like in the physical world, music produces harmonic vibrations that can effect solid objects.  There was this bridge called Galloping Gertie that collapsed in 1940 due to harmonic resonance. He showed me a video (on a VCR!) That was truly one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. gertie_timelineSolid steel bending and twisting like spaghetti. It’s kind of like how an opera singer can make a glass shatter, or a tuning fork will pick up the sound of another tuning fork, or how your insides vibrate when you listen to really loud music.

I play music mostly because it calms me down. If I couldn’t do music, I’d probably go insane. Ralph told me some stuff about how music affects the brain. I guess this makes sense. I sing when I have nightmares and when I’m sad and lonely. And then I feel better.

But could my singing actually affect evil spirits? That seems a little crazy. Ralph told me that when King Saul in Bible had an evil spirit tormenting him, he would send for David, who drove the spirit away by playing the harp. So maybe it can happen. There’s this song I love called Scare Away the Dark by Passenger. It kind of describes how I feel.

Sing, sing at the top of your voice
Love without fear in your heart
Feel, feel like you still have a choice
If we all light up we can scare away the dark

There’s a lot of singing in the Bible. There’s this one time when Paul and Silas were singing hymns in prison and an earthquake hit and all the doors flew open. Or when the army was Judah was going up to a battle, and the musicians and singers led the way. As soon as they starting singing and praising God, He set ambushes against the enemy.

Music has power. Maybe even to scare away the Dark. I hope so. I think I’m going to need to do that a lot now.


Sorry I haven’t written. It’s been a terrible month. I feel as though I’ve been launched into a different universe. Maybe I have. Or maybe the universe I was living in wasn’t what I thought it was.

There was this shooting at my school. Two kids died. I can’t even talk about that still. I thought for sure I was going to die. I mean really, life flashing before my eyes and everything. The shooter was a student. Derrick. A weird kid, kind of a loner, but then I’m weird and a loner too, so that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Why did he do it? People say he was on drugs, that he was depressed and suicidal, that he was mad cause he got kicked out of school for cheating or something. But no one knows. His parents aren’t talking.

He’s dead anyway. Only he didn’t kill himself. Jared Lorn killed him.

I didn’t tell anyone about that. Maybe I’m a horrible person. Jared told me not to. Maybe Jared is a horrible person.

But he’s not even a person. According to his guardian Ralph he’s a Nephilim. Part human and part angel. That’s crazy. So crazy. But I saw him throw that kid across the entire cafeteria. Like it was nothing. And he was all glowing and fiery…I thought I must have been having a hallucination. But I wasn’t.

I’ve been locked in my room, because of reporters hanging out on the street. They want to talk to me. They want to hear my story. I hope they go away soon.

I’ve been reading up on Nephilim. They’re in the Bible. I read this in Genesis: “‘The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of 


God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.

Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.’  Ralph says the Nephilim were like superheroes or titans,  but they became so evil and corrupt that God sent the Flood to wipe them out.  Apparently they weren’t totally wiped out in the Flood, and some survived and Jared is one of them. Then later in Exodus, when Moses sent spies to check out the Promised Land, they came back all scared and said: “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”‘ (Numbers13:32-33)

Jared isn’t a giant. But he is pretty tall, and his hair is practically white and his eyes are this electric blue that shoots right into your soul. I’ve been trying to draw him but can’t get it right. (He does look a little like Jared Leto when he was going through his platinum phase…could he be a Nephilim too? That would be ridiculous. I’ve been listening to Thirty Seconds to Mars nonstop.)


Ralph says that through the years the Nephilim DNA has been so mixed with regular people that you can’t tell that much of a difference anymore. Which means if there are other Nephilim in the world, hiding in plain sight like Jared…no one would even know it.


That’s not even the craziest part. There was this voice in my head telling me to sing…I think it was the same voice of the man who rescued me from that car accident when I was a kid. People said it was an angel.

So I’ve been spending all this time while locked in my room reading about angels. And demons. They’re all around us. That’s what Ralph says. He seems to know about these things. There’s tons of websites about people who have encountered angels. In the Bible, angels show up and they look like regular humans (no wings), though most people who encounter them think they are like lords or royalty and great warriors. And usually they’re scared to death. “Angel” means messenger, so mostly angels come to give messages to humans. Messages from God, I guess. But there are also warrior angels, who battle demons and stuff like that. And there are singing angels, and healing angels…there’s all different kinds.

Jared. I don’t know if I can trust him. He rescued me from getting killed, but he knew Derrick—what if they were friends? What if Jared was in on it? He used to sit by the window during lunch, always looking out, as if he was waiting for someone…

Maybe the angel knows. Maybe I can talk to him. Find out what’s really going on.

Dear Journal,

My name is Grace Fortune. I’m almost sixteen years old and a sophomore at the Buffalo Arts Academy. I don’t know why I’m telling you this, because you must already know it, since you are me, technically, but I just felt I ought to introduce myself.

It’s harder getting started with this than I thought. I have all these ideas in my head and I’ve been thinking for awhile I needed to write them down, not because I ever plan to go back and read them sometime in the future like when I’m forty, but just to get them out of my head, where they buzz around like flies on a watermelon and won’t leave me alone.

So what do you want to know first? Well, I go to this private artsy school, where I really don’t belong, because most of the kids there are from wealthy families or else they are super brilliant and I’m not either. I just wasn’t doing well in “regular” school and the guidance counselor thought that because I had some musical talent, I might get accepted at the BAA (motto: “No, we are artists, not sheep”). It helped that I had this trust fund that was set up for me ten years ago when my parents were killed in a car crash and I survived. There was story about it on TV, and so people from all over the world sent me money. I don’t remember much about it. I was in the hospital for a long time, with two crushed knees. My knees still have a big problem doing what knees are supposed to do, like bend. I had to wear leg braces until I was twelve. So naturally the kids at school made fun of me. “Run, Fortune, Run!” Yeah, I got a lot of that.

I still can’t run. There’s a lot of stuff I can’t do. Or won’t do. Pretty much everything is out of my comfort zone. I wish I could be a little more adventurous and not care so much about failing or being ridiculed. Like Bree, my best friend. She could literally do anything she wanted to do. She has no fear. And Ethan (he’s my brainiac friend—doesn’t everyone have one of those?) doesn’t do much outside of playing and designing video games in his basement, but it’s not a problem for him. He’s perfectly happy that way. He feels no need to try new things or prove himself to anyone.

I wish I could be like that. Content with what I am and not always trying to be someone else. But Bree and Ethan are kind of perfect the way they are. Bree is beautiful and Ethan is smart. I’m just the piano player.

I saw Jared in the hallway this morning. Where did he come from? He’s not the typical BAA student. Bree said he was from Ontario or Oregon or Ohio. Something with an O. I think he might actually be from Asgard, or one of those places where they make gods. Maybe he’s Thor’s little brother. He turned and started walking toward me, and I ducked into the girls’ room to avoid him. Not that he would ever look at me, but I couldn’t take that chance. My face would turn red as a tomato, which usually made my freckles explode.

At lunch I always sit in the same spot, so I can watch him when he goes to sit at the table in the corner by the window. He always sits there. I never see him bring a lunch. He usually does homework or talks to the girls that go to sit with him or texts on his phone. Who’s he talking to? Probably got a girlfriend in Ontario or Oregon or Ohio. Or all three. Or maybe he’s really here on a spy mission for Asgard, reporting back to Thor what the earthlings are up to. Not sure why Thor cares.

One of these days, I’ll get up the nerve to talk to him. Maybe ask him for the time or something. He’s a senior, so we don’t have any classes together. I’ve never seen him outside of school, at any of the usual hangouts. Bree said her friend Janelle Miller saw him get picked up once in an old clunker of a van. She thought it looked sketchy. Not the usual kind of car BAA parents drove. I wouldn’t know. I walk home, most of the time. I live with my aunt and uncle. My aunt is nice, but my uncle hates me. Well, hate might be too strong. He doesn’t like me severely. But I’m not sure he likes anyone. Even my aunt.

One of the things I really want to do with this journal is write songs. I’ve written lots of songs, though no one ever hears them but me. I’m too embarrassed to play them for anyone. Even Bree.

But there’s this song that’s been in my head for the longest time, that I can’t seem to write down. It comes to me usually in the night, when I’m having a bad dream or feeling sad or afraid or missing my parents. I find myself singing it, even though I don’t understand the words. It’s like they aren’t really even words at all. I keep trying to write it down, it never comes out right. I wonder if other songwriters have this problem, or if it’s just me.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll be officially sixteen. Some people call that sweet.

It’s also chicken nugget day at BAA. That’s something to look forward to.