Title: Just Call Me Ninja
Author: Clare Haltom
Date of Publication: April 2014
Sophomore Callista Trent is used to being the anonymous new girl. But when her mother’s nomadic job finally keeps her family in one place long enough to force Callista to settle in, she wants none of it. She doesn’t expect it to last, anyway—it never does.She also doesn’t expect to stumble across a group of shinobi, modern-day ninjas who also happen to be high school students. Or for them to claim destiny sent her to join them. Or for the hot, harmonica-playing loner from her chemistry class to be one of the instructors.For once, she starts to think that maybe she could belong somewhere. But she quickly learns her new friends aren’t running some casual karate school. And when Callista’s assigned to a dangerous mission they say only she can complete, she begins to suspect it wasn’t destiny that brought her to the shinobi at all but a carefully laid plan. Oh, and the worst part? The boy she thought she could trust may have known the truth all along.
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A gray tabby peeked out from the kitchen doorway.
“Princess.” Who knew victory could be so ugly? The cat really did look like its embroidered picture. Callista held out the can of tuna and crept forward.
Twisting its head to peer at her with its one golden eye, the cat sniffed the air, then pivoted and disappeared.
“No, you don’t!” Callista dashed after it but came to a halt in a kitchen that appeared free from feline occupation. Crap. She walked around the center island twice and even crawled on the floor looking for gaps under the cabinets. Nothing.
There was another exit to the alley, but it was locked when she yanked on it.
She checked the room one more time. It wasn't like there were many places he could have gone.
She eyed another door at the back of the kitchen. It was the only one she hadn't tried. However, she was pretty sure it had been closed when she’d come in. She was also pretty sure Princess lacked the opposable thumbs necessary to turn the handle.
But she hated losing to a cat that had lost to a parakeet.
Sticking the pillow more securely under her arm, she twisted the knob and walked in. It was probably just a janitorial closet or supply—
The closet was surprisingly bright.
And filled with people. Kids from school. Half a dozen of them.
All staring at her.
Oh crap, this wasn't a supply closet.
About Clare Halton
Clare Haltom lives in sunny southern California. She can usually be found jumping over waves at the beach, eating Pringles salt-side down, and trying to avoid ninja assassins.