Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that’s now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she’ll continue her parents’ fight or stay behind to save her friends.
With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she’s not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn’t as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.
"Five Stars! Mysterious, romantic, and totally fun! Toward a Secret Sky is the type of adventure I could lose myself in over and over again." -- Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval
"A deliciously atmospheric, twisty read that will hook readers from the start with its mystery and romance. It left me aching to hop on a plane to Scotland and have my own magical adventure!" - Rebecca Christiansen, author of Maybe in Paris
"Full of intrigue, savvy world-building, and sizzling romantic tension, Maclean's enthralling storytelling will keep readers flipping pages--and wanting more." - Emily R. King, author of The Hundredth Queen
"I enjoyed this so much. It has just the right combination of magic, intrigue, and romance, and the beautiful Scottish backdrop and descriptions of various ancient sites just made it all the more appealing." - Heather Fawcett, author of Even the Darkest Stars
"Five stars! This was the type of thrilling story I always dreamed of reading when I was younger (way before paranormal romance became popular!)" - Shaila Patel, author of Soulmated, winner of the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews' Paranormal Awards
"I would definitely recommend to anyone who liked Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, or even fans of the Princess Diaries. The book is fantastic overall!" - Claire M. Andrews, author of Olympus Rising
I couldn’t sleep. The wind screamed around my attic room—an otherworldly wailing that spoke of demons and my mother’s death. Loose shingles rattled against each other with a concrete scraping that made my skin crawl. I imagined a corpse trying to climb out of its coffin. The gale tormented me, not just because I was scared, but because I knew Gavin was right outside, keeping watch on the roof.
Thoughts of him consumed me. Can he be blown off?Is it too chilly? Do angels even get cold? I remembered the warmth of his chest and doubted it.
To calm myself, I rubbed my hands over my new pajamas; I’d been wearing his shirt to bed every night since he’d left it. The fabric still held his scent: a delicious, heady smell like the first spring breeze of the season. I closed my eyes and tried to remember the wind as a gentle thing, not the invisible, deadly force that beat outside.
Something banged overhead and then thumped away like a lopsided coconut. What is going on out there? Did something happen? What if Anders came back for me? I bolted upright.
Gavin was standing at the end of my bed. He put a finger to his lips, silencing the yelp that revved in my throat.
“What are you doing in here?” I croaked.
“Making sure you’re all right,” he whispered. “Your heart was beating a bit wildly there.” I was embarrassed, remembering he could hear it.
“It’s the wind,” I confessed. “Kind of sounds like screaming. I’m not a fan.”
“Och, the wind can’t hurt you.”
“Says the guy who can fly,” I answered. “It’s not the wind as much as the things it carries: large tree trunks, flying cows, demons . . .”
He shook his head. “We’ll be having none of those tonight.”
“Can you maybe make the wind stop, then?” I hoped.
“Sorry, I don’t control the weather.” He smiled, not helping my heartrate one bit.
“What can you control?” I demanded.
“Apparently, not my wardrobe,” he mused. “That’s my shirt you’re wearing!”
I gathered the collar in one hand. “No, it’s not.”
“Aye, it is. You pinched it!” He winked at me, making my bones turn to liquid. I sunk into the mattress a bit.
“If by ‘pinched’ you mean ‘stole,’ no, I didn’t,” I protested. “You left it here.”
“So we’re agreed, it is mine.”
I shrugged in response. I couldn’t believe he was in my room, in the dark. I was glad I had locked my bedroom door. No adult, no matter how laid back, would let a hot guy inside a girl’s room in the middle of the night. The idea of breaking everyone’s rules started my blood flowing again.
“Now, young lady,” Gavin interrupted my fantasy. “You’ve got to get some sleep.”
I found his old-fashioned terms terribly romantic. I didn’t want him to leave. “I can’t,” I assured him. “I’ve tried.”
A shutter slammed against the side of the house, and I jumped. Between the storm outside and Gavin inside, I was wound up.
“Shhhh, it’s all right,” he soothed. “The way that heart of yours is pounding, I don’t imagine you can sleep.” He took a few steps closer to the bed. “Is there anything I can do?” The things that came to my mind were a far cry from sleeping . . . “Did your mum have a special trick?” he asked.
“My mom?” I faltered.
“To help you fall back asleep,” he explained. The mention of my mom was as good as a cold shower. Guilt, loneliness, and grief bullied all other emotions away. Did Mom do something to help me sleep? If she did, why can’t I remember it? Am I that terrible of a daughter, or was she just too involved in her work?
“She wasn’t really touchy-feely.” I blinked back tears.
Heather Maclean is a New York Times bestselling author and editor of 15 books. She has appeared on Good Morning America, the CBS Early Show, Fox Business Network, ParentsTV and Sirius' "Dr. Radio."
After graduating from Princeton University, she began her career at Entertainment Weekly. Her work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Pregnancy magazine, NY Metro Parents magazine, as well as newspapers around the country.
Named one of the "16 Best Entrepreneurs in America" by Sir Richard Branson, she accompanied the adventurous business legend on a 50,000-mile trip around the world, alternately helping improve the lives of others (designing sustainable development initiatives in South African villages) and fearing for her own (rappelling out of a Black helicopter in a Moroccan sandstorm). She was also the first civilian mom to experience zero gravity aboard a "space plane," an experience she will never, ever repeat. Their journey, titled The Rebel Billionaire, was televised on Fox TV in 2005 for an audience of 8 million viewers.
Heather is also a former Disney executive. She launched several of the company's first, award-winning websites, and holds the distinction of being the first person to ever answer Mickey Mouse's email.
When not castle hunting in her husband's native Scotland, Heather fills her days with her two beautiful daughters, Hunter and Hadley, and dashing son, Gavin.