In this snippet Keresa has sought the help of her other sister, Kerenina. Unknown to her, her mother’s hold on power is much more tenuous than she had realised. Her sister gives her a bit of tough love before the two head to meet with a powerful being.

“Oh Resa, why are you always calling mother for the smallest of things? Don’t you know; she has to appear strong – there is much unrest in the underworld,” Nina sipped her drink, the ice clinking as she swirled the dark liquid.

“I didn’t know,” I all but whined.

“Of course you didn’t, you gallivant around earth pretending to fit in, then are too weak to defend yourself against your own siblings. You make Nyx look weak – you make all of us look weak. Mother is struggling to hold onto her power in the underworld and she has to come save you from a trucker,” Nina hissed at me, her breath hot on my face.

My head spun, the bar seemed too loud and too close. I realised Kerenina was hungry and mad; her control slipping on the darkness that she commanded.

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Happy Sunday everyone! A little late in the day – it was a long three hour drive home with a new puppy and many stops.

This is a snippet from a piece I’m working on for a short story submission.  Keresa, a death spirit with a conscience, has just been ambushed by her siblings, Kerry and Thane, who delight in her misery. Thane has injured the cop with Keresa and forces her to test her strength.

“There we go Keresa, be a good girl and just take a smidgen,” Thane dropped the man to the ground and I crouched in front of him. I locked my eyes with his, reaching to the root of his fear and tugging. The man sighed and I placed my hand over his heart. I was so empty; his life force flowed into me like a damn erupting. I reached for the medallion around my neck, frantic for help; to pull my hand away but unable to do so. The man listed to the side, his eyes glassy and unseeing before the metal in my hand had even begun to warm. I felt heat radiate through me and I turned to Kerry, who was hovering seductively near the hood of the car and giggling. I spooled the fear I had ripped from the man and threw out my hand, aiming for Kerry’s chest.

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Girl on a Train ~ Paula Hawkins

While not categorized as a horror book, Girl on a Train was edgy, dark, and a fabulous psychological thriller.I was unable to put this book down; I flipped each page faster than the last, the nail-biting tension ratcheted high throughout the entirety of the book.

The narration switches between the present, where Rachel struggles with alcoholism and her past, to the past, where we follow Meg’s journey right up until the night of her violent murder.

Hawkins brilliantly captures the neurosis and  struggle that occurs in a self-doubting and abused mind. It is easy to simultaneously be disgusted by Rachel’s actions and still root for her, even as she tries to numb her pain at the bottom of a bottle.

Rachel’s quest to discover Meg’s killer takes her from her vision of a sweet couple she sees from a train, to the dark and twisty streets of what had once been a dream home for her.

The book peaks as Rachel confronts her violent and manipulative ex husband, trying to save the woman who displaced her. The two women form an unlikely bond when they “defend” themselves against him.

I recommend this book for anyone looking for a fast-paced, character driven book full of suspense and with an unlikely hero.

“I need to find something that I must do, something undeniable”

girl on train