Hey, everyone! I’m super excited to be able to share my upcoming release, Echoes of the Past. This is book 4 in my young adult/new adult suspenseful thriller series. The paperback is available now and you can find it by clicking here. The eBook is dropping July 13th and you can preorder it by clicking here.
Now on preorder! Paperback available!
Echoes of the Past
Step into Darkness Series
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The floodwaters may have receded, but they’ve proven what a dangerous thing the mind is when it’s left uncared for. Justine knows the future she wants and it’s within her grasp. If only she can let go of the past.That’s not as easy as it sounds when you and the rest of the world are convinced you’re unwell. Can Justine let Eric in, or will she lose him forever because she’s spent so long trying to protect everyone around her? Justine’s future is up in the air, and her past is banging at the door.
4:00 p.m. May 13, McMicken University, McMicken, Ohio
Justine’s head throbs, her flint colored eyes dry and achy, as she sticks out her tongue and says, “Ahhh.” The paper on the exam table beneath her crinkles when she shifts her weight, the doctor’s pen light catching her in the eye for a third time.
“Sorry,” the woman says with an apologetic smile. She puts away the light and moves Justine’s long brunette hair out of the way to probe her neck.
She winces, the soft flesh beneath her jawline tender.
“No visible bruises, but your glands are swollen. A cold from being caught in the flood most likely, but to be on the safe side, I’ll prescribe a round of antibiotics. There’s no way to tell what might have been in the water.” Her brows dip together. “I’m sorry, it’s not my place, but why were you out in the storm? It’s standard campus practice to remain indoors. There was no reason for you to be out there.”
Sweat slicks Justine’s palms. The dark figure she’d seen through the rain, her nightmares about Dirk, the letters from him, and the project Professor O’Brien assigned demanding she dig into her nightmares, swirl together to stop her voice. She won’t understand. She raises one shoulder. Have I lost my mind?
The doctor purses her lips but doesn’t say anything more. Pulling out her prescription pad, she scribbles on it and rips off the sheet to fold it into Justine’s palm. “Please, be more careful next time. A kid died trying to make it to a party a couple of years ago, and your friends might have died looking for you.”
Her gut churns with guilt. She inclines her head and hops off the table, her balance wavering for a second. I wish Eric hadn’t had to start his new job. His switching colleges without her knowledge returns to mind and her blood simmers. She clamps her mouth shut and heads out through the modest waiting room packed with snot covered students. Though she keeps her gaze to the floor, from the corner of her vision, she catches more than one head swivel to follow her. Fantastic, the whole campus knows.
Outside, the air is damp and chilled, the sky overcast while a slight breeze blows. Justine zips her robin’s egg blue windbreaker the rest of the way and tucks her chin to her chest. She makes her way around the side of the squat brick structure to squeeze past the ancient silver sedan parked on the line next to her car.
Inside, she cranks the heat, shivering even while the windshield fogs. Fabulous. She cracks a window and slips the key into the ignition to head to the pharmacy and grab her medicine.
The ten-minute drive lasts an eternity; the vice tightens on her head with each second. At the pharmacy, she swings her car into the first parking spot she finds and winces despite herself when she finds she’s straddled the alabaster line to crowd the car beside her. Sorry, whoever, but medicine is more important.
She weaves through the shelves; half the light fixtures overhead hang open, empty of fluorescent tubes. A fine powder still coats the floor while a couple of sales associates restock the shelves. The store must have had a power surge. A girl with a blond pixie cut, who sweeps the floor, shakes her head at Justine, her jaw clenched tight. Isn’t she in my psych class?
“Did you surf the current?”
“Pardon?” Justine blinks at a thick curtain of ebony bangs.
One corner of the young man’s mouth curves, and he pushes them aside to reveal tawny eyes. “Did you hit your head too?”
She blinks at him. “I’m sorry, do I…”
“Blake? We’ve met a few times I—”
She rubs her forehead with a laugh. “Blake! Of course. You’re the transfer. Auditing classes until you can enroll.”
He chuckles and shifts the strap of his book bag. “I’m not the most memorable and your last twenty-four have been something else. According to the rumor mill.”
“You’re tapped into the mill already?” She folds her arms.
“Nope. I grabbed a burger and a couple of girls were talking about it at the table in front of me. They were quite loud.”
She swallows past the shards of ever sharpening glass in her throat and inclines her head. “If you’ll excuse me, I have a prescription to grab.” When she goes to sidestep him, he moves the same way. She tries once more and he does too, until they’re locked in a strange waltz.
“How about I stay still?” he chuckles.
She thanks him and passes by to head for the counter. “Antibiotics for Justine Leonard,” she tells the pharmacist. Someone leans beside her and from the corner of her vision she catches Blake’s curtain of bangs. Ugh, I need to be nice, but I wish he would leave me alone. “What brings you to the pharmacy?”
He shifts from one foot to the other and clears his throat. “I needed some stuff.”
Okay… Silence drops between them until the pharmacist brings her prescription.
“I hope you feel better soon,” he says and spins on his heel to disappear between the shelves.
She sags against the counter for a moment and offers the pharmacist a smile.
As always, thank you for spending a little time in my imagination.