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The Shattered Seam
(Seam Stalkers, #1)
Publication date: September 13th 2016
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult
Spending spring break on an isolated island rumored to be haunted is not sixteen-year-old Sam’s idea of fun. Spending spring break with her uncle and his ghost-hunting film crew on an isolated island is even worse.
Her family’s secrets—and a genetic ability she can no longer deny—surface, along with the ghost of a rich serial killer who left behind a trail of trapped souls.
And he’s not through yet.
With only one chance for escape, Sam must embrace her family’s curse and close the Seam between the living and the dead. Or be lost, forever.
Kathleen wrote her first story in elementary school about a pegasus named Sir Lancelot. It had no plot or conflict, but it sparked a dream. After serving a fifteen-year sentence in retail management, the bulk in big box bookstores, she turned her love of reading into a full-time career writing dark and haunting characters and stories. She writes paranormal, fantasy, suspense, horror YA books. She is a contributing member of READerlicious, writers who love readers. Check out her blogs here.
She lives by the mantra that a day is not complete without tea. Lots of tea. Kathleen lives in Ohio with her husband, two boys, and two attention-demanding dogs. When not writing or editing or revising, you can find her reading, cooking, spending time with her family, or photographing abandoned buildings.
Read an Excerpt from The Shattered Seam!
Scene set up – Sam is with her uncle, Eric, and his TV film crew, Randall and Daniel. They are on a boat they charted from Frank to take them to the isolated island where they will be staying for the week.
The dark shadowed island rose from the watery depths. My weeklong prison away from home. Away from safety, security, sanity.
“What’s up with the trees?” Eric reached for a camcorder, knocking it out of the bag and onto the boat’s floor.
I caught it before it rolled into a puddle and handed it to him.
“Thanks.” Eric clicked on the power and started filming. “Are you guys seeing this? So cool, and we’re not even on-site yet.”
His excitement was infectious, and I smiled for the first time on this adventure.
But my smile disappeared when I spotted the mammoth trees with their coal-colored leaves, covering half the island. “How do those trees have leaves already? It sure isn’t spring here.”
Eric panned the camera. “And why are they black?”
“Those ain’t leaves.” Frank spun his toothpick.
The blackness lifted from the trees and swirled into the air. Birds. Thousands of black birds swarmed the blue sky above the island, blanketing it with darkness. They flew to the right, and as if working from a choreographed routine, the entire flock changed direction. Squawks filled the air and rose to an almost deafening level. They swooped toward us like a large black hand reaching out to grab our small boat. Closer and closer they came, making the sky darker and darker. The nearer they got, the more sunlight they blocked. I covered my head but kept my eyes on the birds.
“Dude, they’re coming right at us,” someone yelled, the “us” screeching soprano.
“Hang on.” Frank spun the wheel.
The boat banked hard to the right, knocking me from the seat and onto the damp floor. Wetness crept into the back of my thighs and butt. I struggled to stand. The boat lurched again, and I slammed forward, landing on my right knee.
The birds dove at us like an army of kamikaze pilots.
I heard someone scream and was sure I had been the one to make the high-pitched, scared-as-shit sound.
The swarm overtook the boat. I closed my eyes and ducked.
I looked up. The mass of birds wheeled around. The scent of dried leaves and old musty basements swirled through the air. The birds torpedoed down. They were close enough to touch. Close enough that I could see their beady eyes blink. Close enough to peck me in the head if they wanted. We were caught in a cyclone of feathers and talons.
Eric and Daniel each held a hand over my head while they crouched and filmed with their camcorders. Randall kept one hand on the railing and the other on his camera.
A heaviness gripped my body like I was drowning in the air. Panic crushed my chest. My throat tightened. I tried to swallow. Dizziness fogged my brain. I couldn’t think, couldn’t move. Couldn’t breathe. I was going to die. We were all going to die a crazy bird apocalyptic death.
I clutched my chest. I needed air.
“Shoo. Go away.” Frank pulled out a flare gun and fired into the birdnado.
They flew out of sight. The sky turned blue again. Oxygen rushed into my lungs, and the sea breeze whisked away the smothering sensation. I rubbed my throat and glanced at the guys high-fiving each other.
Frank was the only other person who seemed weirded out by the birds. The flare gun shook in his hand.
Eric helped me up. I crawled back into my seat and took long, deep breaths. In and out. In and out. It was okay. Everybody had seen the birds, not just me.
“Man, that was so cool. Please tell me someone recorded the awesomeness?” Randall shifted the tight lifejacket he wore and held up his camera. “I missed the epic swarm.”
“I got it. Think they were ravens?” Eric’s voice sank into TV mode. “You know, harbingers of sorrow and death.”
Daniel banged his fist on the seat cushion. “Imagine the teaser commercials of the episode showing the birds. Ratings will skyrocket.”
“That’s it.” Frank shoved the flare gun into a side compartment. “I’m outta here.” He turned the boat away from the island. “It ain’t worth it.”
Eric grabbed the railing. “What? We paid you to take us to the island. We’re not leaving.”
“The hell we ain’t,” Frank yelled, all traces of his drawl gone.
“We’ll double your money.” Eric held on with one hand and filmed the island with the other.
Frank cut the engine. The boat slowed and bobbed in the water. No one said anything, but everyone stared at Frank.
He ran his hands across his balding head. “That much money could fix a lot of problems.” Frank looked at the island and mumbled something that sounded like a long string of curses. Then he turned the key and spun the wheel, aiming the boat back at the castle.
Daniel grinned and a dimple dotted the left side of his cheek. “The birds are a good sign we’re in for one hell of a week.”
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Shelly is a wife, mama, and author, living in Lynchburg, Tennessee – home of Jack Daniel Whiskey. Her front porch is perfect for Tennessee AppleTennessee Apple or Tennessee Fire while reading a good mystery novel. She enjoys cooking delicious meals for her family, cleaning and organizing her home, and spending time outdoors in her beautiful hometown!