Friday, 12 October 2012

Author Spotlight - Excerpt from "Death Cheater"

Thanks for joining me this week at the Desert Breeze Publishing blog. I enjoyed sharing a few thoughts and some details about Death Cheater. Enjoy the excerpt below and have a wonderful October! - Danielle Thorne


From Death Cheater

I glanced at my watch and realized the last bell had rung long ago. "I'm late for European History," I apologized. I blinked to see if I could make him disappear, but it didn't work. Maybe he could do the snapping thing again.

"Yes, I give you a ring, you come to me, and we work a little project together now and then." He made it sound like a school assignment, and as if he had a cell phone, which I doubted.

"You want me to help someone pass on?" I guessed.

"Bingo." He pointed at me.

I shook my head. "I really don't know how to do that. Sometimes things come back. Sometimes..."

"I know, the flatworms. I get it. That's why I'm here."

"I just don't understand," I shrugged. "I can't go around bringing people back to life. It's sacrilegious to even think about it."

"You can help people decide," he suggested. "Some people, like your Poppy," he added with an accusing glare, "have their time up, and there's no use talking them into staying."

I stared back trying to see where he was coming from.

"What good did it do you?" he challenged me.

"I had more time with him. I didn't even have to think about it, I just wanted him to stay. That doesn't mean I meant for it to happen."

"He suffered. He was sick."

I swallowed away some guilt.

"You have the power of influence, Athena." Aero sighed and glanced down at his hand as if studying his cuticles. Did the un-living dead get manicures? "I need your help, you see, in convincing people it's time to go."

That seemed kind of hokie. I tapped back in to the hum of the room. Aero did not ooze angelic peace or light. He was dark. He moved in it. He emitted it. The chill bumps had not completely disappeared, nor the hazy glass-like edges of my peripheral vision. I felt sick and hot again.

Aero seemed to sense I was back peddling. "Have we got a deal?" he asked.

I could not mistake the demand in his cold tone. Concentrating on the hum of the room, the dark dog, and the not-so-good feeling he emanated, I slowly shook my head 'no.'

His eyes flared with angry spurts of indigo light. The hound on the floor bounded to its feet and growled.

I stepped away. "I can't," I stuttered. Fear shot through me, and it felt like my head suddenly weighed a ton, crushing down into my feet.

"You can," Aero answered.

"No," I said, reaching for the hum. For Poppy. For light. "Whatever it is you want me to do, it’s no good. I can feel it," I admitted. "Here." I put my hand on my palpitating chest. My mind hurt.

With one swift movement, Aero leapt up onto the sink. He snarled a wicked sound that made my knees buckle. It was scarier than the dog that had somehow disappeared. "You weren't so angelic when you chose to come, Athena."

I stumbled back, falling against the bathroom stalls. "I don't know what you're talking about," I cried, losing my grip on courage. Before it slipped completely away, I gushed, "I won't help you make people die."

"You will, Death Cheater. If you can make them live, you can make them die."

There was a crack like lightning striking glass, and everything went black.

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A Goodreads Review:
"…I really enjoyed this book, it was well written, had good pace, and kept the reader interested. I really related to Athena as a character, and really felt for her and the problems she was facing. It definitely reminded me of what it's like to be a teenager, and I really liked that she had her own way of saying things, eg: 'oh cheese!'

The storyline itself was intriguing, the idea of being a death cheater was original and not something that I have come across before, and the romance element was light and didn't overpower the rest of the book.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who likes young-adult fiction, or books with a paranormal/fantasy feel."

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