Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater



Dead Spots
Author: Rhiannon Frater

Book Description:
In the dead spots, dreams become reality, terror knows your name, and nightmares can kill you.

The stillbirth of Mackenzie's son destroyed her marriage. Grieving, Mac reluctantly heads for her childhood home to seek refuge with her mother, who constantly reminds her of life's dangers.

Driving across Texas, Mac swerves to avoid hitting a deer...and winds up in a dead spot, a frightening place that lies between the worlds of the living and the dead. If they can control their imaginations, people can literally bring their dreams to life—but most are beseiged by fears and nightmares which pursue them relentlessly.

Mackenzie's mother and husband haunt her, driving her to the brink of madness. Then she hears a child call for help and her maternal instincts kick into overdrive. Grant, Mac's ally in the dead spots, insists Johnny is a phantom, but the boy seems so real, so alive....

As the true horrors of the dead spots are slowly revealed, Mackenzie realizes that time is running out. But exits from the dead spots are nearly impossible to find, and defended by things almost beyond imagination.


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Excerpt

The breeze whispering through the pine tree branches and the gentle song of birds should’ve been comforting sounds, but they set her even more on edge. The retreating anxiety began to swell again. This was exactly the sort of situation Estelle had warned about. According to her mother, there was no point taking unnecessary risks, yet Tanner had thought life was all about risks. Mackenzie had played it safe and had lost everything. Tanner was the one with a new life and a baby on the way.

“Dammit!”

Mackenzie leaned into the car, turned off the engine, yanked the keys out of the ignition, shoved them into her jeans, and hoisted her purse onto one shoulder. Slamming the door shut, she stalked toward the café feeling defiant, foolish, and terrified all at the same time. It was stupid to think that exploring a café was some sort of bold return to life, but it felt important to do something she wouldn’t regularly do without being persuaded. If she was really going to get on with her life, she had to be bold, fearless, and not allow herself to be tangled in her mother’s paranoid web.

The door was warped in its frame and rotten boards hung from rusted nails. It looked like someone had already explored it. She trampled the wild grass and weeds growing under one of the big windows that was covered in old, yellow newspaper, and peered in around the ragged edges.

The café interior was dark except for a few beams of light coming through the broken roof. To her surprise, tables and chairs were still inside. A few were toppled over, but a table or two still had menus resting on their surfaces.

“Okay, I explored.”

The front door creaked on its old hinges when the wind caught it.

While she was staring at the entrance, her back seized as chills washed along her spine.

“This is where you get killed if you go inside, Mackenzie.”

Her mother’s words in her mouth.

Tanner thought Mackenzie was silly whenever she spouted a million reasons not to do something. Mackenzie always argued she was pragmatic. Tanner insisted it was her mother’s programming stuck in her head.

“Aw, hell.” She sighed. “Time to toughen up.”

Stretching out her hand, she gripped the door handle and pushed on it.

The door opened.

Cautiously, Mackenzie stepped inside, the floorboards protesting her weight, but holding. The rusted spring on the door had enough life that the door partially popped into place before catching on the floor. The sliver of sunlight creeping through the small gap was reassuring.

Timidly, she moved deeper into the murk of the café. It smelled of rotting wood and mold. There was a slight twinge of something dead, probably some poor animal. The café had several booths and the stuffing was torn out of the seats. Dead leaves and dirt covered every surface. A tree grew partway through one wall, tearing a hole in the roof. Sunlight filtered through the leaves, breaking apart the gloom.

Mackenzie cautiously approached the long lunch counter, rubbing her clammy hands on her jeans. The old stools were missing. Curious, she leaned over it. There were huge holes in the floor, and it was obvious animals had found shelter in the shelves.

She imagined some rabid animal biting her and jerked away.

Her mother’s fears in her mind.

A noise from beyond the swinging door that opened into the kitchen startled her. She almost yelped but caught herself. Lowering the heavy tote bag to her side and clutching the straps so she could use it as a weapon, she started to retreat to the front door.

Again, there was a noise. This time it almost sounded like someone opening a refrigerator. 

This is where the serial killer will get me, she thought.

Again, her mother’s words in her mind.

When had her mother’s voice taken up residence in her head? Or had it always been there and she hadn’t noticed how much until now? Or had her fears merely taken on her mother’s voice?

More noises from within the kitchen sent her heart racing. Creeping forward, Mackenzie mustered up her courage. It was just some poor animal looking for food and she was freaking out. Pushing the door open with one foot, she lifted the tote over her head.

Startlingly clean, the kitchen was devoid of the devastation of the rest of the café. A man in a suit and tie stood behind one counter holding a butter knife. He looked as startled as she felt. Probably in his late thirties, he was very handsome with dark wavy hair and vivid blue eyes. He instantly made her think of old- time movie stars like Rock Hudson and Cary Grant, or their modern equivalents like George Clooney and Clive Owen.

“Uh, hi,” she managed to say.

“Is the front door open?” the man asked abruptly, dropping the utensil. “Did you shut the door behind you?” In an explosion of movement, he propelled himself over the counter and rushed toward her.

Frightened, Mackenzie swung the tote purse, striking his face. He yelped. “What are you doing? You can’t let the door close!” He shoved past her and ran across the café toward the entrance.

“I left it open in case . . .” Mackenzie’s voice faltered.

The café was no longer a derelict building. The booths were in pristine condition and the tables and chairs were arranged neatly. The lunch counter was bordered by stainless steel stools and napkin dispensers sat at intervals on its gleaming surface. A jukebox now sat where the tree had broken through the wall and the café was illuminated by lamps hanging from a restored ceiling.

Skidding into the door with a loud thump, the man let out a wail of despair. “It’s too late,” he rasped. “It’s too late. It’s closed.”

“I left it open,” Mackenzie protested weakly, staring in awe at the restored café. “I don’t understand. What happened? I mean . . . this place was wrecked. I saw it! But now . . .” She was going insane. That had to be it. She hadn’t been having an anxiety attack at the cemetery, but a psychotic break. “This is impossible!”


About the Author
Rhiannon Frater was born and raised a Texan. Though she has lived in various towns all over the state, she finally settled in Austin, Texas where she met her husband and worked as a governmental consultant.

During her travels for her job, she was inspired to write the story of two women fleeing into the Texas Hill Country in an attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse. Originally published as a serial online under the title As The World Dies, she later self-published the series in three novels to satisfy the many fans of the story. The first novel in the series, The First Days, won the 2008 Dead Letter Award for Best Book (Fiction). The second book, Fighting To Survive won the 2009 Dead Letter Award in the same category.

The As The World Dies books were purchased by Tor in 2010.The first book, The First Days, was released in July 2011 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The second, Fighting To Survive, was released on November 8, 2011. The third book, Siege, was released in April 2012.
 

She is also the author of over a dozen independent works such as The Last Bastion Of The Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog). Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. 

Rhiannon continues to live in Austin, Texas with her husband and is now a full-time writer. She is represented by Hannah Brown Gordon of the Foundry Literary + Media and Brandy Rivers of Gersh Agency.

Author Links:  
Website ¦ Twitter ¦ Goodreads ¦ Facebook


***GIVEAWAY***

7 Winners will receives a Copy of Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater. 
 Giveaway is open to International. Must be 13+ to Enter.


Blog Tour Organised by:
http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/  

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