by Teri Polen
GENRE: YA horror/thriller
Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.
A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.
Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.
With my hand on Eby’s back, I felt a rumble go through him as he growled at Sarah. Crouched on all fours, his body was rigid and I figured he was as nervous about running by her as I was. Sarah slowly rose off the floor, and I felt the muscles in Eby’s haunches grow even tauter in anticipation.
What happened next was over in the blink of an eye, but I saw everything as if in slow motion. Sarah shot toward me like a bullet out of a gun. Simultaneously, Eby leaped in front of me, attempting to block Sarah from reaching me. Although a valiant effort, Eby had no effect on Sarah and sailed right through her semi-transparent shape, but I loved my brave furry friend for trying.
When she hit my chest, I felt it at my core, like a wrecking ball had plowed into me. But she didn’t just hit me, Sarah was inside me again and I could feel her moving, as I felt myself fading, my life energy being drained. When Sarah had been a passenger within me before, I’d never felt her presence. This feeling was completely foreign to me. She was something palpable, not like an internal organ, but more of an extension of myself, an extra arm or leg. Just before my world went black, I had a brief connection with Sarah’s corrupted mind and the atrocities I saw made me welcome the darkness as it enveloped me.
It might sound strange to some people, but interviewing my characters allows me to have a better understanding of them and what makes them tick – and it can also be surprising at times, when they reveal things I never knew about them. Below is an interview I had a couple of years ago with 17-year-old Cain Shannon, the main character in Sarah.
Describe yourself in 5 words: soccer player, horror book/movie fan, son, brother, friend
I’m really awkward around girls and I don’t understand them or their motives. This one girl, Erin, started paying attention to me and asked me out, so I went. I never stopped to think if I liked her or not, I mean, she’s really hot and popular, I’d never had a girlfriend, and I thought if I went out with her, maybe things would be easier for me. You know, as far as understanding girls. But now? I don’t give a crap about her. We have nothing in common and all she’s worried about is clothes, shoes, and being seen with the ‘right’ people. I want to break up with her, but as Finn, my best friend, says, I need to grow a set before that will happen. I know I shouldn’t be worried about hurting her feelings – she sure doesn’t care about mine, but when it comes right down to it, I just don’t know how to do it. What if she cries? Then I’ll feel guilty and would probably tell her I didn’t mean it. I have no idea what to do with a crying woman.
Is there someone you like? Um, yeah, there is. There’s this girl, Lindsey, in my English lit class. She’s just – I’m not very good with words, but when she walks into the room, everything else fades away and she’s all I see. She sits beside me in class and when I talk to her it seems easy, you know? Natural. She’s not like Erin or any of her friends. Lindsey plays the cello in the orchestra, loves animals, and volunteers at the animal shelter, and we’ve seen a lot of the same movies and read the same books. Since her younger brother is on the soccer team, she comes to all the games and actually understands what’s happening, so we can talk about soccer.
Tell me about your family: It’s me, my mom, and 7-year-old sister, Maddie. And my cat, Eby. He thinks he’s people. My Dad died in a car accident last year. He was on his way home from the airport when someone crossed the median and hit him – he was killed instantly. We were all devastated. My parents had been together for over 20 years and I know my mom still misses him – I mean, we all do, but I still hear her crying at night sometimes, so I do what I can to take some of the responsibility off her. She’s a realtor and her hours can be crazy, so some evenings I’m left to take care of Maddie, but I really don’t mind. She’s a pretty cool kid. In a way, she’s the opposite of me. Completely clumsy and uncoordinated, but makes friends with everyone and isn’t afraid to tell people what she thinks. You gotta admire that in a kid. But it’s just scary, though, you know? The way Dad was here and then he was gone. It could happen to anyone at any time and I don’t think Mom would be able to live through something like that again, so I have to make sure it doesn’t happen. I take care of my family now.
What’s going on in your house? I’m living my own personal horror movie, that’s what’s going on. Sarah invited herself into my body after I was injured and drew on my energy, which allowed her to become a murderous, psychotic spirit bent on revenge. I’m sorry as hell for what happened to her, but that doesn’t justify killing the guys responsible for her death. And now she’s threatened me and my family. With everything my Mom’s been through, I refuse to involve her in this. Finn and I can handle it and somehow we’ll find a way to get rid of Sarah. But right now, I don’t feel safe in my own home. She’s getting stronger and I don’t know what she’ll do next. Whatever happens, I’ll protect my family with my life.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Teri Polen loves horror, sci-fi, and fantasy books and movies. She fangirls over The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat. Visit her online at http://www.teripolen.com.
Teri Polen will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.