(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)on Feb. 10, 2015
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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.
Pausing at the delicate wrought iron fence that laced the tiny graveyard, she forced herself to take another deep breath to steady her nerves. Stone cherubs watched over tombstones engraved with hearts and teddy bears. Flowers and toys rested against the marble slabs of the newer graves, while older graves sat neglected among the weeds. Mackenzie pushed open the gate, her breathing sounding harsh and loud in the serene setting. A gush of air sent dry leaves skittering over the headstones and she cast a wary look over one shoulder. The massive storm was moving rapidly from the south end of the city. Curtains of rain were already falling from the thick, dark clouds. Her time with Joshua would be much shorter than she’d like. Winding through the graves adorned with wilting flowers, toys, and ribbons, she continued to take very deep breaths in an increasingly futile attempt to calm her nerves.
The flat marble stone with her baby boy’s name came into view beneath the thick, gnarled trees of a live oak. The teddy bear she had placed on the headstone during her last visit was listing in the grass and was a little battered by the elements. Kneeling next to the grave, she carefully cleaned off the marble with the bottom of her shirt and removed any bits of leaves or grass. Lovingly, she traced the engraving of the name of her dead son.
Joshua Tanner Babin
It hurt to think of her baby nestled in satin and wood beneath the warm, moist ground. She’d never dreamed that a coffin could be so small. Her heart had physically ached when she’d chosen one to be Joshua’s resting place. It was wrong to place a baby in a coffin instead of a crib. So wrong.
The branches of the live oak tree creaked loudly overhead. As the storm neared, the last bit of sunshine faded to gray and the cemetery lost its peaceful aura. Laying the flowers on the headstone, Mackenzie leaned over and kissed the marble. It was soothingly cool against her chapped lips.
“Hey, Joshua, it’s Mama. Are you having fun up there in heaven with Grandma and Grandpa? I bet you play with the angels all the time.” Though she had lost her faith in God, she hoped that Joshua was somewhere safe and loved. A piece of her was certain that he was still watching over her, intangible, yet lingering. Another strong wind rattled the trees and sent dirt spiraling through the air. “I have to go back home to Texas, baby boy. Daddy and I didn’t know what to do without you. We’re going to make new lives now, but we’re not going to stop loving you. I’m going to be far away, but I’ll come when I can. Aunt Angie is going to put flowers on your grave for me every month.”
Lightning arced through the clouds and a few seconds later the boom of thunder echoed around Mackenzie, sending a needle of dread through her. For one brief, insane moment, Mackenzie worried that Joshua was afraid in his coffin under the ground.
Closing her eyes, she lifted her sweaty palm to her forehead. The dark wave of her sorrow was building behind the careful construct of self- control. It was difficult to kneel before her son’s grave and not wonder yet again why he had died.
7 Winners will receives a Copy of Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater