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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dead Dreams by Emma Right (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Hi friends! We would like to share with you the first book in Emma Right's young adult psychological thriller and contemporary mystery, Dead Dreams



Dreams (asleep and waking): How they influence our lives.

We all have dreams and this is a great thing. Dreams of furthering our lot in life, of a hope and a promising future, and so on. But what is the cost we are willing to pay to fulfill those dreams? Do we even know what that cost is as we set our eyes on a dream (the waking type) we have perhaps nurtured since childhood?

We've all been there--at least those of us who are over 21—once we were revving to grow up, the world at our feet, the stars reachable. Wonderful ,wondrous future. But in wanting to get there, we forget to smell the roses, we trample on thorns and we get sorely poked and pricked, and alas, some of the barbs could be poisonous. Except for the Grace that watches over me, over you, (call it LUCK if you wish), all it might have taken for any of us to go down a wrong path was that wrong turn, that grabbing of something that looked too good to pass up on, and coupled with a strong desire to make it in life, we may be blinded and grab at the adder's tail.

That is the story of Dead Dreams; of Brie O'Mara, a good girl; someone who'd never even gotten a traffic ticket, even a Miss Goodie Two-shoes. But, let's face it we can all be tempted, just a tiny bit. And sometimes that's all it takes to have things spiral out of control.

So although it’s admirable to have dreams –the aspiration sort—the question arise: do we let our dreams influence and control us, or should we still exercise control over our dreams?

Then, there’s the sleeping kind. The dreams that occupy our minds and work out the kinks in our heads when we are on sleep mode. I actually researched on this and came across interesting stories.

Some say it’s our subconscious telling us things we should listen to. I believe our unconscious mind is aware of innuendoes we don’t normally pick up as we go about our busy lives. It’s only when we sleep that the mind notices things that do not add up or the brain becomes sensitive to “clues” we should have paid attention to but didn’t or couldn’t due to the busyness of life. I believe that’s just how humans are made. Our warning system is supposed to warn us, or alert us to suspicious goings-on, and I feel even things that the best Sherlock Holmes might have passed up on, our subconscious mind picks up.

Think about those people who escaped 911 (if you all are old enough to have seen and heard those stories.) There were those who escaped the Twin Towers because for some strange reason their subconscious minds told them to go for coffee, or wear tennis shoes (which allowed this one person to run, something she’d have a hard time doing if she had her stilettos on) and numerous other accounts of “coincidences”. Coincidences? Really?

And how about dreams in the Bible of warnings and urges to tell people to escape troubles? When the dreams were heeded these people were spared, but when they ignored they had to bear the brunt of the cost of ignoring these warning dreams.

I think dreams (the sleeping kind) have a bigger meaning than the value “normal” people place on them and there are so many things science still cannot explain—like why we only use a small percentage of the brain we have. Perhaps one day we will find out the impact dreams should play in our lives. It just makes great fodder for an awesome story, right?



Dead Dreams
By Emma Right

Goodreads | Amazon
Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family in the sidelines, an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams--of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality.






Prologue



They say each dead body, a human corpse, has a scent all of its own, a sweet-sour smell. A cadaver dog picks up the odor as clearly as a mother recognizes a photo of her child. Of course, I wouldn’t know, for I am no dog. I might as well have been, the way I’d stooped to yield to my basic instincts. My mind wandered to her, what her unique smell would be when, and if, they ever were to find her.


  
After what happened, I decided to write out the events that led to that day and details in case Id missed something, or might need it for defense, or in case they found me dead. My relatives might need to piece together the things that had spiraled out of control, if they wanted to put me to rest, to forget me altogether. That would bleast painful for them. I nodded to myself as I sat in the car. I thought of my most favorite girl in the world: Lilly. At least Lillyd have my dogHolly, to remember mby

My friends used to call me Brie, short for Brianna. But, I could hardly count anyone a friend any more. Ihave to resort tback-watching if I wanted to survive.




 Chapter One


It started on a warm April afternoon. Gusts of wind blew against the oak tree right outside my kitchen balcony, in my tiny apartment in Atherton, California. Sometimes the branches that touched the side of the building made scraping noises. The yellow huckleberry flowers twining their way across my apartment balcony infused the air with sweetness.

My mother had insisted, as  was her tendency on most things, I take the pot of wild huckleberry, her housewarming gift, to my new two-bedroom apartment. It wasn’t really new, just new to me, as was the entire experience of living separately, away from my  family, and the prospect of having a roommate, someone who could be a best friend, something I’d dreamed of since I finished high school and debuted into adulthood.

“Wait for me by the curb,” my mother said, hevoice blaring from the phone even though I didn’t set her on speaker. You need to eat better. Her usual punctuation at the end of her orders.


So, I skipped down three flights of steps and headed toward the side of the apartment building to await my mothers gift of the evening, salad in an á la chicken style, her insistent recipe to cure me of bad eating habits. At least it wasn’t chicken soup double-boiled till the bones melted, I consoled myself.

I hadn’t waited long when a vehicle careened round the corner. I heard it first, that high-pitched screech of brakes wearing thin when the driver rammed his foot against it. From the corner of my eye, even before I turned to face it, I saw the blue truck. It rounded thbend where Emerson Street met Ravenswood, tottered before it righted itself and headed straight at me.

I took three steps back, fell and scrambled to get back up as the vehicle like a giant bullet struck the sidewalk I had only  seconds ago stood on. The driver must have lost control, but when he hit the sidewalk it slowed the vehicle enough so he could bridle his speed and manage the truck as he continued to careen down the street.

My mother arrived a half minute later but she had seen it all. Like superwoman, she leaped out of her twenty-year-old Mercedes and rushed toward me, all breathless and blonde hair disheveled.

Are you all right? She reached out to help me up.

Yes, yes,” I said, brushing the dirt off my yoga pants.

“Crazy driver. Brie, I just dont know about thibusiness of you staying alone here like this.” She walked back to her white Mercedes, leaned in the open window, and brought out a casserole dish piled high with something green. Make that several shades of green.

I followed her, admittedly winded.Seriously, Mom. It’s just one of those things. Mad drivers could happen anywhere I live.”

She gave me no end of grief as to what a bad idea it was for me to live alone like this even though she knew I was going tget a roommate.

“Mom, stop worrying,” I said.

Youre asking me to stop beinyour mother, I hopyou realize this.”

“I’ll find someone dependable by the end of the week, I promise.” No way I was going back to live at home. Not that I came from a bad home environment. But I had my reasons.

I had advertised on Craigs List, despite my mothers protests that only scum would answer “those kinds of ads.

Perhaps there was some truth to Mothers biasesbut I wouldnt exactly call Sarah McIntyre scum. If she was, what would that make me?

Sarah’s father had inherited the family coal” money. Their ancestors had emigrated from Scotland (where else, with a name like McIntyre, right?) in the early 1800s and bought an entire mountain (I kid you not) in West Virginia. It was a one-hit wonder in that the mountain hid a coal fortune under it, and hence the McIntyre Coal Rights Company was born. This was the

McIntyre claim to wealth, and also a source of remorse and guilt for Sarah, for supposedly dozens of miners working for them had lost their lives due to the business, most to lung cancer or black lung, as it was commonly called. Hazards of the occupation.

And then there were cave-ins, which presented another set of drama altogether, Sarah said.

I sat across from her, the coffee table between us, in the small living room during our first meeting. So, that’s why youre not on talking terms with your family? Because of abuses of the coal company?  I asked.

We sipped hot cocoa and sat cross-legged in the crammed living room, which also doubled as the dining space. I’d never interviewed anyone before, although Id read tips on the Internet.

“I just dont want to be reminded anymore,” she said, twirling her dark ringlets round and round on her pointer finger.

“But, its not entirely your dads fault those people died of lung problems.

“I guess, but I just want to get away, you understand? Anyway, I’m almost twenty-one now. Thats three years too late for moving out and establishing my own space.” She took tiny sips of the cocoa, both hands cupping the mug as if shwere cold.

I walked to the thermostat and upped the temperature. A slight draft still stole in from a gap in the balcony sliding door I always kept open a crack to let the air circulate.

“So, your family’s okay with you living here? In California? In this apartment that’s probably smaller than your bathroom?  With a stranger?”

First off, its none of their business. Secondly, you and I won’t stay strangers. Sarah flashed me a grin. “Besides, I’m tired of big houses with too many rooms tget lost inAnd, have you lived in West Virginia?

I shook my head. The farthest I’d been was Nevada when we went for our family annual ski vacation. I heard its pretty.

“If you like hot, humid summers and bitter cold winters. So, do I pass? As a roommate?

She looked about at the ceiling. I wondered if shnoticed the dark web in the corner and the lack of cornices and crown moldings. I was sure I smelled mold in the living room, too. But I wasn’t in a position to choose. Sarah was.

As long as youre not a psychopath and can pay rent.” I returned her smile.

I dont know about the psychopath part. She shrugged and displayed her white, evenly-spaced teeth. But here’s my bank account.” She tossed me a navy blue booklet with gilded edges and with golden words “Bank of America” on the cover.

I fumbled as I caught it and was unsure what to do. “Should I peek?

“Go on. She gestured, flicking her fingers at me as if I were a stray cat afraid to take a morsel of her offering.

No secrets. I can well afford to pay rentAnd, I’m a stable individual.

I flipped the first few pages and saw the numerous transactions in lumps my parents, who were by no means poor, would have gasped at. The last page registered the numbers: under deposits, $38,000. My eyes scanned the row of numbers and realized that the sum $38,000 came up every sixth of the month.

My mouth must have been open for she said, You can stop gawking. Its only my trust fund. It comes to me regardless of where I am, or where I stay. So, do I make the cut?”

I handed the bank book back. We discussed the house rules: nsmokingno drugs, and that included pot; no boyfriend sleepovers or wild parties, which was a clause in my landlords lease; and Sarah was to hand me her share of the rent, a mere $800 a month, on the twenty-eighth of every month, since I was the main renter and she the sub-letter.

She didn’t want anything down on paperno checks, no contracts, and no way of tracing things back to her, shed stressed a few times.

She fished in her Louis Vuitton and handed me brown paper bag, the kind kids carry their school lunches in. I peeked inside and took out a stash of what looked like a wad of papers bundled together with a rubber band. Her three-month share of the deposit, a total of twenty-four crisp hundred-dollar bills. They had that distinct new-bank-notes-smell that spoke of luxury.

I gulped down my hot chocolate. Why all the secrecy? I hope your parents will at least know your address. I said as I wrapped up the interview. I could understand not wanting parents breathing down her neck, but as long as they didn’t insist on posting a guard at the door, what was the harm of them knowing where she lived?

Sarah glanced about the room as if afraid thneighbors might have their ears pinned to the walls, listening.

She leaned forward and, her face expressionless, said softly, “My parents are dead.






About the Author


Emma Right is a happy wife and home school mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. When she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling  her kids to get theirs in one.
Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.

You can stalk, I mean follow Emma here


               




Giveaway

1 Paperback copy of DEAD DREAMS (DOMESTIC ONLY – ebook for International)
1 Amazon Gift Card for $15



a Rafflecopter giveaway


4 comments:

Penni EnchantmentsBlogger said...

I haven't read this book....yet! Adding it to my TBR it sounds great! I miss following all my blogs to get new books lol I have been so busy I barely have time to check my email let alone my blogs sadly. Glad things have settled down enough I missed all of my blogging world buddies!

Leslie Rodriguez said...

I have not read but is on my tbr.

Mary Preston said...

Most definitely adding to my reading list.

AshleyC said...

I haven't read this before but I think its right up my alley, definitely something I'm interested in reading!