Between by Clarissa Johal - Exclusive Excerpt + GiveawayMonday, February 02, 2015
Welcome to the Virtual Book Tour for BETWEEN!
Follow the Tour to Read Exclusive Excerpts, Interviews, and Reviews, and Make Sure to Enter the Giveaway!!
Second Place - Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2012 Clarissa Johal’s novel BETWEEN is a “haunting” paranormal novel that will have you on the edge of your seat!
Author: Clarissa Johal
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Cover Artist: David Efaw
Number of Pages: 300
How far would you go to redeem yourself?
As a young girl, Lucinda was able to see spirits, a gift that didn't come without its problems. Now, a dedicated young veterinarian, she is committed to the idea that every life can be saved. After a devastating accident, Lucinda tries to escape her past by moving to a small town. There, she meets a newcomer and feels an immediate connection with him. But there is another mysterious stranger to the small town, one that stirs within her a mixture of unease and desire. As Lucinda is drawn into a bitter tug-a-war from the forces around her, she is likewise pulled into a dangerous twist of past and present events. Forced to make difficult choices, she finds that the two men are locked in not only a battle for her life...but a battle for their salvation.
The coastal wind had picked up, gusting across the plateau and chilling the air with its breath. It blew through the grasses, bending them to its will. Lucinda shivered and pulled her jacket collar up around her chin as she let Darwin off his leash to explore. He immediately headed for the cliffs.
Dotted with several rock outcroppings, a narrow path meandered down the jagged cliff face. Lucinda followed it and stopped at the first outcropping to stare into the ocean roiling a hundred feet below. Churning waves ground against the cliff side, slamming repeatedly against the rocks. The setting sun had just started to tap the horizon, tinging the water red.
Lucinda felt the presence of the woman running down the narrow path behind her. Instinctively, she moved backward, flattening herself against the cliff’s damp rocks. As the woman ran past, the already icy temperature dropped several degrees. Lucinda kept her eyes glued to the ground for several moments before looking up. As usual, the woman stood on the next outcropping looking back toward her. Anoverwhelming feeling of despondency, fear, and guilt washed through- out Lucinda’s body.
The scene was played out.
The woman’s hair ribbon was suddenly taken up by a forgotten breeze. Her gaze followed as the ribbon disappeared out to sea. There was a brief pause before she slipped out of her shoes, stepped forward… and jumped.
Lucinda, unable to tear her eyes away, watched as the woman’s body hit the rocks below and disappeared.
“Let’s go back, Darwin.”
Home again, Lucinda shrugged out of her heavy jacket and tossed Darwin’s leash over the bedroom door. Lost in thought, she wandered into the kitchen with the intention of reheating her tea.
The mug was no longer on the counter.
She stood for a moment and gazed at the empty counter before it registered that it was empty. Her mail had been scattered across the floor. Scanning the bare countertops, she walked toward the sink. The blue mug lay on its side next to the drain, dark tea pooling around it.
“I don’t remember putting you in the sink.” Darwin sniffed at the mail tentatively, hackles on end. “Leave it, Darwin.” She gathered the pile from the floor. “Apparently, I need to go to bed.”
Lucinda’s haphazard bedroom was the one room in the three-bed- room house that looked lived in. The four-poster bed was draped with a tartan blanket. A sun-bleached table, topped by an outdated lamp and small alarm clock, flanked it. The table leaned slightly, seemingly in danger of falling over. But for the past year it hadn’t. Clothing trailed from the bedroom’s walk-in closet across the bare, hardwood floor.
Shedding her jeans and sweater onto one of the piles of clothing, Lucinda slid into bed. She pulled the woolen blanket up around her chin, comforted by the familiar, worn material. After several minutes, she drifted to sleep.
Padding into the bedroom, Darwin too, settled into his dog bed at the foot of Lucinda’s. The German shepherd lay his big head upon his paws, upright ear tilting to the sounds of the erratic wind picking up outside. At the sound of his mistress’s even breathing, he too, drifted off to sleep.
Night seeped into the corners of the bungalow.
A presence rustled throughout the house. From the kitchen’s back door, it slipped in and out of each empty bedroom. Continuing into the living room, it made its way counter-clockwise around the perimeter, stirring up the ashes in the fireplace. The presence finally settled at Lucinda’s bedroom door where it stopped, watching her.
Darwin jerked awake, his light-blue eye fixed on the darkened bed- room door. A low growl escaped his throat. The dog flattened his head and neck as he tried to see what he could only sense. Quietly jumping onto the bed, he curled up next to Lucinda’s feet, all the while keeping his eyes on the door.
He growled again.
An hour of impasse elapsed before the dark presence in the doorway moved on.
Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.
*Member of the Author's Guild
Coming May 19, 2015 from Permuted Press
VOICES, a paranormal psychological horror
(2014) Musa Publishing
*Indie Book of the Day Award
*Nominated for the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2014
(2012) Musa Publishing
*Second place in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2012
*Paranormal Reads gives BETWEEN 4 out of 5 Bats
*Second round finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award Contest 2012
PIGEONS Susurrus Literary Journal
THE ROPE Susurrus Literary Journal
A WAY OF LIFE The Sacramento Bee newspaper
~ Praise for BETWEEN ~
Paranormal Reads gives BETWEEN 4 out of 5 Bats
Escape Into a Book "I loved how original the idea was for this book, I haven't read a book like this one...fast paced and kept my interest till the very end."
MommaSez "Creepy, scary, haunting–just up my alley...gothic romance that makes the hair stand up on my neck!"
Musings from an Addicted Reader "It was haunting, unpredictable, and intriguing. All the characters were unique and draw you in from the first chapter. Excellent read."
Shut Up & Read "I love a good ghost story, and this one did not disappoint...I've heard the saying painting a picture with words, and that is exactly what the author does here. Each sentence is vivid and alive."
Happy Tails and Tales "I would recommend it to my fellow ghost lovers, Gothic lovers, and historical paranormal lovers alike. There are some interesting paranormal characters...I wasn’t expecting them...a really well done plot twist. "
Demons Do it Better "Between kept me guessing. I had no clue where the story was going to end but I made a couple of guesses along the way and I was wrong."
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How did you come up with the idea for BETWEEN?
Three years ago, I was working on a sequel to a fantasy novel when I had this weird “calling.” Two characters came to me in a rush; Lucas and Cronan from BETWEEN. They weren’t fantasy characters nor they didn’t fit into what I was writing but they wouldn’t go away. I kept setting them aside but they’d come back, stronger than ever. I put the fantasy sequel on hold, wrote non-stop for a month, and finished the first draft. That never happens! It usually takes me months to finish a first draft. A year later, my edits were finished, and two months later, BETWEEN was picked up by Musa Publishing. I’ve got my feet firmly planted in the Otherworld now, the ideas come faster than I can write them down.
What first inspired you to become a writer? And what compels you to continue your career as an author?
I wrote my first short story in grade six. I was asked by the teacher to read it aloud to the class, which terrified me. After I was finished, I realized that I actually had everyone’s attention! I was shy and we moved every year, so I was always the new kid. When you’re in that situation, it’s kind of like being invisible. Finding my voice through story-telling made me realize how powerful writing could be. As far as continuing—truthfully? I think I’d go nuts if I didn’t write.
What made you choose the genre of paranormal gothic horror?
I started out writing fantasy fiction. I was working on the second installment to my PRADEE series when there were two characters that kept showing up on the page, over and over. They didn’t belong in fantasy novel, nor did they belong in my story! But their backstory came to me so vividly, that I set aside my series and wrote my first paranormal novel, BETWEEN. I’ve been pulled into the Otherworld permanently now. The ideas come faster than I can write them down.
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