Wednesday, October 18, 2017


A story that sparked over 100,000 visitors. The new young adult novel by Samantha C. Ross.

Trying to live an ordinary life, but the paranormal just keeps getting in the way? it is not twilight here on the island, but dusk. Prepare for a story of light and dark, and enter the world of three teenager supernatural sisters. Magic happens here. A spell, a curse, a love bewitched. On Americus, nothing is as it seems. Take the trip now...there are so many things in the shadows waiting for you...





Chapter One - page7

And the island does have its share of dysfunctional families. Many of the kids from school with both parents don’t always have the stability our aunt created for us. One of those unfortunate souls was my best friend Ellie, who I spied coming up our stairs.

“Ellie!” welcomed Tookie, “How lovely you’re here! Can I get you a soda-cola or something?”

“How many times do I have to tell you Aunt Tookie – it’s called Coke.” I teased.

“Sure Aunt Took, I’d love one,” Ellie accepted. “Chime, I brought by your English Lit revision for tomorrow’s test. You left school so fast – I realized you probably forgot it. ‘

“Gee thanks,” I said petulantly. “A girl can never have too much homework.”

“No problem, I know how you love studying,” She giggled at my sourness.

I rolled my eyes. “Let’s go to my room.”

My friend Ellie Porter is a beautiful girl with pale skin and striking red lips. Her Gothic exterior is complimented by poker-straight, thick black hair with a heavy fringe falling over her dark eyes. Ellie is one of the individuals I know from school who lives with both her mother and father, unfortunately for her.

Unsure as to what Ellie's father does for a living, or if he actually ever has been gainfully employed, Mr. Porter can generally be spotted slumped on stool in one of the bars down on Canal Road – drinking from lunch time till closing time. After that you can usually see him lying on Canal Road.

Ellie's mother – the family bread winner, works too hard and too often at Regan’s Grocery and Save on Maple Street; our local superstore owned by the parents of my school nemesis, Anthony.

Sometimes Ellie had black bruises to match her eye make-up, a topic she was never forthright or open about.

“What the hell happened at school today!?” Ellie gushed within seconds of entering my room.

“Happened when?”

“Lose the innocent look.” She folded her arms, all smug and confident. “I saw that baseball flying in your direction, I also watched it miraculously change course.”

“Um, would you consider wind change?” I grimaced.

“Probably not. That ball stopped and hovered in thin air. I think you did that. Just tell me if I’m warm?”

“Tepid,” I said reluctantly. “But I’d be pretty grateful if you didn’t grill me about it today.” I wasn’t in the mood for this conversation, since I had no doubt Tookie was, at this very moment, preparing a lecture on the same topic.

Our supernatural skills weren’t a forbidden subject amongst our closest friends, but my aunt urged my sisters and I to maintain at least some secrecy. Understandably, she preferred our talents weren’t broadcasted. The power we been granted wasn’t common knowledge on the island. Even if our neighbors suspected we were one of the more unusual families on Americus, they certainly didn’t know why. And today’s little episode would be forgotten soon enough, because people don’t want to believe – Tookie had taught me that. It’s human nature to look for a rational explanation. People would blame the weather, the wind, magnetic force, or even volcanic activity, before they would accept there were unseen, unexplained forces at work. Humans look for reasoning, and scoff at the supernatural, luckily for me.

“Okay. I won’t grill you about it.” Ellie, glimpsing through my bookshelf, turned with a grin. “If you do something for me.”

“What?” I asked suspiciously.

Ellie and Crystal knew I contrasted to normal humans, had some idea of the things I could do, but not the extent. Being my best friends since pre-school, they had always just accepted I was different. The way we don’t bother asking people why their family are rich, or chose to be Muslim, I supposed. There’d never been a real reason to explain about myself, since it wasn’t as though I practiced magic in front of them on a daily basis. Besides, talking about my abilities made me slightly uncomfortable. I was both proud and self-conscious at the same time, if that made any sense. And I didn’t want Crystal and Ellie to see me differently. I worried if they learned the full scope of power I owned, it would put a divider between us, a chasm separating me from the normality of our teenage trio.

Ellie’s grin had turned wicked. “How are your mind-reading powers this week?”

I stared, warily. Usually, my other, more dominant ability was a huge elephant in the room, sitting quiet, but taking up plenty of space. My elephant always hung out with us, but my friends generally had the courtesy to ignore it. Except for Ellie, on occasion. Sometimes she beseeched me to help with a problem, or interrogated me for further details. She was much more curious than Crystal, and more annoying. Not that I could blame her – she’d shared space with my elephant many a time.

I could, as another of my strange characteristics, read the human mind. Born with a skill so accurate, I had the choice of both listening in, hearing the secret thoughts of those around me, or I could pluck a vivid image from inside a person’s brain. In the company of one, two, three, or even four people, I was able to smother the link I had to the private thoughts of others – mercifully. It’s not always a gift, and the last thing I wanted was to hear what my sisters, or friends were thinking about their love lives. I dulled the ability like reflex, much the same as averting my eyes from something I didn’t want to look at. All that was left was a small drone, like each person had a bee circling their head. It was I sound I scarcely noticed anymore.

But at school, or on a busy street in Maples, this was no longer an option.

Drum roll, my tendency for vagueness.

Each and every day of my life, I spent considerable time concentrating on drowning out the endless, random thoughts of others. Comparatively, it was not unlike hundreds of televisions turned down, humming in the distance.

Drum roll, my relationship status. No girl could have a relationship with a boy knowing what he’s really thinking…

Ellie was still waiting for me to answer.

“Why do you want to know?” I said finally.

Her cheeks suddenly flushed a dull red, and she’d stopped looking my way. “I was wondering if you could find out if I’ll be asked to the Spring Ball?”

“Oh El, I try not to predict dark and empty futures.”

“Chime! It’s not funny. I’m being serious here!”

“Sorry,” I stopped sniggering. “Who did you want to ask you, El?”

“I’m not sure…” she stalled, knowing perfectly well who. “Maybe Davies Roberts?”


“I know he’s got a reputation and all, but I really like him,” she suddenly gushed and blushed at the same time. “I’ve always liked him, and I need to know if he likes me too.”

Awesome. More boy talk. Just what I wanted to hear.

Tookie’s lecture suddenly seemed more appealing.

“What do you want me to do El?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

“I thought you could…read his mind for me?”

“It’s not that simple,” I explained. “I can’t just pluck the information from his brain.”

“Why not?”

“Because it doesn’t work like that – I’ll only see what he’s thinking right now. And I’m not close enough to…how can I put this? Peel back the layers of his mind. If Davies isn’t thinking about Spring Ball, right this second, reading his thoughts will be pointless. I won’t be able to tell you anything.”

My friend was torn between amazement and mortification. And obviously determination. “Please try, for me? Please take a peek?”

There was also hidden desperation in her voice, but I heard it loud and clear. It made me realize how much this meant to her, and I was such an easy mark when it came to a friend in need.

“Okay, “I sighed reluctantly. “Sit tight.”

Ellie watched engrossed as I concentrated. My mind stretched out across the island, invisible tentacles seeking out Davies’ thoughts. Once I’d heard a voice – vocal or psychic – it was forever stored.

He was geographically too distant for me to get a crystal-clear reading. All I picked up was an actor’s face – which indicated him watching television, while looking forward to a roast chicken dinner.

“I’m not getting anything but TV and food,” I apologized, causing her face to fall. “But I’ll try again tomorrow, okay?” I promised, adding, “so long as you don’t tell anyone about this!”

She nodded enthusiastically. “You’re incredible Chime! Thank you so much for trying. And I swear, it stays between us.” Another wicked grin spread across her face. “If you tell me how you did the baseball trick…”

“Ellie, how can you be sure my talents don’t include igniting you into a ball of flames?” I teased. “There are people in the world who can do that, you know – it’s called Pyrokinesis.”

“So that’s a no?”

“Shut up and drink your soda-cola.”



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"Another of my strange characteristics was that I could - by all accounts - read human thoughts. But how did that explain my new, uncanny ability to know spells and curses that had yet been taught to me? Had I used my telepathic skill while still an infant, and drawn the magical knowledge from my mother's mind, before she was mysteriously taken from this world?" - Chime Emmerson


"A Manifesto, particularly one as timeless as ours, was the most powerful book a witch could own. It revealed spells and curses of such a dangerous nature, even the most experienced of witches were careful f its use. My stomach lurched, as I looked again at the place our mystical book should be. Our Manifesto was gone."









"But the thing that shredded my heart the most was finding, and then losing, the love of my life - despite the supernatural being he was. My friends, my family, they advised I was too young to know what real love was, and that time would heal me. They were wrong. Age was no barrier of my of my understanding of love. And no day would ever come that I would be free of him, in my mind, in my heart. I'd lost the one person who was understanding, admiring of what I was. I bit down on my lip, fighting to stop the agony cascading through, and I glanced one more time at the reflection of my solitary figure, rocking back and forth, cocooned in sorrow."


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