A new release from Starr Gardinier. Sounds like a spooky, compelling read…
Melinda’s family is dead, killed for information that is hidden deep within her mind. Her father tries to warn her from the ‘Other Side’ that she is in danger from the killers who want what only she can give them. Committed to Skyview Haven, she must determine if the ‘Other Side’ truly exists or if it is a trick of her heart and mind. With time running out Melinda must determine who she can trust. Is it the ghosts of her family, a boy who may not be who he appears to be, or the doctor who is determined to cure her? Can she figure out the truth before it is too late?
“Remember, I just ran from Beth and I’m standing in the backyard looking at my house. The house is lit up and I see Kyle in the window. I knew I had to go in and face whatever was coming. For some reason, I knew there was no turning back. I couldn’t go back to Beth, but I was afraid to go forward. What if they are both gone? Would that mean I killed them? Was it really up to me to decide who lives and who dies?
“I was angry. I wasn’t God! This wasn’t my choice. Deep in my soul I knew that once I walked into my house, life as I knew it before my father’s car accident, before I heard my father’s voice, before Beth drowned in the same river as my father, would not be the same. I couldn’t turn back time. Choices are made every day and for some reason, I was being forced to make this one.
“I turned around and looked back at our path and whispered, “I love you, Beth. I will see you again.”
“Having made my decision, I strode up to the house, my legs getting heavier with each step, and opened the kitchen door. I tried to change my frown into a smile, but it didn’t work very well. My eyes still blazed with fury when my mom and Kyle looked up. I could tell Mom had been crying. She rushed to my side, knelt down, and hugged me.
“Melinda! You’re soaked to the bone! And muddy. What in the world?”
“She took my jacket off of me and Kyle handed her a towel. She proceeded to dry my hair, but I took her hand and stopped her. At least her nurturing was changing my attitude, even if I did know what was coming. It felt good to have Mom tending to my needs. I wished I knew then what I know now. I would have let her fuss over me more. Instead I would shrug her hugs off and air-kiss her when I had to.
“It’s okay. You’re home now. It’s all okay.”
“My mom and Kyle exchanged looks. It confirmed my suspicions, but I needed to hear it.
“Where is he?” I asked again.
“Kyle walked to me, an anguished look on his face.
“Where is he?” I screamed.
“Melinda, there’s been an accident. Your father was coming home. He…”
“Tears rolled down my mother’s cheeks.
“He’s dead, isn’t he?” I quietly asked.
“I wanted them to say it. I needed to hear them say it out loud. My heart was heavy. I just killed my father. It was my fault.
“Mel, he’s in the hospital. Mom and I couldn’t find you. We didn’t want to go there without you knowing.”
“In the hospital?” I asked, shocked.
“Maybe I was wrong. I had to be wrong! My dad wasn’t dead because I spent time with Beth. It was going to be all right. I was overcome with joy.
“I smiled and said, “Let’s go. I want to see Dad.”
“I began putting my coat back on, but my mom stopped me.
“You’re in your pajamas. Go clean up and change.”
“I began to leave the room, stopped and turned around and told them, “Dad’s going to be just fine now.”
“I believed that with my whole heart. After all, I left Beth. It really sucked that I had to choose, but there was nothing else I could have done.
“When we got to the hospital, Mom made Kyle and me wait in the hall while she talked to the doctor. They left the door slightly open and we could hear quite a bit. The doctor was telling Mom that Dad had hypothermia. I didn’t understand a lot of it at the time. They said something about Dad being confused, he was in cold water, and ended up laying on the side of the river, half in and half out.
“We heard a loud bang and nurses were running in and out of a nearby room. One of them darted into the doctor’s office. Within seconds, the doctor flew out of his office and into the other room. My mother was on his heels.
“Mom?” Kyle asked.
“She grabbed us both, one with each hand and pulled us close.
“It’s your father.”
“He’s going to be fine, Mom,” I tried to reassure her. I looked up at her and said, “You’ll see.”
“A few minutes later, the doctor walked out of the room slowly, head down. He looked up at my mother then met my eyes.
Bio: A paralegal by day, I’m an author by night. I am the artistic creator of the Other Side series featuring Melinda James. Flanking Melinda’s side Trent Miller, who will have his own ‘chapter of life’ in book two of the series.
I am the former executive editor for Suspense Magazine and have been interviewed in the newspaper and on the radio with relation to my fiction work. I have also been a co-host on Suspense Radio.
I am a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) and of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally. I have won three Best Speaker awards as well as Best Evaluator at the Voice Ambassadors chapter of Toastmasters. I have always been active in events. As co-chair and main coordinator for the West Coast Author Premiere, I arranged weekend-long events to help authors from all over network, learn and share their work with the public. I have been instrumental in compiling authors and planning a local author event at Barnes and Noble in Ventura, California along with the store’s event manager.
Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sgardinier