The Haunting of Secrets
Book 2 of the Trilogy
Shelley R. Pickens
Genre: YA, mystery, paranormal
Publisher: Fire and Ice
Imprint of Melange Books
Date of Publication: March 2015
Word Count: 62,364
Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus
Being normal isn't always a good thing, especially if it ends up killing you.
Aimee, the sixteen year old girl who can see your every memory with just one touch, is fresh out of the torture room after risking everything to capture a killer.
Despite her instinct to avoid contact with others, she tries her best to find a new normal at school - perhaps even a boyfriend. But for those who are cursed, happiness and normality aren’t easy to obtain. A bizarre illness is spreading like wildfire through the school causing those around Aimee to lose their sanity before falling into a coma. Slowly, all the people she loves succumb to this strange disease.
Alone and terrified, she must use her curse to find a way to save her family and friends. As she delves deeper and deeper into their memories, she realizes a delusional person from her childhood named David is the bigger threat that could end up destroying her. Despite the danger that surrounds her, she struggles to solve the puzzle before it’s too late to help those she cares for the most.
But as David moves closer to eliminating her, one puzzle still remains. Will she be able to save herself?
Try out this fun puzzle, and see if you can reconstruct the cover of Unhinged.
He drew me here to this house in the middle of nowhere to die by his hand. I’ve never liked guns, but they sure do seem to like me. In fact, I’m staring down the barrel of one right now. The clarity of mind you have knowing that death is coming for you any second is astonishing. There are so many things I would have done differently; yet so many memories I wouldn’t trade for the world. Funny hearing myself say that. For me, memories have never been something to cherish; they were always something to fear. I have absorbed so many memories in the short sixteen years of my life that it is hard for me to figure out which ones are real and which ones are borrowed. Needless to say, few of them are good. Knowing what I know of the people in this world, I should welcome death. But I don’t. I have a reason to live now: Logan. He’s the reason I haven’t gone insane; the reason that I came here tonight to willingly give up my life so this insane asshole pointing his gun at me can feed his delusions of grandeur.
He tells me that this is my fate: to die by his hand. That’s the funny thing about fate; people think it’s written in stone. They believe the age-old adage that you must ‘accept’ your fate. But that just isn’t true. It’s simply a way for people to accept the things they can’t change. If something good happens then fate ‘lent you a hand’. If something awful occurs, then fate was ‘cruel’. Yet either way, the fates I believe in aren’t left to chance. I believe you make your own fate; that life is fluid, ever changing and what you make of it is completely up to you. So tonight, if I have to die to save the ones I love then that is what I choose–no one else. But who says I have to go down easy? If I go down, so does he. Tonight, I will look fate straight in the eye and tell her to go to hell.
Shelley Pickens is a Spanish teacher by day and a novelist by night. She's been in love with everything paranormal since she can remember. After years of teaching high school students, she decided to take her firsthand knowledge of young adults and apply it to her passion for creative writing and fantasy. When not teaching or writing, Shelley likes to spend time with her husband and two beautiful children in Atlanta, Ga. Her escape from reality is her love of complex thriller and science fiction TV series like Supernatural and Sleepy Hollow. In her spare time she is an avid watcher of little league baseball. THE HAUNTING OF SECRETS is her debut novel.