Saturday, November 9, 2013

Dead Dreams by Emma Right Spotlight

Dead Dreams
By Emma Right

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.

Dead Dreams, Book 1, a young adult psychological thriller and contemporary mystery.

Available to purchase at

Book Trailer</ span>

Prologue & Chapter 1


They say each dead </ span>body, a human corpse, has a s</ span>cent all </ span>of it</ span>s own</ span>, a </ span>sweet-</ span>sour </ span>smell. </ span>A ca</ span>daver dog picks up the odor as clearly as a mother re</ span>cogn</ span>izes a photo of her child. Of course, I wouldn’</ span>t know, for I am no dog. </ span>I mig</ span>ht as </ span>well hav</ span>e b</ span>een, the way I’d stooped to yield to </ span>my b</ span>asi</ span>c in</ span>stinc</ span>ts. My </ span>min</ span>d wan</ span>dered t</ span>o her, what her unique smell would be when, and if, they ever were to find </ span>her.

After what </ span>happene</ span>d, I </ span>decided </ span>to wr</ span>ite </ span>out the events </ span>that led </ span>to </ span>that da</ span>y and </ span>details in </ span>case </ span>Id missed something, or mig</ span>ht n</ span>eed </ span>it f</ span>or de</ span>fense, </ span>or in </ span>case </ span>they foun</ span>d me de</ span>ad. My relativ</ span>es m</ span>ight need to </ span>piece tog</ span>ether the things that had spiraled out of control, if t</ span>hey wan</ span>ted to put me to rest</ span>, to </ span>forget </ span>me altogeth</ span>er. Th</ span>at wo</ span>uld b</ span>e least pa</ span>inful </ span>for </ span>them. I n</ span>odded to </ span>myse</ span>lf as </ span>I sat in the car. I t</ span>hought of </ span>my mo</ span>st favor</ span>ite g</ span>irl in </ span>the world: Lilly. A</ span>t least Lillyd </ span>have </ span>my d</ span>og, Holly, to remember me by. </ span>

My friend</ span>s u</ span>sed to </ span>call me Bri</ span>e, s</ span>hort f</ span>or Br</ span>ianna. But, I </ span>could hardly count anyone a friend any more. Id have to resort to back-watching if I wanted to survive.

 Chapter One

It started on a warm April afternoon. Gusts of wind bl</ span>ew ag</ span>ain</ span>st t</ span>he oak </ span>tree </ span>rig</ span>ht o</ span>utside </ span>my kitch</ span>en b</ span>alcony</ span>, in </ span>my tin</ span>y apartment </ span>in A</ span>therton, California. Sometimes the branches that touched the side of the building made scraping noises. The yellow huckleberr</ span>y fl</ span>owers twin</ span>ing </ span>their </ span>way ac</ span>ros</ span>s my apartment </ span>balc</ span>ony inf</ span>use</ span>d the air with sw</ span>eetness</ span>.

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 n</ span>ew, j</ span>ust </ span>new </ span>to m</ span>e, a</ span>s </ span>was </ span>the ent</ span>ire ex</ span>perience </ span>of l</ span>ivin</ span>g separately, away fr</ span>om my  f</ span>ami</ span>ly, and </ span>the prospe</ span>ct of </ span>having a roommate, someone who could be a best friend, something I’d dreamed of since I finished high school and d</ span>ebuted in</ span>to adulth</ span>ood.

“Wait for me by the curb,” my mot</ span>her s</ span>aid</ span>, her voice blaring from the phone even though I didn’t set her on spe</ span>aker. Yo</ span>u n</ span>eed </ span>to eat </ span>bette</ span>r. </ span>Her </ span>usual punctuatio</ span>n at </ span>the end of her </ span>orders.

So, I skipped down three flights of steps and headed toward the </ span>side </ span>of </ span>the a</ span>partment bu</ span>ildin</ span>g to </ span>awai</ span>t my mothers gift of the evening</ span>, salad </ span>in an </ span>á la chicken style, her insistent recipe to cure me of bad eating habi</ span>ts. At least it wasn’t chicken soup double-boil</ span>ed till </ span>the </ span>bones melted, I c</ span>onsoled my</ span>self.

I hadn’t waited long when a vehicle careened </ span>round the corner. I heard it first, that high-pitched screech of brakes wearing thin when the driver ram</ span>med h</ span>is foot against it. From the corner of my </ span>eye, even </ span>before </ span>I turned to fa</ span>ce it, </ span>I saw </ span>the b</ span>lue </ span>truc</ span>k. It </ span>round</ span>ed th</ span>e bend </ span>where </ span>Emer</ span>son Str</ span>eet met Raven</ span>swood</ span>, tot</ span>tered before it righted itself and headed straig</ span>ht at m</ span>e.

I took three steps back, fell and scrambled to get back up as the vehicle like a giant bullet struck the sidewalk </ span>I h</ span>ad only  seconds ago </ span>stood on. The </ span>driver mu</ span>st hav</ span>e l</ span>ost </ span>control</ span>, b</ span>ut when he hi</ span>t th</ span>e s</ span>idewalk </ span>it slowed </ span>the v</ span>ehicle </ span>enoug</ span>h so </ span>he c</ span>ould b</ span>ridle </ span>his speed and manage the tru</ span>ck a</ span>s he </ span>contin</ span>ued to </ span>careen </ span>down the street.

My mother arrived a h</ span>alf min</ span>ute lat</ span>er b</ span>ut sh</ span>e ha</ span>d seen it all. </ span>Like </ span>superw</ span>oman</ span>, s</ span>he le</ span>aped out of </ span>her twenty</ span>-y</ span>ear-old </ span>Merc</ span>edes </ span>and ru</ span>shed </ span>toward </ span>me, all breathle</ span>ss an</ span>d bl</ span>onde hai</ span>r dis</ span>hevele</ span>d.

Are you all right?</ span>” She reached out to help m</ span>e up.

Yes, ye</ span>s,” I said, brushing the dirt off my yoga pants.</ div>

“Crazy driver. Brie, I just dont kn</ span>ow abo</ span>ut th</ span>is business of you staying alone here like this.” She walked back </ span>to her </ span>whi</ span>te Mer</ span>cedes</ span>, l</ span>eaned i</ span>n th</ span>e open </ span>window, and broug</ span>ht out </ span>a casserole dish piled high with something green. Make th</ span>at several shade</ span>s of green.</ span>

I followed her, admittedly winded.Seriously, </ span>Mom. It’s just one of those things. Mad dr</ span>ivers </ span>could </ span>happen any</ span>where I live.”

She </ span>gave </ span>me n</ span>o end </ span>of grief as to what a bad idea it was for me to live alone like thi</ span>s even </ span>tho</ span>ugh s</ span>he k</ span>new I was going to get a roomm</ span>ate.

“Mom, stop worrying,” I s</ span>aid.

Youre ask</ span>ing me to stop being your mother, I hope you realize this.”

“I’ll find so</ span>meone </ span>dependab</ span>le b</ span>y the </ span>end of </ span>the week, I </ span>prom</ span>ise.” </ span>No </ span>way I was goi</ span>ng back to live at home. Not that I came from a bad ho</ span>me environ</ span>ment. But I had my re</ span>asons.

I </ span>had advertised on Craigs List, despite my mothers protests that on</ span>ly scu</ span>m woul</ span>d answer </ span>“those kinds of ads.</ span>”

Perhaps there was some truth to Mother’</ span>s biases</ span>, but </ span>I wouldn’</ span>t ex</ span>actly </ span>ca</ span>ll Sara</ span>h McInty</ span>re sc</ span>um. </ span>If she was, w</ span>hat would t</ span>hat m</ span>ake </ span>me?

Sarah’s father had inherited the family coalmoney. Their ancestors had e</ span>mig</ span>rated fr</ span>om </ span>Scotland (where </ span>else</ span>, wit</ span>h a </ span>nam</ span>e like </ span>McIntyre</ span>, right? ) in the early 1800</ span>s and </ span>boug</ span>ht an </ span>entire </ span>moun</ span>tain </ span>(I kid </ span>you not) in West Virginia. It was </ span>a one</ span>-hit wonder in that the mounta</ span>in hi</ span>d a </ span>coal </ span>fortune </ span>under </ span>it, and </ span>henc</ span>e th</ span>e McIntyre Coal Rig</ span>hts </ span>Compan</ span>y wa</ span>s b</ span>orn. </ span>This </ span>was </ span>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 </ span>the b</ span>usin</ span>ess, most to lung cancer or black lung, as it was commonly called. Hazards of the occupation.</ o:p>

And then there </ span>were c</ span>ave-in</ span>s, w</ span>hich </ span>present</ span>ed another set of dr</ span>ama altogether, Sarah said.

I sat across from her, the coffee table between us, in the small living roo</ span>m dur</ span>ing </ span>our f</ span>irst me</ span>eting</ span>. So, that’s why </ span>you’</ span>re n</ span>ot on </ span>talkin</ span>g ter</ span>ms wit</ span>h y</ span>our </ span>family? </ span>Because of abuses of the coal company? I asked.

We sipped hot cocoa and sat cross-legged in the cramm</ span>ed liv</ span>ing </ span>room, </ span>whi</ span>ch al</ span>so d</ span>oubled as t</ span>he din</ span>ing space. I’d never interviewed anyone before, </ span>although </ span>Id read t</ span>ips </ span>on the Intern</ span>et.

“I just dont want to be </ span>remind</ span>ed any</ span>more,” </ span>she sai</ span>d, tw</ span>irlin</ span>g he</ span>r dark </ span>ringlets round and round on her pointer finger.

“But, its n</ span>ot ent</ span>irely y</ span>our </ span>dads </ span>fault thos</ span>e peopl</ span>e died of lung p</ span>roblems.</ span>”

“I guess, but I </ span>just want to get away, you understand? Anyway</ span>, I’m </ span>almo</ span>st tw</ span>enty</ span>-one now. Thats three yea</ span>rs t</ span>oo lat</ span>e for </ span>moving </ span>out </ span>and e</ span>stabl</ span>ishin</ span>g my own space.” She took tiny sips of the cocoa, both hands cupping the mug as </ span>if she were cold.

I walked to the thermostat and upped the temperature</ span>. 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.</ span>

“So, your fa</ span>mily’s </ span>okay with you </ span>livin</ span>g here? </ span>In Cali</ span>fornia? In this </ span>apart</ span>ment that’s probably s</ span>maller </ span>than your bathroom?  With a stranger?”

First off, its none of t</ span>heir </ span>bus</ span>ine</ span>ss. Se</ span>condly, </ span>you and I won’t stay strangers. Sarah flashed me </ span>a g</ span>rin. “Besides, I’m tired of big houses with too many rooms t</ span>o get lost in. And, have you lived in West Virginia?

I shook my head. The farthest I’d b</ span>een </ span>was </ span>Nevada when we w</ span>ent for </ span>our fam</ span>ily ann</ span>ual </ span>ski vacation. I heard its pretty.</ span>”

“If you like hot, humid summers and bitter </ span>cold winters. So</ span>, do I pass? As a roo</ span>mmate?</ span>”

She </ span>looked </ span>about </ span>at th</ span>e cei</ span>ling</ span>. I </ span>wond</ span>ered if </ span>she n</ span>oticed </ span>the </ span>dark web in </ span>the corn</ span>er and the </ span>lac</ span>k of cornices and crown moldings. I was sure I smelled mold in the liv</ span>ing </ span>room, </ span>too. </ span>But I </ span>wasn’t in a </ span>position </ span>to cho</ span>ose. Sar</ span>ah wa</ span>s.

As long as youre n</ span>ot a </ span>psyc</ span>hopath </ span>and can </ span>pay rent.” I returned her </ span>smile.

“</ span>I dont know about the psychopath part. She shrugg</ span>ed and </ span>displ</ span>ayed her </ span>white, </ span>evenly-</ span>spaced </ span>teeth. But here’s my bank account.” She tossed me a </ span>nav</ span>y blue booklet </ span>with </ span>gil</ span>ded edg</ span>es </ span>and w</ span>ith golden </ span>words </ span>“Bank of Amer</ span>ica” </ span>on the cover.

I </ span>fumb</ span>led a</ span>s I </ span>caught </ span>it a</ span>nd </ span>was un</ span>sure what to do. S</ span>hould I peek?</ span>”

“Go on. S</ span>he gestured, flicking her fin</ span>ger</ span>s at me as if I were a stray cat afraid to take a morsel of her off</ span>erin</ span>g.

No secrets. I can well afford to pay rent. An</ span>d, I’m a </ span>stable in</ span>divi</ span>dual.

I flipped the first few pages and saw the numerous transactions in lumps my parents, who were b</ span>y n</ span>o means </ span>poor, </ span>would ha</ span>ve gasped at. The last page registered the numbers: under deposits, $38</ span>,000. </ span>My eyes scanned the row of numbers and realized that the sum $38,000 came up every sixth of the month.</ o:p>

My mouth must have been open for she said, You can stop gawking. Its only my </ span>trust </ span>fund. </ span>It c</ span>omes </ span>to me regardle</ span>ss o</ span>f where </ span>I am, or where I stay. So, do I make the cut?”

I handed the bank book back. We discussed the house rules: no smoking; no drugs, </ span>and t</ span>hat in</ span>cluded </ span>pot; no </ span>boyfri</ span>end sl</ span>eepovers or wi</ span>ld part</ span>ies, </ span>whi</ span>ch was a clause </ span>in my landlords lease; and Sarah </ span>was t</ span>o hand me her share of the rent, a mere </ span>$800 a </ span>month, </ span>on the twenty</ span>-eighth of every month, since I was the main renter and she the sub-letter.</ o:p>

She didn’t want anythin</ span>g down </ span>on paper</ span>—no checks, no contracts, and no way of tracing things back to her, s</ span>hed </ span>stressed a few times.</ span>

She fished in her Louis Vuitton and handed me a 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 s</ span>hare o</ span>f the </ span>depos</ span>it, a total of twenty-four crisp hundred-dollar bills. Th</ span>ey had that distin</ span>ct new- bank</ span>-notes-smell that spoke of luxury.

I gulped down my hot chocolat</ span>e. “</ span>Why all </ span>the </ span>sec</ span>recy? I hope your parents will at least know your address.</ span> I said as I wr</ span>app</ span>ed up the </ span>interv</ span>iew. </ span>I could understand </ span>not </ span>want</ span>ing </ span>parents bre</ span>athin</ span>g dow</ span>n her neck, but as long as they didn’t insist on posting a guard at the door, what was the harm of t</ span>hem </ span>knowin</ span>g where she lived?

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

She leaned forward and, her face expressionless, said softly, </ span>“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</ span>

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

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