Banish (Soul Retrievers)
by Nicola Marsh
Release Date: 05/26/15
Summary from Goodreads:
Alyssa has one week to destroy her enemy, save her spirit... and save her soul.
After her ex-boyfriend commits suicide and her mum’s alcoholism sparks yet another psychotic episode, seventeen-year-old Alyssa Wood flees her small hometown of Broadwater and heads to New York City to stay with her bohemian aunt — a Wicca High Priestess.
Alyssa revels in the anonymity of a big city and her new life. Her grades climb, she has a new best friend, and a new guy: the sexy geek Ronan — a saxophone player who prefers jazz to pop.
But her newfound peace is soon shattered when she sees a dead body in one of Ronan’s music clips — and she’s the only one who can see it. Worse still, Alyssa recognises the body that has been murdered a week forward!
Alyssa doesn’t believe in the supernatural...despite her family’s Wicca background. So how will she overcome evil when it’s closer than she thinks?
Curious, I shifted closer to the screen. The shot narrowed and swiveled lower, moving past a bucket chair in a dingy corner, grazing across pockmarked floorboards, before landing on a hand painted wooden trunk in the middle of the floor.
I squinted, making out some kind of Chinese carving of two ladies posing in front of a jade screen, with a whole bunch of letters etched around the edges. It jarred, surprisingly exotic and out of place with what I’d seen of Ronan’s recording studio in the clip so far.
The camera swept upwards, showing a stainless steel oblong calendar, a chrome lamp, a pale blue porcelain bowl filled with Tibetan prayer beads and a leather-bound journal perched on top of the trunk. Odd, I’d never picked Roman as the prayer type. As the shot swung wider I glimpsed two pillows propped behind the trunk on the floor and, as the camera panned, someone sleeping on their side.
A girl. With bad taste in clothes, going by her faded camouflage harem pants and splotchy crimson halter and purple sneakers.
Annoyed at the instant flare of jealousy, I closed my eyes for a second and rubbed them. Ronan seemed like a stand-up guy. He wouldn’t have asked me out if he had a girl- friend—one with shocking fashion sense who liked to take naps on the floor.
Taking a calming breath, I opened my eyes and refocused. On that ugly red halter-top. And how the splotches seemed to have seeped into the girl’s skin, tattooing her in a random gross pattern.
My breath quickened as I leaned so far forward my nose almost touched the screen. The crimson darkened in patches. At odds with any commercial dye job.
That’s when I saw it.
The deep red pool spreading beneath her torso and staining the floor.
The puckering of her skin beneath her arm.
The gaping gash as the arm fell forward, revealing a horrific crisscross pattern of slashes.
One-second time frames depicting a horror I couldn’t contemplate.
I stared at the screen in revulsion, transfixed, not daring to comprehend.
The camera panned back to the calendar: November 11.
Seven days from today.
A whole week leading up to the murder of a faceless girl.
Slain on my boyfriend’s floor.
A silent scream wedged in my throat, choking, struggling to get out. I shut down the clip with shaky fingers.
This couldn’t be real.
I almost wished the horror I’d glimpsed on that screen was real, for if it wasn’t then I had a far greater horror to face.
The possibility I’d imagined the entire episode.Just like Mom.
About the Author
USA TODAY bestselling author and multi-award winner Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and riveting, spooky stories for teens.She has published 54 contemporary romances with Harlequin, Entangled Publishing and indie, and sold over 6 million copies worldwide. Her first mainstream romance BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD was nominated for Romantic Book of the Year 2012. Her first indie romance, CRAZY LOVE, was a 2012 ARRA finalist.Her YA urban fantasy SCION OF THE SUN won the 2014 National Readers’ Choice Award for Best Young Adult novel.She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a 2013 RBY (Romantic Book of the Year) and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and a multi-finalist for a number of awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has also won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.
A physiotherapist for thirteen years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two little heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, and her favorite, curling up with a good book!