Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Roam by Erik Therme - Extract

When Kevin finds Sarah stranded by the side of the road, he’s more than willing to give her a ride. Young, beautiful and distraught—she’s everything a single guy could ask for in a girl. What he doesn’t know is that she already has a guy: an abusive, drunken boyfriend who left her there in a fit of rage. And when that boyfriend comes back and finds Sarah missing, a simple ride will turn deadly. Like Josh Gaylord and Daniel Kraus before him, author Erik Therme explores the angst of disconnected youth in his enthralling and powerful Roam. Therme’s darkly tinged novel is an unforgettable tale of three errant souls brutalized by life’s cruel circumstances, and a remarkable night of discovery and violence that will change them forever. PURCHASE LINKS AMAZON US AMAZON UK AUDIBLE US AUDIBLE UK EXTRACT Scott moved hastily across the lawn of the church, wondering if it was blasphemous to walk on God’s green grass. But it was the quickest route to the hotel, and that was all that mattered. When he stood before the Big Guy living in the clouds, he would worry about discussing the details of how he had lived his life. And that was such a reach into the future that he couldn’t grasp it. Some scientist would surely come up with some sort of immortality process before he was old enough to worry about it, or at least figure out how to increase the life span of a person two or three hundred years. All kinds of people were working on stuff like that because no one wanted to die. Even somewhere in the Bible it said that dying was a mistake . . . something about the meek inheriting the earth? Some bible-slinging neighbors had stopped by his parents’ house once and informed them of it. And they couldn’t lie. It was a sin for them to lie.
“Forgive me because I sinned,” he said. He thought of doing that thing where you touched your forehead, stomach, and both shoulders . . . what Aunt Margaret did every time she saw an ambulance or heard sirens wailing in the distance. He didn’t understand it or care about it. He and God each minded their own business. It was safer that way.
He crossed by the park and turned his head at the swings rattling in the wind. The empty playground equipment looked like dark hulking monsters, waiting to eat up small children. The surrounding houses were all large and sleek, the lawns trimmed and immaculate. Everything on the street was in order; the only thing that didn’t belong there was him. And all at once, it angered him to think of the people inside, slumbering away with no worries and no open windows. They were better than the things that came out at night; the things that walked the streets.
But they were cowards.
Their windows were locked, their curtains shut, but he could sense them watching. That was what they did: peeked out at the world from the inside, spying on their cars and yards.
He pulled a quarter from his pocket. The car beside him was crimson red and looked expensive.
“Are you watching me?” he whispered, running the coin across the car door. A jagged white line appeared in the paint. His eyes jumped from house to house, daring someone to come forward; to forgo the police and face him like a man. Right versus wrong; rich versus poor; good versus evil. Whatever you wanted to call it.
He waited a moment longer before wiping a shaky hand across his mouth and trekking on. The windows became square eyes, boring into him as he walked. The sense of being watched was very real—the whisper of a presence tickling the hairs on the back of his neck. Not from someone inside a house, but something else. Something that had been with him since the death of his dad.
“He’s dead,” Scott said with quiet firmness, “and it wasn’t my fault.”
A branch snapped behind him and unseen fingers tugged at his face, trying to turn his head. His hand slid into his pocket and touched the pocketknife inside. There was no reason to turn because nothing was there. Ghosts weren’t real; his dad was dead; everything he felt and heard was all in his mind—
He spun around, a terrified wail escaping his mouth. No one was behind him. He scanned both sides of the street and even stupidly looked toward the sky. The stars looked down on him like tiny glittering eyes. He gripped the knife, but the gesture felt stupid and pointless; the blade was barely two inches long.
“No one,” he croaked.
He stood without breathing, trying to focus his eyes between the car he had scratched and the house behind it. There was a dark shape beside the wooden fence, and he told himself it was only a shrub or a bush . . . no matter how much it looked like a person crouching and watching. He hurried down the road on trembling legs, not daring to look back over his shoulder. Author Bio
Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa–one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

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1 comment

  1. Thanks so much for kicking off the blog tour today Emma x


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