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Genre Young Adult Paranormal Mystery Romance
Tags YA, paranormal romance, mystery, ghosts, dreams, Halloween
Release October 25, 2013
Cover Designer Charlotte Volnek
As if high school wasn't tough enough, sophomore Sarah Pasmore has one extra little problem: ghosts have started appearing to Sarah and they seem to want something from her. With help from her brainy best friend, as well as a few new friends (including the hottest guy in school), Sarah must solve the mystery of what the spirits want in order to put them back to rest. To complicate matters further, a more evil spirit will go to great lengths to make sure this doesn’t happen. As they investigate the past to unravel this supernatural mystery, the teens learn a lesson in the powers of friendship and love.
Reaching the second floor, I turned to my left. Not hesitating, I went halfway down the hall and stopped, turning to the door on my right. The brass number was there: 211. Taking a step toward the door, I stopped short, suddenly anxious. What would I find in this room, the room where Lily had died?
Certain that it would be wrong to turn back now, I steeled myself and grasped the doorknob. It turned easily, soundlessly. With a deep breath, I pushed the door open slowly and stepped into the small, Spartan room with its neatly-made bed.
It was empty. Lily wasn’t there.
Tears welled up in my eyes, whether from grief or relief, I couldn’t be certain, and I sank to the floor. A moment or several hours later, someone was shaking me by the shoulders as I sat there, slumped in a heap.
“Sarah!” The sound seemed to come from far away. “Snap out of it!”
Blinking, as if waking from a deep sleep, I looked up into the face of my best friend. She was immensely worried.
“Anna?” My voice was weak.
She smiled, relieved. “Are you all right?”
“Yeah…I…I think so.” My head felt funny, kind of fuzzy, though I could remember every detail of what had just happened.
Gazing groggily around the room, I saw that it was no longer clean and sun-filled. It was now dark and dank, its floorboards spongy with rot, its empty bed frame rusted and broken. I jumped to my feet, hit suddenly by the memory of the death dream. How could I not be overcome by it in this place?
“Sarah?” Nate said quietly. “Maybe you should sit back down for a minute.” It was nice of him to be concerned for me, but there was something much more urgent than my well-being, mental or otherwise, that I had to take care of.
Flying out the door and down the hallway, it was no longer the clean, bright place I had moved through on my way to room 211. The spotlessly maintained corridors and staircase had been replaced by the dark, rotting, dreary state that was their reality. Despite these dangerous conditions, I took the stairs two at a time, making my way unerringly to the chapel. Coming to a stop just inside the room’s double doors, I turned to the right, looking for the niche.
There it was! Still in it were the remains of the donation box. Someone had smashed the lock long ago, leaving the broken box with its lid askew. Time and humidity had caused the wood to start rotting. It was a simple thing, really, to grab hold of it and yank the moldering box from its perch. Tossing the broken box to the floor, I turned to Nate. He had followed me on my sprint to the chapel with Will and Anna right behind him.
“Huh?” Nate asked, thrown. Who could blame him? My actions of the past few minutes had probably appeared completely irrational, though at this point that didn’t concern me in the least. Right then, only one thing mattered.
“Can I have the flashlight?” He handed it to me, and I went to the niche. It now contained just a few remnants of splintered wood. Moving the light back and forth slowly, I focused intently, looking for the slightest glint of gold.
There! Though still buried beneath some debris, the glimmer was unmistakable. I’d seen it before, in my dreams.
After carefully moving a piece of broken wood, I could reach my slim fingers down behind the last remnants of the box’s base. It took three tries before I managed to snag what felt like a thin metal chain with my index finger. I raised my hand slowly, carefully. Caught in the crossing beams of two flashlights, the locket hung on its exquisite chain, glowing like the precious treasure that it truly was.
“My God, Sarah,” Anna breathed, awestruck.
“I know,” I said reverently, glad that she understood the significance of the moment.
“So it’s really real?” Will asked, sounding as if he’d just witnessed something amazing.
“It’s really real.” I looked at the dangling locket with wonder.
“Uh, could someone fill me in here, maybe?” Nate seemed confused, maybe even a tad…jealous? It was no fun being on the outside of a conversation. My heart went out to him.
“I will,” I promised him. “Right now, though, we’d better find the others.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right.” He still had an uncertain look in his eyes.
Handing the flashlight back to him, I made sure I held the entire necklace securely in my clenched fist. Dropping it would be unacceptable.
With Nate in the lead, we made our way back to the foyer. It wasn’t long before we could see a flashlight beam up ahead.
“Yo!” Xander called in our direction, spotting our own beams. “That you, Nate-dog?”
“Yup!” Nate called back. His voice sounded casual and I was impressed. I could imagine the questions that must have been swirling through his head.
“Dude, where’ve you guys been?” Xander said loudly.
“Just, you know, lookin’ for ghosts,” Nate replied.
Xander laughed. “Find any?”
“We didn’t, either,” Xander said as we joined him in the foyer. “So much for visiting a haunted house tonight, right?”
“Xander!” Rachael cried shrilly from the doorway. “Did you find them?”
“Yeah, they’re right here, no worries.”
“Well, let’s go, then! I’m getting cold!”
Xander sighed, heading for the door.
Our party of four started to follow him out into the night. Anna and Will slipped through the doorway, Nate not far behind them. Starting in that direction, I was suddenly stopped by a sight that chilled me to the bone.
5 stars: What a journey Ms. Brainerd puts poor Sarah through, but for us, the happily ensnared reader it is a top notch ghost story for the young, and yep, those of us not young, but who love ghostly tales. READ FULL REVIEW
5 stars: This is a great YA book. Sarah Pasmore, a high school student thinks she's losing it, seeing ghosts. Are they trying to tell her something? This was my first paranormal novel, but won't be my last. I loved the double story line; the step back in time and Sarah in present time. The bits of humour had me chuckling. The ending kept me up way too late. Well done. READ FULL REVIEW
4 Stars: DREAM SHADE is not only a ghost story it’s also a story of family and friends. Sarah has a typical relationship with her mother and brother that makes the reader feel right at home. I liked younger brother because he seemed so real, teasing his sister, yet loving her as only a brother can. Heather Fraser Brainerd makes you care about her characters and hope that life works out for them, even for the ghosts. I think not only teens but older readers, too, will enjoy meeting Sarah and the ghosts. An enjoyable read that will keep you guessing the outcome until the very end. READ FULL REVIEW