Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Spotlight: Cursing at the Sky (Girls & Ghost #1) by Anne Michaud

Cursing at the Sky
Cursing at the Sky (Girls & Ghosts #1) by Anne Michaud
Publication Date: November 18th 2014
Genre: Young Adult Ghost Story
Before the accident and the wheelchair, there were the echoes.

Drug abuse and alcohol are part of Ina's life; just like the ghosts that haunt her nights. She draws their faces on her bedroom wall, hope this will quiet the echoes of their whispers.

Until the night a car accident changes her life forever.

Now sober and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, Ina's nights are still filled with haunting whispers as the ghosts beg her for help. Desperate for peace, she contemplates returning to the only way she knows to silence them, but her family take their own desperate measures and have her locked away.

Ina must learn what the spirits truly want, or be haunted by their echoes for the rest of her life.


Nurse Hays pops her head in my room and smiles her cigarette-yellow teeth. “Great to see you’re ready for us, Ina.” She enters and leaves the door open for a bunch of people to walk in. Street kids and nerds and punks, some emo at the back hanging out with the Goths. They stare; I stare back just as hard. “Go on, there’s enough room for everyone to squeeze in.” Nurse Hays exchange a glance with Doctor Patel.

“I’ll leave you to it,” the doctor says. “We’ve got loads to talk about, before your release.” From her eyes to her lips, a frown creases her worry lines. They remind me of my mother’s. “Don’t be too long, she’s not in the most social of moods,” Doctor Patel tells the nurse, before smiling politely, the door closing after her.

 “Well, why don’t we start, then?” Nurse Hays always takes this fake, cheery voice that goes up, whenever she begins that part of her well-rehearsed speech. “Ina, why don’t you tell us about yourself? The class of Sainte Marie’s is dying to know why you’re here.” And she smiles, as if it would coax me to open up, me the circus freak.

I open my mouth to begin my part of the deal, the same one the nurses make me do twice a week, but I close my trap fast. The air is so dry in this fucking room, I’m about to choke, with their eyes eating me up. This is the price I have to pay for what I did, I’ve semi-agreed to this, not that I really had a choice since the judge decided it for me. My sentence is to speak up; to tell them what I did to end up here.

“Why don’t you begin with the night of the event?” Nurse Hays prompts me, wiggling her eyebrows. “This is why they’re here, Ina. To learn from your mistake. To avoid making the same decisions.” This will help, she needs to say. This will prevent others from ending up here, secluded in a hospital bed.

 “No need to remind me,” I snap, sighing as two girls giggle in the back. They fit the profile of troubled youth, all right. Then again, so do I. “There was an accident; I was alone in the car. The driver was me.” Why is this so hard? This is no lie, this is the truth. My truth. The one I’ve been telling forever, with one omission.

A shadow woke me in the middle of the night, refusing to go after I screamed, cried, threatened. After I drank and drank, popped a pill or two, and decided to run away until nothing of me remained anywhere, anymore. He was there in the car, with me. He was there and did nothing but stare as we flew over the highway strip and crashed into a van full of people. The echo saw it happen; he did nothing to stop it.

“You all have probably seen the footage on TV. The accident made national news,” Nurse Hays tells the group of kids gawking at me. A boy touches where my foot should be at the end of the bed, the space empty of limbs. Nothing aches waist down, because my legs are gone. “On the freeway bridge, months ago. Ina was driving down the wrong lane... ”

“And I crashed into a van, with a family of four in it,” I finish for her. My heart is a stone, my spirit is light. Don’t show emotions, not in front of strangers waiting for me to cry my regret away. “The two little boys died on impact, their parents came out with a broken arm and bad bruises.” The dad never stopped visiting, from the moment my attorney pleaded insanity for me seeing echoes no one else saw.

“Were you high or drunk?” asks one of the girls at the back. She gets me; she totally sized me from the moment her eyes laid on me. Watching from two black holes with too much kohl, like her friends. “What were you on? Pills, booze, crack?” Someone snickers, but I don’t care enough to find out whom. They’re all the same, to me.

“A mix,” I say, defeated. That’s the part I hate the most about me. The substance abuse, the booze that makes me forget, the drugs that make me sleep. If these kids knew what my life has become, how hard it is, they’d understand. But I’m not allowed to tell or the doctors will keep me here. Like I’m not allowed to sketch charcoal on paper, either. “Anything that could fit into my mouth, I took it all at once in a gulp.” My hand swings to my face, some zombie eating a handful of brains.

“Why?” asks the friend. “Why did you take it, that night?” If this kid doesn’t end up here, she might graduate. If this visit scares her enough into not becoming me, she might make it, out there.

And they all wait after my answer, the truth that will set them free. Because if they’re here, it’s for the same reason that I am: they drink, they smoke, they sniff, they swallow and they get high. Not for the same curse, not for what I endure. No one must know, anymore.

“To forget,” I tell them. They won’t understand, nobody does. Alone against this hell that begins every night and ends with sunlight. “I used to abuse to run away from what I see, what I hear.”

Not far from the truth, really. The part missing is the voices waking me up at night, whispering close to my ears; the strangers’ features I wake up to, the darkness taking shape in my bedroom, back home, and in the forest of buildings surrounding the house. They’re always there, watching me, waiting for me. Forget them, forget their memories, drink and let it go.

What I don’t tell them is how the echoes haunting me fucked up my life.

~About The Author~
She who likes dark things never grew up. She never stopped listening to gothic, industrial and alternative bands like when she was fifteen. She always loved to read horror and dystopia and fantasy, where doom and gloom drip from the pages.
She, who was supposed to make films, decided to write short stories, novelettes and novels instead. She, who’s had her films listed on festival programs, has been printed in a dozen anthologies and magazines since.
She who likes dark things prefers night to day, rain to sun, and reading to anything else.
She tweets @annecmichaud

I've already started reading this- keep an eye out on November 18th for a review! Just like Anne's previous material, this is an intense, sitting on the edge of your seat with a story that may not be pretty (had to use your words!) but one that'll suck you in by the amazing story telling! Can't wait for the rest of the series!
Check out this author! She's sweet and her ghost stories brings you chills! So, if you love stepping into a darker book once in a while you definitely need to check her out!
Thanks for stopping by!

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