This is my stop during the book blitz for The Grave Winner by Lindsey R. Loucks. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 15 till 21 September, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.
Leigh Baxton is terrified her mom will come back from the dead — just like the prom queen did.
While the town goes beehive over the news, Leigh bikes to the local cemetery and buries some of her mom’s things in her grave to keep her there. When the hot and mysterious caretaker warns her not to give gifts to the dead, Leigh cranks up her punk music and keeps digging.
She should have listened.
Two dead sorceresses evicted the prom queen from her grave to bury someone who offered certain gifts. Bury them alive, that is, then resurrect them to create a trio of undead powerful enough to free the darkest sorceress ever from her prison inside the earth.
With help from the caretaker and the dead prom queen, Leigh must find out what’s so special about the gifts she gave, and why the sorceresses are stalking her and her little sister. If she doesn’t, she’ll either lose another loved one or have to give the ultimate gift to the dead – herself.
“Where are we going for the petition today?” I asked, abruptly changing the subject.
“The far east side of town,” Jo said and squinted at the side of the road. “Hey…”
I followed her gaze. Further up the street, a group of junior high kids clustered in a yard, and sticks and rocks flew from their hands at the house in front of them.
As we drove closer, fear pricked the roots of every hair on my body. The grass the kids stood on was as black as my boots. The skeleton of a large tree in the yard looked just as grim as the lawn. Every leaf was gone.
Deep, bone-shaking shudders rolled through me. I’d never been to the house before, but I knew who lived there. Dead Sarah.
“What happened?” Jo whispered and stopped the car in front of a neighboring house.
I didn’t answer. The kids on the lawn were laughing and hollering while they chucked rocks at a large draped window on the first floor. Shattered glass sparkled in the sunlight, a sharp contrast to the dead grass underneath it.
A slow boil coursed through my blood until my hands became fists. They had no right to pelt Sarah’s house with their stupidity. I pushed the car door open and stomped up the sidewalk, ignoring Jo’s questions behind me.
As I neared the nightmare yard, a horrible stink nearly turned me back. The air smelled like rotten meat in a nasty gas station bathroom. My boiling blood propelled me forward in spite of the smell.
One kid’s hand coiled behind his head, about to launch another rock. “Your house smells like shit! Go back into the ground where you belong!”
The black, dead grass crunched under my feet as I approached him. I snatched the rock from his hand and twisted his arm behind his back.
The kid’s cry got the attention of the others.
“This kid says it’s time to go home. Right, kid?” I smiled down at him, daring him to disagree.
He nodded and whimpered.
“He also says you should never come back here. Right?”
Another nod and whimper.
I shoved him away, and he led the rest of the kids in a race down the street.
My gaze flicked to the dead tree, and shivers pebbled my skin. As I turned to run back to the car, something flickered in a second-story window. I didn’t want to look, but my head turned anyway.
Sarah. Her thin face was bone white. Her hairline had receded to the top of her skull from which a few stringy chunks of white hair hung to her shoulders. The ocean blue of her eyes was the same as it’d always been, but they were the worst feature of all. They were filled with such fear that I knew they would haunt me forever.
Her black lips opened as if she wanted to speak. Inside her mouth was the same horrible darkness that took over her lawn. It grew in intensity as her mouth opened wider. She might’ve been screaming, but I couldn’t hear a thing.
I stepped on the back of my boot in my hurry to get away from her, but caught myself before I fell on the dead grass.
She raised her hand, and I thought for a moment she was going to wave. Her forearm pushed against the glass. The deep cut along her wrist blazed red against the paleness of her skin. She brought her thumb and pinky together, leaving three fingertips pressed against the window.
I didn’t want to know what Sarah was trying to tell me. I choked back a scream and ran to Jo.
“Drive!” I shouted before my feet were in the car.
Jo took off.
I didn’t look back to see if Sarah was still in the window.
You can find The Grave Winner on Goodreads
“This is such an imaginative story, and Leigh has so much voice, it’s like you’re there, living her nightmare with her… Miss Loucks knows her craft.” – Pam Godwin, author of Dead of Eve.
“Witty and fast paced, The Grave Winner by Lindsey R. Loucks is a snarky blend of zombie horror and urban fantasy… I loved it.” – Kayti Nika Raet for Readers’ Favorite
“The Grave Winner… is more of a fantasy-zombie hybrid, with both enchanting magic and romance you might expect from a fantasy novel, kick-butt action and creeps you might expect from a zombie novel, and strong characters and storyline a reader would want from any story!” – Moosubi Reviews.
About the Author:
Lindsey R. Loucks works as a school librarian in rural Kansas. When she’s not discussing books with anyone who will listen, she’s dreaming up her own stories. Eventually her brain gives out, and she’ll play hide and seek with her cat, put herself in a chocolate induced coma, or watch scary movies alone in the dark to reenergize.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of The Grave Winner. These are the prizes you can win:
– a 10$ amazon gift card (US only)
For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway