Silencing The Seam (Seam Stalkers #2)
Author: Kathleen Groger
Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Sixteen-year-old Sam Drake thought she’d left the horrors of spring break and Defiance Castle behind her. But back home, the spirits swirling around her are more demanding, more aggressive.
Fear of being institutionalized by her skeptical mother drives Sam to follow her dad to New Orleans. There she hopes to take back control of her life. But the French Quarter and the cities of the dead have other plans. Hour by hour they drain her, making it next to impossible to fight off a ghost who is determined to use her for its own revenge.
Ensnared in an ancient power struggle where Voodoo rituals, betrayal, and murder rule, Sam must determine who to trust. One step in the wrong direction will lock her inside the Seam to walk among the dead for eternity.
Sam is in St. Louis No. 2 cemetery in New Orleans:
When I reached a tomb entirely surrounded by iron, the girl stopped talking and a pressure pushed against my chest. The gray stone mausoleum’s marble name tablet lay on the ground. The rusted metal fence stood about seven feet tall, surrounded the entire tomb, and covered the top. Why was it enclosed? Pieces of rust flaked off the top of the fence, which had an abstract leaf-and-flower design all the way around. Fleur-de-lis after fleur-de-lis ran the length of the fence below the flowers. And capping the filigreed iron door, a two-foot arrow towered over a half-moon scroll.
I fought the desire to reach out and touch the fence, and shoved my hands into the pockets of my denim shorts. My skin broke out in goose bumps.
A young girl with shoulder-length blonde hair dressed in a simple white dress glided between the fenced tomb and the white-marbled neighboring one with the name Deyroux carved at the top.
Her green eyes caught mine. There was something about her that made me trust her. She reached out, and the iciness of her hand pulled me into a fog-like mist. Drums beat an almost tribal rhythm. Flashes of an old plantation house alternated with images of people dressed entirely in white and dancing.
Can you feel it? Can you see it? The girl’s voice sounded muffled, as if she spoke through cotton.
The scent of incense clung to the air and coated my throat. I waved, trying to clear it away. What was happening?
The drums beat louder and the visions stopped on one. The area was dark, but enough light penetrated the canopy of huge cypress trees, with their hanging branches, to see fog swirling around a group of women. They stomped their bare feet into wet muddy swampland. Pockets of water wound around the edge of the ground. Only one woman didn’t wear a headwrap. Her silver hair hung in full waves to her shoulders. She wore a black, glittery masquerade mask with black-and-red-striped ribbons and moved to the front of dancers. The others lined up behind her and they marched into the black water. The inky liquid reached just below their knees and the women lifted up their white dresses to keep them from getting wet.
The group came out of the water and formed a circle on dry land around a large tree stump that reached about six feet into the air and had been broken off in a jagged manner, like it had been the victim of a lightning strike. Two women grabbed the silver-haired woman and tied her to the trunk. The mask hid her expression, but her body screamed she hadn’t expected to become a captive.
A young woman, with pale skin that reflected the moonlight, dressed the same as the others, came out from behind the group. She also wore a glittering, black mask with black-and-red-striped ribbons.
The drumbeat pounded and increased in tempo from everywhere, but no one visibly banged on a drum.
The women all reached up and chanted in a foreign language.
The young woman tore the mask from the bound woman and placed a gag in her mouth. The younger one held up the mask and flicked her wrist. A flame appeared like she concealed a lighter. She lit the woman’s mask and watched it burn.
The other women chanted.
The masked young woman pulled a knife from her dress. She held it in the air and an ethereal pinkish light bounced off the steel blade. She circled the silver-haired woman whose eyes had gone wide.
The fog grew denser and swirled around the women’s bare feet. The drums sounded faster. The women chanted louder.
The masked woman stood behind the tree trunk. She leaned forward and to the left. As the drums, chanting, and stomping reached a crescendo, she dragged the knife across the silver-haired woman’s throat.
Kathleen wrote her first story in elementary school about a pegasus named Sir Lancelot. It had no plot or conflict, but it sparked a dream. After serving a fifteen-year sentence in retail management, the bulk in big box bookstores, she turned her love of reading into a full-time career writing dark and haunting characters and stories. She writes paranormal, fantasy, suspense, horror YA books. She is a contributing member of READerlicious, writers who love readers. Check out her blogs here.
She lives by the mantra that a day is not complete without tea. Lots of tea. Kathleen lives in Ohio with her husband, two boys, and two attention-demanding dogs. When not writing or editing or revising, you can find her reading, cooking, spending time with her family, or photographing abandoned buildings.