By Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller, YA
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Blurb: In the aftermath of a brutal tragedy, Jason and Passion are on the run. Marcus is lost beyond reach, and The Hold is in shambles. If that weren't enough, Olivia Black has been taken by the CAMFers to be used as Dr. Fineman's personal lab rat in his merciless quest to uncover the mysteries of Psyche Sans Soma once and for all. But only if he can break her.
They are scattered.
They are devastated.
They are ruined.
Their only hope is Olivia's stubborn determination to thwart her captors and unlock the secrets of her ghost hand before Dr. Fineman can. Will she finally find the strength within herself to embrace the full power of her PSS?
And will it even matter if Marcus has already betrayed her?
Ghost Heart Excerpt - Passion's POV
"Passion, we're going to have to break cover," Jason said, talking loudly so I could hear him over the roar of the river. "I'll go first and scout out a clear path. Then I'll come back for you, but it could take a while. Just be patient and stay hidden."
"Okay," I said.
"Once we're past this bend in the river, we should be able to move faster," he said, crawling away from me and scrambling through the brush out onto the open rocks. Then, he stood and moved cautiously around several large boulders, his gun in hand, never giving me a backward glance.
It took a moment for it to sink in; I was utterly alone in the wilderness. I glanced around, the stillness expanding away from me in all directions. Now there was nothing to distract me from the panic rising in me like a feral animal determined to scratch its way out. What if Jason didn't come back? What if he'd left me here for the CAMFers to find so I wouldn't slow him down?
No, he would come back. He had to. He was all I had left. I just needed to focus and stop freaking out.
I waited, ten or fifteen minutes maybe. Something rustled in the brush above my head. It was a red-winged black bird perched on a branch, peering down at me with beady eyes as if to say, "What are you doing here, human? This is not your place."
A gunshot pierced the air, and I jumped up, my hand feeling for the knife in my pocket, the black bird fluttering into the sky.
The sound reverberated, echoing up and down the river canyon. I couldn't tell which way it had come from. Had it been Jason's .22 or a CAMFer's gun?
I waited, my body braced for more shots, but none came. What did that mean? Could the CAMFers take Jason down with one shot? Surely he'd have gotten one off too? What if they'd shot him? What if I was truly on my own now? I took a deep breath, ready to call out for him. Screw the CAMFers. Screw everyone. Anything would be better than dying in the woods alone.
And then I heard voices, male voices, coming closer, and I ducked down into my little brush hole just before a troop of armed men came around the bend from the direction Jason had gone. There were eight of them, four clumped close together in the middle. When they got to the boulders, they spread out a little, and I could see what they were guarding so carefully.
It was Jason.
The group stopped, and one of them shoved him face-first against a large, flat rock while another handcuffed his wrists behind him. I didn't see Jason's gun, but obviously, he didn't have it anymore. They made him stand and searched him. When they were frisking his pant legs, there was a discussion between the two who had bound him and another one, maybe the leader, but I couldn't hear it because the wind had shifted toward the river.
One of the men crouched down in front of Jason and grabbed the bottom of his right pant leg.
Jason kicked, clipping the crouching man in the chin with his boot, sending him sprawling backward onto the rocks.
Immediately, four of them were on Jason, pinning him down spread-eagle, yelling at him with their black guns drawn.
I clutched my knife, the handle digging painfully into my palm. What was he thinking? They were going to kill him for sure now.
The guy who was down staggered to his feet, shaking his head and clutching his jaw. The leader put a hand on his shoulder, asking him something, and when he nodded, they both moved toward Jason, blocking my view of him altogether.
What were they doing? I had to stop them. If I gave myself up, if I stepped out of the woods, it might defuse the situation.
I stood up and took a tentative step forward.
From that angle, I could see Jason's face, his eyes instantly connecting with mine. He was the only one facing me. All the men were focused on him.
"No," he shouted, as the leader grabbed at his ankle and yanked up the cuff of his pants, revealing the glowing blue pulse of his PSS leg. I'd never seen it before, even in all the weeks we'd camped together on the way to Indy. Jason hid his leg the way I hid my scars, and for much the same reason.
His eye bored into mine over the shoulder of the men holding him. His "no" hadn't been for them. It had been for me. I nodded at him and stepped back into hiding, my body sinking soundlessly down the same way my heart was sinking in my chest.
What would they do now? Kill him or extract him? And what could I do but watch? If I gave myself up, they'd simply do the same to me.
Previous books in the series:
Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles #1) By Ripley Patton
Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.
How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.
Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.
Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2) By Ripley Patton
Blurb: Olivia Black is back.
Only this time she's not the one in need of rescue.
Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers' list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.
Olivia doesn't expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.
Ripley doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.
You can find Ripley here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google +
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