Excerpt: Through Her Eyes

Thanks to Jennifer Archer for sharing an excerpt of her new book Through Her Eyes. I hope this little teaser and the trailer will get you motivated to go out and pick up your own copy. You can also enter to win a copy here on April 20th. Be sure to stop by to check out my review and enter the giveaway! You can also click on the Teen Book Scene banner for more info about the book and many more opportunities to win.

An Excerpt from Through Her Eyes

By Jennifer Archer


Prologue

Henry

I died on a bitter, cold night. Beneath a black sky and a bruised winter moon, I tried to fly, hoping my arms might act as wings. When the howling wind refused to lift me, I closed my eyes and willed death to take me away.

The end came quickly and without pain, but no angel of mercy appeared to help me escape this place; I’m as trapped here as I was in life, forced to roam Father’s remote house, the barren fields, this dusty wind-battered town full of small-minded bores. And it’s all the worse because the girl I love is gone.

At least in the afterlife I fly with ease. I have learned to hover like mist and to soar like a bird. Today I mix with particles of debris and ride the wind as it circles the turret. I rattle the roof beams and roar at the sun, swoop down and around to the front porch, swirl up the steps and shove the old swing, causing the rusty hinges to screech.

I push out into the yard, where a gust of wind carries me around to the side of the house and lifts me to the top of the mulberry tree. Green leaves tremble, and gnarled branches shudder beneath my breath. A small space between a dirty glass window pane and its frayed wooden frame allows me enough room to squeeze through into one of the house’s second-story bedrooms.

Once inside I rush down the hallway past more vacant rooms, my silent screams bouncing off walls. Father’s precious house has sat empty too long, devoid of life except for insects and rodents, and they can’t help me ease my pain; they can’t accomplish what needs to be done.

At the uppermost landing of the staircase, I slip beneath the door to the turret, my refuge in both life and death. I circle the room twice, once fast, the second time more slowly. Soothed by the plaster and wood that still contain reverberations of my music, the melancholy strains of my violin, I float on lost notes that echo from a time when I played for her, when I hoped my melodies might drift across the field and reach her ears.

Outside the wind calms, and the sound of a sneeze startles me out of my reverie. Curious, I sweep to the window that overlooks the land out behind the house. The root cellar door stands open. Someone—a person—is climbing inside! A hand reaches up from the cellar and grabs a bag and two books from the ground beside the opening. The title on the spine of the top volume scatters particles of hope through me. Finally . . . finally. A lover of Yeats and Shelley, of Shakespeare and Dante. The sort of mind that I might reach . . . or possess.

The cellar door closes. Drifting through the window and down, I sift through the minute cracks in the splintered wooden door, eager to meet my guest, hoping that this one will be my salvation. At last.

Chapter 1

One Month Later

Most people run from nightmares; my mother seeks them out. Her name is Millicent Moon, and she’s a horror novelist—the female version of Stephen King, minus the megabucks and movie deals. Whenever Mom starts working on a new book, she scouts out the perfect setting. Then she, my grandfather Papa Dan, and I move there. We’ve lived in a lot of cool places: the Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle; a loft overlooking the Cumberland River in Nashville; a neighborhood in southwest Boston where writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau used to hang out. But we’ve never lived anywhere like the place we’re moving now, and I’d be a whole lot happier if we never did.

“We’re almost there, Tansy,” Mom says, tucking a lock of straight black hair behind one ear and staring ahead at the dusty, rutted road as if it’s paved with diamonds.

In the backseat, Papa Dan whistles. Loudly. I recognize the tune. The lyrics have something to do with mares eating oats and little lambs eating ivy.

The novel Mom’s currently writing, The Screaming Meemies, takes place in the town where my grandfather spent his childhood: Cedar Canyon, Texas, population 2,250. Which is a nightmare in itself, if you ask me. This will be my first small town experience, which is only one reason why this move is the hardest one I’ve made so far.

After he finished school, Papa Dan left Cedar Canyon and never returned, so I haven’t been here before and neither has Mom. She keeps saying it’ll be easy to make friends in a little town, but I know that the size of the place won’t change anything.

*****

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Jennifer’s website

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