Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Friday, November 14, 2014

More gritty YA psychological horror, plus this week's Dorianna stops

Today, Idea City is thrilled to show off Marcus Damanda's new novel, Devils in the Dark. Not only is he a fellow Evernight Teen author, he's writing YA horror, the same genre as my newly released Dorianna. Yay!!! I'm loving psychological horror right now. I have an excerpt from Marcus' novel.
But first, news from the Dorianna blog tour. It continues with stops at Once Upon a YA Book, Soaring Eagle blog, Chosen by You Book Cluband a great review from The World at my Fingertips. Plus, scroll down to enter the Rafflecopter. It's chock full of great dark fantasy, sci-fi and other reads!

Devils in the Dark blurb:
“The paramedics shared a look: This one was serious.”

To most of the Facebook 15, bullying Audrey Bales was just a game—until two deep cuts with a Swiss army knife changed everything forever. Audrey didn’t want attention anymore. After five weeks at Fairview High School, Audrey wanted to die. The doctors did the only thing they could with her: they put her away.

But in Fairview, Virginia, the nightmare is only beginning. The chat session had not gone unobserved. The Facebook 15 have drawn the attention of an ancient evil that lives only to punish those who would prey upon the weak. They are the ghosts of 1,000 dead children—1,000 suicides—and their master …   Their master likes Audrey Bales.

And as Audrey attempts to heal her mind and body, far from home, their master prepares for the justice he will unleash upon her return.

Buy Devils in the Dark ebook on Amazon, at Evernight Teen (save $1.00)

   Underneath the blackened veil of her powered-off monitor, the comments kept coming, kept taunting her.
   The observer had stopped watching. He leaned back in his chair, head upturned to the ceiling, eyes closed. He projected his sight outward, miles and miles from his little home. He didn’t know where he was anymore. Somebody’s house. An empty room. A closet.  Here he first saw the girl, the one they were tormenting. She might have been pretty, if she had not worked so hard to hide it.
   She was close, very close, to a bad decision. She was imagining the ghost of her brother and talking to it, opening boxes that contained his possessions. She listened to him speak words the observer could not hear. Oh, he wished he could. From this distance all he could hear was the pain inside of her, the loneliness, screams within whispers. An oncoming storm.
   It made him angry on her behalf.
   He returned his gaze to the real world of his apartment. The five of them were still chatting, their cruel banter punctuated by internet abbreviations and emoticons, calling for Audrey-Bear to say something, say something….
   More joined the chat.
   He shook his head.
You deserve to die, he thought. All of you.
   Audrey returned to her bedroom and closed the door. This time, she broke a house rule and locked it. She put the blanket back in place and thumbed the monitor back on.
   It was nearly one in the morning, yet the number of people on Cody’s page had tripled. Stranger still was the activity coming through on her end.
   She gazed in bewilderment.
   Eleven friend requests, all kids from school. Most of them had sent her personal messages too. Some were fake-friendly, some openly mocking. Most pretended to rally in her support, as if they had somehow stumbled upon this Internet lynching by accident, all at the same time, and were offended by it. A virtual party had gathered in Cody’s little corner of cyberspace, and Audrey was the game they were playing.
   Had Maggie called or texted them all out of bed?
   “Creative,” she said. “You’re really good at this.” She wasn’t crying anymore. In fact, she was perfectly calm. With the ghost of her brother standing by her side, she set his old Swiss Army knife—he’d gotten it for Scouts, before he had quit—next to the keyboard.
   Click Accept, her brother said. For all of them. Now, before they give up and start to log off.
She accepted them all, and the result was chat room bedlam. The comments came faster than she could read. Evidently this was the very height of hilarity.
   And, naturally, as soon as she had accepted them all, one-by-one, they unfriended her, and posted.
   Just kidding!
   Sry! Changed my mind!
   What an idiot!
   Inspired, she clicked the Like button over every comment. Then, ignoring the perplexed responses to that maneuver, she got to work.
   She retrieved the gym shirt from under her bed. Most days this particular item of attire would have remained a crumpled ball in her P.E. locker after school, but she’d had to wear it all day, and so it had come home with her.
   “Turn your head, Alex,” she said, as if he were really there.
   And as if he were really there, he answered. Not looking, not looking.

   Once she had the shirt on and smoothed it out, she sat back at her desk, got out her cell phone, tied her hair in a tail, and took a picture of herself.
   When the first picture appeared on Cody’s page, the observer knew exactly what was coming. He’d seen it before. The details differed each time, but the common threads were easily picked out: theatrics, spite, spectacle—and from the other end, disbelief. Then there would be panic, frantic attempts to undo the damage, and afterward, there would be remorse.
   From most of them.
   The picture was off-center. The girl was smiling, posing. The mascara tracks on her face looked like war paint.
   Val: OMG, she’s postin selfies!
   Cody: Give us a twerk, emo.
   How they didn’t see what was coming, the observer could not fathom. But that was part of the pattern too. Bullies, as a rule, didn’t get it until it was too late—for the victim, or less frequently, for themselves.

Marcus Damanda lives in Woodbridge, Virginia with his cat, Shazam. At various times throughout his life, he wrote for The Dale City Messenger, published editorials in The Potomac News, and played bass guitar for the garage heavy metal band Mother's Day. While not plotting his next fictitious foray into suburban mayhem, he spoils his nieces and nephews and teaches middle school English.  Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

The Dorianna Tourwide Rafflecopter is still open (through NOV 24). Enter for a huge array of great dark fantasy, PNR and SF!


  1. Congrats to Marcus! I'm really looking forward to his book! And loving your tour, Catherine, so many good stops!

    1. You're not kidding, lol. Catherine does know her way around these things. And I am thrilled that you'll be reading my book, Meradeth!

  2. Thanks, Meradeth. I was thrilled to read a good Dorianna review today, and of course, I am so happy for Marcus!

  3. Three cheers for Marcus's release. That sounds like a very haunting read.

  4. Replies
    1. Hope you enjoy it! And I appreciate the kind words!

  5. Hi, everybody! I'm so happy right now, it would be just disgusting for you to see :) Everyone at Evernight seems to be such a pro when it comes to all this blog stuff--I'm both impressed and mildly intimidated. I really appreciate this post, Catherine--and I'm really just beside myself to have my work being offered alongside all the great stuff I've been reading recently at Evernight Teen.

    1. What does the "disgusting happiness" look like? Are you jumping on desks in your classroom or what?

    2. Disgusting happiness is me, unshaven with a big smile on my face, home from work, wearing my sweats and petting the cat while I down one coffee after another. Hooray for hookey day!

  6. Marcus, enjoy the attention! It's your big book birthday!

    1. Oh, I am, thank ya! And I took the day off work to do it! There WILL be celebration tonight!

  7. Congrats to Marcus! The books sounds fun, and I enjoyed the excerpt. What a deliciously creepy villain. Wishing him much success! :)

  8. I do love me some psychological horror! Congrats to Marcus, and good luck with the release!

  9. Oh my! I like me a thriller every so often. I'm thinking this one will go on the list.

    Unleashing the Dreamworld