May is Mental Health Awareness Month, making Drifting by Steven M. Cross a timely book to read. Check out this excerpt before you download your copy. You can also follow the tour for even more. Let the author know what you think along the way. Best of luck entering the giveaway!
Drifting brings light into the dark corners of mental health, bullying, and sexual assault.
Dean Knight has struggled against his personal demons for as long as he can remember. He thought he lost that struggle when he felt their knowing grip pull him deeper in the river, but he was saved. Saved for what? His memories are trapped within his mental illness. He hears his sister and father’s voices. The problem is, they’re dead, both killed in the same river that tried to claim Dean. As he struggles to remember, he discovers their voices aren’t pushing him to harm himself, but to discover the truth surrounding both their deaths. One person, Ella, has all the answers, but Dean can’t remember if she loved him or tried to kill him.
Roxanne “Rocky” Rivers struggles against her own demons, not voices, but a past trauma she can’t fully remember. She only knows everyone at school thinks she’s a slut and a head-case. A razor her only release for the pain. Rocky knows no one will believe a crazy girl who tries to kill herself.
Dean and Rocky find a connection. Can they find the strength and trust to help each other when neither can survive alone?
We have walked into another large cave. In one wall, a small chamber is cut.
“I bet there’s treasure in there. Arrgh,” like a pirate, then laughing hysterically, cackling, and releasing my hand. I kneel and see a pocket watch lying at the chamber’s entrance.
A hand, half bone, half decayed skin, creeps from the chamber, grabs my wrist. My heart catches. My eyes bulge. A scream rises in my throat.
Then, I see a bashed in skull emerge from the opening, its jaw set in a gaping grin and then another hand. Behind it on the floor, I see part of a skull, blood, a tooth, and hair. The skeleton crawls out of the chamber. I hear the girl’s crazed laughter. Bones skitter over the ground, click like castanets.
“Dean.” Its voice is thick like it’s filled with sand. I, we, feel like our head is going to explode into pieces of blood and brain and bone.
When I close my eyes, it grabs me and lifts me up, flopping me over its shoulder like an old rug. I can’t move, can’t talk, can’t breathe. The dry, brittle bones click against my skin.
It takes me to another part of the cave on the edge of a high cliff, lifts me off its shoulder, grabs my shirt, dangles me over the edge of the cliff, lets go.
I kick and scream as I fall through the air. I look up, see the face of a beautiful girl, then disappear into a pool of hot, frothy water. As I peer through the churning water, the skeleton’s hand grabs my hair.
I scream, choke on water, but then I’m gulping fresh air and staring into the Rose’s face.
“What the hell?”
“I’m naked,” I say aloud, though I’m only thinking it in my head.
“Next time, I’ll let your skinny ass drown.” She turns, leaves the bathroom.
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