Finally today, I’m delighted to bring you an extract on the blog tour of Within the Shadows by T. L. Mahrt. Enjoy my lovelies….
book blurb & info
Emma’s world is rocked as the real monster lurking in the shadows is unveiled.
Emma Andrews’ last memory of her mother is seeing her bleeding to death on the bathroom floor. Several years later, Emma is kidnapped and forced to face the same monster that killed her mother. Quickly, Emma—a daydreamer with an inventive personality—must learn to separate her fantasies from reality in order to differentiate friend or foe.
As secrets unfold and the shadows emerge, Emma wonders if she can endure reliving the trauma of her past. One thing she does know for certain—she can’t do it alone.
Will Emma escape from this monster alive? Will Chance still love her after she reveals her past? Or, will someone new teach Emma the true strength hiding within her?
Published: Independently on 28th August 2020
Formats available: Paperback & eBook
Mid violence, domestic assault and heavy sexual content. Profanity language used.
I wake up to blackness. A flash of light speeds past me. I turn toward the origin of the light to see the shadow of a man walking through the lighted doorway. My breath ceases in my chest as fear consumes me. Oh, God, save me. I squeeze myself tighter into the corner of the small room. The jagged edges of the cold stone slice into my bare shoulders.
He … he’s going to kill me. He’s going to kill me like he killed Rick. I let out a burning breath and watch as it swirls into a puff of air around my face.
“I know you’re in here, darling. I can hear you breathing…” he howls.
I force myself to slow my thundering heart and focus my breathing. His footsteps echo louder as he nears.
“You don’t have to fear me,” he whispers.
My body shudders, causing the broken stones to crunch underneath me. In a second, I feel an icy hand grip my shoulder as he pins me deeper into the corner.
“It’s okay, darling. I won’t hurt you…”
My body breaks out into a sweat and I pull my knees to my chest, squeezing my eyes tight. God, no, please let this be a nightmare. I take a moment to sort out the reality of my situation. Suddenly, I realize I’m lying in a soft bed.
Another nightmare, I tell myself.
The sound of water dripping in the distance makes my head to spin. No, no, it’s not a nightmare, I’m not lying in my large comfy bed. Where, where am I? I squeeze my eyes tighter as tears leak through. An image of Rick’s mangled body in a river of red on the white titled floor of his bathroom consumes me. Rick’s graying face comes to life. Rick’s dead… oh God … He’s DEAD… My body quakes.
“Are you scared? I hope I didn’t frighten you,” an unfamiliar voice says from the corner of the room, causing a piercing alarm to rip through me.
Fear weaves through me with such force and magnitude, I freeze. Act asleep, Emma. He will go away. You’re having another nightmare.
“I know you’re awake, you can’t fool me,” he says with a chuckle, his voice coming nearer.
My breath squeezes out of me and I feel the bed shift underneath the man’s weight. Tears wet my cheeks and he pats my head as if I am a small child. The touch is gentle and takes me by surprise. I loosen the tension in my body.
Okay, it was just a nightmare, he’s not going to hurt me … but how did I get here—?
“Emma, open your eyes,” the man says softly.
As if the gentleness of his voice awakens something from my past, it hits me—I know that voice. I slowly open my eyes.
My eyes sting from the brightness of the room. I wipe the dampness off my cheeks as I blink a few more times before my eyes adjust and everything comes into focus.
I look wildly around the room, which is filled with a warm white glow—the total opposite of my nightmare.
I bring my focus to the large hand that continues to stroke my hair. A man who appears to be in his mid-fifties sits on the edge of the white fluffy comforter. His long lean arm stretches as he continues stroking my hair while he pulls it into his other hand.
“Your hair,” he purrs.
My senses heighten and I hug the comforter tighter, the fabric scratching against my naked skin.
I lock my eyes onto his face. Did he undress me? Panic suddenly causes a lump to rise in my throat. The man’s steel gray eyes bore into mine. I KNOW HIM.
“M—Mr. JD…?” I croak.
His thin lips curl upward in the corners, and the age lines on his face fade, making him look as if he hasn’t aged one day in the seven years since I’d last seen him as my foster care sponsor.
“Yes, Emma, but you can call me Jarret now.”
I pull the edge of the comforter up a bit higher. “How … umm, where—?”
“Shh, just relax. You’re safe here.”
about the author
T. L. Mahrt is a former business owner, where she utilized her education in cosmetology, barbering and massage therapy for several years. She was raised on and is currently living on a farm in Nebraska, where you can find her running barefoot in the country side with her loving husband and inspiring children and massive dogs.
After having her son, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, she made the life altering decision to stay home to care for her two children and pursue her love for writing. She has a love for romance and poetry where, her overactive imagination, along with her adventures and up beat lifestyle drives her inspiration for her writing.
Organised by: Rachel’s Random Resources
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to the author and publisher for sharing an extract with us.
Now go and have a wonderful day all!
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