We’re so pleased to welcome author Hayden Thorne to TNA today to introduce her upcoming new release, Echoes in the Glass, a new book in the Dolores series. We have an exclusive excerpt from the book to share with you as well as the chance for THREE lucky readers to win an eCopy of the book, so be sure to check out the entry details below.
When I decided to leave small press publishing for self-publishing, I threw myself completely into a genre I’ve always, always loved: gothic horror fiction. And from Guardian Angel through Ambrose, my books have been pretty somber affairs with maybe a bit of humor here and there to alleviate the drama.
With Echoes in the Glass, though, I decided to go back to my humor-filled roots and wrote something light-hearted and fun, though there’s still some drama involved in the world of Glass-Dreams. It was a nice break for me on the whole, and I found that humorous dialogue is such a blast to write, particularly when laying out the dynamics between key characters.
Quinn has only two other people whom he regards as the closest to him, and those are his foul-mouthed grandmother and his best friend and boss, Edwin Aguinaldo. Relationships between characters and how they humanize each other in pretty subtle ways are two things I tried to explore in the novella, and those are also key to Quinn’s goal of saving Mr. Hottie from the world of the trapped dead.
Echoes in the Glass is book number two in the Dolores series, but it’s meant to be a standalone. Efrain Thorley from the first book has a small role in this book, but it’s definitely Quinn’s story all in all.
Key Sources of Inspiration
Two adjoining houses stand in a quiet street for fifty years. One now lies in ruins, the other is haunted by the ghost of a young woman long dead. Quinn Geiger, twenty-one, is compelled to return home from college, though he doesn’t understand why. A month or two after his return, his grandmother suddenly develops an obsession for sewing a never-ending tapestry filled with strange details pointing to a supernatural world. A tapestry, she claims, whose design is dictated to her by the mournful phantom who seems desperate to reach out for help.
As the days pass, odd, unnerving events begin to happen more and more frequently, leaving the Geiger household scratching their heads and Quinn taking on the troublesome task of unraveling the mystery of twin houses. Things turn even murkier when a young man suddenly appears in the mirrors in Quinn’s home, looking and behaving as though he were caught in a dark spell.
Quinn—with the help of his long-suffering best friend, a heartthrob of a sorcerer, and the determined spirit of a murdered young mother—will find himself the unlikely and awkward hero of a supernatural adventure. A daring one, at that, where time is of the essence, and the survival of a lost young man depends on Quinn’s ability to keep his head straight in the world of the trapped and aimless dead.
Pre-order Echoes in the Glass HERE and Be Sure to Watch for the Amazon Link to Come Soon
From Chapter 9
Quinn was off work the following day, and he decided to check the status of Grandma’s epic tapestry over breakfast.
“How’re things coming along with your sewing, Grandma?”
“They’re coming,” Grandma replied, eyeing Quinn suspiciously over her coffee. “Why?”
Quinn shrugged, feigning mild disinterest. “Nothing. Just curious to see how far you’ve gone.”
“Bullshit. You’ve always laughed at my needle wizardry since I started, and now you’re suddenly curious?”
“It’s called needle wizardry now? What happened to thread alchemy? That didn’t last long.”
“My sewing, my labels, sonny. So what’s the deal?” Grandma’s tightly puckered face—usually an indication of extreme irritation—loosened into a look of geriatric shock. “Oh, my hairy balls! Don’t tell me you’ve seen him!”
Quinn could only stare at her in speechless amazement at first so that for several seconds, both merely gaped at each other over their half-eaten breakfast from opposite ends of the table.
“Grandma—what do you know?”
“What Bethany told me.”
Quinn pinched his mouth and narrowed his eyes at her. “This conversation’s going to take all day if I have to keep pushing you into saying more, Grandma. And remember it’s my day off from work. I ain’t going anywhere. Now spill.”
Grandma set her coffee down and pushed the mug aside, so she could lean forward and glower magnificently at Quinn. She even rested both of her arms on the table, her fingers locking.
“The poor girl’s dead, firstly. When she communicates with me, I mostly get images in my head—like memories or maybe stuff she projects into the future.” She paused, her face puckering again. “Do dead people see into the future like Nostradamus? Is that something like necrophilia?”
“Necromancy. And I don’t know. I’m kind of not dead.”
“Anyway, that’s how I get information from her.”
“I thought you two have some creepy-ass girls’ night out sort of deal and gossip away whenever she comes back to haunt the place.”
Grandma clucked and shook her head. “Girls’ night out,” she grumbled. “Jesus, kid. If you were straight, you’d be a virgin.”
“Grandma, I’m gay, and I’m still a virgin.”
“The hell? Don’t you bring shame to this family now!”
“I can’t help it if other gay guys prank me with promises of a date, can I?”
That settled her down a little. “Those little bastards. You should’ve told me who they were, Quinn. I’d have gone out there and ripped their balls out with my teeth for hurting my grandson the way they did.”
“You still have teeth?”
“Don’t hate. False teeth are bomb proof nowadays. Mine can shred soft, hanging parts with one chomp if I’m pushed into defending an innocent boy’s honor.”
Quinn, his face burning, squirmed in his chair. “Can—can we go back to Bethany, please?”
“The girl’s dead.”
“I know, I know. I was just trolling you. Lighten up, kid, or you’ll die of old age at twenty-five.”
“Same difference.” Grandma snorted and pulled her coffee mug back for a sip. “I get broken sentences from her whenever she does what ghosts do and suck up enough energy to be able to manifest or communicate. You know—paranormal mojo and all that.”
Quinn nodded, relief washing over him now that the rickety conversation was finally moving forward. It took a great deal of effort, however, fighting off horrifying images of his grandmother ripping heartless gay men’s dicks and balls with her dentures and going about the bloody deed like a pit bull. He took another bite of his pastry and waited.
“But for the most part, I just get stuff from her in my head. Pictures and feelings—mostly feelings that sort of turn into images when I connect with it in that psychic kind of way. That poor thing—gone too soon. Never had a happy life other than her having a baby.”
Quinn nearly choked on his breakfast but managed to keep his cool. “Baby, huh? Did she ever say anything about that baby?”
“Other than she loved him. Still does, really. She cries a lot, poor kid—I mean, when she’s verbal and when she feeds my brain with pictures.” Grandma sighed and shook her head. She dropped her gaze to her coffee. “She wants him back, I think. Don’t know what that means, but she does.”
“Did she give you any idea how she lost her baby?”
Grandma was quiet for a moment, her attention suddenly drawn to the side of the room—more specifically, the wall shared by the two houses. “A prayer or something? Was that it? Christ, I can’t remember. I do know it was shown to me a while back, and I was able to sew it. We have to go and look at what’s there.”
Quinn frowned. “Prayer? She said a prayer?”
“Not like a prayer-prayer, but more like a call. You know, a summons.”
Quinn’s skin crawled, and he grimaced. “You’re saying she was a witch?”
“Can’t say for sure. All I know is that she loved her baby so much she mojo-called someone or something to keep the baby safe when shit hit the fan. And that’s it.”
“Mojo-called,” Quinn muttered. “You learn something new every day.”
“I can tell you’re snarking about me under your breath, mister.”
Quinn sighed. “Do you think you can get her to talk more about her baby and what happened to him? Maybe you can get an idea of how she wants to get her son back.”
“I don’t have to. You can ask her yourself. She’s standing right behind you.”
Quinn howled, jumped, knocked his chair down, and bolted to his grandmother’s side. Bug-eyed, glasses askew, his lungs and heart threatening to explode through his mouth, he stared at the other end of the table where his half-finished breakfast lay in a not-very-tempting mess. He’d somehow managed to flip his plate over, littering the table with crumbs and chunks of pastry. At least his tea remained intact. Other than the mess and the missing chair, his end of the table looked as cheerful as could be, with the bright sunlight’s slanted beams spilling into the dining room and bestowing a certain innocent country charm to the scene.
“Jesus fucking Henry Christ,” Grandma barked. “What were you trying to do, kid? Give me a heart attack? Are you gay virgins always this melodramatic when someone kids around?”
She took a long, loud sip of her coffee with visibly trembling hands.