Angel Eyes: Excerpt One
The knot in my throat is constant. An aching thing. Shallow breaths whisper around it, sting my chapped lips, and leave white smoke monsters in the air.
It takes them nine seconds to disappear. Nine seconds for the phantoms I’ve created to dissolve into nothingness.
How long till the one haunting my dreams does the same?
The absence of an answer makes my hands shake, so I slide the lambskin gloves out of my book bag and put them on.
If only it were that easy.
Like glacial masses shoving along, ice travels my veins, chilling my skin and numbing my insides. Three weeks of this biting cold outstrips the severity of my nightmares, but I haven’t suffered enough and I know it.
“Miss, isn’t this your stop?” The man’s voice skates atop the frozen air.
I want to answer him, but the words don’t come. A single tear thaws, escapes the confines of my lashes, and races triumphantly down my cheek. It soaks into my knit scarf—an invisible trail marking its life.
“Miss?” he tries again. “We’re here. We’ve reached Stratus.”
My legs are stiff, refusing to stand. I just need a minute. I should say something at least—answer him—but the knot in my throat refuses to budge. I raise a gloved hand to wrestle it away.
“I’m sorry, dear, but the conductor is impatient today. If you don’t exit the train, you’ll have to ride back to Portland with us.”
I turn toward the aisle and look at the poor man. He’s sixty at least, with a tuft of gray hair and an oversized bow tie. The kind you only see in the movies. He, too, is wearing gloves, and it’s a small comfort to know I’m not the only one chilled. His face wrinkles into a million lines, and the corners of his mouth lift.
“Of course, if you’d like to return with the train, you’re more than welcome. I could use the company.” He gestures to row after row of empty seats.
“No,” I murmur, standing quickly. I cannot return with this train. Not now. Not to the place where it happened. “You’re right. This is my stop.” I gather my bags and sink deep into my parka before stepping onto the platform.
Why is everything so cold?
Shannon Dittemore has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a focus on youth and young adult ministry. The daughter of one preacher and the wife of another, she spends her days imagining things unseen and chasing her two children around their home in Northern California. Angel Eyes is her first novel.
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Expected publication: May 29th 2012 by Thomas Nelson Fiction
Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .
Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.
Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.
Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.
A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.