Sneak Peek Wednesday: To Dream Is To Die by Sarah Lampkin (Giveaway)

To Dream Is To Die
by Sarah Lampkin
Publisher: The Parliament House
Publication date: Jan. 8, 2018
Genre: New Adult Paranormal

Eighteen-year-old Brenna Whit is entering college as a freshman and starting to meet new people, but she hides a dark secret. Because of an accident that happened three years ago, her spirit wanders the Fade whenever she falls asleep. It’s something she wants to keep hidden from the world, but when she sees someone watching her in spirit form, she fears the secret’s out. With new friends, possibly new enemies, school, and a new crush, Brenna has too much to worry about for just her freshman year of college.

 

 

Sneak Peek

Although they were undetectable by anyone on the mortal plane, there were legends about them throughout history. From those, and my own experience, I understood the doors operated on a sort of cycle. They would only open during certain nights, allowing them free reign of the Fade. But once the night was over, they would return to their realm. When it was a full moon, the demons came through the doorways. Though not the prettiest things to look at, the demons tended to enjoy messing with humans. Not necessarily hurting anyone, but just hovering around them, causing mood shifts occasionally. They would move items around, trip people up, follow them, and on occasion throw acorns at people and animals. That was their favorite mischievous activity. The demons were basically small, disfigured pranksters.

There have been many studies on humanity and the effects of the full moon that make them go crazy or believe they are a werewolf or some other such nonsense. It had nothing to do with the full moon, just with the demons being allowed to escape. When the night of the full moon ended, they returned to their domain, leaving behind whatever mess they had created.

During the time of first and third quarter, and new moon, the fairies were given leave to roam from their own doorways. I hated them. Unlike the demons, their energy was hostile. A few times I had seen them torture any spirit they came across, or even whisper into the ears of humans, causing them to react violently. It wasn’t often that I would run across a fairy, but I preferred it that way. Though beautiful, they were little shits.

There was no doubt about this tree. It was a demon gateway. The door appeared old, as if it had been there for centuries with the worn wood and small cracks. Because the doorways were on trees, I had found a few at home, but whenever I traveled to populated areas, they became harder to find. Once I had discovered a doorway in the wood frame of a friend’s home. Fairy doors, however, were much more difficult to locate. To this day, I hadn’t seen one. I had only seen the beautiful little monsters flying around.

The last full moon was a week ago, meaning the door was closed as expected. My theory was that the doorways were somehow connected, but again, I hadn’t seen a fairy door to be sure. If I were right, there should have been one somewhere nearby.

But this door was different—there were small characters etched around its entirety. Something I had never seen before. The closer I got to the doorway, the stranger things became. Incoherent voices entered my head. It sounded as if they were trying to scream, but didn’t have the strength. I had never heard these voices before. They wept desperately with disjointed words and screams. I moved closer and raised my hand to touch a particularly interesting marking when a clear voice stopped me cold.

“I wouldn’t do that, honey.”

Whirling around, an older woman stood behind me. Judging from her clothing, I figured she had been dead for a while. She looked kindly down at me through ethereal spectacles as she absently smoothed the folds of her long skirt.

“Why not? It’s only a doorway…” I said, raising my chin, causing my hair to fall and frame my face. I was sure my eyes were snapping with defiance – I didn’t take kindly to being told what to do, especially on the spiritual plane. This was supposed to be the one place I didn’t have to listen to anyone telling me what to do.
She shook her head, causing her ridiculously out of fashion hat to shift a little. “You are correct, my dear girl, but this one is different from its brothers that you have previously encountered. Watchers and Dreamers have been busy distorting these doorways. Arrogant fools.” She gestured with one elegantly gloved hand towards the script I had attempted to touch moments before.

“I thought humans knew nothing about the Fade doors —and what the hell is a Watcher? Or a Dreamer?” I uncrossed my arms, curious now. These so-called Watchers or Dreamers could present great danger to me if I were discovered. Yet another complication to my situation. Great.

The laugh she let out sent shivers up my spine. “Oh, you are quite the spunky one, aren’t you? If you’re going to abandon your body so carelessly, you should learn more about the world you wander through. Do not assume your limited scope of experience gives you all the answers you seek. Your lot is quite the arrogant bunch these days.” Despite her harsh tone, a smile crinkled the corners of her lips.

“How do you know I’m not dead?”

“So you do prove capable of asking smart questions. Look at my body’s faint white glow—do you see it? This means I have died of old age, nice and neatly in my bed. A clean death, and an expected one. You have no such glow, which means you haven’t yet died—at least not permanently. Only a few know what these auras are for, or can see them right away. You aren’t the first to come around these woods and possess that ability. Dreamers are usually cut from the same cloth. But you are different from your predecessor, though, in what way, I’m not sure.”

“What predecessor? What…What are you talking about? What is going on?” She was dancing around my questions, choosing not to answer them. It was beginning to piss me off.

Instead, she merely walked backwards and gradually vanished from my sight, smiling all the while. She raised one gloved hand in a wave before she was gone.

“Well, that was rude. Would it really have been that hard to answer my damn questions?” I murmured to myself. This was what happened every time I spoke with a spirit. They would talk for barely a minute before walking away. I could never keep their interest for longer than that.

Returning to the door, I was curious to see what these symbols—these seals—were and how they worked. They were new to me even after more than three years in the Fade. Perhaps it was only a certain kind of human that could see them. If that were true, I should have come across something about these seals in my research, but I couldn’t recall anything like them in any of it. My eyes drifted back to the symbol I had nearly touched before. Whatever the reason, this seal gave me a rotten feeling in my gut. If those demons couldn’t get out, and hadn’t been able to get out for a while, I assumed they were pissed off about being cooped up for so long. I know I would be.

Looking up, the moon had moved pretty far in the sky, so I decided it was time to head back. Life would have been much easier if I were able to go wherever I wanted like the other spirits did. Since I was still connected to my body, I could only go a certain distance before feeling its pull.

It looked like I wasn’t the only one who had wanted to return to the woods on this particular night. A different group of students had gathered together at the front of the woods, probably to smoke pot, barely hidden from any passing campus security. One of them turned, and walked through me, and I jolted in surprise. Sometimes it was interesting to phase through anything on the mortal plane, but crossing through humans was always more trouble than it was worth. Headaches aside, you received an uncomfortable rush, a splash of their emotions, and that was even more jarring than being a half-ghost.

I followed the stranger, who was in a chipper mood, and there were a few more guys with a couple of girls in tow as well. Some were still smoking while others were just laughing in the midst of their conversation. None of them seemed to notice or feel a change in the air, which meant my body was waking up, and my spirit was fading away. The old spirit had called me a Dreamer. There was something more to what she was saying, but I still wasn’t sure what it was.

As I felt myself being taken back, something stirred deep inside me. Something—or someone—was watching me. Thinking it was the same elder woman from before, my gaze searched the woods behind and the students in front of me. Sitting next to a few of the others, he was there. The guy who had barged into my room to wait for Erica. He was staring right at me and he was smiling.

 

Meet Sarah Lampkin

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Sarah Lampkin is a 2015 graduate from Lynchburg College with a master’s degree in English. Since graduation, Sarah moved to Northern Virginia to work in the IT field as a Technical Writer while continuing her research for her graduate school thesis. When she isn’t work, Sarah continues her Celtic mythology research and Gaelic studies, while working on the Dead Dreamer series.

Although she currently lives in Northern Virginia, Sarah frequently travels back home to Richmond to visit family, friends, and her godchildren. During the winter months, she is in Richmond more frequently to spend time in the woods hunting and contemplating the meaning of life. She doesn’t always succeed in both endeavors, but the music of nature is worth it for peace of mind.

In her free time, she likes to play RPG video games, and rock climbing. To make sure she can make the most out of her day, she wakes up at 4am every morning to work on her fitness, so in the evening she has time to continue writing. Her passion for writing has been around since high school where she wrote her first short story. It continued as she worked towards her bachelor’s degree, and that is where the Dead Dreamer series began. Although only self- published via online, Sarah’s dream is to write for a living and continue to create fictional worlds where her mind can reside.

Her work mainly focuses on Celtic themes, mixed with elements from the spiritual world. And her characters always have a flair of attitude and sarcasm because writing damsels in distress is something she just can’t do.

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One Thought on “Sneak Peek Wednesday: To Dream Is To Die by Sarah Lampkin (Giveaway)

  1. ratmom on 10 January, 2019 at 5:29 pm said:

    What an interesting story line. I think this is a book that I would like. It’s going right into my wish list.

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