Spotlight On: A Devil in Daylight by Marcus Damanda

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A Devil in Daylight
The Devil in Miss Drake’s Class, Book Two
Marcus Damanda
Evernight Teen, 163 pages
Horror/romantic elements
16+ due to violence
and adult situations
“You will account for what you did to Audrey.”
After three months in the suicide prevention wing of St. George’s, Audrey
Bales is finally coming home. Enrolled at a new school, she plans to reinvent
herself with a new look, new friends, and a second chance to be just like
everyone else. But the kids who drove her over the edge aren’t through with her
yet. 
And one of her new friends has an agenda all his own.
 “You, and all the others.”
 During the day, the halls of Battlefield High will echo with their
screams.
 “It will never stop.”
 And at night, their screams will be silenced.
 “Until one of you ends it.”
Buy Links:    Evernight
Teen
     Amazon
Excerpt: 
Audrey watched the knife go in. Alex’s Swiss Army knife, from Scouts.
That’s right, sis, Alex’s ghost said. You’re doing it. Good
girl.
Blood welled up from her wrist, at first in bubbles and droplets, then
in a line.
Ignore the pain. Block it out. Deny it, like it’s not even there.
And it wasn’t. Weird. This was supposed to hurt.
Her reflection in the computer screen showed black hair. And that, too,
was weird. She hadn’t had black hair in months. Not since her first days in the
hospital.
Nor was she supposed to be seeing him. She’d beaten
him—banished him.
She had to saw to break the vein. A small, red jet squirted over her
keyboard.
On the screen, Val—her one-time best friend—was reaching out to her. Audrey?
Audrey, don’t be dumb. Come on.
Alex stopped talking, stopped coaching. From behind, he held on to her
shoulders and squeezed.
She still had the strength to use the knife again, going down from the
wrist. There was no pain, after all. She had the strength for that and for one
more thing.
She set down the knife in a puddle of her own blood, then picked up her
cell phone and took a picture, even as her wrist squirted again.
She hooked the phone to a USB cable and to the computer. She
posted the picture, unhooked it, and let it drop. It clattered off the side of
the desk and onto the floor, but Audrey didn’t even notice.
She tried to put her chin in her right hand. She wanted to watch the
responses. See what Val thought. See what Maggie thought.
Maggie, who had started all of this. Maggie, who had ruined Audrey’s
life because she’d thought Audrey had been ogling her in the locker room at
school. Spoiled, rich little Maggie Lassiter, with the angel earrings—it had
been those Audrey had been staring at—and the countless followers
that Maggie called her friends. But it hadn’t been enough. No, she had to steal Audrey’s friend,
Valerie Mills. Her only friend….
Putting her chin in her hand didn’t quite work out. Her elbow slipped
in the blood on her desk. She felt her face hit the hard wooden corner of the
desk on her way to the floor.
 **** 
But instead of hitting the floor, Audrey sat up in her own bed, awake
and breathing hard and holding her left wrist with her right hand.
She looked… scarred, but whole.
Her parents had purged her bedroom nearly to emptiness, but her
computer was still there, a shadow near the window.
Audrey kicked her legs over the side of the bed and went to it, powered
on, and thumbed the monitor. And, amazingly, she yawned, even as her heart
began to settle back toward its normal speed and rhythm.
She found her water bottle and Geodon, and checked her clock as the
computer slowly hummed to life. Yep, close enough. She took her pill.
Taking a breath, she tried to access her Twitter account.
Blocked.
Instagram, next.
Blocked.
Facebook.
Blocked.
She smiled, rather sleepily. Everything was still normal. She’d just
had to be sure.
Sunlight began to peek tentatively through her window. Audrey set her
chin in her right hand and waited for it.
Daylight could not come soon enough. 
**** 
Alastair Hutchinson lay flat on his back on top of his perfectly made
bed, but he did not sleep. Had not slept.
Never slept.
He watched the sunrise.
We should be looking, said one of the voices that lived inside of him. We’re
wasting time.
“Why look?” he asked. “There’s an unsettled account at the school we’ll
be attending. I’ve found everything we need.”
Audrey is not an unsettled account, the voices protested. She’s
alive.
“I’m not talking about her,” Alastair said. “You haven’t been paying
attention. There’s another.” He laughed, softly. “Three days from now, we’ll be
sitting in her first period class.”
But not as Alastair Hutchinson, he thought. No. As a name she’ll
recognize.
The host stirred. We need to move the line, said another voice. This
isn’t helping.
“I’ve got that covered too,” said Alastair. “You won’t have to wait
long. Trust me.”
About the Author:
Marcus Damanda lives in Woodbridge, Virginia with his cat, Shazam. At  various times throughout his life, he played bass guitar for the garage heavy metal band Mother’s Day, wrote for The Dale City Messenger, and published
editorials in The Potomac News and The Freelance Star. Currently, while not plotting his next foray into fictitious suburban mayhem, he spoils his nieces and nephews and teaches middle school English.
Find Marcus Damanda here:
 ******
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One comment on “Spotlight On: A Devil in Daylight by Marcus Damanda

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