Dead Of Winter

Overview

Allysen Coles sees dead people…
A clairvoyant can run away to Fairbanks, but cannot hide from sinister spirits lurking in the long, dark Alaska winter.

When a young woman reaches out from beyond the grave, Allysen answers her pleas to solve a decades old murder.
Vivid dreams about the girl draw her closer to the truth, but also reveal her ...

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Overview

Allysen Coles sees dead people…
A clairvoyant can run away to Fairbanks, but cannot hide from sinister spirits lurking in the long, dark Alaska winter.

When a young woman reaches out from beyond the grave, Allysen answers her pleas to solve a decades old murder.
Vivid dreams about the girl draw her closer to the truth, but also reveal her own life may be in danger.
As she does more research, ghostly activity around her continues to escalate. Allysen soon learns people and things in Fairbanks are not what they seem.
Will she put the pieces of the puzzle together in time?
And—can she even trust her own friends to help her?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603180788
  • Publisher: L & L Dreamspell
  • Publication date: 10/12/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 0.57 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Her scream pierces the night.

It cuts through the remote silence, bouncing off the brittle branches of acres of barren trees only to be absorbed by the soft blanket of snow. From somewhere deep in the woods comes the sound of snapping underbrush as a large, startled animal flees the sudden cry. Closer to the small log cabin, a raven stops scavenging in the snow and cocks its head at the sound. It is not as easily frightened as the large creature in the woods and, after a moment, goes back to foraging. Above, the stars twinkle brightly against the pitch black sky and the greens, yellows and reds of the aurora dance in the foreground. They are the only witnesses to what is about to happen. And they will never tell. No one will ever know.

Except for me.

The cabin door flies open and a barely dressed red-haired woman runs out into the deep snow. I am close enough see the fear in her brown eyes, the frown lines at the corners of her mouth and the light dusting of freckles across the bridge of her nose. This is not the first time I've been here and seen this. Each time, I notice something new. Now I notice a small scar above her left eyebrow. I have one just like it. I also notice once again how similar she and I are. We look similar enough that we could be sisters. The realization makes me uncomfortable because I know how this is going to end.

Perspiration causes a long strand of curly auburn hair to stick to her face. Soon it will freeze against her skin. She is barefoot. The temperature is well below zero and I know she won't last long. She must know it, too. Whatever it is she is running from must make freezing to death on the taiga seemlike the better choice. As she struggles through the snow, I can hear her desperate, wordless cries. I can see her breath come in quick frozen puffs from her lips. I try to call to her, to help her in some way, but I can make no sound. I cannot even move. All I can do is watch. Just like every other time I've seen this happen.

The woman is barely twenty yards from the cabin when two men follow her out the door. Unlike her, they are fully dressed with coat, hat and shoes. They shout at her as they give chase. I can see their faces as they run. Anger burns in their eyes, but so, too, do greed and lust. No wonder the woman chose to face the subzero temperatures of the Arctic instead of this pair. I might make the same decision.

I want to stop them, to knock them aside and maybe give her a fighting chance to survive. I want to call out to her and warn her they are coming. But I can't. So I watch.

They catch her just before she reaches the woods. One tackles her from behind, driving her into the snow. She cries out but the scream is cut short by the man's hand around her throat. The woman fights, tries to escape, but the man cocks his arm and punches her in the face. Then he does it again. And again. And again.

The woman stops fighting, though I can still hear her sobs and her wordless pleas. This part is so difficult to watch and it takes an act of will for me not to look away. If I'm seeing this for a reason, the least I can do is watch it all.

Now the other man stands over the pair. He looks at his partner, who nods back. The man pulls something from his pocket. Even before I see the moonlight reflect off its blade I know it is a knife. I steel myself for what comes next.

In one quick move, the man leans over and cuts the woman's throat. Clean and deep. No more cries escape. The man wipes his knife on his pants and sheathes the weapon. The other man stands and the two of them pick her up. They carry her across the clearing, but they aren't going to back the house. Instead, they carry her to the woodshed where they will probably leave her until the spring Break Up, then bury her as if she never existed. Erasing her existence from time. I can't explain how I know these things. I just feel them.

As I watch this scene play out before me as it has dozens of times in the past few weeks, something changes. Usually, I watch the men carry the dying woman to the woodshed, her throat too damaged to make much more than a few gurgling sounds. The blood, so dark in the moonlight, drips a steady trail from the place of her murder to the shed. Steam rises from the snow where it lands. Sometimes, I can hear it hiss as it freezes in the bitter cold. The woman, though, never makes another noise.

This time, however, she does.

Slowly, because even here it looks like it hurts, she raises her head and looks right at me. This shocks me. I am even more shocked when she speaks. It's only a word and it's difficult to hear. She's trying to tell me something, reaching out across the years from her grave to tell me--something. But what?

I try to call out or move toward her. I can't so I just shake my head and hope she understands. She tries once more and I see the effort it takes, not only to speak through her destroyed vocal chords but also to change what I'm seeing. This time, though, I really listen and I catch the word. Or at least what it might be. It sounds like a name and I...

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 30, 2008

    Dead of Winter

    Allysen Coles has just moved to Alaska from Texas in hopes of escaping her past. At the age of 15 after a near fatal car accident, Allysen was left with the gift of clairvoyance. She saw dead people everywhere, it was over whelming and she began to understand these spirits and help them whenever possible. She also had a loving husband, Dave, that used to be a cop. Even death can not keep true love apart, but he¿s not so happy when Allysen decides to move on, he even threatens her about crossing over.<BR/><BR/>Allysen is very discreet about what she can see, and when she is approached by her friend Harry, she can¿t turn down what he tells her. A doctor and his wife have a house that is experiencing paranormal activity. And the doctor also sees the woman that visits Allysen in her dreams every time she is asleep, that alone makes Allysen accept the job of ridding the spirit from their home. Although this is not just a regular spirit, there is something dark and sinister lying in wait for Allysen, Harry, and the good Father Joseph.<BR/><BR/>In the early 1900¿s in Alaska was when the gold rush began, and along with that tales of murder and cover-up. With a lot of injuries, the help of a 70 year trapped spirit, and the love of her son she must overcome the shadows lying in the dark¿ trusting no one!<BR/><BR/>Sean Harris has just made the hair on my arms stand up. Dead of Winter was a fast paced spooky thriller that makes it a little bit harder to walk into a dark room without turning the light on first. While it wasn¿t gruesome, it sure has a shock to it once the ending comes around. I loved it, there was one thing that made me flip back a few pages and say hmmm, but besides that it was an awesome read that many people will enjoy. 4.5 Hearts<BR/><BR/>Contact Sean: www.myspace.com/seanharrisbooks

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  • Posted October 30, 2008

    Dead of Winter

    Imagine waking up one day, with nothing ever being the same seeing lost souls everywhere you go. Thus, is the story of Allysen Coles in Sean Harris' Dead of Winter. <BR/> Allysen has her work cut out for her when a doctor approaches her friend Harry, also a spirit magnet, about help with their haunted house. Pretty soon, between very vivid dreams and nightmarish interactions with the spirit from hell, Allysen gets drug into the ultimate fight. <BR/> Love for her son eventually shines through in the end, as Allysen reaches deep within herself to fight for what she believes in. Fans of The Ghostwhisperer should definetely put this on their to read lists.

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