I'm not crazy. My mother may have died with everyone believing she was insane, but I refuse to accept that as my fate. Even if I am recalling memories about a life I never lived. A life that includes the mysterious James—a guy I've only just met, but feel as if I've known all my life. The memories are coming hard and fast, and I'm falling down a rabbit hole with consequences that far exceed anything I could have ever imagined. And now, someone is trying to kill me.
Someone from my past who knows about my visions and is looking for something he believes I took from him. All I have to do is figure out how these memories relate to the present and maybe
I'll survive to live another day.
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I hated the way I flinched when I saw her. My lips turned down, and my gaze shifted sideways. I shouldn't feel this way. I should be understanding and kind. But seeing her like this — well, it was something I didn't think I'd ever get used to.
My mother wasn't the woman I remembered from my childhood. Her blonde hair, now streaked with silver, was a mass of unkempt knots around her shoulders, and her lips — pale and thin — hung open. Saliva pooled between her bottom lip and teeth, and when her head fell forward, it ran down her chin and dropped to her lap.
"Oh, Momma." I rounded my parents' kitchen table to her side. Lifting her head with gentle fingers, I wiped the mess and took the seat to her right. "I brought your favorite. It's lemon cake." I cut a piece and lifted it to her mouth.
She swatted at the fork with a lazy hand. Daddy had said she was having a good day. That must've ended at some point prior to my arrival because these kinds of days were the worst. I set down my fork and sighed, not knowing what to do or say.
"I graduate in May. Can you believe it?" I placed my hand on top of hers and, because she always seemed so lifeless, was surprised at her warmth. "Feels like I just started college last year, and now it's about to end. Time flies, doesn't it?"
Her head lifted, and she turned to face me. The movement was slow and stiff, unpracticed and awkward.
"Abigail." My mother breathed my name as if she'd just realized I was sitting next to her. Her gaze darted over my face, and her wispy, white brows lifted a fraction of an inch. "Time doesn't exist, baby." Something in her eyes sparked to life, wild and frantic. "It's continuous. Just when you think it's over, it begins again. Always repeating." She nodded violently to help me understand. "They're keeping that from you. They aren't telling you the truth."
Her hands shot out, and she gripped my upper arms with a strength at odds with her frail frame. Her nails dug into my skin, but I didn't move. I didn't react. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, my mother often lived in a world outside my own, with grand fantasies of a life I didn't see or understand. When she wasn't whispering frantically to me about people that didn't exist, she was comatose, lying on the couch in a drug induced haze, sometimes drooling and yelling out in her sleep.
I studied her pale blue eyes, eyes that looked astonishingly like my own, and tried to see the woman I called Mom. She wasn't there. I didn't know this person. I'd tried so hard to keep myself separate from her, distant even. Anything to keep my heart intact. But no amount of hardening could seal off hope. Hope that one day she'd wake up and be the mother I so desperately desired.
I blinked back a sudden burst of stinging tears. I didn't want her to see them. From past experience, I knew any emotion from me only incited her special brand of dementia. But she saw them nonetheless. A sigh fell from her mouth, and her blue eyes softened. She recognized me. Really recognized me, not just the idea of me. Releasing her grip on my arms, her lips tightened, and her eyes crumpled at the edges.
"I'm sorry, sweetie. I don't want to be like this." She hiccupped and pressed a shaking hand to her lips.
"Mom?" A flurry of hope circled inside my chest. I reached out to touch her shoulder, but she stood and moved out of my reach.
"I didn't want this life," she said. The air crackled with tension, and her chin trembled. "Don't ever let them tell you you're crazy. I want you to listen to me. Listen carefully." Her eyes were wide and rimmed in red. "When time bends, and you're everywhere at once, you'll understand where I am and where I've gone. I hope. I hope — I hope. I hope ..."
She walked away repeating those words, her voice soft and sad. The tears I'd held back surged forward. She was gone as fast as she'd come, trapped inside an illness that refused to let her go.
That was the last time we spoke. Later that evening, she stole the keys to my father's car and ran it into a concrete pylon at a speed of over ninety miles per hour. I wasn't prepared to lose her, and to this day I replay our last conversation, worrying her suicide was a result of something I'd said, or something I'd done.
My entire life, I've feared I would end up like her. That one day sanity would elude me and ten kinds of crazy would make me blind to everyone I knew and loved. My father assured me it wasn't likely, but as a child, and later as an adult, those words were far from comfort. Even if he was a psychiatrist. Even if he was my dad.
Whatever illness had stolen my mother's memories had yet to destroy mine, but everyone knew crazy was hereditary. Even now, as I woke on my twenty-second birthday, three months after my mother's funeral, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was still me.
I was still me.
"Abby, are you ready?" Gracie — my best friend and roommate — called from inside her bedroom.
"I'm not going." I walked in the apartment and threw down a stack of newly purchased textbooks and supplies.
"Didn't you get my text?" She appeared in the living room, perfectly made up, and slipped into a pair of turquoise stilettos. Her dark hair hung in loose waves around her shoulders. Her wide, slightly slanted eyes were heavily shadowed and gave the only hint of the Japanese heritage gifted by her grandmother.
"Yes," I said as I dropped my bag on the floor and fell across the couch. "I got all fifteen of them. And no, I don't care if it's my birthday. I'm not going."
Gracie hurried to my side. "You're going. I'm not celebrating your birthday by myself."
"I didn't ask you to. Besides, it's my birthday. Don't I get to spend it doing something I want to do?" I asked as I pressed a pillow over my face.
"Yes, of course." She pulled the pillow away. "But choosing to do nothing doesn't constitute doing something. It's proven. And besides, I haven't had a major regret in about a month, so I'm due." She smiled widely, showing off her perfect teeth.
"What if I don't want to make mistakes? What if my only wish on this day is to lie right here and watch mind-numbing television until I pass out?"
"That's stupid. Nobody wants that." Her eyes twinkled with mischief as she pulled me to my feet and pushed me toward the bathroom. "You've got thirty minutes, and tennis shoes are not an option."
It only took fifteen. I twisted my pale blond hair into a knot on top of my head and changed into one of Gracie's barely there dresses she swore wasn't too revealing. I begged to differ.
Gracie whistled when I walked out. "You look amazing," she said.
The black dress was all see-through mesh and carefully placed elastic. "Shut up. I look ridiculous."
"Ridiculously hot, maybe. Let's go." Gracie winked and opened the door.
I rolled my eyes, but couldn't keep the smile from my face. I'd never admit it to Gracie, but the truth was, the dress made me feel good. Different, like I could forget who I was and where I came from, even if it was just for a night.
Outside was cold. I shivered in the January air and pulled my black leather jacket to my chest as we walked to my car. Life hadn't been kind, and these last three months without my mother had been the worst, but through all of that, I couldn't ignore the feeling of promise in the air.
The bar was packed, and the music was ear-splitting loud. It was everything I needed, because it was impossible to think of anything else.
"Happy birthday!" Gracie screamed over the music as she handed me a shot of something lime green and fizzy.
I clinked my tiny glass to hers and dropped it back, regretting it when the sweetness of the shot combined with the horrible bite of vodka. The sides of my tongue tingled and my stomach clenched.
"That was awful," I said, putting the shot glass on the bar.
Gracie laughed. "Then have another. It won't be as bad the second time around. I promise."
I took a deep breath, drank the second shot, and chased it with a beer.
"You're so wrong. That was just as bad."
"But it will make you feel so good." She hugged me to her side and signaled the bartender for another round.
It wasn't long after that my insides warmed. I laughed until my sides hurt and drank everything that was handed to me. The music pulsed in my bones and fed my limbs a rhythm that moved my hips and had my hands in the air. Maybe it was the alcohol. Maybe it was because it was my birthday. Maybe it was because for the first time since my mother's passing, I felt light, like the guilt I'd been harboring was finally beginning to lift.
Coming off the dance floor and in desperate need of rest, I grabbed my drink and scanned the crowded room. Just as I was about to turn back to my friends, I saw a guy sitting alone at the corner of the bar. He was impossible to ignore, like seeing the only still figure in the middle of a whirling cyclone, and when our gazes met, the world around me ceased to exist. There was no sound, no movement — only us.
I looked away and picked up my drink. Swirling the contents, I tried to focus on what Gracie was saying, but it was no use. I took a sip and peeked over the rim of my glass to find his gaze hadn't wavered. He lifted a bottle to his lips and turned away from me only when Xander, Gracie's best-friend-should-be-boyfriend, clapped him on the shoulder and leaned in toward his ear.
I pulled on Gracie's arm. "Hey, who's that Xander's talking to?"
She glanced at them and rolled her eyes before she groaned. "That's James, one of his friends from high school. I met him once. He's —" She lifted her shoulders and scrunched her nose. "Different. And a little frightening."
"What do you mean?" I asked, my curiosity piqued. My gaze wandered over Gracie's shoulder, unable to keep my eyes from searching for his.
"Look at him. He's a little too ... intense if you ask me." She sipped her drink, and I stole another look. Intense? I'd agree with that. But frightening? That I couldn't decide.
Gracie propped an elbow against the bar. "Are you interested?"
"No, of course not." I waved to the bartender and pointed to my empty drink. "I just haven't seen him before, that's all."
Gracie ran her tongue over her teeth, and her eyes narrowed. "You're lying."
I opened my mouth to say something in my defense, but she held up her hand and spoke before I could get out a word.
"Remember when I talked about making some mistakes tonight?" She paused to let that sink in. "Don't make him one. The things Xander's told me — you don't want to get involved with that. Trust me."
I searched for James, wanting to see the danger Gracie was talking about, but he wasn't there. He'd disappeared into the crowd, leaving Xander alone at the bar.
"I'm going to the bathroom," I said, pushing myself away from Gracie.
"You want me to come?" she asked when I stepped away and stumbled in my heels. I righted myself and shook my head.
"No, you keep our seats. I'll be fine."
"Don't go looking for mistakes," she called after me.
I rolled my eyes and shook my head, leaving her standing in my wake. I moved through the sea of bodies, but bypassed the ladies room after seeing the line and stepped onto the patio instead. It was quiet and nearly empty, the cold having chased most everyone inside. My heels clicked against the concrete in an uneven pattern as I swayed across the patio and braced my hands against the iron railing.
"For a girl who can dance like you, I'm surprised you can't walk a straighter line." The voice was deep, and close enough that I jumped. My head snapped to my right and my breath caught in my chest, causing my already nervous heart to double its speed. James placed his hands in his pockets and stepped from the shadows, moving with casual elegance — smooth and unhurried — to my side.
His black hair was a little long and curled around his ears. A dark stubble shadowed his face, and thick black lashes framed equally dark eyes. He didn't smile. In fact, he didn't look all that happy about being here with me, but when I met his gaze, his eyes told a different story.
My cheeks flushed, and I shook my head to break the connection. "I don't normally dance. I guess I got carried away. It's my birthday, and —" I let go of the railing, meaning to turn toward him, and I stumbled. He caught me by the elbow, and my skin warmed as if he infused something of himself into me. "Thank you," I whispered, unable to think of anything else when the only thing I could concentrate on was his hand and that it was still holding my arm.
Letting go, he nodded, and a few beats of silence followed.
"Your name's James, right?"
He studied me with an intensity that made me shift in my shoes. "You know who I am?" His eyes were guarded — wary.
"No," I said. "My friend — the girl I came here with, Gracie — she's friends with Xander. She told me." I clamped my mouth shut to prevent further rambling and rolled my eyes. "Sorry, I'm not making much sense ... "
My words faded when he gave me a half smile. Well, it wasn't so much a smile as a quirk of the corner of his mouth, but it was enough to soften the harsh planes of his face. For a quarter of a second, something about that look rang familiar, as if I'd seen it before. I dropped my head, unable to hold his gaze, and swayed in my heels.
As I stared at the pavement, a memory surged forward. The images were blurred, and the voice, rough with emotion, was distant. Tension vibrated under my skin, and when the frantically whispered words became clear, my gaze jerked up.
Over and over, the phrase rattled inside my mind. I covered my eyes, and James's image — the same but somehow different — appeared before me, his dark eyes pleading, his voice resolute. I shook myself to force the image away, but the words repeated.
I dropped my hands and focused on James. "Did you say something?"
"I asked if you're okay." He took a step toward me, and my pulse quickened. He held his hands on either side of my waist, hovering an inch from my body, ready to steady me if I were to fall.
My stomach fluttered, and I stared at his wide chest instead of his face, which was, for reasons I didn't understand, feeling more familiar by the second.
The vision came again, and his words — promise me — echoed over and over until I heard nothing else.
Promise me. Promise me. Promise me.
Each word tumbled over the other, starting again before the last had ended. I grabbed my ears in an attempt to make it stop and turned my back to James. This wasn't happening. It couldn't be. I'd made it twenty-two years without a hint of a delusion, and while there was a possibility I'd inherit my mother's condition, I thought I was safe. No, there had to be another explanation. It had to be the alcohol.
I stepped toward the patio door and left without another word to James. Running through the crowd, I pushed against the bodies until I found Gracie. Her cheeks were flushed pink, and her arms were draped over Xander's shoulders. When she saw me, she disentangled herself and flashed me a sloppy smile.
"Where've you been? You've got drinks waiting." To prove her point, she held out a glass and stumbled two steps in my direction.
I ignored her offer and grabbed my jacket from our place at the bar. Shoving my arms into the sleeves, I yanked my keys from my purse. "Do you mind getting a ride home with Xander?" There was a frantic quality to my voice I couldn't disguise.
She put the drink on the bar and the contents sloshed over the side. "Why? What's going on?" She widened her eyes and blinked, visibly reaching for sobriety.
"It's nothing. I just — I'm leaving." She was ready to protest; I could see it in her eyes. Forcing a smile, I squeezed her arm and nodded in Xander's direction. "It's okay ... you stay. Looks like things were about to get interesting between you two," I said to change the subject. "I'll see you at the apartment, okay?"
Before she could respond, I walked out the door at a pace just short of a run and stopped only when I'd left the bar far enough behind to feel alone. In the quiet of the night, I listened for the words that moments ago wouldn't stop repeating, but they were gone. Relief settled inside my chest, and I sucked in a breath of cold air.
A blast of music burst from the bar when the door opened behind me. I didn't turn to see who'd followed me out, and continued to walk to my car as fast as my heels would allow.
James's voice was incredulous and a little bit angry, and the nerves that had only begun to settle sprang to life as he jogged toward me.
"Hey," he said, catching up and falling into step beside me. "Will you slow down?"
I stopped short and turned toward him. He wasn't anticipating it and had to walk back a couple of steps to face me.
Excerpted from "Drift"
Copyright © 2017 Amy Murray.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The premise of this one was very interesting but it fell flat in a few places for me. For years Abby thought her mom was schizophrenic and when she starts having visions she thinks she may have her mothers condition too. But she soon finds out she's not crazy and neither was her mom. They can drift which basically means they go into a haze where they relive a past life. Through this drift Abby tries to solve a decades long mystery and learns that she was in danger in her past life and may be in danger again. I really wanted to love this book but I had a few issues. When Abby first drifted, I didn't know what the heck was going on. I must have re-read that page like 10 times because I was confused. I liked the dynamic with Abby, James and Mack. I liked the little mystery surrounding the connections between the three of them. I kind of disliked the main mystery of the drift and what a certain person was looking for was kind of like... ohh thats it? I can't see doing all that stuff just for a maybe and they never found the thing in the end so it seemed kind of pointless. Overall the writing was good and while it wasn't a great book for me and I can see other people liking it. I will probably read another book from this author or even if she decided to continue this story in another book I can see myself reading it.
Sometimes you read a book and that's it, no emotions, no questions, you just don't think about it again. Other times you read a book and it's the only thing you can think of when you aren't ready and for a week after you finished it. Drift is the latter. I did not want to stop reading but had to for sleep....and work...and kids... Drift hooked me from the beginning. With twist after twist I had to know more and have a few questions but I'm sure a re-read will answer them ;) Drift is the first book by Amy Murray and a standalone! No cliffhanger that we have to wait a year to find out what happens. And that cover, take a minute to appreciate it. I have to admin, I totally judge a book by it's cover and Drift is as gorgeous as it is good! This is my first experience with a book dealing with time travel. And I am now intrigued by the idea and looking for more books. Thankfully Ms. Murray provided a list for us to dive into on her Twitter page.
Abigail is a student who lost her mother to suicide and schizophrenia, she has always worried that the same fate is her future. Then on her birthday she meets James, and it starts...is she going mad or is it something different...will she survive? Wow I didn't see that one coming but it kept me on the edge of my seat. Amazing characters, and although I was throughly confused for the first few chapters a great storyline.
abby doesn't want to ever become her mother, even though this is what she thinks will happen. paranoid schizophrenia is genetic after all, and aren't all little girls destined to become their mothers? when she meets james kingsley and all her fears come true. because suddenly she's seeing things, things that aren't real, things that can't be true. and james seems to be the trigger, but staying away from him proves to be difficult. she's not crazy. she worries she is, but she also knows she's not crazy. and she really isn't. the visions that james triggers in her are scenes from a past life, a life she shared with james. a past life that she also shared with mack her new neighbor. and the connections between the three of them lead to a wrong she needs to right before the drifts in time end her life. drift is a new adult romance with time travel elements, the past has a lot of bearing on the future. but it's pretty clear from the get-go that the central person in abby's life is james. he's the reason for her drifts and making sure their story ends differently is the key for their romance this time around. **drift will publish on august 28, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (embrace) in exchange for my honest review.
It's a very unique and intriguing story. it pulled me in from the very start. I loved the characters, and it's well-written. Abigail is worried that she will turn out to be like her mom. She lives in fear of loosing her mind. And now it's happening. She is seeing things, imagining things, and she has no idea how to deal with it. One thing is for sure though, for some reason James is in the middle of it all. She doesn't even know him at first.... James has this image of a girl in his mind, and then he finds out that she is real. He simply can't stay away from her. No matter how strangely she acts, and how much she is trying to avoid him. Still he wants to see her, to be with her. May be together they can figure out the truth... I've to say that it's not an average book, but it's also not something which everyone will like. The story is quite interesting, and there is a sense of mystery, as well as, looming doom. But it's also a little annoying at times. So, I think if you're looking for something different, something out of the ordinary then sure this is for you. But if you like books that follow set rules/structure then you might not like it. For me the topic alone was enough to love this book. I love how it portrays human mind, the things it can do, and make us believe, or may be it's all real. That's the question; Are you crazy or something else entirely?
Drift is a stand alone debut book for Amy Murray. I want to admit up front that I’m not a huge reader in the time travel trope. But something called to me with this book. Was it the cover, the synopsis, I don’t know. But I decided to go for it. This book blew me away. I was riveted. I literally could not put it down. Maybe in the next few paragraphs I can convince you to give it a try as well. Drift (noun) - a continuous slow movement from one place to another. “A single lifetime would never be enough.” Abigail Swift has never known a normal mother/daughter relationship with her mother. Her mom has suffered her entire life with schizophrenia. The older Abigail got, the worse her mother’s condition became. It’s been three months now since her death and it is Abby’s twenty-second birthday. Her best friend forces her to go out for the evening to a bar and that’s where she first saw him. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. But it was when they touched that everything went wrong. “It was happening - everything I’d ever feared. I was becoming my worst nightmare. I was becoming my mother.” Abby starts seeing things, a woman that looks just like herself with a man that looks just like James, the man she met in the bar. But it was in another time. Abby soon learns that she isn’t crazy at all but has the ability to travel back and forth from this life to a past life. It’s called to drift. She can’t do it at will. She has no control over it at all. Why is this happening now?! The connection she shares with James is instant and strong. James can’t drift but is an artist and he’s been drawing Abby’s portrait for the last year. Her face just comes to him, but now here she is in person. But their connection isn’t just in this life. They were connected before as well, in their previous life. “It was just a kiss, but somehow it was more than that. It was like coming home.” There is so much more to this. There are many other players in this story, some good and some not. There is a priceless diamond, murder, heartbreak, and love. “We were two halves of the same whole, bound together for eternity, and this time, I wasn’t letting go.” Can Abby and James find a way to avoid history repeating itself? Can they find a way to stay together? Can they right the wrongs that happened a century ago? This is a heart stopping, heart breaking, wonderful book. I instantly fell in love with both Abby and James, as well as Colin, oh my dear Colin, who is also a very important part of this story. I think he is the one most of all that is still swimming around in my head and heart. I finished the book late but when I turned out the light, sleep wouldn’t come to me. I laid there with my eyes wide open thinking about these characters. So, Amy Murray, I hope that by itself tells you the impact this had on me. The characters are still, the next day, swimming around in my head and heart. I don’t think they’ll be going anywhere anytime soon. Thank you for this wonderful book. I so look forward to seeing you are doing next. “I’m yours, for all of time.”