An Absence of Light
By Meradeth Houston
Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter.
Thanks so much for hosting me today! I thought it would be fun to get to know Leah, the main character from An Absence of Light J. I hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better! Take it away, Leah:
Hi, my name is Leah. Thanks for having me. It freaks me out a little to talk in public about myself in public—I’m pretty sure most anyone would think I’ve lost it if they knew what I do. I guess I wonder that, too, sometimes. But, someone’s got to fight the Shadows, right? And that sounds a little better than alien invasion preventer, I think.
What conflict are you up against?
Most everyone I’ve ever told about the Shadows hasn’t believed me, but I’d love to see them gone. All of them. I don’t know how they do it, but they seem to breed evil and hatred in people. Somehow I got stuck being able to see them, and it’s not something I can turn off. Getting rid of them is goal #1.
Tell us about your best friend/side kick.
I am lucky to have stumbled across several people who can also see the Shadows. And while I haven’t known them long, they are definitely some of my closest friends. I guess fighting for your life next to someone creates some kind of bond. But there’s Manuel, his mom, Sarah (but we all just call her Nana), and of course Adam. Adam’s usually pretty bent on making sure I don’t get him killed—someone I’d like to avoid too—but underneath, I’m pretty sure there’s a nice guy in there. I hope.
What are your three favorite foods?
I’ve pretty much become addicted to Nana’s food. I’ve always loved Mexican food, growing up in LA and all, but Nana’s food is the best. I adore her tortillas, quesadillas, and tamales. But, a shake from In-and-Out is also pretty amazing. I kinda like to eat :)
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When I started at Standford when I was 16, I thought I’d go into biology or chemistry. Something scientific that involved working in a lab. But now? Everything in my life’s been turned upside down and I honestly don’t know what I’ll end up doing. Maybe someday I’ll get to go back to school. If the Shadows don’t chase me out again.
Three favorite books or movies?
I’d have to say that I’d read most anything. Lately that’s been a little hard with all of my time taken up by figuring up what the Shadows are up to. But, I have always loved the Harry Potter books and films, and went through a phase where I was completely addicted to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. And, because I’m a total nerd, I love Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. Shadows don’t exist in books, so I pretty much will read anything!
She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.
When Leah stumbles across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.
Evernight Teen/80,000 words
Evernight Teen Amazon
A creeping tingle of coldness wound around my ankles. Something lived in there––the same things that took away my family and had stalked me for most of my life.
I didn’t have a name for them. In my head, I called them the Shadows: inky, black creatures that avoided the light, like I avoided the dark. They did things. Things that made monsters like Hitler look warm and fuzzy—or at least, less homicidal.
How they did it confounded me, but they had the ability to influence the darkness in people, to make them do terrible things. The Shadows got something from it, as if they fed from humanity’s malevolence. I’d tried to learn more about them since I realized no one else could see them, but they didn’t exist in any book, Web page, or library.
The only thing I could conclude was that they were otherworldly evil, pure and simple.
It didn’t help that lately the Shadows had been more focused on me. I’d seen more in the last few months than I had in my whole life, and they had been acting stranger than normal. They were up to something.
Plotting how to kill me, and everyone I love. I’d been so stupid not to figure that out.
As if hearing my thoughts, the Shadow sensed my presence. It crept forward to the mouth of the alleyway, a darker blotch of oily blackness that moved of its own volition. A fine tendril rose from its black mass, reminding me of a periscope on a submarine, searching.
“Crap.” I glanced around for the best way to escape. No way I could outrun the thing.
The Shadow moved into the open. Skirting the light, coming ever closer. Picking up speed. I had to get away. Now.
My heart began beating double-time and my feet froze to the ground.
A part of me wanted to step on it, like a giant slug, but it wouldn’t do anything. They couldn’t be killed that way.
I would give anything to know if I could get rid of them, to wipe them from the face of the earth. But they didn’t die. Didn’t disappear. Didn’t leave me alone.
There was nowhere to hide. They’d kill me. Just like they did my family.
Glancing at the car in front of me, my panicked laugh caught me by surprise.
Another entry for my rap sheet.
Careful to keep in the light, I hurried around to the driver’s side. Scooping up the keys, I threw myself behind the wheel. My fingers trembled as I shoved the key into the ignition.
The Shadow lurked near my door. I spared it one glance before the engine caught with a merciful roar and I slammed my foot on the gas.
The tires squealed and a trail of smoke hid the Shadow. The snaking chill, as I always felt from them, gave way and I knew I had left it behind.
There would be more, though. There were always more.
I've never been a big fan of talking about myself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about me:
~I'm a California girl. This generally means I talk too fast and use "like" a lot.
~I have my doctorate in molecular anthropology. Translation: I sequence dead people's DNA and spend a whole lot of time in a lab, which I love.
~I've been writing since I was 11 years old. It's my hobby, my passion, and I'm so happy to get to share my work!
~My other passion is teaching. There's nothing more fun than getting a classroom of college kids fired up about anthropology!
~If I could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because I'm terrified of heights.
WEBSITE, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and of course her blog!