(The Super Dark Trilogy Book One)
by Tanith Morse
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Number of pages: 256
Word Count: 83,000 Words
Cover Artist: Tanith Morse
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/tnWAp50eQhQ
For fans of Stephenie Meyer comes a chilling love story that will have you hooked from the very first page. Super Dark is a tale of passion, guilt and redemption with a whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees twist!
Darkness stalks seventeen-year-old Sam Harper. Ten years ago on Halloween night, grotesque creatures snatched her best friend Elliot and Sam narrowly escaped with her life. Now a decade on, the police investigation has ground to a halt and Elliot's whereabouts remains a mystery.
Traumatized by her ordeal, Sam finds it hard to make friends. She is mistrustful of authority and changed schools more times than she cares to remember. To her, the world is cruel and unforgiving.
Then she meets the enigmatic Lee Weaver. With his gorgeous face and magnetic presence, he turns heads wherever he goes. Sam has never wanted anyone as much as she wants Lee, but there are things about the alluring stranger that don't add up, leading Sam to ask unsettling questions about her past. Soon she discovers the boy of her dreams is keeping a terrible secret: one that threatens to destroy everything Sam holds dear.
Super Dark is a seductive love story that will keep you guessing right until the final page.
“What are you reading?”
I glanced up from my book. The girl standing over me had a pleasant, open face, but I didn’t return her smile. She was the willowy blonde from my English class who sat two seats back. She wore way too much make-up and her roots needed doing, but somehow she made it look right.
She’d tried to catch my eye a couple of times already, but I’d ignored her. If I’d wanted to make friends, I’d have spent lunch in the cafeteria with the others, instead of finding this nice, quiet spot on the benches behind the Science department.
I was hoping not to be disturbed. Fat chance.
“It’s George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four,” I answered.
“Yes, it’s one of the classics.”
“What’s it about?”
I rolled my eyes. Who the hell didn’t know about the Thought Police, Big Brother, and Room 101? Had she been living on another planet?
Undeterred, the blonde sat next to me. She smelled of soap and chewing gum.
“I’m Becky,” she said. “We’ve got English together.”
“You’re Samantha Harper, right?”
“You know, it’s funny. When we first met last week, I could have sworn I’d seen you somewhere before. Your face looked so familiar. And then Mr.
introduced us and the penny dropped.” Maine
My stomach tightened. I knew exactly where this conversation was heading. It wasn’t fair. I’d only been at St. Mary’s High School a short time and already someone had recognized me.
“You’re her, aren’t you?” Becky whispered. “You’re that girl who was kidnapped.”
For a moment, I let the question hang there. Then I nodded.
“Wow, I knew it!” she said. “Obviously, you’re a lot older now. But I could still tell.” Her face lit up with excitement.
I squinted at my book, trying again to immerse myself in the world of Winston Smith, but it was no use. I clenched my jaws, trying to contain my emotion. “If you don’t mind, Becky, I’d rather not talk about this.”
Her smile dropped. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pry. Hope I haven’t offended you.”
“Not at all,” I said. “It’s just … well, it’s not something I like to think about.”
“I understand. Bad memories and all that.”
In the awkward silence that followed, Becky began making little pleats in the hem of her skirt, then smoothed them out and tried a different tack. “Did the police ever find Elliot?” she asked. “You know, the little boy who was abducted with you?”
My mouth became a thin, tight line. I said nothing.
Becky kicked a pebble with the toe of her tennis shoe. “I remember seeing your picture in the newspaper. Must be weird being so famous.”
My mind raced back ten years to a time when the world had seemed a safer place—a time before my innocence was cruelly shattered. I could see it all as if it were yesterday.
Elliot Marsh had lived next door to me since we were toddlers. We’d attended the same nursery and primary schools, and our parents were the best of friends. He was the type of kid who’d take a punch for you, lie for you, or share his last Snickers bar with you. He seemed tough, but he had a big heart. If anyone picked a fight with me at school, I always knew Elliot had my back. I knew I could depend on him, no matter what.
Elliot and I spent most summers together, climbing trees, having water fights, playing video games, watching cartoons, and teasing the neighbor’s dog. We even went to
Disneyland together once. We had the kind of
friendship that only comes around once in a lifetime.
Neither of us could have imagined what was about to happen.
The snow had come early to
that dark Halloween night, as Elliot and I started trick-or-treating on our
street. We were both seven, but he was six months older. The two of us had felt
so grown up dressed as Batman and Batgirl, trudging from house to house in
search of candy. By the time we’d finished the rounds, our buckets were nearly
filled to the brim. People had been generous—but I wanted more. London
“Let’s start heading back,” Elliot said.
“But I still have a little room in my bucket,” I whined. “And I hardly got any chocolate.”
“You know what our parents said.”
“They’ll never know. Let’s try one more street.”
“Do you reckon we should? Didn’t my mum say we should stay where she can see us?”
“What are you, a scaredy cat?” I teased.
“No, I’m not scared of anything,” Elliot retorted.
“Then let’s go!”
“But dinner’s gonna be ready soon. I’m hungry.”
“All right. If you’re too chicken, then I’ll hit the next street on my own.”
He hesitated, then relented. “Okay, okay, I’ll come.”
We took a left turn at the roundabout and started trudging up an unfamiliar street. Our boots, now ankle-deep in snow, made eerie, hollow sounds as they crunched on the pavement. We could see our breath in icy clouds.
Suddenly, I felt an odd sensation, as if something had thrown a handful of wet leaves at my back. It made me freeze in my tracks.
We heard the sputter of an engine—an old, tired sound, like the last chokes of a dying witch. We spun around and saw a battered, white van speeding in our direction, its headlights blinding us. When the vehicle pulled up alongside us, it screeched to a stop and an enormous man jumped out.
He was the most hideous creature I’d ever seen: seven feet tall, with bloodshot eyes, dirty brown overalls, and a matted beard that hung down to his waist. His bushy brows met in the middle, and his neck and hands were covered in thick, black hair. His lips scared me the most: they were purple and punctured with teeth marks.
What happened next was a kind of blur. One minute we were standing by the curb, clutching our trick-or-treat candy—and the next minute, this monstrous creature had scooped us up under his arms and shoved us into the back of his van. Candy spilled from our abandoned, overturned buckets, making a colorful stream in the snow.
Inside, the van was dark and damp. The floor was covered with large clumps of hay, as though it had been used to haul livestock. The putrid smell of rotten meat was overwhelming.
As the van rattled up the road, Elliot and I huddled together like a pair of scared rabbits, holding each other tight for comfort. I’ll never forget the warmth from his tiny fingers as they interlocked with mine, or the way he tried not to tremble for my sake. Elliot was putting on a brave face, but I knew he was just as frightened as I was.
As my eyes grew accustomed to the gloom, I noticed we were not alone. Sitting a couple of feet away was a silhouette; when we passed a streetlamp, I could see it was a woman with swarthy skin and long, dark hair that was gathered back in two big bunches. She was dressed in strange layers of embroidered cloth that reminded me of a Russian Matryoshka doll. Chunky, gold bracelets weighed down her spindly wrists, and her calloused fingers sported an array of antique medallion rings.
I gasped when I saw her eyes: black, unflinching, and potently evil.
I burst into tears, and once I’d started, I couldn’t stop. I was terrified. Elliot cradled me in his arms, stroking my hair to make me feel warm and protected, but I could tell he wanted to cry, too.
“What are you going to do with us?” he asked, trying to make his voice sound serious and brave.
The woman didn’t answer.
“I want my mum,” I whimpered.
Elliot continued trying to calm me. After a moment, he looked the woman dead in the eye, an expression of defiance on his face. When he spoke, his voice sounded much older. “Let my friend go,” he said. “I don’t care what you do to me. Just let her go. She doesn’t want to be here.”
The woman folded her arms across her chest and glared in reply, her face as grim and impenetrable as ever.
My sobs intensified. I believed now that we were going to die. This was it. We were Hansel and Gretel, about to be eaten by the witch.
“Let my friend go,” Elliot repeated. “I promise I’ll be good. I won’t scream or anything. I’ll do whatever you say. Just please … let her go.”
Abruptly, the woman made a violent stabbing gesture with her hand, and then she turned toward the driver. “Muzas gost!” she rasped. Her voice sounded unearthly.
The man hit the brakes and the van skidded to a halt. The woman continued muttering in a strange, foreign language as she wrenched me from Elliot, unbolted the back doors, and shoved me out onto the street.
The last image I had of my best friend was his sweet, tear-stained face, his tiny hand waving goodbye to me as the van doors closed.
I never saw Elliot Marsh again.
For people who haven’t heard of Super Dark, make a brief description.
Super Dark is based in a fictional London town called Elmfield - a place very similar to where I grew up. It tells the story of Sam Harper and Elliot Marsh, two kids thrown into a terrifying world where nothing is what is seems. There are twists and turns galore and you never quite know what is going to happen next. It’s an emotional rollercoaster ride.
Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
I have a soft spot for Frasier Harrison. He was a really fun character to write. With his quirky dress sense, acerbic wit and crazy sense of humor, he’s the best friend everyone wishes they had.
If you could meet any person in the world who would it be and why?
I would have loved to meet Frank Sinatra. Growing up, he was kind of my idol and I was so sad he passed away before I got to see him in concert.
Name a book you wish you had written.
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
What are you reading right now?
I just finished reading 11/22/63 and I can tell you that after more than thirty years, Stephen King is still on top of his game. I literally lost sleep reading that book. The level of detail was astounding … all that historical research must have taken years and yet the ideas are still so fresh and unique. Definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Name your favorite books.
The Help, Jane Eyre and Me Before You.
Biggest trouble you faced as a writer?
I got crazy writer’s block during the third book. For some reason, despite having already written the other two, I found it really hard to concentrate. The main problem I had was coming up with new ideas to keep the story fresh. I didn’t want to bore my readers by rehashing the same stuff, so the plot was definitely a challenge. For a while, my mind just went blank and I couldn’t work out where the story was going. Then one day it came to me and the rest of the book literally wrote itself.
Do you like singing or dancing? Does music inspire you?
Yes music inspires me greatly. During the writing of Super Dark I listened to a lot of Adele and Amy Winehouse. I also like old Mowtown – Tina Turner, Diana Ross etc. You can’t beat the classics. Oh, and there’s a really great girl band from the
called Stooshe who I adore. They have a wonderful ‘60s soul sound. UK
Edward Scissorhands is an absolute classic. Tim Burton really inspires me because his work is so dark and gothic. Ghostbusters is also one of my favorite films. I was an ‘80s baby so I have a soft spot for all those great fantasy filmns from that era. If I ever want some comfort TV, Ghostbusters would be my movie of choice.
Thanks Tanith for an amazing interview! It was so much fun!
About the Author:
Tanith Morse grew up in Wandsworth, south
From a young age she developed a great love of horror films and gothic
romances. Her favorite director is Tim Burton and her favorite authors include
Charlotte Bronte, Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins. When she isn’t writing,
Tanith enjoys directing short films for the festival circuit and looking after
her cat, Mambo. An avid tea drinker, Tanith can be found hanging out in cozy London cafes in search of
new brews to tease her taste buds. Super Dark is her first YA novel. London
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