|Cover Art by Morteque|
So far, great reviews for Psyched!
love about Psyched in addition to a great, spooky story is strong characters
and narrative voice. Aisi is the most awesome chick, strong-willed, sassy, and
deals with some crazy stuff happening with a spunkiness that I loved… Psyched is well-written, riveting, surprising and genre-busting. Teens will love this book, but it definitely has a more wide-ranging appeal.”
has power to see the dead…as in their souls…This is a great read, filled
with suspense. I NEVER knew from one chapter to the next what was happening. It
is well written and a very enjoyable…and a bit scary!“
Psyched is part ghost story, part suspense, part demon-hunting thriller, part budding romance.It’s the story of a girl named Aisi who’s doing her best to keep it together for her wreck of a family. She is smart, sassy, and sarcastic enough to keep things interesting. When she meets Vance on the single worst day of her life, she finds a guy who just might be the first person ever to get her, to believe in her, and to out-random her with bizarre observations at the worst possible moment. There’s just something about him that she knows she can trust.
Together, Aisi and Vance wander through the memories of others to unlock the secrets of her past while battling a demon who wants to ensure she never finds what she’s looking for. Aisi vanquishes demons all the time, but Malus Indolus is too strong. And he has plans for her…and her family.
Psyched is Juli’s second novel, the first as an indie writer,
and her first experiment with her true love as a reader: paranormal
fiction. Her debut novel Beyond Perfection is also available.
“What was that thing, and how did you get it to go away?” he persisted.
Aisi took a deep breath. She glanced over her shoulder to ensure their mother was still asleep, although she didn’t need to. The woman was still snorting and moaning down the hall. “Before I can answer your question, I need you to pinky swear that you’ll never tell anyone what I say. If you breathe one word of this, I’ll paint your toenails hot pink in your sleep and give you an atomic wedgie every day for the next eighty-five years. And I’ll tell all your friends you play with dolls. Got it?”
Leo’s eyes widened, but he nodded and extended his scrawny pinky toward her. She grabbed it decisively with her own. “Okay. The pinky swear is official. This stuff is legit. You break this and I can sue.” She thought a minute, trying to decide where to start. “Is that the first time you saw that dark shadow, Leo? Or have you seen it before?”
“That’s the night terror,” he said simply, and Aisi closed her eyes with a shake of her head. Her mom had told them for months that night terrors were nothing more than bad dreams. He would grow out of them eventually, she promised. That promise to her kid was just as worthless as everything else she said.
Leo continued, swallowing hard and looking as terrified as he had the night before. He whispered to her, as if speaking about the night terror aloud would call it back to him. “It comes sometimes, and I scream because it won’t stop growling at me and then it goes away when Mom comes in. Sometimes I see other stuff, too. Kind of like people but…” He struggled to find the right words in his limited kindergarten vocabulary. “But kind of foggy, too. They can talk to me. They’re mostly nice, but the night terror growls at me. He laughs when I cry.” Tears filled his big brown eyes, but he rubbed them angrily on his sleeve. “Can you teach me how to make it go away?”
Aisi reached over and affectionately rubbed the tight curls on his mostly buzzed head. “Yeah. I can. First you need to know what they are. The foggy people…those are ghosts. They’re okay, mostly just annoying. They’re sort of lost, but you can help them not be lost anymore.”
She pursed her lips, remembering the whiner in bobby socks who wouldn’t let her sleep last night. A faint horn sounded in the distance as she thought, but she ignored it as she looked out the window and down the long gravel driveway that led from their dilapidated house to the two-lane highway leading to town. “You just have to tell them to look for a light. I never see it, but they always do. Then they go away.” ‘Go toward the light’ was cliché, but effective.
“I want to make the night terror go away,” Leo said.
She sighed. “That one is a little trickier. It takes work. That thing you call a night terror? That’s a demon. They’re pretty hard to get rid of. Once they decide they want to scare you, they keep scaring you. Fear is like…” Her eyes rested on the box of cereal between them. “…Fear is like chocolate frosted sugar bombs to a demon. They like the taste of it, you know? They’d eat it all day if we let them, but we can’t ever let them know we’re scared. That’s where they get their power.”