Saturday, December 20, 2014

Spotlight: The Dusty Cronicles (Haunting and Imprint) By BJ Sheldon

The Dusty Chronicles # 1
By- BJ Sheldon
Genre- YA Paranormal

After a family tragedy, 15-year-old Dusty Vermeer has to start her sophomore year in a new town and a new school. Rural Iowa introduces her to Mark, a charming football player. Dusty can hardly believe her heart. Then, to her surprise Dusty meets another guy.

The chemistry between Dusty and Jack could spark a prairie fire on a rainy day. The only problem? Jack’s dead. The handsome soldier comes to Dusty in her dreams and introduces her to the horrors of a foreign battlefield and the enchantments of first love.

While Dusty tries to balance her feelings for the two new guys in her life, Jack steps out of Dusty’s dreams and into her reality. And he wants something. Jack has no memory of how he died more than half a century ago. Dusty vows to uncover the mystery, but her quest for justice puts her in the path of evil, a force that won’t stop until she’s silenced.

    The atmosphere in my room changed the moment I crossed the threshold. I became disoriented, like I’d come down with a sudden case of vertigo. My breath hung in the air like a cloud, and the temperature dropped to near freezing. I wrapped my arms around myself to keep warm. My body tensed, instinctively sensing something wasn’t right.
    A white mist flowed across the floor from left to right. Can this really be happening? My chest grew tight, and I realized I’d been holding my breath. I dashed to the bed, grabbed my cell, and bolted for the door, anxious to escape the room. Again, I sensed movement out of the corner of my eye and saw that my closet door had somehow swung wide open.
    I could barely get it closed before.
    My stomach bounced up into my chest. I rushed over and hastily shoved the door shut, giving the doorknob a good tug to ensure it had latched securely.
    Just a drafty old farmhouse.
    As quickly as it had all started, it was over. The temperature in the room went back to normal, and a sense of calm spread throughout my body. I tried to shake off the entire incident, embarrassed that I had allowed myself to get all worked up over nothing.
    I descended the narrow stairwell that led directly into the kitchen and attempted to banish the mist and closet door incidents to the recesses of my mind. There were other pressing issues to worry about. In a mere two days, Sadie and I were to start over at a new high school.


    He continued to stare out the window.
    “I’ve been gone a long time. Funny thing is, it only feels like a few days. It’s like I fell asleep and woke up from a bad dream.” He finally turned to face me, releasing a long sigh. “Are you doing any better? Not so scary, am I?”
    “I wasn’t scared. Well, maybe just a little. It’s not every day a ghost shows up in your bedroom and starts a conversation with you when you’re half asleep.” I sat on the edge of my bed. “Jack? Why are you here? And I don’t just mean like this. Why are you here - with me - in my house?”
    “Not sure. Something about this place seems familiar, I think. You seem familiar to me, too. But that’s not possible, right?”
    “Well, Alice used to live here when you were still alive. That’s probably why the farm’s familiar.”
    I studied Jack’s handsome face. He must have been a popular guy back in the day. I couldn’t get past the despondency in his eyes. I was so busy trying to wrap my own head around everything I’d been going through that I hadn’t stopped to think about how difficult the whole situation must be for him. One moment he’s young, alive, and fighting for his country. The next, he’s waking up to a strange and morbid reality.
    “What do you remember?” I asked.
    “Korea. That’s it. I don’t remember shipping out. Actually, I can’t even remember my life before that.” He closed his eyes. “Don’t remember dying either. Out of everything, you’d think I’d remember my own death, wouldn’t you?”

The Dusty Chronicles # 2
By- BJ Sheldon
Genre- YA Paranormal

Imprint is Book Two of “The Dusty Chronicles,” the sequel to BJ Sheldon’s award-winning debut novel, Haunting. Imprint follows Dusty and Jack through the next stage of their doomed romance.

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Vermeer starts off another school year as Mark Schutt’s girlfriend. At the same time, she continues to hide her feelings for Jack Olson, the ghost who haunts her heart. Other entities make an appearance, and Dusty begins to wonder if seeing ghosts has become a permanent part of her future. Tragic past events resurface and imprint themselves in Dusty's world. When Jack is ripped from her arms and imprisoned in a dark void, his absence is more than she can bear.

An invisible enemy grows increasingly violent, and Dusty’s health begins to deteriorate. When she tries to discover what it is that hides in the shadows, Dusty must turn to her family for help and convince her loved ones that she is not insane. Ultimately, she must battle evil, accept her fate and grieve for a love she was never allowed to keep.

When Jack wasn’t around, all I could think about was having his arms around me. I remembered past encounters when we were together in my dreams and felt his lips on mine. I would have given anything for him to be real—flesh and blood. To know that the only way I could feel his breath on my cheek or his heartbeat through his chest was to be fast asleep weighed on my mind.
Our timing in life—and death—was horrible. I was constantly pushing those feelings aside as I tried not to think about the inevitable end. I seemed to be in denial, but it was so much easier than dealing with the reality of the situation…Jack would never age and would always be intangible, and I would get older. There was no growing old together. There was no ’til death do us part. He was already dead.
Yet there he was in my kitchen. And there was no more avoiding that something—besides being in love with a ghost—was very odd.
“I’ve felt something,” I said. “Whatever it is seems to be hell-bent on keeping me from getting any sleep. Do you have any idea who it is?”
“I’m not positive it is a who.” Jack’s eyes glowed with worry.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I’m just saying that I’m not exactly sure what we’re dealing with here. There’s definitely something hanging around, but I can’t be sure of anything. I haven’t seen any other entities hanging around. Trust me, I would have if there were. But, I can feel a disruption of some kind. Whatever - whoever - it is doesn’t belong.” Jack started to pace back and forth in the kitchen. “I don’t like it.”
“Well, I’m not exactly thrilled about any of it, either, you know.” My sarcasm hung in the air. “It was strange. The minute I stayed over at Kristi’s the other night, I slept like a baby. For the first time in weeks, I actually felt like myself. It’s almost like whatever it is doesn’t follow me. It stays here.”
“For now.”
I didn’t like the tone in Jack’s voice.


The fact of the matter was I didn’t want to live without Jack. Just the thought of going the rest of my lifetime without seeing his face gave me a sick feeling somewhere just below my heart. If life was fair, Jack would be a living, breathing guy made of flesh and blood who would wrap me in his arms forever…until death do us part. But as luck would have it, death had already kept us apart. I’d fallen in love with a ghost. He had my heart, and it had become far too painful to allow him to keep it.
Sobs of complete sorrow shook me, but I continued to press on, never missing a note. My face was soaked with the salty dampness from my eyes. Tears fell indiscriminately on to the keys below.
I came to the end of the song, stood up and strode out of the room with a new resolve. It was time to figure things out once and for all. The evil that had taken over my home had to go.
Jack consumed my thoughts. He was the reason my heart beat a little bit faster each morning, the reason I opened my eyes every day, and why my brain couldn’t focus on any one thing longer than a few minutes at a time. He was my world, and as far as worlds went, he was the sole reason why my sun rose each morning. In no way could I exist without Jack at the center of my universe, but in the end, I knew I would have to figure out a way to do just that.
I was only 17 and had an entire lifetime ahead of me. Time would pass, and I would age. Jack would remain the same. I forced myself to come to grips with the fact that Jack would forever be a young soldier—a beautiful boy—while I grew older by the day. It had become apparent that I needed to stop living in a fantasy world and deal with facts.
Jack was dead.
It was time to rid my home of the darkness that had taken over and then release Jack from his perpetual prison. Then we would have to face the inevitable.


About the Author-
BJ Sheldon lives near Rapid City, South Dakota with her husband, a veteran of the US military. She is the mother to 3 beautiful daughters, 2 of whom are still living at home and making her crazy.

Most days, she can be found in front of her laptop or reading a good book when she isn't trying to keep her dog and 3 cats from taking over the world. Her hobbies include cuticle care, fighting off zombies, and traveling through space and time with a mad man in a blue box.
In 2011, BJ was awarded a silver medal in the Reader's Favorite Award Contest in the Young Adult/Fantasy category for "Haunting". Her first series, The Dusty Chronicles, is a paranormal trilogy that takes a different spin on "paranormal". Future projects include Sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary romance.

Her favorite authors include Nicholas Sparks, Isaac Marion, Hugh Howey, Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, and Guy De'Maupassant.


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