Title: Distant Dreams
Author: Alicia Rades
Genre: YA Paranormal
Kai Watson is only 16, but she’s never had a real dream in her life. Each night, she leaves her body, travels to a new location, and adds the sites she sees to her “dream book.” When she witnesses the brutal murder of upperclassman Darla Baxter while astral traveling, Kai is determined to stay out of it. She never saw the murderer’s face, and who would believe her anyway?
Now Kai has lost her ability to astral travel, and she’s forced to relive the murder each night in a nightmare. With no word on Darla’s body, Kai decides to take the mystery into her own hands to find closure and get back to her travels. As she searches for answers, she continues to bump into Darla’s brother, Collin. Can she catch the killer and still open her heart to Collin, or will she lose her gift forever?
Alicia Rades is an award-winning young adult paranormal author with a love for supernatural stories set in the modern world. When she’s not plotting out fiction novels, she’s running her own professional writing business, plowing her way through her never-ending reading list, or preparing for the backpacking trips she takes every summer. In college, Alicia majored in communications with an emphasis on professional writing. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two cats.
I fell onto my back, my toes still dangling off the edge of the cliff. I just want to get out of this tiny town, I thought. I wanted to truly touch the sand on the beach and let it fall through my fingers. I wanted to share that experience with someone. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that unless I traveled for real and took my body with me.
A shrill cry cut through my thoughts.
I jolted to my feet quickly, immediately alert. I couldn’t tell where the sound had come from, so I didn’t move right away. Then another scream resonated from somewhere near the parking lot.
“What the…” My words drifted off.
A third shriek sent me running toward the source. Someone was in trouble. It’s not like I could do anything about it, but instinct overcame me. I pushed through the trees. When they began to thin, I slowed and crouched low. I don’t know why I did. No one could see me, but I guess that didn’t register in my mind at the moment.
My eyes locked on a bush where the sound of shuffling bodies and weak coughing was coming from. A thud came, throwing long brown hair into view. The girl’s head smashed into the ground violently. She let out a grunt, but it was barely audible.
All I could do was stare in horror at the scene unfolding before my eyes. My heart slammed against my rib cage, and my lungs burned in protest to the breath I was holding.
Then, before I could manage to breathe, a rock came down on the girl’s skull. Blood oozed from a fresh wound. One more time a concealed figure cracked the rock against the girl’s forehead. It was only when she went limp and her head swiveled in my direction that I saw her eyes. They stared my way lifelessly while blood trickled down her familiar face.
A shriek of horror ripped out of my lungs. Before I could really process what I had just seen, the bluff washed away from my vision. I felt my spirit spring back to my body as if they were connected by elastic. I bolted upright in bed, my heart hammering. I didn’t even realize I was truly screaming until my mother burst into my bedroom.
“What’s going on?” she demanded.
I forced myself to swallow the bile rising in my throat without answering her. After a few moments, I finally realized what had just happened. I’d just witnessed Darla Baxter’s murder, and I had no idea who killed her.