Published by Flame Tree Press on October 6, 2018
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Jack didn’t know what to call the nameless, skeletal creature that slunk into her house in the dead of night, stealing the very things she loved the most. So she named him The Toy Thief… There’s something in Jack’s past that she doesn’t want to face, an evil presence that forever changed the trajectory of her family. It all began when The Toy Thief appeared, a being drawn by goodness and innocence, eager to feed on everything Jack holds dear. What began as a mystery spirals out of control when her brother, Andy, is taken away in the night, and Jack must venture into the dark place where the toys go to get him back. But even if she finds him, will he ever be the same?
I am really glad I am on the tour today, I was not able to read the book in time but I will be sharing my thoughts on this at a later date! Excited much over here! Today, instead, I will be sharing an excerpt from the book, if this doesn’t creep you out…well you have been warned!!!!
I was dreaming. I had to be. If it was Andy, he would have to be kneeling, crawling on all fours, prowling into my room like a dog. None of it made sense, and so I knew it was all just a dream. I could feel my heartbeat racing, and I wanted to stand up, to end this thing, to force my frozen limbs to move. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. So I watched.
It leaned forward, and I saw something else glinting in the blue light – a jagged crown of metal across the forehead, a strange, decorative circle of bronze. It didn’t make sense, but dreams never do. I thought about Memphis and felt a sudden pang of fear – not for myself, but for him – and the terror ran through me like fire. As much of a pain in my ass as he could be, I loved Memphis dearly. I couldn’t imagine a cat as stubborn as him hiding in a dark corner of the house as this thing slunk past. As I stared at the creature through the slits of my eyelids, my imagination began to run wild with visions of Memphis lying in the den, skull crushed, throat sliced, maybe even skinless, his fur lying across the back of the couch like a blood-slick banana peel.
No. Not that. Nothing like that was going to happen. Nothing like that could happen.
Just a dream.
It stepped into the light. It was a slow, measured step, but I knew what I would see before it appeared. A thin, black hand reached into the pool of blue-tinged light and rested there, so gentle that it didn’t make a single sound. I’d seen that hand before, and now I knew. I didn’t want to know, I begged to God not to know, but it was too late. It was the same hand that had plucked away the doll, all bones and sinew wrapped in black skin, and so I knew.
It was no dream at all.
The hand was followed by another, reaching forward in the shape of a man walking on all fours – not like a dog, but a spider. Now, even through my half-closed eyes, I could see it all. The eyes didn’t just look glassy, they were glass. They were glass lenses, round, perfect circles set in what could only be a ghoulish mask. It looked like it might have been carved out of wood. The face of the mask was flat-nosed, with a pair of nostril holes that pointed straight at me. The overall shape was human-like, but twisted horribly, changed just enough to seem wrong. Most unsettling of all was the mouth, lips curled and pulled back like some sort of snarling animal to show the rows of narrow, yellowed teeth. They were crooked, the ends of them refusing to line up, each one askew and angular and awful. My bladder threatened to burst as I took in that horrid, dead-eyed face, and the only comfort to be found was in the realization that it wasn’t real. It was only a mask.
Then the lips moved.
In all the days from there to here, I still can’t even begin to guess how I held myself still