Title: The Swallow
Author: Marie Snow
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Suspense
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Sometimes you had to embrace the darkness to find the light.
There was a time when Michelle Landry thought she had the perfect life. Happiness, love, they were all in her grasp. But then loss and despair had her waking up and realizing the only thing she was guaranteed in life was a broken heart.
The city of Stillwake was the chance for a new beginning. With her problems behind her and a fresh start in front of her, Michelle felt like she had purpose again… like she could be happy once more.
Like she could love.
But Stillwake had its own evils lurking and it surrounded Michelle. With a string of serial killings making headlines, Michelle felt her tentatively healed world crashing around her.
She started to wonder if maybe that darkness was coming back, threatening to pull her down further. She either had to fight for the surface, or just accept her life and let it take her under.
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The scent of antiseptic, the kind that stings the nose and twists the stomach. The kind that is faux-clean, and you know it’s to hide death.
The sound of air moving in and out from the ventilator, this noise that was never-ending, constant… the point of no return.
Then there was the sight, that vision of lying in bed, ashen skin, sunken eyes… lifeless.
It was those things playing on repeat, a broken record, a memory going around and around with no stop in sight. It consumed my every waking moment for the last six months.
One hundred and eighty days since my mother passed away and the man I thought loved me left, because I was bringing him down.
I couldn’t blame him. My despair and depression had gotten so bad I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like I was getting swallowed by the darkness. I knew he probably felt that way too. It was hard not to project that kind of negativity onto others in your life. So here I am now, moving into my new home. My new start.
The scent of antiseptic, the kind that stings the nose and twists the stomach. The kind that is faux-clean, but you know it’s to hide inevitable death.
I needed a change of scenery from the town of Creekside where I grew up.
I needed something new.
It would turn out for the best.
The latter two were what everyone said when things tended to be different, when they wanted to assure you that everything would be okay. That’s what they told me after my mother died. That’s what I told myself when I decided I was going to move.
And I told myself that over and over again, that I was doing the right thing, that I wasn’t running from my problems, when doubt creeps in and I let fear try to take hold.
But deep down, I knew that’s exactly what I was doing. Running.
But I couldn’t stay there, live in the house I shared with my mother, where I watched her deteriorate. I couldn’t stand to be there another moment, not when the scent of her illness still filled the air, not when every time I went out, I got sympathetic looks from the neighbors.
So, I said fuck it and packed up my belongings. I left my old life behind and planned on starting a new one, one where no one knew me, wouldn’t give me those sad eyes when they saw me or offer me useless words like my mother was in a better place now.
I wanted to be ambiguous, anonymous. I guess it was exactly what I got moving to Stillwake. I’d be no one, unknown in this city, a fixture moving intimately amongst strangers.
It would give me the privacy I needed amongst thousands of people. It would make me invisible surrounded by people who had no idea who I was. It would be like I was by myself. And that’s what I wanted. Because six months of wondering if this feeling would ever leave, if the darkness would ever subside, had taken up too much of my life.
I wanted it to be erased. I wanted to erase who I was, who I used to be. I might still be Michelle Landry, but I wanted to be absolutely nobody.
About Marie Snow
Marie Snow is the alter ego of USA Today Bestselling romance authors Jenika Snow and Jordan Marie.
Check out Jenika here: http://www.jenikasnow.com
Check out Jordan here: https://www.jordanmarieromance.com