• Brianna Sugalski

SERIES SNEAK PEEK: The Soul Seekers, by Alice J. Black

This week, you can relive Peyton's dark and whimsical ventures with the dead in Alice J. Black's Soul Seekers series! The 10-novel series will be available in its entirety with a box set on Tuesday—here's a sneak peek of Alice's prequel, Leak of Madness...

Leak of Madness (Soul Seekers #0.5), by Alice J. Black

My eyes opened in the dawn with no need of a clock. My body was timed perfectly and most of my mornings started before the sun rose.

I blinked once, twice, and cleared the sticky glue from my eyes with the heel of my hands.

My head pounded with a dull ache at the base of my skull and as I pushed myself up on my elbows, my stomach churned. I sucked in a deep breath, hoping to settle the nausea until I could sort myself out. But all I did was inhale a lungful of thick cloying air that came with the acrid taste of smoke; I knew that the smell had mostly dissipated by now—maybe it was a visceral reaction because I knew what happened here.

I knew exactly where I was. A knot formed in the center of my stomach, hard and hot.

As I sucked in another breath through my mouth, I coughed and retched, turning onto my side as bile spewed from my throat in a hot torrent. It hit the floor and splashed back against the surface. Groaning, I wiped the flecks from my cheeks. My stomach cramped and my throat burned with the acidic taste. I retched again, my belly bucking as it tried to rid itself of the poison. My vision blurred again as stars swam across the forefront of my mind, unconsciousness dangerously close. Then it passed and I was able to breathe again. My vision returned.

Finally, when my body ceased its assault and my sight cleared enough, my mind recoiled from the vomit on the floor and instead returned to the stink that clung to the inside of my nostrils. I knew with a prickling sense of dread exactly where I was.

The funeral parlour.