It’s Live!! Cover Reveal: The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé + Excerpt + Giveaway (US/Canada)
Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal and excerpt for THE DARK BENEATH THE ICE by Amelinda Bérubé, releasing August 7, 2018 from Sourcebooks Fire. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Amelinda:
Hi YABC! I’m so thrilled to join you today to reveal the cover for my upcoming ghost story, THE DARK BENEATH THE ICE.
How do I love it? Let me count the ways! I love its delicious iciness. Its chilly, brooding color scheme. Its portrait of Marianne, whose floating pose is clearly unnatural and yet oddly graceful, almost balletic—so expressive of the way her anxiety, her family’s implosion, and the uncanny events plaguing her all revolve around her love/hate relationship with dance.
Basically, this cover radiates all the sinister loveliness I wanted to conjure in the story. It’s a true privilege to work with a publishing team that really gets that vision and knows how to bring it so vividly and dramatically to life.
I can’t wait to share THE DARK BENEATH THE ICE with all of you this summer!
~ Amelinda Bérubé
Ready to see?
Scroll, YABCers! Scroll!
Here it is!
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THE DARK BENEATH THE ICE
By: Amelinda Bérubé
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Black Swan meets Paranormal Activity in this literary ghost story about a former dancer whose grip on reality slips when she begins to think a dark entity is stalking her.
Something is wrong with Marianne. It’s not just that her parents have split up or that life hasn’t’ been the same since she quit dancing. It’s not even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.
Marianne is losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close. Something is after her.
But a first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. And Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it thinks it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.
Outside the air hangs thick and wet, somewhere between mist and rain. Tree branches slice the streetlight's glow into long, soft bars. Not a breath of wind. At first I think the noise suffusing the night is traffic, maybe from Carling, the busy street at the top of the hill; but it's the river, a far-off, full-throated, rain-swollen voice. I glance towards the seawall. Beyond it there's only a twinkling line of scattered lights, crowned by the white-lit dome of the Nortel building across the bay, to interrupt the dark.
I jam my hands into my coat pockets and turn away without really picking a direction, striding down the closest street, past a few stately houses, a row of towering brick townhomes. The streetlights stretch out ahead of me in a string of floating orange globes, the occasional porch light casting a dim, foggy halo. My footsteps, ghostly on the asphalt, are dwarfed by the rush of the water.
The formless churning in my head pushes me forward, past the pine trees towering over the entrance to the park, from one island of orange light to the next. The park’s broad lawn is studded with them, buoys in a dark sea, turning the trees into long witchy shadows, marking the path that winds past the beach.
The dread rises up around me, colder than the fog, nagging at me. Trying to remind me of something I don’t want to remember. Something awful and familiar.
I walk faster to outpace it. I refuse to freak myself out. Am I afraid of the dark, now? I have to calm down. But the fear creeps over me anyway. Like the realization that you’re cold. Like water stealing past your knees. I try to focus on my breath, like they taught us in yoga,
listening to it as it rasps in and out—and in—and—why can't I hear it anymore?
Why can’t I hear anything?
Even when it’s quiet, there should still be sound: the slap of my feet against the pavement, the rasp of goretex as my jacket sleeve brushes my side, the whisper of my jeans. But it's all gone. All that remains is an unceasing, oddly muted roar. The rush of the river presses close against me, stuffing my ears.
And I’m still walking. Turning off the path.
Stepping between the trees, onto the sand.
No. It should be a whimper. I feel the breath leave my lips. But there’s no sound. There’s nothing. Panic screams through my head: something has changed, some fundamentally stable, unmovable thing has slipped off its foundations. It was a dream, that dark, silent beach. Am I dreaming now?
My feet aren’t mine. They drag me forward. Fighting them, I slip and shamble, kicking sand. But still I stumble forward. It’s irresistible as falling. And the water looms out of the blank orange-tinged wall of the fog: glassy, silent, fringed with a distant crust of ice.
When my feet meet the water they don’t splash. My steps are soundless. Water soaks into my shoes, seeps up through my jeans. The world is a shoulder leaning into my back, unseen hands pushing me forward into the dark. I can’t stop.
I finally manage to fling myself backwards, sit down hard in an inch of water, dig my fingers into the sand. All I can think of to do is get away, get back to safety, a block and a half behind me. A world away. I creep back up the beach on my hands and knees, away from the water, inch by inch. It’s like leaning into a strong wind, though the air is heavy and still. Like climbing a cliff face.
And then, as suddenly as it started, it passes, the soundless roar draining from my ears. The sound of the river recedes to its proper dimension, waves rushing up onto the beach behind me, and the landscape of small noises opens up again: the passage of a car on the next street, a door slamming. I collapse, gasping, on the sand. I can hardly see. Beyond the beach, the park is swathed in darkness, the trees that line the path dim silhouettes against the orange-lit clouds. Where have the streetlights gone?
The first time I try to get up I almost fall, leaning against resistance that’s no longer there. And the second time I push myself into a run. Kehoe is a dark corridor, the houses barely visible except for their rooflines against the sky. At its end, the pale twin stars of the lights on Aunt Jen’s building beckon me back towards normalcy.
I half-fall through the patio door, pull it closed, lean against it. Aunt Jen, sitting in the armchair in the corner, looks up from her crocheting in surprise.
“That was quick,” she says. “I wasn't as worried as all that, Mare-bear, you didn't have to—”
“Marianne,” I correct her automatically, but my voice is shaky, barely there, and she talks over me, frowning as she takes in my soaking jeans, the look on my face.
“Good heavens, Mare-bear, look at you. Are you okay? What happened?”
“It’s Marianne. Please.” The dread comes trickling back through my relief, gathering in pools. Another thing I can't talk about. Add it to the list. What's happening to me? “I-I fell. That's all.”
She looks doubtful, but doesn't question me further. I decline her offer of tea—Aunt Jen's answer to everything—and hurry away up the stairs. In the room that's not mine I leave my clothes in a sodden heap, yank on pajamas, pull a dry pair of fuzzy socks on, hiding the knobby callused joints with the little toes bent too far in. Hardworking feet, Mom used to call them. More like monster feet. The ugly truth under the pretty slippers.
I check my phone, but Ingrid hasn't called; I turn the volume to max and set it down again. I can’t bring myself to turn off the bedside light. I turn away from the quilt-shrouded dresser, pull the blanket up around my ears. I lie there staring at my shadow on the wall, my thoughts reeling in dizzy circles, a nightmare merry-go-round of half-formed questions.
Aunt Jen, singing off-key in the kitchen, wakes me up the next morning. The fear has burned itself out for now, leaving my head thick with ashy exhaustion and my whole body sore. My joints crack in protest as I point and flex my feet, rotate my ankles.
I redo my braid, pull a fleece sweater on over my T-shirt. It's ridiculous to still be wearing a sweater at the end of June, but the rain hasn’t stopped, and the damp chill has settled into me, a heavy stiffness I can’t shake.
I stretch my arms up over my head and sink down into a side split, flatten myself onto the ground, my nose against the cold floor, my fingers colliding with the edge of the dresser. The stretches are the one thing I’ve kept. I tried to leave them behind with the pointe shoes and the mirrored walls, but after a few days without them my body was a coat of armor weighing me down.
I close my eyes. Hesitantly, like I’m feeling for a wound, I think back over last night's walk.
Was I dreaming? Again?
I can't have been. The clothes I wore are still sitting in a heap near the door.
I nudge them with one foot on my way out of the room; icy wetness seeps through to my toes. I dump the clothes into the laundry basket and throw a towel overtop so I won't have to look at them again.
“Marianne,” Aunt Jen calls from downstairs. “Breakfast!”
“Coming.” I sound almost normal. I feel almost normal. The bare spaces among the pictures on the wall stare down at me. The smell of bacon cooking drifts up the stairs from the kitchen. Whatever it was—if it was even real—it must be gone.
The sound of construction drifts in from out front as I slide into a seat at the table: the grumbling of an engine, the shrill beep of something backing up. Beyond the hedge, some huge yellow vehicle lumbers by.
“Are they working on the road?”
Aunt Jen doesn't hear me at first; she's still humming as she scoops the bacon out of a frying pan. I have to ask again.
“Hm? Oh, no, actually. Kind of strange. You know Ellen, across the hall? She says they're working on the streetlights all down Kehoe. You know the street right out front, that goes down to the park?”
I put my fork down.
“Right out front?”
“Yep. She always walks PJ right at the crack of dawn and she says all the lights are blown right out. Glass all over the road. She called the city right away. Pretty impressive they got to it so fast.”
Are we talking about the same street? Outside, a worker on a little platform is being lifted at the end of a long mechanical arm. I think of the rooflines looming black against the sky.
“Just on that street?” I ask. The words are tinny in my ears.
“In the park, too, I guess. Weird, isn’t it?”
Weird. I stare out the window, testing the idea that this didn't have something to do with whatever happened to me last night, finding that it doesn't bear weight.
“Maybe it was some kind of electrical problem. A power surge or something.”
I nod, a puppet on strings. The chasm opens, momentarily, deep and wide under my feet. What am I forgetting? What belongs in that strange, dark blank where I can summon only a shadow of a dream?
Three winners will each receive an ARC of THE DARK BENEATH THE ICE, when available.
Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.
During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:
What do you think about the cover and synopsis?
The cover is breathtaking. Love its spooky beauty!
I liked the summary and think I'd really enjoy The Dark Beneath the Ice.
The cover pulled me in to read this post and learn about this book (and discover it is indeed consistent with my reading interests). It successfully communicates the book's genre and is visually pleasing. Thanks! --Kara S