Feast your eyes on the striking cover of Away From The Dark—the second installment in the suspenseful The Light duet by Aleatha Romig. I loved these books, which paint a story defined by lies, secrets, murder and an unquenchable thirst for power and control. In Away From The Dark, Sara must make a choice on the path her life will take and on whom she can trust, but before the end unravels, more secrets will threaten her life and the lives of everyone she loves.
Away From The Dark releases October 18th, and I highly recommend this series for psychological thriller junkies like me. You can get a taste of what’s to come below, with a never-before-seen excerpt!
Nine months ago, Sara Adams awoke with no memory. The man holding her hand told her she’s a member of The Light, a tight-knit religious group led by the terrifying and charismatic Father Gabriel. As a woman in the community of The Light, her duty is to be unquestionably obedient and to submit to the will of her husband.
But as Sara’s memory starts to return and she remembers her past, she sees that everything she’s been told is a lie. The Light is an insidious and dangerous organization, and its corrupting influence reaches well beyond the confines of the remote campus where Sara is being held.
With everything at stake, Sara struggles to sort out her true memories from her indoctrination. The desire to escape consumes her, but who can she trust? And which other followers of The Light were forced into this life, brainwashed to believe they belonged? The more she remembers, the more it becomes clear that Jacob, the man who calls himself her husband, is keeping shattering secrets of his own.
But Sara cannot flee alone, leaving innocents behind. She must fight to extinguish The Light.
“Jacob?” I called, my voice shaking with dread as I reached for my husband. Instead of reassurance, my fingers met cold empty sheets. He was gone—still away at another campus.
What just happened? Was it a dream?
I clung to the covers as I puffed my cheeks and slowly exhaled. While each breath helped to still the chaos, the exercise wasn’t enough.
Who am I? Who is he?
Jacob’s questions from months ago came back. They were my security. They’d worked before.
I am Sara Adams and my husband is Jacob Adams.
Pushing the images from my dream, or nightmare, away, I imagined Jacob’s comforting embrace. Slowly I threw back the down comforter and willed the cool air to soothe my perspiration-drenched skin. From the way my heart galloped in my chest, I might have been running a marathon, not sleeping.
In my sleep I’d been battling to escape a vehicle, and then an explosion of heat.
It had been a dream, I reassured myself—a nightmare. The accident I’d had, nearly nine months before, had been different. I couldn’t remember it, but I’d been told that I’d been injured and gone unconscious. In the nightmare I had been out and away from the wreckage.
I shook my head.
It seemed so real.
In my dream I hadn’t been able to see past the darkness, yet I’d known I wasn’t injured.
My arms surrounded my midsection as the memories replayed like pictures in my mind. Someone was hurting me—purposely harming me, and there was a voice—a deep voice.
No. He wouldn’t hurt me.
My entire body shuddered as goose bumps peppered my skin. Sitting upright, I reached for the bedside lamp. With trembling fingers I turned the knob and my eyes adjusted as the soft light combined with the sun’s perpetual summer glow.
I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on Jacob’s questions.
Who am I? Who is he?
This time I said the words aloud, praying that if I spoke the truth, the images would disappear. “I am Sara Adams. He is my husband, Jacob Adams.” I pulled myself from the bed and walked to the bathroom. Turning on the light and the faucet, I cupped the cool water and splashed my face. As I reached for the cup and began to fill it, a metaphoric dam that had been constructed to hold back my past burst.
My mind was flooded—no longer with simple images, but with scene after scene.
For the first time since I could recall, I knew the woman in the mirror. I knew me.
The colorful paper taped to my childhood desk hadn’t read Sara.
The S was still there, but the rest of the name was different.
I knew my own soft blue eyes and blonde hair.
I recalled its length and the way it used to flow over my shoulders.
Though I met my own gaze for only a millisecond, I also saw my own panic—not only that, I felt it. In the pit of my stomach I knew that what I’d just experienced hadn’t been a nightmare. It was my reality—my past, the one I’d thought was forever gone.
At the realization, my muscles lost their ability to grip. Water splashed about the vanity and onto the mirror as the cup I’d held fell to the base of the sink. No longer capable of supporting my weight, my knees buckled and I slid to the floor.
“Oh my God! Is this real? It can’t be.” I spoke to the empty bathroom. “Jacob? The accident. It didn’t happen. Did it?” I longed for him to make it right, to take it all away.
Acid bubbled from the depths of my stomach. The dinner I’d eaten long ago refused to stay down. My nightgown clung to my moistened skin and I lunged for the toilet. Like an old film reel, the scenes continued to play behind my tear-dampened eyes: the accident, my awakening, my crash course as an Assemblyman’s wife, our temporary banishment, my reminders . . . nearly a year of my life—of Sara’s life. Everything within me ached as my body convulsed. Over and over I heaved, purging all I’d known, been told to believe, told to remember—all the lies.
When the running water finally registered, I stood, rinsed my mouth, and splashed my face again. This time, as I stared at the woman in the mirror—at myself—the terror I’d seen was gone, replaced by betrayal. Hurt and anguish washed over me, crashing down, drenching my body, soul, and mind.
I tried to fight it, to argue with myself. If only Jacob were here to help me understand.
Turning off the water, I slid back down the wall and settled on the cool tile. Hugging my knees to my chest, with tears coating my cheeks, I recreated the timeline that was supposed to remain forever lost.
For the first time in nearly a year, I could answer Jacob’s question—I knew.
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