Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun
ABOUT THE BOOK
Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past.
Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.
Emma sensed the shockwaves of the earthquake before it struck. The air fizzled with rage.
If Sasha hadn’t run off to get married while Emma was away, the maidservant might’ve proven a heroic buffer to what was to come. Emma missed working alongside her assistant. Now even more than ever.
Emma’s underarms dampened, despite the chill seeping in through the windows. Her trembling hands fiddled with the tray of bandages, ointments, and miscellaneous implements as she mimicked organizing them. When would she get Jonathan alone to update him on her trip? She wondered if having already spoken to him would’ve done any good at the moment.
The door thwacked open.
Riley stormed into the room and menaced beside her.
She straightened her spine to avoid cowering.
His gravelly voice indicated a control of his anger. “Remember what I told you?”
As he neared, Emma’s knees locked, her eyes closed. Where was Jonathan? The entire house had fallen eerily still. God, where was Hugh? Was he ever returning home?
“You’re coming with me.”
His directive left no room for resistance.
“This is as good a time as any to tell you your precious brother’s dead. So you can get it out of your head that he’ll come rescue you. He ain’t ever coming back. And, Pa, well—”
Emma still hadn’t turned to acknowledge him. Even if she did, he’d merely be a haze of color through her tears. The need to know what happened to Hugh attacked her like a swarm of bees. A desperate sadness was the brutal sting. Could the news be accurate? Or was it the cruelest invention meant to debilitate her? She shamefully wished Riley had been the one to die. Tempted to rectify that, she lamented her pistol lay back in her bedroom.
When she didn’t move, he seized her by the arm.
Noticing her attention on the dark object in his other hand, Riley raised it to her face and twirled it between his fingers.
It was Jonathan’s pipe. Had he not taken it with him that next morning? Did Riley discover it in her room? Is that what this was about?
When her brother jerked Emma away, the tray of medical supplies crashed to the floor. Her feet stumbled along through the dining room, into the kitchen, and then down the stairs into the basement. The Mason jars of blood, fluids, and organs stared at her from the shelves, in commiseration, or condemnation. She couldn’t fathom either.
The metal door to the safe gaped wide like a broken jaw.
Her arms and fingers numbed.
Riley shoved her sidelong through the open maw, into the remnant of daylight within.
Praying he’d have a last minute change of heart, Emma faced him, her eyes pleading.
“You better not be carrying that red-devil’s spawn—or I’ll do you like I did that squaw. Don’t think I won’t.”
What was he talking about? One of his war atrocities? Could she be pregnant—the thought hadn’t occurred to her.
“Please,” she begged as the door banged shut, the light snuffing out.
“Think about what you’ve done, you whore.”
He spun the combination lock. The clatter and clicks equaled the lit fuse on a stick of dynamite.
Emma battered the door. “Let me out.”
Riley’s stifled yelling thundered on the other side.
“Please.” Her cheek smashed against the frigid iron.
The tramping of his boots overwhelmed her sobs.
What is a teen to do when a house full of old horrific secrets and deaths is turning on you and your family? Find a way to stop if, of course.
This YA horror story is told in two timelines. One in the late 1980s and one in the 1860s. Mark is a typical teen in the 1980s listening to Metallica and rolling his eyes at his tomboy little sister, Tausha, and clueless parents. When his family moves from St. Paul to Winona, Minnesota, the huge Victorian house he now lives in is more than a monstrosity, it has monsters living in it as well.
Emma is a young woman living in the same Victorian home 100 years earlier wanting to go to college but is tragically trapped into helping her physician father after her brothers go off to fight in the Civil War. Living in a state of unrest between the Dakota Indians and the white residents of Winona, a young wounded Dakota woman appears at Emma’s door and she needs to hide from her bigoted father. When a handsome young man named Jonathan starts helping out at Emma and her father’s house, horrible secrets come to light and tragedy is revealed connecting the two eras.
Overall, this is a frightening look at Native American folklore and the vehement bigotry found in the two timelines. Along with ghosts and haunted houses, the author also does a decent job discussing the important topics of diversity and teen sexuality.
If you like YA horror with badass teens and disturbing paranormal beings, I recommend you give this book a try.
Thank you to Ms. Braun for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hmmm. What’s this? Looks like Ms. Braun left her computer on and her Goodreads bio open.
This should be fun.
What can we say about Theresa? I mean other than the fact that she’s weirdly obsessed with smiley faces :-). Like, seriously obsessed >:-*. It’s kinda scary :-O.
I think she thinks she’s from Renaissance England or Venice or something. I never could figure out which one it was. (She’s really bad at doing accents.)
She likes romance novels and crime TV, which are pretty much the same thing when you think about it. Ha! Am I right?
She has a hell of a singing voice. Seriously. It’s, like, seventh circle of hell bad.
She likes editing. A lot. Just wait till she gets a load a this.
Cats. Shoes. Chips and salsa. In that order.
Yeah, that last part didn’t make sense to me either.