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Go ahead. Take the plunge into the black.
Aren't you curious?

Book Cover

Sable Dunn is lonely enough to talk to a face she sees in a rock, though not desperate enough to kill herself. But when she finds a message in a bottle instructing her to “die soon,” she wonders if she should give in. Dying may not be the recommended after-school elective, but from the glimpses she gets of the “spirit world,” it doesn’t look like such a bad option.

Now Sable sees signs of death all around her: skulls, crossbones, and a mysterious boy in a skeleton costume who surprisingly knows her name. Just as Sable’s world ignites in revealing how her fate with the "skeleton boy” fits with the unexpected interest of her girlhood crush, a local fire sets her small town on a hunt for the arsonist.

But as brushes with death keep occurring and a final blow nearly sets her over the edge (in both senses of the word), Sable connects again with that face inside the stone and gains another perspective on life, death, and how the two realms work together. If only it’s not too late to put into practice.

Author Photo

Alika is a suburban mystic.

She’s obsessed with how the unseen, metaphysical worlds collide with everyday life (and what to do when accidentally sliding into alternate dimensions).

She received her MFA from the University of San Francisco and won first place in the 2005 Backwards City Review fiction contest for her short story, “S.” Some of her other work has been published in literary journals such as Pax Americana, Syntax, Thieves Jargon, Switchback, and Cipactli. She is a member of SCBWI. SLATE & ARROW is her first novel: a young adult contemporary low fantasy.

When she’s not writing, reading, or taking pictures, she practices yoga (from arm balances to corpse pose), makes playlists of her favorite tracks (eleven songs on the eleventh day of each month), and adds to her rock collection (including plenty of rainbow obsidian).

She currently lives in San Diego and is working on her next books, which include some familiar characters in addition to a whole new cast of oddities. Contact her via email, social media, or telepathy.