PRESENTS. . .
A Cover Reveal
As Darkness Gathers
by Emma Elliot
Release Date: September 9, 2014
When their plane goes down in the Canadian wilderness, Finch Rhodes’ and Clay Gandy’s lives become entwined. Together they face the unforgiving elements of unfamiliar terrain in winter, wild animals, raging rivers, and their own growing weakness from hunger, shock, and exposure. With their lives at stake as well as the lives of those depending on them to find help, Finch and Clay are forced to rely on one another, and they forge a bond that lasts even after they are rescued.
Finch’s struggles to adjust to normal life upon returning home are hindered by her broken engagement, her friend’s disapproval of her friendship with Clay, her parents’ marital issues, and her brother’s uncharacteristic belligerence and suspicious request. And by the seemingly harmless mishaps that soon escalate into brutal attacks. After she is injured, Finch once again comes to rely on Clay. But as the connection between them deepens, the threat against her grows.
With her life in jeopardy and danger blurring the lines between friend and foe, Finch must decide if those she loves are the ones she can trust, or if the greatest peril lurks closer to home than she could have ever imagined.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” I said, “the captain has advised me we’ll be making a precautionary landing.”
The elderly woman started sobbing.
The front of the plane yawed back and forth, the movement sharp, bouncing, and disorienting. When I glanced out the window, we were just breaking through the cloud cover, and the forested ground was rushing closer.
I pointed out the exits and the escape path lighting, and then explained the brace position of crossing their arms, placing them on the seatback in front of them, and resting their foreheads on their wrists.
“I’ll help you if you need me to,” said the man in 1A.
I swallowed and felt the hot press of tears. “If I’m unable to, make sure it’s safe to open the door, and then get everyone out and away.”
“I’ll do it. And I won’t leave you behind.”
The plane groaned, the yawing becoming violent. We swayed back and forth so forcefully that I had to hold on to my shoulder harness to avoid being pitched sideways. The father and son yelled apologies and I love yous at one another. The elderly woman continued weeping. A businessman recited a Hail Mary.
My lips trembled and I pressed them tightly together. “What’s your name?” I asked 1A.
With a rumble, the landing gear extended.
His eyes were blue, I realized.
“Clay. Clay Gandy.”
Clay in 1A. I almost laughed at the rhyme, but then the captain shouted, “Brace, brace, brace!”
I repeated the command over and over until my voice was hoarse. I wanted to close my eyes but found I couldn’t.
The plane jarred with the sound of snapping, the movement so wrenching it felt as if someone were trying to yank my bones from within my skin. We whipped to one side so quickly my neck cracked and my vision swam. Dark shadows rushed by the windows, and the splintering sound escalated.
We hit the ground with such force the oxygen masks fell from the panels above the seats and the overhead bins burst open and spilled luggage into the aisle.
Both passengers and metal screamed.
There was a horrific grinding as the plane shuddered and bucked.
Then the world exploded.
Emma Elliot first developed a love of suspense when she was six years old. She was hiding from her cousins and sister in a closet in her grandmother’s house when she discovered a passageway, though not so secret, linking to another closet. She stumbled upon a stack of worn Bobbsey Twins mysteries in that seeming labyrinth, and she spent much of her childhood there, by choice, reading mystery novels by flashlight. Her love of reading and writing grew simultaneously. Soon she was creating her own variations of the stories she read and penning her own tales. Through bouts of working as a tutor, an editor, an apple- and peach-picker, a waitress, a dog walker, a nanny, a retail associate, and a reservationist at a ski resort, writing has remained her passion.
She currently lives on the eastern seaboard and considers herself a wandering homebody. She travels often for work, which provides fodder for the imagination and plentiful hours to write her next novel while sitting in airports.