Running away from her sorrow in search of a childhood memory that brought her comfort opens up a world of dark possibilities for Rainee Chambers.
Rainee has entered a home she remembers from her childhood, and upon her return, she is reunited with a being that until now, she thought was a figment of her imagination. Liam Morningstar was her shadowboy, a dark thing that hid in the closet until her mother left her bedside, a weaver of old tales, and a creature a child had no business being friends with. Now that she is all grown up, will she see past what he appears to be to the man hidden within his curse?
"After the sudden loss of her beloved parents, Rainee Chambers finds herself retreating to her grandparents' abandoned home to help herself heal. She feels the need to recapture the happiness of her childhood, a time when she had an imaginary friend who comforted her and shared stories with her. Although the house is now neglected and empty, she retreats to her old bedroom and wonders if her friend, her shadowboy, will visit her once again in her imagination.
"But Rainee's shadowboy is not a figment of her imagination. Liam Morningstar is a bayaak, a skeleton creature of Indian legend, a purveyor of death and a stealer of souls. Although a fearsome creature, he was Rainee's childhood friend, drawn to her lack of fear of him, and in the years since she left the house, he has pined for her. All he wants now is to cease to exist and move on to the afterlife.
"Now that Rainee is no longer a child, will she fear him and therefore fuel Liam's need to kill her? Or will she somehow be able to help him end the curse of his horrible existence?
"The Skeleton's Shadow combines Indian legend and the paranormal into a darkly undertoned tale that still manages to tell a story of love and hope. I found it to be unique and imaginative with an undercurrent of horror and a thread of suspense that kept my attention to the very end.
"Liam is the creature under the bed or hiding in the closet, the stuff of childhood nightmares. Ms. Rabiyah makes him wonderfully creepy yet vulnerable at the same time. Even though he is one of the main characters in the story, there is still an element of doubt as to whether he truly exists or if he is just a figment of Rainee's imagination. I vacillated back on forth regarding this a number of times as I read The Skeleton's Shadow, and I found this uncertainty to be quite entertaining.
"Ms. Rabiyah pulls her readers into this story with strong and well-crafted imagery. From the old Chrysler DeSoto that Rainee drives to the dark dusty cellar where Liam hides to the blackberry fields behind the house, it all feels very real. Add to this an almost frightening hero, a sympathetic young heroine and the inclusion of some eerie Indian folklore, and you have an unusual and quite occupying tale. Definitely worth the reading time."
"I chose this book because it seemed different from the other ebooks out there--and I was right. The story is written in a whimsical, dreamlike tone that reminds me of the folk tales I read as a child. The work is short but left me very satisfied. It blended the paranormal and reality, without relying on vampires or werewolves to drive the plot. I was very pleased with my purchase. It was definitely worth it."
-From avari20, wwwAllRomanceEBooks.com
The shadow whispered as if talking more to himself than to her. "My mother was born in the hills..." Those same words had been whispered to her before, long ago. She knew the story, knew how it went and how it would end, but she had never grown tired of hearing it, of learning about her shadowboy.
"My father was Irish. He traveled across the sea when he was a boy to find a new life in the Americas. I'm named after him. William."
She closed her eyes and ran her hand across the thick comforter, remembering the feel of the pink quilt that used to adorn this old bed, the precise stitches, the puffs of fabric that edged the corner of it.
"I lived in the hills after my mother's people left. I stayed there," Liam went on. His voice was inconsistent, sometimes garbled and childish, at other times strong and manly.
"The world has changed, Rainee. I fear it."
She opened her eyes, trying to let the haunting memory slip away. This has to be a bad dream. It can't be real. He was never real. Was he?
He paused again; his fingers stopped. She wanted them to press into her skin again, to soothe her, to heat her through and through. "Do you remember when you found me? You were catching lightning bugs." His hands moved again, the feel of his palm against her heel and then the ball of her foot so much like her mother's touch that it was eerie. Maybe it hadn't been her mother massaging her feet. Maybe it had been Liam all along. "I cried the day you left. I've been here ever since that daywaiting."
"Waiting for what?" she asked, falling under his spell.
Rainee pushed the thick comforter back and pulled her feet away from his hands. She stood up, and felt across the bedside table for the flashlight, but the batteries were dead from leaving it on all night. She edged to her duffle and fished around in it until her hand met the cold wax of the Christmas candle she'd snatched from her closet. She lit the wick with a match from the small box in her bag and raised it up to see.
The candlelight banished the darkness. She turned in a circle, but there was no one in the room but her. Goose bumps prickled her skin as she called, "Liam?"