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Spotlight: 8 Souls by Rachel Rust

Spotlight: 8 Souls by Rachel Rust


Publication Date: May 6, 2019

Publisher: Entangled Teen

All her life, seventeen-year-old Chessie has had recurring dreams about a little white farmhouse. Quaint? Not quite. The house is the site of the unsolved murders of Villisca, Iowa, where eight people were slaughtered in 1912. With her parents on the verge of divorce, Chessie is stuck spending the summer with her grandparents in Villisca—right across the street from the axe murder house. 

She’s soon hearing voices calling out for help and begins unraveling a link between herself and the town’s bloody history. And when she falls for a cute boy harboring a big secret, the pieces fall into place as she at last discovers the truth of Villisca's gruesome past…


I concentrate on my breaths to keep homesickness from creeping in. In. Out. In. Out. Eventually, my mind composes itself then goes blank and I begin to drift to sleep.

But almost immediately, a soft sound rouses me. Barely there, it hums through the air with a methodical pace.


My eyes flicker open and I strain my ears but am unable to decipher which direction it’s coming from. I close my eyes. It’s the wind. Go to sleep. But the sound continues. Muffled, but distinct enough that it’s not the wind, or the hum of a fan in another room, or air flowing through the ductwork. It’s giggling.

And it’s not a dream.

It must be Grandma, because it’s too high-pitched to be Grandpa. I make a face, not wanting to think about why my grandma is giggling in the middle of the night.

“Oh my god, yuck.” I pull the covers over my face. But my bladder has other plans and eventually forces me up.

The wood floors are cool under my feet. I walk out of my room, but two steps into the hallway, the giggling noise pivots. My grandparents’ bedroom door is straight in front of me. But the giggling isn’t coming from in front of me. It’s behind me.

It’s coming from my own bedroom.

A chill ripples down my spine as the giggling continues nonstop, machinegun-like, with no pauses for breathing, vibrating the air around me.

Just like the drowned girl in my dream.

As if she’s sitting cross-legged on the floor right behind me, playing a board game or having a tea party. Or ready to reach out and touch me again.

The hallway is dark, but there’s enough light to make out the white walls and dark woodwork around each door. Slowly, my head swivels around to look at my bedroom, unsure of what might stare back.

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About the Author


Rachel Rust is a YA author who loves all things mysterious, romantic, and thrilling. Her favorite stories have twisty plots, and if it's a whodunit, she's all about it. When not making up stories, Rachel can usually be found with her family and their two dogs -- a pug and a chug (chihuahua/pug).

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