Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles #1) by Ripley Patton
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Release Date: November 30, 2012
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Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.
How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.
Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it.
And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.
Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2) by Ripley Patton
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Release Date: September 2013
Olivia Black is back.
Only this time she's not the one in need of rescue.
Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers' list.
In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.
Olivia doesn't expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.
Five minutes into my Calc test, I glanced up and caught the new guy staring.
I looked down, following his gaze, and saw that my fingers were shimmering around the edges.
I yanked my hand into my lap and my pencil flew out of it, clattering to the floor.
It landed in the aisle and rolled toward New Guy’s desk. He put out a foot, trapping it, and kicked it back my direction, his glance following its progress as it came back to me, bumping up against the thick sole of my boot. His eyes rose up my multi-buckled calf to my thigh, then to my lap, stopping at the spot where I was doing my best to hide my hand under my desk. But we could both see the pool of blue PSS energy, shapeless and pulsing, writhing at the end of my wrist stump.
I looked up again, locking eyes with him.
His expression was unreadable. He didn’t look surprised, or afraid, or alarmed. He just looked, his eyes fixed on my wacked-out hand, as if curious to see what it would do next.
I gritted my teeth and tried to focus my PSS back into shape. I was not going to be this guy’s personal freak show. I could fix this. It was just mind over matter.
But it didn’t work. If anything, the more I tried, the worse it got, expanding and losing even more definition. The burning sensation grew so intense I squeezed my eyes shut against it. All around me, I could hear the scrape and shuffle of students getting up and handing in their tests. I bent over my desk, trying to block my hand from view. For a moment, I thought about getting up and running out of class, but someone would see my hand for sure if I did that. Maybe if I took a deep breath, and calmed down, it would go back to normal on its own.
As if in response to that thought, the pain suddenly eased off.
I opened my eyes.
New Guy was leaning over the edge of his desk, and there seemed to be something wrong with his neck. He kept jerking his head toward Passion Wainwright, the girl who sat in front of me. What did he want? An introduction? If so, his timing was utter crap.
“Leave me alone,” I mouthed past clenched lips.
He shook his head and gave an exaggerated nod toward Passion again, rolling his eyes in her direction. This time, I turned and looked.
Something was crawling up Passion’s back.
Not just one something. Five somethings. Five elongated, wisp-thin tendrils, winding their way up Passion’s chair, climbing her back, fluttering at the strands of hair that had escaped from her ponytail, making a moving, barely-perceptible pattern of bluish light on the back of her white turtleneck so faint I could almost convince myself it was an optical illusion. Except it wasn’t.
It was my hand, my five fingers stretching impossibly and rising from under the front of my desk, groping the back of Passion Wainwright.
I yanked my wrist in toward my body, but it made no difference. I couldn’t feel my hand, couldn’t control those fingers or call them back.
Passion shivered, as if she felt a draft, and absently brushed an undulating tendril away from her neck.
The thickest finger, the one in the middle, rose up along her spine, stopping at a spot right between her shoulder blades. It held level for a moment, weaving back and forth like some ghostly snake dancing to the tune of an invisible flute. Then it dipped forward, slipping silently through the thin cotton fabric of Passion’s shirt and straight into her back.
She didn’t make a sound as she went limp, her torso gently slanting toward her desk; the tendril of PSS embedded in her back the only thing holding her up.
I didn’t make a sound either, didn’t move, didn’t dare. What if moving made it worse? Oh my God, a voice yammered in my head, you think this could get worse?
I could feel New Guy’s eyes boring into the side of my head. Obviously, he could see my PSS skewering Passion. Why didn’t he jump up and scream and point? How could he just be sitting there so calmly?
I had to get away. From Passion. From everyone. But if I bolted, would my PSS come with me or stretch between my wrist and Passion like some horrible, incriminating rubber band? What would that do to my hand? What would it do to Passion? I had no idea.
And before I could figure it out, the bell rang.
Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series.
Ripley doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.