Publisher: White Whisker Books (April 20, 2015)
Tour Date: March 16-April 30, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 176 Pages
In the college town of Isla Vista, California, small, odd things start happening. Science-geek Nicole notes the crows are leaving. Meg Burdigal can’t find her tabby cat, Schrand. Brian the postman feels uneasy at the rustlings, the shadows he’s seen at the edge of his vision on his delivery route in town. Now Nicole sees fewer and fewer homeless in the park. Using her knowledge of biology and forensics, Nicole searches for answers—but will anyone take the horror she finds seriously? In this unusual thriller, 'Watch the Shadows', author Robin Winter explores where the ordinary slams against the extraordinary.
Praise for 'Night Must Wait':“'Night Must Wait' is a knockout. Robin Winter really delivers the goods with her twisting tale.”-Norb Vonnegut, author of The Trust “The world Robin Winter takes us to in 'Night Must Wait' is not the fantasy of Dorothy and Toto, no longer in Kansas; it is the scary, all too-real Africa.”-Shelly Lowenkopf, author of The Fiction Writers’ Handbook "Readers never know when they pick up a novel if the story will become so compelling that they are taken away to that magical place where one finds oneself inside the world of the book's characters, conscious of little else. 'Night Must Wait' did this for me. I read, forgot that I existed."- Gina Rose St John, Amazon Reviewer "Robin's way around a sentence is nothing short of gorgeous. The beauty of her prose only highlights the tragedies of war and betrayal. In an era when women were still relegated to wife or teacher, Robin's characters want, and get, more in ways both shocking and violent. I might not want to go to war torn Africa, but I do want to go on more adventures with Robin."- Kathleen O'Donnell, Amazon Reviewer
Praise for 'Future Past':"Robin Winter's 'Future Past' is an original, meticulously crafted science fiction tale that blends the fantasy of Pinocchio and the hero's journey with elements of time travel, redemption, and a post apocalyptic world that brings readers to a satisfying, yet unexpected conclusion."- Matthew J. Pallamary "Truly imaginative, unique, and gripping -- I really really liked it! Robin Winter has a gift for inventing a world we'd be interested in saving, characters we'd be enriched to meet, and ideas about the human condition we'd be wise to ponder."- John Foran "Winter shows the strength and versatility of her writer's voice in 'Future Past'. Published shortly after her debut novel Night Must Wait, in which the setting offers a strong sense of place as a separate character, the science fiction themes of 'Future Past' haunts the reader long after the book is finished. Her first person approach with Ash gives chilling insight into a man-made world with apocalyptic consequences. Winter's prose is crisp and her pacing sharp, giving fans a science fiction a thrill that is worth the spooky ride."- Gretel Russell
From Chapter Nine, p.28Thank God for Postman Brian, medics and hospitals. Meg took a deep breath, made it a real prayer. She parked her little Miata at the curb under the tall Washingtonia palm. The glossy red car might be a post-divorce indulgence, but it made her feel good to handle all that responsive power under the little skate’s hood. Second-hand bargain, but the little lovely car didn’t look or feel like it. She adored a good engine. Maybe someday she’d take that course on engines at the city college and learn how to do repair.
Oh, who was she fooling? Last time she’d signed up was day before her dad called, sounding lost, to tell her about his doctor saying he had bone cancer. Maybe when she had a better idea of what came next in her life, she’d sell the Miata for charity. Poor thing. She put its bug-eyes down and climbed out, giving the sleek red side a pat.
Dwayne had double pneumonia, but the hospital put him on IV immediately for dehydration and added Cipro to the mix. No matter that they’d gone through a whole demeaning routine about treating him as if he had TB—Dwayne feverish enough that he didn’t notice. Never mind how the hospital brought back bad thoughts about doctors and her dad gasping to death in his bed. You had to have faith in God, and sometimes even in doctors and hospitals, because some days there was no choice.
What? She stopped before her door, hand on the knob. The cat door jammed ajar? Odd, unpleasant. Looked like something slimy had been pulled through. Muck in the hinges. Had her fat tabby Schrand actually caught something, or dragged in a fish from the beach? She’d never known him to work that hard at anything; why would he start today? And oh dear, what a mess the dogs would make if Schrand brought in something dead.
Jelly-like slime, thick and gelatinous. Yuk. She opened the door and no dogs came rushing to greet her. Okay, if they were asleep, so much more a blessing. Thank you, God. She’d get her sponge mop and get as much as possible wiped up before they charged out. She slipped her shoes off as usual, and as usual, her slippers weren’t waiting. Dogs always stole them.
Meg saw the viscid marks on her kitchen floor and paused a second to get a better angle on the reflective tracks.
They looked wrong. She was used to figuring out the traces various crabs or sea slugs and stranded fish made on the beach sands. Those told stories, often ending in a splay of feather impressions, bird tracks, the plunge of a beak.
But this… she couldn’t figure. Well, it had been a long day, a startling day. She kept seeing Dwayne’s fever-reddened face, his embarrassed attempt at a smile as if he thought she would judge him for the disarray and vulnerability of illness, the paunchiness of his face, while it simply made her feel protective. Bless Postman Brian for taking her to him.
The marks faded, drying. She got down on all fours, becoming aware of a sweetish putrid smell, rank. Only a little fishy. Funny, the smears had no resemblance to the straight drag she’d expect of Schrand with a fish. A lunging curving repeated track of indecision mixed on the linoleum with dirty dog prints.
She had to wash this floor anyway. Shouldn’t ill-think the poor cat for having an adventure. Meg rocked back on her heels then stood. She didn’t want that stuff on her socks.
She grabbed the blue sponge mop and wet it at the sink, following the trail of erratic goo, rinsing again and again. More than she’d expected. Where were the dogs? They should have heard her the first time she turned on the faucet. Where was the cat? The jellyfish itself, or whatever it was? Not in the living room—be merciful, Lord, she said, half-smiling at her presumption. As if God had time to save her carpets for her….
At the doorway to the living room, she stopped. Shocked, revolted. No jellyfish. This thing was unnatural, painfully wrong. Like the result of some experiment gone horribly evil. She’d heard what PETA said about the universities. They’d picketed the Biology Building on campus here for cruelty to animals.
It was a pulsating jelly with patches of fur, tabby fur, big glazing eye of blue staring back at her from the center. It blinked.
She screamed like a girl, throwing the sponge mop, and before the handle clattered to stillness was back out of the door in her stocking feet running for the family she blamed.