“Better luck next time!” the barker yells out, his shrill laugh a claw to my nerves. He puts his hand on my shoulder, heavy and warm, feeling much larger than it looks. I peer up at his stony, pale face. His black eyes pierce through me, searching me, making me feel naked and ashamed.
“You’d better get going, little girl. Your mamma’s gonna start gettin’ worried.” His hand still on my shoulder, holds me. I’m no little girl, and my mom’s ten years dead, but I am unable to say a word or to move.
“See what happens when you lose Life’s Big Question, gal? You lose!” Opposite to his high-pitched laugh, his voice is a booming baritone that shatters my eardrums. Blood drips from my ears, down my neck. His hand melts through me, gets hung up on the bone, then sinks down and to the left, fully grasping my heart as if it’s the size of a loquat, and squeezes.
The barker’s eyes lock on mine, heat radiating from them. No, not radiating… they suck the energy and life right out of my eyes, from my heart, while he rattles my heart within his closed palm.
“Now, gal! Yo’ mamma’s waitin’ on you to come on in.” His laugh seems to split my head wide open. The fire in his eyes sears mine right out of their sockets and scorches my brain. “No use tryin’ to fight it. Ain’t no denyin’ it neither. You lose this time. And there ain’t gonna be no next time! Not fo’ ya.”
Before my body disintegrates into my hardened, shrunken heart, I hear him say to himself with incredulous humor, “Life’s Big Question. Get’s ‘em ev’ry time.”
His hand lets go of my heart and I drop into darkness. By the sounds and feel, I know the barker gives a couple of pats to his pocket and gets back to work.
Tightening pressure. Suffocating heat. Incredible sadness – everything that’s encompassing my deadening heart, all that’s left of me. Alone. Silence. Except for a soft whisper that comes in the erratic rhythm of another dying heart somewhere below mine: “That’s-what…happens…when-you…leave-behind...the-lessons…learned-from…your-parents…. Your-grand…mother…had-also…told-me…to-never…say…‘I-don’t-know’…to-life’s…big…questions.”
The whisper dies and there's only silence. My mother’s heart, after ten years of waiting, ceases. A profound coldness fills her void. Now I must keep going – heart pumping, hurting, fearful – to-wait…and-learn…whether…my-daughter…will-answer…better.…
Greg’s world was turned upside down the night of the storm. Unexpectedly plucked from the sea’s watery grave by a mysterious woman, he knows he should feel grateful for his life when so many were not as fortunate.
Rachel is a siren, her role is to lure men to their deaths. But she cannot bring herself to destroy Greg. As unfamiliar human emotions begin to take over her, she has to fight against the siren within her, as well as the Siren Counsel in order to find some peace of mind.
However, for Greg, whenever Rachel is around, someone always seems to die. When he tries to begin a new life for himself, she is still there and it is not until she tells Greg her story that they each become ready to move forward in their lives.
But will fate permit them to live as a normal couple with so much death in their wake?
Although this is a sequel, it works well as a stand-alone, as I have not read Dodd's first book. I enjoyed this story, and looked forward to seeing how it would work out. It works very well as a romance and mystery, and follows the sad consequence of a sole survivor of a storm none of the victims had any business being caught in. It's a very entertaining and engaging story. Although there were some explanations, at times there could have been a bit more to let the reader truly believe why - such as why there were so many people angry that Greg survived, and why Greg so easily accepted the truth of his savior.
Still, as stated before, I was drawn to this tale and eager to find out what would... and will happen in the third book of this series.
About the Author
Sonya C. Dodd was born in Norfolk, England and still lives there today in North Elmham with her two sons: Hugo and Branwell.
Although Sonya has been writing for a number of years, she only recently began to publish her writing.
Sonya writes in a number of genres including: romance, supernatural and thriller. Sonya has also written a number of short stories.
The Kindle version of Echo of a Siren is available on Amazon.com for $1.50.
Visit Sonya’s blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/5776819