by Kim Baccellia
GENRE: YA Paranormal
Stephanie Stewart is a typical sixteen-year-old girl—she loves hanging out with her friends, going to concerts, and sipping mocha lattes. Yup. Just your average teenager . . . Except for one difference—she can see and talk to the dead. In fact, Stephanie helps dead girls who who’ve been murdered or killed, cross over. Just as Stephanie is getting used to her unique “gift”, her mom stumbles into some dangerous witchcraft that backfires and triggers similar abilities in Stephanie’s best friend Cura, and nemesis Hillary. Stephanie already has enough trouble trying to maintain a “normal” life between school and her cute boyfriend Dylan, who happens to have a supernatural talent all his own. But now she has to help her friend Cura and her “frenemy” Hillary cope with their new-found powers as well as cross over two murdered cheerleaders and battle an evil demon who wants to use Stephanie’s supernatural strengths as a free pass to The Other Side. And she needs to do it all while still getting her term papers in on time. She’s definitely going to need an extra-large mocha latte for this.
A sudden breeze picked up the trash and leaves that were strewn about, making them dance over the patchwork of dirt and grass. And then I felt it. The itch on the back of my legs that warned me a dead girl was approaching.
A flash of intense light erupted across the darkened sky. Dylan pressed the cold water bottle to his forehead, probably to soothe his headache. Under his breath I heard him mumble about a freaky aura.
At first I couldn’t make her out, but little by little she materialized out of the fog. She looked older than me, maybe college age?
“Is that the girl?” I asked Dr. Anthony. Sure, he’d shown me a newspaper photo, but seeing the ghost in front of your eyes was always different from seeing a picture of someone when they were alive.
“Yes,” he said. “Her name is Morgan. Morgan Waters.”
Although I hadn’t had a vision of her death the strong impression of daisies resurfaced. I swear I could smell the sweet, fresh scent.
Morgan made her way over to us in a weird sort of half-floating-half-walking way, crossing the Sacramento River. Moonlight shone all around, lighting up the freeway behind her.
The water bottle fell from Dylan’s grasp, but he made no effort to pick it up. He stared at the spirit, and then rubbed his eyes.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kim Baccellia has always been a sucker for the paranormal. She blames it on her families’ love for such things as having picnics at cemeteries, visiting psychics, and reading her mother’s copies of the daily horoscope. In middle school, Kim wrote a horoscope column for the school newspaper. It was a huge hit!
Kim’s other published YA fantasies include NO MORE GODDESSSES, GODDESSES CAN WAIT, and EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA. All are available on Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.
A member of RWA, Kim is currently revising a YA post-apocalyptic novel where a Latina teen questions her cult’s faith. She’s working on a romance set in Tuscany, Italy. She lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and Damon, her pet cockatiel.
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3.75 out of 5 stars
Crossed Fire by Kim Baccellia is a young adult paranormal story that is part of the ‘Crossed’ series. Young Stephanie Stewart has the ability to not only see ghosts of murdered girls, but has learned to help them cross over. Her hunky boyfriend, Dylan, sees auras, but not without paying a price, and not only her BFF but her major frenemy also get involved in the weird and wonderful world she’s become a part of. The unexpected interference by her mom and others in an ill-fated sorority leads to unpalatable discoveries as well as temptations that may change the world, and not for the better.
There are intriguing aspects to this world and one can’t help admiring Stephanie and her dedication to helping those who need her while dealing with the normal teen angst and challenges of school and peers. I like the elements of the ritual for helping a ghost pass over even as I ache at the girls’ lives that have been cut short in such horrendous fashions. Those with triggers or who are squeamish should use caution, as most things happen off-page but are still distressing.
The milieu of high school, complete with cliques, insecurities, and hot-and-cold romantic challenges, is nicely evoked and makes me glad those days are far behind me! I feel there are some continuity issues, I think the moms acted erratically (if not hypocritically), and there are a lot of loose ends but I enjoyed the overall story. I suspect that it would have been better to have read the first story in the series to get oriented and I understand that some things are left dangling to keep one interested in the sequels. Those who enjoy teen paranormal stories should give this one a try, but be warned…some of the imaginative scenes may stay with you a while (ewww….ghosts in the dissection lab!).