Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Guest Post with Sarah Porter

Photo Content from Sarah Porter

SARAH PORTER is the author of the Lost Voices Trilogy (Lost Voices, Waking Storms, The Twice Lost) in addition to Vassa in the Night—all for the teen audience. For over ten years she has taught creative writing workshops in New York City public schools to students in grades K-10. Porter also works as a VJ, both solo and with the art collective Fort/Da; she has played venues including Roseland, Galapagos, Tonic, Joe’s Pub, The Hammerstein Ballroom, The Nokia Theater, and the Burning Man festival. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats.


Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (September 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765380560
ISBN-13: 978-0765380562


"Tragic and engrossing, filled with nightmarish dreamscapes and menacing villains, it also treads the tender terrain of family, and the strange and sometimes dysfunctional ties between siblings. Highly recommended!" ―Kendare Blake, New York Times bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns

"You'll never think of your nightmares the same way again. Darkly seductive. Sarah Porter’s writing glitters and her storytelling stuns in this twisted tale of siblings, love, and death." ―Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

"Porter offers a poignant consideration of how far we will go for the people we love." ―School Library Journal, starred review

"A wildly innovative, whip-smart, and utterly spellbinding testament to family, memory, and love―and the messes and miracles of each―poised to possess legions of readers." ―Booklist, starred review

"A haunting tale of possession that explores the ghostly landscape of dreams and nightmares―but more importantly, the particular dynamics among siblings, both oppressive and redemptive." ―Kirkus Reviews


I decided to become a writer not once, but twice. The first time was during fifth grade, when I was mesmerized by everything Tolkien and by THE SECRET GARDEN. I tried to write a fantasy novel called THE RAVEN; every day during recess I’d sit leaning against the school’s brick wall and scribble away, notebook propped on my knees. It was about a girl who works as a maid in an endless mansion, and then one night a sorcerer comes to her in the form of a raven to tell her that her father is trapped, so she has to go save him. It fizzled out around page fifty, mostly because I had no idea how to structure a story. I probably spent as much time fantasizing about its future shiny foil cover as I did writing it, so imagine my delight on seeing the extremely shiny, embossed foil cover of WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW! It was literally a childhood dream come to life.

For a while after that I gave up on being a novelist. I thought I’d be a linguist, or an artist. I still love drawing! But I spent my teens reading obsessively, so it was like the old dream was still with me, just biding its time.

When I was seventeen, and in college, I took a creative writing class, and wrote a story called “Damian and the Sun.” It was about a little boy who loves the fish in a particular river. Then a bunch of demons knock the sun out of the sky and it splashes down right in front of him. All his fish surround the sun and stare at it, and he knows they’ll cook to death if he can’t persuade them to swim away. They won’t listen. Eventually he drags the sun out of the river with a net, but by then it’s too late; the fish are dead and the world is frozen.

So I handed this in, and a few days later my professor told me she’d had a dream about my story. She said no student had ever affected her mind that way. And I thought, Oh! I guess I should write a novel! But it took several years, and a lot of struggle, before I finished my first novel, and it wasn’t until my fourth novel that I finally got published.


1) “Dash, I think you don’t understand? This is a really unusual opportunity for you. I mean, people don’t just get chances to come back to life? And if you keep taking so many risks, it might seem like you don’t appreciate it.”

2) I don’t know if he’ll hear me. I don’t know if I have a voice anymore, or a face, or a heart. The girl I was is bobbing below the surface. Dashiell jiggles me up and down experimentally, checking to make sure I’m dead.

“How could I do this? Ah, Ru, what kind of a question is that?” Dashiell tips his head and smiles, thinking it over. “I did it because there’s no place like home.”

3) People almost never believe things because they’re objectively true. They just believe in whatever made-up reality hurts them the least.

4) “Never-Ever,” Ruby says, but the voice is not her voice. It’s dropped by at least an octave and she’s doing such a perfect imitation of Dashiell’s sly sassing tone that my flesh crawls like massed worms.

5) Life is wasted on the living, I always say.

6) People like to talk about the cruelty of children, ah, but it’s nothing compared to the cruelty the dead get up to, in our dreary, everlasting after-school.

7) Okay, I tell myself, this is obviously not our kitchen anymore. Our kitchen isn’t made of weird shuffling clockwork, gears shining blood red in the darkness. Its floor doesn’t twitch and jolt sideways. Therefore this is not real. It’s a hallucination.

But actually I know it’s something worse than that.

It’s a dream.

8) Where do they come from, I used to wonder, those strangers we glimpse in the deepest alleys of our sleep? Now I know.

9) My heart now belongs to the impossible, to everything that is luminous and ascendant and free of everyday tedium. Whatever cannot, absolutely cannot be is the new center of the universe for me, and everything that used to matter is far away, orbiting so slowly and dimly that I can barely remember what it looked like.

10) A thousand years could go by, New York could be under the ocean and wasted by nuclear bombs and cratered by a meteor, and Dashiell would still be jabbering on from some splintered TV in the ruins.

A teenage girl calls her beloved older brother back from the grave with disastrous consequences.

Dashiell Bohnacker was hell on his family while he was alive. But it's even worse now that he's dead....

After her troubled older brother, Dashiell, dies of an overdose, sixteen-year-old Ruby is overcome by grief and longing. What she doesn't know is that Dashiell's ghost is using her nightly dreams of him as a way to possess her body and to persuade her twin brother, Everett, to submit to possession as well.

Dashiell tells Everett that he's returned from the Land of the Dead to tie up loose ends, but he's actually on the run from forces crueler and more powerful than anything the Bohnacker twins have ever imagined....


“Our family,” Dash corrects me. “You don’t break those connections simply by dying, Never. The dead have every right to demand their due. Recognition, basically. Of all the ways we’re still with you.”

And then I’m up there, hoisting myself onto the wide plank where Dash is sitting—he’s already got hold of my shoulder—and dream or no dream I’m gasping for breath and I don’t have my inhaler.

Not that it’s going to matter. His left hand is sort of cradling the back of my neck and his right hand is holding the knife. If it wasn’t for the psycho-killer accessory, he could be posing in an ad for jeans—since that’s what he’s wearing. And nothing else.

“So what’ll it be, Never?” Dash asks. “The throat is foolproof, but a bit ugly. Going for your heart would be more dignified, for both of us, but then there’s the risk I’ll miss on the first try. You’ll suffer. So the question is, is dignity worth it?”

“I don’t care,” I tell him; it comes out broken-up and wheezing. Even though I know it’s just a dream my heart is trying to spit itself out of my throat. “I don’t care about any of it.”

“Oh, pah. You care immensely. Or you wouldn’t be here.”

Red and green lights spin through the distance, but I can’t decipher much of where we are. “You know we aren’t alone here, right, Dash? There are definitely people out there. I mean, we’re being watched.”

For a flash his eyes go wide and he stares around; I could almost swear he’s afraid. Something in his face sharpens, and it makes me think he’s looking for somebody in particular. Leave it to Dash to make enemies wherever he goes. “Random passersby, maybe. Anyone could stumble in here. This is a slippery place.”

They’re not passing by, and he knows it, but it’s not worth arguing about. “Dashiell? I want you to admit something first, that’s all. Admit I’m not a coward.”

“No,” he agrees, and again there’s that eerie tenderness that could totally pass for sincere if I didn’t know better. I see the flash of his rising knife and a spasm runs through me. “No, Never-Ever, you’re proving to be remarkably brave, in fact. And I’ve given you the opportunity to learn that about yourself, haven’t I?”

And then there’s a moment when I’m launched out of myself—because hey, that happens in dreams—and I’m watching the whole thing from above: the golden-haired jeans model cradling the fat loser. The silver streak of his knife sailing up. I’m kind of proud of my expression, though. I’m absolutely giving him attitude, and I look way more defiant than scared.

Out of my body or not, I still feel it when he slits my throat.

Copyright © 2017 by Sarah Porter

You can purchase When I Cast Your Shadow at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SARAH PORTER AND TOR for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Copy of WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW by Sarah Porter..

September 11th Monday Here's to Happy Endings REVIEW
September 12th Tuesday JeanBookNerd VLOG & GUEST POST 
September 12th Tuesday Reading for the Stars and Moon REVIEW
September 13th Wednesday TTC Books and More REVIEW 
September 14th Thursday Bibliobibuli YA GUEST POST 
September 14th Thursday The Avid Reader EXCERPT
September 15th Friday Jump Into Books SPOTLIGHT
September 15th Friday Books, Dreams, Life TENS LIST 

September 18th Monday We Live and Breathe Books REVIEW
September 18th Monday Kendra Loves Books REVIEW
September 19th Tuesday CBY Book Club EXCERPT
September 19th Tuesday Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW 
September 20th Wednesday A Dream Within a Dream REVIEW & TENS LIST 
September 20th Wednesday Adventures Thru Wonderland REVIEW 
September 21st Thursday Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW & EXCERPT
September 22nd Friday BookHounds YA TENS LIST 
September 22nd Friday Tara's Book Addiction REVIEW


  1. I saw a ghost cat once. I was lying in bed in a bedroom in a house our family had just moved into, and suddenly I felt (and heard) the feeling and sound that a cat makes when it jumps onto the end of a bed. I looked round and saw a cat, which slowly faded from view. On another occasion I heard a cat that had died in a house fire a few weeks earlier miauwing.

  2. oh, as a kid i read a story about a woman in black appearing to people on the road next to my friends house! i was terrified

  3. I'm sure I have one but can't think of it right now.

  4. On duty at a facility for Developmentally Challenged people, 3rd shift. I had just finished rounds for 15 min. & was kicking back when the Nurse Supervisor came onto the living area to do nightly check-in. As I was talking to R.N.N.S. G. I saw another nurse standing beside her wearing traditional nurses "whites", the other nurse disappeared as I was getting ready to introduce myself since R.N. G. didn't introduce us. Spooky!

  5. Another night, same facility, One of my duties as 3rd shift direct care staff person was to get laundry to restock the bathrooms & sheets room. I checked my ladies to make sure they were sleeping & then went upstairs to 2nd fl. which was a de-certified unit (No one was supposed to be up there, storage only) As I was collecting laundry I heard a music box & mumbling/giggling. I quickly scanned the area (empty) & suspected one of my ladies had woken up. I grabbed the laundry hamper & hurried back down to my assigned unit...My ladies were all still asleep, WHERE did the music and mumbling/giggling come from? Needless to say the laundry started to be delivered to just outside the elevator after that.

  6. I like to read ghost stories. I also like ghosts in movies.