Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved. Seventeen-year-o ld Iris Kohl has been able to se...

Feature Fiction|| Sacrificial Souls by Dusty Crabtree

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.

Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them.

Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.



And what was up with Mr. Delaney and his strange, intimidating effect on the shadows? I had never seen that before. I didn’t know whether to be impressed or alarmed. Also, why did he look at me when he said the wreck was an accident? Surely, he didn’t think I had anything to do with it. Why would he? He didn’t even know me…did he?
I was brought back to reality by a dark, flickering movement in the car to my left. A black shadow fluttered chaotically in the passenger seat. The distracted driver peered over her shoulder, scolding her overly animated kids, entirely unaware that the car in front of her had just come to a complete stop. Its left blinker flashed like a red caution sign. The mother, now engulfed in the shadow and still facing backward, didn’t see it.
I wanted to honk or scream or do anything to prevent what I was about to witness. But before I had the chance, a blinding, brilliant light swooped past me and into the darkened car.
What happened next was something I’ll never forget. I’d only seen the bright figures of light a few times, but with each incident, time seemed to slow down. It was never that way with the shadows. They just moved about our world as if they owned it and were a part of it. But the light figures…it was as though they were from somewhere else where time didn’t even apply.
The brilliant mass of light soared into the car through the passenger side, and time suddenly slowed to a crawl. The mother and her children barely moved as the bright form began to wrap itself around the squirming, now terrified shadow. The next thing I saw was light and dark fighting fiercely but briefly inside the car. Then the shadow was overtaken, ripped from its hold on the mother, dragged out of the car, and squeezed into nothingness. The light faded just as quickly.
Time sped back up again as the mother spun back around just in time to slam on her brakes. She screeched to a stop inches behind the bumper and the still-flashing blinker.
I immediately pulled over and breathed in and out to calm myself down. Had that really just happened? Had I actually witnessed someone being saved from the shadows? I had seen a few interventions before, but never that dramatic. I was left with mixed feelings.

Why did a bright form of light rescue this woman and her kids but not Marcus? For that matter… My mind automatically flashed back to my disastrous fourteenth birthday, but I swiftly tucked the memory back into my mental file labeled “Never talk about” and slammed the drawer shut.

Luminous Spirits by Dusty Crabtree

Old habits die hard. Old enemies, even harder.

Iris must now perfect her newfound abilities in order to help her shadow-oppressed family and friends, but more importantly, she must prepare for an impending fight with her most hated adversary. After the arrival of a new mean girl who seems to have history with Iris’s boyfriend, Iris quickly figures out that she is anything but the typical mean girl. She not only creates havoc and conflict among Iris and her friends, but her presence also means that Iris’s inevitable confrontation with her enemy may, in fact, be closer than she thought.

If Iris can figure out why the new girl is there and what her enemy is planning, she’ll at least be one step ahead of their game. But will she be ready when the time comes to face her biggest challenge yet? Or will they succeed in tearing Iris apart before she even has the chance?


And now available: Book 3 in the Shadow Eyes Series!

Iris’s job requires sacrifice, but this is one sacrifice she won’t want to make.

Iris never asked for the role of leader, but her mentor seems to think she’s leader material and her friends don’t argue. Sometimes she wishes she could just be a normal girl with a normal boyfriend and a normal life… But who is she kidding? With her job and one of her enemies still out there wanting to kill her, her life would never be even close to normal.

Throughout the summer, Iris’s old adversary keeps showing up at her work and on shadow hunts, but not to kill her. Not yet. Each time, his message is clear: Join him or die. To make matters worse, Iris’s mentor seems to be hiding something. Iris wants him by her side when her enemy actually attacks, but she’s not sure she can trust him anymore. Nothing can prepare her, though, for when the tide’s turn and what she thought she’d never have to sacrifice becomes the very thing she needs to let go of in order to fulfill her final calling and eliminate her enemy for good.


About the Author

Dusty Crabtree loves a good story, but she also loves young people. These two loves are evident in all parts of her life. She has been a high school English teacher since 2006 and a creative writing teacher since 2014. She's also been a youth sponsor at her local church off and on for as long as she’s been teaching. She feels very blessed with the amazing opportunities she has to develop meaningful relationships with teens on a daily basis. With her love of reading in the mix, becoming an author of young adult books was just a natural development of those two passions in her life. She lives with her husband, Clayton, and two daughters in Yukon, Oklahoma, where they often serve their community as foster parents.

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