Thursday, December 15, 2016

VBT + Review + #Giveaway: Sarah by Teri Polen @TPolen6 @GoddessFish

by Teri Polen
GENRE: YA horror/thriller


Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime.  Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death.  When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her.  But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house - but exorcising her isn’t that easy.  She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain.  With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.


With my hand on Eby’s back, I felt a rumble go through him as he growled at Sarah. Crouched on all fours, his body was rigid and I figured he was as nervous about running by her as I was. Sarah slowly rose off the floor, and I felt the muscles in Eby’s haunches grow even tauter in anticipation.

What happened next was over in the blink of an eye, but I saw everything as if in slow motion. Sarah shot toward me like a bullet out of a gun. Simultaneously, Eby leaped in front of me, attempting to block Sarah from reaching me. Although a valiant effort, Eby had no effect on Sarah and sailed right through her semi-transparent shape, but I loved my brave furry friend for trying.

When she hit my chest, I felt it at my core, like a wrecking ball had plowed into me. But she didn’t just hit me, Sarah was inside me again and I could feel her moving, as I felt myself fading, my life energy being drained. When Sarah had been a passenger within me before, I’d never felt her presence. This feeling was completely foreign to me. She was something palpable, not like an internal organ, but more of an extension of myself, an extra arm or leg. Just before my world went black, I had a brief connection with Sarah’s corrupted mind and the atrocities I saw made me welcome the darkness as it enveloped me.

My Review:

A few months back a girl Sarah was lead to a new house that was still under construction by these boys from her school. They told Sarah there was going to be a party at the construction site but when she arrived there was no one there but the four of them. Sarah soon learns that she has been had. The three boys have lured her there under false pretenses only to play a joke on her which results in her death.

Now a few months later a family has moved into the house where Sarah was killed. Cain, his mom and his little sister moved into the house after the death of his dad. They all needed a new place that didn’t hold all of their memories of his dad and besides his mom got a great deal on the house.

Cain runs into Sarah and learns what happen to in the house while it was still under construction and now she wants revenge against the guys who was responsible for her death. Cain agrees to help her until he learns the extinct that she plans to go with her revenge and then he wants no part of it but it is too late for Cain as he no longer has a say in the matter. Sarah has become stronger and is taking over Cain’s body to spy on the people who did her wrong. The thing is Cain does not know that she is doing this. It never crosses his mind what she is doing not even when he starts to lose parts of his day and then weeks at a time. Well not until his best friend Finn points it out to him.

Now Cain must try to stop Sarah anyway he can before she goes after his family and his friends. Cain is such a caring and loving person. He couldn’t do anything that might cause someone else hurt or pain. Can Cain stop Sarah before she harms his family and his friends? Or has Sarah become too strong for Cain to handle? Can he get his family out of the house before it is too late?

Once I started reading Sarah I couldn’t put it down. I think I was up all night reading into the wee hours of the morn. I just had to know what was going to happen next. When I was reading Sarah it was like I was watching a movie playing out in my head. While reading it I kept thinking of that movie Mama. Yeah I know there are quite a few differences between the two but that is what I kept seeing in my head at the time.

I think Sarah would be a great read for anyone who loves the supernatural and ghost stories or who just loves a good horror story. I can’t wait for the next book. There is going to be a next book right? Maybe? 

An Interview with Teri Polen:

What inspired you to write Sarah?

We’d just moved into a new house, no previous owners.  Shadow, our black cat, would sit at the bottom of the steps leading to the bonus room, fur bristling, body tense, and hiss or growl at something we could never see.  It made me start thinking about how a house could be haunted if no one had ever lived in it.

When or at what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t remember ever wanting to be a writer – I’ve always been a voracious reader, but being a writer was never a conscious thought.  Several years ago, I was waiting in the car during my son’s soccer practice and a story emerged, fully-formed – something that had never happened to me.  And I began to write it down.  It was a horrible, scary, bonfire-worthy attempt, but it got me started.

What is the earliest age you remember reading your first book?

I started reading when I was around 6, but can’t remember those early books. 

What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

I naturally gravitate toward YA, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal because reading about everyday life tends to bore me, but I also enjoy mysteries, thrillers, and classics.  You won’t catch me reading any romance unless it’s included in the previously mentioned genres.

What is your favorite book?

That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child!  I can’t say I have an absolute favorite, but some that have stuck with me over the years are The Stand by Stephen King, The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, The Repairman Jack Series by F. Paul Wilson, The Godfather by Mario Puzo, and most recently A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, Scythe by Neal Shusterman, and The Six of Crows Series by Leigh Bardugo.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

That’s a hard one – like choosing a favorite book.  The writer I’ve read the longest has been Stephen King – and I checked off a bucket list item when I saw him on tour last summer while he was promoting End of Watch.  Although everyone primarily knows him for horror, he’s also written fantasy, time-travel, and thrillers.  I admire that versatility - and his ability to scare the crap out of readers.    

If you could travel back in time here on earth to any place or time. Where would you go and why?

I’d like to go back to the 50s and I think that comes from hearing my Dad play old 50s music while I was growing up and watching the television show Happy Days – great music and life seemed much simpler then.  But I don’t think anyone could convince me to wear a poodle skirt.  Not happening.

When writing a book do you find that writing comes easy for you or is it a difficult task?

Some days I’m pounding my head against the wall hoping words fall out of my brain, and others, I’ve got two thousand words in an hour.  I stole an old flannel shirt from one of my sons that seems to encourage the word flow for some reason.  No way is he getting that shirt back.  Listening to music also helps.

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

I’m a huge pet lover!  But I’m more of a cat person.  Right now, we have a tuxedo cat named Bond (he prefers his catnip shaken, not stirred) but as I mentioned earlier, Shadow, our black cat who’s crossed the Rainbow Bridge, gave me the idea for Sarah.  I’ve read that black cats are the last to be adopted at shelters, but the ones we’ve had have been loving and full of personality.  Consider giving them a forever home!

What is your "to die for", favorite food/foods to eat?

There’s a self-serve frozen yogurt place where I live that has my absolute favorite treat.  I put triple chocolate yogurt on the bottom, layer peanut butter yogurt on top of that, dump a couple of pounds sprinkle buckeyes over it, then top it off with a gallon spoonful of hot fudge.  I drink a Diet Coke a day to balance it all out.  That works, right?

Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?

Read – a lot.  Turn off the TV and read even more.  Study the craft of writing, draft and re-draft. Then re-draft again.  Once you reach the querying stage and rejections begin rolling in, take a few moments to feel sorry for yourself, then pull up your big girl panties and get back in the game.  You have to be persistent, determined, willing to accept constructive criticism, and have a thick skin. 


Teri Polen loves horror, sci-fi, and fantasy books and movies.  She fangirls over The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related.  She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.  Visit her online at


$25 Amazon/BN GC

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Teri Polen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teri Polen said...

Thanks so much for having me today and your wonderful review of Sarah - so glad you enjoyed it!

Marcy Meyer said...

Enjoyed the interview. The book sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway chance.

Mae Clair said...

That's an awesome review of Sarah. I've already got this book on my Kindle and read list, but that review has me bumping it even higher.Loved the excerpt too. I'm such a sucker for cats. Go, Eby! :)
And, Teri, how awesome you got to see Stephen King in person!

Teri Polen said...

Thanks, Marcy and good luck with the giveaway!

Teri Polen said...

Yay for the bumping, Mae! Yep - seeing Stephen King was definitely a check on the bucket list. The hubby isn't much of a reader, but dragged him there with me and he admitted to enjoying it. I was also was one of the lucky ones who got a signed copy at the end of the night!

John Howell said...

Great interview. I want to go to the yogurt store with Teri and get the same treat. I'll drink water to balance it up.

Teri Polen said...

I've heard water works also - just not as tasty as Diet Coke. Thanks for stopping by, John!

Victoria Alexander said...

Awesome review! I love ghost stories so I'm looking forward to reading this one, thanks for sharing :)

Teri Polen said...

I've always been a fan of ghost stories too - started back in grade school as far as I know. Hope you enjoy it, Victoria!

Mary Preston said...

I do like ghost stories.

Ally Swanson said...

Excellent review! This book sounds like a very interesting and intriguing read!

Ally Swanson said...

Terrific interview! Can't wait to read this book!