Cover Reveal: THE DEPTHS by Nicole Lesperance
A tropical island full of secrets. Two Victorian ghosts, trapped for eternity. And a seventeen-year-old girl determined not to be next. Prepare for Nicole Lesperance’s stunning novel, The Depths, coming to shelves October 4, 2022!
Eulalie Island should be a paradise, but to Addie Spencer, it’s more like a prison.
Forced to tag along to the remote island on her mother’s honeymoon, Addie isn’t thrilled about being trapped there for two weeks. The island is stunning, with its secluded beaches and forests full of white flowers. But there’s something eerie and unsettling about the place.
After Addie meets an enigmatic boy on the beach, all the flowers start turning pink. The island loves you, he tells her. But she can’t stop sleepwalking at night, the birds keep calling her name, and there’s a strange little girl in the woods who wants to play hide-and-seek. When Addie learns about two sisters who died on the island centuries ago, she wonders if there’s more to this place, things only she can see.
Beneath its gorgeous surface, Eulalie Island is hiding dark, tangled secrets. And if Addie doesn’t unravel them soon, the island might never let her go.
Scroll down to see the cover of The Depths and read a sneak peek!
Cover artist: Tara Phillips
Cover design: Kristin Boyle
Eulalie Island is crescent shaped, its inner edge a powdered sugar beach lined with swaying palm trees. Beyond the palms lies a forest so lush and vibrant that the word green doesn’t feel adequate to describe it. The scent of dead seaweed and tropical flowers floods my nostrils and lungs, filling them with an itchy need to cough.
Melinda leads us onto a packed-dirt path that cuts through the woods, and as we pass under the leafy canopy, it takes a few seconds for our eyes to adjust to the dimness. My mother grabs my wrist.
“Oh, Addie, look!”
White flowers bloom absolutely everywhere: hibiscus and lilies and amaryllis and so many more that I don’t know the names of. Crowding the bushes, peeking out of the shrubs underfoot, climbing the trees in slender vines. Not a single blossom or bud that isn’t white. I take a slow, soupy breath, willing myself not to wheeze. I am not going to ruin this trip. Not after I almost made her miss her wedding.
“So pretty,” I say.
Melinda swats a bug from her face. “It gets humid down here, but don’t worry. There’s always a breeze up at the house.”
Sunlight sifts through the giant ferns overhead as I stop to catch my breath. A thousand birds are shrieking, though I can’t see any of them. I wonder if they’re all white like the flowers. As beautiful as this is, I can’t wait to find the house and the breeze so I can get this floral stench out of my lungs.
Ahead, Melinda, David, and my mom are climbing a set of stone steps, but I don’t think I can make it up just yet. My face is hot and cold at the same time, and black specks flit in my vision. Bending low, I brace my hands on my knees. If I can train myself not to breathe for seven minutes, I can train myself not to cough. And I can train myself to heal. It’s just a question of control. Mind over matter. Slowly, the need to clear my lungs eases, and I lean back against the trunk of a huge old tree.
Shutting my eyes, I breathe, gently breathe, and let it all settle. I try to find my center, my inner silence, but lately whenever things get quiet, my brain circles back to the accident. The same nagging thoughts circle like flies, constant reminders that everything is different now. That I’m different now.
Something pulls me out of my thoughts, bringing me back to the present, to the flower-filled woods. It’s too silent, I realize. The birds have stopped screeching. The insects are no longer buzzing. Then something rustles behind me, and a child’s laugh plinks like a music box.
“Hello?” I call.
The back of my neck tingles like someone’s watching me, but if they are, they could be anywhere in this chaotic jumble of plants and trees. They could be hiding an arm’s length away and I’d never know.
“Hello?” I repeat. “Is somebody there?”
Again, that laugh, high-pitched and the slightest bit broken, and it sounds nothing like the bird. That sound is human.
Leaves rustle suddenly, and I jolt as a black cat slinks out of a white-flowered bush. It swishes against my shin, and as it dashes away up the steps, I have to bend over again to catch my breath and let my rocketing heartbeat calm.
“Kylo, you naughty thing! How did you get out again?” Melinda’s voice floats down through the eerily still trees. Slowly my panic fades, but the crawling sensation on my skin does not. That laughter definitely wasn’t a cat. I’m sure it was a child.
“Is someone there?” I call.
The forest is silent.