Title BECOMING MY SISTER Author V.C. Andrews Genre Thriller/Suspense Publisher Gallery Books Book Blurb Two sisters face love, rivalry, and a shocking disappearance amidst the luxury of Palm Springs from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Flowers in the Attic series and Landry series—now popular Lifetime movies. Like everyone else in Palm Springs, Gish idolizes her smart, beautiful, kind older sister. Even their parents compare Gish unfavorably to Gloria—threatening to send her to boarding school once the more perfect sister leaves for college. But Gloria has an unwavering love for Gish, even if that connection belies a weariness with her own accomplishments. Wanting a better life for her overlooked sibling, Gloria teaches Gish how to talk to boys, embrace her femininity, and finally develop a life of her own. And just as life is looking up for Gish, Gloria meets a handsome, mysterious boy. Obsessed with the stranger, Gloria closes off her life to her sister—then disappears without a trace. A police search yields nothing. Their father’s manic investigation proves fruitless. And their already starstruck mother becomes increasingly lost in daydreams of the celebrities who partied in their house decades ago when the town was a Hollywood getaway. Untethered from the weight of her sister’s presence—but also missing her sister’s love—what will Gish do with this new terrible freedom, with this sense she could become anything? Excerpt: CHAPTER ONE For me more than for my sister, Gloria, our house was always full of echoes, and not because our house was vast and cavernous with high ceilings and long hallways. It was bigger than most homes, but it wasn’t a castle. These were the echoes of voices from the past speaking softly. I remember playing alone in my room with a hand-me-down doll that originally had been given to Gloria, and hearing whispering outside my door, sometimes so loud I finally had to get up to peek down the hallway. If I looked, the whispering always stopped. I’d wait and wait and then rush back to the doll and hug her, patting its almost human hair. “Don’t be afraid,” I’d assure her with my eyes on the doorway. “These aren’t bad ghosts. Our house had once been the home of a famous silent-movie star who frequently threw glamorous parties right up to and through most of the 1960s. According to Mother, anyone who was anyone during the golden age of Hollywood and right after had come here, slept here, and partied into the “wee hours” in our living and dining rooms. Chefs and servants ran back and forth from the long, restaurant-sized kitchen with trays of hors d’oeuvres. Champagne bottles were popped so quickly that they “sounded like a tune.” Often the guests reveled outside on our beautiful grounds, sitting and dancing on the patios. Musicians played under large umbrellas. There were dramatic lights. There always had to be lights. These were movie stars.
As if she had been there at the time, Mother described in great detail how the house had been filled with laughter, music, and the clinking of champagne glasses, all of it being more significant because of the overlay of fame.
“These weren’t just any parties,” she bragged. “They were parties that were written up in the newspapers, reported on the radio and on television. These were parties with pictures of our house and grounds in magazines! Sometimes a producer would premiere a movie here.”
Many times I heard my mother claim that the spirits of cinema as well as stage theater greats still walked the halls, which explained the ghosts she claimed inhabited our house. Although she had redone most of the floors, replacing all the wood with rich marble tiles that didn’t creak, she would swear to her friends that she still heard their footsteps late at night. She claimed that she often woke, opened her eyes, and listened to the voices, the laughter, the singing, and the applause. “As if it was happening in the here and now.”
Of course, my father had slept through it and simply smiled and nodded when she described it all to us in the morning. Our nanny, who was with us both since birth, Mrs. Broadchurch, smiled, too, but took my hand and Gloria’s for a quick, reassuring squeeze. Mother insisted nobody should be frightened by it, but sometimes I thought Mrs. Broadchurch was frightened as much and as often as I was.
Gloria never seemed afraid. In fact, now that I think about her more, I don’t recall her ever having a nightmare. But she was at my side whenever I did. Our bedrooms were next to each other’s, and our parents’ was to the right at the end of the hall. I started to believe Gloria had her ear to the wall anticipating my sobs. She was always there before Mother, who took one look at us lying together and went back to bed, content that Gloria had done what had to be done with me. She had little patience for me. My fears annoyed her.
Giveaway: I’m one of the authors participating in the Are Ye Feeling a Wee Bit Lucky Giveaway and you can win one of 5 giveaway copies of Becoming My Sister by V.C. Andrews (US only).
Runs March 1 - 31 and is open internationally for many prizes. Winners will be drawn on April 1, 2022.
One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of Flowers in the Attic, first in the renowned Dollanganger family series, which includes Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. The family saga continues with Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth, Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger, and Secret Brother, as well as Beneath the Attic, Out of the Attic, and Shadows of Foxworth as part of the fortieth anniversary celebration. There are more than ninety V.C. Andrews novels, which have sold over 107 million copies worldwide and have been translated into twenty-five foreign languages.