Spotlight on “Sisters of the Lost Nation” by Nick Medina
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In this haunting debut, Sisters of the Lost Nation, Nick Medina opens a world of terror for his protagonists where the truth could sometimes be as frightening as the monsters hiding in the dark. With elements of truth and the imagination of the fantastic, readers will read Sisters of the Lost Nation on the edge of their seats.
We’ve included an excerpt below. Oh yeah!
About Sisters of the Lost Nation
Part gripping thriller and part mythological horror, a young Native girl hunts for answers about a string of disappearances, all while being haunted herself.
Anna Horn is always looking over her shoulder. For the bullies who torment her, for the entitled visitors at the reservation’s casino…and for the nameless, disembodied entity that stalks her every step—an ancient tribal myth come to life, one that’s intent on devouring her whole.
With strange and sinister happenings occurring around the casino, Anna starts to suspect that not all the horrors on the reservation are old. As girls begin to go missing and the tribe scrambles to find answers, Anna struggles with her place on the rez, desperately searching for the key she’s sure lies in the legends of her tribe’s past.
When Anna’s own little sister also disappears, she’ll do anything to bring Grace home. But the demons plaguing the reservation—both old and new—are strong, and sometimes, it’s the stories that never get told that are the most important.
In this stunning and timely debut, author Nick Medina spins a tale of life as an outcast, the cost of forgetting tradition, and the courage it takes to become who you were always meant to be.
Sisters of the Lost Nation Excerpt
The house shook from the force of the slammed door. Grace, upside down on the sofa, one
foot over the headrest and her head hanging over the edge of the middle cushion, stopped
babbling into the phone and moved the receiver from her ear.
“Saw it again?” she said, and smiled at her big sister in a way that some might have found
mocking, but which Anna interpreted more affectionately, as though the smile were part of
an inside joke they’d shared for years.
“It was a raccoon,” Anna said, panting, trying to believe her own words instead of the
nagging doubt at the back of her mind telling her that what she’d seen was much more
human than that.
“You only come home this sweaty when you think you’ve seen it.”
“It was a raccoon,” Anna insisted. “Maybe an armadillo.”
Grace flicked her eyebrows and went back to babbling into the phone, speaking in a dialect
of breakneck gibberish called “Idig.” Anna knew how the language worked. The infix “idig”
was inserted at certain points within each word to disguise it. “Ball” became “bidigall.”
“What” became “whidigat.” “Hello” became “hidigellidigo.” Grace and her best friend, Emily,
had become fluent in the ridiculous language. Anna could interpret a word or two when she
listened hard, but she wasn’t quick enough to completely decode her sister’s conversations.
Their parents were even worse. They hadn’t a clue what Grace was saying.
Grace had started speaking “Idig” a year before Anna first entered the condemned trailer.
Anna loathed the sound of the cumbrous language. Partly because Grace chose to share it
with Emily instead of her, and partly because it was so fake. It turned Grace into something
fake as well, eliciting phony expressions, gestures, and laughs.
More upsetting was that Grace had started sneaking out through their shared bedroom
window, coming and going through the night, sometimes staying out until dawn, never
telling Anna where she was going or when she’d return. And Anna, hoping to win Grace
back, never snitched, despite knowing deep down that she should.
“Dinner in ten. Grace, hang up the phone. Anna, check on your grandmother,” Dorothy,
Anna’s mother, said from the stove.
Anna tossed her bookbag onto her bed. She could hear her father making a racket in the
yard, the thin walls no match against his resonant voice. Her brother, Robbie, was out there
with him, aiming at things in the trees.
Anna pushed aside the old bedsheet tacked up in the entryway between the former dining
room and the kitchen where her mother was spooning Hamburger Helper onto plates.
“Everything all right?” she asked.
Grandma Joan’s eyes snapped open, and her head sprang forward. A glistening tongue slid
over dry lips as bony shoulders hitched up to earlobes. “I fell asleep again. Don’t even know
what time it is,” she said, her voice ragged in her throat.
Anna let the sheet fall behind her, thinly closing off the former dining room, cramped with a
bed, an armchair, a small table, a slew of boxes, and a wheelchair in the corner. “You closed
them again?” Though the day would only remain lit for a little longer, Anna moved the
curtains aside to welcome a bit of life into the drab room.
“What’s it matter?” Gran said. Her words, slow and slurred, leaked through the gap between
her lips on the right side of her mouth, which drooped a half inch lower than the left side.
Anna was almost used to her grandmother’s new way of speech, but though it’d been six
months since the stroke, she still wasn’t used to that saggy piece of lip. Sometimes the
droop made her angry. Sometimes she was just glad Gran could still speak.
“Sunlight helps you feel better,” Anna said.
“Did you read that?”
“It’s a fact.” Anna swept breadcrumbs from the table next to Gran’s chair, then dropped
onto the edge of the bed just a foot away. “Good day or bad?” she asked.
“Hard to tell anymore. How was school?”
Anna sighed. “Eight more months.”
The left side of Gran’s mouth curled up in a show of support. Her left hand, wavering,
reached for the top of Anna’s head while the right one, marginally withered, remained still
atop the armrest. Anna lowered her head. Gran’s hand absently brushed through Anna’s
hair, as it had so many times when Anna was small. Knotty knuckles and crooked fingers
swept well below Anna’s shoulders, like always before, only now Anna’s hair ended at her
ears, not the small of her back. Still, Gran’s hand brushed through the air in search of the
braids that once hung there.
Author: Nick Medina
Launch Date: April 18, 2023
Excerpted from Sisters of the Lost Nation by Nick Medina Copyright © 2023 by Nick Medina. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Praise for Sisters of the Lost Nation
“Sisters of the Lost Nation weaves Native folklore with truths that we feel in our bones to create a story that is as beautiful as it is sad, as powerful as it is frightening, as familiar as it is otherworldly.”–ALMA KATSU, author of The Fervor & The Hunger
“With the excellent Sisters of the Lost Nation, Nick Medina expertly balances Native mythology, a grounded coming-of-age story, and a modern, all too real, and terrible mystery of Native girls going missing. Gripping, heartbreaking, and vital, this is a novel you won’t soon forget, and Anna Horn will no doubt become one of your most cherished fictional characters.”–PAUL TREMBLAY, national bestselling author of A Head Full of Ghosts & The Pallbearers Club
“Nick Medina’s Sisters of the Lost Nation is a powerful debut novel that drops you in a unique world filled with horrors, both real and mythological. It grips you from the start, engages you to the finish, and stays with you after.”–IRIS YAMASHITA, author of City Under One Roof
About Nick Medina
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Nick Medina appreciates blues-based music, local folklore, and snowy winters. He has degrees in organizational and multicultural communication, and has worked as a college instructor. He enjoys playing guitar, listening to classic rock, exploring haunted cemeteries, and all sorts of spooky stuff. Connect with him on nickmedina.net, Instagram, and Twitter.
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