Friday, September 22, 2017

Haunting Savannah: 8 Dark and Seductive Tales - Haunted Halloween Spooktacular






Haunting Savannah
8 Dark and Seductive Tales

By Lia Davis, Kerry Adrienne,
Deena Remiel, Ella Jade,
Evelyn Lederman, Savannah Verte,
H.R. Boldwood, Kim Carmichael,
and ML Guida

Genre: paranormal, romantic horror

Publisher: After Glows Publishing

Date of Publication: 10/10/17

ISBN: 978-1-944060-93-0

Spend Halloween in Savannah with eight dark, seductive tales of ghosts, vampires, demons, witches, and warlocks.

Nine bestselling authors come together in this collection of eight BRAND NEW, Halloween themed novellas.



Halloween, what’s not to love?

Halloween is one of the reasons I love fall. I really don’t why Halloween is my favorite holiday. Okay so it’s being able to dress up, scare people, and the candy! Now that I’m older I get to watch the kids have fun picking costumes, going to fall festivals and parties, and just having fun pretending.

Halloween is also a time to reflect. It’s when I start looking at what goals I’ve achieved and where I want to go in the New Year.


What do you love most about Halloween?


A look inside…

Ghost in a Bottle by Lia Davis and Kerry Adrienne

Anatoli La Croix has spent the last century cursed to exist in spirit form, locked inside a glass jar. When the beautiful and magickal Ophelia purchases the jar, he discovers he’s able to escape his confinement for short periods. For the first time in a century, he has hope. Could the beautiful witch be the one to break his curse? Or will she provoke the evil spirit that imprisoned him and bring dark magick’s wrath down on them both?







Forbidden Union by Deena Remiel

It’s Halloween in Savannah. Noah Blackman has come to Savannah, Georgia and Violet Adams’ home seeking to verify the origins of his family.  Could his roots begin with a runaway slave? This trip holds many surprises for the two as their family’s pasts collide and their present charts a course for romance and lasting love.





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True Companions by Ella Jade

Maxim and Grant have been lovers for a century. Companions in the truest sense. What happens when a human woman shares their home and their bed? Can two destined souls open their hearts to a third?






The Ultimate Act of Love by Evelyn Lederman

The last thing Kori Daniels expected to see on a ghost tour is an actual apparition. Although she can feel earth-bound spirits, she has never seen one. Already impacted by nightly amorous dreams since arriving in Savannah, her dream lover now has a face.


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The Haunting of Bellehaven by H.R. Boldwood

Self-reliant Harper McKinnon arrives in Savannah to claim her inheritance, Bellehaven Plantation—a proud antebellum estate. But the estate’s handsome caretaker, Clay Montgomery, is used to doing things his way. Fireworks fly as they are drawn ever closer, but the plantation’s ghostly secrets threaten both their love and their lives.





The Promise by Kim Carmichael

A mistake brought a demon to her, a promise kept them bound together.  It is a thin line between desire and love and good and evil when an incubus enters Leora Desmond’s life.



Twitter: @kimcarmichael4


Veil Break by Savannah Verte

Taken from the world he knows, to a place out of time, Holden Henry has a lot of questions when he is redeposited into his world, 150 years in the future. His Savannah isn’t the same anymore.







A Pirate’s Mask by ML Guida

Dark secrets haunt the Pirate’s House Inn in Savannah, Georgia.

Rosalind Gill’s stepfather is the culprit. He’s forcing her to remain silent and marry his evil partner or die. Her only hope is Phearson MacFie-a vampire pirate from another time. They must work together to not only save the innocent, but save themselves and discover true love.

Website: www.mlguida.com


Twitter: @mlguida2


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bewitching Hannah by Leigh Goff


Being a witch is the last thing she wants…


Bewitching Hannah
Leigh Goff

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing

Publish Date: September 17, 2017

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance


About Bewitching Hannah:

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Fitzgerald has always known she is descended from a troubled legacy of magic. Although a stranger to her coven in Annapolis, she is no stranger to grief and denial. However, when an ancient prophecy reveals the rise of a young, powerful Chesapeake witch and the impending death of another, she realizes she can no longer afford to suppress the magic that has taken away so much. She seeks out the frighteningly scarred, yet mysterious W, a Calvert descendant who is destined to change her life, but even he cannot prepare her for the danger that lies ahead. Engaged in a deadly game without knowing who her true rival is, Hannah isn’t certain she will survive, and if she loses she may lose everything, including the ones she loves.

Read an Excerpt:

Lightning flashed, followed by a rumble of thunder, jolting me alert. A tempest churned over the Chesapeake Bay and was rolling toward town. I stared at the clouds, ready to calculate how much time we had before the rain hit. Another bright flash of white-hot lightning forked across the purplish-black sky. One, two…twenty.

Boom.

The storm was at least four miles away. I pressed a hand over my chest, feeling the thumping slow.

I glanced at Aunt J, who was no longer bopping her head to the bad music. Instead, she blinked over and over, and rubbed her eyes with one hand.

“If you’re tired, I can drive.” Who needed a license when I’d already mastered a moped along with the Green Briar golf carts?

Her slender fingers searched for me as if I were a ghost she could only hear. She grasped my arm tightly.

“Hannah?” Panic drenched her voice.

My eyes widened. “What’s wrong?”

“I can’t see. I mean, I see something, but it’s not the road. What’s wrong with me?”

I peered out the windshield. A distant telephone pole grew bigger as her foot stuck to the accelerator.

A frightening swell of adrenaline flooded my veins, sending my heart into a frenzy. “Stop!” I yelled, but she was frozen with fright. I grabbed the steering wheel and threw my leg over to jam on the brake pedal.

It was too late. Absolute silence fell over us in the grim second before we plowed into the pole. My lower body slammed into the dashboard while the seatbelt squeezed hard against my ribs. Metal groaned. White bubbles deployed. Glass shattered with a scream. Or maybe the scream was mine. The car groaned to a halt with a hiss and clank.

Stillness settled over us. My head was reeling as I checked myself for injuries. Bursts of pain sparked from my chest and leg.

“Hannah?” Aunt J’s quivering voice reached out.

I pried my eyes open. She had escaped her seatbelt. Her lips and hands were trembling, but I saw no blood or broken skin. Inwardly, I sighed with relief.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

I sucked in a shallow breath. “Me? Fine,” I managed, not wanting to stress her out, but I struggled to breathe and my left leg was wedged under the intruding dashboard.

She reached over, wiping her hands across my cheeks and forehead, dusting away crumbs of glass. She touched her trembling fingers to the seatbelt release and pressed on it, over and over. “Come on, dammit. Let go.”

I pushed her hand away, restraining a whimper. “It’s okay. Go get help.”

She nodded and with a hard push, shoved her door open. “I’ll be right back.”

A heavy silence fell over the car’s interior until a hiss sounded from the engine. Within seconds, the smell of burning oil seeped in through the vents.

One toxic breath went deeper than I meant it to. “Ow!” I coughed and writhed beneath the unyielding seatbelt like a five-year-old having a tantrum. Panic swept over me as I struggled for freedom.

Stress vibrated deep in my gut. Self-soothe, self-soothe, I reminded myself. The air grew thicker with burning oil and a starburst of pain wracked my body. I was going to die. Unless…

No. How could I even think it? There had to be another way because what if I couldn’t send it back? What if it took me to the same terrible place it had taken them?

I peered out the windows, searching. There was no one. I turned my focus on the glove box. Maybe Aunt J kept a knife in there or a pair of floral scissors. I pushed the button hard, again and again. Jammed. My heart raced.

A burst of smoke puffed into the car’s interior. I coughed and closed my eyes. The pressure on my leg intensified and the sickening fumes filled me with dread. Eff it. I balled my hands into fists.

I recalled the spell I’d overheard my dad utter once. I recited it in my head before casting, making sure I had it right. “By the power of fire, I do summon and churn, and call thee forth to blaze and burn.”

I stopped breathing, trying to sense any changes. I felt no different. And then it filled my core like a warm sphere of energy. Quickly, the power expanded into a blazing inferno. My back arched, pressing me harder into the seatbelt as my internal fire surged. Every cell jolted awake. My heart pounded out of control as I imagined channeling the smoldering energy. Suddenly, my hands tingled with intense power. I swallowed hard and aimed my fingers at the strap. The fiery threads trickled out in a wiggly pattern until I steadied my hand. The seatbelt burned orange, then cooled to black before separating.




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Meet the Author:

Writing Enchanting Ever-Afters ♥


Leigh Goff grew up in Maryland where she resides today. Her writing is inspired by an eclectic childhood, a vivid imagination, and compelling historical events. After taking several writing courses in college and attending professional writing workshops after she graduated from the University of Maryland, she joined the Maryland Writers' Association and Romance Writers of America. 

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Halloween Flash Fiction with Aubrie Nixon - Secret of Souls Haunted Halloween Spooktacular




          The feeling the Iter gives me is unique. I have tried other drugs, of course, but the Iter is specific with its high. I see things that are unexplainable, things that any sane person would call disgusting. But since I am not sane, I continue to crave the dark and disturbing visions that the Iter gives me.
          Some of us don’t survive the Iter. You die flying on a cloud of pure bliss as you fade into oblivion. Those of us who survive our first encounter are treated like kings and queens. We are rich beyond measure and could have anything we could ever dream of. Riches, cars, clothes, mansions, fame–anything we want, it is ours. It is the least they can offer us. But, after having the Iter, we want nothing but to feel the release and music it brings. We are the Iter’s muses, and we need it as much as it needs us. We are one.
          I lie there with black leather pants and a dark lacy bra on. My hair is done in an elegant bun, and I have been painted with enough makeup that I might rival them for their beauty. I cannot feel anything from the neck down. All of the feeling in my body is gone. But for the time being, I can see things as they do. The world is brighter. The colors I can see are vast–more than any human brain can even begin to fathom. The first time I tried the Iter I wanted to cry at the beauty that surrounded me. But of course I couldn’t. I have no control of my body. I can do nothing but stare at the lovely room, and them.
          The room is a garden in a large greenhouse near campus. The grassy ground is the most lovely shade of pure emerald green. I can see dew drops on the flower petals that surround me. I lie on a bed of fresh, blood-red roses on a table in the middle of the garden. The trees are of varying heights and colors. Pinks and reds, shades that I dream about when I am not here. The night sky is a dark purple, and the stars shine brighter than even the sun.
          The mirror on the ceiling shows me the scars on my pale skin. They are of varying colors and age. The ones that mark my stomach are many sizes for different organs. I watch as they place plates and trays around my body, filled with bloodied meats and liquids. I am the main event tonight, the center of everyone’s attention. Therefore, my table is the most exquisite. I watch as the masked ones bring in the guests. They are the Elite, the powerful ones. They have paid more money than I could ever accumulate in a lifetime to be here. They are here to see me, to be able to be next to me. It is the highest honor to be the main event.
          The music starts as the Iter takes hold, and I become its puppet. I am surrounded by a dozen of them. They are dressed in finery and expensive jewels. They whisper excitedly as they take in the spread on of the table, and their eyes rake over me hungrily. The chef welcomes them and introduces me: Elana Arravey, 20, of Norse descent. Diet: Sparkling water, strawberries, pineapples, and low protein. The crowd applauds excitedly. The chef murmurs a few words in their language, and then she cuts into me. Blood trickles down my chest as she cuts open my skin. Servants catch my blood in champagne flutes, and pass it out to the ravenous crowd. I feel the chef’s hand inside of my chest, as she reaches inside me, through my sternum, and grabs my heart. I watch as she pulls it from my chest. It pulses with life, blood squirting from the valves, painting the chef’s pale, white hand like fondue. It’s beautiful. She places my heart in a bowl.
          The bidding starts at 1 million. I watch in the mirror as the heart is bid on by the room. The pulsing never stops, filling the bowl with my blood. The crowd grows frenzied as the bidding war continues. 2 million, 3, 4, 5 million. We are down to three guests left bidding. 6, 7, 8 million. Two guests. 9, 9.5, 10 million. Going once, twice, three times, sold!
          My heart, sold for 10 million dollars. A hush goes over the room. It is rare that a heart goes for 10 million dollars, but it is the first time this organ has been touched. It is a trophy to take someone’s heart for the first time. The one that gets to taste my heart comes to claim his prize. I wish I could see him. I hear the crowd murmur their excitement as the chef takes the bowl from the servers and places my heart on a silver platter. I can hear him lick his lips as he reaches for my heart. I smile as he licks it, the blood dripping from his mouth. Just a taste.
          It is over in mere seconds, as the chef whispers words in their language again and places my heart back into my chest. She positions her fingers over my wound, and my flesh magically closes. She motions for the servers to carry me away, into the kitchens. I want to cry out because I know my time on the Iter is coming to an end. My legs start to tingle as it wears off, and before I can ask for more, my world goes dark.
          I awake in my bedroom, the alarm blaring like a foghorn. I open my eyes, everything around me blurry from the sleep in my eyes. I sigh as I sit up slowly and place my feet on the cold floor. My body is numb except for the dull ache in my chest. I smile at the pain, and start the shower.




Secret of Souls
Age of Endings
Book 1
Aubrie Nixon

Genre: New Adult fantasy

Publisher: Winterwolf Press

Date of Publication: November 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-0988585157

Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 79,000

Cover Artist: Laura C. Cantu
and Andreea Vraciu

Book Description:

The Empire of Lucent has stood for centuries as a beacon of strength and light. But now an otherworldly realm has unleashed an army of nightmarish creatures upon the peaceful empire, spreading a lethal plague called The Decay which consumes its victims mercilessly from the inside out.

The king of the Empire of Lucent calls upon “Lady of Death” Zephera Travelle—an infamous assassin with a weakness for braided cinnamon bread and a striking aptitude for murder and mayhem. He sends her on an impossible quest to find the one person who can concoct a cure and save the realm from total annihilation.

Together with her best friend Zadkiel, mage extraordinaire Brenner, girly city-guard Oriana, and broody warrior Daegan, she embarks on a journey that will test her wits, will, and sanity. Along the way, she discovers that no one—and nothing—is as it seems, including herself.

About the Author:

Aubrie plays mom to the cutest demon topside. When she isn’t writing she is daydreaming about hot brooding anti-heroes and sassy heroines. She loves Dragon Age, Game of Thrones and reading all things fantasy. She runs a local YA/NA bookclub with 3 chapters, and over 200 members. If she could have dinner with anyone living or dead it would be Alan Rickman because his voice is the sexiest sound on earth. He could read the dictionary and she would be enthralled. Her current mission in life is to collect creepy taxidermy animals because she finds them cute and hilarious. She resides just outside of Washington DC.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Betwixters: Once Upon A Time by Laura C. Cantu- Haunted Halloween Spooktacular






Betwixters:
Once Upon A Time
Betwixters Book One
Laura C. Cantu

Genre: Middle-grade fantasy

Publisher: Winterwolfpress.com

Date of Publication: July 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9885851-9-5
ASIN: B071F5M61D

Number of pages: 288
Word Count: 85,189

Cover Artist: Laura C. Cantu

Tagline: When you believe, magic awakens.

Book Description:

A mysterious forest near the cozy town of Herogate, England is more than what it seems. The gnarled trees appear to breathe, gloomy storms follow you around, and prowling shadows come to life before your very eyes. Referred to as The Dark Wood by the townsfolk, the forest is guarded by a strange old man and creatures not of this world. Even the locals never set foot in the bewitched woodlands, and trespassers have a way of turning up dead.

When Noah Walters moves to town with his parents, his father—a contractor working on a top secret project for a private security firm—makes Noah promise to never enter those woods; but he doesn’t know that Fate has other plans.

Noah and his new best friends, Ethan and Skye, are chased into The Dark Wood by Grucker, a schoolyard bully, and their lives are changed forever. They are forced into the heart of the forest, where they discover a lost fairy who needs their help to find her way back home before it's too late.

Join Noah and his friends on a magical adventure as they race against time and plunge headfirst into the unknown. They are challenged with secrets to keep, a dangerous mission to accomplish, and a test of courage that will bring them face-to-face with magical creatures they thought only existed in fairy tales.

This is more than a tale of discovery, mystery, and excitement; it’s an epic adventure that will usher you into a world where magic is in the air, in the trees, and in every heart.



Excerpt:

“The old man’s breath came out in puffs of white clouds as he raced through the frigid night air. Wind snaked through rustling branches and caused the forest canopy to sway as if the trees were made of rubber. His muscles burned, but that didn’t slow him down. A portal had opened somewhere nearby, he could feel it in his bones. All he had to do was find it and kill whatever had traveled through it. He hoped it was that faerie he had met in his dreams. What was her name again? Neb? Neev? No, that wasn’t it. He stopped running and plunged his hand into his pocket. “Neevya,” he whispered. “That were her name.” Somehow, he knew she was the cause of all the trouble he sensed coming his way. He had felt it approaching for months—a huge black, storm-like premonition that roiled with deception and danger. It was a storm he was set on thwarting, even if it meant unleashing the chondour he had trapped in his dungeon. He pulled his hand out of his pocket and inspected a small iron trap.  “If she comes through these here parts, this ought take care of ‘er.” He stooped, placed the trap on the ground, and covered it with a dry, dead leaf.
An ominous howl echoed in the distance. It was a cry that made him cringe. He’d heard it before, about eight years ago, and he knew death was sure to follow. As much as he had tried, he’d never figured out where it came from or what manner of creature had made it. But there was one thing he did know for sure; a common wolf didn’t make that kind of sound. He started to run toward the howl to investigate, but abruptly stopped to cast a faerie attracting spell over his snare and to make sure his trap was set just right.
The howl came again, this time louder. He glanced over his shoulder and rushed toward it.”


About the Author:

Laura C. Cantu is a multitalented artist, visionary, and humanitarian. Throughout her life, she has felt an overwhelming desire explore the mysteries of the unknown and to expand her awareness and experiences. By allowing her perspective to shift and change, Laura has learned to unleashed her imagination and use it to guide her through creative processes. She passionately follows her dreams and has achieved high levels of success in her various careers. As a professional dancer, Laura won six national titles and placed fourth in the Professional Argentine Tango World Championships. She also stretched her creative muscles as a visual artist with drawings that toured across the globe. Adding to her diverse accomplishments, Laura earned her master’s degree in Oriental Medicine in 2012, which has afforded her opportunities to assist many along their journeys to realizing wellness.

Despite her already jeweled career, there is another passion Laura delights in—the art of storytelling. Her first young adult fantasy novel, Xandria Drake: Ancient Rising, earned rave reviews and a Goodreads' book of the month award. Currently working on The Vathylite Realms, Laura is harnessing and focusing her energies to craft engaging stories that are meant to bring joy, inspiration, and awareness to all who read them.

Laura is on a mission to live a life of inspiration, truth, and empowerment. With future books pending release, she continues to dance as a hobby, study energetics and wellness, and explore her imagination. Laura also enjoys drawing and creating 3D art and animations, hiking, meditation, playing guitar, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets.









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Deep in the Hollow by Brandy Nacole - Haunted Halloween Spooktacular


Willow’s Rest

Katie held her nose against the stench of Seth’s vomit filling the car.
“Dammit Seth, put your face farther out of the car,” Josh said, while rolling all the windows down.
Once Seth was able to stop dry-heaving, he sat up and leaned his head against the seat. “Shut up ass, you’re the one who picked that poison factory of a truck stop to eat at.” He closed the door, causing the stench to waft through the air again.
“We’re going to have to find somewhere to stop,” Seth grumbled.
Katie looked at the clock and sighed. Two weeks ago the three of them had applied for a job working on pipelines in Montana. Being from a small town of five hundred and fifty people had given them few options and leaving the dead-end town seemed like a dream come true, not to mention no one would be there to miss any of them. Seth and Katie had lost both their parents five years ago in an accident, and hadn’t seen the rest of the family since. Josh’s family didn’t give a shit about him. They cared more about their meth lab and the losers that frequented their home. So yeah, leaving was the best thing that could happen to the three of them.
The problem now was getting there. They’d left yesterday morning bright and early, excited for the journey, but so far, things were not looking good. They’d only gone eight hundred miles out of a twenty two hundred mile trip, all thanks to the flat tire incident yesterday, and now this.
“Come on Seth. You sure you can’t suck it up?” Katie asked.
“Are you freaking kidding me? How about I just start puking in the car, or better yet, in your lap?”
“God Seth, don’t get your panties in a wad.” Katie shook her head and gave Josh a pointed look. As much as she loved her brother, he could be a real tit bag.
Josh intertwined his fingers with Katie’s and gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
“We will be fine,” he reassured her. “We still have three days to get there. That’s plenty of time.”





Deep in the Hollow
Chindi Series
Brandy Nacole

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Brandy Nacole

Date of Publication: September 15, 2016

ASIN: B014U7BMU0

Number of pages: 232
Word Count: 80,000

Cover Artist: The Book Cover Machine

Tagline: Greed has a price, and the dead do not always rest.

Book Description:

Let me share some wisdom with you. There is evil in this world we cannot see, not because it is hidden from us, but because our minds refuse to accept its existence. But once we are able to get past what everyone says should not be, it becomes our responsibility to stop the evil we now see.

This insight wasn’t given to me until a year after I lost the most important person in my life: Bryce Rowan. Now, after another death at the same spot where he died—the overlook, where the mysterious lights dance amongst the trees—I begin to wonder if they were accidents after all.

Lucky for me, I’m not the only curious one in town. Cooper, a ghost hunter (aka chaser), and his sister Jada have moved to town and are starting to ask questions.

But the more we find out about this town and the people who live here, people who I have known my whole life, the more I begin to think there are those who would rather keep the evil secret, even if it means we will never be safe, and that more will die.


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Excerpt:

Prologue
July 11, 1972 

Once again I’ve fallen prey to MaryAnn’s pleading, and I follow her out the window, my stomach churning with dread, a contrast to her excitement. I don’t know why I let her talk me into these things. She’s always getting us into trouble, has been since we were little. Yet, here I am, still following her after seven years of mistake after mistake. There’s something about her I can’t say no to. I’ve always thought of her as my sister, not my cousin, and considering we were born only two days apart, we are more like sisters—look like it too. But still, even sisters tell each other no every once in a while. Not me. This time though, I should have.
Our tiny flashlights give off little light in the dark forest, mine unsteady as it shakes in my hand. Thorns scrape at my skin and I look back, hoping to see a light in the cabin on and my grandfather coming out to see where us girls have run off to. No such luck. The small, two-bedroom cedar cabin is dark, its frame nothing but an outline against the trees around it.
“I think we should go back,” I whisper, my voice trembling.
“Will you quit whining, Ester? This is no different than walking through the woods during the daylight.”
I beg to differ. During the day, the green leaves look welcoming, not over-powering and creepy like now. I don’t feel trapped and afraid when walking these familiar woods when the sun is shining bright, but now I do.
“But, MaryAnn, grandpa said—”
“He was just trying to scare you,” she hisses, as she shines her light on a raccoon scavenging for food. It rushes off to hide from what he perceives as danger and we continue on through the thicket.
No matter what MaryAnn says, I know she’s wrong. I saw the fear in our grandfather’s eyes as he told us the story of the thing that haunts these woods. MaryAnn had been enthralled as she sat by the fire, her eyes bright, her body unmoving as she absorbed every word. I had been terrified. Our grandfather has never been a skeptical man, always saying rumors and legends are nonsense. “What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth.” So to see the fear in his eyes as he witnessed the story he told us tonight is enough to convince me he was telling the truth, and not just some tale to scare his grandchildren.
An owl hoots overhead and a chill slowly creeps up my back, making me shiver.
“I think we should wait. I don’t have a good feeling about this.”
MaryAnn ignores my pleas, knowing I won’t go back alone.
The leaves rustle as a slight wind picks up. I can no longer see the outline of the cabin. I don’t know if it’s from my fear, but our lights seem to grow dimmer, making the darkness feel as if it is weighing down on us.
A small clearing comes into view, with timber laying hazardously along the ground.  
“We are almost there,” MaryAnn whispers. “This is where grandpa and his workers have been logging close to the overlook.”
Good. Once we reach the overlook and she sees it is the same during the night as it is during the day, we can go back to the safety of the cabin. I can already feel the relief of being back under my blankets, eagerly waiting for morning, with the fresh smell of biscuits baking in the oven and bacon frying in the pan filling the air.
Whoosh.
“What was that?” I ask, panicked, and spin around in a circle, my flashlight shaking with more force.
“Ester, please stop this nonsense. I’m sure it was nothing.”
Once on the other side of the clearing, we start the mile hike up the incline and once again I wish we had stuck to the main road instead of taking the shorter path through the woods. The ground is slick from the rain we had yesterday, and with every step I take, I lose two as I slide back down.
MaryAnn grabs my hand, steadying me, as we both use our weight to climb the impossible hill.
Whoosh.
“Did you hear that?” she asks, her voice a bit higher than before.
I close my eyes, my stomach tensing. She better not be playing any games with me. I will rat her out in a heartbeat if she is.
“Yes. What do you think it is?”
Before she can answer, a strange mist builds in front of us. I examine it closely and point it out to MaryAnn, but before it takes on a shape, it’s gone.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.
A strong wind spins around us, and not caring about what MaryAnn thinks, I let go of her hand and tumble back down the hill, scared for my life. My feet are unsteady as the land levels out again and I fall over a log. Seconds later, MaryAnn lands on top of me.
“Come on!” she screams, terror in her voice. “We have to get back to the cabin.”
“What did you see?” I demand, as I race after her, dodging fallen limbs. But she doesn’t answer. She keeps running, looking back to make sure that I am close behind her.
A strong force comes from behind me and I’m shoved into MaryAnn’s back, making us both lose our footing.
Whoosh.
Tears pour down my face as we scramble to our feet, our flashlights lost in the darkness. We try our hardest to run through the darkness with no light to guide our way. MaryAnn grabs my hand, our sweaty fingers clinging as tightly as they can while we try to make out where we are.
When MaryAnn screams, her body jerked away from me, I feel as if I can’t breathe. Something is trying to take her from me. My grip on her hand tightens, my small twelve year old frame pulling as hard as possible against whatever is trying to tug her away.
A movement behind her catches my eye as we struggle, but I can’t make out who or what it is. It’s shrouded in a black cloak, practically invisible under the blanket of night. I do make out the grey mist behind it, as if it’s drifting and waiting for its prey.
My heart thrums, feeling as if it’s trying to escape out of my chest, and my throat grows tight as I choke on my tears. MaryAnn screams, begging me not to let go of her, as our fingers begin to slip.
Why can no one hear us? We have to be close to the cabin.
A sharp pain explodes in the back of my head, and I pitch forward, disoriented. My legs slip out from beneath me, and I can feel myself losing consciousness. MaryAnn’s fingers slip out of mine as I land against the damp leaves on the ground. The last thing I hear is her pleading for me to save her.



About the Author:

Gemini Brandy Nacole is a writer of urban fantasy and paranormal books published by Ponahakeola Press. A reader from a young age, Brandy has always loved folklore and stories of beings that go bump in the night.

Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself.  She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs. 






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