Spotlight & Excerpt: Kicking and Screaming, by McCarty Griffin

kicking and screaming

Kicking and Screaming
by McCarty Griffin
Genre: Paranormal
Date of Publication: January 20, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-3012-1460-0
ASIN: B00FOD6QLK
Number of pages: 322
Word Count: 98, 373
Cover Artist: Joleene Naylor

 
Lacey DeLaney is dragged kicking and screaming into battling evil spirits and portals to other dimensions when she makes an impulsive bet with her best friends, Tish MacFarlane and Penny Elliot. 
 
Together they face off against the nether world and each other on a wild adventure no reality show could ever have prepared them for. 
 
Join this unlikely trio of ghost hunters, along with congenial empath Mary McDonald, on their wild ride through demonic mayhem and ghostly madness, where only the deep bonds of friendship they share can bring them safely through to this adventure’s shocking end.
 
 
 

Excerpt:

A smothered scream from Penny grabbedher attention. She turned around and gasped at the spectacle of the front door of the Fergus house jumping out at them from Tish’ssixty-five-inch television screen. Penny stared at it over the hand she had clamped over her mouth.

“Holy shit,” Lacey croaked, wincing at the unpleasant tightening in her midsection. “How’d you do that?”

“Cool, huh?” Tish grinned at her. “HDMI cable. Let’s you connect your computer to your TV. We can relax on the couch or the floor while we check out the pictures, instead of trying to crowd around the desk and squint at the computer screen.”

In the middle of her gleaming walnut coffee table sat a cordless mouse on a pad.Tish made herself comfortable on the floor next to the table and motioned them to join her. In her excitement, she hadn’t noticed their tension and Lacey decided to let it go for the time being. They could discuss Sid and his canine eccentricities later. As for her dream, well, she put no credence in dreams.She was more interested in what Penny had captured with her manic photo snapping.

Tish clicked the mouse and flipped back several frames to the first few pictures Penny had taken upon exiting the Subaru. Nothing struck them as remarkable right off hand. The house looked like any other old country house on the back roads of Monongalia County.When neither Penny nor she commented, Tish clicked to the next photo.

“What’s that?” Lacey asked, pointing to swirls of what appeared to be fog all around the house and front driveway. “I don’t remember seeing anything like that when we were there.Did you see any of this when you got that picture?”

“No, or I would have said so at the time.” Penny stared intently at the screen. “Is that what I think it is, Tish? Haven’t we seen this shit on those shows of yours?”

 “Yeah. They call it ectoplasm. Supposed to be spirit energy manifesting. It’s a common phenomenon.”

She clicked the mouse through several photos of the front of the house. They examined them in silence, seeing nothing else unexplainable except the ectoplasm swirling and twisting in different patterns in each frame. She clicked again and they were in the entrance hall, which was clear of the mysterious fog, but dotted with several spheres of what appeared to be bluish white light.

“Jesus,” Tish whispered. “I know I didn’t see those when we went in. Those are orbs.”

“What are orbs?” Lacey asked. “I mean, besides the obvious reference to their shape, what are they supposed to be?”

“They’re supposed to be spirits,” Penny answered, surprising both Tish and Lacey. “Sometimes, you can see faces in them.”

For someone who in the recent past had expressed skepticism bordering on contempt for the whole ghost hunting genre, she sounded remarkably well-informed.

“Oh, okay,” she admitted with a self-conscious smile. “I did some online research today about taking pictures in haunted places and what to look for. I thought I needed to educate myself, especially after Sid’s nervous breakdown.”

“Sid?What happened with Sid?”

“We’ll tell you later.” She grabbed the mouse and clicked to the next frame, which happened to be in the kitchen. Nothing looked out of place. “Let’s see all the pictures first. Damn, I wish we’d gotten some video before we bolted out of there. What about the recording?”

“I finished it about an hour ago. We can listen when we get done with this. Give me the mouse.”

Without waiting for Penny to comply, shetook it from her and methodically moved through the pictures of the kitchen and a few through the window over the sink of the property behind the house, then a few more of the entrance hall as they headed for the stairway to seek the source of the first loud thump.

Tish stopped and pointed to a bright blue orb hovering about a foot above Lacey’s head. “Do you see that?” she asked in a hushed voice. “Am I imagining shit or is that a face?”

Lacey’s throat was too tight to speak. Those features looked familiar, evoking a memory of warm brown eyes beneath a shock of dark hair. It couldn’t be the same guy, she told herself firmly. It was a coincidence or her brain playing tricks on her. She’d seen him today in the parking lot immediately after a traumatic event and now her brain, more disturbed than she had first thought, was seeing his face everywhere.

Penny traced the outline of the face with a scarlet nail. “I could be wrong, but I think it’s a man. Young. He looks friendly. See? He’s smiling at us. I don’t recognize him. Do either of you?”

 “No,” Lacey lied automatically. The face was too small to be sure who it was. Her imagination had decided to go into overdrive today and she needed to rein it in for the sake of objectivity.

“Me neither,” Tish said after another few moments of considering the orb.

“He does have nice smile, though. At least as much as I can see.”

“Let’s move on,” Lacey urged her, not wanting to look at him any longer.

“We have a lot more to go.”

“Okay. We can come back if one of us realizes who he is.”

Besides a few more orbs exhibiting no signs of facial features, nothing untoward showed up again until they reached the last photo Penny had taken through the open doorway before she had fled the porch.

“Holy shit!” Penny screamed without warning. “What the fuck is that?”

She scrambled to her feet and backed away from the television screen, pointing at it with a trembling forefinger. An inexplicable gloom shrouded the steps at the top of the first staircase. Amid the haze, perhaps two or three steps from the top, stood a dark amorphous figure, vaguely human in shape. From what might have been the shadow figure’s head, two red eyes glared at Penny as she unknowingly pointed the camera straight at it.

“Tish, I think you need to take this camera back to the store. It’s fucked up. It’s not taking good pictures at all.”

“There’s nothing wrong with the camera and you know it, Lacey.” Tish looked pale despite her naturally olive complexion. “I don’t know what that thing is looking at Penny, but this is real picture of it, not a glitch. Something is in the Fergus house.”

Penny seized the remote and turned off the television. “That thing’s creeping me out. I can’t look at it anymore. And I need a drink.” . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        

“Okay,” Tish said briskly, “time for the EVP.”

She fiddled with several cords before sitting at her computer. Within seconds, their voices sounded over the sound bar beneath her TV.Lacey heard herself announce their presence in a self-conscious voice and give a running monologue on where they were moving next. Next came the clicking of the camera and the clacking of Penny’s heels, then Penny’s voice echoed in the empty kitchen.

“What’s the temp in here, Tish?”

“It’s cold.”

“Sixty-three . . .”

Tish hit the pause button, staring atthem with wide eyes. “Did you hear that?”

 “Maybe,” Lacey said cautiously. She thought she had heard deep mumbling amidst the discussion about the room temperature. “Play it again.”

Tish rewound, going back too far, but Lacey didn’t mind. She needed to prepare herself to listen properly for the voice that had slipped in between Penny and Tish’s voices. It was so fleeting a moment of inattention might cause her to miss it.

“What’s the temp in here, Tish?”

“It’s cold.”

Tish clicked the mouse so deftly, she cut her response off completely.

“Yes!” Penny sprung to her feet with eyes alight. “A man’s voice, something about the cold.”

“I can’t hear it very well.” Tish stared at the computer as if willing it to speak more plainly. “Sounds like he’s mumbling. What about the cold?”

 “He said ‘it’s cold.’” Of the three of them, Lacey heard him the most distinctly. “Right after Penny asks you about the temperature in the kitchen, a man says, ‘it’s cold.’”

“He doesn’t sound evil, does he?” Penny said in a puzzled voice. “He just sounds like some guy standing there in the kitchen with us. Ooh, this is weird, isn’t it?” She hugged herself and said with relish, “Keep going.”

Tish pressed play again and they sat as still as statues while their voices played back at them. Penny spoke again.

“Shelly gave us the key . . .”

“You know Shelly? Did she send you here?”

“. . . that came with the new lock. . ..”

“Who are you? You need to get out of here!”

The male voice wasn’t a murmur anymore, it was a shout. Lacey broke out in gooseflesh so stark it hurt, as if all the hairs along her arms had gone ingrown all at once. Tish didn’t hit the stop button this time and Lacey heard herself say, “Let’s go see.”

“No! Don’t go up there!”

They heard themselves debating what to do a few seconds longer and then silence, punctuated by their footfalls. They were headed for the stairs to investigate the unexplained thumps.She tilted her head to listen closer. What was that noise filling the room? It was low and rough, rising and falling in an oddly familiar cadence she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Suddenly, she flashed on Miss Fizzy’s elfin features and knew what she was hearing. She nearly screamed right there in Tish’s brightly lit living room.

“That’s a growl!” She jumped up and backed away from the speakers.

“Turn it off, for God’s sake! Something’s growling at us!”

“No,” Penny commanded, blocking the mouse with one outstretched hand.

“Shh!” Tish glared and smacked Penny’s hand away from the mouse.

“Listen.We’re about to hear the first thudding noise from the top floor.”

Right on cue, the thunderous crash boomed from the speakers. Next came her Scooby-Doo moment, which garnered her another scowl from Tish, and then their full attention was seized by rich, throaty male laughter flowing into the room from the speakers, spilling over and covering their bickering like a layer of warm caramel.

A second later, the speakers literally rattled with feedback from the force of the second crash from above and over their panicked retreat, they heard a harsh voice whisper, “Come back here.”

 

About the Author:

 
McCarty Griffin lives in the Pacific Northwest, at the foot of the Cascades, with her husband, two children and several nonhuman family members. She is a transplanted hillbilly, born in Texas, but raised in the hollows and hills of West Virginia where most of her works are set. She does not limit her creative efforts to any particular genre, although she does have a special love for horror and the paranormal she traces back to a childhood of Saturday nights eating Chef Boyardee pizza and watching Chiller Theatre with her mother. Before settling in to raise her daughter and son, she served in the United States Army, went home to earn her undergraduate and law degrees, and then practiced criminal defense law for more than ten years. One day she finally sat down and started writing, and she hasn’t stopped since.
 

 

 

Book Blitz & Excerpt: Grave Robbing and Other Hobbies + Giveaway

Grave Robbing And Other Hobbies Blitz Banner

Grave Robbing and Other Hobbies
by Jayce Carter
(Grave Concerns #1)
Publication date: April 20th 2021
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Romance

Ghosts, corpses and four hot men—what’s a girl to do?

Abandoned at three—whose parents want a kid who sees ghosts?—I learned the world is quick to punish misfits. I try my best to be a normal, boring human, but the call of the supernatural just won’t be ignored.

When a stranger shows up on my doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s no sexy tryst. Instead, I’m off to the graveyard, digging up the corpse of a murder victim at the demand of the local vampire coven—and that small felony is just the start.

The spirit of the woman has gone missing—something that shouldn’t be possible—and everyone is looking to me for answers. There’s Kase, a vampire who’s both terrifying and secretive. Grant, a mage with a bad attitude and a lot of power. Troy, the possessive werewolf-detective next door and Hunter, a mysterious bad boy who isn’t even close to human.

It’s a race not just against time but against everything to figure out where the spirits are going, who’s behind it and if I can trust the men who now share my bed.

And all because of a little grave robbing…

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grave robbins and other hobbies

EXCERPT:

Hunter didn’t remove his hand from my mouth. It made me realize he was also entirely pressed against me, and despite it not being possible, he felt better than he’d looked. His skin was warm, even through my robe.

He took his hand off my mouth but didn’t move away. “Stay still,” he whispered against my ear.

“Why? Is it coming back?”

“No. I just really like looking down your robe.”

As soon as his words sank in, when I moved past the adrenaline and the purr of his voice, I realized that yes, my robe had bagged open and he had a perfect view down the front.

I elbowed him, but he didn’t seem to even feel it. He released me, though the way he did it implied my little move hadn’t meant a thing.

“I am so tired of people breaking into my house,” I said.

“You aren’t human, and you don’t have any wards. That’s the same as a ‘come on in’ sign in our world.”

“I am human.”

“Sure, shadow-girl.” He sent me a conspiratorial wink, as if we were on the joke together.

“No, I actually am. No funky teeth, no freaky eyes. Human.” I pointed at my face as though that drove the point home.

He waved at himself. “No funky teeth, no freaky eyes. Very much not human. Sure, though, if you want to pretend, I’m not one to turn down a bit of good roleplay. You want to be innocent Little Red Riding Hood? I’ll play the wolf.”

His suggestion derailed me. How could it not? Any girl who claimed she hadn’t had entirely inappropriate dreams about the wolf in that story was a damned liar. Once I’d reached a certain age, ‘all the better to eat you with’ had taken on a very different meaning.

I pictured a dark, heavily wooded forest as I ran, something on my heels, gaining ground. His warm breath on my neck when he caught me…

Suddenly I didn’t care what he’d said, why he was there or what exactly he meant by him ‘not being human’.

Until I recalled he’d broken in, and clearly him showing up at my office wasn’t a coincidence.

He snorted. “I liked where your mind was going before.”

“What are you doing here? And what was that thing?”

“Don’t we have better things to discuss? Or we can do away with talking all together.”

“I don’t sleep with people who might kill me, but thanks.”

“If someone might not kill you, are they even worth sleeping with in the first place?”

Author Bio:

Jayce Carter lives in Southern California with her husband and two spawns. She originally wanted to take over the world but realized that would require wearing pants. This led her to choosing writing, a completely pants-free occupation. She has a fear of heights yet rock climbs for fun and enjoys making up excuses for not going out and socializing.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram

 

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Summer, by Audrey Grey

Summer
by Audrey Grey

Series
Evermore Academy

Genre
Young Adult
Paranormal Fantasy

Publisher
Independent

Publication Date
April 15, 2021

Purchase Your Copy Today!
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Add It To Your Bookshelf!
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Welcome to Evermore Academy where the magic is dark, the immortals are beautiful, and being human SUCKS.

After Hellebore Narcissus exposed my secret, he claimed me as his, a pawn in a deadly Faerie game I’m only just beginning to understand.

Now, I’m caught in a complex web of bloodthirsty courts, ancient feuds, and the lust for ultimate power. To expose Hellebore and recover the Darken’s soulstone, I must become an expert at navigating the cunning world of the Fae and my new life at the academy—all the while resisting my true mate, the Winter Prince.

Win this game, and I regain my freedom while saving humanity—lose and the entire mortal world will fall to the Fae.

But what if the only way to win involves giving up my soulmate forever?

If you love reading about fated mates, enemies-to-lovers, snarky heroines, and everything Fae, then one click today and fall into this magical new series that’s being called Vampire Academy meets The Cruel Prince!

Promo Graphic - Evermore Academy 3.0 - Summer by Audrey Grey - 25

Excerpt:

Prologue

Valerian

Every night is the same cruel, torturous nightmare. Silver moonlight glides over her bare flesh. I drink the sight in, devouring every curve, every hollow. I want to remember this moment for centuries. Perhaps I’ll have it commissioned into a painting.

She’s laughing, and Oberon’s shadow, that sound is a weapon that flays me open, exposing everything I’ve worked hundreds of years to protect. Her eyes are full of warm summer magic—an intoxicating mixture of shyness and want as she dares me closer.

I want to resist her a bit longer. To preserve this exact moment, savor it. But then, Shimmer above, her head tilts back to bare a throat begging to be kissed.

And when she looks at me with that trusting gaze and smiles, the shriveled pit of my heart swells with blind adoration.

I will burn this world to ash for you, Summer.

The things I would do for her scare me.

One word and I would destroy anyone who’s ever hurt her.

One look and I would give up everything—my crown, my magic, my life.

One smile and the armored walls I’ve built around my heart crumble to dust.

Every muscle in my body tightens as I slowly undress her. I would be lying if I said a cowardly part of me didn’t hope she would stop this. If the way I feel for Summer was terrifying before, now it’s like free-falling toward certain death.

Vulnerability coils around my throat with every second she looks at me in that way, making each breath exquisitely painful.

She demands all of me. She doesn’t understand how dangerous that is for both of us. Still doesn’t grasp how ruthless our kind can be.

This type of love can be a weapon—wielded by us or against us.

“Valerian?” My name on her lips sends a shiver through my torso.

Titania help me. I want to devour her right here in my enemy’s court, beneath the stars of my ancestors.

The grass lining the path is soft as I lower myself to her, holding her gaze. Daring the spell between us to shatter. The sweet scent of her mixes with the crushed honeysuckle petals into a drug.

Her eyes widen. “Valerian!”

My focus whips to the movement consuming my periphery. Spiders swarm from the hedges lining the maze, a sea of black death. Growling, I try to cover her but—

The loathsome arachnids flow around me like water. They’re impervious to my magic. I slam my fists into them, crushing giant swaths of the glittering horde, but for every one I obliterate, a hundred more appear.

I want to scream in fury as the infernal creatures cover every inch of my mate. Her screams impale me, as real as any dagger, plunging over and over and over.

No. I won’t survive losing you again.

Agony rips through my being as I watch the wave of black death carry her away. My roar pierces the sky. Desperation constricts my vision as I search the maze for her, my strangled voice forming her name, throat raw and aching as I claw and fight through wall after wall.

But she’s gone.

I jerk from my nightmare with her honey and lavender scent stinging my nose. Her laughter echoes in my ears, only broken by her screams. The poison doesn’t just torment me while I’m sleeping.

I fist my hands in the freezing air and shut my eyes. My fingers can still feel the warmth of her flesh, the softness of her skin. I can still imagine the way her silken hair slid between them.

The way she tensed in fear as the spiders swarmed over her . . .

I leap from bed, smashing my fists into the walls of my bedroom. Over and over and over. The marble crumbles beneath my knuckles, the skin over those bony points splitting open. Pewter droplets of my blood spray the dresser, the walls, the ivory bedspread.

Servants peek from my bedroom door, their eyes wild with fear.

I should feel bad about that, but I don’t. All I feel is relief as the pain momentarily drives her from my being.

But it’s not enough. My skin and shattered bones knit back together, and then she’s back. An exquisite torture of longing and accusation.

Why didn’t you save me? 

There’s only one way to halt the pain.

The servants who have been watching me reel away from the door as I storm past. They’re smart enough not to try and stop me anymore.

I flinch as I pass a hallway mirror, the reflection inside the frost frame unrecognizable. I see in his eyes the thing that scares me the most—a deep, unrelenting desire to punish everyone involved in Hellebore’s deception.

Whatever alliances I need to make, whoever it hurts, I won’t stop until my mate is safely back in my arms.

Even if the cost is my soul.

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author AUDREY GREY lives in the charming state of Oklahoma, with her husband, two little people, and four mischievous dogs. You can usually find her hiding out in her office from said little people and dogs, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for her characters to live in.

Website  |  Facebook Reader Group  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub  |  Amazon

 

 

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