Michele Notaro and I are so thrilled to bring you the first book in our brand new series following ghost hunting brothers as they battle demons, help souls move on to the afterlife, and maybe even find time for love? Check out this excerpt and then click below to read it on Amazon or Kindle Unlimited!
When I was young I never thought it was odd that I had friends no one else could see. I assumed everyone was visited from time to time by unfamiliar people, occasionally with bloody wounds or frightening faces.
When I was eight I asked my brother, Leo, how to get the scary people to leave me alone at night so I could sleep.
He’d looked at me strangely and asked who the scary people were.
“You know, the people who come and bother you when you sleep. Sometimes they look gross or they look like they’re crying, but they don’t make any noise. I wish I could help them, but I don’t know why they’re so sad. And sometimes they give me a cold feeling in my stomach when I see their wounds or blood.”
Leo’s eyes went wide.
“Like ghosts?” he’d gasped.
“No, dummy. Ghosts wear white sheets and say ‘boo,’” I argued. “These are just sad people.”
“No, Xan, those are ghosts,” he insisted.
That was when I started crying and ran to our mother to tell her Leo was trying to scare me.
My mother sat me down that day and told me that some people have special gifts, and I should be grateful I was blessed with the ability to help those who had passed on but couldn’t find peace.
I believed her that day when she said it was a gift.
But fifteen years later, sitting up in bed with my heart thundering in my chest and my hands trembling, I’m not so sure I buy it anymore.
My eyes dart around the room, bathed in a blue hue from the moon, and my ears strain to figure out what jolted me from my sleep.
The back of my neck prickles, and I clench my eyes shut, praying to any god that will listen to protect me.
I lick my dry lips and clear my throat.
“Hello?” I rasp into the dark.
Hot, rancid breath ruffles my hair from behind, and there’s a low rumble of energy.
I squeeze my eyes tighter and will my breathing to remain even. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s that some asshole spirits feed on fear and negative energy. And once they know they can rile you, they’ll keep coming back for more.
My nails dig into my palms as I recite my favorite sonnet silently to keep my fear at bay.
A snuffling noise comes from behind me, accompanied by more sickening puffs of breath against my skin. It’s trying to smell fear on me, and I can’t let that happen.
“Xan?” A light flicks on, and a sob of relief escapes me as my brother appears in the doorway to my bedroom in his pajama pants, hair ruffled from sleep and eyes squinting. “Everything okay? I thought I heard creepy laughing or something.”
“Yeah,” I choke out, pulling my knees to my chest.
“Is it that asshole again that’s been bothering you all week?” Leo asks, fists clenching like he’s actually going to start punching spirits for me.
“Yeah, he’ll go away sooner or later, once he realizes he’s not getting a rise out of me,” I assure him. I’ve set up the ritual to send him to the other side at least three times, but he seems to conveniently disappear for a few days each time, and then reappear when my guard is down again. He’s kind of an asshole. But like I told my brother, I’m sure he’ll get bored and move along eventually.
Leo glares around the room like he’s expecting to see my tormentor, which obviously he won’t. He could hear it, though, if it decides to get chatty. Well, it would have to speak directly to him or be shouting pretty loud, but the point is, he could hear him under the right circumstances.
“Do you want me to leave the light on for you?”
I nod feeling pathetic, but also glad my brother understands.