Malevolent by S. Peters-Davis- Haunted Halloween Spooktacular

Soren’s Calling
By S. Peters-Davis
The tree, miles inside the dense Michigan forest, billowed with majestic energy, same as it did fifteen years ago. I’d sensed its power even then, at ten years old. Something marked in my memory like a reoccurring dream called me back to this place.
I touched the kaleidoscope of bark, reveling in its swirls of uneven texture, and swore it shivered. Or was I vibrating to its high frequency? Excitement and exhaustion sliced through me. “Hello, old friend,” I whispered.
A sudden heaviness settled into my body and eyelids. I dropped my backpack and leaned against the tree, bending until I rested on the ground. The sketch book. I pulled it from the pack and thumbed through the pages of my drawings. There he was. I want to see you again.
My eyes closed of their own volition, sending me into the darkness of deep sleep.
* * *
Breaking branches, rustling leaves, and a thud on the ground next to me startled my mind to consciousness. I jumped to my feet, the sketch book landing with Soren’s page open. I glanced at it for a second before scanning the area and seeing nothing. Then…he stood in front of me.
“Soren?”
His violet-rimmed dark eyes studied me. He’d grown in stature, still long-limbed with clawed hands and feet. His shoulder-length silver hair was drawn away from his sculpted face by a couple slender braids. He sniffed the air and his mouth opened showing long incisors.
“It’s me, Becca.” I reached my hand toward him and he jerked back, snarling, the talons on his fingers displayed in full. The hair across the nape of my neck snapped to attention, reminding me of the graphic way he’d stopped a wolf from attacking us years ago.
Maybe this wasn’t Soren. I lowered my gaze to the drawing at my feet. He stepped closer backing me against the tree, his thin brows pinched together as he studied the drawing. He looked back at me, wide-eyed, and planted his hands on both sides of my head. Somehow, we fell inside the tree.
We plummeted into a wind tunnel. His arms locked around me as he spun my body around until our heads were up and our feet were down.
What the heck just happened? I didn’t recall this part.
Warm shimmering light surrounded us, making the violet color of his eyes opalescent as we free-fell in this make-shift elevator of air.
“Becca,” he whispered and nuzzled my neck. “You came back.”
My eyes moistened. “Soren, I’ve missed you.”  His earthy cocoa-spice scent doused my olfactory in memories. The three days and nights we’d spent together, climbing the tree, finding mushrooms, swimming in an icy pond, enjoying campfires…until my parents found me wandering the forest alone.
We never went to that forest again for our spring mushroom hunts.
All this time I thought the tree and Soren were figments of a child’s wild imagination. I returned to the forest in hopes of finding the tree, where I’d first fallen asleep so long ago. I lifted my head away from Soren’s shoulder to study him closer. His face appeared more human. The fangs had receded. His ears lost their pointed tips and his nose wasn’t so snout-like.
The tunnel opened into a vast terrain of vegetation, thistle huts, pools, gardens; a whole underground civilization. Our descending slowed until our feet rested on solid ground.
“Where are we?” My focus went ballistic, attempting to take in everything at once.
Soren tapped my chin, closing my mouth.
I laughed. “We didn’t come here as kids. I would have remembered it, especially the trip down.”
“No. Our kind never brings humans here.” He grabbed my hand.
No humans? My stomach roiled and my knees shook then folded. The whole falling through a tree into another world of beings wasn’t connecting inside my brain. A living nightmare might work as not one human knew where I’d gone, too hard to explain a child’s quest.
“Becca, you must stand, now, or everyone will know.” He pulled me up and wrapped an arm around my waist. “We must hurry.”
I jerked to a stop. “I don’t understand. Why did you bring me here?”
“Shhh. No scene. Come now.” His nostrils flared and he eyed the gathering crowd. “Explain in a moment.”
A pack of wolves came to mind. My stomach flipped a couple more times at their red eyes, flaring nostrils, and growing fangs and claws.
Soren yanked me along a narrow grassy path, the others followed on our heels. Their snarls and growls closed in. Soren lifted me in his arms and ran toward a large round hut. He pushed through the fabric-like doorway into a cool dimly lit room. Not one of the creatures entered after us.
“They want to hurt me. Or eat me. Why did you bring me here?”
He set me on my feet and motioned for me to sit on the cot in the center of the room. Then he slid my sleeve above my wrist, his fingertips touched two small scars. “Those are what called you back. I marked you long ago, as you slept, with the intention of giving you another that bonds. It is why we were attacked. Spring is our season to bond, no matter what age, we bound our mate and when the age is ripe, like now, we mate for life.”
“Instinct brought me here? You told me humans aren’t allowed.” My heart beat into my ribs so hard my body moved to its pulse. A mix of emotions swept through me in a shiver.
“There are no humans here, only our mates and us.” His face morphed, fangs extended.
“No.” My voice a mere whisper as he pushed me back and his fangs sank into my neck. 


Malevolent
A Kendra Spark Novel
Book Two
S. Peters-Davis

Genre: Supernatural, Suspense-thriller, Romance


Publisher: BWL Publisher






Date of Publication: August 10, 2018



ASIN: B07G36D3JC
Number of pages: E-book length: 150  
Number of pages: Print length: 195
Word Count: 57,500
Cover Artist:  Michelle Lee
Tagline: Trafficked girls marked to lose their souls by a malevolent supernatural entity require someone with explicit abilities for their rescue. Will Kendra be able to save them?
Book Description:
Kendra Spark, suspense-mystery writer and communicator with the dead, signs on to the next FBI Special Task Force case, trafficked girls that are marked to lose their souls.
Jenna Powers, ghostified criminal analyst, sticks close to the case as she and Kendra are also marked by the same malevolent supernatural force.
Derek Knight, lead FBI Agent on this case, learns of the malevolent entity and the deeper paranormal realm of danger.
Kendra’s unfiltered feelings for Derek struggle to take a backseat, and as the menacing threat grows more intense, so does her passion for Derek.
Derek faces uncertainties he’s never dealt with in his past, like malicious entities and the loss of his heart to love. How can he protect Kendra against forces he can’t see?    
As boundless supernatural danger intertwines with the future reality of the trafficked teens, Kendra and Jenna realize only they can shoulder the rescue by calling in a voodoo priestess…
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About the Author:
S. Peters-Davis writes multi-genre stories, but loves penning a good page-turning suspense-thriller, especially when it’s a ghost story and a romance. When she’s not writing, editing, or reading, she’s hiking, RV’ing, fishing, playing with grandchildren, or enjoying time with her favorite muse (her husband) in Southwest Michigan.
She also writes YA paranormal, supernatural novels as DK Davis.
BWL Publishing Inc.: http://bookswelove.net/

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Tangled Web by Gail Z. Martin

Tangled Web
Deadly Curiosities
Book Three
Gail Z. Martin
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: SOL Publishing
Date of Publication: May 10, 2018
ISBN: 978-1939704719
ASIN: B07D1C6Y55
Number of pages: 242
Word Count: 73,000
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Tagline: Keeping Charleston—and the world—safe from supernatural threats one cursed object at a time!
Book Description:
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and along with her business partners Teag, who is a Weaver witch and Sorren, a 600-year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.
When zombies rise in Charleston cemeteries, dead men fall from the sky, and the whole city succumbs to the “grouch flu,” Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren suspect a vengeful dark witch who is gunning for Teag and planning to unleash an ancient horror. Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren—and all their supernatural allies—will need magic, cunning, and the help of a Viking demi-goddess to survive the battle with a malicious witch and an ancient Norse warlock to keep Charleston—and the whole East Coast—from becoming the prey of the Master of the Hunt.
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Tangled
Web – Chapter Two Excerpt
“So you brought
an audience this time, Teag? I didn’t know our lessons were so entertaining.”
Mrs. Teller gave me a big smile and hugged me tight. I got a hug from Niella,
her daughter, as well. Mrs. Teller led us into a room she had repurposed as her
studio and motioned for Teag and me to have a seat. Niella came in a few
minutes later with a tray that held a pitcher of sweet tea and four glasses,
and she put it on a side table.
“So are you here
to see what this boy’s been up to, or are you thinking to learn some weaving
yourself, huh?” Mrs. Teller fixed me with a gaze that seemed to see right down
to my bones. She was in her late sixties, with short hair sprinkled with gray,
mahogany skin that showed no signs of aging, and piercing black eyes. Niella
took after her, in her looks, her lilting accent, and her talents.
“I think I’ve
got enough with my touch magic,” I replied. “I’m leaving the Weaving to you.”
Mrs. Teller and
Niella are some of the best sweetgrass basket makers in Charleston. They have a
regular spot down at the Charleston City Market, and their baskets fetch high
prices—for good reason. Not only are they true artists with a difficult craft,
but Mrs. Teller’s Weaver magic gives a “little something extra” to all of her
creations. Oh, and she’s also a damn fine Hoodoo worker, a Root woman of high
regard.
Mrs. Teller
laughed, a rich, throaty sound. “Let me know if you change your mind.”
I glanced up at
Niella and thought she looked more tired than usual. “Have things been busier
than usual?” I left it up to interpretation whether “things” meant the market
or the Hoodoo.
“Well now,
that’s a tale in itself,” Mrs. Teller said. Out of habit, she picked up an
unfinished sweetgrass braid, and her fingers flew while she talked. Teag took
down a half-woven basket of his own from a shelf and returned to sit next to
me. Where Mrs. Teller’s muscle memory was born from more than a half-century of
practice, enabling her to bend and twist the sharp dried grass without slicing
up her fingers, Teag moved with careful caution. He’d learned the hard way, and
I’d seen him come into the shop with fingers covered in bandages more than
once.
“Fill us in,” I
begged. Sharing information was essential for those of us in the supernatural
community in Charleston, and Mrs. Teller ran in some circles that Teag and I
usually weren’t part of.
“Trouble’s
brewing,” Mrs. Teller said, and Niella settled into a chair beside her, picking
up her own half-done basket to work while we talked. “People can feel it
coming, like a storm over the ocean.” The sweet, earthy smell of the seagrass
filled the air.
“What kind of
trouble?” I asked. Teag’s focus was on his basket, and I knew he juggled both
the complexity of working the stubborn grass, as well as the magic he channeled
through the weaving. He might be listening, but he had too much going on to
talk.
“Don’t know yet,
that’s the truth of it,” she replied. Her Lowcountry accent rounded her vowels
and softened her consonants, and added a musical quality that I found
mesmerizing. “But it’s big. I feel that in my bones, and my bones don’t lie.”
I tried to track
how she wove the sweetgrass, but her fingers practically blurred with the speed
of experience. Even without handling the baskets, I knew they projected a calm,
protective resonance that probably attracted buyers as much as the beauty of
her craftwork. The baskets of hers that I owned were some of my favorite
decorations because they always made me feel better being around them.
“Just a feeling,
or have you seen something?” I pressed.
“What I’ve seen
is people making a beeline to my door, asking me for gris-gris bags and goofer
dust,” she said. “Folks be saying that they can’t sleep, or that they hear
noises but nothing’s there, or they catch a glimpse of shadows out of the
corner of their eye.” She shook her head. “Uh, uh,” she tutted. “That’s not
good. Not good at all. So I fix them up best I can, show them how to put down
the dust or put a dime in their shoe or fix their mojo bag and send them on
their way, and the next day, I got twice as many people waiting for me, because
they all told their friends.”
While the boom
was good for business, I knew that whatever had people unnerved sounded like
the kind of problem that landed in my lap, sooner or later. Sorren is part of
the Alliance, a secret organization of mortals and immortals that take care of
supernatural threats. He founded Trifles and Folly with my ancestor nearly
three-hundred-and-fifty years ago, and our store is one of dozens Sorren has
all over the world. The stores serve as outposts to get dangerous magical or
haunted items out of circulation and shut down things that go bump in the night.
“What kind of
bad dreams?” I asked, although I couldn’t resist a glance in Teag’s direction,
but he never looked up from his work. “Is there a common thread?”
Mrs. Teller
shrugged. “There’re all nightmares, for sure. Most people won’t speak of their dreams
because they think saying it out loud gives the dreams power. Maybe so, maybe
not. But the ones who would say told me they were being chased, in the dark,
but they couldn’t see what was behind them. Except for red eyes.”
Teag didn’t say
anything, but he swallowed hard, and his fingers paused for a few seconds.

I swallowed
hard, too. “Yikes,” I managed. “Any idea what might cause that?”



About the Author:
Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, and Assassin’s Honor. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane and Badlands.
Twitter: @GailZMartin
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Pawned by Laura Bickle

Pawned

Laura Bickle
Genre: YA Dark Fantasy
Print Length: 345 pages
Publisher: Syrenka Publishing LLC
Publication Date: September 13, 2018
ASIN: B07FZQWDF8
For fans of Stranger Things and the works of Neil Gaiman, Pawned is a Young Adult novel that blends dark fantasy adventure and noir — on the New Jersey boardwalk.
Book Description:
You can hock almost anything at my family’s pawn shop…even your own soul.
You think running a pawn shop full of cursed objects with your dad and grandpops is cool? Try it for a week and get back to me. Now try picking up any random object and seeing its creeptastic history play out right before your eyes — yup, that’s my little “gift.” It’s my job to sort out what’s haunted and hexed from what’s not, and do my best to keep all of us — including Bert, our ice-cream-truck-driving-lizard demon — employed.
So it wasn’t all sunshine, roses, and possessed samurai swords even before grandpops’ heart attack — but now things are garden-gnome levels of bad. Dad made a deal with the wrong end of the dark side to save grandpops’ life, putting my whole family smack dab between the forces of evil and our friendly local blow-your-pawn-shop-to-smithereens mobsters. And Lily next door…I shouldn’t even be thinking about Lily.
All I ever wanted was to get out of this crap town and away from my messed-up family, and instead it looks like I’m gonna have to use every scrap of magic in this joint or there won’t be any family left to leave behind…
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About the Author:
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.
Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.
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