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Struck by lightning...claimed by shadows.
Caught in a terrible storm, Gwynneth is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of a mysterious stranger. Following her release, the stranger visits her at will and offers Gwynneth a gift—one that will stay the hands of death. She is uncertain whether Julian is a savior or something sinister... for as he shares more of this gift, his price becomes deadly.
Excerpt from Struck:
“I saw one of them in here, Julian. Those shadow things. I saw it. It went into Seth’s bedroom.”
A frown creased his smooth brow. “You must have been imagining things, Gwynneth. Are you positive?”
“Yes.” She stared at him uncertainly. “You have to keep those things out of here.”
“You are asking for my help, then?”
Gwynneth hesitated. The question seemed to imply much more than she wanted to admit.
“I need something from you in return,” Julian said quietly. He took her arms. “Just a small token. You won’t miss it.”
She covered her face with her hands. “I must be going crazy. You’re a figment of my imagination. Forget it, Julian. Just go away.”
“Is that what you think I am?” He gently removed her hands from her face. “I’m not a figment of your imagination, Gwynneth. I assure you.”
She looked up at him. His face was so beautiful. Mesmerizing. She felt herself lean toward him without thinking.
“A small token.” His gloved thumb stroked her cheek hypnotically. “I can offer you so much in return. Let me show you.”
His storm-filled eyes made her feel like she was drowning. Before she could reply, Gwynneth was pulled into blackness.
Folding. Everything was folding in on them. The weight of the air pressed against her skin, crushing her. Something evil hovered around them. Waiting. She could feel it. Poised to strike, it was ready to yank her from Julian’s grasp. She clung to Julian in fear, the blood pounding in her ears.
The weight was suddenly lifted, and they stood in the empty reception room of Homestead. “What was that?” she began. ”Why are we here?”
“Trust me.” Julian held her as she gained her bearings again. “I will show you what it can be.”
“Nobody will die?”
“If you trust me.”
Perplexed, she allowed him to lead her down the hallway. They arrived at room 102. Mr. Allen’s room, Gwynneth thought. Everyone liked the elderly gentleman, even his children visited several times a week. She hated that Mr. Allen’s medication made him forget things from time to time, but most of the residents were on medication of some kind.
Mr. Allen sat in bed, doing crosswords puzzles. She wasn’t surprised to see him awake. Most of the elderly kept odd hours and experienced insomnia.
“He can’t see us either?” she whispered.
“No.” Julian stood behind her. His slid his hands up her arms, and nudged her forward. “Watch, Gwynneth.”
She watched, trepidation pricking at her insides. Something peeled itself from the wall and occupied space in the room. Something dark and filled with need.
“What is that?” she breathed. “Julian, you promised.” In a blink, it was beside Mr. Allen. The figure jerked and flickered humanlike, but wrong. Its arms and legs were moving backwards against their joints, and its face morphed but wouldn’t settle. It reached out with lightning speed and grabbed Mr. Allen by the shoulders.
“No!” she screamed.
Julian stopped her from lunging forward. His fingers dug painfully into her skin. “Tell it to go away, Gwynneth.” He pulled her against his chest. “Stop it from taking his life. You can, you know.”
Her heart raced. Gwynneth felt like the air was being sucked from the room. Mr. Allen fell backwards onto his bed. The figure crawled over him like an insect.
She lunged against Julian’s viselike grip. “Stop!”
The black figure immediately pulled away. In a blink, it was on them, and they fell backwards onto the floor. Icy cold washed over Gwynneth as the creature enveloped her body like a second skin.
A red-headed, pink-loving mortician who speaks to the dead.
A moody, unsociable funeral director.
Poppy and Dante from Struck are back.
Something is lingering around Skyview Funeral Home—and it's stealing souls of the dead.
With Dante in tow, Poppy is determined to put a stop to it.
Can she protect those who are trying to cross over, or will her soul be next?
Excerpt from Poppy:
The root cellar was a small space with a low ceiling. At one point, it probably smelled of apples and potatoes, but now, there was nothing but the scent of lawn mower gas, dirt, and cold stone. Poppy reached into the darkness, searching for the light bulb string. Her fingers connected, and she pulled it on with a click.
Weak light illuminated the usual garden-equipment clutter. Rakes and shovels were piled against a stone wall. Several cans of gasoline sat next to an old lawn mower. Bags of fertilizer and garden fungicide sat beside them. Gladys was nowhere in sight.
A rustle sounded from a darkened corner. Fully expecting to see a rat or trapped bird, she held the bulb in such a way to throw light on it. The door slammed shut behind her.
“Geez!” Poppy lost her grip on the light. The swinging bulb cast rising and falling shadows on the walls. She made a move to push the door open when the lightbulb suddenly shattered, leaving her in darkness.
“Gladys?” Poppy kicked herself for not waiting until morning, when Dante could have accompanied her. The grating sound started up from the corner of the room. It ran slowly along the ground until it stopped in front of her. That’s not Gladys. You walked right into this one.
She clutched the jar to her chest, her heart thumping. “I have the locket, if that’s what you want.”
The answering silence lay across the cellar like a shroud.
“I’ll make you a deal. You leave my dead alone, and I’ll leave the locket right here.” Her voice sounded against the close confines. “Good luck with the sea salt, if that matters.” Poppy inwardly cringed as she felt a trickle of blood from her nose. Dammit. She attempted to put up her barriers, but it was too late.
A heaviness descended upon her shoulders like a mantle. Something lashed out and scratched the skin of her throat.