I have a new release due out on May 13 from Torquere Press. This is the long awaited prequel to Hunter’s Kiss and Hunter’s Bond and tells the story of how my characters Jack Stevens and Casey Lambeth met.
Stay tuned for more details, but in the meantime, here is a small excerpt.
Jack quietly made his way up the stairs, his attention focused on the reader he held in his hand, watching the needle which had not wavered much above or below the readings he would expect to find in any typical house. He was starting to think that the experiences Mrs. Andrews had described were not going to be due to the effects of low level electromagnetic fields and therefore, not likely to be the kind of hallucinations that could be caused by such fields. This case was looking like it would take longer than usual to solve.
Failing kids playing pranks or low level EMF hallucinations, the next possibility was that the problem lay in the structure of the house itself. Faulty pipes, iffy wiring, conductive metals–Jack mounted the last step to the landing and walked into the master bedroom.
Edith Andrews’ love of antiques was reflected in this room as it had been in the rest of the house. Jack smiled, taking in the large, canopied bed and the rich, gleaming mahogany bed frame, dresser and wardrobe. A large, oval mirror graced the dresser, supported by brass poles either side. Chintz curtains hung at the window, which was closed, despite the warmth of the day.
Jack ran his scanner over the walls, and then moved to the bed, and then the wardrobe, the needle holding steady the whole time. He went to the dresser and scanned from the mirror down to the wooden top and was about to turn away when the needle took a sharp and sudden dive down to the lower end of the gauge. Frowning, Jack scanned a second time, the needle hovering mid-range until he scanned the top of the dresser when it dipped sharply again. Jack’s hand, holding the reader, hovered over a jewelry box made of wood inlaid with mother of pearl. Reaching out with his free hand, Jack lifted the lid of the box. A light flashed on the reader and the needle slid lower on the gauge.
Inside the box, nestled atop a piece of folded silk, lay an antique brooch. It was made of gold or maybe brass. Oval in shape, the outside edge of it was set with pearls around a black, enamel inner bevel which surrounded a central design that looked like it was woven from hair, covered by clear glass or crystal. Across the woven hair, under the glass, seed pearls spelled out the name Sarah. Gold lettering on the black enamel read, In memory of.
Jack frowned and reached into the box to lift the brooch from its resting place.
A sudden gust of wind swirled in the room at the same moment that Jack heard Casey call his name. He glanced up, looking toward the door which, as he watched, swung on its hinges and slammed shut with a violent impact that made the house shake. The wind that swirled into the room seemed to pick up pace, accompanied by an eerie whining sound like an approaching hurricane. Jack dodged as a book flew at him from across the room and something he couldn’t see buffeted him, knocking him away from the dresser. He dropped the EMF reader, flinging his hands up to protect his face as shoes, books, and other small items took to the air and whirled around him. Jack hunkered down, and made for the door, pounding on it and calling for Casey.
Halfway up the stairs, Casey paused as a frisson ran through his body, the familiar cold prickle of precognition running up his spine, bringing gooseflesh to his skin and raising the hair at the nape of his neck. He closed his eyes, suddenly dizzy, and grabbed for the banister railing. Something was coming. Casey’s heart began to beat heavily. Opening his eyes, he took the last few steps to the landing in a couple of strides. The air temperature dropped several degrees in those scant seconds. Every hair on Casey’s scalp and all over his body stood on end. Casey gasped in the cold, shivering, and turned toward the master bedroom in time to see Jack lift the lid of a jewel box and reach into it, to pick something up.
“Oh, God…” Casey moaned. From somewhere–everywhere on the landing an answering moan rang in his ears.
He won’t believe me…
“Jack!” Casey yelled. “Don’t touch tha–” He threw out a hand in warning, lunging for the bedroom door in the same instant that a gust of wind rushed past him and the door slammed shut between them. Casey was thrown backward by some unseen force. He flailed, managing to grab hold of the newel post in time to prevent himself pitching headlong down the stairs. The air on the landing fell still and calm, the temperature returned to normal, and Casey pulled himself to his feet.