An excerpt from Jenny Foster’s Lost Moon available exclusively in Souls and Shadows.
For two years, I have had only one goal. Revenge.
The wounded man raised his hand and pressed one finger to his lips. Be still.
Hailey didn’t even dare to breathe, let alone nod. Run, her inner voice yelled, and as if he had read her thoughts, he shook his head. Then he opened his eyes.
This could not be. This had to be another nightmare.
From his undoubtedly human face, the eyes of a big cat stared at her. Vertical pupils, as black as night, were set off against a bright, almost sparkling green. The hairs on the back of her neck rose, as if to confirm the unmistakable presence of a predator. Hailey began to shake uncontrollably.
That was when he blinked, and all that she believed she had seen was gone.
Human eyes on a human face, desperately trying to tell her something. Then she noticed that his hand was touching her shoulder.
Hailey blinked until her blurry surroundings revealed five bloody fingers, and she could see the unmistakable green in his eyes looking at her behind them.
Five fingers, and then one of them vanished, as he hid it in the palm of his hand.
Four. Are you ready? With his eyes, he glanced toward the left in the direction of the street from where she had come.
Three. Hailey lowered her head by half an inch. His body tensed up.
Two. He closed his eyes and pulled himself up until he was crouching on his knees.
The words whisper behind me, blowing an invisible breeze through my hair and sending a chill up my spine. My heart pounds in my chest so loudly it echoes in the sterile room. Those words.
Immediately, I know she’s here. Judy LeClerq has come to show herself to me. Unfortunately, those two words are all I’ll get out of her. They’re all I ever get out of any of them. Two words that lead to nowhere.
This is what I tried to tell Odyn. This isn’t a gift. Even if I wanted to speak to them, they don’t tell me anything I can use to help them. It’s like a disjointed dance where two different songs are playing and none of the steps are on the beat.
Still, I know she won’t rest until I face her, so taking a deep breath, I turn around and face what’s become my cross to bear.
The shaking starts at my knees and works its way up every inch of my body until it reaches my lips. I stumble backward, clanging into pans and hoses until I have nowhere left to run.
Until I’m literally backed into a corner.
Until I’m face to face with Judy LeClerq.
Not her spirit, but the woman who had just been lying on the exam table with a sheet over her face.
Eugene just shook his head. Fourth was a brilliant scientist with a background in biogenetics. He was always ahead of his time, but he also liked to sleep and his famous naps lasted hours. Eugene gave up any hope of Fourth helping him catalogue to prepare for the move.
Moving bees was a tricky business. To safely relocate them, the move should be done at night. At least that was one of the theories Eugene had heard from the local bee-keepers in Texarkana. He never imagined he would find a group of bee-keepers in this area.
A screeching noise drew his attention, and he turned around just in time to see a couple of men climb into the hearse and slam the doors. He ran for the car, but rocks flew at him from the gravel as they zoomed away. The exhaust pipe popped from the exertion, and Eugene jumped at the sound.
He couldn’t believe it. The hearse, the drugs, and Fourth were gone.
Check out this excerpt from Sharon Ashwood’s Shatter featured exclusively in Souls & Shadows.
𝗢𝗻𝗲 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝘀 𝗹𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗸𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 𝗮𝗹𝗹.
“Wagering on the devil’s number? Risky, even for you.”
His soft, deep voice caught Tessa Harrison’s attention, though her eyes never left the roulette table. She stiffened, but worked hard not to show her fear. HE shouldn’t be there.
She’d run and thought she was safe. A calculated mistake.
“If you add the numbers on the wheel,” Cormac McMann said, breath warm against her neck, “they sum to 666.”
“Is that your number?” She edged her tone with ice, refusing to give ground even though he was very much inside her personal space.
“Is that meant to be amusing?”
“Take it any way you like.”
“You forget I know how deep that demon lives inside you. You owe some dangerous men already for this little habit of yours. Do you really want to add to your debt?”
The cold crawling through Tessa’s belly seeped into her limbs and then her thoughts, numbing her when she most needed to be swift and smart. Cormac was right, but she had no idea how he knew the truth. She’d been so very careful to hide it. Then again, he’d turned out to be nothing like she’d expected.
You don’t know that I saw you kill a man, Tessa thought, but I did.
I watch as Caleb disembarks after the souls. He pauses to wave, something in his smile seeming to be just for me. I wriggle my fingers back, wondering what the hell is happening to me.
As the train starts up again and heads back to Central Station, I flop back in my chair like he just took all my bones with him. I’m nothing but a puddle of smiles.
It quickly wears off, like my happiness needs Caleb to sustain it.
Or maybe… it’s what I saw in Melvin.
I shudder, wrapping my arms around myself.
Melvin’s chest was no longer empty after his soul was taken from him. Deep within the space that houses our light and spirit, a wraith had made itself comfortable. It turned his torso into a silently screaming black hole.
Today’s excerpt is from Julie Kramer’s Of Curses and Scandals, featured exclusively in Souls & Shadows.
Being a teenage sorceress is hard, especially when you work with the police.
“This is a Hunger.” He showed us a tiny mechanical snake, no bigger than my index finger and carved with runes.
My magic shook its head, and I pressed my back against the pillar, the ropes straining as I shifted as far away as I could. I didn’t want that thing anywhere near me. Something about it was extremely sinister; the runes whispered of blood, betrayal, and pain.
He continued. “It burrows under your skin and drains your magic, to be stored for later use. If it stays in long enough, your magic won’t regenerate.”