I am so excited about this book.
I am hoping to read it before the end of this month.
Everything about this book screams I am going to LOVE it!!!!
You must read the excerpt I got the chills 🙂
You must read the excerpt I got the chills 🙂
THE HAUNTING SEASON
by Michelle Muto
Publication date: December 21st 2012
by Dreamscapes, Ink
Genre: NA Paranormal/Ghosts
Synopsis:Be careful what you let in…Siler House has stood silent beneath Savannah’s moss-draped oaks for decades. Notoriously haunted, it has remained empty until college-bound Jess Perry and three of her peers gather to take part in a month-long study on the paranormal. Jess, who talks to ghosts, quickly bonds with her fellow test subjects. One is a girl possessed. Another just wants to forget. The third is a guy who really knows how to turn up the August heat, not to mention Jess’s heart rate…when he’s not resurrecting the dead.The study soon turns into something far more sinister when they discover that Siler House and the dark forces within are determined to keep them forever. In order to escape, Jess and the others will have to open themselves up to the true horror of Siler House and channel the very evil that has welcomed them all.
It was only when the crickets and frogs stopped that Jess awoke. She blinked, trying to adjust her eyes to the dark. She turned back over, expecting Allison to be either still sitting up, or asleep. But her bed was empty and Allison stood in front of the dresser, hands at her sides, staring at the mirror. Alarmed, Jess sat upright.
“It’s happening again,” Allison said.
“The spirits. They’re back. I can see them.”
Jess rubbed her eyes as a spark of uncertainty and a moment’s worth of fear rustled somewhere deep inside her. “They’re there, in the mirror?”
Jess got out of bed and tentatively stood next to Allison. She looked at the mirror, then behind her. Nothing. Uncertainty gave way to disappointment. The mirror cast back only the shadowy figures of Allison and herself, their faces made pale by the moonlight streaming into the room. They were alone, as far as Jess could tell.
Damn it! Why couldn’t she see the ghosts? Were they here? Disappointment gave way to a pang of envy.
“You don’t seem as upset as you were before,” Jess said. “If they’re back, aren’t you afraid they’ll take over? Possess you?” She wasn’t making fun of Allison. Something horrible had happened to her, and she was probably more sensitive to the supernatural than Jess was.
“Yes, I’m afraid,” Allison replied calmly.
The way Allison spoke seemed at odds with her words. The hairs on Jess’s arms tingled, but not because of any ghosts she couldn’t see. Right now, the only thing creepy in the room was Allison. The girl had been possessed, after all.
Allison turned her head to look at Jess, her expression unreadable in the shadows, even this close up. “He collects souls.”
Jess peered harder into the mirror, trying not to show Allison she was indeed afraid. “He? Who are you talking about?”
“He’s looking at you. I can’t make out what he’s saying. But see?” she pointed to the mirror. “He wrote his name.”
Fear and a healthy dose of agitation rose inside Jess. Fear, because someone staring at them from inside a mirror was downright scary. Agitated, because she couldn’t see anything, and Allison’s continual freak-outs were wearing on her. After a long day getting here, she was exhausted and just wanted to sleep.
“Allison, I don’t see anything! He? Who are you talking about?”
“Riley,” Allison whispered.
“Riley? Who’s Riley?”
Allison stood just as still as she had upon Jess’s wakening. “He lives here. With the others.”
“Others?” Jess stepped closer to the mirror, leaning against the dresser to get a better look. Her breath fogged it enough to reveal a single name, written backward: Riley.
“Allison?” she called out. She checked the bathroom. No Allison there, either. She must have already gone downstairs without her. Jess turned and walked back into their room.
“You shouldn’t be here,” said the little girl standing in front of the dresser.
Startled, Jess took an involuntary step back. She thought she’d be used to the way ghosts appeared and disappeared by now, but she wasn’t. Probably would never get used to it. The girl wore a pretty white dress and black shoes. The dress was tied around the middle with a red bow that matched the one in her curly, dark hair.
She’s a ghost. She’s the ghost of either Gracie or Emma Siler, Jess thought, aware of her quickening heartbeat. Finally! Her first ghost sighting in months! The girl looked young and sweet, so why did she feel so jumpy? Probably because her roommate would have her believe the small girl sporting dimples and curls was Satan in disguise.
Damn you, Allison!
Her face didn’t look anything like Jess would have expected of a child who had been murdered. The girl’s complexion was healthy, with a glow like that of a living ten-year-old. Not one who had been dead for well over a hundred years. But, ghosts were like that—appearing how they wanted you to see them, or so she believed. Or, maybe it was how they saw themselves. Jess had never thought to ask.
She could still see ghosts, which meant there was hope—hope of seeing Grams again and her father, too! Jess’s unease began to fade.
The girl waited patiently for her to do or say something.
“Hello,” Jess said softly.
“Hi,” the girl replied.
“I’m Jess. Are you Emma or Gracie?”
The girl smiled. “I know who you are. I’m Gracie.”
Jess tried to keep the remaining nervousness from her voice. “Thanks for letting me see you, Gracie. I like ghosts.”
Gracie’s smile faltered. “You’re still a little scared. I can tell. Are you here to hurt us? To make us go away?”
Ghost or not, Gracie’s words melted Jess. Hurt her? Never. Jess knelt down in front of Gracie. She reached out for Gracie’s arm, realizing she couldn’t actually touch the child—the gesture was simply automatic. Gracie stepped back, her arms still at her sides.
She thinks I’m going to hurt her, Jess thought. “No, Gracie. I’d never hurt you. In fact, I’m here to help you.”
“You’re very kind,” Gracie said, looking down at her shoes.
“I try to be,” Jess replied.
Gracie’s head jerked toward the mirror, then back to Jess, her eyes wide. “I have to go now. You should go, too.”
“Is someone there, Gracie?”
“Who’s there? Is it Emma?” Somehow, she didn’t think it was Emma at all.
Gracie frowned. “It’s Riley. He says I can’t talk anymore right now.”
Jess stood and looked in the mirror. Once again, she saw nothing but her reflection and oddly, Gracie’s, in the old mirror. Unease seeped back into Jess’s skin.
“I’ll help you Gracie. You and Emma. I promise,” Jess said, although she had no idea how to do that yet. She turned back to the child, but Gracie was gone.
Slowly, as if a child were writing it from the other side of the mirror, the word hurry appeared. And underneath, we need you.
Something stirred under the bed again and she took a few safe steps away from the bedskirt.
“Jess!” a child’s voice whispered. Her heart in her throat, Jess bent down and carefully lifted the bedskirt, nearly tumbling backward at the sight. Gracie looked out from under the bed, then slid the Ouija board forward.
She wasn’t afraid of the girls, but that didn’t make her any less nervous. Jess still rationalized that good ghosts could be trapped in the same location as evil ones. If Grams appeared inside Siler House right now, Jess would still be jumpy. No, what scared her was that the girls had shown up under the bed.
“Geez, Gracie! You scared the crap out of me!”
Gracie’s bottom lip took on a pout. “We didn’t mean to scare you. But she scares us. We’re sorry Allison won’t help you. She doesn’t want to help us, either.”
Jess took in a steadying breath. “It’s okay. I’m fine now. Hey, we were just talking—”
“We said we’d help,” Gracie interrupted, still staring unblinkingly at Jess. She pushed the board forward another inch. “Don’t be mad we took it.”
Jess’s hands shook slightly as she took the Ouija board and planchette Gracie offered her. She’d explain about taking the board to Dr. Brandt later. Maybe he wouldn’t notice if it was gone for a few hours. “Thanks,” Jess managed to say.
Gracie smiled, then scooted backward, disappearing behind the bedskirt. From underneath the mattress came the sound of Gracie and Emma’s echoing laughter.
Michelle Muto lives in northeast Georgia with her husband and two dogs. She loves changes of season, dogs, and all things geeky. Currently, she’s hard at work on her next book.