When seventeen-year-old Dharma Moore moves to Bayou country so her scam artist mother can work as a Paranormal Investigator, she discovers that more than ghosts haunt the abandoned plantation they now call home.
Centuries ago, a voodoo curse was placed on the swamp waters surrounding the old plantation by a murdered slave. This terrible curse ensnares Dharma with its deadly effects. To save herself, she must face the terror of the haunted waters, find the dead woman’s skull, and convince the slave’s soul to release her from its torments. When Dharma discovers an ancient secret that links her to the property—a secret kept from her by her own family—she realizes that the curse is more personal to her than she ever imagined.
To survive, Dharma must accept the help of the locals, and put her trust in the handsome gardener, Wolf Bodine—who is the only one crazy enough to come near the plantation. With his help, Dharma must learn to embrace the truth and accept that magic is not only real… but that it can be very, very deadly!
My cheeks blazed, I opened my mouth to speak, fighting for words that wouldn’t make me sound like a fool, when something shuffled upstairs again.
Wolf stared at the ceiling, his brow creased. “What’s that?”
“I don’t know. I heard it just before you came in. I was going to ask you to come with me to check it out.”
He walked from the kitchen to the foot of the stairs and peered into the dark stairwell. I put Benny into the playpen with his sippy cup and toys before following Wolf up the stairs. Just as we reached the landing, the hollow footsteps sounded again. Wolf glanced over his shoulder and whispered, “It might be the pipes rattling. Old houses can make all kinds of random noises. Stay close and let’s do some exploring.”
We checked out each room, finding nothing but dust and building materials from half-finished renovations. Then we came to the second staircase, which led to the third floor. Steep and narrow, it swept much higher than the one leading to the second floor. I held tight to the handrail, following Wolf to the third floor landing. Five doors, all closed, lined the narrow hallway, two on either side and one at the end.
“Let’s hurry. I have to get back to Benny,” I said, taking a giant step and tripping over my own feet. I landed hard, spraining my wrist.
“Are you all right?” Wolf said, scooping me up. I started to dissolve in his strong arms. He stared into my eyes for several seconds, then grabbed my hand and placed it against his lips. His mouth parted under my hand and his breath danced across my fingertips. I could hardly breathe. Heat seared into my face.
“Yeah, I’m okay,” I said softly. I pulled back my hand–my body tingling in places I didn’t know I had.
The footsteps sounded again. Wolf helped me to my feet, his eyes wide and alert. “It’s coming from down the hall. Stay behind me.”
We tiptoed to the end of the hallway to the last door. Wolf gripped the glass doorknob. “Who’s in there?” He called. A faint flutter or shuffle could be heard on the other side of the door. Wolf turned the handle, but it wouldn’t budge. “It’s locked.”
Whispering voices traveled under the threshold. Footsteps sounded again.
“Open up, we’re coming in!” Wolf said. He glanced at me, his eyes hard. “I’m gonna break it down. Stand back.”
I took a step away and Wolf shoved hard on the door. It flew open and every ounce of me begged for it to be closed again.
Coming 10/30 from Clean Teen Publishing!
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Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing.
Angela’s first novel, Amarok, was published through Spencer Hill Press in 2012. Her newest novel, Angus MacBain and The Island of Sleeping Kings, was signed for publication with Clean Teen Publishing in 2013.
Angela resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant.
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