Shadow Hunt Third in the Shadow Touch Novella series
Dr. Cameron Kalamos and Eleanor Russo make an unbeatable team – science and magic, working hand in hand to confront the darkness besetting humankind.
At the center of that darkness stand the powerful mage Houses, but the brutal murderer Ellie and Cam are hunting seems to be affiliated with none of them.
Purchase Shadow Hunt
- A Shadow Touch novella
- Release Date: 2/2013
- Zebra Books
Excerpt from Shadow Hunt
Marcie rinsed her chef's knife in the kitchen sink of the Segue Institute, and in a flash of overhead light on the long triangle of steel, she caught the brief reflection of an unfamiliar brown-haired man watching her from the doorway. Something about the tilt of his head signaled stealth and menace. She knew and cooked for everyone at Segue, so…
Fear thinned her breath, but her heartbeat didn't jolt, thanks to the beta blockers she was taking for her high blood pressure. She kept her hands steady, gripping the wet handle of the blade in her right.
She forced herself to turn, the knife uplifted. Drops of rapidly cooling water slid down her arm to amp her spook-born goose bumps.
She glanced around the kitchen—stainless walk-in fridge, island stacked with clean dishes to put away, double-wide dishwasher open to her left. The corners and cubbies of the kitchen were dark, while the air smelled soapy and water fresh.
There was no one there.
Which, after so many years of working there, she knew that meant she had to look harder.
The Segue Institute was the preeminent research organization for all things paranormal and it was housed in a haunted, renovated turn-of-the-century hotel. The place was supposedly loaded with what the scientists there called Shadow, capital S, a scary word for magic. Dark magic.
What she'd learned from all their research, however, was to trust the skittish hairs on the back of her neck. And right now they were tingling with a message of imminent danger.
She reached back and tagged the panic button under the counter and primed herself for the wait. Steam rose from the sink to dampen the back of her T-shirt.
Everyone either had retired for the night or was downstairs on the research level in a supersecret meeting—not so secret if she knew about it. They might as well have had the meeting in the kitchen, because if she lived through this, she would know the details in bits and pieces by the end of tomorrow anyway. And if she died, she'd take the secrets with her.
She giggled a little hysterically, then went for an old-fashioned, "Who's there?"
He wasn't a ghost or a wraith. A ghost, like that mean, hollow-eyed girl who haunted Segue, could scare her but couldn't do much else. And a wraith would've killed her already and eaten her soul. The intruder wasn't beautiful like the angels who'd been in and out of Segue this last year. And the fae were trapped in Twilight.
Which left something new. Goody. She got to be today's ambassador to the paranormal.
"Just so you know," Marcie said to the kitchen, "I'm using you for a raise."
Most of the staff were required to do some defensive training; she was required to feed them. But she was proud of her fast and even chopping skills, had her tool of choice in hand—the only knife a chef needs really—and was prepared to use it, even if she had to flail into open air.
She held her breath to listen for the slightest movement. Felt something cold … there.
She struck out as an unearthly light shimmered into sight on the other side of the island. A little girl in gold ringlets and a pinafore appeared out of nowhere, ultrareal yet otherworldly. Segue's ghost. Her eyes were hollow, and her expression was contorted with rage. Behind her face lurked another, that of a grown woman, bitter and violent. Darkness was etched around her as if she were punched out of time.
"This is my place!" the girl shrieked in the direction of the lasagna dishes on the island.
The ghost's anger blasted through the air like ripples on water, and for a moment, the intruder was revealed. A man, on the thin side. Average height. He'd recoiled at the ghost's appearance, then glanced at Marcie, and she frowned at his black eyes. Oh. You're one of those. He was clutching a black dagger, ready to kill. And he was now standing close enough to strike.