Ready for Halloween? I am.
And part of getting ready was writing Nine for a Kiss. Yeah, it’s not the most Halloween-y title, but the story most definitely is.
In case you didn’t know, four other authors and I collaborated (That’s the closest word I can think of) to create four separate works set at Halloween and each featuring around a corn maze and a creepy scarecrow-esque maze owner.
V. J. Allison created Eternity’s Gamble.
Maggie Blackbird wrote Born for This (Also out today!!)
Cameron Allie’s Love Spells, Full Moons, and Silver Bullets will be out in March
And I wrote Nine for a Kiss.
Less pure horror and more psychological, Nine for a Kiss traces the journey Sadie Lyons makes physically and mentally through a dying corn maze led by the most unlikely of mentors–a raven named Corbin.
Here’s the blurb:
Nothing has gone right in Sadie Lyons’s life since the accident, but she’s trying her best to get back to normal. She’s just not sure if the trip to the old apple orchard was the best decision, and the creepy corn maze run by the even creepier owner confirms her fears. Inside, the maze is even worse, and she’s soon lost in a never-ending labyrinth that twists and turns but goes nowhere.
When a raven joins her as a guide, she feels better, but like the maze, the raven is not what he seems, and the news he brings her changes everything.
Love and loss intertwine in this tale of the endings and beginnings we all face.
And here’s an excerpt:
This passage was short compared to the others she’d traversed so far, maybe seventy-five feet long, terminating in a dead end. The dark shape leaned against the wall of the maze, clinging onto a stalk with one hand. The other clutched to his side.
“Hello.” The voice was raspy and undeniably masculine.
“Are you alright?” She took two steps.
“Um.” Then he collapsed, falling to his knees, palms against the ground.
“Oh god.” She dashed forward, ignoring the little voice that insisted it could be a trap. “Are you hurt?”
He shook his head as if clearing it. His longish hair covered his face. “No. Not hurt.” He seemed to be struggling to find the words.
Indecision rocked her. Usually, she wasn’t so suspicious, but everything had changed that night. But someone helped me.
Lots of someones. I need to return the favor.
She knelt beside him, dipping her head to see the face hidden by the dark hair. Sharp nose, pale skin, and dark lashes fringed his closed eyes. “Can I help?”
“Help how?” His voice rasped, making her wince.
Water. “Here.” She dug the bottle out of her pocket and held it out. “I don’t have germs, well, not so many.” She’d been on antibiotics forever. “Sorry it’s warm.”
For a moment, she thought he’d reject her offering because he looked from her hand to her face and back again. Then he sat back on his heels and brushed off his hands before taking the proffered bottle. “Thank you.”
He ran a hand through his hair, drawing it back into a low ponytail, then dropping it. The move revealed sharp cheekbones and skin strangely free of stubble for someone with such dark hair. No trace lined his jaw. He twisted off the cap, raised the bottle to red lips, and took a deep drink.
Now that’s a neck. She watched his Adam’s apple move as he finished her water. I need to stop staring. So, she stood up and brushed the fine dirt off her hands.
As he climbed to his feet, she took in his outfit consisting of dark, ripped jeans, a black short-sleeved shirt, topped by a black leather vest, and fingerless gloves, also black. Heavy black boots completed the ensemble, making him look like a rocker from the 1980s.
“Thank you,” he repeated, then he looked at the bottle in his hand. “I seem to have finished your water.” Regret flashed in his eyes. “I am very sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it.” She waved him off. “You obviously needed it. Your voice sounds better.”
“Ah.” He cleared his throat. “I am not used to using it much.”
“You’ve been lost for eons in this maze?” She’d meant it as a tease, but the look on his face crushed the humor.
“Eons?” he scoffed, then his smile lit up the day. “No, not quite so long.”
You can purchase from eXstasy publishing today, and soon from all other retailers.