Oct 26, 2012

A Good Scare for a Great Cause

A Good Scare for a Great Cause

This time of year, who doesn’t love a great, chilling ghost story? This year, five mystery/thriller authors have come together to fill that need for hungry readers – All in the name of a good cause. Authors Susan Russo Anderson, DV Berkom, Jen Blood, Joanne Sydney Lessner, and Wayne Zurl have each contributed a ghostly/paranormal short featuring their respective series’ detectives, with 100% of their profits donated to the non-profit organization Doctors Without Borders.

For just $1.99, you get plenty of quality chills and thrills… And the knowledge that your hard-won dollars are going to a great cause. To whet your appetite, here’s a snippet from SERIAL SLEUTHS, Volume 1: Haunted.

The following excerpt is taken from DV Berkom’s short story Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, featuring the heroine of her bestselling Kate Jones thrillers.

I chose a table near the front of the restaurant and ordered a cup of coffee with cream and a plate of fry bread. One of the owners, Luci, came by with a full pot of coffee. Her long, dark hair pulled back in a thick ponytail, she wore a distinctive, silver squash-blossom necklace with earrings to match. Two men, locals judging by their familiarity with Luci, sat at an adjacent table, with a cup of coffee and a piece of pie in front of them. One wore a bright yellow ball cap, while the other had placed his red one on the table in front of him. They appeared to be friendly types, so I asked the guy with the yellow cap if he was from around there.

He smiled as he took a leisurely sip of his coffee. “Yep. Lived here all my life. Gary here has, too,” he said, as he nodded at his companion. “Where're you from?”

“Durm. I guide Jeep tours down the way.”

Yellow Cap appeared to ponder this as he took a bite of pie. “What're you doin' in this neck of the woods, you don't mind my asking?”

“Not at all,” I replied. Luci placed a plate of fragrant fry bread and a squeeze bottle of honey in front of me. My mouth watered as I cut into the warm, doughy goodness and wolfed down a bite. “I'm looking for a friend, Rana Celik. She mentioned she was in Hok'ee the last time I heard from her.”

Yellow Cap frowned and looked at the other guy. “What's she look like?”

“Around five-four, medium build with dark hair, brown eyes, and a Turkish accent. She would have been with a guy named Tony,” I added with a smile. I didn't know if these guys were friends of Tony's, and didn't want to tip them off I was worried.

Gary sat forward in his chair. “Yeah, there was a couple here two days ago. The woman matches your description. Turkish, huh?” I nodded and he continued. “They picked up supplies at the grocery store. Said they were going camping.”

“Did they say where?” Two days. I'd have to step up my game to find Rana before the trail went cold.

“Nope. But he had some weird ass things for a camping trip in the back of his pickup. Witchy stuff, if you ask me.”

“Witchy stuff?” I shifted uneasily in my chair.

“You know, stuff for ceremonies an' shit. He asked if Manny had any blood from a hog he just butchered. When he said no, the guy got pissed off and stormed out of the store. Your friend apologized for him and followed him out.”

“He Navajo?” Yellow Cap asked his friend.

“Nah. A wannabe, maybe. I never seen him around.”

“What kind of ceremony?” I had a bad feeling about Tony's quest for blood.

Gary glanced at Yellow Cap and shrugged. “It's probably nothin’.”

Yellow Cap seemed particularly interested in the last bite of his pie. Luci walked over with the coffee and freshened everyone's cup.

“He's talking about yee naaldlooshii. A Skinwalker,” she said.

Yellow Cap cleared his throat.

“Aren't they like shapeshifters?” I asked, ignoring his apparent attempt to silence Luci.

Luci nodded and set the coffee pot on the table. “Usually coyotes, but they can turn into any animal. I've heard they can even take over another person's body. Only thing is,” she glanced at the two men at the table. “To become a Skinwalker, you have to be initiated.”

“Which means,” I prompted.

She took a deep breath before continuing. “Which means your friend is probably in danger. In order to gain power, they're supposed to kill someone close to them.”

Celebrate the Halloween season by picking up your copy of SERIAL SLEUTHS, Volume 1: Haunted on Amazon for just $1.99!

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