The Ghost Hunter Chronicles: Solomon’s Seals is FREE on Amazon Kindle ONLY until Thursday.
The urban fantasy story is about a ghost hunter seeking vengeance against the entity that killed her parents. What she finds in the process is a truth that will change her life. Below is the blurb and a short excerpt:
Welcome to Los Angeles. They call it the City of Angels. They got it half right. In a town where demons masquerade as children in order to protect humanity, while angels gain power by destroying the souls of the dearly departed. Good and evil is determined by whoever has the better P.R. firm.
Humans remain blissfully unaware that a struggle is taking place, unless they make the mistake of inviting one of these creatures into their homes—or they happen to be one of their offspring.
Meet Alexa Dawn, the Ghost Hunter.
She doesn’t try to coax, whisper, or talk to the dearly departed. She’s not there to help them crossover. She’s there for one reason, and one reason only, to make sure the dead—stay dead.
Alexa Dawn has spent her entire adult life chasing the Shade that killed her parents, leaving a trail of vanquished spirits in her wake. When her latest house cleansing goes terribly awry, she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Suddenly her clients start dying at an alarming rate. It doesn’t take a detective to figure out that she’s next, unless Alexa can find a way to stop the creature that’s hunting her.
It’s a strange sensation when the dead occupy a space. The utter stillness and unnatural cold can play tricks on a person’s mind, bringing out a primitive side that most of us try to hide.
Naïve people believe that ghosts are harmless entities who’ve gotten lost on their way to the light.
I know the truth. I know what they really are—parasites. They live off memories and fear until their hosts are sucked dry.
That’s why I don’t try to coax, whisper, or talk to the dearly departed. I’m not there to help them crossover. At least not in the way most people think. I leave that crap to the others.
I’m there for one reason, and one reason only, to make sure the dead—stay dead.
My name is Alexa Dawn and I am a ghost hunter.
* * * * *
Unlike some of the places I’m called to in Los Angeles, the Frank Lloyd Wright rip-off wasn’t dilapidated or historic. In fact, the Mc-mansion looked new.
That told me two things. The first was that the haunt wasn’t structure based. It was somehow associated with the land or an object. The second was that this job was going to be a real bitch.
Land based ghosts do not like to leave peacefully. They throw tantrums that would shame any two-year-old on a sugar binge. The thought of being able to kick some ill-tempered spectre ass brought a smile to my face. I could almost feel the buzz and I hadn’t even dispatched it yet.
Some people take drugs to get high, I kill Shades.
I took one last look at my terrified clients, the Changs, huddled together in parkas under a red umbrella on their lush green lawn. Mrs. Chang muttered something that sounded like Fei Yen to Mr. Chang. He pulled her closer and told her everything would be okay. They weren’t looking at me, so I decided to get on with the job.
I don’t normally accept work without researching the site. Learned that the hard way and have the scars to prove it.
The very first job I was called out on involved an angry poltergeist. It was in Orange County, California not far from where I grew up.
The house was a two-story job in an affluent neighborhood that barely managed to escape being devoured by the urban sprawl surrounding it. A tiny island of originality in a sea of sameness. At the time, I had no idea what I was doing. The shade sent me head first out a second story window onto the front porch roof. I missed over-shooting it by inches and broke my right arm in three places. I was lucky that was all I broke. And even luckier that the house had a front porch. Not many did in Orange County.
This was before I’d found the Paranormal Friends Society and learned a few advanced ghost-hunting techniques. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I am damn good at my job.
I gave Mr. and Mrs. Chang a reassuring nod, then stepped over the threshold into their home.
Priceless paintings hung in gilded frames above tables adorned with Asian antiquities. All the pieces looked well-chosen. The cultures and time-periods blended seamlessly. That didn’t mean that something nasty hadn’t attached itself to one of the items, but it did make it less likely. It’s a known fact in ghost hunting circles that some antiquities don’t play well with others. Think of it as a personality conflict.
My eyes told me that I was alone, standing in an opulent foyer straight out of Architectural Digest. But my senses…my senses knew better. Alive with anticipation, they waited patiently for that one proverbial twig to snap, the breeze to shift, the telling sign that would indicate the direction of the oncoming attack.
Make no mistake, it was coming. Death circled above me on invisible wings. Each flap bringing me closer to the inevitable. Except I planned to get out of this encounter alive.
I set my hardened boom box down on the marble checkerboard floor and ran my hands over my arms to dispel the gooseflesh, then yanked the ends of my leather jacket together. I zipped it as a shiver rattled my teeth.
One thing about cold spots, once experienced, they were never forgotten. Much like smelling your first dead body or losing your virginity.
Yeah, it’s that pleasant.
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, attempting to get a sense of the house. I’m not psychic, but it was amazing what you could pick up if you just paid attention. Energy had a pulse. Slower than a heartbeat, but just as steady. It throbbed through my body, giving me insight into the environment. It let me know when it was safe and warned me when it wasn’t. Energy was always there floating just beneath the surface. Most people just didn’t pay attention until it was too late.
This home’s beat was thready and uneven as if the life was being slowly drained from its cream-colored walls.
I sniffed, inhaling the sickly sweet odor wafting in the air. Ginseng? Burnt sugar? Sandalwood maybe? Bloodhound, I’m not.
Over the years I have learned to identify quite a few fragrances in an instant. Flicker ghosts, the kind you catch out of the corner of your eye, smell like raisins, while poltergeists are sour like sunbaked milk.
Each odor had a story to tell. Sometimes the smell was the only way to determine what kind of spirit you were dealing with. You didn’t want to think that you were banishing the spirit of gentle Aunt Tess and end up with Jack the Ripper. The former would leave in a whisper, while the latter would try to live up to its namesake. I preferred to deal with the Jack’s of the world. They were loaded with siphoned energy.
I inhaled deeply again and exhaled slowly. It was important to determine the scent. Every time I thought I had it, the odor changed, becoming elusive. Strange. Shades didn’t do that—couldn’t do that to my knowledge. I didn’t like the fact I couldn’t pin down the scent. I should’ve been able to identify it, at least on the second try. I glanced around as unease settled on my shoulders, knotting the muscles.
Relax, you’re just tense because it’s been a while.
Everything in the environment holds some clue as to what’s happening in a home. This house was no exception. Eventually, it would reveal its secrets. I just had to be patient.
Three red doors spaced ten feet apart lined the left wall like Canadian Mounties at attention. Three more lay directly across the room, mirroring their placement. Why red doors? Why not blue or white?
I knew in some Asian cultures red was considered a lucky color, while white was funerary. Why hadn’t the good fortune worked for my new clients, the Changs? Had they decorated based on personal taste or beliefs? I should’ve asked. It makes a difference.
Taste was weak—but belief, belief held power.
I pulled two incense sticks, frankincense and myrrh, out of my tackle box and lit them, waving the sticks in the air to distribute the smoke. The combo may not be able to banish spirits completely, but the spicy fragrances had been known to calm shades long enough for me to evict them.
When enough incense filled the air, I reached into my pocket for the herbs I carried to every job. I scattered dill, fennel, mullein, and salt like birdseed across the floor. The mixture should prevent the shade from moving from room to room. I was in no mood to play ‘chase the ghost’.
Something about the home design made me uneasy. My brow furrowed as I studied the lines, color, and layout. The pattern reminded me of something I’d seen before… I studied it further, mentally marking out the distance between the doors in my mind. It was perfect. An alignment like this could create a grid.
I’d read about grids in the Paranormal Friends Society newsletter, but I had never experienced one firsthand. Grids were more likely to be found on the east coast where the ground doesn’t move as much. Hard to keep things aligned in an earthquake zone.
To get a better look at the space, I took a step back. My steel-toed boots tapped the tiles, echoing in the silence. I clapped, listening to the sound reverberate between the walls. For a second, I had the overwhelming urge to yodel, but I wasn’t getting paid to play.
I reached into my tackle box for my laser aligner and pointed the red beam. It was perfectly straight. Between the doors and the checkered floor, the Changs had accidentally created a grid.
Shades loved grids. It was the equivalent of catnip to a cat or counting to an OCD vampire. The invisible lines gave shades the power to partially manifest. This matched what the Changs had told me on the phone about the shadow-men and levitating furniture.
Grids also created supernatural portals, which increased a shade’s strength and made them deadly—especially if the grid matched an electromagnetic field emanating from the ground.
My gut was telling me this one did. And it never lied.
No wonder this thing could rearrange the furniture. It was tapped into the ghostly equivalent of a power station. The Changs were lucky that it hadn’t decided to move the house off its foundation. It probably would given more time.
I whipped out my TriField EM meter and started a slow sweep of the room. The electro-magnetic readings were normal at first, bouncing between low to moderate. When I reached the center of the foyer, the gauge hiccupped. By the time I’d made a full circle, the needle was buried in the red zone and the readings were off the chart.
The Changs had designed their home to be esthetically pleasing. And it was, if pleasing was defined as a giant revolving door for the dead.