by Chris Cannon
Publication Date: January 6, 2020
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Teen, YA, Paranormal, Romance
When a summoning goes awry, suddenly booknerd Meena’s summer job becomes something drastically different. Instead of cleaning eccentric Carol’s house, she’s bound to a demon as his soul-collector. Soon Meena discovers that the boring, pageant-obsessed, bonfire-loving town that she’s never fit in to is a hotbed for soul-sucking demons, demon-hunting witches, and vampires who just wanna have fun… And then she comes into her own powers.
Could things get any stranger? Good thing she meets new guy Jake—who gets her and still hangs around.
When Jake’s mom sends him off to his Aunt Zelda’s for the summer, he thought he’d be bored. But nothing is what it seems in this town. His aunt isn’t just odd, she’s a witch who fights demons and tries to maintain the magical balance of the town. Jake should get the hell out of there and, he would leave, except for bad-ass newbie witch Meena, who looks at him like he matters.
He never counted on sticking around, but Meena’s bound to a demon who wants to destroy her soul—and Jake’s finally found someone worth fighting for.
I sat on the couch and cracked open a book that was three inches thick. You’d think books on demons couldn’t be boring.
You’d be wrong.
I reached for my lemonade. Cold air wrapped around my shoulders and slid down my arm. Even without a window open or a fan going I knew this wasn’t a normal breeze. It felt too calculated. The hair on my arms prickled up.
“Nice trick.” I didn’t want the thing to know it was creeping me out. “What’s the point?”
“We’re bored,” the woman’s voice from yesterday said. “We want to play.”
That wasn’t creepy at all. “Who’s we?”
“We are the ones who were stuck.” Smoke coalesced in front of me. “But now we are free.”
“Try smothering me again and I’ll kick your ass.”
There was the sound of someone giggling. “We’re sorry. We haven’t been around humans for a long time.”
More weirdness. “You’re not human?”
“No.” The smoke took on the form of a woman.
“Keep talking,” I said.
“We don’t like to talk.” The woman reached out and ran her fingertips down my arm.
It felt like a feather brushing against my skin. “How are you still here?” Aunt Zelda had burned the white sage. “Are you a ghost?”
“No. We are something else.”
“That doesn’t tell me much.”
“We will tell you everything,” the voice said. “If you let us in.”
“Let you in where?”
“Inside of you.” Smoke flowed up my arm and wrapped around my neck like a scarf.
“Get off.” I jumped up and tried to brush the thing off. Before I could say anything else, smoke filled my mouth and nose, choking me. I leaned forward, coughing and gagging and unable to catch my breath.
“We won’t hurt you.” Her voice came from inside my head.
What the hell? It felt like I’d inhaled chlorinated pool water. My throat and nose burned. No matter how much I coughed the smoke didn’t come back out. “What did you do?”
“We need you. We want to touch and taste and travel…”
“I’m not your freaking Uber.” I grabbed a Kleenex and blew my nose. Nothing. The smoke was inside my head. Why is this happening?
“What’s an Uber?” the voice asked.
“Your ride. I’m not a cab or a taxi or whatever.”
“You could be,” the voice said. “We could pay you in memories.”
“Memories of your father. We can access them.”
“So can I.” How stupid was this creature? “They’re my memories.”
A movie played in my head. My father, much younger than I remembered, looked at me and smiled.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“Your first day of life,” said the voice in my head.
I dropped back down to the couch and watched as a tear ran down my dad’s face. “He’s perfect.”
Then my mom’s face came into view. She looked exhausted but happy. I hadn’t seen her that happy in years. “Let’s call him Jake, after my grandfather.”
The images disappeared. I closed my eyes tight, trying to bring them back. “More. Show me more.”
“Feed us,” the voice said.
I could do that. “What do you want?”
“Yeah…I was thinking pizza or a burger.”
“We need what we need.”
“Then you need to get the hell out of my body.” I wasn’t playing vampire for anyone.
“It’s not like we’re asking you to suck blood from Meena’s neck,” the voice snapped.
Just when I thought this couldn’t get any creepier. “Can you hear my thoughts?”
“She’s the girl you kissed on the couch, so we know you like her.”
And that wasn’t an answer to my question. Guess I shouldn’t expect disembodied hitchhiking spirits to be honest.
“I’m not feeding you blood.”
“Your aunt has blood in her spell components. We can smell it. Check in the strongbox behind the bar.”
Not going to happen. If I wanted to fight this I needed to understand who’d taken up residence in my skull. “What are you?”
“If we tell you will you feed us?”
“We were fairies.”
“I thought all fairies were good.”
The voice laughed. “Are all people good?”
“No.” A disturbing thought occurred to me. “Are you evil?”
“No. We were dark. We had our place. We lured men with bad intentions to their death.”
Great. “So you’re the ghost of evil-siren Tinker Bells?”
ABOUT CHRIS CANNON
Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series, the Boyfriend Chronicles, and the Dating Dilemma series. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts.
She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at www.chriscannonauthor.com.