Good-morning and hope you all had very healthy and happy holidays! We’re back and today I would like to welcome American Specter by Rasheedah Prioleau as part of her Bewitching Book Virtual Tour!
Please check out the awesome excerpt below:)
Rasheedah Prioleau is a southern African American writer with an eclectic range of writing and ghostwriting credits. After a few years in the corporate world she started over from the bottom as an unpaid intern for a literary manager and never looked back.
“I love to write because there are no limits. All it takes is a finite space of time and I can create a story from infinite possibilities.”
Writers who have influenced her include: Judy Bloom, Jude Deveraux, V.C. Andrews, Octavia Butler, Stephanie Meyer, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon, William Nicholson, Shonda Rhimes, Quentin Tarantino, Tyler Perry, Mike Kelley, and J.J. Abrams… just to name a few.
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Date of Publication: Feb, 2014
Number of pages: 248
Word Count: 72,000
Cover Artist: Roger Raymond
FBI Agent Audra Wheeler has been haunted for the last thirteen years by a paranormal attack that left her sister, Kendra, in a coma. Mentored by FBI Assistant Director Jonathan Cordero to investigate crimes committed by specters, Audra believes she is on the trail of a ‘serial killer’ specter with a MO very similar to her sister’s attacker.
The investigation takes her to a small town of Specter, Georgia; a haven for ghosts who exist among the living.
AUDRA AT THE LIBRARY
Audra found it hard to believe that people still went to the library, but when she walked in she noted that it was indeed full of people, mostly students. Most of them sat at computers playing games while listening to headphones.
She walked up to what appeared to be an empty reference desk and was unsettled by the appearance of a specter that looked the part of a college kid with coke-bottle glasses and severe acne.
“Whoa!” he exclaimed as her specter shield pushed him from his seat. “What is that?” He looked at her dubiously, taking in her specter zapper and badge right away. She deactivated her specter shield knowing that it would be impossible to get around with it on in a town full of ghosts.
“You here about Gwyn?” His voice was the usual hollow, otherworldly echo that was associated with specters still mastering speech without a voice box.
His glasses slipped down his nose, in classic geek-gone-wrong fashion. Audra shook her head at the absurdity; it wasn’t like he needed them. He pushed his glasses back up his nose and she could tell he became more uncomfortable with her disapproving glare as he retook his seat.
“What do you know about it?” she asked curtly.
“She didn’t come into work this morning. Gwyn never missed a day,” he said.
Audra looked around as if disinterested as she listened to him. She took note of several young people hanging in a group with specters telling tales of their day. She spotted several other specters dotting the library in various stages of manifestation.
She could tell the newbie specters by their classic opaque ghost-like appearance. She never really minded those. In fact, she felt a great deal of sympathy for them, coming to terms with the fact that their lives were really over. It was the specters that had mastered every aspect of appearing normal, the ones that hid in plain sight pretending to be alive she didn’t trust.
“He called Gwyn’s apartment when she didn’t show up this morning but didn’t get an answer. Then he asked her super to check in on her. That’s when he found her. They just told us not too long ago.”
“Who called the super?” Audra asked.
“Management.” The specter shrugged and pointed to the door along the far wall.
“Thanks, uhm?” Audra looked at him questioningly.
“Benjamin,” he supplied. “Benjamin Conner.”
Thanks, Ben.” She turned on her heals and headed towards the manager’s door.
She caught sight of a woman who appeared to be in her late thirties, crying alone down an aisle. She paused en route and turned to walk towards her. The woman looked up to see her coming and quickly dried her red-rimmed blue eyes and cleared her throat. She pushed her flat blonde hair behind her ears and crossed her arms over her chest.
“Hi, I’m Agent Wheeler. I’m here about Gwyneth Miller. Did you know her?” Audra asked.
The woman sniffed and nodded. “I’m Katherine Taylor. We worked here together for the last eight years,” she said. “She was such a nice girl. She’d never hurt a fly. I can’t believe anyone would…” she trailed off into more tears.
“Do you know if Gwyneth was seeing anybody?” Audra asked.
No.” Katherine shook her head. “She was seeing some loser about a year ago but kicked him out. She’s been alone ever since.
“Do you know why?”
“He was cheating on her.”
“What was his name?” Audra pressed.
“Michael Robertson, or Richardson, or Richards…” Katherine tried to remember.
“Do you know if Gwyn was associating with any specters?”
Katherine laughed. “No, her father used to be the sheriff here. He made it clear that he didn’t like the specter invasion. Other than going to the college she was pretty loyal to his point of view.”
“Where is her father?”
“He passed away about six months back,” she said and shook her head.
“I see,” Audra said and fished a card from her jacket pocket. “If you can think of anything, anything at all, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.”
“Sure.” Katherine took the card and walked away.
Audra continued on her way to the manager’s office. She had to pause and duck into an empty aisle as a flashback took her over. She tried to focus on the books in front of her, fighting to remain present but couldn’t. She was fourteen again, in her older sister Kendra’s house. She heard a commotion that made her get up from the television and walk towards her sister’s bedroom.
“It’s okay,” Audra told herself in the present as she watched herself headed towards that door. “You’re not there anymore.” She felt the flashback fade away, and she took several breaths to steady herself. Shaking off the moment, she continued to the manager’s office.
When she got to the door, she heard hushed, muffled voices. She tried to make out what they were saying but couldn’t. She knocked, and the voices stopped. The door was opened just wide enough for a tall, dark, and handsome man to peek his head out. Audra noted that his hair was disheveled, as if he’d raked his hands through it several times. His eyes seemed bloodshot, and there was a faint hint of liquor on his breath.
“Yes?” he queried, his dark eyes looking her over quickly.
“Hello, I’m Special Agent Wheeler. I’m here to talk to you about Gwyneth Miller.” She pointed to her badge for emphasis.
“I’m outta here,” a ghostly, feminine voice from inside of the room said before a young girl with black and purple hair pushed her way past the man and maneuvered around Audra.
Her shoulder came so close to Audra that if she had been living she might have bumped Audra’s shoulder. As she was a specter, her shoulder vanished and reappeared as the rest of her cleared Audra and hurried on her way. Audra watched the girl questioningly.
“My daughter, Amanda,” the man supplied, tucking in the tail of his shirt and straightening his tie. “I promised to do something remotely father-like and I had to back out because of the… situation,” he explained, extending a hand. “Charles Stewart. Come on in.”
Audra stepped into the office that seemed to be in a state of organized chaos.