Excerpt of WITCHY WICKEDNESS



Seeking to fill that Buffy-sized hole in your heart?

Read the Chilling Adventures of Shiloh, a teenage witch struggling to live in two very different worlds: surviving high school with it's teen angst and dating, and her hellish destiny, hunting the things that go thump in the night. 




 One soul-sucking demon. One haunty mansion. And one witch-tastic destiny…

Ravenwood, California isn’t like other coastal towns. It’s a mystical place, where the teenagers inexplicably disappear and the fog hides chilling secrets. And Shiloh Saintcrow isn’t like other girls—she’s a teen witch who can sense the things that go bump in the night. 


After Shiloh gets a visit from a shadowy demon, threatening to steal her family’s spellbooks, her life quickly spirals into one of unending weirdness and danger. As if life isn’t complicated enough, she takes a job at the local haunted house, where she meets the sinfully hot Trent Donovan and his ghost-hunting uncle, Mr. Evans. 


When another teen vanishes, Shiloh’s forced to team up with Evans to solve the mystery, but their investigation only uncovers a shocking truth about Ravenwood’s founding families. But before she can expose the town’s ominous secret, Shiloh has to evade a kooky ghost on a revenge haunt, contain the scary dark power tainting her magick, and survive attacks by a pack of creeptastic demons first.


For poor Shiloh, life’s a real witch





EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE



Since my thirteenth birthday three years ago, I’d seen things in the shadows—ominous, twisting shapes, slithering through the night. Scary things that didn’t belong in our world, like ghosts, demons, and a whole host of other nasties. Whenever I’d catch a glimpse of their crimson eyes or sharp claws, I’d wish for an elsewhere to be. 

Like anywhere, other than Ravenwood, California.


Shifting on the bed, I glanced at my cell phone where I’d been scrolling through my Instagram feed and hearting cat memes, then closed the app. 


Normally, I felt safe during the day with all the lights on, but when I sensed a low-voltage hum floating in the air and vibrating the floor with a supernatural energy, a wave of unease washed over me like icy rain. 


The nightstand lamp, the desk light, and the floor lamp in the corner blinked off and on. The flames of the candle-infested dresser flickered. The raised blinds over the closed windows eerily fluttered. 


Nothing to fear. Nothing to fear. Nothing to—

 
Dark shadows slithered along the wall. These small demonic creatures—darklings—avoided the light, murmuring in an eerie language. 


My jaw clenched tight. “Sheesh, is it too much to ask for a couple hours of non-paranormal activity?”


Somehow, those shadowy creatures had gotten past the supernatural safeguards protecting the house. The ones I’d just reinforced last night. Apparently not good enough.


Let’s just say, even though I was witch, paranormals and me weren’t besties. No, not like Hermione or Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, but close—I was more like Shiloh, the teen with much witch-attude. Even my aunt and my mother were witches. In fact, all of the females in the Broussard family had magickal roots, but I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone. Not even my best friend or my dad because outsiders would never understand my aunt had said. It was forbidden and people feared what they couldn’t rationalize she’d said. I’d rolled my eyes at the time, but I realized pretty quickly that she’d been right. 


Halloween witches were acceptable. Real witches? Not so much.


When the darklings reached the floor, I slid off the rumbled bed, my bare feet touching the cold hardwood. “Get the hell outta my room! Before I hex your shadowy butts.” 


I glanced down at my clothes. Huh. Guess that would’ve sounded a whole lot tougher if I wasn’t wearing my black cat printed PJ top and polka-dotted drawstring shorts. 


The darklings trickled like spilled ink into the cracks of the floorboards and disappeared. 


“Just craptacular.”


 Now I had to hunt them down. I squatted to check underneath the bed, then under the nightstand. No signs of evilness. I went around the bed to peek below the wicker chair smothered with discarded clothing. Nothing. 


Passing the closed bedroom door, I crouched to look beneath the dresser, and then the battered desk littered with unfinished homework. I even lifted the circular vintage rug, but the darklings had temporarily vanished.


The opposite side of the room had two windows facing the backyard, with a dusty bookshelf between them, and the raised blinds let the midmorning sunlight glare into the space. A mound of clothes slouched in the corner, and stuffed animals crouched below a windowsill. 


The lightbulbs blinked and the candle flames flickered. I listened hard. 


Inhuman mutterings came from the closet, and I whirled around. “Oh, shut up!”
Stomping to the closet, I kicked the door open. On tiptoes, I stretched over the threshold to grasp the brass chain, and gave it a yank. Light illuminated shoes piled on the floor and an overflowing laundry basket. Dusty board games cluttered the shelf, and haphazardly hanging clothes swayed on the bar. Fuzzy bunny slippers stared upward with glassy button eyes. 


With hands on my hips, I turned and scowled at the room. “Where are you hiding?” 


Suddenly, the lightbulbs exploded, raining shards of glass onto the floor. My pulse jumped. Then the blinds dropped downward, plunging the room into semi-darkness. 


The only source of light, the flickering candle flames.


The darklings reappeared from under the rug, covering the floor like an opaque stain. Red eyes gleamed from their shadowy forms. They murmured in anxious voices, almost like a warning, “Shiloh, Shiloh…” 


In a corner by the nightstand, a mass of blackness, solid and vertical, detached itself from the shadows. The entity pulsated and churned like a spatter of crude oil until it nearly touched the ceiling. The odor of sulfur, musty and acrid, filled the room. Power surged through the upper-level demon as he swelled into a seething maelstrom of dark energy.


Bile rose in my throat. This was insane. Paranormals usually avoided me, or I used magickal shields to block them. But this monstrous entity? 


Well, it was the scary-as-hell-demonic type that I’d read about in the grimoires, and obviously not so easily scared off by sixteen-year-old witches with mediocre talents. 


A growl came from the demon, and the darklings shrank back, blending into the dim corners like frightened children. 


When scary things get scared—so not good.    


The demon’s reptilian features fought to become corporeal. Muscles expanded over bones of shiny obsidian, smooth and razor-sharp. The entity throbbed and coalesced into scaly, dark green lizard skin, more sinuous than flesh. Heat, like the breath of a dragon, emanated from the seven-foot-tall demon. Once be become more solid, his appearance looked partially humanoid. He had no hair, a flat snout, and luminousness yellow eyes. Black pants covered his lower-half and his bare feet had webbed toes. 


I stumbled sideways, my knees buckling. My hip whacked the desk, blood roaring in my ears. 


The demon flexed his hands. “Greetings, Thirteenth Daughter.” 


My scalp prickled with sweat. It wasn’t as if I were some girly-girl afraid of her own shadow, but when they had glowing eyes and spoke to me…well, I majorly freaked. 


“W-what? You’ve got the wrong person,” I said, my voice croaking. “Seriously. So you can just go back to your Hell dimension.”

“Gee, isn’t this interesting. It seems you don’t know the truth. Then let me enlighten you, little lamb.” He tilted his baldhead. “You were offered, and I wholeheartedly accepted.”


I backed up a step. “Um, I’m thinking your reality check bounced.”


He sniffed the air. “You make jokes to hide your fear, but I can sense the terror filling your veins like sweet nectar.”


Until this morning, when this upper-level demon and the darklings had broken through the wards, I’d been able to stay clear of anything I couldn’t handle or scare off the less threatening paranormals, but this changed—everything.
Showing up in my bedroom without an invite? So not cool.


“Before we get all personal,” I said, “do you have a name?” 


“Irrelevant,” he said.


“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Irrelevant.”


“If you must, then you may call me Nocturne.” He stayed in the corner away from the windows, glancing at all the lamps and candles cluttering the room. “Hmmm, I do find it so very disappointing that a girl of your unique talents is afraid of the dark. I would think by now, you’d be embracing it since you are bound to me.”


 “Say what? I-I don’t even know what you’re talking, Mr. Nocturne—”


“I am no mister. I am death! I am immortal! I am a terror!” He bellowed. “And you, dear child, bear the devil’s mark. We share a malignant bond. I will prove it.” He pointed at my scarred arm with a devious smile.


A blast of scorching pain, as if I’d plunged my arm into scalding water, struck the scar. Sucking in a breath, tears filled my eyes. The puckered flesh, paler than the color of my olive skin, was hard not to notice. The scar snaked a line from elbow to wrist like a crooked seam. I ran my fingers over the raised ridges and jagged edges.


“Exciting, isn’t it? Being bound to a demon of my stature? You have no idea how darkly special you are. How you’ve been chosen by the coven for a glorious purpose. Your death shall become legend…”


My back pressed into the wall beside the desk, as if I couldn’t put enough distance between the scary Nocturne and myself. “What does that mean? What coven? Who sent you?”


“Not Lucifer, if that’s what you’re assuming. I am an agent of the Underworld, but my duties are mostly ceremonial. Just the occasional goat sacrifice or damnation of a human soul, that sort of thing. I try to stay out of politics. You, on the other hand, have a genuine devil’s mark—a vessel of delectable evil. Yes, you are special indeed.”


“It’s only a scar,” I whispered, holding my arm against my chest as if I were a bird with a tattered wing.


Tsk, tsk. I think you know that it isn’t true.” Nocturne lowered his arm and his inhuman voice sounded resonant and sinister, like the threat of a snake before it strikes. “Debts must be paid.” 


My mouth went dry. “I-I don’t owe you anything. So please just forget about this bound, debt thing.”


I kept an eye on the darklings with their onyx hands, arms, and flashes of red eyes. Their shadowy forms continually moved, sliding under the bed in a twisted game of peek-a-boo. 


“Gosh, well, an oath between a Nocturne and a hecate can never be broken. How would it look if I went around breaking my promises, young witch?” 


I had no clue what he was talking about, and I instinctively knew he wasn’t the monster to ask. I just wanted the demon the hell out of my room.


 “Maybe you teleported into the wrong house. You know, there’s this weird lady up the street with a hairy mole and pointy shoes. Why don’t you try her?”


Nocturne stood unnaturally still and ignored my snark. “Did you know that demon essence is better than Wheaties? It has all the nutrients a growing witch needs.”


“Oh, is that so?” I searched the room frantically. “Thanks, but, uh, I’ve already had breakfast.”


Okay, focus. 


No weapons. Only a pair of dull scissors on the desk. My gaze darted to the bottle of holy water on the bookshelf, then at the closed blinds. Sunlight might be my only ally. If I lifted the blinds, the sun’s rays would turn the demon into a crispy-critter. At least that was the hope. 


He clasped his hands together. “This tête-à-tête has been vaguely amusing, but it has gone on long enough.” 


My breathing stuttered. Oh, god. He was going to kill me. 


Okay, deep breath. Do the calm thing. The non-freaking out thing. 


Nocturne blocked the door. No escape there. The demon’s yellow eyes narrowed and he stepped closer. 


Well, hell. Instead of cowardly screaming, I’d try the brave thing. 


“Kiss some daylight, demon!” 


Rushing forward, I seized the bottle of holy water on the bookshelf. I twisted off the lid and hurled the contents at his face. He shrieked as steam rose from his burning scalp. 


A trickle of holy water splashed onto my skin and the scar seared with pain like a horde of wasps had stung me. 


Stumbling, I fell to my knees, gripping the ledge of the nearest windowsill. A surge of magickal energy shook my limbs, crackling with power. “Please open…”









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