Wednesday 4 May 2016

#MidWeekTease Ethereal Protector

Happy Hump Day! I'm participating in another boxed set, although this one won't be out for a few months yet. A Wicked Halloween will be full of Paranormal Romance, set in the home of witches, Salem! Here's an excerpt from my contribution, Ethereal Protector. Forgive me, I've given it a quick check, but this piece hasn't seen the editor yet!

Summer woke from her latest dream to the sense that someone was in the bed with her. She rolled over, half-expecting to find Paige or Gwen there. Why they would crawl into her bed, she couldn’t fathom. They hadn’t and the only one in her room was herself.
Grabbing her phone, she discovered it was too late to bother going back to sleep. It should be early enough that she could take the first shower and leave plenty of time for the others.
She brewed coffee and took it into the back yard. Paige had been disappointed to find there was a shed, but it wasn’t creepy and didn’t contain anything but pruning shears and a lawnmower.
“Not even a chainsaw.”
The memory was enough to make Summer chuckle. There were a couple of weedy flower beds along the fence line. The growing season was nearly finished, but everything was still green, including the dandelions. She idly pulled a couple up and dropped them when something stung her. Was there a bee?
Looking at her hand, she couldn’t see a mark or an insect. However, there were pink flowers behind all the yellow.
“Hellebore.” She didn’t touch it, somehow knowing instinctively that it was the source of the stinging. How did she know that? She’d never seen it before, except in that dream. Uneasy, she stood and as she did, she caught the scent of another herb Mary Parker had been collecting. Mint, now that she’d spotted it, ran all through the bed and even into the lawn. She didn’t mind picking that and grabbed a handful to put in her water bottle. There were probably other herbs she could figure out in the bed, but the reminders from her dream were enough to send her back into the house.
Gwen stood in the kitchen, popping bread into the toaster. “Good morning.”
“Good morning. Help yourself to the coffee.” Summer took a sip before setting the mint in the sink to wash.
“What’s that?”
“Mint. There’s a whole bunch in the flowerbed. There’s probably other stuff too, but this is what I found first.”
“What are you going to do with it?” Gwen pulled down a mug and filled it with coffee.
“Put it in my water bottle.” Summer pulled out her container of yogurt and scooped some into a bowl. She had strawberries to add to it, then took that to the table along with her coffee.
“That’s a good idea. It’s just out back?”
“Yeah, but I won’t use all of that. Go ahead and grab some.”
Gwen’s toast popped and she buttered it. “If you’re sure, thanks.” She joined Summer at the table just as Paige stumbled it, her frizzy black hair matted slightly on one side and sticking straight out on the other. Summer and Gwen both put a hand to their own hair and Summer couldn’t help but laugh when she saw her own reaction reflected.