I realize my online presence and updates have been infrequent since sending in the proposal for my sequel. I needed to immerse myself in a project that was completely unconnected to Shadow Hills to keep my sanity while it was on submission. My ADD complicates the writing process and I have to set strict guidelines to avoid getting distracted. Though I love emailing readers, I can get so wrapped up in it that I hardly get any work done (Facebook and Twitter may also play a small part in that).
However, I got even more caught up in the new novel than I planned on and though I’m excited to see what will happen with the finished book, I’m also ready to get back to Shadow Hills related projects. And I’m really happy to have more time to catch up with readers.
The question that I see the most as I make my way through my email inbox is this: will there be a sequel to Shadow Hills? Nothing is set in stone, but the story came to me as a series, and I can’t imagine not finishing it. My hope is that I can get the sequel out sometime next year.
You won’t have to wait that long for more Phe and Zach, though, since I will be releasing a special holiday novella in eBook format this fall. Holiday Spirits is built on the mythos established in Shadow Hills, but it isn’t necessary to have read the first book.
Here’s a small taste of Holiday Spirits:
Winter break is fast approaching, and Persephone Archer is looking forward to one weekend at Devenish Prep where she doesn’t have to worry about her new supernatural powers or the mysterious affliction that plagues her boyfriend Zach. All she wants is to lounge around with her friends, and, even more tempting, spend some alone time in front of the fire with Zach.
So when the friends are forced to work as stagehands by the school’s drama department, the group concocts a prank to convince the Devenish Players that the theater is haunted. The thing they didn’t count on was that the ghost stories might actually be true…
I hadn’t taken more than two steps when a deafening bang made the wood floor quake. Zach ran over to the trap door in the stage.
“It won’t budge.” He pulled more forcefully on the rope that opened the basement storage area where Adriana and Brody were trapped. But force wasn’t the issue: a ghostly figure blocked the entrance with his crumpled body. Unable to speak, I pointed at the gauzy traces of the boy, and Zach let go of the rope, stumbling backwards.
Half of the ghost’s wrecked head was above the stage. The remainder was flattened like a wet clay bowl dropped from a great height. His arms and legs were twisted in impossible positions, and his neck was bent to the side so sharply that, had he still been alive, he could have pressed his ear against his chest and heard his own heartbeat. Vertebrae strained against paper-thin skin, threatening to split him open like overripe fruit.
An icy sensation danced across my shoulders, and my scalp tensed, hairs prickling. I looked up. The girl’s spirit hung suspended just below the catwalk, her limbs limp like a rag doll. But her stare was disturbingly intense. The stage beneath my feet undulated and spun like a Tilt-A-Whirl. Hollow rushing flooded my head, a low ring resonating in my ears. Logic told me it was merely adrenalin-saturated blood pulsing through my veins. But logic didn’t have any hold over me at the moment.