Title: First Contact
Author: Kat Green
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Sloane Osborne is a paranormal real estate agent in the business of selling haunted houses, but, in truth, she’s only searching for one ghost. And her time is running out.
It’s the 366th day after her fiancé’s death. Michael used to like putting things off for “a year and a day” - so tonight’s the night. Sloane will do anything to make contact with him before the clock strikes midnight. When she gets a call to check out a home in Waukesha, Wisconsin, it’s the last place she thinks Michael would contact her.
Sloane is dead wrong.
The darkness was a powerful shroud, cloaking her so she was blind. Even after a moment to allow her eyes to adjust to the black, she still couldn’t see her hand in front of her face. Nothing penetrated the dark fog except the sound of the steady drip she’d heard from Alvin’s basement. It was louder now, and thumped like a drumbeat, echoing into the darkness around her.
Using her hands as a guide, she found she was in a tunnel. It wasn’t large, she could reach both sides without stretching her arms to full length, and the ceiling was just above her head. The surface was cool to the touch and smooth, like stone. Using her fingertips, she could just make out the rectangular blocks like the ones lining the basement. Ahead of her was the still empty air of a tunnel. It smelled stale and musty, like the air had been trapped down here for years. Sloane hoped she wouldn’t suffer the same fate.
Having no other choice, Sloane stretched her arms in front of her and felt her way down the passageway. Careful of each step, she took her time sliding each foot along the floor until she was sure there were no obstacles in her way. Her brain conjured images of the bodies of the women who were now ghosts lining the hall, but as she moved forward, she encountered nothing but empty space.
She continued her slow progress until she sensed a wall in front of her. Her heart stumbled in her chest as she felt the wall, searching for any exit. Gasping short, hysterical breaths, she felt tears burning in her eyes and her panic mounting. She stumbled to the left and realized the tunnel made an abrupt turn and didn’t end.
Sloane stopped and she laughed at her own hysterics, the harsh sound echoing down the hall.
The passageway turned again after about twenty feet, this time to the right, and she saw a grayness that could only mean light.
Moving faster now, Sloane moved toward the lessening of darkness like it was a beacon of hope. She prayed like she’d never prayed before, asking for an exit. A door. A hole. Anything that would help her escape.
What she didn’t expect was to find that the source of the light was a young woman crouched in a corner, facing the wall as though being punished.
The woman looked about thirty with dark brown hair, a tangled mess of curls cocooning around her emaciated frame. A shapeless shell shirt that might have been a bright green now darkened and stained from wear, hung around her form, baring a thin shoulder. Snug black pants clung to her thighs, while dirty pink legwarmers covered her calves above what was left of white Keds sneakers. She reminded Sloane of an older version of the girls from any number of eighties movies and TV shows, except her entire body gave off enough of a glow to dimly light the passage and she was transparent. Sloane could make out every crack in the cement blocks behind her.
Sloane caught her breath, stopping in her tracks as she watched the woman. It was a full body manifestation. Without any equipment or prep, this woman was appearing before her. It was astonishing.
The woman held out her hand to catch a drop of water as it fell from a crack in the ceiling. The water passed right through her palm, splattering on the damp floor.
“Hello?” Sloane’s voice was tentative, even to her own ears. It was one thing to talk to Michael, but he was a ghost she’d known in life. It was another thing to start a conversation with a dead stranger. “Can you hear me?”
The woman didn’t turn, her whole body focused on the next drop of water until it had floated through her hand again.
The woman sighed, sitting back on her heels as she watched the wall.
“Water,” she rasped. “Do you have any water?”
“I’m sorry. I don’t have anything.” Sloane said. “I tried to give you water last night, but no one drank it.”
“What are you doing here? You aren’t supposed to be here.” The woman’s voice was so raspy Sloane could barely hear her. She turned her head slowly as though tearing her gaze from the little bit of water seeping through the stone was painful. When her gaze finally rested on Sloane, her eyes were dark black pits, swirling with tiny dancing lights.
Sloane stepped back involuntarily, then gathered her courage to approach the apparition. She could sense the poor girl wasn’t dangerous. She was trapped here as much as Sloane was herself.
“I found the secret door and got pushed in.” Sloane said. “Then the door shut behind me and I couldn’t get out.”
“Ah, you must have been at Alvin’s house.” The woman rose to her feet. “Not a safe place to be. Though nothing about this area is safe.”
“You knew Alvin?” Sloane asked.
The look the woman gave Sloane was laughable. “Do you think I’d be down here if I hadn’t? I knew him better than anyone. That’s why I was never in the hole. Doesn’t make much difference. Hole or tunnel, you still die.”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
First Contact by Kat Green is available at the following places. Names are hyperlinked.
If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?
For some reason, I always want to be a witch for Halloween. And not Glinda. I want to paint my face green and cackle at every trick or treater. I love a good witch’s hat and wish my broom could really fly!
Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:
If you’re looking for something to bring a chill to the air and make you reach for the light in the middle of the night, that’s the Haunts for Sale series. It’s creepy enough for Halloween but has enough of a love story to make it a good read all year long!
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Canada account to win.
Runs October 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on November 1.
Kat Green is the alias of authors KAT de Falla and Rachel GREEN.
Rachel has always believed in ghosts but saw her first full body apparition while working at an old movie theatre in college. When she met Kat at a writer's conference she knew she'd met a kindred spirit - not only did they both favor Captain Morgan but they were both sensitive to the hereafter. After bonding over a few sippy treats and ghost hunting adventures, the Kat Green came into being.
Kat de Falla lived in a haunted house for too long. When things really heated up, she had several paranormal teams investigate, but things only got worse. When her mother suggested she contact a shaman, one agreed to come, saying she had been waiting for Kat's call. The home was cleansed and sold. When she paired up with Rachel, the idea of co-writing a book about a paranormal real-estate agent seemed perfect.
Sloane Osborne and the Haunts for Sale Series was born.
Social Media Links:
Author Social Media Links:
Find out more at www.hauntsforsale.com
Facebook – Author Kat Green
@hauntsforsale on twitter and Instagram.