All this month I’m going to be giving you a peek at snippets from my upcoming Whisper Hollow series. I have not been this excited about writing a series since I started Otherworld. Don’t get me wrong, I love the other work that I’ve written, but the Whisper Hollow series and its its characters launched themselves into my dreams. Literally. The characters and spirits that inhabit the world keep me awake at night, and they talk to me in my dreams. I’m extremely excited about this series — yes it is a slightly different direction than my urban fantasy, but I think it’s stronger than anything I’ve written.
“Magical, isn’t it?” A vague memory stirred— I remembered seeing Grandma Lila wear it, though she usually kept it beneath her shirt or dress.
Oriel laughed and the room lightened with her cheer. “Dear Kerris, it’s all magic, isn’t it? The world is a magical place, if people only were to open their eyes. Except the clouded can’t always feel it surrounding them, so they think it doesn’t exist. Magic runs through these ancient woods. The rain forest is primeval, so deep and thick that you’d have to be blind to not know it was here. Now put on your pendant, and Ellia will show you the graveyard, and you will begin to understand why we need you so very much.”
With that, she and Ivy headed for the door. I asked Ivy if I could come over later in the week— get to know her better— and she said yes before she and Oriel left. Alone in the hallway with Ellia, I shrugged into my jacket and slung my purse over my shoulder. Ellia opened the hall closet and withdrew her violin case. She settled a long cloak around her shoulders, fastening it with a Celtic knotwork brooch. With her long skirts and flowing gray‑ streaked hair, she looked like she’d stepped right out of the pages of some historical romance.
“Do you remember the rules?” she asked me.
I nodded. Once you had lived in Whisper Hollow, you never forgot the rules. In fact, they were printed on a sign at the entrance to the town.
“Recite them, then.”
I let out a slow breath. “Okay . . .” I felt like I was in grade school again. We had recited them every day, a lot like the Pledge of Allegiance.
“1. If you hear someone call your name from the forest, don’t answer.
“2. Never interrupt Ellia when she’s playing to the dead.
“3. If you see the Girl in the Window, set your affairs in order.
“4. Try not to end up in the hospital.
“5. If the Crow Man summons you, follow him.
“6. Remember: Sometimes the foul are actually fair.
“7. And most important: Don’t drive down by the lake at night.”
Ellia nodded. “You remember. Good. All right then, put on your necklace and let’s head to the cemetery. It’s time you met the dead.”
Whisper Hollow is available for preorder. You can preorder signed copies from Seattle Mystery Bookshop—try to get your orders in before October 27, so they have enough copies. And remember, I will be having a book launch party at Seattle Mystery Bookshop on October 31st at Noon, and I will be signing in Beaverton OR, and Bellevue WA. See Appearances page.
UK readers: note, I have a UK publisher now, so there will be a version released simultaneously there.