A Shiver of Shadows The Hell Gate Series Book 2 by Hunter J. Skye Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
You'd think stopping Armageddon would buy a girl a bit of R&R with her freshly resurrected boyfriend. But things go south again when celebrity soul wrangler, Melisande Blythe, is abducted and dragged to Europe.
There's more to the darkness hiding in the reclusive, mountaintop country of Andorra than just garden variety evil. There's something dangerously wrong with her beautiful immortal hosts too.
Gifted with flesh again by the Grace of God, three-hundred-year-old former ghost, Colonel William Grayford, will move heaven and earth to find his beloved. But Europe's most wicked monsters stand in his way. Something more painful than death awaits Mel, if Grayford can't find her in time.
The world's been living on fifteen thousand years of borrowed time and it's just run out.
The driver peeled off the main street onto an exit dedicated to the graveyard, and death washed over me.
Prim paid for the ride and we stepped out of the car. The cemetery rose before us like a ziggurat of the dead. Stories and stories of tombs were carved into the hillside like a morbid honeycomb.
“Here we are.” Prim waved her arms dramatically in the fading light. “Cementiri de Montjuic—The Jewish Mountain. I’m pretty sure this is where Barcelona keeps its best ghosts.”
“Yes,” I confirmed. The rocky slopes shivered with soul streams, more than I could count, more than I could comprehend. The necropolis called to me from its dusky shadows. A whirlwind of wailing reached my ears. I turned to the clutch of tourists beside us, but they seemed unaware of the otherworldly voices.
We started ahead slowly, but just inside the front entrance my feet began to slide forward. A nervous look overtook Prim’s face, and she peered around us. A cluster of visitors wandered past. If I didn’t get hold of this pulling, someone would see. My stomach tingled. That usually happened just before my feet left the ground, but I hadn’t harnessed a single soul yet. It felt as though the graveyard itself was tugging me to its buried heart.
“Mel. Lock it down,” Prim murmured as a couple drifted toward the exit.
“I’m trying.” It wasn’t a lie, but the full truth was that it felt good to be this close to the dead again. My brain was slipping toward Stage One sleep, and I didn’t want to fight it.
“Over here.” Prim nudged me to the left, and I followed her through a set of trees and into a labyrinth of mausoleums. Long, curving walkways snaked down rows of monoliths and towering funerary sculptures. Angels guarded over almost every tomb. Some knelt in eternal prayer. Others prepared to take flight and bear the souls of the dearly departed up to heaven. Some watched with eyes too filled with awareness to be made of stone.
We cut across a row of tombs topped with skeletons carved inside flowing marble robes. Their empty eye sockets pointed toward the scudding clouds.
“It’s just down there.” Prim pointed and then skidded to a stop.
Her hand lifted to silence me. A legion of ghostly spiders marched up my arms as she turned slowly toward me.
“They’re here,” she breathed. Her voice was almost too soft to hear over the moans and random wails all around me.
“Can we…can we hide?”
Prim locked eyes on me and shook her head.
“It’s too late.”
“Do you see the angel over my shoulder? The one holding the book?”
“Run to it and place your apple on the open pages. If she accepts your offering, the door will open.”
“Wait. Aren’t you coming with me?”
“I can’t. I’ll try to stop them.”
“What do you mean? I’ve never been here before. I don’t know the way.” I gripped her cool hand. “You can’t stop vampires. No one can.”
“You know the way through the world of the dead better than anyone. Go!”
Paralysis stole through my muscles when she shouted. It was too much of a startle. I rocked forward, and she caught me. Narcolepsy dropped me to the ground like a stone. It would never care what peril I was in. It didn’t concern itself with my preservation. It existed to do one thing and one thing only—shut me down.
“I can’t. My legs.”
I looked up at Prim, but her hazel human eyes had emptied to twin pits of aching darkness. I tore my gaze from her doomsayer eyes before they could fix on mine and rip my future from me.
My mouth fell open as my jaw unhinged. I watched through lowering lashes as the world wept, then wavered, then washed away.
A Glimmer of Ghosts The Hell Gate Series Book 1
One night of filming in the wrong cemetery changes everything for a celebrity ghost-hunter with a half dead brain. When Melisande Blythe discovers that a secret society of wraiths wants her killed or worse, Mel will have to do the one thing she promised she would never do… trust a ghost.
But does the corporeal spirit of her dreams really want her heart or does he want her newfound ability to enslave souls? With Hell on the horizon, Mel is running out of time. She has to stop the fiery invasion or face the darkness warring in her soul.
He was there. I could tell. His thoughts whispered down the phone line between us. They simmered—heavy, wordless, and thick with desire.
Lightning flashed outside my bedroom windows, illuminating every shadowy corner of my room, but the hall was dark. It didn’t matter. I knew he was there. I felt him inside my head watching me…longing for me. Thunder rolled across the roof, pushing against my ward. My bed shook with the force of it. Even the sky wanted in. Maybe I’d make it suffer too.
Paranormal romance and urban fantasy author, Hunter J. Skye, was born with a rare nightmare disorder, and raised in a haunted Victorian home. Those two factors predestined her to write ghost stories. A Glimmer of Ghosts, the dark and steamy start to The Hell Gate Series won 5 RWA awards. Book 2, A Shiver of Shadows, released in May, 2021. Look for book 3: A Rapture of Wraiths, Spring 2022.
One thing about the story:
Many of the spirits appearing in A Glimmer of Ghosts are based on actual ghost stories from the Olde Towne district of Portsmouth, Virginia. Once a year, these stories are told on the city’s annual Halloween Ghost Walk. These apparitions are well known to the residents of Olde Towne, Portsmouth and the city considers them ambassadors of a sort. One such ghost, Colonel William Crawford, founded the town three hundred years ago and is the inspiration for Grayford- Melisande’s haunting lover.
They say write what you know and as a paranormal investigator, I know ghosts. I also know what it’s like to suffer from a massive sleep disorder, so writing about a sexy four-man paranormal investigation team led by a hot mess, narcoleptic, female ghost hunter was easy peasy ectoplasm squeezy. Allow me to introduce the team:
Melisande Blythe – Art gallery co-op manager by day, celebrity Youtube ghost hunter by night. Hates to cook. Loves her wayfaring cat. Is desperately lonely and wants a boyfriend but is convinced she’s too broken to be loved. Has developed a way to hunt ghosts while in the hypnagogic state of stage one sleep. Tries to own her weirdness while hiding the truth she knows in the deepest part of her soul – her power is evil, which means she might be too.
Josh Grimes – The brains behind Ghost Towne Investigations. Cargo-yard worker by day, by night, he keeps the paranormal investigations on track by ensuring that everything is done by the book except for Mel’s contribution. He is almost sure her ability is legitimate, but he secretly worries that she might be crazy. If she is, he doesn’t care because for him it was love at first site. Now, if he could just find the courage to tell her.
Seth Carrigan – tech god and lady magnet. Being slightly height-challenged hasn’t left any blank spaces on his dance card. His natural charisma, high energy, and long strawberry blonde hair keep them coming back…and forward, and up, and down. His adventurous personality and mind for invention sets their team at the forefront of the paranormal investigation world. He’s one step away from catching a full body apparition…and she might just catch him back.
Gabe Montrose – the strong man with bulging muscles and other equally *cough* bulky parts. A quiet, intellectual, Gabe doesn’t boast about his vast knowledge. Most see him as the golden-eyed, mahogany-skinned model ready to walk onto a gladiator-themed photoshoot at any moment. Or a vacant-minded fitness freak with a well-used gym membership. He feels no need to prove himself. He’s been Seth’s best friend since elementary school and follows him anywhere. He’s not so secretly terrified of ghosts, but where Seth goes Gabe follows. Bros before—well—everything.
Matt Grimes – Josh’s older brother by a year and a half and second in command. With the same wavy, dark blond hair and Viking features. They are practically identical in every way. Funny how Matt feels second to Josh most of the time. They live together, work together, and investigate together. There’s never any time for Matt to just be alone and contemplate what he wants out of life. A confrontation is brewing between the brothers and it won’t take much to light that powder keg.
Toss in a handful of demented ghosts, a pinch of frisky fae, a skosh of exhibitionist vampires, a smattering of curse-dripping, mummified thieves, and one super pissed off ghoul and it’s a proper love story. A Shiver of Shadows is the sizzling second book in The Hell Gate Series and semi stand-alone. Don’t miss a minute of Mel’s rocky, but rewarding road to Colonel William Grayford, the three-hundred-year-old corporeal spirit of her dreams in book one, A Glimmer of Ghosts.
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