Monday, October 26, 2020

Now On Tour Secret Spirit Guardians of Santa Fe by C.A. Masterson with Exclusive Excerpt

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Secret Spirit Guardians of Santa Fe
C.A. Masterson  

Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication:  October 5, 2020
ISBN:  978-1-5092-3351-9 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-5092-3352-6 Digital
Number of pages:  330
Word Count:  82,600
Cover Artist:  Debbie Taylor

Tagline:  Most families have quirks, but not like Marissa’s.

Book Description:

After Marissa Tahy returns home to Santa Fe, she is haunted by visions and glimpses of danger no one else sees: the spirit of Old Man Gloom in his true form. 

For a hundred years, people have burned their troubles in the spirit’s effigy at the Zozobra festival, each year making the spirit angrier and more powerful.  This year, Old Man Gloom demands his due. The vengeful spirit targets those Marissa loves. 

Even when Marissa discovers the secret history binding her family to Zozobra, joining their forces may not be enough to prevent the furious spirit from burying Santa Fe beneath an avalanche of misery.

Book Trailer: 

Amazon     BN

Secret Spirit Guardians by C.A. Masterson

Exclusive excerpt for Bewitching Book Tours

The low lighting lent a cozy atmosphere to the Third Street Brewery. A popular pub, apparently, but not so packed that I grew claustrophobic. The number of people who greeted Javi with wide smiles and slaps to his back gave testament to his community standing. I only hoped I could eventually earn the same respect as my cousin. Their appraising looks seemed to give initial approval, but I stayed close behind Javi as the crowd made way for him.

Then he stopped abruptly. “Hey, man. Glad you’re here.” He swept an arm around my shoulder and scooped me forward. “You finally get to meet my cousin, Marissa. Mar, this is Ray.”

The name vibrated through me, turning my muscles to stone but bristling every nerve to attention.

As Javi’s good friend, Ray featured heavily in my cousin’s social media photos, usually with a beautiful woman or two draped around his neck. Beach-boy handsome, except that altar-boy smile hid a deep secret. And now he was aiming that megawatt smile at me.

I managed to dredge up a pleasant persona. “Hey, Ray.”

Ray’s smile lit up his face like sunshine. “Hey yourself. Welcome back to Santa Fe.”

Javi touched my shoulder. “I’m going for a beer. What do you want?”

“Whatever you’re having.” I watched my cousin shuffle through the crowd, then grinned at Ray, who still stared at me. “I guess Javi warned you I was coming.”

“He did.”

Sheepish, Ray ducked his head. “I remember you. We were in the same kindergarten


A laugh burst out. “Oh, come on. You do not remember me from kindergarten.”

“Sure, I do. You were the cute girl with long black hair and big brown eyes.”

“Like half the girls in the class.” That was the illusion my parents hoped for, anyway. Marissa Tahy, the girl who was just like everyone else. It worked well enough for the adults, but not the kids. It took all of two seconds for schoolmates to single me out as different.

Ray turned sly. “Yeah, but you had a tongue that could cut down anyone with one swipe.”

I wrinkled my nose at him. “Was I mean to you? Sorry.”

The wattage of his sunshine smile dimmed. “Guess I didn’t make the same impression on you.”

Javi returned and handed me a beer.

“I don’t remember much from then.” I tilted the bottle to my lips. The things I did remember, I wished I could forget.

“Not even outrunning most of the other kids? You were faster than everyone, racing around on your banana seat bike. It was purple and had those pom-pom things hanging from the handlebars. Usually they pointed straight back because you pedaled like the wind.”

Never as fast as my brother Michael. I’d had to pedal hard just to keep him in sight.

Not a memory I wanted to share. “Sounds like the usual kid stuff.”

To his credit, Ray let the subject drop, and instead engaged Javi in work talk.

I let my gaze wander and caught sight of a guy, only a glimpse, as he passed behind some people near the entrance. An aura of shadows surrounded him, but enough light fell across his face to outline his arresting features. An unforgettable face, but I couldn’t place him. Another long-lost schoolmate? Doubtful. Something about him unsettled me. “Will you excuse me? I need to find the rest room.”

“Course.” Ray gestured. “They’re that way.”

As I walked away, the noise in the room washed together in a blur. So did the people. All but one. The man I’d glimpsed earlier stood watching me. He was so still, yet he didn’t fit in with the scenery.

The same icy fingers reaching into my heart propelled an urge to run. I pushed open the rest room door and bumped into a woman leaving the bathroom.

“Sorry.” My quick apology earned only a cursed response, so I took greater care on the way out.

Still unnerved, I was relieved to see the stranger had gone.

“Ready for another?” Javi asked.

“Not yet.” I must have downed the last one too fast. My head buzzed, and a dull ache began to throb at my temples.

Movement in my peripheral vision made me turn. I froze. He was there again. Still watching me. I wanted to look away but couldn’t. The buzz in my head grew louder. Everything around me fell away. There was only me and him. Then he laughed, and the sound reached deep inside, rattling my bones. The longer he stared into my eyes, the more urgent it became for me to get away. I gripped the edge of the bar, wanting to push away, to run, but my muscles had turned to rusted iron, immovable.

The need to flee grew more intense when the man moved from the back of the bar toward me. He approached without discernible steps or obvious motion. Yet somehow, he closed the distance between us. My heart jumped into my throat. Adrenaline coursed through me, the pressure built until my skin wanted to explode.

I hoped Javi and Ray would notice my silent distress, but I couldn’t make myself turn toward them.

About the Author 

Award-winning author C.A. Masterson loves stories of any genre. Multi-published in contemporary to historical, fantasy/dark fantasy to paranormal/speculative, she sometimes mashes genres. In 2010, The Pearl S. Buck Foundation awarded first place to her short literary story, Christmas Eve at the Diner on Rathole Street. Her short literary story, All is Calm, All is Bright, was awarded second place in the annual Pennwriters Short Story contest in 2005.

Visit her at or look for her romance stories as Cate Masters at and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.



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