Monday, January 11, 2021

Now On Tour Alex Mckenna and The Academy of Souls by Vicki-Ann Bush #YA #Paranormal #LGBTQ #ExclusiveExcerpt

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Alex Mckenna and The Academy of Souls
Alex Mckenna Series 
Book Two
Vicki-Ann Bush

Genre: YA, Paranormal, LGBTQ
Publisher: The Parliament House Press
Date of Publication: October 20, 2020
ISBN: 979-8697729533
Number of pages: 314
Word Count: 61,823
Cover Artist: Shayne Leighton Machova

Tagline: The Dead Need Him

Book Description: 

After surviving a harrowing case, Alex McKenna just wanted to rest. Unfortunately, his plans are interrupted by the ghost of Seven-year-old Haven, who is lost in an in-between realm.
Despite his great-grandmother's warning, Alex crosses the bridge between the living and the dead, sending him and his girlfriend into the world of the Academy of Souls, a high school for dead teens who are unable to complete their journey.
There, Alex meets Ophelia, Haven's teenage sister, who's been searching for her for more than a century. Together, with a few friends he meets along the way, Alex must cross the treacherous terrain of the Underworld in-between, to save Haven from the clutches of the Soul Gatherer and reunite the sisters.

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Bewitching Exclusive Excerpt

Alex McKenna & The Geranium Deaths

Book One

He pulled away and eased out from behind the furnace. A chill ran up his spine, and the goosebumps running along his arms stung to the touch. It was close. Alex squinted, trying to distinguish the differences in the shadows. He took a step forward and hit a cloud of cold air. He was headed straight toward it. A deep, gravelly sound flowed like a wave in the ocean to his ears. He wasn’t sure if Margaret could hear it too, but he was not about to take the chance and give up her location by calling to her. He shifted his eyes toward the right—toward the door. He was waiting for the perfect moment. The beast lunged forward and reached for Alex with its icy arms. Alex ducked and swerved. He spun around and ran straight for the door. Leaping onto the staircase, he turned back to make sure it was right behind him; it was. Halfway up, his feet betrayed him, and he fell body-flat with his legs stretched out on the stairs below. A frigid grip on his leg triggered his reflexes, and kicking furiously, he broke free. Quickly, he scrambled back to his feet and up to the first level. He ran through the kitchen and dining room before reaching the steps to the second story. The entrance to the attic was in the hallway between all three rooms. Once he got the creature there, he could buy Margaret the time to find Wilby and get out.

The burning in his lungs gave a small distraction to the fate that lay before him.

Hesitating to take the next step, the creature set out a welcome mat. The attic door flew open and slammed into the wall. Shards of plaster catapulted outward, grazing the corner of Alex’s eyelid.

He pressed his palm on the wound to stop the bleeding and used the sleeve of his hoodie to smear the blood out of his eyes before running up the staircase. The musty odor soured his stomach, and his gag reflex rendered him motionless.

He bent over and placed his hands on his knees, taking in in several short breaths before his body would allow the passage of a deep breath. He searched for a place to hide, but every corner of the space was cluttered with remnants of generations before him. The only clearing left him completely exposed in the center of the room. He might as well hang a sign around his neck that said, come and get me.

A sudden boom startled him, but it was a familiar sound. The door had been slammed shut. His plan had worked. He was alone with the darkness and nowhere to go.

Alex backed up until he felt the cold air hitting his back. He was leaning against the only window in the room. In front of him, about fifteen feet away, hovered the grotesque entity of something that once had a life. Droplets of sweat descended from his brow, leaving a salty taste on his pursed lips.

He clasped his head, a piercing pain forcing him to close his eyes in agony. It stopped. Slowly opening them, the attic blurred, spilling images into one another before settling into a different landscape in the same space. An old bed lay up against the wall to his right. To  his left, boxes of children’s toys were stacked on each other, some spilling out onto the floor. In the center of the room, more boxes, neatly sealed and labeled. A ray of sunlight caressed the room, highlighting an old desk near the staircase.

Startled by a sudden gush of air, Alex jumped away from the window. A man—about forty years old—wriggled through the open window. He clutched a glass bottle containing a clear liquid in one hand, and several large rags in the other. Alex stood, unable to move. The movie was playing out, and he had to see how it ended.

The perpetrator drenched the rags with the mysterious liquid before scattering them around the attic. In getaway mode on the staircase, he pulled a box of matches out of his pocket, struck them, and released the flaming sticks into the air. In moments, the rags ignited, building a wall of flames that engulfed everything in its path. Shielding his face from the intense heat, Alex collapsed on the floor, struggling to breathe through the thick smoke.

And then, quiet.

Still crouching, he lowered his arms. The fire was gone, and he no longer found himself in the confines of the attic. A mahogany dresser with an overly ornate mirror masked the familiarity of the room. It was his mother’s bedroom, but not. A woman lay sleeping in the bed, the covers drawn to her shoulders and shrouding her face. The arsonist took out two more rags from his pocket, and once again, drenched them with the clear liquid. He staged a semblance to his actions moments ago, and the room ignited. The arsonist quickly opened the window and hopped out to the roof, jumping to the safety of the grass below.

The woman grunted and then coughed before groggily sitting up in bed. Alex immediately recognized her. It was Carol Bishop. Her eyes widened with astonishment when she realized there was a blazing fire at her feet. Leaping from the bed, she called out for Alister.

She fled to the hallway and ran into a man waiting for her— James Bishop. He punched her in the face, and she went down with a large thud. Bishop ran into the bedroom that was now Wilby’s. He emerged with a small boy and rushed into the second bedroom. A young girl of about ten or twelve followed him out. “Damn, that must be Alister and Ester,” Alex murmured.

Jim ran down the stairs with Ester close behind. He didn’t hear Carol call out to his daughter. The child turned and ran back to her stepmother. When she reached the hallway, the woman was waiting for her. Consumed with anger, she latched onto the child’s arm and squeezed tightly. The little girl screamed and tried to fight back, but Carol was too strong.

Alex turned away, distracted by Jim Bishop’s yells and the pounding of shoes as he came running back up the staircase. Carol, blinded by hate, yanked Ester up the attic stairs, dragging the child as she screamed and latching the door behind them. Reaching the inferno, Carol gasped. She hadn’t any idea the fire had originated in the very room she had boxed them into. The smoke swallowed the attic in moments, rendering her incapable of finding her way.

Alex squinted to distinguish them through the smoke. It was impossible to navigate; he could barely get a fix on them. Carol gasped, struggling for air. Crawling to get to the window, she collapsed unconscious on the floor. Jim pounded furiously on the door, trying to break it down. “Ester!” He screamed for his child, but only silence returned his call.

Crying, the child couldn’t speak. She clutched her throat, gurgling, and huddled further into the corner. Finally, she surrendered, and her lungs succumbed to the suffocating smoke.

Alex inhaled clean, cool air. He was sitting on the snowy front lawn. Two men and a boy lay next to him. The boy—Alister—was unconscious, and Kirkpatrick was attempting to revive him. Jim Bishop was catatonic with grief.

The sirens of the fire trucks blared in the distance, and when he turned to look for them, he found himself back in the attic. The malevolent spirit hovered no more than ten feet away as it glared at him.

Alex felt a connection. It was showing him the events of the fire back in 1932. It wanted him to know. But why? The hate from the creature was matched by his own confusion. Why bother to let him see this?


Again, Carol appeared. She crawled on the floor; the smoke had nearly taken her, but the fire reached out, consuming her flesh. The woman screamed in agony before shattering through the glass and plummeting to the ground below. Alex quickly looked away.

The spirit moved closer. Alex stepped backward and pinned himself to the wall. Swooping toward the ceiling, it circled the room and let out a high-pitched screech. A stack of unpacked boxes lifted off the ground and thrusted toward him. Alex managed to dodge most of them, but a corner clipped his right shoulder and knocked him off his feet and onto his ass. Struggling to recover, he limped toward the staircase, only to be thrown across the room and against the wall. The spirit opened the window with a glance. Alex groggily crawled a few feet and held onto an old nightstand to leverage himself. But halfway through his struggle, he found himself levitating off the floor and hovering midway between the ground and the ceiling, his body floating toward the open window.

For the first time in his life, Alex McKenna felt his death nearing. The only thing he could think about was Margaret. He saw her face. So beautiful. The life he hoped they have together seemed so clear a few hours ago.

“Why show me?” he whispered to the darkness. “You’re just going to kill me anyway.”

The creature pointed toward the window.

Alex turned his head. Straining, he could see part of the  driveway. The shadowy figure from last night’s encounter in the parking lot stood facing the attic window. Slowly, it pulled the black veil from its face. An elderly woman stood glaring at him; her eyes filled with hate.

“Marilyn Monroe,” Alex murmured. “Did she want you to show me?” He pointed to outside the window.

The spirit grew impatient and flung him against the wall by the window. He reached out and grabbed the framework. He was able to wrap his fingers around the molding. The spirit grew furious and, with a nod, Alex went sailing outward and through the open window. He clasped the other side of the frame with his left hand and held on, suspending his body in the opening.

“You fucking son of bitch! I’m not letting go!”

Alex heard a loud crash from across the room. He tried to maneuver to see who it was, but all he could do was hold on to prevent plummeting to his death.

Nel Santo Nome di Gesù, sigillo me, i miei parenti, questa casa, e tutte le fonti di approvvigionamento del Preziosissimo Sangue di Gesù Cristo.”

“Leave us, spirit! Go back to your keeper!” the voice commanded. “Nel Santo Nome di Gesù, sigillo me, i miei parenti, questa casa, e tutte le fonti di approvvigionamento del Preziosissimo Sangue di Gesù Cristo.”

Alex smelled incense of basil fill the room. “What the hell?” “Alex, hold on. This thing is dissipating.”


“Yeah. I’m here.”

“Wilby and Margaret?”

“They’re safe outside.”

He blinked his eyes, trying to flutter away the tears. He thought he had been alone. He knew now he wasn’t going to die today.

His mom ran to the window, placed her right arm around Alex’s waist, and pulled him in. The two stood in an embrace for a few seconds before, overcome with exhaustion, Alex slid to the floor. His mom sat down beside him until he was ready to talk.

“How did you know to come here?”

“Alex, you called me.”


“Maybe not consciously, but you did. I got your screams in my head. I knew you were in danger. I came straight home.”

Alex sighed. “I’m really glad you listened.”

“Me too. Now, do you mind telling me what the hell you were trying to do?”

About the Author 

Originally from New York, Vicki-Ann currently resides in Nevada. Writing Young Adult paranormal, she finds inspiration from events that have been in her life for as long as she can remember. Inheriting the sensitivity to the supernatural from her family, they continue to be an endless source of vision and access to behind the veil.

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1 comment:

Wild N Mild $$$ said...

This like a cute YA series.