The Spirit Chaser
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance,
Publisher: Kat Mayor
Date of Publication: November 13, 2015
Number of pages: 424
Number of words: 134,300
Some places are too evil. Some places should be left alone.
Austin Cole has it made. Star of the hit television show Spirit Chaser Investigations, he has become the world’s most famous paranormal investigator. Although hard work, a talented investigation team, and favorable genetics have something to do with it, it’s his lack of fear and willingness to take risks no one else will that make Spirit Chaser Investigations cable’s number-one show.
When a ghost-hunt-gone-wrong seriously injures his best friend and lead psychic, Austin is forced to find a replacement for a team member he considers irreplaceable.
Casey Lawson can’t catch a break. She’s been on her own since she turned eighteen and is scraping by as a part-time psychic and cashier at a New Age store. When a desperate Austin Cole calls her up and offers her a position on his team, has her fortune finally changed?
He’s a control freak; she’s stubborn and opinionated. It takes time, but when they finally realize they’re working on the same side, everything clicks, both on and off screen.
Just when things are looking up, a new threat emerges. Over the years, Austin has angered plenty of demons, and one of them has set her sights on him. Now he’s the one in danger, and it’s up to the team to rescue him from the riskiest investigation of their lives.
“Casey, what do you sense?” Austin asked as he stared at the mirror. “Casey?” He turned around, but she was not behind him. “Where’s our psychic?” he asked Luis.
“She was standing right here when I went to get you.”
“Damn it. Can’t she follow the simplest instructions?” Austin turned around and exited the bathroom. Thai and the others followed.
“What the hell,” Gary said. He could hear a low, guttural growl. He was looking for its source when he saw Casey standing at the other end of the hall, in front of Brad’s room. He cocked his head to the side as he studied her strange, frenetic behavior. She would go to one corner of the space and push and pull on the air, then move to another side and do the same thing. To Gary, she looked like a psychotic mime trying to break out of an invisible jail cell.
Casey shouted at the air around her. “Be gone. You may not enter me.” She swatted at the mist with her hand. Luis wrapped his purple stole around his neck and began to pray.
Thai’s eyebrows were furrowed in concentration. “What’s happening? What’s going on?” Austin asked him.
“There are dark auras surrounding Casey.”
“Auras? Is she in danger?” Austin demanded. He paced back and forth. It sucked being the only one who couldn’t sense a damn thing.
“I don’t know.” Thai shook his head slowly. “I can’t detect her energy anymore. The dark entities are overshadowing it.”
Austin’s eyes met Thai’s as he registered the significance of what he’d just said. “Fuck!” Austin ran full speed toward Casey.
“Wait!” Thai cried out. Austin didn’t stop until he was standing two feet in front of his psychic. Her eyes were trained on something he couldn’t see and she held the cross around her neck out in front of her. Now he understood what Thai was talking about. Although he couldn’t see the mist, he could tell when he passed through it. The air was dense and cold all around him. Casey shouted into the air. “Leave me alone!” A dark sense of dread and despair came over Austin. He shook his head to clear his mind. “Focus. Get control,” he told himself. His number one priority was getting his psychic to safety. Casey was still yelling as Austin grabbed her hand to pull her out of there. The heavy air pressed around him like he was walking underwater. It felt like fifty-pound weights were strapped to his legs. Entering the mist had been easy enough, but now that he was here, the evil didn’t want to let him go.
Time seemed to slow down as he trudged along. Austin heard a low-pitched growl and felt cool breath on his neck. It made his skin crawl. Up ahead, he could see Luis making the sign of the cross and flicking holy water in his direction. Gary and Thai were shouting at him and waving, but their voices sounded muffled and far off. This is nuts, thought Austin. The hallway wasn’t that long; he should be back to the landing by now. It felt like he was moving in slow motion. It took all his concentration to put one foot in front of the other. It all seemed so pointless. Why was he bothering to get them out at all? It would be so much easier just to lie down on the floor and let the mist engulf them both.
Horrific images passed through his mind in a dark, twisted cinematic presentation. He saw himself lying in bed in his loft in LA. He sat up and poured a glass of whiskey. There was a prescription drug container on his bedside table next to the bottle of booze. He emptied it out, pouring the small white pills on the table. Then he scooped them up and swallowed them all. That image faded, and a new one appeared. He was standing on a chair in the middle of his room. A rope with a loop was hanging from the ceiling. Austin grabbed it and put his head through it. Then he kicked the chair out from under him. His legs were jerking as his face went from red to gray. Then, his body stilled. The third and final image was of him picking a pistol up off a table. Even though he had never handled a firearm before, he knew it was a Beretta. He studied the gun. It was beautiful. His mouth watered as he thought about placing the cool, metallic barrel against his tongue. He shoved it down his throat and pulled the trigger. The loud concussion was the last thing he heard before he came back to himself. “No!” he shouted. It was the dark entity messing with his mind, but damn if it didn’t feel real.
While he had been out of it, he’d lost his grip on Casey. Panicking, he stretched his hands out in the dark mist until he found her arm. This time, he picked her up and threw her over his shoulder to keep from losing her again.
Just as he wondered if they’d ever get out, the oppressive energy let go, like a rubber band pulled taut and then released. He fell forward as he was shoved back into real time. To keep from falling, he threw out one hand to brace himself, and held onto Casey with the other. As soon as he had his feet back under him, he took off, flying past his team and heading down the staircase. Only when they were safely out of the house did he put Casey down. Austin bent over at the waist with his hands on his knees, catching his breath. He looked back at the door he had just run out of. It all seemed surreal. Just a few moments ago they had been trapped inside.
Kat Mayor is a native Texan, wife, and mom. In addition to The Spirit Chaser, she has written a young adult series, The Circle. She’s a full-time reader, part-time writer, and when she’s not kicking a story around in her head, she loves to read and review books on Goodreads.