The second book in my Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series, SUMMONING THE NIGHT, finds Cady and Lon tracking down a local boogeyman known as The Snatcher. In this exclusive excerpt, their investigations lead them into an abandoned cannery on the coast of California—the location featured on the cover of the book. Inside the crumbling building, they accidently set off a strange magical trap that unleashes . . . well, something that would give any sane person nightmares.
“So, this is the guy you’re looking for, yeah?” Hajo said. “Looks like he was involved in some heavy occult shit. Remind me not to cross a magician.”
“Damn straight,” Lon muttered.
Hajo squatted down near the circle and pointed. “What’s that? There’s something behind the jaw. Looks like he swallowed it.”
Lon shifted the flashlight’s beam to illuminate the skull, while Hajo leaned over the skeleton to reach for it. When his fingers almost made it, he leaned in farther, taking a step inside the oval, and a tinge of dull red light, barely perceptible, washed over his shoe.
“No!” I shouted. But it was too late.
The red light sizzled around the oval and brightened. Another spell. It wasn’t a deterrent this time. Not a warning, either . . .
A deafening blast cracked the concrete beneath the skeleton and the whole room shook. An unseen force rushed at us, knocking Hajo against the wall and slamming Lon into the conveyor machine. My back hit the concrete floor. Pain ripped through my lungs. Lon’s flashlight flew from his hand and ricocheted off the wall. It blinked a couple of times as it spun on the floor and rolled nearby.
“Cady!” Lon bellowed in the darkness.
I pushed myself up, scanning the dark for the flashlight. It was pointed at the wall. I touched the handle with my fingertips, accidently pushing it away as a strange scuttling sound vibrated through the air, somewhere off in the corner.
Scritch, scritch, scritch, scritch, scritch.
“Be quiet!” I yelled.
My hand stilled as I strained to listen to the bizarre scratching sound. It multiplied and moved, and my heart nearly stopped.
Scritch, scritch, scritch, scritch.
What was that? Claws?
Something small was clicking on the concrete, moving closer.
Jenn is awesomely offering up a signed copy of Summoning the Demon to one lucky winner (US/Canada only) chosen from the comments to this post. I’ll announce the winner on May 14th!