Category Archives: Deb Logan

New Titles for March!

March has been an exciting month. First, at the very beginning of the month, Cat and I attended a workshop together on the beautiful Oregon Coast … our first in-person meeting! It was a delight to get to know her in the real world after all the experiences we’ve shared online 😀

Now, I’m excited to announce that my publisher, WDM Publishing, has released two new titles for March … one for each of my pen names 😀

First, Deb Logan gives us a new Faery adventure. I’m hoping you’ll enjoy this reunion with Claire and Roddy.

OF DRAGONS AND CENTAURS“Dragons”
by Debbie Mumford
Audience: Contemporary Fantasy | Young Adult | Short Story

Claire’s 15th birthday brings a huge surprise: she’s inherited her grandmother’s dragon! Imagine her surprise when the toy her grandmother carries with her everywhere turns out to be a real live dragon. One who looks like a toy when any uninitiated person is around. Life is about to get very interesting.

Buy Now: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

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Next, Debbie Mumford gives us a collection of her historical fiction. From the early 20th century to the Highlands of Scotland in the 1400s, we know you’ll enjoy this new edition!

TALES OF BYGONE DAYSBygone
by Debbie Mumford
Audience:
Historical Fiction | General Audience | Collection

From the struggle for women’s suffrage in the early 20th century (“Sisters in Suffrage”) to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in the late 19th century (“Incident on the High Line”) to an account of the Cherokee Removal in the late 1830s (“The Trail Where We Cried”) and ending with a time-travel romance in 15th century Scotland (“Her Highland Laird”), this collection of three short stories and one novella will take you on a journey through history.

Buy Now: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

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New Release: MORE GHOSTS and GHOULIES

Just in time for Halloween, WDM Publishing has released my latest Deb Logan short story collection! MORE GHOSTS AND GHOULIES continues the tradition of spooky fun for younger readers I started with GHOSTS AND GHOULIES. Grab your copy now and be ready for the spookiest night of the year!

MORE GHOSTS AND GHOULIESmoregg-2x3
By Deb Logan

Audience: Juvenile | Paranormal | Short Story Collection

Another volume of spooky, supernatural stories for younger readers. This collection of five short stories includes two Dani Erickson tales (“Family Daze” and “Challenging Daze”), two flash stories (“Rush!” and “On Guard”), and an urban fantasy tale (“Terrors”).

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Electronic Edition Publication Date: October 2016
Buy Now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

IMAGINE THIS: Faeries and Families

FaeryUn-2x3One of the first stories I ever wrote was based on the idea of a family curse (?) passed from grandmother to granddaughter down through the ages. It skipped every other generation, so the mother of the next to inherit had no idea about what was happening, but her mother did! I sold that very first story (Deirdre’s Dragon) to an online magazine…my first sale! But that initial story didn’t quench my thirst for the idea. I needed a larger format. A novel! And so, my first novel FAERY UNEXPECTED was born 😀

I still love these characters and may eventually find my way back to Claire’s world and discover just exactly what happened next. But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy meeting Claire in these opening pages…

FAMILIES ARE GREAT, but there are times when they stink. I mean, I love my mom and dad, but wouldn’t you think they’d at least have asked me if I wanted to spend a month on the French Riviera with them? Honestly! I could’ve made arrangements to go, even studied while sunning in the south of France. The first few weeks of high school aren’t that important. But the parents refused to listen to reason. Instead, they arranged for Gran — Mom’s decidedly weird mother who never went anywhere without her even weirder toy dragon — to stay with me while Mom and Dad defected to Europe to laze in the sun. I figured by the time I survived the first week, I’d have earned a vacation of my own.

What a rip. I’d been searching for a solution to my high school dilemma, and they’d handed me the answer and then snatched it away, all in the space of a two minute conversation. Man! My first day at Jefferson High was racing down on me and I still didn’t have a concrete plan for leaving the middle school nerd behind. I didn’t need to be the most popular girl at school, but I definitely wanted to improve my social standing.

In middle school I’d been a dork, and Danielle, the cheerleader-from-hell, teased me mercilessly about my good grades, happy family, and that stupid book report on fairies I’d done in seventh grade. Hello, I’d done my Shakespearean research, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, anyone? But that didn’t matter. She called me ‘Fairy Clairey’ for the rest of middle school. Even got her friends in on it. Made me sound like a complete idiot.

For a whole, shining minute I’d had my answer — before my parents ripped it away by uninviting me on their little European jaunt — but if I closed my eyes I could still picture the beautiful vision: me swaggering through the front doors of Jefferson High three weeks into the first term; my usually pallid skin crisp from a month of sun and sea; my unruly mop of short, curly black hair fashionably styled in the latest Paris do; my outfit straight off a tres chic fashion runway… Danielle would have a cow, and I’d be the reigning queen of the class. I might even have a chance at getting a boyfriend.

But no. Instead I got stuck with crazy Gran and her bizarre stories of dragons and centaurs and the magical adventures of her childhood. Gag!

So here I sat on the first day of September at Portland International Airport with my parents, waiting for Gran to show up. I stared out the window, watching her jet unload. I leaned my forehead against the glass and listened to my parents’ quiet conversation.

“Relax, Emily,” said Dad, a tall square man sporting thick glasses and a warm smile. “She can’t get lost. Everyone from the concourse channels past this waiting area. We won’t miss her.”

I glanced at my parents, but kept my forehead against the cool glass. Mom was dressed in creased gray wool slacks, ice blue blouse and a gray cardigan embroidered with small birds and vining leaves. She smiled and tucked a strand of dark brown hair behind her ear. “I know, but it’s hard not to worry. I just can’t get over feeling like I should’ve gone to get her. She’s so helpless without Daddy. He did everything for her when he was alive…she never even had to fill the car with gas.”

“Yes, he was old-school to the core,” Dad agreed. “But I think he underestimated your mother. Don’t make the same mistake, Em. Deirdre is tougher than you give her credit for.”

A flash of golden light out of the corner of my eye made me glance back at Gran’s jet. For a moment, I swear I saw something hovering over the plane. More than simple heat haze rising from the tarmac, something shimmered in the air above the airplane, like a window into another world. I blinked, and it disappeared. But the green-blue after image burned behind my eyelids…a castle in the sky.

Great. Just the thought of Gran’s stories and I was already getting all stressed out and weird. Give her a month and my elevator wouldn’t go all the way to the top.

I used to love having Gran visit, but that was before I grew up and realized she was a few sandwiches short of a picnic. What little kid wouldn’t love a grandmother who told them dragons were real and made them believe they could ride the wind on the back of an awesome, intelligent beast? Every kid wants to believe in magic.

I scootched lower in my seat, found a cooler bit of window for my cheek, and tried to convince myself that it wouldn’t be so bad having Gran around for a month. I’d be at school all day during the week. I’d just have to make sure I had plenty of invitations for sleep-overs on the weekends. My birthday might pose a problem, though. What if she decided to throw me a party?

Oh. My. Gawd. I could just imagine what my friends would say if Gran started telling dragon stories. I’d have to head her off. Maybe let it slip that my heart’s desire would be dinner and a movie…just us girls!

I didn’t have time to hatch a better plan because Gran came striding purposefully around the corner. My heart thumped, and I jumped to my feet. She might be weird, but she was family.

“Gran,” I shouted above the general din of other sons and daughters, grandkids and friends calling to their loved ones.

“Here, Mother,” called Mom. “We’re over here!”

“Deirdre,” boomed Dad, visibly restraining himself. I knew he itched to grab her carry-on luggage out of her hands, but couldn’t do anything until she moved past the security barrier.

And then she sailed through the gate and we hugged and tugged, a mass of flailing arms and clutching fingers, until we managed to bob out of the stream of excited humanity into our own quiet pool of reunion.

“Claire! Look at you,” cried Gran, breaking from the jubilant tangle to hold me at arm’s length. “You’re practically a grown woman.

“You’ve blossomed, my dear,” she said with a wink. “But I’m pleased to see you haven’t overblown.”

Well! Nice to know my understated cleavage pleased someone.

“You look wonderful, too, Gran,” I said with a forced smile. She did. If you liked the psychedelic look of the sixties crossed with demented dandelion. Gran sported a cheese orange rain poncho, lime green rubber boots, short, wiry gray hair that sprang from her head with no discernible style or direction, and Roddy, the ever-present two-foot long toy dragon attached to her shoulder on his Velcro perch. But her eyes sparkled merrily and her smile illuminated the dreary waiting area.

My frosty welcome melted and I hugged her with genuine appreciation. After all, blood is blood. She might be a dingbat, but she was my dingbat, and I loved her.

“We’re going to have the best month of your life,” she whispered in my ear. “Just you wait and see!”

“Peter, if you’ll get my bag,” Gran said, taking charge. “Claire, bring Roddy, please, and Emily, tell me all your news!” She disentangled herself from me, dropped the toy dragon in my abruptly empty arms, grabbed Mom by the elbow and headed for baggage claim, her head close to Mom’s.

Dad and I exchanged glances, shrugged, and carried out our assigned tasks. I held the toy dragon up to my face and stared into his beady green eyes. “Okay, Roddy,” I said, only half teasing. “Here’s the deal. You stay out of my way and I won’t accidentally knock you into the trash compactor.”

Dad laughed, grabbed Gran’s rolling duffle in one hand and dropped the other on my shoulder.

“You’re going to be fine, Claire. Just fine.”

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News, Releases, and SALES!

My alter-ego, Deb Logan, has been experiencing some really good luck in the last few months! First her short story, TERRORS, was included in an awesome anthology: FICTION RIVER: SPARKS.

Next, another of her short stories appeared in CHRONICLE WORLDS: FEYLAND which hit #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list and really boosted Deb’s author ranking!

Then, she sold a short story to Dreaming Robot Press‘s 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide which is scheduled to come out early next year!

Hooray for short stories and great anthologies!

Okay, that was the NEWS part of this post. Now we move to RELEASES 😀

WDM Publishing just released TERRORS as a stand-along Spun Yarns short story! *happy dancing*

TERRORS Terrors-6x9
By Deb Logan

Audience: Juvenile | Paranormal | Short Story

Artie Woodward sees the invisible beings that haunt our world. She recognizes their evil but doesn’t know what to do about it, so she’s learned to hide from their notice. Until Jed Kendrick moves to town. Suddenly, Artie has an ally, a friend, someone else who sees the unseen. Only Jed doesn’t hide. Jed fights back!

Electronic Edition Publication Date: July 2016
Buy Now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

FaeryUn-2x3And finally, in the SALES category … Deb is participating in a 53 author Urban Fantasy HOT SALE on July 28 – 30! Just think, 53 books priced at either $0.99 or FREE! Be sure to check it out! With that many authors, there’s bound to be something of interest 😀

Deb’s YA urban fantasy, FAERY UNEXPECTED, will be included in the $0.99 group (down from its usual $5.49!), so grab a copy while the sale lasts!

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CHRONICLE WORLDS: FEYLAND

Chronicle Worlds_Feyland eBook Cover-finalI’m a huge fan of Anthea Sharp’s Feyland novels, and was thrilled when Samuel Peralta’s Chronicle Worlds anthology series gave me the opportunity to play in her world! Having read every single Feyland story, I’m very familiar with the world’s delights … and its dangers.

“On Guard” was inspired by a family vacation where my twelve-year-old grandson was so entranced by a video game that he lost track of time and had to be coaxed into family activities. I could easily imagine my grandson playing Feyland, but “On Guard” was born when I decided to make his pet Norwegian Forest cat the hero of the tale.

Here’s a short blurb about the story:

Wallace, a fierce Norwegian Forest cat, has guarded the boy since he was an infant. Despite advancing age, Wallace isn’t about to shirk his duty now that the boy is old enough to play a dangerous game. Wallace doesn’t understand his boy’s fascination with Feyland, but he knows a threat when he sees one.

Chronicle Worlds: Feyland is available for only 99 cents for a limited time from Amazon! Grab your copy today 😀

Fun with Book Bundles!

I’m excited to be part of a book bundle over at BundleRabbit! If you’re not familiar with this site, you should really check it out 😀

BannerAd

Get “Faery Unexpected” and “Demon Daze” (both by Deb Logan) along with over $60 worth of other great novels featuring TEEN SUPER HEROES for less than $10!

https://bundlerabbit.com/teen-super-heroes
#‎bargain‬ ‪#‎sale‬ ‪#‎4sale‬ ‪#‎ebooks‬

For kindle, kobo, nook, and more. Instant download of ALL books!

Anthologies & Short Stories

This is an exciting time for my alter ego, Deb Logan! First, my short story Terrors has been released in FICTION RIVER: SPARKS, edited by the fabulous Rebecca Moesta.

FR-Sparks-ebook-cover-final
I’ve written several stories about characters who experience the world differently, teens who see the unseen creatures of the paranormal. But I think Terrors may be the creepiest of these tales!

Terrors came to me full-blown. The first draft of the story flowed effortlessly from subconscious to screen, introducing me to two amazing teens. Artie, a misfit girl who knows too much, and Jed, a surprisingly stable and open-hearted boy with an indomitable desire to protect the innocent. I’m pretty sure the world hasn’t heard the last of these young heroes.

I love this story and was thrilled when  Rebecca Moesta chose to include Terrors in this anthology with so many other amazing stories. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting Artie and Jed too 😀

Fiction River: Sparks is available in electronic and paper formats from WMG Publishing, or your favorite electronic bookstore.

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Then I discovered that for a limited time (until April 30, 2016), you can get a free electronic version of SPARKS (in the format of your choice) from Kobo. Here’s how:

1) Go to the link to the book: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/fiction-river-sparks
2) Click on the “Add to Cart” option then go to your Shopping Cart and click on CHECKOUT
3) If you don’t already have an account/credit card on file, select PAYPAL option to pay to bypass entering your credit card
4) Enter the promo code SPARKS into the box that says “enter your promo code here” and hit APPLY

Enjoy!!

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My next big news for Deb is that Wattpad will be featuring Lexie’s Choice as one of their recommended reads today! Major *happy dancing* accompanies this news 😀

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And finally, WDM Publishing has just released my latest Dani Erickson tale: Family Daze!

FamilyDaze-Cover-2x3

Dani Erickson has a secret. She’s a hereditary demon hunter. The seventh child of a seventh child, she was born to battle the nasty monsters she sees infesting her small Colorado town. Unfortunately, her family doesn’t know. The only girl in her family, she thinks her family wants a pretty Pomeranian, not the ferocious Rottweiler Dani knows herself to be. How far will Dani go to protect her secret life?

Family Daze is the third installment of Dani’s adventures. First came Demon Daze followed by School Daze. I’m currently dreaming up Dani’s next “Daze-ing” adventure 😀

FREE Fantasy Story: DEMON DAZE – part 6 (Final)

Dani Erickson’s story, DEMON DAZE, finishes in this 6th and final installment.  I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Dani! (Look for information about her NEXT adventure at the end of this post 😀 )

Demon Daze
DEMON DAZE

by Deb Logan

 Demon Hunter

I SPENT THAT EVENING trying to convince myself Warwick James was a scam artist or a serial killer. Anything to erase the exceptionally abnormal future he’d outlined for me. What did I know about demons? Why would I want to hunt them? As far as I knew, no demon had ever harmed me or mine. Wouldn’t Mom counsel me to live and let live?

And what about Mom and Dad? How were they supposed to take the news that their only daughter would never be the epitome of graceful femininity they desired? That she was instead destined to be a warrior charged with protecting the human race? They didn’t want a guard dog; they wanted a pampered Pomeranian.

I stalked from room to room of our comfortable home, unable to settle anywhere. The kitchen taunted me with visions of the girl I’d never be. If I were more like Allie, I’d be warm and welcoming like its terra cotta red walls and pale lemon curtains, nourishing like the contents of its hickory cabinets, accomplished like the woman who ruled the heart of our home: my mother.

The great room, usually my retreat of choice, repelled me tonight. My brothers and their friends had gathered to watch a pre-season football game on Dad’s awesome eighty-inch high-definition television. I could fit in with a roomful of guys, no problem. I’d been fitting in with guys since birth. But tonight I needed to think, and the guys’ rowdy antics would kill higher brain function.

The formal living room mocked me. Every piece of furniture in that room knew its place and function better than I did, same with the elegance of the rarely used dining room. One of the bathrooms? No. Unless I wanted to settle in for a soak, someone would be beating on the door in a matter of moments. Bedrooms? All were off limits except my own, and I felt like a caged animal pacing round and round my bed. I briefly considered sitting on top of the washer in the laundry room, but the white enameled metal looked cold and uncomfortable.

My restless wandering finally drove me outdoors — not far out, I remembered Wick’s warning — onto the wide, covered porch that wrapped three sides of our two-story home. I settled on a cushioned patio chair and stared across the street into the familiar shadows of Loomiller Park.

Big mistake.

On an ordinary night, I could’ve stared for hours at the well-known tree shadows, the mirror smooth lake that was really little more than a pond, the winding walkways and seen no more than the outline of an occasional Canada goose. Heard no more than the peaceful chirping of crickets or the breeze sighing through the foliage. But tonight was no ordinary night. Tonight I possessed the senses of a demon hunter, and the normally quiet park teemed with life of a type I hadn’t known existed until yesterday.

Demons of all shapes and sizes crowded the edges of our property. They crawled across the streets, climbed on the kiddie play equipment, splashed in the shallows of the lake, and hung from branches of the evergreens. But mostly, they stared at me. Hundreds of pairs of eyes gleamed in the darkness of the still August night.

A paralyzing chill clenched my spine in an icy fist. An impulse to jump and run seized my brain, but my feet and legs refused to act. Like a rabbit charmed by a swaying snake, I stared into their eyes and drowned in fear. I was no demon hunter. I was prey. How could one untrained teenage girl hope to survive when the night teemed with such … such … filth?

Filth? I shook my head, breaking eye contact and laughed. Not a happy giggle, but a terrified, ironic chuckle. Something deep inside had challenged the thought the demon horde had tried to plant. Yes, I was young and untrained, but an unacknowledged spark in my soul recognized them for what they were, filthy vermin to be hunted from the face of the earth.

“Thanks, guys,” I murmured, rising and walking to the door with a newborn calm. “You’ve convinced me. I’m a demon hunter in need of training.” I smiled, waved a salute to the unholy creatures only I could see, and strode to the great room to join my brothers. “See you in the morning, Mr. James,” I murmured to myself as I grabbed a handful of popcorn from Jamie’s bowl.

Settling into my favorite chair, I smiled as the buttery goodness of popcorn melted on my tongue. I finally knew who I was. Never again would I see myself as a clumsy, too-tall imitation of Allie. No, I was exactly who I was meant to be. Dani Heleen Erickson: Demon Hunter Extraordinaire!

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Thanks for reading DEMON DAZE!

Want to know more about Dani? Be sure to look for SCHOOL DAZE

SCHOOL DAZESchDaze-Cover-2x3
by Deb Logan
Audience: Juvenile | Demon Hunter | Short Story

Dani Erickson is a hereditary demon hunter. The seventh child of a seventh child, she was born to battle the nasty monsters she sees infesting her small Colorado town. With the help of her best friend Allie and her sensei Warwick James, she’s getting into fighting trim — just in time for her first day of high school.

Demons beware. Dani’s on the prowl!

Buy Now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

 

 

 

FREE Fantasy Story: DEMON DAZE – part 5

Dani Erickson’s story, DEMON DAZE, continues in this 5th of six installments.  I hope you enjoy Dani’s continuing adventure and I look forward to your comments.

Demon Daze
DEMON DAZE

by Deb Logan

 Guardian

I WANTED TO RIP OPEN the door and run for my life, but I couldn’t. My knees wobbled, my lungs seized, my heart pounded like my brother Seth’s drums, and a series of cold chills played tag on my spine. And you don’t want to know about my stomach. Trust me. Too much information doesn’t begin to cover it.

But sooner than I would’ve expected, my racing brain calmed. A serene acceptance washed through my mind and I knew, absolutely, positively, with no question of doubt, that whoever Warwick James might be, he’d spoken the truth. I was a born and bred Demon Hunter.

I slipped sideways away from the door and leaned against the peeling paint of an interior wall. One by one my pieces parts returned to normal until I found the strength to speak.

“I’m a demon hunter.” A simple statement of fact, and once the words were out, I straightened away from the wall, stronger and more sure of myself than I’d ever been in my life. I made eye contact with Wick and nodded. “I’m a demon hunter.”

Concern fled from his face and he smiled like a proud father presented with his first-born. “Yes, Miss Erickson. You are a demon hunter, and I am your guardian.”

A small frown pulled at my eyebrows. “Why would a demon hunter need a guardian? Besides, I already have a father and six brothers.”

“True, but can they teach you to fight? Can they see demons? Can they watch your back while you learn the skills you’ll need to survive?”

I chewed my lower lip and prowled the room, keeping my new awareness centered on Wick. “You can see demons? You can train me?”

“I can and I will. That is my purpose: to find demon hunters and protect them while I train them to protect mankind.”

“I’m missing something here. If you can see demons and already know how to fight, why do you need me?”

He pivoted slowly on the spot, keeping me squarely in the center of his vision despite my pacing. “I’m not a demon hunter, Miss Erickson. I don’t have your, shall we say built-in radar? I can fight them and make a nuisance of myself, but I cannot kill them. That power is reserved for your kind.” He bowed his head in acknowledgement of my superior abilities.

“I will be your mentor and trainer, but you, Miss Erickson, are the demon hunter.”

I stopped pacing, faced him, and planted my fists on my hips. “What is this place? Why did you bring me here?”

He held out his arms and completed a slow circle. “This is my new business, a martial arts academy. I will teach Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Judo, and Kendo. You will learn a blend of all of them while developing your own unique style.”

“Doesn’t look like much,” I muttered.

He threw back his head and laughed so loud the room echoed with his mirth. When the explosion of sound died back, he wiped his eyes and said, “Give me a chance, Miss Erickson. Madame Simone and I have barely had time to set our plans in motion. She only confirmed your burgeoning power on Saturday night. I think I’ve done well to find a Main Street location on such short notice.”

My eyes widened and my jaw dropped. “Madame Simone? Do you mean that wacko fortune teller from the carnival?”

“Language, Miss Erickson. Madame Simone is a gifted psychic. She and I have been with the carnival for years. The perfect cover for traveling around the country checking up on families that might possibly produce a demon hunter. Now that we’ve found you, we will settle in Longmont and other members of our clan will make the rounds.” He shook his head. “Possibles are far too few these days.”

I filed that comment away for future consideration and wandered back to the door. “Okay. So let’s assume I buy this crazy story,” I said, all too aware of the lie implied. I believed him and he knew it. How could I not? Even now I sensed three demonic entities roaming Longmont’s peaceful streets … and they were just the ones in range of my newly awakened weird-o-meter. “What do you expect me to do?”

He strode to the door, reached for the knob and opened it for me with a small bow. “I expect you to assimilate your new knowledge. Rest tonight. Think about what you’ve learned, and come back tomorrow ready to begin your training.”

I stared at him for a moment and then stepped out into the late August sunshine. “I’ve got to meet my brother.”

“I’ll look for you around ten,” he said, joining me on the sidewalk. He glanced up and down the street before continuing, “I’ll shadow you back to your brother. For your own safety, go straight home and stay there. The home of a hunter is sacrosanct. You will always be safe there, as will anyone else within its walls. Be vigilant, Miss Erickson. You are now aware of demons; they are also aware of you.”

With that cheery thought, I headed north to meet Jamie, Warwick James following at a discreet distance.

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Thanks for reading! The 6th and final scene will be posted on 7/27/15.

Can’t wait to find out what happens? Demon Daze is available online:
Buy Now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

FREE Fantasy Story: DEMON DAZE – part 4

Dani Erickson’s story, DEMON DAZE, continues in this 4th of six installments.  I hope you enjoy Dani’s continuing adventure and I look forward to your comments.

Demon Daze
DEMON DAZE

by Deb Logan

 Seventh-Seventh

THE NEXT MORNING I hitched a ride downtown with Jamie. That sounds a lot more exciting than it was. Downtown Longmont was a nicely renovated street of Mom and Pop stores, but most of the action was on the west edge of town at the mall. However, the piece of paper Warwick James had slipped me the day before specified a Main Street address, so that’s where I headed.

“Are you sure you’re all right?” Jamie asked for about the forty-fourth time. “Maybe I should stay with you.”

“Jamie, please. Do you think Mom would’ve let me out of the house if there was anything to worry about?” That stopped him. Mom was one of those old-fashioned women whose career was home and family. Nothing slipped past her where her children were concerned.

“Okay. You win. I’ll pick you up in front of Perks A Plenty at noon. Don’t be late.”

I slammed the car door, leaned back in the open window, and blew him a kiss. “Not to worry. I’ll be there.”

He shook his head, waved me off the car, and pulled away from the curb.

I glanced at the slip of paper and strode south down the wide sidewalk. The address was about a block south of the renovated portion of Main Street. Not yet to the train tracks, but beyond the well-groomed shopping district. I halted in front of what appeared to be an abandoned storefront. Wide display windows covered with brown paper stared back at me. Chipped white paint above and below the windows shouted the building’s need for repair. A small, hand-lettered placard announced a budding business:

Coming Soon!
Longmont’s Own Martial Arts Academy.
Classes Enrolling Now!

I shivered, but reached for the doorknob. What choice did I have? Warwick James had promised to explain things, and I desperately wanted information. I hadn’t seen any more monsters, but my newly acquired weird-o-meter told me they were still there, lurking just beyond my field of vision. I wanted them gone. I didn’t want to know that the monster under the bed was real or that his cousin really was hiding in the closet.

Pushing open the door, I stepped into a large, dimly lit room. My footsteps rang against ancient linoleum floors and echoed off walls in need of a fresh coat of paint. The paper-covered windows washed the room with a diffused amber glow, causing the glare of an electric bulb from a half-open door in the back wall to stand out like a flashing neon sign.

“Hello. Is anyone here? Mr. James?” I listened as the echoes of my voice died away. No response. Much as I wanted answers, my sense of self-preservation refused to allow me to walk to the back of the room and step into that well-lit doorway. I turned toward the front door. Warwick James had found me once; he could find me again.

“I’m glad you came, Miss Erickson.”

I nearly gave myself whiplash, jumping and turning in a less than smooth movement. Warwick James stood just a few feet from me. How had he gotten so close so fast? I frowned and studied the strange man who had appeared out of nowhere to release me from yesterday’s spasm. Tall, trim, with good muscle tone. Definitely not a guy who lived on pizza and beer. Short brown hair and neatly trimmed mustache and beard, his blue-green eyes sparkled with humor. All in all, a good-looking guy, if you’re interested in middle-aged men. I’m not.

“How do you know my name?”

“I know your family well, Miss Erickson.” He raised an eyebrow and waved an arm in the direction of the back room. “Would you join me in the back? We can sit down and discuss this in more comfort there.”

“No thanks. I’d prefer to stay near the door.” I glanced over my shoulder, gauging the distance to the sidewalk outside. Not far. I could sprint it easily. Exit plan decided, I turned back to Mr. James. “How do you know my family? I’ve never seen you before.”

“As you wish,” he said with a shrug, thrusting his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “You misunderstand. I said I know your family well. I didn’t say I was a family friend or even an acquaintance. You see, Miss Erickson, yesterday was the first time I’ve ever spoken to a member of your family, though I’ve been studying them for years.”

A shiver ran down my spine and I backed a step closer to the front door.

“Please don’t run away. You need to understand what’s happening to you and why.”

“So get to the point,” I said continuing back until the doorknob was within easy reach. To my immense relief, Warwick James remained in the middle of the room.

“You had, shall we say, visions, yesterday. You saw things that can’t possibly exist. Things no one else in your family saw. Am I correct?”

I nodded.

“That ability is the reason I’ve been observing your family. I’ve been watching, waiting for your power to manifest.”

Silence descended on the room. A heartbeat, two … fifteen or twenty passed. Neither of us spoke. Finally, when the pressure of words waiting to be released was palpable, I caved.

“You were watching … me?”

“Not at first. Your father’s family first drew our attention. Thirteen children is uncommon in this day and age. The stage was set, the potential for your ability to manifest existed. So we waited, checking back each year. Noting new members, new births. Updating the genealogical records. Do you know what we were waiting for?”

My shoulders relaxed, the knot in my stomach eased, and I snorted. “Don’t tell me. You’re one of those ‘seventh son of a seventh son’ fanatics. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint, but one: I’m a girl; two: you’ve got the wrong branch of the family. Uncle Gus is the seventh son, and unfortunately for you, he and Aunt Ellen can’t have kids.”

The jerk had the nerve to smile.

“I’m not disappointed Miss Erickson, not in the least. Your family’s understanding of the ability is incomplete. Yes, a seventh-seventh is required, but gender is not an issue. We were never interested in your Uncle Gus — though we were amused by your family’s delight in producing a seventh son. Your father was always the object of our study.”

I jumped and grabbed the doorknob for support. “My father?”

“Yes. Your father. The seventh child in his family. Only the fifth son, but the seventh child. And you, Miss Erickson, what does that make you?”

I swallowed and tried to speak, but my tongue felt swollen and the inside of my mouth was too dry to function.

He nodded. “That’s right. You, Dani Heleen Erickson, are the seventh child of a seventh child. You are the hereditary Demon Hunter.”

*~*~*

Thanks for reading! Part 5 will be posted on 7/13/15.

Can’t wait to find out what happens? Demon Daze is available online:
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