Excerpt: Descend to Darkness - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Angela Hawkins Crow awakens to find herself in total darkness. Despite her years as a Krewe agent, she is first seized with panic, but her life and her training kick in. She knows that she must stay calm and go back in her mind to find out how she got where she is…and where she might be.

Meanwhile, an eerie phone call comes in at Krewe headquarters, warning them all that Angela has been kidnapped, describing her ordeal, and lamenting the fact that she can’t be saved.

But there is no such thing with the Krewe. In the dark and in the light, the fight is on.

Angela determines that she might know what has happened to her, and she is prepared when her kidnapper can’t resist the temptation to check in on her.

By following his wife’s expertise with research, Jackson discovers what just might be happening—and in the darkness of night and the silence of the graveyard, he’ll risk everything to find the woman he loves.

Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.

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Excerpt: Descend to Darkness
By Heather Graham

Excerpt: Descend to Darkness

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham comes a new story in her Krewe of Hunters series. DESCEND TO DARKNESS is out this week and I’m so excited to share an excerpt with you below!

“Debbie, I know how upsetting this must be for you,” Angela began, speaking with Debbie Nolan, the young woman who had reported the man with the bloody knife at the cemetery. “But—”

“No one believed me,” Debbie said miserably. “Of course, they do now. But I was terrified. There was a minute, or at least a second, when I thought he turned and might have seen me. But one of the caretakers was on a cart going down the path, and he wasn’t that far past me. So maybe he didn’t see me. I was afraid he would come after me if he did. Because he was real! I mean, really real. He wasn’t a Halloween decoration or someone playing a prank. I saw him!”

The young woman was in her mid-twenties, small and slim with enormous brown eyes and a nervous manner. Angela reached a hand across the distance that separated their chairs in the conference room and set it gently on Debbie’s knee.

“Debbie, yes. Of course, we believe you. And we need your help.”

“Right. I saw the news. You found more than one body. You found three. I mean, it’s a cemetery, but—”

“Yes, and I’m afraid someone was murdered recently. Any help you might be able to give us—”

“I don’t know how I can help,” she interrupted.

“First, tell me what he looked like.”

“A monster.”

“Okay, so…”

“Maybe a demon. He was wearing a Halloween costume: like a black jumpsuit with a hood and a skeleton’s mask beneath it. I know the police believed it was a prank, but there was something about him. I knew… I guess, well, people decorate. And they do come in costume, but usually only on Halloween day or evening.”

“Okay, how tall do you think he was?”

Debbie shook her head. “Regular-guy size? I’m pretty sure it was a guy. I think maybe six feet and medium build?”

Angela nodded. “And where exactly did you see him? Was he headed for one of the exits?”

Debbie almost smiled. “Exits? You don’t need an exit for that place. The stone wall that surrounds it isn’t more than two feet high. But he seemed to be heading toward the… um, north side. Where the forest has kind of encroached on some of the stones. There’s a tree that’s half in the cemetery and half out. I think he ran past it and into the woods.”

Angela mentally drew a map of the cemetery in her mind. Since the Robertson family vault or mausoleum was in the center of the place, he might have quickly come from it while Debbie was kneeling at her father’s grave. And when she looked up, he could have easily been halfway out of the place.

“I just knew he’d killed someone. But then he was gone. And I—I didn’t see anyone who had been stabbed or was bloody or… anything. And I was terrified. So, I ran. I got into my car and drove around to the office. And that lady, that Ms. Valois? She was so nice. She called the police right away, and they walked through the cemetery. But the one officer just seemed entirely disgusted by how the relatives of those buried or interred there decorate for the holiday. Some people think it’s horrible and disrespectful. It really isn’t. It’s remembering those we love during the holidays. As if they are still with us.”

“It’s okay, Debbie. People remember their loved ones in different ways.”

“I’m not usually scared. Most horror movies are funny to me and I like haunted houses. But I was terrified last night. So scared that when an officer called to say he’d be watching over me, I almost didn’t dare believe him. I called the precinct first… and they said that I was being watched. I knew someone had found something. But even with a cop outside, I couldn’t sleep. I… I loved my dad so much, but I don’t think I can ever go back there again.”

Angela nodded and suggested softly, “Maybe not at Halloween. And until we find out what happened, there will be an officer or an agent looking out for you.”

“Thank you,” she whispered. “Thank you. I—I called in sick today. I teach art at a local community college. I was so tired and scared. Then Special Agent Crow called me, but before the officer brought me here, I saw the news. I saw that three people were found in the cemetery, victims of a murderer. The blood on that knife was real.”

She let out a breath. “Honestly, I’m not a horrible coward. I live by myself now in my folks’ old home. My mom died when I was little. I don’t even remember her. I just lost my dad two years ago, and I’m an only child. I have an alarm, but it’s only on the front door. It isn’t attached to any of the windows. I mean, I’m not an idiot, they’re all shut and locked, but—”

“It’s all right.” Angela appreciated the fact that Debbie was scared and rambling. Her job was to calm her down and see if she could gather any useful information. “We know you’re frightened. But no one knows if he saw you. Though perhaps you’ll feel a little better if I tell you this. He knows you can’t identify him. He was wearing that mask. So, he has no reason to come after you.”

“What if he’s just insane? He has to be a little, right?”

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