Exclusive Excerpt: Shadows - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

I am never alone. Not even when I am alone.

I see the unquiet dead, the souls that wander through the French Quarter.

They can’t move on, and I can’t stop seeing them.

I wear malachite for protection, and I control what I let in. It’s the only way to stay sane. Everything changes the day Cassian Winslow joins my ghost walking tour and knocks my world off its axis with green eyes the color of the stone around my neck.

An unspeakable evil is loose in New Orleans, taking young women and leaving a bloodbath in his wake. More shadows lurking for me. More unhappy dead. There might be a way to stop it.

Open myself up to Cassian.

If I do, it could spell his death.

But if I don’t, it’s mine.

Book Type:

Romantic Suspense

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Exclusive Excerpt: Shadows

Exclusive Excerpt: Shadows

A new creeptastic romantic suspense from Kristen Proby is coming October 29th! I’ve read a couple scenes from the book and let me tell you, they will make you shiver! This is the perfect Halloween read and I’m thrilled to share an exclusive sneak peek below!

“Is it weird that I feel like I’ve met you before? I barely know you. You’re a stranger. Yet, here I am, hanging out with you like we’re old friends.”

“It’s not weird, I was just thinking the same. Maybe we met in a former life or something.”

She doesn’t laugh at that. She just narrows her eyes and taps her lips, seeming to give it some thought.

“I was joking.”

“I know you were, but I suppose it’s possible.”

“Do you believe in past lives?”

Her eyes meet mine. “I believe in a lot of things, Cash. And I’m going to tell you, right here and now, even when I barely know you, that if you’d like for us to simply go our separate ways, I won’t hold it against you.”

I frown. “That feels a little dramatic.”

“It’s not.” She wipes her hands, finishing the last of her treat. “I told you the other night, I’m a complicated woman. I wasn’t kidding.”

“I suppose we’re all complicated, in our own ways. You haven’t scared me off.”

“Yet,” she whispers.

“Okay, tell me what you think would send me running?”

“I see dead people,” she says with a straight face. “It’s why I’m so good at my job. I don’t just know the lore because I studied it. Much of what I know has been told to me by the souls who experienced it themselves.”

I blink at her. I honestly don’t know what to say.

“See? Complicated.”

“How long has it been that way for you?”

“Since my earliest memories,” she says. “And, yes, it’s scary. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it entirely, but I’ve learned to live with it.”

“Being in the French Quarter must be unbearable for you.”

She tips her head to the side. “Huh. You haven’t run off yet.”

“I see no reason to go anywhere.”

“To answer your question, no, the Quarter isn’t super fun for someone like me. But I make my living here. And I take precautions.”

“What kind of precautions?”

“I think I’ve talked about myself long enough. Tell me more about you. Why the FBI?”

“Well, I got my Ph.D. in psychology and then decided to go through the academy. I always knew I wanted to work for the FBI. Maybe I read too many thrillers when I was a kid. It was a lot of studying and training. As I mentioned, I’ve been an agent for about ten years, and a profiler for five, meaning post-training.”

“Good for you. Do you enjoy it?”

“Despite some of the things I’ve seen, you mean? Yes. Because, at the end of the day, we put monsters in cages.”

“I bet you’ve seen a lot of horrible stuff.”

More horrible than you can imagine.

“You said you’re originally from the area?” I ask, changing the subject. She smiles and stands, motioning for me to follow her.

“I’ll tell you about my sordid past while you walk me home.”

“Deal.”

“I grew up out in the bayou, about an hour from the city. I have two sisters, both younger. My parents were pathetic and horrible excuses for human beings.”

“That good, huh?”

“Abusive.” She shrugs one shoulder, and I feel immediate and intense anger. I want to hurt anyone who would dare abuse this woman. “Neglect. Not to mention, we lived in the most haunted house in Louisiana, and that’s saying a lot.”

“Wow.”

“Do you believe in ghosts, Cash?”

I frown, thinking it over. “I think I like a good story. But I don’t know if I believe, to be honest, because I’ve never experienced anything paranormal.”

“Never?”

“Not that I’m aware of. I know I’ve never seen a ghost.”

“Have you ever been somewhere and, suddenly, all of the hairs on your body stand on end, and you don’t know why?”

“Sure.”

“Or walked into a room that suddenly feels a lot colder than any other part of the house?”

“Everyone’s felt a chill.”

She smiles up at me. “You’ve experienced things, Cash. You just didn’t know that you were experiencing them.”

“Huh.”

“Or are you one of those people who thinks things like this don’t exist?”

“I’ve seen evil,” I reply honestly. “And I’m not so close-minded that I can say there’s not something out there that we can’t see. I can’t say I’m a believer, but I think you believe it, and sometimes, that’s all that matters.”

“That’s a good answer.”

“Do you live here in the Quarter?”

“Yes.” She nods and leads me around a corner. “I have an apartment just down the street here.”

“Is it haunted?”

“Everything’s haunted. But the spirits there are calm and don’t bother me much.”

I take her hand once more, and when her fingers clench hard on mine, I frown down at her.

She stops short, staring straight ahead.

It’s like watching her the other night all over again.

“Brielle? What’s wrong?”

“This has never happened before,” she whispers.

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