I am excited to welcome author Sherry Soule, who is releasing her second Spellbound novel, Moonlight Mayhem.
Otherworldly Creatures. Dazzling Magic. Fiery Romance.
Shiloh Ravenwolf thought she was getting used to the strange events in Whispering Pines, until the full moon brings another surge of supernatural threats to her coastal town. Ferocious wolves, deadly necromancers, and shambling zombies have descended upon the neighborhood, so Shiloh needs to gain control of her magical abilities—fast!
It sucks that she has a crippling fear of the dark, which for a demon hunter can be an epic problem.
When her classmates are attacked by a mysterious creature and her father is murdered, Shiloh vows vengeance. Forcing her phobias aside, she forms an unlikely coven of supernaturally gifted teens to help her eradicate this menace. Except that’s not all Shiloh has to worry about. She’s battling a different monster within herself and struggling not to become the very thing she fights: evil.
But with demon blood inside her—anything can happen…
To celebrate the second novel in the Spellbound series, Moonlight Mayhem, I decided to rewrite the first chapter of Beautifully Broken (book 1) from the hero Trent Donovan’s perspective in this super fun post! Enjoy…
Chapter One of Beautifully Broken in Trent’s POV
It started out like any other day since I’d moved back to dreary ole Whispering Pines. Except this morning, I decided to attend church. It must have rained during the night, because the breeze drifting into my open windows smelled fresh, like wet leaves and a mixture of scents from the myriad of flowers and trees surrounding Ravenhurst.
I sat up slowly, viewing my bedroom. If anything, the room looked even more amazing.
Felt damn good to be home.
I swung my legs over the side of the double bed that had a lofty headboard with built-in shelves, bursting with books and clutter. I stretched my arms over my head and smiled. In one corner sat an arcade game with a snowboard propped against it. A huge beanbag and an Xbox lay before the flat screen TV. Clothes and textbooks littered the floor, CDs were strewn near the closet, and posters of bikini-clad girls covered one light blue painted wall.
My own room. Nice.
After I showered and put gel in my hair, I searched the closet for something to wear. I still hadn’t completely unpacked. I didn’t feel like dressing up, so I put on a pair of black boots and True Religion jeans. Don’t get me wrong, I liked going to church, but I hadn’t attended since I’d gotten back a month ago. I’d been trying to keep a low profile. The townspeople annoy me. They kiss too much ass. My father was the one they should have been sucking up to—not me. I could care less.
I took the stairs two at a time, and walked across the foyer, my steps echoing on the hardwood floors. I caught my image in the ornate mirror hanging in the hallway. Green eyes, aquiline nose, and tousled blond hair. My chin sported a cleft. I grinned at my reflection, my teeth, even and white, contrasted sharply with my tan skin.
Silence clung to me. We needed to hire some servants. The mansion was too big and lonely. I checked the time on my Rolex. Nine am.
Good. I’d be a few minutes late and avoid the stares from the townies. And their stupid questions. Why did you come back? Why are you moving into Ravenhurst? Are you crazy? That place is cursed!
Blah, blah, blah. I refused to answer. Morons. Why should I explain myself to them?
I didn’t believe in that supernatural crap anyway. Although my ghost hunting uncle did. My father hired him to do some restoration work on the mansion. I had overheard them talking about doing a cleansing too. Rid the house of evil.
Whatever. Such bull.
I locked the front door behind me and marched toward the detached garage. Earthy scents of pine, jasmine, and juniper hit my nose. Endless fog hovered over the ground. Walking through it was like a knife cutting into butter. Think and dense. A cold, dewy sensation against my skin. I entered the garage and climbed into my Mustang. (My favorite car right now.) After opening the garage door with the remote attached to the visor, I revved the engine and shot down the long driveway lined with oaks. I turned right on Main Street. Whispering Pines Chapel wasn’t hard to miss. The white steeple reached the heavens.
The scenery that flowed past the car windows had clusters of spectral mansions wrapped in fog with high black iron fences, emerald lawns, and birch, oak, and pine trees. Gloomy. A strange, grey pall hung over the neighborhoods like dead smoke.
My father and I had moved to this one Starbucks town four weeks ago. Some say it was cursed. I’d heard that this eerie place had a history as odd as the residents themselves did. To outsiders it appeared picturesque, with family-run businesses on every corner, bed and breakfasts, antique shops, cafés, even a general store, and a beautiful white church standing in the center of town. But the locals were a superstitious lot, and the mystical disappearances over the last sixteen years had everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse.
Crazy, if you asked me. Curses? Witches? So lame.
I crossed over the railroad tracks, and the sunlight ruptured the haze, striking the roofs of the rambling old houses lining the streets. My gaze caught shadows swooping within the shrubs and trees. Somewhere a dog barked. While I searched for a space in the church parking lot, I glimpsed a raven-haired girl through the tinted windows.
Something about her almost made me stop the car. She was tall and thin with these incredible brown eyes ringed with dark eyeliner, standing awkwardly near the entrance. She was dressed kind of quirky but cute in a black sweater-dress with leggings and hot pink Doc Martens boots. Her waist-length raven hair was parted along the hairline and a thick braid rested on her cheek. Her oval face was beautifully exotic. She had a great body too. Next to her stood a short, curvy blonde with a round face framed by curly hair. But it was the dark-haired girl biting her lip that captivated my attention.
They both paused, gaping at my ride. I smiled. I figured in this small town people didn’t see expensive cars like mine every day. I found a spot and parked, but the girls were gone.
The church bell tolled. I hurried inside and accidently banged the doors open as I entered. People glanced up. A few residents threw me dirty looks. Whatever. I found a seat in the back. The wooden pews were arranged into rows with a shelf on the back of each that supplied a bible. The place reeked of lemon polish, cough drops, and hairspray. Sunlight spilled beyond the stained glass windows, dappling the congregation below in red, blue, yellow hues. A group of children gathered on the platform to sing.
I shrugged out of my black leather coat, which revealed my charcoal-colored button-down shirt. Reclining, I stretched my arms on the top of the bench. I glanced around and my eyes fell on that pretty girl with long, midnight hair. She sat in the pew directly across from mine.
She caught me staring and turned beat red. Cute.
In the same life-changing moment that her dark eyes seized mine—the atmosphere shifted. My heartbeat sped up. There was only her. Like the church contained only the two of us. The world had gone still with a pulsing fervor, like an electrical current. Strong. Powerful. Passionate. The sensation agitated the space between us. Her bronze eyes were half-closed, the pupils huge, and I felt myself tumbling into them. So familiar. So—holy crap.
My eyes widened, and then narrowed. My chin trembled. I let my arms drop to my sides.
No freaking way!
The girl sorta looked like my dead mother. Well, except my mother had blue eyes and pale skin. Still, for a second, the resemblance freaked me out. Could the girl be a relative?
Damn. That would suck.
I smirked. But she didn’t smile back like I hoped. Her eyes grew wide. Her gaze fixed just above my head. Then she glanced at her friend. She shifted in her seat and clutched an arm to her chest as if she was in pain.
I heard the girl’s whispering. Heard my name. Caught the blond girl calling the dark-haired beauty—Shiloh. Huh. So, the girl’s gotta name. I chanced a look at the girl named Shiloh and saw that she was still blushing.
Pastor Williams took his place behind the pulpit. I turned away and listened while he began the morning’s sermon. Ashley Witheridge waved at me from two rows ahead. She twisted around in her seat to smile at me. Pretty, but definitely not as hot as that other amazing girl. I held myself still so Ashley didn’t notice the annoyance flooding my body. Holding up a hand, I twirled my finger to indicate that she should turn around. Ashley’s bottom lip pouted, but she faced forward.
Suddenly an icy draft swept past me. I shivered. Rubbed my hands together. Why is it so damn cold in here? When I’d first sat down it had felt stuffy inside the church. Now it was freezing. Maybe I was coming down with the flu.
Damn. I had school in the morning. I couldn’t afford to get sick.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Shiloh peeking at me from between her long dark hair, and whispering to her friend. She moved her head, starring boldly at me now, and my mouth automatically curved into a cocky smile. Shiloh wore the softest, saddest smile I’d ever seen. Her olive skin magnified the darkness of her cat-shaped eyes, and her features were delicate and feminine. I almost laughed when her friend nudged her in the ribs with her elbow, and the Shiloh jerked her head around, putting her attention back towards the platform.
I tried to stay focused on the sermon and not think about the hot girl. Not think about her glossy pink mouth. Or her big brown eyes. Otherwise, I was gonna need a cold shower when I got home.
Suddenly it felt like a wintry hand touched my spine. The shiver ascended to the back of my neck. For an odd minute, I was overcome by a sense of impending doom.
What? Nah. I scoff at danger! I shook the feeling off. I didn’t get spooked. Ever.
My gaze fell on Shiloh again.
She…appeared frightened—freaked out. She gripped the white Bible against her chest, and stared down at her feet. Her friend looked concerned and leaned over to whisper in her ear. Then I heard the blond blurt out, “Whatever! He’s looking straight at you.”
The poor girl’s face went crimson. I stifled a chuckle.
Several people sitting around them turned their heads and threw the girls hard looks. A man, who must have been my new admirer’s father, turned his head to throw them a ‘shut the hell up’ glare.
When the service ended and everybody stood to leave, I rushed out the doors before anyone could question me. It sounded as if everyone around me was talking and pointing.
“Yes! That’s him—Trent Donovan, Maxwell’s son.”
“Indeed, they just returned to town.”
“Can you believe they are living in Ravenhurst?”
“His father was never convicted…not enough evidence.”
The fading conversations were almost inaudible with the ceaseless shuffle of feet as I hurried outside. I strode to my car, unlocking the Mustang’s door with the remote. I couldn’t help peeking at Shiloh one last time. She stood in the doorway. Our gazes met and clung. She blushed again. I frowned.
Once seated inside my ride, I started the engine and drove home. The weird incident remained with me. Confused thoughts, like a distant wind, whispered to me, ‘Who is that dark-haired beauty?’ What was that weird chill I experienced?
I couldn’t deny the flash of desire coursing in my veins. Nor could I deny the hope of seeing Shiloh again. And not just because she seemed so familiar.
As I turned unto the gravel drive, I stopped the car, and pushed a button on the dash. The gates automatically opened. I parked in the driveway and stared at Ravenhurst Manor. It was both charming and impressive in the daylight, its monstrous proportions dominating the three acres of land it rested upon. The Gothic mansion appeared almost serene among the lush landscape and the towering redwoods artfully framing it.
While I proudly gazed at Ravenhurst, I noticed something odd. For a brief moment, I could have sworn I saw a woman in one of the upstairs bedrooms staring down at me. My heart stopped.
She looked like…my mother. But that’s impossible. She’d been dead for seventeen years.
“What the hell?”
I blinked and the image vanished. But that icy chill on my skin stayed with me…
Meet Sherry Soule!
Sherry Soule is a writer blessed with a vivid imagination and lives in San Francisco, California. She writes supernatural tales of romance, magick, and demon slaying. Sherry has a morbid fascination with haunted houses. She adores cats. Loves to watch scary movies. And she’s a total bookaholic. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading poetry, online shopping, digging through flea markets, and exploring old cemeteries and Victorian mansions.
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