Book 1: Path Unchosen
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Suspense
When eighteen-year-old Judy Hudson discovers she’s a necromancer and sees firsthand the pain her powers can cause the dead, she wants to deny who she is. The zombie plague is long over. She wants to find a more normal life, a challenge when a beautiful, otherworldly man who claims to be her guardian saves her life.
But as Judy tries to set right the harm she inflicted on the spirit she raised, new zombies attack–zombies raised from among the long-time dead. Someone else just like her is out there, and he’s not trying to set anything right.
Now, to save her own life and protect the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town who’ve become her friends, Judy must figure out who’s raising the dead and why. She must also learn to control the darkness inside her–a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams.
Meagan Greystone, a new necromancer who grew up orphaned and homeless, has finally discovered a community where she belongs. But as she settles in at Ravenswood Manor, her ancestral home, a strange voice in her head unravels her newfound peace.
The source of the unsettling communication is Quintus, Meagan’s distant ancestor, known for his brutality and incredible power. When she attempts to enlist her father’s help by raising him from the dead, it’s Quintus who regains a foothold in the land of the living. Now reborn, he vows to obliterate everything Meagan treasures unless she joins him in his quest for power.
Meagan must overcome the heartbreak of unimaginable betrayal and fight in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation. Will she find the strength she needs to defeat the power of darkness and save the people and home she has grown to cherish?
In the dining room, tables and chairs had been flung across the room.
I pulled power from the earth into my body, let it swirl inside my chest. “Haven’t you realized what I am yet?”
It concentrated itself into a taut ball. A sentience watched me and waited.
“You must stop. You are dead. This is not the place for you.”
It sniggered. It didn’t care what I thought.
You are doing well, my dear girl. Keep calm. Don’t feed it anything.
Quintus, butting his nose into my business again. “I know what to do, Quintus.” It wasn’t true, but I wasn’t about to ask him for help.
Shelley, her back pressed into the wall, edged around the corner. “Can I do anything to help?”
“Please go back outside.” I kept my focus on the poltergeist.
“I can’t afford—”
“I know, Shelley, but please leave.”
Something grated against the wall. The grandfather clock crashed on its side and blocked Shelley’s escape. She lurched out of the way and scrambled behind the bar.
I groaned. Now I’d have to protect Shelley as well as deal with the poltergeist. And it would continue to feed on her fear.
The fishing flies, a mass of blue and orange feathers and animal furs tied onto hooks with silk thread, wobbled in their frame. The frame trembled until it wriggled lose and crashed to the beer taps below. Shelley screamed and jumped back. The broken frame wedged itself against the taps, and liquid gushed into the tiny sink. It overflowed, and ale cascaded like an amber waterfall onto the floor.
“Meagan, what should I do?” Shelley’s voice broke. She struggled with the heavy frame. “I need a hammer to shift this.”
Shards of glass from the broken frame flew at my face. I raised my hands to protect my eyes, and jagged pieces of glass sliced into the backs of my hands. I sucked in my breath at the searing pain.
Shelley called out my name.
Shaking the shards of glass off my clothes, I took a step toward her.
The brightly colored flies lifted like a swarm of wasps. Shelley flicked her hands to protect her face. The flies hovered in the air for a few seconds then zoomed at me.
Blue and orange whirled around my head in a frenzy of humming and buzzing. The barbed hooks caught in my hair and struck my scalp. One tore across my cheek. Pain leaped through me with every blow. Fear rolled around my gut, but I stamped it down.
The flies fell to the ground, lifeless fishing flies again.
I rubbed at my forehead. My fingers found blood, and I pulled out one of the hooks. The welt across my cheek burned like fire.
Forced to leave a successful career in marketing after multiple sclerosis damaged her hands and prevented her from typing, Cleary learned how to write using voice software.
A self-described chocoholic, Cleary loves writing, gardening, cooking, playing with her dogs, and spending time with friends. She lives with her husband and two dogs, an adorable cocker spaniel and a mischievous moodle, in Melbourne, Australia.