By EJ Russell
What do you do when you finally prove the existence of the otherworld, but the ghosts kick your ass?
For Trent Pielmeyer, the answer is run like hell—away from his hostile family, away from the disbelieving cops, and far, far, far away from anything that smacks of the supernatural. After seven years’ captivity in a whacked-out alternate dimension, he is so over legend tripping.
When Christophe Clavret spots Trent in a Portland bar, he detects a kindred spirit—another man attempting to outrun the darkness of his own soul. But despite their sizzling chemistry, Trent’s hatred of the uncanny makes Christophe hesitant to confide the truth: he’s a werewolf, one of a dwindling line, the victim of a genetic curse extending back to feudal Europe.
But dark forces are at work, threatening more than their growing love. If Christophe can’t win Trent’s trust, and if Trent can’t overcome his fear of the paranormal, the cost could be Trent’s freedom and Christophe’s humanity. Or it might be both their lives.
Available from Riptide Publishing: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/wolfs-clothing-legend-tripping-novel
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Every night since he’d gotten out of the private-care facility—fuck, just call it what it is: a loony bin—his recurring nightmare had driven him out of the house into the dark. He’d logged countless miles along the shore or through neighborhoods where houses stood shoulder to shoulder, but he always timed it so he’d catch the sunrise over the ocean. Then he’d run home with its warmth on his back and the streets of Newport brightening before him.
He slowed as he approached his family’s estate. Shit. His timing was off this morning. The sun hadn’t yet topped the evergreens that lined the property. The driveway was as murky as if it were still the middle of the night.
He jogged up and down in front of the gate, panting and sweaty.
Do it. Just do it. Sure, the shadows are really fricking dark, but they’re only trees. Half a mile to the house. Piece of cake. Now!
He sprinted for the mouth of the drive, his Nikes crunching in the gravel, but as soon as he got to the shadow of the first tree, he stalled.
Jesus, why couldn’t his inconsiderate ancestors have planted maples instead of evergreens?
He made two more abortive attempts, but it wasn’t until the sun cleared the treetops that he was able to force himself to run down the driveway. How many miles had he clocked this time? Twelve? Thirteen? Hell, he could run a half marathon, but he couldn’t sleep through the night without waking in a cold sweat, his throat raw from useless screams.
Trent slowed to a stop by the giant magnolia tree next to the koi pond. He could handle the magnolia—barely. Not a fir tree. Good job, ancestors. A few brown-edged petals clung to the chest-high canvas-shrouded object at the edge of the pond. He removed the stones weighing down the tarp and flipped it up, revealing the marble plinth underneath.
Trent McFadden Pielmeyer, Beloved Son, May 14, 1990 - October 17, 2009
Or was it technically a memorial, since his parents had had no body to bury?
Some people might wonder why his father hadn’t removed it. After all, Beloved Son was home again. Not dead. Not missing. Still gay, but, hey, can’t have everything.
Trent knew the truth, though. If his father had to spend money on something he considered outrageous—such as paying a crew for a whole day’s work just to remove one piece of marble—he might keel over on the spot. Forrest Pielmeyer might have more money than God—including a lot that should have been Trent’s by now—but he’d always be a frugal New England Yankee at heart. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
How many times had Trent heard that when he was growing up?
Every time he’d wanted to do something that didn’t fit the Pielmeyer Way of Life—the perfect preppy image his father clung to like a life preserver from his yacht.
About EJ Russell:
E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.
E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.
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