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Haunted House

(A Krewe of Hunters Novella)

by Heather Graham

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham comes a new story in her Krewe of Hunters series…

Halloween! Strange things are going to happen and every year, while loving the holiday, members of the Krewe of Hunters also dread it.

Something somewhere is bound to happen.

And it does.

Krewe member Jon Dickson’s fiancée Kylie Connelly is contacted by an old friend who has just moved to Salem, Massachusetts, when the unimaginable happens as the holiday approaches.

Jenny Auger has just managed to buy the historic home of her dreams. But it comes with far more history than she ever imagined—the skeletal remains of seven victims interred in the old walls of the house years and years before—along with a threatening curse.

And strange things are happening in the city. Bizarre attacks…murders that mimic days of old.

With Halloween on the way.

Kylie has a history with the city of Salem, and her strange talent for being within the minds of those under attack—first realized in the city—remains sharp.

But the situation is far more dire than what they have discovered, with strange events and attacks occurring.

And with all their talent for crime solving—with help from the living and the dead—it still remains to be seen if they can solve the murders of the past before Halloween, and the bloodbath that just might occur if the sins of a time gone by cannot be brought to light.

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Dear Reader,

I have never quite understood my love of haunted houses—since I am the world’s worst coward. Or, for that matter, just why I love Halloween so much.

The second is easier to understand, perhaps. My major in college and my first years in the working world were in theater. Dressing up, becoming different people, learning about different eras—all fascinating and not particularly scary. So why the scary?

I have no idea. But Disney in Florida hadn’t even been open a decade when I was in college at USF, and we theater students were brought over often to study tech as well as performance. Underground Disney is as fascinating as all that aboveground.

And, of course, learning about haunted houses! How light and darkness have such amazing effects on the human psyche. How sounds can cause goosebumps to race across our skin. Haunted houses—fun haunted houses—at amusement parks are just scary-good fun.

But do the real ones exist?

History is often what’s haunting. When we know what happened somewhere, and it was heinous with a terrible injustice done, the fear and sadness remain in our minds. And, of course, in real life, murders take place in which bodies are hidden behind the walls, and time and decay finally bring them forth.

For the Krewe of Hunters, haunted has a bit of a different meaning. Maybe I enjoy working on this series so much because I would just love to be one of the Krewe. Aware that life lingers on in a different form and ready to listen and learn from those who came before us.

For this Krewe story, we’re heading to Salem, Massachusetts, a city I love for its history, and for the way that history influenced our Founding Fathers when they did the work to create our great nation. Not only witches were hanged in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but also Quakers, who dared to try to make a living there.

Today, Salem is a wonderful place to visit. A place to learn about the horrible things that happened so that we never repeat them, and also a place where America’s maritime history is recorded. Where we have charming shops, wonderful restaurants, beautiful scenery, and so much more.

I so hope you enjoy my Krewe Halloween visit to a very haunted house in one of America’s most haunted cities.

Again, this from your basic coward. As much as I envy my Krewe members, I’m not so sure I’d be up for it. My dad, who I adored, passed away when I was twenty. And one day, talking with my sister, we both started laughing when we agreed that Dad would not come to either of us as a ghost if he remained—he’d be far too afraid that we might just be scared to death if he did!

If you’ve been to Salem, you’ll know why I love it—and why I set this story there. If you haven’t been, I hope you’ll put a visit to this amazing and historic city on your bucket list!

Thank you so much for checking in.

~Heather Graham

Biography:

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Heather Graham has always been an avid reader, from classics to sci-fi, mystery, horror, thriller, romance, and all kinds of non-fiction. She’s fairly certain that her mom’s deliciously crazy family–arriving in the US a bit before her birth from Ireland–gave her the love of storytelling. She started out in theater and commercials, but once her children began to arrive, she stayed home and gave writing a try. She’s incredibly grateful to be doing what she’s doing for a living. Heather belongs to MWA, RWA, Sisters in Crime, HWA, and ITW, and has the recipient of the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, a Silver Bullet for charitable works, and this year, she will receive the Thriller Master title from ITW. She has over 200 novels in print, and has been published in 22 languages.

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