Please say hello to Rachel Lou and
Seventeen-year-old Everett Hallman may have been born a witch, but he possesses only low levels of spell-casting energy. He lives with his grandfather in the town of Ashville, near woods with high paranormal activity, and helps guide lost spirits to their respective afterlives. When strange urges lead Everett away from the woods and to a nearby martial arts school, he discovers the residue of paranormal creatures so powerful, he can’t help investigating further.
After he discovers he is a Bridge Master, a witch who can cross over to various spirit worlds, complications arise. The powerful witch who is supposed to mentor him goes missing, something is off about the handsome martial artist he befriends, and his energy keeps dipping to dangerous levels. The more he probes, the clearer it becomes that he cannot walk away.
EVERETT ADJUSTED his messenger bag’s strap and hurried down the cobblestone path behind the library. The path was in need of intensive repair—or complete removal. He stumbled over loose stones, tripped over empty grooves, and never stopped to tie the loose bootlaces he should have tied beforehand. Once you entered the woods, you kept moving.
Returning his books at the ungodly hour of ten in the evening was a terrible idea in any town. In Ashville, traveling in the woods after sunset—even for a minute—was plain idiotic.
The cobblestones ended several feet beyond the reach of the library’s overhang lamps, dissolving into a dirt trail that lacked all light. The moon showed its weak face through the jagged fingers of branches clawing at the path.
Everett slipped his hand in the front pocket of his bag. His fingers brushed the wrinkled plastic of his salt packet. With his other hand, he withdrew his flashlight and flicked it on, focusing the weak beam straight ahead.
The trail was narrow enough for a single beam to illuminate both sides—and more. The light bled into the gaps between knobby tree trunks. He wanted to flick his eyes from side to side. What horrors would they see tonight? Instead, he kept his gaze on the path before him, paying more attention to where his flashlight beam slid along the ground, picking up twigs, rocks, and fallen branches.
A breeze stirred the trees, rustling the leaves in a gentle caress. Something tickled his cheek. A leaf?
He held his breath, felt the tickle again. A black line landed across his nose and wiggled. Just his hair. He abandoned the salt packet to tuck the unruly strand behind his ear. It was barely long enough to stay in place.
A whisper breathed a soft name past his ear, carried on the same small gust of wind.
His breath jittered in his throat.
The air calmed.
“Are you lost?” the wind whispered.
Get the book:
Imaginary Friends? Not Really.
Everett Hallman lives with me. He sleeps in my head when I sleep. When I’m awake, he falls out of my brain and explores the world. Sometimes he stays with me, accompanying me when I walk my dogs, head over to my local library, or sit in class. He especially enjoys my Astronomy classes, often perched in the back of the room, where most seats are empty. During my Business classes, he temporarily leaves me to visit a random English class. Some days I never see him; he leaves as soon as I wake, and doesn’t return until night…or until days later.
Creepy? Probably. But this is how my characters come to me. I don’t sit and brainstorm their personality and tendencies. They introduce themselves to me as fleshed-out people, often during my dreams. Over time, I get to know them. Sometimes I think I know a character—until we fall into a situation that brings out a surprising trait. I didn’t know Everett was thrifty until I purchased a recently published book online. He said, “Why can’t you wait for the library to stock this? Why can’t you wait for used bookstores to stock this? Why can’t you wait?”
Everett can wait for new books, but he lacks patience for paranormal happenings. Dangle a delicious mystery in front of him and you get the events of The Bridge.
Meet the author:
Rachel Lou discovered her love for writing when she wrote her first story on a sheet of cheap printer paper: “Once upon a time there was a boy named Bob. He lived in a tower. The End.” She posted her writing online for six years, uncertain if she could make the move to publication. When she did make the move, she had a celebratory dinner at a steakhouse and spent the rest of her night cutting through enemy mobs on Guild Wars 2. The next morning she resumed work on her research essay; in between writing fiction and playing video games, she works toward earning her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.