To celebrate each year I hold an October Giveaway. So here goes...
What Can You Win?
1. One Grand Prize (Winner Announced Oct 31): Hand-Knit by Author, Fall-Colored Ruffled Scarf
2. Many Second Prizes (Winners Chosen Randomly Throughout October): Winner-chosen Ebook (Titles To Choose From are Mystical Mayhem, Spelled, The Sorcerer's Songs, Working Out the Kinks, The Healing Spell, At War in the Willows, The Witches Beast, Mystic Stones or Rituals - Read more about them at http://www.kikihowell.com/2010/06/stories.html )
How Do You Enter?
1. Share something about my Newest Release and Best Selling Novel, Hidden Salem. Share anything about the book (all info below); anywhere you like (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Your Blog, even Write a Review if you have read the book); and any amount of information (YouTube Video, Blurb, Cover, Buy Link, Excerpt, whatever). Of course the more you share the more entries you will get, and I will weigh entry amounts by work share took to accomplish :) Enter as often as you like with each new share too.
2. Send An Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject Line: I Shared Hidden Salem!
Body of Email: Tell me where you shared and what ebook you would like to read if you win. If you are chosen, I will email you back to discuss the details as to how I can best gift you the book.
Remember, Many Will Enter and Many Will Win a FREE EBOOK All Month Long, but only One Will Win The Scarf At the End of the Month!
HIDDEN SALEM INFO
Blurb: Intuition alone brought Makayla to
Unfortunately for all of them, Makayla also stumbles upon a coven in the woods practicing a dark magic ritual. Now they are after her, threatening her life and the lives of those she has quickly come to care about. Immersed in things she never expected, like an old legend and necromancy due to residual hauntings, the race is on to stay safe from the coven and protect her heart from a certain sexy cop.
But, is Lauri correct in thinking Makayla might just have encountered the only real witch in
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense
“Richly vivid and captivatingly engrossing, Hidden Salem is a mesmerizing tale that blends an eerie historical past with a rather terrifying present. Kiki Howell brings the fasination of the witches of Salem - both past and present - to a brilliant level, adding liberal doses of sensuous love, suspense and murder to provide a hard-to-put-down, provocative and memorable story that you don't want to miss." ~ April Pohren, Cafe of Dreams Book Reviews
“Kiki Howell spins a tale that will bewitch your heart and leave you wanting more." ~ Misty Rayburn - Top Shelf Book Reviews
"This book is filled with secrets, lies, love, death, and magic. You are taken on an adventure that would appease any adrenaline junky... I would recommend this book to everyone. You won’t be disappointed." ~Crystal, Romancing the Book
"I have read a lot of books about witches and ones about Salem witches. But I have never read a book that was anywhere near like Hidden Salem. Hidden Salem was unique in the way that it actually portrayed the witches. I mean that a lot of people could or maybe even can do the things that Makayla does..." ~ Nancy Allen, The Avid Reader
"I’m a sucker for a great Witch story and this one has just jumped to the top of my list! ...I was hooked by Kiki Howell’s writing from the very first chapter. She took us on Makayla’s journey immediately, straight into visions and cops. I seem to enjoy books more that have action all the way through and I found Hidden Salem kept me turning the pages to see what was going to happen next. It has a great plot that I was addicted to and there are some romance scenes, but nothing too graphic. It was a fantastic paranormal/romance that I want more of!" ~Nomi’s Paranormal Palace
In the outer edges of my vision, the cloudless sky became as dark as night. A shroud of fog descended, an image only I could see, I knew, but for a moment blocked my present reality. Despite the sunlight that warmed my shoulders, shadows of rainclouds filled the sky. The juxtaposition between today’s reality and the glimpse I caught of the past were like a thousand icy fingers tapping down my spine.
I’d stumbled upon another piece of residual energy stuck in the earth, what some would call a place memory. Thus, a scene from the past played itself out for me. Nothing new. I’d long ago come to terms with the fact I’d grown up different. I’d not asked for these gifts, if a person wanted to refer to them as such. I managed to live with the fact I was empathic. With living people, that proved one thing, but I often had to deal with the emotions of the past ─of the dead─ as well.
Though the smells of brine and salt water still came with each breeze, the picturesque scene of Pickering Wharf blurred, changed shape before me. I’d longed to see Salem’s gateway to the sea, without any reason as to the strong yearning. Now, here I stood on the harbor in the year of 2011, but it looked like something straight out of a history book. I witnessed the place in both its present time and the way it appeared many years ago. The misty view of the past flickered before the real time images in front of me. I squinted, cocked my head, but I couldn’t make the scenery look as it had a minute ago. The edges of mud and rock along the water were no longer as formed by the elements. Instead, it expanded in spots, presented itself as it had once looked long ago, as if centuries of erosion had never happened.
A ghostly aberration of a woman, not of this time, appeared before me. My heart skipped a beat. She stood between the shoreline and me. Dense, pelting rain soaked her hair. I trembled against the thickness of the air. Her dress, a Puritan brown, clung heavily to her body. Yet I knew, as if we were the same person, more than material weighed her down. She hugged her flat stomach, arms wrapped in a protective squeeze.
The ghost-like image glanced back at a large, spectral ship. The old seaworthy vessel fluttered into my field of vision as quickly as it dissipated into the ether. The clanging of its bell marked its arrival and its departure. As if she’d been spooked by the same apparition, she took off on a run. My muscles jumped to do the same, but I tensed, defiant in my stance, frozen in place.
The woman was not a ghost, though. This I knew from research. I’d read books on the sly, so no one would know the secret of my gifts. I tried hard to appear normal more than any other thing I did in my life. If people were aware of what I could see and what I could feel, they would call me crazy, lock me up, and throw away the key. This I knew without a shadow of a doubt.
The idea that a place can hold a memory of past events that can be viewed or felt by people with certain sensitivities, people like me, is not a new one in the field of parapsychology. Studies had shown that in places where the human spirit had experienced intense feelings, a trace of their anguish stuck, engrained itself into the ground. It is that trace, that energy, which a receptive mind can pick up on, witnessing the past like a vague vision.
I kept all this in mind. I didn’t exist in this woman’s time any more than she did in mine. I stood firm, tried to ignore any apprehensions as she flew toward me. Her feet barely hit the ground. She appeared to look through me. A few seconds later, she stepped into me. I looked down at my body, unsure if I stood still or floated backward with the woman. Her lungs moved inside mine. I no longer had control over the air that entered and left my body. My ribcage expanded and contracted, forced by hers.
For a moment, fear seized me. My breathing stopped. She grew frantic. Her tension lifted my brows and tightened my jaw. I resisted the urge to curl over a nauseous stomach. She sighed, resigned herself to her fate, and then rebuilt her courage. The name Mary floated into my mind with a low hum of a sound, the timbre of a somber voice.
For a moment, her vision became mine, the harbor as it had looked centuries ago. The muggy air, rank of horse droppings and dead fish filled my nose. The silent, dark street became eerie, intensified by the rhythmic lap of the the water’s movement and the men who worked behind her. A forlorn warning, that told her prospects were bleak.
Sudden grief strangled me. Her fear punched me in the gut. The tang of blood from where I’d bitten my lip soon replaced the sour taste in my mouth. Her husband had died on the trip over, but somehow she knew she carried his child. The questions as to how she would live in this place and take care of her child filled her mind, and thus mine. The urge to hug almost made me extend my arms to comfort her. I knew that action impossible. No woman, ghost, or spirit actually stood there.
About such occurrences, there’d been arguments among the sciences as to whether some sort of ether or medium existed, a non-tangible matter read by the subconscious, a pseudo-haunting if you will. Even though she appeared ghost-like, transparent, and unstable, this Puritan woman from another time didn’t dwell here in the present with me. This moment played on a loop, repeated for anyone sensitive enough to see it.
Yet, to me, and only to me, she appeared so real at the moment. Her feelings mixed with mine, getting all stirred up in the pot of emotions boiling in my stomach. I couldn’t distinguish the difference between her reactions and mine—a common plight for an empath.
My mouth dried. Air caught in my throat. Chills ran over my skin despite the heat. Rays of the October, late-afternoon sun infused my clothing. Tears stung my eyes as I fought the dizziness that threatened my frail grip on the reality I knew.
I admonished myself. She no longer walked this earth. On any plane of existence, she didn’t exist. No ghost stood before me, just a strong unwavering mixture of memory, energy, and emotions stuck forever in a plot of dirt. Whatever tragedy had stricken this woman from the past had been profound enough to charge this spot of land for several hundred years.
To prove I didn’t need to be wary of this—well, let’s call her an apparition for clarity’s sake—I forced my feet a few steps forward. As if she’d read my mind, she left. The fact that I’d read hers shocked me the most. It took a minute for my vision to become lucid, as I returned to the present day and watched the sunlight glisten on the soft ripples in the water.
This day, this basic Wednesday in my modern world became clear again. Yet the year 1752 went through my brain, as if I’d recalled a fact for a test. 2011, undeniably, spread out before me again. I looked behind me, glared down at the spot where the energy of the eighteenth century remained stuck, as if I would see a sign or something mark it for me. Of course, only I would see that sign too. A lunatic? Crazy? Me? Perhaps. The proof, half of me wanted to step on the spot again, and the other half of me, the one I most often ignored, wanted to flee. Curiosity killed the cat would probably be etched on my gravestone one day.
I moved a shaking foot and wobbled off-balance. An unwelcome stone caught in my sandal. Distracted, I stumbled through a half-kick to dislodge the intruder. I sighed as I watched the pebble skitter back among its friends. Their multicolored surfaces glittered, outdone in their illustriousness only by the boats that glistened in stark white contrast to the vast blue water.
Dots of bluish-white light swam in my vision. Reality, present day clearly emerged again. With a mixture of relief and disappointment, I said good-bye to Mary. I sighed, head down, not quite ready to face today or real people. My muscles weighed heavy inside my limbs. I longed for a nap, to close my eyes over the growing throb in my head.
“Are you okay, Miss?” A gruff baritone voice covered me like a heavy blanket that offered warmth. The sound of it proved intimidating, yet seductive.—deep and direct, yet smooth and sexy. Still, I grappled between reality and consciousness, questioned the reality of the voice I heard. I shook my head in an attempt to leave behind my previous experience. While I often experienced emotions that lingered in the earth, I rarely found myself privilege to images or voices. My mind reeled because I’d felt her physically inside of me. My body fought to recover from her sentiments. Thoughts that belonged to someone else ran rampant in my mind. The full on headache that had now formed beckoned me to close my eyes.
Instead, I turned in the direction of the voice as a man in a police uniform put his hand on my shoulder. A dry fire ignited in my chest as every nerve ending came abruptly to attention. Both hindered my already impaired breathing. My vision blurred, and I fell.