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light as a feather

Sixteen years old and mostly an orphan, Ainsley Alvarez copes with the sudden death of her father the only way she knows how—she buries her rage and her grief and her highly detailed plans for the immediate future right alongside his big mahogany casket in a plot at Forest Lawn, and then goes to live with her estranged mother and her made-to-order replacement family in approximately 3,000 square feet of tastefully renovated rural Kentucky farmhouse. 

At first, it's just a nightmare Ainsley can't pinch herself awake from; just one long, interminably painful moment of introspection she can't fast-forward through.  


She hides out in her brand-new, unseasonably cold attic bedroom, and tries her considerable best to avoid Annabelle, her docile, sweetly unassuming mother; and Nate, her clumsily earnest, high school celebrity quarterback of a not-brother; and Mason, the tattooed loner with the weird piercings and the weirder ghost stories and the smile that strikes Ainsley as a little too calculating to be sincere. 


And then there's Killian, the enigmatic, intensely unnerving Civil War cosplayer lurking in the shadows of the decrepit old barn next to the farmhouse—who just might be a ghost.


Meanwhile, Ainsley's already-strained relationship with Annabelle is further complicated by the revelation of several uncomfortable fragments of the past; the LAPD suspects her father's death might not have been such an accident, after all; and Killian’s motives for seeking Ainsley out, for continuing to haunt the ragged, rotting recesses of the old barn—they grow murkier and more sinister with every passing day.

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Freshly dropped out of college and desperate to forget about why, twin brothers and amateur necromancers Maverick and August are scraping their way through the backwaters of the Deep South in search of superstitions to prey upon and grief to exploit. Armed with a stolen pile of old letters, an inescapable sense of foreboding, and an ominous, thinly-veiled warning about the very people they've been trying so hard to hide from, they decide to further investigate their family history after an otherwise unremarkable Raising goes drastically, eerily wrong - a choice that leads them to a big, abandoned house in the middle of the bayou that's not nearly as forgotten, as mundane, or as empty as it should be.
How i spent my summer vacation
A young-adult focused short story collection about growing up and moving on and realizing that you are, in fact, extremely bad at both. Alternatively: the ten layers of rock bottom.
Breathe Underwater

Maverick and August aren’t running anymore.

They don’t have anything to run from.

The architect of their misery has been dead and buried for almost a year—for real, now—and they’ve spent that time productively, if not happily. Crisscrossing the country, honing their respective skills—black market under-the-table necromancy pays well, at the very least, and if it occasionally feels like they’re stuck in some weird no-man’s-land holding pattern, waiting for something else to happen, for something else to go wrong—well, there’s a bunch of other, weirder stuff already happening.

August, for example. August is acting weird. Mood swings and temper tantrums and unpredictable bouts of sullen, secretive silence; Maverick can’t keep up, but even if he could, August wouldn’t let him.

When they’re hired to Banish the spirit of a long-dead counselor at an old summer camp in a tiny, sleepy, half-abandoned lakeside town in Idaho, the complications that almost immediately arise are as insidious as they are confusing. As they are weird. There’s Lance Radley, the guy who called them there, who has a psychic sister and a murky relationship to the dead counselor, and there’s the dead counselor himself, Brooks Beecher-Truman, whose own family history and murky relationship to magic ask a lot more questions than they answer.

And there’s a pretty, distracting waitress and a slyly observant local cop, a thirty-year old murder to solve and a partial Raising to uncertainly prepare for, and the creeping, gnawing suspicion that Maverick and August’s reprieve—from danger, from Gatherers, from running—was always going to temporary, anyway.

Urban Legend
Claire's soon-to-be ex-boyfriend is objectively pretty terrible, but he isn't a monster. Not yet, anyway. Alternatively: Little Red Riding Hood, the remix.
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No, Not That One
Carmine has always preferred the idea of mirrors - of self-reflection - to the reality of them. Alternatively: Cinderella, the epilogue. 
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Split ends
Nate Buchanan moves to Floyd County, Kentucky.
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Once upon a time, there was a witch.

She lived in the woods, in the eerie, blown-out carcass of an old duchy. She had dark magic, old magic, forest magic. She was nameless, pastless, confined to a world in which magic was a price to pay and a bargain to make; a world she needed to be returned to, urgently. And it would be a thankless task, of course, but someone had to do it, someone must do it, and she, Oksana—

She is someone.

  • 26 pages

  • short story

Perhaps, you concede, the humans were right to be afraid of you. 

Melting point

When Maverick and August accept the job at the old winery in California, they assume it’ll be just like all the others, even if it is wildfire season – a mystery that isn’t much of a mystery after you give Death a chance to explain itself.

They’re wrong.


Since 1966, twenty-nine dead bodies have been found at the now-defunct winery; the rumors about how they got there range from patently, predictably absurd to downright chilling. It could be a serial killer, like the cops and the amateur detectives and the true crime enthusiasts all seem to think it is, or it could be something worse. Something darker. Something less natural, less human—less likely, as far as Maverick and August are concerned.

They’re wrong about that, too.

Meanwhile, August is actually trying to start that fake ghost-hunting YouTube channel for reasons that don’t quite make sense, and Charlie’s past connection to Nicholas Parrish is being yanked, kicking and flailing and screaming, right back into the spotlight, still just the slightest bit out of focus, and Maverick finally—finally—has a secret of his own.

Blood, though.

Blood is thicker than water, and it tends to leave a stain behind once its dry.

How deep should you have to dig to find the roots in your family tree? Six feet? Like a grave?

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