Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
An LGBTQ teen paranormal adventure perfect for fans of Aidan Thomas’ CEMETERY BOYS and LOST IN THE NEVER WOODS.
For Alex McKenna, high school is just a distraction until he can go to college and spend more time with Margaret, the love of his life. Alex an average seventeen-year-old boy...except for the fact he's a transgender medium born from a long line of Strega witches, possessing the ability to communicate with ghosts.
With the help of Margaret and his Strega great-grandmother, Alex will learn how to strengthen his abilities. The dead need Alex to help them resolve their unfinished business, and he finds that he needs them, too.
As his abilities strengthen, assisting the dead becomes an outlet to channel his new energy, giving him the strength to come to terms with his identity and how far he will choose to go.
Alex held Margaret, his firm hand pressing her head to his shoulder. His breath brushed across her ear. “Don’t look, no matter what you hear. That’s how it gets you.”
All the other victims had turned to ice. Alex couldn’t understand why, but the rules didn’t apply to him. None of the deceased were family, so maybe that was his armor. His family history protected him somehow.
They were huddled behind the furnace in the basement while they attempted to construct an escape plan. Although in a frenzy, Alex knew the level of heat from the unit should be enough to throw the beast temporarily off their trail. The foul spirit followed the warmth from the living, which made hiding from its ghostly grips difficult. The tighter he held Margaret, the more he worried about Wilby. His little brother had bolted in the other direction.READ MORE
Alex was careful not to touch the hot, metal tank as he peered around it. He made the mistake a few years back of carelessly brushing against it while moving some boxes. The scar on his right arm left a permanent reminder. Alex crinkled his nose—the damp walls and seventy-year-old pipes needed more than a little fresh air.
It was dark in every corner except for a sliver of light emanating from the single ground-level window. He hated the basement, and especially the furnace room. It was the part of the below-ground space that wasn’t finished, and he felt like he stepped into a portal to hell every time he was there. He could sense the darkened soul still lurking in the shadows but couldn’t hone in on it. Only the goosebumps standing to attention on his arms confirmed his suspicions. He eased back behind the tank. His plan worked for the moment, but it also limited their options. Now he needed a solid way to find Wilby and escape.
“I think I know how we can get out of the house.” Alex spoke softly. “But you’re gonna have to trust me.”
She nodded her head, her eyes widened with fear. Neither were normally the type to rattle easily, this one had them both off-balance.
“I know you’re really scared right now. So am I. But I also know you can do this. I’m going to lead the creature toward the attic.”
“Alex. No.” Margaret grabbed his t-shirt and gripped tightly.
He softly smiled.
“It will follow me. Then you get the hell out of here and find Wilby. Try my mom’s room first; he used to hide under her bed when he was little. It made him feel safe.
“Luckily, that thing stayed on our heels. I know the darkness is down here with us. My bumps are strong. After I get its attention, I’ll run for the stairs. You give it a minute or two before following. Get Wilby, and then head back down here and out that window.” Alex pointed to the ground window. It was big enough for Wilby and Margaret to fit through. “See the large wrench on the bench? Use it to break the window. My mom has rags over there, too. Line the ledge so you guys don’t get cut.”
“Why don’t we just break one of the windows in the den? They’re larger.”
“No. It would be harder to break through one of the double panes, and it would attract a lot more attention. This way you’ll barely be heard.”
Margaret shook her head. “I can’t leave you.” A tear streamed down her cheek.
“I need you to do this for Wilby.” Alex hesitated. He yearned to kiss her but settled for a pal hug. “Text me when both of you are out.”
“How are you going to get the hell out of the house?”
“Don’t worry, I got a plan.” There was no plan, but he had to tell her something so she would agree. Margaret’s fierce when it comes to protecting the ones she loves.
He pulled away and eased out into the open. A chill ran up his spine—it was close. Alex squinted, trying to distinguish the difference in the shadows. He took a step forward; a blast of cold air startled him, raising the hair on his arms and roiling the butterflies in his stomach. He was headed straight toward the evil spirit.
A low, gravelly hum tainted his ears. Could Margaret hear it? He shook his head. No, he was not about to call out and give up her location. He shifted his eyes toward the right, his heart pounding. The beast lunged forward and reached out with a translucent, icy hand. Alex ducked and swerved. Spinning around, he ran straight for the door, and crossed the threshold before it could stop him. He scrambled up the stairs and made the mistake of turning back. It was a costly move. He tripped, and his body hit the floorboards, scraping his knees. He could feel stinging cuts but chose to ignore it.
A frozen grip seized his leg and a layer of ice spread across the denim like a fungus. Furiously, Alex kicked free and scrambled back to his feet, running for the staircase to the second level. The entrance to the attic was in the hallway. Once he got the spirit there, he could buy Margaret the time she needed.
He reached the top of the staircase, rounded the corner, and reached for the knob. There was no need. The door flew open, slamming it into the wall. Chips of plaster exploded and nicked Alex near his left eye. He didn’t stop. Taking the steep steps two at a time, he ran to the center of the room. He heard the door slam and knew his plan had worked.
He was alone with the dark soul and nowhere to go.
"The exceptional narration of Vicki-Ann Bush ties readers to the story with the promise of an unimaginable twist. And the sensitivity with which the plot presents the concerns of a transgender teenager is praiseworthy. Alex McKenna & The Geranium Deaths by Vicki-Ann Bush has just the right blend of paranormal activities, family love, complicated romance, and realistic characters."
Alex McKenna and his family remain constant throughout the series, however each book has a new story and new characters.