At long last, our first book in the Gatekeepers Series, THE SUMMONING, is available as an ebook! You can find it now at Amazon (for Kindle) or Smashwords (all formats, including Kindle/Mobi), and it will soon be available almost anywhere ebooks are sold (Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, etc.).


And here's the best part – it's available for a limited time for just $0.99! That's right. It'll make you laugh and cry, maybe even curse, and all for less than a buck! Go buy it! I mean, what else can you get for a dollar, for crying out loud? I mean, somewhere other than Wendy’s. (BTW, up here in the Great White North, we pay $1.89 for the same thing you get on the $0.99 menu, notwithstanding that our dollar is currently worth more than yours. File that under #itsamystery.)



Need more convincing? You can read the summary at Amazon or Smashwords, but the upshot is that a group of very ordinary – yet incredibly special – teens has been called by an ancient Guardian to help protect the world from demons who threaten to pierce the veil between the Underworld and this world. These kids are called Gatekeepers – hence the series name. Demon ass will get kicked. Gatekeeper ass will get kicked, too, as these kids try to balance who they are at school by day against what they become at night when they dream down into the Chthonic to beat back the demons who are so desperate to rise.


What? Are you still here? That pitch didn't send you to your iPhone to buy the book for a measly 99 cents? Okay, okay, you're a tough sell. No problem. Here's an excerpt:


Chapter 1


From her seat at the back of the classroom, with her nails digging into the sides of the desk and her feet braced beneath it, Janna Pelky stared straight ahead at her math teacher, Mr. Leblanc.

He was turned to the board, furiously drawing his right triangles as if he were conducting a symphony, looking every bit as engrossed and absorbed as any other senior math teacher at Central Chthonic High. But Janna knew the truth. She saw what no one else could see.

There was more to the man before this class. There was a certain terrifying depth.

Janna didn't have to see Mr. Leblanc's face to know what evil lurked beneath the benign mask. She'd seen it before. And God help her, she'd spoken of it before, many months ago, to the white-coated doctors and the glancing nurses as they fought to hold her down.

But she didn't say a word now. Not one word. Because if she did, if she told them what she really saw, they'd send her back there.

“Now class,” Mr. Leblanc said, his writing hand dashing marks on the board as he repeated the problem, “If Y=0 and X=Y then the answer....”

The answer was 6.25.

She'd been in this advanced math class last year before they'd sent her away. Same class, same room, same time. Same questions, answers and tests. Only the teacher had been different last year. But Ms. Burke was gone. Gone mad herself. She'd had trouble sleeping. Too many nightmares. Too much coffee. So much stress! Had to take some pills. Pop, pop, pop. In the end, Ms. Burke had snapped.

Janna knew – she'd seen it in Ms. Burke's hazel eyes toward the end – the full extent of the young teacher's terror. And now Ms. Burke was in the psychiatric ward in the same hospital where Janna herself had been confined.

They had her.

And shortly after that young teacher had left, Mr. N.J. Leblanc had come along mid-term to take her place teaching Grade 12 math. Why, he'd even rented Ms. Burke’s apartment, so kindly taking over the lease. He slid his car into her reserved parking spot behind the school. Mr. Leblanc had even offered – kindly, everyone said – to take care of Ms. Burke's cat for her until she was well again. But the poor little feline had somehow fallen from the apartment's balcony, tragically breaking its neck. Mr. Leblanc had felt awful. Just awful.

And just that easily, that completely, this damn demon was in.

But that's how they worked.

Mr. Leblanc turned fully around. Automatically Janna's gaze dropped to the scrawled-upon sheet of paper on the desk before her. Drawings. Hers. Poorly-done but recognizable, if to no one else but Janna herself. She'd always doodled – just a nervous habit she'd developed somewhere along the way. And as always, the resulting sketch half surprised her. She crumpled the paper in a tight ball and shoved it into the pocket of the long black coat she always hid herself in.


“The answer, anyone?” Mr. Leblanc raised his dark eyebrows in the universal gesture of expectation.

No one raised a hand. Eyes were averted. Feet shuffled below desks.

“Natalie?” Leblanc prompted. “Jim? Anyone…?”



“What about you, Janna Jane?” Janna caught the glee in Mr. Leblanc’s deep voice. “Do you know the answer?”

Everyone turned to look at her, their eyes avid. Janna felt the blood rush to her face. They expected her to flip out, of course, under the class’s scrutiny. Or maybe they just hoped she would. She felt the warmth of the room now, the sweat beginning to gather on her back and brow.


Don't let on or they'll think you're seeing the demons again.

Her skin crawled as Leblanc said her name again. But she forced her hands to release their grip on the desk. She forced her eyes upward to face the creature she saw. She even forced herself to smile, though she knew her lips were trembling. Mr. Leblanc stared straight back, his eyes shining with delight. And while his smile may have looked encouraging to the others, Janna saw through the exterior. Demons couldn't read thoughts – but they could sense pain, fear, turmoil. They thrived on it. And this one clearly sensed it in Janna.

She forced herself to hold his gaze, force being the operative word. While demons’ features were roughly similar to humans – two eyes, a nose, a mouth, same amount of arms and legs – each demon looked different. This one, this Mr. Leblanc who'd replaced Ms. Burke so easily in the world, had jagged teeth that dripped steaming saliva. His throat was twisted and elongated – gnarled with pulsing knots of pus and pain that seemed alive themselves. His claw-like hands held two fingers each, long and pointy as daggers, with nails hard as stone. Blood-red eyes blazed in his skull.


Yet she still saw the overlying shell, the pleasant exterior everyone else saw as Mr. LeBlanc. This is how she always saw them. Like the demon showed as a ghost within the person, behind the skin and the hair and the Dockers and button down shirts. Janna called it the hell soul.

For it surely had to be.

Yes, dammit, she still saw them! No matter what she told the nurses who waited with those syringes that terrified her so. No matter what she’d said to the gray-haired specialists who consulted on her ‘case', or what she told the young intern who constantly tsk-tsked her sympathy to Janna's mother. Anything to get out of there. She'd deny her visions to God himself to get away from those pills and padded rooms and straps across her chest at night. And the needles! Especially the needles that made the visions so much worse…

Mr. Leblanc walked the length of the classroom towards Janna where she sat at the back. He settled his claws on the edge of her desk where her hands had gripped just moments before. He leaned down toward her. She fought not to scream, not to pull back. Not to run away with the madness! She could see the demon's glee growing as he felt her waves of pure panic.

Does he know I really see him? That I see all the demons?

“What's the answer, Janna Jane?”


She could feel the desire in Leblanc growing – feeding off her terror. How he longed to grab her, rip her to shreds, tear her apart. She did not want to look at him. She couldn't bring herself to say the answer, didn’t trust her voice not to tremble and crack.


And oh, God, if she opened her mouth to answer, the scream might come out.

“Are you feeling all right, Janna?” Leblanc asked. “You look ... upset or something.”

He knew. They all knew where she'd been and what she had seen. All the school. So did all the demons!


The voice came from the row over by the windows, second desk from the back.

Most everyone did a half turn in their seats. Even Janna looked over.

Darren Justason sat looking out the window, seemingly without interest in anything going on in class or outside of it on this mid-September day. He sat slouched in his seat, his hands tucked into the pockets of the long-sleeved hoodie he always wore, legs outstretched and crossed at the ankles beneath his desk. He looked bored and tired, as he often did when he bothered to show for class, as if he'd been out all night and school was just an afterthought.

“I beg your pardon, Darren?”

Though the teacher smiled across the room, Janna saw the demon’s rage. He was furious that he had to draw away from his prey.


Janna fought for control. Slowly, she found it. Again, this time, she found it. She swallowed hard.

Darren answered a second time without looking at the teacher. “The answer is 6.25.”

“Well in fact, Mr. Justason…” Mr. Leblanc straightened, and walked back to the front of the room. “You're right. Very good.”

Darren didn't nod. Didn't smile or say a thing. If he heard the praise, or if he cared, he didn't show it.

Janna breathed deeply. Slowly as she could. And sent a silent 'thank you' across the room to Darren Justason, a boy she'd never even spoken to.


It hadn't surprised Janna when she'd returned to school from her hospital stay to see Darren sitting in the senior advanced math class. He was unquestionably bright, without even trying. Without even caring, it seemed. He was a tough kid – not one who went looking for trouble. But trouble knew better than to go looking for him.


So she thought.

Mr. Leblanc assigned the usual five pages as the bell sounded and the class poured into the hallway. Last period on Friday. Finally. It had been a long week. A hard week. And now a weekend home pretending to her mother that she didn't see what she saw. Sitting with her grandmother who tried to help with the grief of –

The push from behind jolted her more than it should have. Her books went sprawling across the floor.

“Weirdo,” someone called from further down the hall and the snickering started.

Janna looked up. Four guys close enough to have pushed her    Ethan Simpson, who was a jerk to her even before her stay in the psych ward, two hulking footballish guys she didn't know but had seen around, and that quiet guy, Maxim ... something or other. It could have been any one of the first three who'd sent her flying. They were looking back, snorting their delight. Maxim didn't even seem to notice. Head bent, legs scissoring, he hurried down the hall.

She bent down to pick up her math text, but before she could retrieve it, someone kicked it. The move was followed by an ‘oh shit, sorry’ that didn't sound completely bogus. Maybe this time it had been an accident.


Janna took two crouching steps and reached for the book again, just as the apologetic textbook kicker reached too.

She gasped at what she saw. Her hand flew to her chest and she leapt back, slamming herself against the locker.

“You okay?” Darren Justason handed her the book.

She looked at him, carefully, closely, and then nodded.


“Yeah,” she said, holding the book to her chest now, almost protectively. Her voice was shaking and her heart was pounding all over again. But this boy wasn't a demon. Tough, certainly. Sullen. But no way in hell a demon.

But still, what she'd seen!

“Thanks,” Janna dared to whisper. “And ... thanks for the 6.25.”

Darren looked at her for what seemed to Janna just a sizing-up moment too long, then resettled the hard-as-nails, grim look to his face. He shrugged his shoulders back in place and took off down the hall. And Janna fought conflicting impulses – the impulse to run after him, and the impulse to run like hell in the other direction.


Because when Darren had reached to grab her book, his hoodie sleeve had risen just enough for her to see the ink. The tattoo on his right forearm, just above his wrist, was that of a demon. Not a generic-type demon creature, not a cartoon, pitchforked devil. The tattoo that Janna saw on Darren's arm was a perfect representation – a perfect hell soul catching drawing – of Mr. N.J. Leblanc, right down to the knots on the neck and the blazing red eyes.


Janna watched Darren walk down the hallway until the sight of him was lost to her in the sea of unsuspecting faces. 


Okay, now go buy it.

free b2evolution skin

Feedback awaiting moderation

This post has 1 feedback awaiting moderation...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be revealed on this site.

Your URL will be displayed.
(Line breaks become <br />)
(Name, email & website)
(Allow users to contact you through a message form (your email will not be revealed.)
This is a captcha-picture. It is used to prevent mass-access by robots.
Please enter the characters from the image above. (case insensitive)