With: S.D. Grimm
Hello! I am SO excited to be here today to talk you all about my new novel SUMMONER.
If you like ghost stories and sweet romance, we have something in common. 🙂
I wanted to do something a little different with this than some of the paranormal romances I’d read. I mean, we all know there’s nothing new under the sun, but I thought I’d take a couple of my favorite things, like a good “boy next door slash just friends (but he obviously wants more)” story and a fabulous “guardian willing to sacrifice himself to save the one he’s protecting from a curse” story and mesh them together.
I mean, guardians can be so serious (I am NOT complaining about that) and cursed girls tend to be charming and mysterious in a way that they don’t even understand (to quote Runaway Bride). Again, that’s cool. But I wanted a guardian who was more small-town country boy with a humorous side despite his traumatic past. I thought the idea of making him a boy next door, opened up a whole new way of looking at the guardian trope.
The same for my heroine. She’s cursed, but I wanted her to be not quite so mysterious—not the typical popular girl, not the girl every guy at school wants. I thought a different take on a girl with a guardian would be one who was a sweet ray of sunshine, who wanted to protect her guardian but who wasn’t afraid to admit that she liked his ability to protect her.
Taking the idea that they were friends with a lot in common—including attraction to each other—instead of a couple who was thrown together against their will was a really fun way to but a twist on the cursed girl vs guardian. Plus, he’s a cowboy. (#allthehearts) I grew to love Cody and Allie’s story so much, and I’m so excited to share it with you!
When Allie’s best friend dares their group to play a game in a cemetery—something she calls “witching”—Allie never expects what it might mean for her. When sheplays, she doesn’t just find bodies, she summons their souls. But one soul wants more than Allie is willing to give.
And the boy next door could be the key to saving her.
Cody Burkhart. Straight from Montana, cowboy hat wearing, and smoking hot, he’s just the thing to help Allie become “normal” again after the death of her mother. And as her newly appointed Guardian, he’s also just the thing to help Allie ward off the vengeful spirit who’s after her soul. Except Cody has his own demons to slay that keep him closed off. But as the full moon approaches, so does their only chance to break the curse, and Cody will have to make the biggest sacrifice of all.
Mandy was right; moonlight made it easier to see, but the uneasy feeling in my stomach intensified as I moved toward that grouping of headstones. They were crooked and uneven. Like the ground beneath them settled a long time ago but never actually stopped settling.
The damp air made it harder to breathe.
“All right, what do I do with these things?” Derek took one of the L-shaped wires from his sister.
An involuntary shiver crept up my back as I recalled how cold those things were.
“Hold it like this.” Nell held the smaller section of the wire in her hand, letting the larger section point straight out in front of her. “One in each hand.” She gave Derek the other one. “Now, loosen your grip so they’re free to move when they want to, and start walking.”
Derek examined his metal rods. “You’re saying they’ll move on their own?”
“No way.” Derek shook his head and tried to hand the hanger back.
“You scared?” Nell’s smile was evident in her voice.
“Good.” Nell pointed toward the graves. “When you’re over an actual body, you’ll see the two points converge.” She held her arms in front of her as if they were the metal coat hangers. Then she folded them and her fingertips nearly touched. “If one side still sways—” she demonstrated by moving her right hand a little, “—then you’ve most likely hit a female.”
“You can’t possibly tell that.” Mandy’s voice was as breathless as I felt.
Nell simply shrugged. “We’ll let the tombstones tell us afterward.”
Did she have any fears? Was I the only one covered in a chill that seemed to cling to my soul? Maybe Mom’s death had altered me in this area, too. Death wasn’t this far-off elusive thing that I never thought about anymore. Death was real. Always present in my thoughts because of the hole it had left in my heart.
Derek tried to hand his sister the rods. “Maybe you should go first and show us.”
Nell made chicken noises.
Derek shifted his shoulders like he was preparing to shoot a free throw. “I just don’t want to mess up.”
Hunter groaned until Derek started walking. At first, nothing happened. Then, as he walked past the headstone, to the other side, the metal rods twitched toward him.
“Whoa.” He stopped.
Imaginary centipedes raced across my skin.
“Keep going,” Nell whispered.
I started writing when I was in elementary school. I wrote short stories about a girl with dozens of pets who could talk to animals. By the time I got to middle school, I couldn’t stop writing. I wrote about portals, magic objects, super powers, and animals who could talk–yeah, I have a thing for talking animals.
I’m still writing about those things. I guess I just never forgot how to dream.
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