Good morning book lovers! Today, my friend Amy Romine drops by my blog to talk about her upcoming release, Finders. Please show her tons of love, and get a copy when you can!
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Hey there and thanks for stopping by! I am talking about my upcoming release – Finders! This is the first book in the Finders Ghost Hunting Series. I am thrilled to be able to share an exclusive excerpt (never before seen on the web) and some behind the scenes information.
When an expert Demonologist a meets a Reality Show Producer on the Ghost Hunting Show Finders, sparks of true love fly so bright even the Devil takes notice.
Demonologist Luke Melloy has seen the face of true evil. He’s fought it and sent it back to hell. It’s what he does. To Claire Westin, ghosts and demons are just great Television and good for ratings. When faced with the truth Luke has seen, her reality is turned upside down as the two are swept into dire straits just moments after they meet. Desire sparks between the unlikely pair, throwing their hearts into chaos. Love was neither expected or wanted.
When the demon targets an unsuspecting Claire with his wrath, Luke finds his focus split between his oath to God and the awakening of his heart. Together, they must face the ancient evil and defeat it. Or lose everything.
Writers get ideas from everywhere. Music, Television, a conversation, a look, or even a dream. Finders was born out of two sources, my love of the show Ghost Hunters and the love story of Ed and Lorraine Warren. If you are not aware of who these two people are, they were the original real-life ghost hunters. Recently portrayed in the Conjuring 1 & 2 and the upcoming Annabelle movie.
When the Conjuring came out, I was obsessed. I watched it a million times. There was something about the interaction of Ed and Lorraine in the movie I found fascinating. How would the love story of a Demonologist and Medium work in today’s world?
Finders was a two-year project, and I nearly tossed my computer out the window numerous times. I, Finders, and my laptop all survived, and here we are talking about it!
So here is your exclusive excerpt from Finders.
Reality television producer Claire Westin took a long gulp of her coffee knowing the telephone call was a mistake. Executive Producer Walt Hemmings latest rant would last for at least another thirty to forty-five seconds. “Again, I need you back here at six for the strategy meetings, and we are gonna need interviews from each of the writers and the entourage teams.”
Claire swallowed the last of the coffee before responding, “Walt, we had this discussion on Friday, I’m in Wyoming working on the Crestwater case with Finders. I won’t be back until at least Saturday at the earliest.”
“Where are you again?”
“Crestwater, Wyoming,” Claire repeated.
“What a fucking mess.”
Claire rolled her eyes tired of having this same conversation with him. Despite the fact, Walt was not the showrunner for the ghost hunting reality show, he insisted on micromanaging her decisions. Walt Hemmings had successfully launched three franchises and was in the midst of his fourth in a matter of five years. His latest endeavor. The Cocktail Party, for which Claire worked as a producer, was a scavenger-hunt challenge driven reality show allowing undiscovered writers to have high-powered agents hear their pitches. An unprecedented opportunity for unknown authors to have their ideas green-lighted if they met and conquered the challenges. The show included lots of drama, creative collaboration (aka more drama) and the thrill of the hunt.
“Your allowance of half your anchor to simply exit is not fine.”
“Contractually I have no grounds to force him to stay,” Claire replied, then muttered under her breath. “I wouldn’t have forced him to if I had.”
“Bullshit, Claire, the standard...”
“Walt, The Finders contract with Westin Media is independent. Grant and Jason have full creative and editing control. We provide the infrastructure to support production. It is a sixty-forty split. Therefore, I have no control or grounds to dictate who works on the show or for how long.”
“Who the hell approved the contract?”
“I did,” Claire said with a broad smile and a sense of satisfaction. Finders was her baby from the beginning. She’d brought the show to her father’s attention, did the negotiating, the contracting and the producing. If she was going to be a part of the Westin Media empire, it was going to be on her terms. “I’ll be back by Saturday, hopefully. Thanks, Walt.”
Despite Walt trying to get a few final words in, Claire disconnected the blue tooth, ending the call.
“I think the conversation went well. What do you think, Pip?” Claire asked the mid-sized Catahoula-boxer mix sitting in the passenger seat. Her faithful companion and best friend barked in response. She gave his scruff a scratch. He sat up, looking out the front window. Claire heard the GPS directing her to make a right. Pip growled. The GPS disconnected. Claire pulled over and tried to reset the phone, while Pip sat up straight looking tense. “Now look at what you’ve done. You broke it.” The dog whimpered in response. “Just kidding, calm down, I know we’re far from home, but it’s fresh air and gorgeous here. Lighten up, will you?” The phone reset and still no GPS signal. “Looks like we’re going to have to find this place the old-fashioned way. Claire brought up a picture of the church on her phone before attaching the phone to the cradle.
Claire followed the narrow, steep, tree-lined road searching for any signs or indications of houses, buildings or churches. Mailboxes or well-marked driveways seemed to be non-existent. She drove a few more miles and was about to give up. Pip barked, bringing her attention to a small opening in the tree line. Claire slowed, debated, and then decided to go for it making the tight right turn. The small opening widened. She drove through. A few miles later, the familiar caravan of four black SUV’s and a large black van with the Finders logo plastered on the side brought a smile to her face.
Craig, the Finders tech producer, appeared from the corner of the van waving. Claire pulled up next to him and parked her truck. A bitter wind cut at her neck as she exited the vehicle. She pulled the collar of her coat up against the barrage. “You found it. We were getting worried.”
“No thanks to the GPS,” Claire replied, opening the passenger door letting Pip out. He immediately ran to Craig, greeting him warmly before running off into the woods; she assumed to relieve himself. Speaking of which she could use a bathroom break.
Finders consisted of a team of eight to ten paranormal investigators. The supporting technical team was four BOOM operators and four camera-men. Depending on the size of the location, they could have more or less. For the investigation of Crestwater Church, Craig and Claire decided to double the number of cameras to enable multiple teams to be filming concurrently. In addition to the film equipment, the paranormal team employed a slew of scientific equipment to collect evidence of paranormal activity during the investigation. With the entire team at work, it would take a full day to set up and calibrate all of the equipment for the investigation. “How are we looking?” The flurry of activity continued around her. Team members waved and said hello. Claire nodded, smiling in response.
“Four hours until sundown, six until lights out, we’re right on schedule. I was just about to go around to the back of the church for some B-Roll shots. The foliage is amazing; the shots I’m getting are phenomenal.”
“Is the church open?”
“Yeah, we haven’t locked it down for dinner yet.”
“Cool, the three Venti Starbucks on the way here are calling for an exit.”
“Gotcha,” Craig replied with a smile and a nod.
Claire inhaled the fresh air. Despite the cold, it was invigorating. She drank up the smell of wood, freshly fallen leaves, and dirt. Taking a closer look at the church, she realized even the unobstructed view from her hotel room didn’t do the immense structure justice. Dark redwood covered the fifty-foot face. Jutting into the sky like a dagger, the roof was pointed and peaked ten feet above the face. The aged wood’s hues shifted with the sunlight and the sway of trees giving the appearance of the inanimate object breathing. Against the backdrop of the autumn leaves the sight was staggering and breathtaking. Claire ventured to the wide mouth opening of the church. Piles of orange and yellow cords looked like snakes spilling out the doors. The crunching of leaves beneath her feet and the whipping of the wind made her stride a little quicker. Hurrying up the plethora of steps she lifted the red hot set tape barrier out of the way and pushed on the door.
Stepping into the Vestibule, the stale air stifled her lungs. The solid wooden door closed behind her, but sunlight continued to stream into the enclosed area via the large windows on either side. Thick darkness beyond the sun’s reach muted the expanse. Even the doors were massive, twice her height at least. Made from solid walnut she guessed, forged from the ancient trees surrounding the church.
A chilling wisp crept within her hair to the back of her neck. Like fingers playing with her hair. Claire instinctively turned. Seeing nothing but feeling a shiver up her spine Claire took in the surroundings and searched for the bathroom. Eying a promising door, she made a beeline and found salvation. Thankfully the facilities were in working order. Washing her hands in cold water, she dried them on her jeans. Taking a quick look in the cracked mirror, she adjusted her long brown hair. Tied up in a ponytail she smoothed any unruly strands and bumps before walking back into the Vestibule. The first thing she noticed was the intricately carved stone lining the archway into the Nave. A woven frame of tree limbs, the gnarled and knotted extensions bent and twisted around the mouth of the doorway. Amazingly delicate and detailed she could feel the bark beneath her fingertips despite the knowledge of stone.
Hearing Pip barking at the door, Claire moved away from the Nave archway and to the main entrance. Opening it, she saw no sign of her dog. Confused, she walked outside to the steps, “Pip? Pippy, come!”
The flurry of activity when she’d arrived had ceased. The Finders crew disappeared, and Claire remembered Craig mentioning dinner. Claire heard another bark following the sound. “Pippy come!” Claire said her patience waning. She wasn’t used to Pip not obeying her commands. They were going to need to talk. Finally, the dog appeared, sprinting out of the thick brush. She breathed an unconscious sigh of relief.
“Claire,” she turned toward the voice. Her heart leaped, Pip barked and took off through the slightly open door of the church. “Pippy!” Claire chased after him, into the Vestibule but saw no sign of him. He barked again, the sound was muffled. She realized he was on the other side of the large arched doors leading to the Nave. Slightly ajar, Claire pulled on the door. It swept back with a whoosh of air and a loud thud. The sound echoed off the brittle walls, and a shower of dust rained down.
“Fuck. Pip, come here!” She yelled, attempting to not choke within the cloud of ruin.
Claire grabbed her phone, turning on the flashlight feature. She shivered, the feel of invisible hands pulling her deeper into the darkness. Claire’s movement intensified with the unease of her heart.
Claire utilized her flashlight to explore. High cathedral ceilings jutted up to the heavens. Faded images of angels and cherubs adorned the beams. The pews remained, dust-covered and overrun by spiders. The light flashed over the stone altar at the head of the room. Claire’s heart skipped. Her body took a deliberate breath. Claire stepped forward hearing metal clang against her foot. Moving the flashlight down she saw a large old-fashioned key at the tip of her boot. Reaching down, she picked it up. The cold metal felt icy in her hand. She examined it closely.
Pip barked. Claire turned, putting the key in her pocket she realized how far away from the opening she’d traveled. Pip’s fur brushed against her legs, she turned glaring at him. “You and I are going to talk about this!”
“Claire!” she heard her name and turned. A scorched skull atop a body shrouded in black enveloping her vision. Claire instinctively raised her arms, stepping back. The floor beneath her cracked before disappearing from beneath her feet. Her body fell first. Then her stomach. A scream billowing up from her lungs, the light above quickly faded, the wet darkness engulfed her senses, cradling her in its cold arms. The impact rendered her immobile while agonizing pain from icy water shocked her entire body. Her senses returned. Her arms flailing, she struggled to kick her legs despite the hardening of her muscles. Up, I need to go up!
Pushing her arms in front of her, willing the blackness away. She prayed for air.
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About Amy Romine
Amy Romine has always wanted to be one of the good guys. From playing Charlie’s Angels in the backyard of her Macungie, PA home as a child to the pages of her unending projects, Amy has always dreamed of adventure and romance. Her need to make the characters truly deserve their happiness takes us on many a twisted journey. From serial killers to demons, Amy holds nothing back in the name of true enduring love.
A mother of three, Amy has spent the past seventeen years working in Operations for Ricoh America’s Corporation. She is an avid movie fan and enjoys books, television, theater, her dog Pip, and all things romance.
Come Find Me!