How would you know if you were dead?
How do you know you’re not dead right now?
Nhys Glover’s latest paranormal romance Ghosts I Have Known asks two tantalizing questions: One—if the dead could coexist alongside the living, how could you be sure if you were dead or alive? And two—can true love overcome any force on Earth … even the inexorable pull of the grave?
A Spellbinding Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Ghosts I Have Known stars Elizabeth Blake, a college student with the incredible (and maddening) ability to see ghosts, which she calls Greys. The catch is, even when they’re all around her, Beth’s ghostly companions can’t see, hear, or touch her—except for one. Jake. Gorgeous, hunky Jake. Jake who gets her. Jake who understands her. Jake who doesn’t believe he’s dead, but still teaches her more about living and dying than a thousand years among the Greys ever could. Their romance brings their separate worlds crashing together, and forces Beth to consider the one question she never thought she’d have to ask:
If Jake can see her … how does she know she’s not dead?
This spirited adventure has everything readers want out of a paranormal romance: The magic is spine-tingling, the intrigue is dark but never gloomy, and the chemistry between the romantic leads is nothing short of electric. Ghosts I Have Known is a ghost story without the horror and gore—and sure to be a new favorite of readers of all stripes.
If you enjoyed books like Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest, Secondborn by Amy Bartol, and The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows, you’ll find a lot to love in this, the first of the Greyworld series.
And now, for your reading pleasure, TCK Publishing is proud to present this exclusive excerpt of Ghosts I Have Known, told from the point of view of the dead boy, Jake. We hope you enjoy.
An Exclusive Book Preview
Please enjoy this exclusive excerpt from Nhys Glover’s Ghosts I Have Known.
I was chomping at the bit the next day, waiting for Beth at the tree. I couldn’t believe how much I needed to see her again. She’d haunted me every waking moment for the past twenty-four hours. Maybe longer. Since that first day I saw her—the transparent, fragile girl who was both ethereal and solid at the same time.
What if she didn’t come back? I’d Googled her when I’d gotten home and found nothing to set off alarms. Not that there was much on her or her family. But if she’d died, wouldn’t there have been at least an obituary in the paper?
But she wasn’t my imagination working overtime either, because there were records of hers and Charlie’s existence. And I knew her dad worked at the Mutual Assurance Bank. I even knew they lived on Baxter Street, on the edge of town—a neighborhood I’d never visited but had heard about. A lot of my dad’s pro bono clients came from that area. I had to wonder why the Blakes lived there. Okay, so they weren’t well off, if Beth’s lack of tech was any indication, but surely, any father worth his salt would have tried to find accommodation in a better part of town for his daughters. Who knew what creeps in that neighborhood had the girls in their sights?
I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, impatiently, as I leaned against the oak tree. It was colder today, the sky overcast. Maybe the Indian summer was finally over. The lawn was almost empty of students compared to yesterday.
As I saw her pale, ghostly shape moving toward me from the Science Block, I let out a breath I hadn’t been aware I’d been holding. She was here. Beth had come back. She wasn’t just a figment of my imagination.
“Hey, sorry I’m late. The last lecture went a bit over and I couldn’t leave without treading on a bunch of toes in the process.” She gave me a shy smile before dropping to sit with her back against the rough trunk of the tree.
I sat down too, now that she was here. My right hand inched toward her left. But she jerked hers away and placed it on her lap, out of reach.
“Scared?” I couldn’t help taunting.
“No, just not ready to experiment yet. Give me a minute. I rushed to get here. What’s the weather like on your side today?” She was dressed for any condition: jeans, t-shirt of indeterminate color and a fake-leather jacket I assumed she’d remove if I said it was hot. I was wearing pretty much what I’d worn the day before—jeans and t-shirt, but I was feeling the chill in the air.
“Not hot. I think summer is finally over.”
“Or you made it that way for me. If you did, thanks.”
Beth grinned in a way I was coming to recognize. She used that particular smile when saying something she knew would spin me. It was partly smug and partly cautious, as if she was preparing for the fallout that would come next.
I took the bait. “I made it that way for you? I’m a weather-wizard now, am I?”
Beth gave a light, melodic laugh. “No, but you have more control over your world than you think. It’s influenced by how you want it to be, whether you do it consciously or not.”
“If I was the dead one?”
That got her attention. Obviously, she’d been thinking about the possibility she might be the one who’d died since I’d suggested it yesterday.
“Let’s not get into that now, okay? I’ve been chasing those kinds of thoughts every waking hour since we met. I’ve come to the conclusion that we both need more evidence. Until then, it’s all just guesswork and supposition.”
“You studying philosophy?” I asked with a chuckle. She sounded so academic. Not like a coed freshman at all.
Beth shook her head. “No, but I’ve kind of been indoctrinated into that process by my shrink. It’s her only way to reach me, she says. If she can find inconsistencies in my worldview, she can topple it, like taking one card from the bottom of a castle made from cards.”
She sounded sad, as if it hurt her to be considered so stubbornly delusional.
“Has she been able to shake your castle yet?”
Beth shrugged and made much of studying her surroundings, as if seeing them for the first time. Was she really getting the lay of the land or just trying to turn her mind away from a painful subject?
“There aren’t a lot of people around today, although the weather is warmer than yesterday.”
We were back to discussing the weather again.
Okay, if she felt uncomfortable talking about her sessions with her shrink I’d go with that. And the weather was a factor in our situation. It seemed weird that we could be out of sync seasonally as we seemed to be. Unless, as I thought, she was forever trapped in the uncertain and changeable weather of the spring in which she’d died.
“That’s good. I should have brought a sweater if I’m going into your world.”
Frowning, Beth shook her head slowly. “I don’t think you’ll come into my world. I think I’ll come into yours. That’s the way it’s always happened in the past.”
“But you’ve already admitted that nothing that is happening with me is like your past experience with ghosts. And as you look like a Grey, as you call them, to me, then I can’t see why I can’t do what you do.” I held out my hand to her, hoping she was ready to try touching me. “Only trying it out will prove it one way or the other.”
Her lovely, expressive eyes turned up to meet my gaze, locking for a long, pregnant moment while she decided whether she was ready or not. Then she nodded and reached out to place her hand in mine.
My hand passed right through hers, but nothing else happened. I felt gutted. I’d been so sure the world would change for us both. This was just plain anticlimactic.
“No, you’re moving too fast, as if you’re going to connect with something solid. For this to work, you have to accept we are going to pass right through each other and stop moving as soon as we overlap. It might be easier if I sit where you are.” She made to shift toward me.
“No. That’s too weird for me. Let’s try the hand thing again,” I said, suddenly feeling unsettled by what we were doing. What would it look like to have her transparent body inside mine?
Nope … too damn weird!
I laid my hand, palm up, on the root that rose from the bare ground between us. Slowly, she brought her small thin hand down on top of my much larger one, so it rested palm down on the root.
The air changed. The wind got colder. Goosebumps broke out on my arms.
I looked around me and saw the sudden differences that had occurred from one moment to the next. The tree was no longer heavy with turning leaves. The startlingly naked branches were just beginning to shoot new growth. It even smelled different—the dusty scent of freshly fallen leaves was gone, replaced by the slight smell of long-dead leaves still decaying. Yet, there was an energy to the air too, a zing I always felt in springtime. As if life was returning to the world.
The kids who’d been talking on the path twenty or thirty feet away were gone, but a couple of Asian students were now sitting on the bench facing the admin building, enjoying the sunshine.
The sky was cloudier than it had been, but the fresh sunshine had broken through, and I had the urge to be out in it, not sitting in the naked oak’s shadow.
I could hear an incessant, mechanical sound—a jackhammer, maybe—coming from somewhere nearby. It grated on my already agitated nerves. But it was exciting because it highlighted the differences between Beth’s world and my own even more.
It had happened, really happened, and I was so focused on what had changed that it hadn’t really hit me how shocking it all actually was.
Don’t look now, Toto—we’re not in Kansas anymore!
Want to read what happens next? Buy Ghosts I Have Known today and let the romance unfold!