Tuesday teaser: Mind Over Monsters

The first book in the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, funny and freaky urban paranormal fantasy series is your free gift when you subscribe to receive our blog, BestSelling Writers Connect, by email. Just enter your email on the right. In the meantime, enjoy this sample

By Jennifer Harlow

Mind Over Monsters cover

“Beatrice,” he chides, “I don’t have to be psychic to know something is upsetting you. In the hospital earlier today, you were so adamant I leave and then five hours later you call. Now please tell me what happened. I might be able to help.”

“I-I-I can’t.” I shake my head vigorously. “This was a bad idea. I-I should go.”

“Listen to me Beatrice,” he says in a sympathetic voice, “whatever it is, I can assure you, I’ve heard much worse.”

“I doubt it,” I say.

“You’d be surprised. Please. Nothing you say leaves this room. You came here for help. Let me help you.”

I look into his cornflower eyes. Sympathy. Huh. Haven’t seen that in a while. Lately it’s just been fear everywhere, and that gets old after a while. Even in the hospital where bleeding drunks come in ranting and raving about aliens implanting devices into their heads, I was a freak. A few machines dance in the air, an orderly has to be sedated, and suddenly you’re Freddy Kruger.

He’s right. If I want him to help, I need to tell everything. And once I start, I can’t stop. I confess about tonight and what I did to my brother Brian. About the first time something flew across the room when I was six, knocking my mom’s boyfriend unconscious. I tell him about my mother’s suicide.

Finally, I tell him about Leonard.

Dr. Black simply sits there, occasionally nodding but saying nothing, that sympathetic expression never wavering. When I’m done, he walks into the bathroom and comes out with a box of tissues. I take two out and dab my eyes.

“Thank you,” I say through the sniffles.

He sets the box next to me and resumes his position on the bed, crossing his long legs. “Are you alright?”

I sniffle again. “No. I almost killed my brother tonight just like…” I shake my head to push the image of that man out of my head.

“What precipitated this incident? What did your brother do?”

Just the thought of that scene starts the tears again. The whole thing comes in pieces. The fight. Brian’s rage filled words spewing out as Nana tried to calm him down. My body tightening like a coil with every syllable, while the pressure inside my head increased two-fold. My palms throbbing where nails dug into flesh. Our dining room table rattling as if a five-point earthquake hit, plates clattering to the floor. More words. Freak. Abomination. She hated you as much as I do. She should have killed you before you were born!

Then, no more pressure. The table flipping mid-air off its legs, landing a few inches short of Nana’s feet. A huge crack cutting across the back wall as if an invisible knife slashed through it. Then the screaming. Agonizing. Horrible. High pitched, like a lobster thrown into a boiling pot. Brian grabbing the left side of his face, clawing at it. Two red streams of blood dripping out of each of his nostrils. The whites of his brown eyes quickly turning red from burst capillaries. Then Nana. My Nana looking at me as Brian always had. Like a monster.

Two minutes later, I tried to kill myself with a bottle of aspirin.

“Do you often lose control like tonight?”

I blink away the images, returning to the tacky hotel. Before I can form words again, I take a few breaths to lessen the sobs. “No,” I manage to get out. “I mean not like that. It felt like something broke inside me.” Dr. Black stands again, retrieving the bottle of water. This time I take it.

“That’s common with psychokinetics.”

About Mind Over Monsters

Beatrice Alexander is no ordinary schoolteacher—she can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing skill she has yet to master or embrace. After nearly killing her brother in an accident, she joins the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad, the Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. This top secret branch of the FBI combats ghosts, ghouls, and other monsters threatening humanity.

With her teammates—among them a handsome former-detective werewolf and an annoying vampire hell bent on seducing her—Beatrice investigates her first case. Disgustingly dismembered bodies have turned up, bearing the bite marks of the undead. Someone—or something—is raising a horde of hideous, bloodthirsty zombies. Armed with Bette, her trusty machete, Beatrice takes on the master of the flesh-devouring corpses who’s guarding a horrifying secret…

Jennifer Harlow

spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books.

She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia, which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, graphic designer, and government investigator.

Currently she calls Atlanta home, but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time, she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills. She is the author over twelve books, an Independent Publisher’s Award, and was interviewed on NPR.

For the soundtrack to her books and other goodies visit her at www.jenniferharlowbooks.com.

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