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Synopsis: Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option.
Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.
When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.
But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.
Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.
GIRLS RULE CHARACTER INTERVIEW
Meet Kacie Ramsey from the Orion Circle Series. She has the ability to see ghosts and is part of a supernatural group called the Orion Circle who help to protect the human world from demented spirits.
TeamNerd Reviews: What would you say are your strongest qualities? What do you think makes a girl a total badass?
Kacie Ramsey: Wow, I don’t really know, I mean I spent so much time pretending to be something I’m not. I’m just now learning who I really am… My strongest qualities: I’m loyal, I don’t tend to give up easily, and I like helping people… so loyalty, perseverance, and kindness.
Attitude makes a girl a badass. Think it, own in, and it will be. A black belt would help too—I’m a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do, but it’s only been a few months. Raven (she’s another Orion Circle member and total badass) says I’m a natural.
TeamNerd Reviews: What does the wardrobe of a ghost hunter look like? What’s a piece in your wardrobe you just have to have on you at all times and why?
Kacie Ramsey: Jeans and a t-shirt (just not your favorite t-shirt… learned that one the hard way) work best. Sometimes we have to root around in dusty attics and grungy basements. Oh, and hiking boots, those are my ‘must have’ item. They have good traction, and I don’t care if they get dirty. My best friend, Celia, laughs ‘cause I have so many hiking boots in different colors.
TeamNerd Reviews: If Tortured Souls became a movie and you could decide which actress would play your role, who would you choose and why?
Kacie Ramsey: I just saw Transformers: Age of Extinction, and I think Nicola Peltz would do an awesome job. She’s a great actress, does action scenes well, and she’s really pretty—I wouldn’t mind people thinking I look like her J
TeamNerd Reviews: As a person who is capable of seeing ghosts, if you could hang out with the ghost of a favorite author who has long since been dead, who would you want to stalk around for the evening and why?
Kacie Ramsey: Edgar Allan Poe, without a doubt. Can you imagine having a ghost to human chat with the king of terror himself? His stories totally creep me out. I’d love to know where he got his ideas. I mean, was all that crazy stuff just floating around in his mind? Plus I have lots of questions about ravens . . .
TeamNerd Reviews: What’s one of the most embarrassing moments you’ve had around your crush you wish you could do over?
Kacie Ramsey: Oh, the way I acted after seeing the ghost at Mandy’s party, definitely. Logan knew I could see it, I knew he could see it, and yet I just went into full denial mode, making a complete idiot of myself. I’ve spent so much of my life hiding my abilities so people don’t think I’m crazy. Old habits die hard. I’m really glad Logan didn’t write me off completely that night.
TeamNerd Reviews: If you could have any band or artist come up with a theme song personally designed for your life, which band or artist would you want to come up with it? What would the title of the song be?
Kacie Ramsey: My favorite band is Avenged Sevenfold. I would die if they made a song just for me. As for the title . . . how about “Can’t Rest in Peace”?
TeamNerd Reviews: Let’s wrap this up with some fun questions to tease your fans with *wink*:
Favorite weapon: I really like these long, silver daggers I started training with. Being in the Orion Circle can be dangerous. A girl’s got to protect herself.
Favorite cuss word (real or made up): My dad has a tendency to say “Hell’s bells” when he’s flustered. So funny!
Favorite go to dessert: Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles.
Favorite sound: Light rain hitting our wooden deck. That and the soft cooing noise crows make when they’re content.
SNEAK PEEK FROM TORTURED SOULS
When the final bell rings, I bolt from my desk and rush from the classroom. Pushing my way through the throng of chattering students, I arrive at my locker to find Logan waiting for me. He’s talking to Celia and her boyfriend, Jake, but when he notices my approach, his gaze moves to me as if the others have ceased to exist. His lips curl into an adorable smile, making my belly flutter in response. Celia and Jake step back so I can reach my locker, but Logan doesn’t move.
I brush up against him when I open the locker. Another tiny spark passes between us, causing me to shiver in response. The initial spark is followed by a very pleasant warm feeling, though I don’t know if the warmth is caused by my attraction to him or our shared psychic bond. It’s not like I can ask him yet.
“Well, I have to get to the theater for rehearsal,” Celia says in a bright chirp. She is Juliet in the fall production of Romeo and Juliet. “Call me later tonight, Kacie,” she calls over her shoulder while leading Jake away by the hand.
As I watch their blond heads disappear into the crowd, I realize her relationship with Jake has lasted six weeks, heading to a new record since she still seems infatuated with him. She’s not the only one with ammo for a phone call tonight. With a chuckle, I turn back to my locker and remove several notebooks, stuffing them into my backpack.
“Are you ready?” Logan asks in a soft murmur.
Closing my locker, I nod and smile at him, trying to hide my anxiety. Why did I agree to go to this club meeting? What if they sacrifice goats to some pagan god or something? Laughter wells up within at the absurd image of an animal sacrifice occurring on the third floor of the Sciences building. Besides, it couldn’t be a goat—it would have to be a cat or a fetal pig since that’s what the AP biology class is dissecting this year. I guess it could be a crawfish or an earthworm since the regular biology classes dissect those.
My laughter finally bubbles out when I picture figures in black robes sacrificing an earthworm to their pagan god. I feel Logan’s eyes on me. When I glance at him, he has a strange, indecipherable look on his face.
“Are you alright?” he asks, concern clouding his features.
“Yeah, just a little nervous,” I reply, fighting another blush that threatens to form.
He walks down the hall, navigating through the maze of students, checking back every so often to make sure I’m still following. When we pass through the doors leading out into the damp autumn air, he surprises me by heading over to a bench rather than continuing to the Sciences building.
He sits down and motions for me to join him, so I lower myself to the gray stone bench. The stone soaked up the chilled rain today, and the cold passes through my jeans up into my body. I’ve always enjoyed cool weather, probably a tribute to my Norse ancestry. Though I shiver a bit, I feel exhilarated as a slight breeze ruffles my hair, making it dance around my head.
“I’m gonna break the rules and give you a heads up about us,” Logan says in a very low voice.
My eyes fly to his in surprise. He moves closer to me on the bench so our legs are touching.
“We are a paranormal research group. Hunters you might say, hence the name Orion. I know you’re already aware there’s more out there than meets the eye, but you’ll be surprised by just how much more there really is.”
He’s speaking in a very low voice, obviously not wanting to be overheard. I use this as an excuse to lean a little closer to him.
“So you investigate hauntings?” I murmur, intrigued by the idea.
“Not just hauntings, anything supernatural,” he replies. I wait for him to elaborate, but he doesn’t. “I can’t go into more detail until you’re a member. But don’t worry, Kacie. I’ll be right beside you today, and by tonight you’ll be a member, then we can talk.”
He stands and extends his hand to me. Taking his hand, I allow him to pull me from the bench. There’s no spark or jolt this time, just pleasant warmth that permeates me.
“It appears our powers are adjusting to each other,” he comments, a smile lighting his face.
“You know, my Dad always told me to hide my abilities,” I admit with a resounding sigh at the pain deeply ingrained from such a young age. “He said people wouldn’t understand. It embarrassed him when I’d talk to someone only visible to me. I’ve never had anyone to talk to before, you know about when things get scary.”
The last part comes out a whisper as images from my recurring dream surface unbidden. VISION, my brain shouts, making me cringe. Fine vision, I accede, trying to mollify my volatile powers.
“You’re not alone anymore, Kacie,” Logan says as he leads the way to the Sciences building, glancing at me from the corner of his eye. “You can talk to me whenever you want, even two in the morning if needed.”
A smile lights my face at his generous offer, and for the first time since my mother walked out on us six years ago, I feel as though a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a bestselling YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, TX but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.
Where to Stalk Kimber Leigh!
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