Wednesday, October 26, 2011

YA Spooktacular: Story 2 Party Time

So excited to be taking part in the YA Spooktacular!

Author bio:
Gretchen McNeil writes YA urban fantasy, paranormal and historical fiction. Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and currently sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. She’s a founding member of vlog group the YARebels where she can be seen as "Monday" and an active member of both The Enchanted Inkpot, a group blog of YA and middle grade fantasy writers, and The Apocalypsies, a group blog of 2012 (oops) children's book debuts. Her debut YA horror/paranormal POSSESS was published by Balzer and Bray for HarperCollins in August 2011.

You can haunt Gretchen on:

You can order her books at the following places:
Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository
Gretchen McNeil – Answer the door

You ignore your phone, tossing it on the counter.  Fucking Des.  This is his idea of a joke, some kind of sick payback for rejecting him each of the thirteen times he’s asked you out.  Fine.  If he doesn’t want to come tonight, just fine.  You don’t need his vodka in the punch or his octopus hands once he starts to get hammered.  Tara can deal with him tonight.  You have better things to think about.

This time, the doorbell rings.  Twice in quick succession.  Whoever’s out there is getting impatient.

You smooth out the lines of your Zombie French Maid costume and run for the door.  It might be Michael, and you don’t want to keep him waiting.

One deep breath before you open the door.  You smile big, turn the handle and pull—

“Happy Hallo—“

You freeze, your unfinished words vanishing in the darkness of the crisp, fall night.

Your doorstep is empty.

There’s a moment of panic, a lump rising slowly up your throat.  You swallow, pushing the unreasonable fear away.  Stupid.  You’re letting your imagination get the better of you.

“Very funny, Stace,” you say into the darkness.  “Ha ha.”  Then you slam the door.

You stand in the foyer for a moment, your heart pounding fiercely in your chest.  Whatever joke your friends are playing is not particularly funny.  You wait for a moment, slowly breathing in and out, trying to calm yourself.  Why are you so spooked?  The phone call, the empty doorstep and the silence of the house are all getting to you.

Silence of the house?  You spin around.  The rickety old piano music from the iPod in the attic has stopped.

What the hell?  The track was set to loop and you were positive it was already on the second or third repetition of the out-of-tune, disjointed song.  The speaker dock should keep your iPod charged all night.  Why has it stopped?

There’s a rational explanation, of course. Probably one of the extension chords you rigged to reach the attic has come undone.  Easy fix.

You start up the stairs to the second floor.  The thick fringe of cobwebs hanging from the ceiling tugs gently at your maid’s cap with each step.  Is it your imagination or are they trying to keep you from going upstairs?  The second floor is almost totally dark.  You flick the switch in the hall but nothing happens.  Duh.  Because you removed all the light bulbs earlier that day.  In retrospect, perhaps not one of your better ideas.  Still, the thought of someone going upstairs and flicking the switches on and off to no avail was infinitely entertaining.  You just didn’t know it would be you.

You feel your way to the end of the hall and reach up, grasping in the darkness for the rope that pulls down the attic stairs.  Just as your hand makes contact, you freeze.

There’s a noise from the attic.  Like something heavy being dragged across the floor.

But there’s no one else in the house.

With a heavy creak the stairs fall toward you.  Only you didn’t pull the rope.

The Next installment of the story can be found at Read This Instead.

Make sure you visit Lisa M. Potts tomorrow and enter to win the prize pack for story 2!

And visit or on October 31st to enter the GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY for a ton of books and a ton of swag!!

I'm also hosting the Trick-or-Treat Tweet challenge. *yay* Which means ya'll have a chance to win an ARC of Variant by Robison Wells and an ARC of The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch. All you need to do is Tweet your favorite line from a scary book or movie and then fill out the form (click banner to view form).


  1. Oooh, Gretchen's story was soooo much fun and so spooky. Thank you, so much for the generous giveaway, as well. :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung

  2. Mary DeBorde [M.A.D.]
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    ARGH ... not the attic [never trust attics or basements in scary books/movies lol]. :O

  3. I wonder what it is she'll find in the attic...

  4. This is like one of my worst nightmares!!

  5. Great story so far, I'm off to see what happens next.

  6. I want to know why run out of the house to a neighbors is never one of the options?


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