Excited to have the second of two Cal Spivey cover+excerpt reveals on the site today! If you missed the first one, for novella “The Traitor’s Tunnel,” make sure you check that out here!
Today we’ve got The Longing and the Lack, an adult paranormal novel releasing September 19th and starring the bisexual Lucinda Hightower. For some info on the book:
Lucinda Hightower is no stranger to death.
Since she was a child, Lucinda has been haunted by rabid dogs, suicidal crows, and the ghost of a woman in white. All are omens signaling someone’s imminent demise—except Lucinda’s friends and family are still breathing.
The omens follow her to Ireland and the quiet university in her father’s hometown, increasing in strength and frequency once she meets Damien Reed. A handsome third year student, Damien thrusts himself into Lucinda’s life almost immediately and caresses away the unsavory reputation that shadows him.
It’s not until the ghost sinks her nails into Damien that he reveals his secret: the death omens are for him.
They’re the manifestations of a curse that claims the life of the eldest Reed son every generation. Damien’s time is nearly up. If Lucinda is to save him, she must solve the mystery of her family curse, and lay a spirit’s rage to rest.
“Because of the walls, the stone. And because they’re haunted,” he replied. She laughed, and he quirked an eyebrow at her. “You don’t believe in ghosts?”
Something in the way he said it captured her attention, and she looked at him with more interest. There was a brightness in his eyes that seemed to belie his casual, almost teasing tone. She got the sense that her answer was sought in earnest, that it mattered to him whether or not she believed in ghosts. She had been about to tell him that of course she didn’t—she had been about to lie—but she paused now. He watched her, patient; he took a step toward her, then another, and her heart fluttered though he was still several feet away.
“I think there are few ghosts who belong to the population at large,” she said. “I think most ghosts belong only to a select few, and are only visible to them.”
“And, therefore, the odds of danger to you in these catacombs are small.” The man’s smile widened with his chuckle. “An interesting theory.”
“Do you?” Lucinda asked.
He tilted his head. “Do I what?”
“Believe in ghosts.”
He laughed as he approached. Lucinda stayed still as he stopped within a foot of her, as he gazed upon her face. His expression changed from wry amusement to something more difficult to read: a slightly furrowed brow, parted lips. Her breath shortened under his scrutiny. She wrestled to maintain an appearance of calm until, at last, he glanced beyond her down the hall, and his smirk returned.
He leaned closer, and whispered in her ear, “Was that door open when you came down here?”
Lucinda turned. A door at the end of the hall did indeed now stand ajar, when it had been firmly shut before. She frowned, then looked back to the man, who was walking away. “Wait,” she said. “What’s your name?”
He paused. For a moment, she thought he wouldn’t answer. Then he smiled at her over his shoulder. Her heart skipped a beat.
“My name is Damien Reed,” he said.
C.M. Spivey is a speculative fiction writer, author of high fantasy From Under the Mountain and the paranormal series, “The Unliving”. His enduring love of fantasy started young. Now, he explores the rules and ramifications of magic in his own works—and as a trans-masculine panromantic asexual, he’s committed to queering his favorite genres. In his spare time, he plans his next tattoo (there will always be a next tattoo) and watches too much Netflix. Anything left over is devoted to his tireless quest to make America read more. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his darling husband Matt and adorable dog Jay.