By Kelsey Ketch
Release Date: September 22nd, 2021
New Adult Contemporary Fantasy/Ghost Story
I left the United States to find inner peace. Instead, I find myself confronting a malicious ghost.
Astyr Salt is a spiritual and emotional empath who moved to England with the intent to forget about a traumatic, supernatural event that occurred during her freshman year of college. However, when she takes a spiritual cleansing assignment in a haunted country home in Essex, she is isolated with all her own pent-up emotions.
These emotions energize the ghosts inhabiting the country home, helping them draw their own tragedies to the surface. Searching for the truth, Astyr is forced to relive the past. And the deeper she dives into the country home’s horrific history, the more the intertwined memories place her in the path of an evil and demented predator.
A blend of contemporary fantasy, horror, and mystery, Bly is inspired by Henry James’s classic novella, The Turn of the Screw.
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | Apple Book | Google Play
I stand under an elaborate tray ceiling, painted in patterns of faded indigo, gold ochre, and linen. The heels of my flats click against the white marble floor tile as I wander farther inside. The echo of which radiates throughout the house and back. Before me, in a wide hallway that could fit six average-sized cars, are five staircases. Two Grecian columns flank each of the four grand staircases. Two leading to the upper levels, with one extending toward the east wing and the other extending to the west wing. Another grand staircase leads to an empty wall panel. Yet another leads straight into the ceiling. And the fifth and final staircase doesn’t even fit the rest of the décor. It’s a metallic, spiral staircase placed right in the center of the hall, leading beyond the hanging, crystal chandelier.
A familiar anxiety begins to gnaw at my gut. Once again, I’m alone. In an unfamiliar house. I slowly spin around, looking at every door and stairwell. Someone is missing. Someone who has been around me so long, it’s as if they have become a part of my life.
I pause to look at the five staircases. One of these has to lead to Nolyn. But which one?
As before, I sense a presence watching me, hovering over my shoulder. The energy is unreadable. Like a brick wall is between us, even though the presence is so close. However, there is a second presence. A soft tingling that brushes my upper arm and side of my leg, as if someone just walked by. I follow the new energy, letting it guide me to the spiral staircase in the middle of the hall.
My fingers slide over the cold, metal railing. Echoes of my steps radiate throughout the house and back as I climb higher. The staircase is narrow and tightly curled around itself, like those you find at the top of a lighthouse. Yet, it carefully winds around the crystal chandelier and the chain that suspends it in midair. I approach an opening in the ceiling, where a weak, flickering light shines through inky shadows. I ascend into the darkness, finding a small beeswax candle sitting in an old-fashioned tin holder upon a side table. I pick it up and move slowly down the hall. Unlike the hall before, there is no odd staircases. Only wooden door after wooden door after wooden door. All lined up on the walls, floors, and ceiling.
I hear a male voice muffled in the distance, which lightens my heart. Had I actually found Nolyn? I carefully make my way around the doors on the floor, sticking to the white plaster that covers all surfaces of the hallway. It reminds me of the servants’ halls one sees when touring a historical estate. Only, this one appears to be endless. The male voice grows in volume as does a young woman’s voice. One I do not recognize. Why would Nolyn be talking with a young woman? As I near the source, I realize the man’s voice is not Nolyn’s at all. In fact, it sounds eerily similar to Mr. Hellings’s instead. I step up to the door I hear the murmurs drifting through, place my hand on the doorknob, and open the door only a crack.
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist and Data Analyst. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.
For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.