My Beautiful Struggle + strange

Haunted Halloween with Janenifer L. Armentrout and a giveaway!

Ghost Story
by
Jennifer L. Armentrout

Only once in my life I’d been scared so bad but something I couldn’t see. Till this day, I remember everything that had happened that night in my parents’ 200 hundred some plus old home. The house I grew up in was pretty creepy. It had stairways behind walls, an attic that had those creeptastic Amityville Horror shutters, and used to be a funeral home back in the only 1900s. There was even a rumor that it was used as a field hospital during the Civil War.

Comfy, huh?

The house always gave off a weird-you’re-not-alone vibe. Friends of mine wouldn’t go upstairs by themselves or downstairs alone at night. I was used to the all creaking and groaning, the cold spots, and the shadows in the house. Most of the time, I didn’t think about ghosts or the fact that it could be haunted.

That is until I was 14 years old and how the living daylights scared at me.

Only my mom and I were home that night. My brother and Dad were out watching a local basketball game. My mom was in the living room watching T.V., and I was in the kitchen doing math homework. Scary right there!

I’m not sure how long I was in the kitchen, but eventually I started getting this weird feeling, like I was being watched. I kept looking behind me, through the dining room to the steps that led upstairs. I tried ignoring the feeling, but it grew stronger and stronger until I couldn’t ignore it.
Gathering up my homework, I’d taken it into the living room with my mom and started working on it in there. About twenty minutes went by and I started hearing what sounded like breathing—like when someone breathes through an air vent in the floor and it sounds all kinds of distorted—coming from the dining room.

I think my mom heard it right from the beginning, too, because I remember her turning up the volume on the T.V. My mom has always believed in ghosts and operated on this MUST IGNORE policy.

But the breathing—it got louder, overshadowing what was on the T.V. and to the point that no one could ignore it.

I can’t even really tell you how scared I was when my mom and I locked eyes. When she muted the T.V., and the only thing we could hear was this heavy breathing coming from somewhere in the house. It was like my entire insides went ice cold. My heart raced so fast I thought I was going to stroke out.

Finally, mom had asked, “Do you hear that?”
I’d nodded. “Yeah.”

She’d stood and went to the doorway to the dining room. “I think it’s coming from upstairs.”

As soon as those words had left her mouth, we’d heard footsteps. Two feet stomping on the floors above us, back and forth—pacing. And the breathing, it was still going on. I was standing by that point, my heart in my throat.

Our first thought had been that someone had broken into the house. We didn’t live in the greatest neighborhood and it was possible. We knew we needed to get out of the house.

Mom had grabbed the cordless phone and I’d gone for my softball bat. It was winter, so we had our outside dog in the basement. Wolf, a hybrid wolf and German Shepherd (Yeah, creative name choice), wasn’t fond of strangers. We’d briefly considered letting him loose, but my mom just wanted to get out of the house and call the police.

We’d went to the front door, and the sounds of the footsteps upstairs picked up its pace. Whatever was up there was running back and forth now.

Clenching the softball bat and the phone, we went outside. Mom was seconds away from calling the police when my Dad and brother pulled up.

“What are you guys doing outside?” he’d asked, frowning when he saw the softball bat.
“Someone’s in the house, upstairs,” Mom had said.

Now, my dad is a good old boy. He’s the type to kind of shoot first, ask questions later. Instead of calling the police, he went right inside, grabbed his shot gun (every West Virginian has one, trust me), and let Wolf out of the basement.

We followed him back in. Why? I don’t know. Someone should have really made my brother and I stay outside, but I think everyone was just so freaked out.

And my dad heard the footsteps. So did my brother.

My dad started yelling upstairs from the bottom of the steps, warning whoever was up there that he had a gun. The footsteps halted. And my dad let go of Wolf’s collar.

Wolf wouldn’t go up the steps.

The dog’s hair rose all over its body and he bared his teeth, growling and snarling. But he wouldn’t budge on the bottom step.

That’s when I think I began to realize that whatever was upstairs wasn’t… someone who’d broken in. And that thought was pretty much confirmed when my dad forced Wolf upstairs and the dog literally peed itself.

My dad and brother searched that entire floor above us. No windows were open or broken. No one was upstairs. But all of us heard the breathing and the footsteps, and I really thing Wolf sensed something. I’d never seen a dog behave like that before.

That night, I slept in my mom’s room. I was 14 at the time. That’s how scared I was. We never experienced anything like that again, but I will remember that night as long as I live.

Half-Blood by Janenifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (October 18th, 2011)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 281 pages
Series: Covenant #1
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

Prize:

  • 1 winner will receive a Half-Blood swag pack.
Rules:
  • You must be at least 13 to enter.
  • Name and email must be provided and counts as 1 entry.
  • Extra entries are possible and links must be provided.
  • Contest is US only and ends October 28th.
  • Once contacted, the winner will have 48 hours to respond.
  • The form must be filled out to enter.

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Haunted Halloween with Janenifer L. Armentrout and a giveaway! + strange