Author: Aaron Crabill
Series: The Society (#1)
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Adventure
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Synopsis: Keely Allison has spent years trying to prove that her home town of Pembleton Arizona is haunted. She’s let her grades slip, upset her mother by avoiding anything remotely close to the normal high school experience, and utterly ignored a love life.
She’s the leader of two person paranormal society, along with her polar opposite Tad Buckley. Tad’s an honors student, the apple of his folks’ eyes and totally in love with Keely (he has been for years and he really, really, really thinks this will be the year he finally tells her just that). When Sean Cage moves to town everyone’s life gets thrown into a violent upheaval. He joins the society, challenges their methods, becomes the first crush of Keely’s life, and forces Tad into a put up or shut up position with his feelings for Keely.
As the three find their paranormal and romantic lives suddenly in fast forward, they too find the already well documented spookiness of Pembleton Arizona doing the same. Sean finds sleep nearly impossible as he’s taunted by a monstrous black mass at the foot of his bed. Tad is forced to choose between sneaking out the back door like the rest of the honors kids or going out the front and potentially facing hazing at the hands of a demon possessed jock-bully.
As for Keely she just may find the proof she’s always wanted so badly to find, the question is will she believe it when it’s standing right in front of her?
Excerpt : Chapter 23
The week went by pretty much like any other week for Sean and Keely and Tad. They were anxious about their hunt. Tad didn’t see much of the other two as he was in his AP classes and because he and Nate hung out almost every day after school that week, not because Tad was dodging them but because he was enjoying spending some time with Nate. Sean and Keely were keeping it all strictly professional and spent most of their time together talking about the hunt they had coming up.
And while they were having a good week, things were not so good for Randy Adams. He was sleeping more than twelve hours a day. He’d had two more ugly confrontations with his father. Both of which saw his father backing down to him. Normally Randy might have enjoyed that kind of thing, but the fact that he felt totally out of control of himself while it was happening scared him.
He was hot, physically warm all the time. He sweated through his clothes at school and couldn’t seem to stop it. He thought about going to see a doctor, but was too scared to find out that there might be something wrong with him, even though he was completely convinced there already was. Randy felt it was better to just assume it might get better. So he covered his body in antiperspirant to try and keep dry, but nothing worked. His hair lay matted down on his fore head rather than the butch spike he used to keep.
He’d lose track of time once in a while, forget where he was for a period of time, and find himself in some place completely different than before. He was scared to the point that he was becoming paranoid and violent. He’d missed football practice all week. When his coach came to talk to him he’d lifted him off the ground by the neck with one hand and pinned him against the wall. The coach was so jealous in protecting his reputation that he didn’t even think about turning Randy in.
He’d tried to avoid Tad, and Sean, and Keely…at least when he knew what he was doing. He was afraid that those three nerds would know what was wrong with him. That they would be able to look at him, and see it, and then they’d tell him what he already knew that he was totally, completely, incurably screwed.
On Friday morning Randy was having one of his moments. He was sitting in a desk in the back of Tosh’s class sweating profusely. He stayed in the back of the room with his head down. Neither Sean nor Keely had even tried speaking to him after what happened at the house and there was no way he was speaking to them.
He felt hot and he felt his head roll back seemingly under its own power. He found himself staring at Keely, staring a hole right in the back of her head. He couldn’t break his stare no matter how hard he tried. His hand was clenching a pencil and moving on its own too. He was drawing something maybe writing something, symbols images but not words, not words anyone could understand at least not anyone in that class room.
He felt his eyes roll back into his head, but somehow he was still able to see. And what he saw was Keely turning to look at him. She made an odd face, a face not so much disgusted, as concerned.
“You ok there Randy?” she asked looking him right in the eye.
At that moment Randy wanted to break down. He wanted to admit it. He wanted to just say, “No. I’m not OK. Something’s wrong with me and has been since last week. I feel like there’s something inside my mind with me and it’s screwing my whole body up, and I’m sweating all the time, and my dad is scared of me, and I’m scared of me too. Can’t you help me? Can’t you please help me?!?” But none of that came out of his mouth.
Something did come out of him, but it wasn’t words. It didn’t even sound like Randy. It sounded like something else entirely. He opened his mouth and made a loud high pitched sucking sound kind of like a yawn. Everyone in class snapped to look at him. Tosh even rose up from her cross legged seated position on her desk.
Then Randy started to say something in that same high pitched inward breathing style, but it wasn’t English.
Some of the class laughed. Most sat there extremely uncomfortable as Randy Adams sat in his desk with his eyes rolled back into his head leaving only white where his brown irises should have been and spoke in a horrifying tone in a language that sounded like a record being played backward. Randy then rose to his feet and started walking toward Keely. Even though his eyes were rolled back in his head he still managed to make it right to her.
Randy could see Keely as clear as day despite the fact he was actually looking at the inside of his own eye socket. He saw his hand reach out and grab her by the wrist. He saw her expression change from concern to annoyance, to pain. He wasn’t doing any of this…but he was doing all of this. Tears started to pour from his white eyes.
Tosh rushed in, barking at Randy to let go. He kept hearing the strange sounds coming from his mouth. He felt a hand on his shoulder. He felt his body being jerked around. He felt almost happy to see Sean Cage throwing a punch at him. He hoped it would snap him out of whatever was happening to him.
But that punch didn’t hit its mark. He would not let go of Keely. As Sean pulled him around he’d pulled Keely around with him tipping her desk over and sending her to the floor. He still held tight to her wrist. Sean’s punch landed right inside the palm of Randy’s other hand.
Randy felt his fingers clutch around Sean’s fist and squeeze. He felt Sean’s knuckles pop as he did so. Sean’s expression was shock, and even though it actually passed his mind at that moment, he really should be enjoying this, he was more scared than ever. He saw Sean’s face violently fly toward him as he landed a head butt right in the new guy’s grill sending the kid who’d embarrassed him so many times down in a heap to the floor.
Tosh ran out the door and started screaming for security. Randy felt himself turn back to Keely who was trying at this point to bite his hand in a desperate attempt to get him to let her go. She thrashed and tried to kick at him but Randy couldn’t really feel any of it. He could feel his jaw moving. He could hear his words starting to make sense.
“Do not think you can defy him,” he heard himself say. “It is my onus to protect him. I will destroy you all.”
Randy suddenly felt pain. He hadn’t when Keely kicked and bit him, he hadn’t felt pain when his head smashed into Sean’s, but now he did. And as he felt that pain he saw particles of wood, and what were clearly chair legs fly past him and crash to the floor. He spun to see Sean holding a broken chair in his hands. The other kids in the class had backed to the walls.
Randy felt himself laugh a laugh that was not his own. He started to move toward Sean but felt himself pulled around. Randy was relieved to see Tom Folks, the school’s security officer standing there. That relief faded fast as he saw the back of his own hand smack Folks in the face and send him crashing back into Tosh’s desk. He found himself turning back to Sean. He had let go of Keely after the impact of the chair. Keely had gotten out of his immediate sphere of influence, but Sean true to form wasn’t backing down.
Randy started to move toward him knowing that he was about to do something horrible to Sean whether he wanted to or not, but before he was able to do anything he felt an incredible pain like a thousand bee stings nail him from behind. He felt the taser that Officer Folks carried on him land right in the base of his neck and he felt big time pain. He also felt whatever it was that had been controlling him suddenly vanish.
He hit the floor with a wave of abatement passing through him.
Randy was so happy to be back in control of himself that he put up no struggle at all while Folks put plastic cuffs on him and pulled him to his feet. He was smiling and on the verge of happy laughter as he was shoved out of the room.
Sean checked on Keely. She told him she was fine. Tosh said she wanted to speak to both of them after class.
Randy was told he was going to be taken to the police station. He couldn’t care less. He couldn’t feel that thing in his mind not even in the recesses. He was himself. He was himself. He was so happy to himself that he didn’t care about what was going to happen to him next.
He looked up at himself in the rear view mirror of the police cruiser.
He saw himself smile.
He looked at his eyes.
He saw red.
And fear filled every inch of his body.
Title: The Society: Conspiracy
Author: Aaron Crabill
Series: The Society (#2)
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Adventure
Goodreads: Add to TBR List
Synopsis: The second incredible chapter in The Society cycle finds the team growing. Keely, Sean, and Tad are joined by their formerly demon possessed enemy Randy Adams. They’ve gone public with their findings and have become celebrities in their hometown and around the world thanks to their popular website. But this new level of attention has drawn the attention of the mysterious and powerful group of global powers they were warned never to cross. This deadly conspiracy of men has begun to move against them from the shadows in ways they never could have anticipated. A new supernatural threat has arisen with a personal vendetta against them and plans to tear them apart from the inside. Things have never been better for the kids in the society. Things have never been more deadly either.
Excerpt: CHAPTER 1
It was 3:00 in the morning. The room was black but something even darker than the black night was floating over the bed of Drew ‘Sneeze’ Steichen. A thick black smoke floated just inches over his prone skinny body and slowly began to take a shape. It began to take the shape of a woman with a long snake like tail.
“Ssssturgissss,” the forming phantom hissed.
Sneeze’s eyes burst open and his hand fired up like it was shot from a gun and caught the phantom around the throat. The entity thrashed and a look of shock exploded from its only means of expression, its bright red eyes. She should have been completely intangible in this form.
“Dardissss,” Sneeze said smiling and hissing.
Dardis, the demonic entity floating over Sneeze, stared down as he throttled her by the throat. She had felt the presence of her lover Sturgis, the entity that had been living in Sneeze for over six months, but she did not see him in the eyes or voice of this mortal who had inexplicably made firm contact with her noncorporeal form.
“Where is Sturgis?” She hissed as she tried feebly to get away from him.
Sneeze sat up, still holding her by the throat, and tapped his fore head. “He’s right here,” he said smirking. “Yeah, your big bad demon boyfriend took up a partial residence in my head the night he got his butt kicked by Tad, Keely, and that other guy.”
“Impossible,” Dardis nearly shouted.
“It’s actually completely possible,” Sneeze said with a cocky grin on his face, “Yeah ol' Sturgis apparently took out a bit of an insurance clause that night and parked just a tiny bit of himself in me. At first he was messing me all up…making me sweat…screwing up my room.” Sneeze pointed to the image of the Jakob Pembleton statue marred into his wall.
Dardis didn’t have to look. She’d seen it the moment she’d entered his room. “Do you know why you did that?” Dardis asked her voice near trembling.
“He hasn’t told me everything,” Sneeze said with a twinge of anger in his voice. “Let me tell you what I do know. I know you. I know you are Dardis and the two of you had some kind of sick relationship. I know he’s got a real mad on for the three kids who tore him a new one six months ago. I know that there’s some group of people working in the shadows and harvesting spirit energy and I know that really makes him mad. I know you both work for someone he calls…’HIM’…but that’s all I know about that. He’s going to tell me who him is sooner or later.”
“You don’t seem to understand, he can’t talk to you,” Sneeze said getting a little angry. “He thought he’d come in here and run me right over like he did that jock idiot Randy…who knows though, maybe at full power he could, but there’s only a scrap of him in here and he can’t make me do crap, not anymore.”
“Watch your mouth mortal,” Dardis said with rising ire.
Sneeze put a little squeeze on her throat, “don’t you ever threaten me. I’ve spent my life being pushed around and bullied, but, thanks to Sturgis, that’s all over now…I’m stronger…faster…I know things that no one else does, not even those idiots in their stupid society…and…I can physically interact with the spectral plane like I’m doing with your neck…right now.”
“You’re a cocky fool,” Dardis snapped.
“Yeah well you’re a stupid idiot.” Sneeze hollered back.
“Release me,” Dardis demanded.
Sneeze tilted his head and looked at her for a moment, then did as she asked. Dardis quickly withdrew across the room. She lowered to the floor and as she did her long snake tail coiled under her. Her body was lean and womanly and black. Unlike Sturgis who appeared as a solid black mass she appeared to be a solid shape filled with swirling black smoke.
“He wants me to tell you something,” Sneeze said sounding annoyed.
“Tell me,” Dardis demanded.
“Don’t get pushy there toots,” Sneeze barked enjoying being the bully. “He says you need to see the master. You need to see…this…HIM…and heh…heh heh heh.”
“Why are you laughing?” Dardis snapped.
“He wants you to do him one last favor,” Sneeze said.
“Last favor?” Dardis asked seeming to look through Sneeze with her red eyes.
“He knows he’s trapped in here, and he knows I’m in charge,” Sneeze said full of his own power. “He knows he’s never getting out. I turned the tables on him. He was going to control me, and now I’m using him.”
“Tell me,” Dardis said as threateningly as she could, “what he asks of me.”
Sneeze took his time, “He’d like it very much if you’d…heh…these are his words…destroy the children who caused his ruin.”
Dardis’s eyes narrowed, “I promise you lover, I will do more than that.”
With that Dardis began to quickly dematerialize into smoke and vanished from the room. Sneeze laid back down in his bed as though this type of thing were just an annoying routine. He pulled the covers up over his face.
“Stop trying to boss me around,” he said out loud. “I told you I’m in charge here, and we don’t need her helping us with those idiots, I’ll take care of that. We’ll get around to them when it’s time. Now shut up and let me sleep. And don’t even think about trying to make me do anything. I’m not wasting my time drawing anymore symbols or pictures you hear me? You work for me now. I’m HIM as far as you’re concerned.”
Deep inside of Sneeze Steichen’s head a monster screamed for freedom, but no one heard him. Even his captor had tuned him out.
I could not take a break from this series. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Keely, Tad and Sean were characters we all could relate to. Not only were they average teenagers with teenage issues but they also had the courage to go out and play ghost busters to prove to everyone that their town was hunted.
These kids totally rocked at it.
The characters were all witty smart and funny. They were easy to connect to. You get to feel what they felt for each other and you’re reminded of your old crushes you had back in Junior high and high school. All the while your blood is pumping because the paranormal activity is kicked up a notch in this amazing story. The author completely keeps you at the edge of the seat because the plot is not as easy to figure out as you think and before I knew I was off to book two where the story gets even more interesting because now the paranormal activity is exposed. The whole town knows thanks to our courage’s group. But everyone is not happy about all this paranormal activity publicity and that is were book two picks up.
Honestly, I really didn’t think book two was going to be as good as one, I was completely wrong it was betters. There are new paranormal villains in town that wish to silence our friends. These strangers elicit more action in the story, which keeps the plot constantly changing, and your speeding through the book to uncover whether or not the kids are going to make it through the new trials that they are facing because these new characters are bigger, bolder and badder than the last.
Overall I really enjoyed these books and I am looking forward to reading more work from Mr. Crabill..
My Series Recommendation:
I rated both books 4 out of 5 Purple Rant Hearts and would recommend this series to anyone that loves a good YA paranormal adventure that is horrifying terrific and completely mommy proof safe for young readers.
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author, editor, publisher, or promo host or book/blog tour organizer. This is my honest opinion about this book and I did not receive any monetary compensation for writing this review nor was I obligated to write a positive one.
Aaron Crabill is a talented writer and Superman fanatic. You should see his toy collection it's ridiculous. He's got two wonderful sons and a wife who's way out of his league and very understanding when it comes to ridiculous toy collections. He currently lives in Kansas...and he's not too fond of that.
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HAPPY RANTING AND RAVING !!!