Wail of the Banshees
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Ghost Watch Publishing
Date of Publication: June 19, 2013
mobi: ISBN: 0989446905
Print: ISBN13: 9780989446907
Number of pages: 350 print
Word Count: 100, 471
Cover Artist: Hannah Carr
A murdered college student must help the Philadelphia Police Department track down the serial killer responsible for her death and then lead an improbable rebellion against the powers that be in the ghost realm of Limbo.
My name is Veronika Kane and dying, dying was just the beginning. How was I supposed to know that getting smashed on my 21st birthday would lead me to becoming the 9th victim of a serial killer that’s been stalking Philadelphia’s streets for months? Now I’m a ghost and unlife is pretty scary. Reapers, wraiths, ghouls, gargoyles: all of the monsters that I thought were storybook characters are real! On top of it all, the powers that be in the ghost world want to enslave me and use me in their own diabolical plot to manipulate the people of the living world. Too bad I didn’t turn out to be the kind of ghost they wanted me to be, and I’m not about to let them turn me into one of their puppets. These ghosts are responsible for my murder and the murders of eight other women. A rebellion is coming, and the ghosts that run this place are about to find out just how big a mistake they made when they had me killed. My name is Veronika Kane and being murdered isn't the end of my story. Wail of the Banshees is an Urban Fantasy Novel and the first book in the exciting Ghost Wars saga which features paranormal horror and action set in living Philadelphia and the ghostly world of Limbo.
ExcerptGetting your throat slit in a dark alley really sucks.
Even worse than that is having to watch your blood spill
onto the garbage strewn pavement of that dark alley and being
powerless to do anything about it.
I stood above my crumpled form watching in sick fascination
as a dark pool of blood gathered around me. It really is amaz-
ing how much blood there is in a human body; you really can’t
imagine it until you’ve seen it.
I was rooted to this spot from the first instant following the
brutal attack. I was forced to watch as I died at my own feet.
I wanted to cry out for help but my throat refused to produce
any sound, and I couldn’t seem to move my new spirit body.
It was after three in the morning and the shadowed streets of
West Philadelphia were quiet; no one came to help as I watched
myself gasp for the last time.
I waited for the white light, for my spirit to rise up into the
celestial city of the Almighty. When this didn’t happen, I braced
myself for the impending descent into the fiery pits of hell. Still
A half hour passed before I saw the flashing lights of a slowly moving patrol car. An officer was moving along the sidewalk peering into the dark alleyways of the street while his partner trailed in their squad car. After a few more minutes of search- ing, a beam of light swept over my still body. The young cop let out a cry of discovery and ran forward drawing his pistol while calling out to his partner. Philadelphia’s finest had found me; unfortunately they were too late.
My name is Veronika Kane and I guess I’m a ghost now. Today, or I should say yesterday, was my twenty first birthday.
I’d gone out with some of my friends from the University of Pennsylvania to celebrate my now legal drinking age. We’d par- tied late into the night, getting smashed and having fun doing it. As the night wore on, friends left and new ones arrived, but in the end I was the last to say goodnight to my favorite club: The Electric Factory in Center City. I rode the bus back to West City where my apartment was located, but rather than transfer to a second bus I decided to walk the remaining seven or eight blocks to my home. The fall evening was comfortably cool and I wanted to sober up a little before bed. This was only my second time getting drunk, and I wasn’t used to the dizzying feeling that came with it. My ears were buzzing like the crackling speakers before Motley Crew took the stage, and the earth wouldn’t stop moving even when I paused to catch my breath.
The attack came suddenly, without warning. I was grabbed from behind by powerful arms. One quickly wrapped around my neck while the other pinned my arms to my sides. The man was tall. I’m five-nine but he towered at least six to eight inches over me. He picked me up off the ground and whispered in my ear.
“Shhhh … be a good girl and be still,” his voice was gruff and he stank of onions and rotten meat.
Fear washed over me like a bucket of cold water being dumped over my head. My stomach lurched and sudden nausea threatened to make me puke. I tried to struggle, but the intense
fear that wracked my gut and the sickening vertigo that was overwhelming my senses conspired to make the attempt at resistance futile. I fought against the rising panic that threat- ened to engulf me and tried to calm myself through meditation exercises. It was the most difficult thing I’d ever done, but the years of grueling training in my dad’s dojo kicked in and I was able to calm myself enough to think past the terror that made it near impossible for me to breath without hyperventilating.
The man slung me over his shoulder and I promptly barfed all over his back. He growled in anger and disgust but didn’t flinch or put me down to clean himself off. He just started walking. He carried me several blocks until he turned into the dank alley that I now found myself in. Throwing up had made me feel a little better. The world wasn’t spinning anymore, but I still felt weak and sick. Once we reached the back of the narrow alley, he swung me back around to his front but didn’t put me down. Instead he maintained a tight hold on me with one powerful arm. I heard him fumbling around for something in his coat, and I instinctively knew that I had to get away now. This was probably the only chance I’d get; I slumped against him as if I’d fainted. Fear and hope warred over me and threatened to make me puke again as the man loosened his grip on me and began lowering me to the ground. As soon as my feet hit the dirt and garbage strewn pavement I shot my right elbow back and connected with his ribs. He let go of me in surprise, and I launched myself forward, running for the street. But I was still intoxicated, and he was quicker than me. He cried out in rage and caught me from behind before I could escape. I whirled around and tried to push him back with a front kick but he sidestepped my clumsy move, and I stumbled past him and fell into a pile of garbage. Desperation overwhelmed the hope that had filled me just a few moments ago. I scrambled ungracefully back to my feet and started run- ning. Laughter chased me and all hope died when I realized I was going the wrong way. The back of the alley was blocked off.
My attacker didn’t bother trying to catch me this time though. He simply came up behind me as I desperately searched for another escape route: perhaps a basement window that I could crawl into. He reached around me and slit my throat with the long knife that he’d drawn from a concealed sheath. I watched, stunned, as my body fell forward. My spirit though remained erect, rooted to the spot.
I got my first glimpse of my attacker’s features as he stared down at me with wide and unblinking eyes. He was a giant of a man, standing almost six foot five and muscled like a body- builder. He was quite handsome with long, chestnut brown hair that was bound in a ponytail. His nose was long and narrow, while his cheeks were dimpled. He had a sharp chin and full lips; straight white teeth gleamed in the darkness as he smiled down at my crumpled form. His eyes were midnight black and seemed to hold a madness that was all consuming. He licked the blood coated knife that he’d slit my throat with and shook his head at me.
“That’s what you get bitch,” he said. “I could have taught you so much. You would have screamed so prettily, and you would have learned so much. But you had to ruin it all by trying to escape. I couldn’t let that happen. There’s still too much work to do, so many pretty things to teach how to scream. I can’t serve the Dark Master if I get caught. It’s such a waste, I know, but I just couldn’t take the risk with you.”
He removed a thin brush from an inner pocket of the jeans jacket he wore and dipped it in the expanding pool of blood at his feet. He then used the brush to write words upon the wall of a nearby building. I stared at the writing in surprise; it ap- peared to be in Akkadian, one of the later cuneiforms. Ancient languages were a particular interest of mine: Akkadian culture had figured prominently in several of my projects at Penn. I didn’t know what the words said though. I wouldn’t be able to decipher them without a few books that were in my apartment. As you might imagine, dead languages take a very long time to master. I couldn’t begin to imagine how this guy could write this language, let alone understand it.
Satisfied with his handiwork, the killer surprised me once more by looking directly at me: the ghost me, as if he could see me. He grinned and then walked out of the alley leaving me alone to die.
About the Author
Robert Poulin was born and raised in the New England state of Connecticut. After spending his late teenage years in Boca Raton Florida, Robert moved to upstate New York where he lived with his uncle Wilbrod Poulin and attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
After earning a Bachelor's in Political Science and a Master's in Teaching, Robert went back to Florida where he taught Social Studies for a few years. After returning to Northern New York, Robert took a job with the North Country Center for Independence: a disability rights and advocacy organizations.
Robert has worked for NCCI for thirteen years and is now the Executive Director.
Wail of the Banshees is Robert's first novel; he has been a huge fan of fantasy and science fiction since second grade when he discovered The Hobbit. Urban fantasy in particular has become Robert's favored genre in the past decade.
Robert has been legally blind since infancy, but thanks to a mom that encouraged independence, hard work, and a healthy dose of dreaming, the disability has mostly just been an inconvenience. Robert is currently in the editorial process with his second novel, Death Toll, and is writing Echoes of Madness the third novel in the Veronika Kane saga.
Tour Wide Giveaway
3 signed copies of Wail of the Banshees by Robert Poulin- open to US Shipping