Finders Ghost Hunting #1
by Amy Romine
Genre: Paranormal Romance Thriller
When an expert Demonologist meets a Reality Show Producer on the Ghost Hunting Show Finders, sparks of true love fly so brightly even the Devil takes notice.
Demonologist, Luke Melloy has seen the face of pure evil. He's fought it and sent it back to hell. It's what he does. To Claire Westin, ghosts and demons are just great television and good for ratings. When faced with the truth Luke has seen, her reality is turned upside down as the two are swept into dire straits moments after they meet. Desire sparks between the unlikely pair, throwing their hearts into chaos with a love neither expected nor wanted.
When the Demon targets an unsuspecting Claire with his wrath, Luke finds his focus split between his oath to God and the awakening of his heart. Together, can they face the ancient evil and defeat it or lose everything?
When an expert Demonologist meets a Reality Show Producer on the Ghost Hunting Show Finders, sparks of true love fly so brightly even the Devil takes notice. Demonologist Luke Melloy has seen the face of pure evil. He's fought it and sent it back to hell. It's what he does. To Claire Westin, ghosts and demons are just great television and good for ratings. When she’s faced with the truth Luke has seen, her reality is turned upside down as the two are swept into dire straits moments after they meet. Desire sparks between the unlikely pair, throwing their hearts into chaos with a love neither of them expected nor wanted. When the Demon targets an unsuspecting Claire with his wrath, Luke finds his focus split between his oath to God and the awakening of his heart. Together, can they face the ancient evil and defeat it, or will they lose everything?
On every investigation, big or small, Grant Henley’s priority was always the safety of his team. Splitting the central team into mini-teams posed the best option. If anything happened on any of the walks, an experienced team member would be present to handle the situation. While he hand-picked and trusted every member of his team, he also knew in the face of pure evil or peril, people could freeze, loose reason, and panic. It was only human nature. He needed to anticipate all the possibilities. He would not admit aloud to the team, but the investigation of Crestwater Church would most likely be one of the most intense and riskiest endeavors many of them would ever experience. “What have we got?” Grant asked, entering the open door on the opposite side of the altar from where he’d just been with Luke. “Dust, and lots of it,” Craig replied, standing triumphant and placing the bolt cutters against the wall. Finders’ investigators Brian, Glen, and Maggie were standing with him, having assisted in the excavation. “Let’s take a look,” Grant said, turning on his flashlight again and leading the way into the area. He’d expected a wooden floor but found it to be solid rock. Good news meant they wouldn’t have to worry about falling through any holes in an old weakening wooden floor. They ventured inside, and the dust began to settle, revealing the scant contents of the room. Walking around, they found a few small single beds, broken empty dressers, and a cracked mirror on the far wall. Grant took a few steps toward the far wall and stopped. He raised his hand in a hold position, signaling for everyone to stop. Listening, he waited and heard it again, louder this time, definitely a growl. He swung the flashlight toward the sound and stopped, illuminating a snarling, growling dog. The light flashed red in its eyes. Grant stepped back. “Out, get out. Slowly and quietly leave the room,” he said in a low tone to the rest of the group. In his peripheral vision, he watched the group of three slowly back out of the room. Keeping eye contact with the still angry animal, he began with a first step back, simultaneously searching for anything he could put between himself and the animal. The bed to his left was close enough he would be able to skirt it between them, giving him a few seconds to exit the space. Two more steps and he could reach the bed. He felt someone enter the room and saw Luke’s outline slowly approaching him. “The bed,” Luke said, knowing his plan. “Yes.” “Move fast.” “Not a problem,” Grant replied. The dog inched forward, getting ready to strike. “On three,” Luke said, and Grant silently nodded. He mapped out in his mind how this was going to work. “Ready?” "Yeah, okay…one…" "Two." "Three." Grant lunged for the bed, flipping it on its side and dashed. Without warning, something grabbed his ankle. He fell to his knees, giving the dog a chance to strike.
* * * *
Luke watched the bed flip on its side, creating a temporary barrier. Luke, bolt cutters in hand, watched and waited. Grant fell to his knees. The dog caught Grant’s ankle before Luke could bridge the gap. The dog’s jaws were locked. Grant struggled to get out of the dog’s grip. Luke stepped between the two and swung the cutter at the dog’s head to get the hound to release. Luke hit the dog harder and harder, with no effect and no damage to the animal. Luke stopped, holding his cross. "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I stand with the power of the Lord God Almighty to bind Satan and all his evil spirits, demonic forces, satanic powers, principalities, along with all kings and princes of terrors, from the air, water, fire, ground, netherworld, and the evil forces of nature.” The dog continued to bite down, and Grant bellowed in pain. “Fuck!” “I take authority over all demonic assignments and functions of destruction sent against me, and I expose all demonic forces as weakened, defeated enemies of Jesus Christ. I stand with the power of the Lord God Almighty to bind together all enemies of Christ present here, all demonic entities under their one and highest authority, and I command these spirits into the abyss to never again return.” The dog whined in pain, released Grant’s leg, and scurried behind the bed. Luke grasped Grant’s hand, pulling him to his feet and out the door. They slammed the door shut in unison. Something heavy and strong banged against it, pushing to get out. “What do we do?” Craig asked. “Find something to wedge against the door,” Luke called. Glen and Brian helped to hold the door closed. The pounding continued. “Get the salt!” Craig disappeared with Maggie out the door. Luke started a prayer to bless the door. The pushing and banging stopped just as Maggie and Craig reappeared. “Is it over?” Doesn’t matter,” Grant said, motioning to Craig for the piece of wood he’d brought to wedge the door closed. Grant took the piece and positioned the wood against the door to keep it closed. “Go get the nail gun out of the truck.” “You got it, Boss,” Craig said with a nod. “You have the salt?” Luke asked Maggie. She nodded, face pale. Giving the clear glass jar to him with shaking hands, he gave her a reassuring nod. “We’ve got this. Go take a break.” Luke opened the salt and poured it against the threshold. “Not very Christian of you,” Brian commented. “Actually, for centuries since the advent of Jesus, salt that had been cleansed and sanctified by special exorcisms and prayers was given to catechumens before entering the church for baptism. According to the fifth canon of the Third Council of Carthage in the third century, salt was administered to the catechumens several times a year, a process attested by Augustine of Hippo.” Craig returned with the nail gun and handed it to Grant, who started nailing the door. Luke continued, “Two specific rites, namely a cross traced on the forehead and a taste of blessed salt, not only marked the entrance into the catechumenate but were repeated regularly. By his own account, Augustine was "blessed regularly with the Sign of the Cross and seasoned with God's salt. Therefore, it is very Christian of me.” Grant finished securing his side of the door and handed Luke the nail gun. “Early in the sixth century, John the Deacon also explained the use of blessed salt. he said So the mind which is drenched and weakened by the waves of this world is held steady.” “That is blessed salt?” “Yep, take it wherever I go,” Luke replied. “Consider me schooled,” Brian said. “What happened in there?” Glen asked. “Stray dog,” Craig quickly said from behind Glen. “It happens in these abandoned buildings. A dog or raccoon gets trapped inside and is relatively pissed off when someone finds it. Greg could use your help in the vestibule. We’ll finish up here.” Glen and Brian nodded and exited the room. “All secure?” “Yep, let’s get you outside to wrap up that ankle,” Luke said, offering Grant his shoulder. “Claire’s gonna be pissed,” Grant said.
* * * *
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Amy Romine has always wanted to be one of the good guys. From playing Charlie's Angels in the backyard of her Macungie, PA home as a child to the pages of her unending projects, Amy has always dreamed of adventure and romance. Her need to make the characters truly deserve their happiness takes us on many a twisted journey. From serial killers to demons, Amy holds nothing back in the name of true enduring love.
A mother of three, Amy has spent the past sixteen years working in Operations for Ricoh America's Corporation. She is an avid movie fan and enjoys books, television, theater, her dog Pip and all things romance.
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