The Girl Who Saved Ghosts
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Time-Travel, Young Adult
She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them.
After a summer spent in a haunted castle—a summer in which she traveled through time to solve a murder mystery—Kat is looking forward to a totally normal senior year at McTernan Academy. Then the ghost of a little girl appears and begs Kat for help, and more unquiet apparitions follow. All of them are terrified by the Dark One, and it soon becomes clear that that this evil force wants Kat dead.
Searching for help, Kat leaves school for the ancestral home she’s only just discovered. Her friend Evan, whose family is joined to her own by an arcane history, accompanies her. With the assistance of her eccentric great aunts and a loyal family ghost, Kat soon learns that she and Evan can only fix the present by traveling into the past.
As Kat and Evan make their way through nineteenth-century Vienna, the Dark One stalks them, and Kat must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save a ghost.
While everyone else rushed off to lunch after class, too many Mountain Dews forced me to duck into the ladies’ room. No matter how quick I was, I was still alone in an old building—a ghost’s paradise. I was washing my hands at the sink when an artic coldness brushed against my neck. The shadow beside the sink darkened. A ghost was on its way.
Not now. Not here. I grabbed for a paper towel and tried to leave, but it was too late. The shadow began to shimmer and white smoke unfurled from it.
A ghost took form in the middle of the ladies’ room. She was young. Maybe eleven. Fear lurked in her round, moss-green eyes. Two curtains of long, light brown hair hung around her face. Lacy pantalettes peeked out from under a periwinkle dress that was trimmed with white ribbon at the waist and hem. When she had completely materialized, I couldn’t stop staring at the blood smeared across her dress. It stained her cheek and her neck too. Crimson. Like it was fresh.
My heart lurched and I pressed my hand to my chest to stop my heart from leaping out.
In death, ghosts usually held onto the good moments of their existence, choosing to appear to me at the peak of health and happiness. But this one hadn’t. What I was seeing had to be from the worst moment of her life, and she was clinging to it in death. What had happened to her?
I stepped back and bumped into the sink.
“Help me,” she pleaded with a lilting Scottish accent.
I gripped the lip of the porcelain sink, letting its coolness seep into my palms. Calm down. You can handle this. I took a deep breath and quickly checked under the stalls. At least, I was alone in here.
“What do you need?”
“I need you to tell the Kingsleys something for me.”
A message. I could pass along a message. Especially to the Kingsleys—they were Evan’s family. But I had to get the ghost out of here before a classmate walked in and caught me talking to myself in the bathroom. Or worse, if she was a believer, she’d see me talking to a ghost and I’d become the campus freak.
“What’s the message?” My words ran together in their rush to be spoken.
“I didn’t kill Percy. I wouldn’t do that.” Her fingers curled into fists. It seemed like her entire body vibrated at a higher frequency. Her ghost form blurred.
“I’ll tell them. What’s your name?”
She came back into focus. “Ellie. Ellie Harding.”
“Who killed him, Ellie?”
Her face scrunched up. “I can’t remember. But I didn’t.”
The lights flickered.
“Is this your reckoning?”
She shook her head. “You have to find out who killed Percy.”
“Percy who? When did he die?”
“Percy Kingsley. In 1831.” She cocked her head to the side, like she was hearing something I couldn’t. Her ghostly form faded in and out. “It’s coming after you.”
“What are you talking about?”
She looked around like it could hear us. “The Dark One,” she whispered. “It’s coming for you.”
“What’s the Dark One?”
“It’s ancient. Pure Darkness.” She shuddered and blurred again.
“Why is it coming after me?”
“You upset the balance for the unbelievables this summer when you changed the past.”
“Is that why the ghosts are rushing to get their reckonings from me?”
She looked too solemn for a child. “They don’t think you will survive the Dark One.”
“What do I do?” My pulse fluttered in my wrist like a captured moth.
Her lips parted in surprise. Fear. “I have to go.”
As she faded away, I lost my balance and slid to the floor. Leaning my head back against the wall tiles, I looked up at the fluorescent lights.
Senior year was not going to be anything like Morgan and I had imagined.
K.C. Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and two quirky golden retrievers on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them.
Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days. The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is her award-winning and bestselling first novel in The Unbelievables series.
As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.
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