Starstruck

Elizabeth Edmonds is a normal, clumsy woman working at a small, normal bakery. That is, until one night leads her on a chance encounter with a movie star manager. The star himself wants to get to know her. She isn’t so sure, but after a terrifying encounter with an interesting beast, she decides there’s something more going on and agrees to see him.

Paul Lupe is a brooding movie star with a terrible secret. He’s able to transform into a monstrous wolf creature. Worse, his career is on the down-slide and he needs a way to garner attention. His manager comes up with a scheme to show off an ordinary woman. They go in search of one, and she’s more than he expected. He feels drawn to her through a deeper connection than he cares to admit.

Together they and their friends embark on a strange new adventure as a series of murders rock their city. Something furry and monstrous is attacking reporters, and they have to figure out who and stop them before Paul’s secret becomes more than an open scandal. It becomes a dangerous fact for all of them.

Excerpt:

Horror movies had nothing on this experience. That’s because this was real.
Their hearts pounded as the couple, a young man and woman, raced down the deserted street. Their quick, short breaths were in time with the pounding of their feet on the cracked sidewalk. The man dragged his slower companion past the faint halos of the flickering street lamps as the shadows of the tall commercial buildings loomed over them.
They reached an alley. The young man turned into the side road and pulled her in with him. He pressed his back against the brick wall of the small bookstore and drew her close to his side. The darkness aided them by concealing them from clear view.
The young woman clutched his coat and glanced in the direction they came. Her voice was a high-pitched squeak that bordered on a scream. “Is it gone, Emery? Did we lose it?”
He clapped his hand over her mouth and glared at her. “Shut up, Kelcy!”
A noise came from the street.

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They held their breath. Kelcy quaked in Emery’s arms. Tears streamed down her cheeks. A cold breeze blew across the streams and chilled her.
A plastic bag blew by. Its crinkling noise was what they heard. They both relaxed. He removed his hand from her mouth. “I think it’s gone.”
Kelcy leaned against the wall beside Emery. She clutched her chest and glanced at her boyfriend. “What do you think that thing was?”
He leaned his head against the wall and shook it. “I don’t know. It looked like a giant dog, or maybe a man in a furry suit. You know, like in those old cheesy horror movies.”
She shuddered and wrapped her arms around herself. “You mean like a werewolf?”
He rolled his eyes upward. “Come on, Kelcy, you know those things. . .don’t-” His eyes widened.
She frowned at him. “What? What’s-” She followed her gaze and tilted her head back. Her heart stopped.
Above them in a fire escape knelt the hairy beast. The creature was six and a half feet tall and covered in a thick layer of soft gray fur. A pair of ruined dress pants covered its waist. The face was elongated into a narrow snout, and its ears ended in sharp points. Its claws dug into the grates of the fire escape landing, and its lips were curled back to reveal long, sharp teeth. Drool dripped from its mouth and its yellow eyes gazed down at them with a feral hunger.
Kelcy grabbed Emery’s arm. “E-Emery.”
He swallowed and slid towards the opening to the alley. “N-nice doggy. Good doggy.”
The creature backed up to the raised ladder. It hit the ladder with one of its back legs. The metal ladder clattered down and stopped two feet from the ground.
Emery grabbed Kelcy’s hand and pulled her away from the ladder. “Run!”
The pair sprinted into the street. Kelcy glanced over her shoulder. Her eyes widened as she watched the monster drop through the open ladder hole and to the puddle-riddled ground. Its claws dug deep into the mud-slicked ground and left long scratches as the thing scrambled after them.
Emery led her into the road. Kelcy tripped and tumbled onto the hard pavement. The headlights of an oncoming vehicle flooded over them. Emery waved his arm wildly over his head. The driver slammed on the brakes and the car skidded to a stop feet from them.
The owner leaned out his window and glared at them. “What’s the big idea?”
Emery pulled Kelcy to her feet and hurried to the rear passenger door. They dove inside and Emery leaned over the back of the driver’s seat.
“Step on it if you won’t want to die!” he screamed.
The driver’s eyes widened. He looked ahead and punched on the gas. The car burned rubber for a few seconds before the wheels found traction and jumped ahead. Kelcy turned in the seat and glanced out the rear window.
The street was empty. The monster had vanished.
The driver glanced at them through the rear view mirror. “Mind telling me what’s going on?”
Emery fell back against the seat beside Kelcy and shook his head. “Something too crazy even for the movies.”

COLLAPSE

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