The Longing and the Lack
by C.M. Spivey
(The Unliving #1)
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal
“Gothic curses, deadly love affairs, and vengeful ghosts combine to make this paranormal mystery a compelling page-turner.” — Tina Connolly, Nebula-nominated author of Ironskin
Lucinda Hightower is no stranger to death.
Since she was a child, Lucinda has been haunted by rabid dogs, suicidal crows, and the ghost of a woman in white. All are omens signaling someone’s imminent demise—except Lucinda’s friends and family are still breathing.
The omens follow her to Ireland and the quiet university in her father’s hometown, increasing in strength and frequency once she meets Damien Reed. A handsome third year student, Damien thrusts himself into Lucinda’s life almost immediately and caresses away the unsavory reputation that shadows him.
It’s not until the ghost sinks her nails into Damien that he reveals his secret: the death omens are for him.
They’re the manifestations of a curse that claims the life of the eldest Reed son every generation. Damien’s time is nearly up. If Lucinda is to save him, she must solve the mystery of her family curse, and lay a spirit’s rage to rest.
A dark romance for fans of Diane Setterfield and the TV show Supernatural, The Longing and the Lack is a Gothic story for the modern age.
The campus was silent, damp with fog. Lucinda took a leisurely pace from the dormitory, past some of the lecture halls, the administrative offices, the president’s house. Rosmoy was an obscure private institution, but despite its small size, it carried in its atmosphere a presumption of permanence. It had been established soon after the town itself, in the sixteenth century, reached its apex sometime in the nineteenth, and had hovered comfortably there ever since.
The library was its heart—as it should be. It drew her eye the moment she entered the school’s central courtyard: large, red-bricked, with a broad white patio and columns framing three double-door entrances. Lucinda smiled and strode toward the center door. All was dark inside. She laid a hand on the wood of the door and leaned forward to peer through the slightly rippled pane.
“It’s not open yet.”
Lucinda turned around. A tall girl with brown skin and black hair was standing at the edge of the patio, half turned from Lucinda as though she had been walking past when she noticed someone was at the library door. She was beautiful; the corners of her mouth were upturned with amusement. Though Lucinda couldn’t surmise a reason for the amusement, except at her own expense, it seemed to her that the expression was fond rather than malicious. This feeling was inexplicable, and therefore suspicious.
“That’s all right,” she replied. “I’m just exploring.”
The girl’s smile widened. “You’re new to Rosmoy, then?”
Her dark eyes looked Lucinda up and down in a slow and thoughtful fashion; her lips parted during the assessment, a softening which made Lucinda suddenly self-conscious. Her cheeks grew warm under the scrutiny, and her own gaze danced from the girl’s mouth to her eyes to her figure as her embarrassment grew.
“I think you belong here,” the girl said finally. She approached, and offered Lucinda her hand. “I’m Sri Whelan.”
Lucinda accepted the gesture; they squeezed, rather than shook, which felt both too intimate and, at the same time, perfect. “Lucinda Hightower.”
C.M. Spivey is a speculative fiction writer, author of high fantasy FROM UNDER THE MOUNTAIN and the paranormal series, “The Unliving”. His enduring love of fantasy started young. Now, he explores the rules and ramifications of magic in his own works—and as a trans, panromantic asexual, he’s committed to queering his favorite genres. In his spare time, he plans his next tattoo (there will always be a next tattoo) and watches too much Netflix. Anything left over is devoted to his tireless quest to make America read more. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his darling husband Matt and adorable dog Jay.
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