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Kimberly Loth Books

Circus of the Dead Book Five

Circus of the Dead Book Five

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 219 reviews

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My ex-boyfriend is a vampire.

He killed me once.

And my BFF brought me back to life.

I’m so done with vampires, monsters and witches—except my best friend. She can stick around.

I manage to snag a scholarship to an exclusive yoga instructor school on a tiny island on Lake Superior. You’d think that’d be far away enough from all things supernatural.

But it’s not.

The island is far from normal and now the super-hot but super-arrogant warlock wants me to help him hunt down the monsters that torment the residents.

I’m plunged right back into a world I wanted to escape and now I have to make a choice—bail and find normal somewhere else or stay and risk not only my life, but my heart as well…

Download this heart-stopping series today….

Synopsis

My ex-boyfriend is a vampire.

He killed me once.

And my BFF brought me back to life.

I’m so done with vampires, monsters and witches—except my best friend. She can stick around.

I manage to snag a scholarship to an exclusive yoga instructor school on a tiny island on Lake Superior. You’d think that’d be far away enough from all things supernatural.

But it’s not.

The island is far from normal and now the super-hot but super-arrogant warlock wants me to help him hunt down the monsters that torment the residents.

I’m plunged right back into a world I wanted to escape and now I have to make a choice—bail and find normal somewhere else or stay and risk not only my life, but my heart as well…

First Chapter

“Really, Mama. It’s okay. You can go.”

My mother wipes another tear from her eye and takes in a deep breath. “It’s just…. You’re my baby, Juliette. Now, you’re all grown up and living so far from me and your daddy and your brothers and sisters.” She lays a hand on her belly. My tenth sibling is in there, but it’s too early for Mama to be showing.

I grab her shoulders and give her my biggest smile. Sure, I’m nervous to be on my own. I lived by myself back on the circus island, but my family was close by. If I was hungry and didn’t want to cook, I was a quick walk away, and Mama fixed everything.

“This is good for me,” I tell her as much as I say it for myself.

I lived on the same island in the Louisiana bayou all my life until I was murdered. As a ghost, I got to visit the world, which was pretty darn cool, minus the being dead part. But two years ago, after Callie freed us, and I moved onto the farm in Louisiana with my parents, I never felt more trapped. I tried to fill my hours with running and yoga, but that can only do so much to pass the time.

That’s when I stumbled upon the yoga school here on Madeline Island in Wisconsin. There are two great parts about this school. First, they gave me a full scholarship plus room and board for their eight-week course.

The second wonderful part is that it is 1,400 miles away from home. I’m going to miss Callie and my family, but they can visit me. I need to figure out who I am, what I want from life. And I can’t do that with Mama, Daddy, and almost ten siblings running around, asking me to do what they need me to do.

So eight weeks at this school, plus hopefully an internship afterward, should give me enough time to figure out what I truly want.

Mama gives me a once-over and brings me in for our twelfth hug. “Just promise you’ll be safe. Keep your pepper spray with you at all times, and text me at least once a day to let me know you’re alright.”

“You got it.” I laugh and exaggerate an eye roll. “Now you have to go, or you’ll miss the last ferry.”

“Okay, okay.” Mama lifts her hands and finally turns to leave. “I’m out of here. Love you!”

“Love you, too, Mama.”

I quickly lock the door when it shuts. Not because I’m afraid of strangers. I don’t want Mama to turn around and find another reason to stay for five more minutes.

“Whew!” I place my back against the door and smile wide. “You’re my home for at least eight whole weeks,” I say to my cute little condo.

The condo I’m renting is small but has plenty of room for li’l ol’ me. It doesn’t have in-room laundry, which is fine since it’s above a laundromat. The kitchen is adequate and decked out in light blues and whites—same kind of color scheme in the living area. By far, the best part of my new digs is that I actually have a view of Lake Superior right from my bedroom. I rush into my room and open the window to let in the summer breeze. Beautiful, seventy-degree July weather swoops in off the lake.

Pinch me.

I finish putting away my clothes as I hum a jazz number. Callie, Benny, and I spent my last night in Louisiana on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, celebrating my nineteenth birthday, and we saw one of Benny’s favorite live bands. That man has great taste in music.

I tried to convince Callie to come with me on my eight-week getaway, or at least for part of it, but she’s in love and would “miss him too much.” I couldn’t be happier for them, but it still would have been a fun girl adventure.

A twinge of jealousy flits through me that Callie has found her soul mate, and every man I’ve dated has either had me killed or cheated on me. But I’m not here to think about dating and guys.

I’m here to figure out who Juliette Baker is.

Since I don’t own much, unpacking takes very little time. I grab my phone and scroll for options for a bite to eat. I only have a bike on the island, so I can’t go terribly far, but Madeline Island is only inhabited on the southwest side. The rest of the island is a beautiful state park filled with the tallest and best smelling pine trees I’ve ever seen. It’s a vast contrast compared to the swampy island I grew up on.

I step out of my building onto the street, and the smell of fresh linens flood my senses. James shouts at me from the laundromat doorway. “What do you think of the place?”

They’ve got cool accents up here. Their “the” sounds like “da,” and they say things like “Oh ya” and “whatcha doin’ der, hey?” I suppose my accent is just as different, being from Louisiana and all.

“It’s perfect!” I shout over the ruckus of the machines. James owns the laundromat and the condo above it. He moved out of the place and into his parents’ old house a bit ago, and now he rents it.

I wave goodbye and slide into a little restaurant down the street that serves burgers and sandwiches. Mama gave me two hundred bucks to get me on my feet, but I’ll need to find a job while I’m here to cover expenses.

“Are you hiring, by chance?” I ask the young girl behind the counter, who is wearing way too much perfume. She can’t be more than thirteen.

“Nope. No one does in the middle of summer. That’s why I’m working here for Dad.” She takes my order and then jumps back onto her phone.

Huh. This could get tricky if there are no jobs.

I shake off the worry as I wait for my order. My turkey and Swiss is in hand surprisingly fast, and since it’s so beautiful out, I gather my things and take a seat on a bench by the lake. I get a twinge of homesickness as I think about my family and best friend. There’s an easy way to fix that though.

“Did you make it?” Callie exclaims from the other end of the phone.

I laugh as I take a bite of my French fry. “I did. Finally got Mama to leave too.”

“Is it the coolest place ever?”

I glance around, the smile still wide on my face. “It appears to be. I’ll send you pics of the condo I’m renting later. It’s so small and adorable. This is my view right now for dinner.” I turn the video call to reveal the lake in front of me.

“That is beautiful! I’m excited for you, Juliette. You deserve this.” The sincerity in her voice isn’t lost over the cell waves.

We went through a lot, being part of the Circus of the Dead. I was born on the island outside New Orleans as were the majority of my siblings. As a human, I was trapped on the island. I worked in the circus in various roles, including acrobat and clown, when the circus came to life twice a month. Humans only made up a part of the circus though.

117 ghosts made up the rest.

It was a never-ending cycle of death, and I didn’t know any different, so I made the best of it. Then, Callie joined us, challenging us to believe that life didn’t have to be this way forever. She took on Samuel, the Obeah man who was in charge of the island. Samuel was the worst type of person, forcing my siblings to work for him and threatening to make my sisters his sex slaves if Callie didn’t do his bidding. I’m not sure I could hate anyone more than I hate that man.

Callie killed Samuel, but then it became clear someone else, Lorena, a practitioner of voodoo and an ancestral witch, ran the island and had controlled Samuel. I still hate him though.

Not only did Callie lead the charge in freeing us, but she became my best friend. She is so strong and determined, and she loves and cares so deeply. She’s the one who encouraged me to take a risk and leave home.

Pressure builds behind my eyes as I think about all we went through.

I owe Callie…well…everything.

“Hey, girl, you still there?” Callie laughs.

I shake my head. “Yeah, just thinking.”

“Juliette, focus.” Callie smiles, but there’s sympathy in her eyes. “You deserve this. You deserve to go after your dreams.”

“Thanks.” I smile, feeling emotion creep into my voice.

“And you can do this. You survived the Circus of the Dead. There is literally nothing you can’t do.”

With her words, I feel my back straighten. “You’re right. I can do anything. Thanks, Callie.” I pretend to kiss the phone, and she does the same.

“Bye, Jules!” Benny shouts from somewhere off-screen.

I laugh. “Bye, Benny!”

“We’re headed out to dinner with some friends, but we’ll talk later. Send me lots of pictures,” Callie says with a wave, and then the screen goes dark.

She’s reaffirmed I can do anything a million times before, but I guess I needed to hear it again. And she’s right.

There’s nothing this island can throw at me that could possibly be worse than what I’ve already faced.

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