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Haunt (Whisper Swamp Gators Book 4)

Haunt (Whisper Swamp Gators Book 4)

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Click To Read The Synopsis

Sometimes things aren’t what they seem.

Nina Kinsella was there the night chaos broke out at the old Perkins property. She fought alongside her crew against the water moccasins and won. However, something from that night latched onto her and is refusing to let go.

The spirit of Lois Perkins wolf.

Sleep deprived and scared, Nina pays a witchy ally a visit to learn why the spirit of the wolf is haunting her. What she learns sends her crew into unraveling a mystery. Will the answers revealed be enough for the spirit of Lois Perkins wolf to cross over and leave Nina be?

Click To Read Chapter One


Another eerie howl echoed through the air. My heart kick-started, and I tore at the grass with more force. It wasn’t budging. 


How close was she? Where was she?

A noise near the front of the house captured my attention. When I cast a glance that way, I spotted her. She’d come from inside. Panic rushed through me at the sight of her bright eyes locking on me. I tugged at the blades of freakishly strong grass frantically. Still, I couldn’t break through. My gator pushed her way to the surface, but even her added strength did nothing.

Was this a spell? How was that possible?

The wolf released another howl, her face tipping to the night sky. I flinched at the sound. Instinctively, I knew she was about to make her way to me. My stomach somersaulted. I had to free myself from this insane grass. If I didn’t, Lois Perkins’ wolf would eat me. 


I lifted Jackson’s arm off me and slid out of bed as gently as I could. My heart still hammered from my nightmare. Sleeping in his room hadn’t helped like I thought it would. Typically, Jackson was like a security blanket. He made me feel safe.

However, he couldn’t provide a sense of safety in this situation.

My nightmares were getting worse. It had been a week and a half since things at the Perkins house happened. Yet the place still haunted me as though it were yesterday. 

I crept across the old, weathered hardwood floors to the chair beside the door where my fluffy robe waited. While Jackson’s room was warm, thanks to the space heater he’d bought forever ago to chase out the chill the drafty old house let seep in, I knew the rest of the house wouldn’t be.  

My robe was warm as I slipped it on. Jackson stirred in bed, and I froze. I held my breath, hoping he’d stay sleeping. The last thing I wanted was for him to wake and ask if I was okay. There was no way I’d be able to lie to him this time. Heck, I’d probably break down and cry because I wasn’t all right. 

I was tired and scared.

When he didn’t appear as though he’d woken, I stepped to the door and turned the knob slowly. The door gave a tiny creak of protest as I opened it, but Jackson remained still. I stepped out into the hall, closing the door behind me, and exhaled a sigh of relief. The floorboards were cold against my bare feet as I walked, and there was a chill to the air that had my gator retreating even further. 

She hated the cold more than I did. 

I wrapped my robe around myself tighter and secured it at the waist while I walked, making my way to the stairs. While I tiptoed, I wondered what else I could do to get a few hours of dreamless sleep in. So far I’d tried chamomile tea, lavender tea, lavender essential oil, and incredible sex with Jackson. Nothing worked. The nightmares always woke me with a start and an overwhelming sense of urgency shortly after falling asleep. 

Milk. Wasn’t that a thing? Warm milk?

Whie I’d never been a fan of milk, I’d always heard warm milk helps you sleep. The fact that I was even considering drinking any was proof positive I would try anything at this point to get some dreamless shuteye.

As I passed Kai and Zoe’s bedroom, I stepped in a puddle of something lukewarm. Instantly, I knew it was pee. 

Puppy pee, to be exact.

Kai and Zoe had recently started letting their new puppy, Roomba, sleep in their bedroom without being in a crate. Clearly, the little guy hadn’t used the puppy pad they’d set out and had instead hiked his leg near the door.


I headed to the bathroom down the hall and washed my feet off before grabbing a couple of washcloths and some cleaner from beneath the sink. As I made my way back to the river, there was a part of me that wanted to leave the puddle for Kai to find when he woke, but I knew it would ruin the floor.

Roomba paced in front of the door as I bent to wipe up his mess. He stuck his nose through the crack and sniffed heavily, whining. A smirk twisted my lips. While the little guy was a pain in the butt sometimes, he sure was cute.

“Shh, be quiet, little buddy,” I whispered to him.

After cleaning up his mess, I continued downstairs to the kitchen. The steps creaked beneath my feet, but it couldn’t be helped. They were old, and the house was cold. Her bones made funny noises in the winter because of it. I held my breath as I reached the second to last step, which I knew was the noisiest of them all. While I was sure everyone in the house had noticed I wasn’t sleeping well lately, I still didn’t want to wake them.

However, it was nearly impossible to not cause anyone to stir when everyone in the house had shifter hearing.

When I finally reached the kitchen, I flipped the light on and headed straight for the cabinet by the sink. I grabbed my favorite mug and then stepped to the fridge for the milk. The mug had been my mother’s. It was pale green with a faded sunflower on one side. Kai and I had given it to her for Mother’s Day when we were little.

The memories of her sipping from it nearly every morning warmed me. 

I poured a little milk into the mug, and my nose wrinkled. Yuck. Milk always smelled sour to me, no matter how fresh the date said it was. 

If it helped me sleep, I’d drink it, though.

I popped the mug into the microwave and pressed a few buttons before moving to lean against the counter while I waited for the milk to heat. My mind dipped back to the nightmare I’d had. Goose bumps prickled across my skin and I folded my arms over my chest. While I couldn’t remember every detail of the nightmare, I could remember the eerie sight of Lois Perkins’ house. The darkness that surrounded it like it was a living, breathing entity of its own. The full moon hung low in the sky. The chill in the air that seeped into my bones. Lois’s bright blue eyes, staring directly into my soul.

It was the same nightmare I’d had all week. And just like every night before, all I could remember were those few bits and pieces. However, I always felt the same each time I woke—my heart pounded and my palms were clammy as a sense of urgency swam through my veins.


I tried to remember more details from the nightmare, but couldn’t. There had to be a reason for the intense sensation of urgency when I woke. Knots twisted my stomach.

Was something bad about to happen? 

The microwave beeped so loudly in the silence of the kitchen that I jumped. I jerked the handle on the microwave, opening it quickly to silence the tone, and grabbed my mug, making my way to sit at the table in the corner. Footsteps sounded upstairs, and I wondered if the noisy microwave had woken someone.


I took a sip of warm milk and nearly gagged. The sour smell seemed to have intensified. How could anyone drink this? It was awful. Maybe adding a little vanilla or cinnamon would make it taste better?

Footsteps on the stairs sounded. They were lighter than any of the guys, which left me thinking it was Willow or Zoe. Thank goodness. Neither of them would be rude about the noise. They wouldn’t be pushy about why I was up or why I hadn’t been sleeping, either.

“Hey,” Zoe said as she entered the kitchen with Roomba in her arms. He wiggled and released a little bark at the sight of me. He was the happiest puppy ever. Zoe shushed him and then shifted her attention back to me. “What are you doing up? I thought someone forgot to turn the kitchen light off.”

“I couldn’t sleep.” 

“Again?” she asked.

I made a face. “Nope. I’ve tried everything I can think of, but still no luck.” I lifted my mug. “I even resorted to drinking disgusting warm milk. It’s not helping.”

“You haven’t slept well in a while,” she said, shifting Roomba around in her arms. He struggled against her, but she held tight.

“It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve slept over two or three hours a night,” I insisted, feeling my frustration grip tight. 

“I take it the chamomile tea Willow gave you didn’t help?” Zoe asked, her face scrunching up. “Never mind. Don’t answer that. Clearly, it didn’t or you wouldn’t be drinking warm milk in the middle of the night.”

“Disgusting warm milk.” I frowned into my mug. “I was wondering if there was anything I could put in it to make it taste better.”

“I’m not sure. Warm milk is what I’ve always heard.”

“Me too. But it’s… gross.” I set the mug down and shoved it away. The smell was making me nauseous. 

“Have you tried melatonin?” Zoe asked.

“Nope. What is it?”

“It’s something that always worked for my mom. She kept a bottle of it on the windowsill above the kitchen sink.” She scratched behind Roomba’s ears. “It’s a sleep aid. You should look it up.”

“I’ll try anything at this point,” I said, standing to retrieve my phone from the charging station on the counter. “I’ll look it up right now before I forget.”

“It’s an all-natural thing. Actually, it’s something our bodies naturally make. Sometimes, you need a little more to help you rest properly, though. My mom even used to give me a small dose when I was little before a big test at school. I was never a good test taker. They stressed me out and caused me to have trouble sleeping the night before,” she said with a nervous laugh. Roomba struggled to get down again, and she grunted as his nails dug into her arm. “I’m going to take him out really quick. Even though he already peed in the bedroom. Right in front of the door.” She gave him a look.

“Yeah, it made its way out into the hall.” I wrinkled my nose. “I actually stepped in it before coming down here.”

“Ugh. I’m sorry. I don’t know what we’re going to do with him. He refuses to use his puppy pads. He just tears them up.”

“Give him time. He’ll come around,” I insisted. 

Her expression softened. “Yeah, I know. I keep telling myself he’s just a puppy.” She made her way to the back door and grabbed one of Kai’s jackets to wear before heading outside with Roomba.


I typed it into the search bar of the Internet browser on my phone. Lots came up. I skimmed the first few links. It did seem all-natural. There were a few different brands with varying prices, but overall a bottle didn’t seem too expensive. 

It wouldn’t matter if it was. At this point, I would pay just about anything to sleep deeply enough to avoid nightmares.

I made a mental note to take the ferry to the mainland and pick some up from the drugstore after work. Then, I pocketed my cell and grabbed my mug off the table. I poured the nasty milk out and rinsed the mug in the sink. While I hated to waste it, I knew I wouldn’t drink it. My gaze drifted to the clock on the stove. I noticed it was 1:11 in the morning. Instantly, I began counting how many hours I had before I was supposed to get up for work. 

Five hours.

Five hours would be more than enough to make me feel rested. The problem was, I knew the instant I fell asleep I’d be sucked back into that dang nightmare. I needed a bottle of melatonin. Maybe it would be enough to let me sleep without dreaming. 

Until I could get some, counting sheep and hoping for a miracle would have to suffice.

Sometimes things aren’t what they seem.

Nina Kinsella was there the night chaos broke out at the old Perkins property. She fought alongside her crew against the water moccasins and won. However, something from that night latched onto her and is refusing to let go.

Main Tropes

  • Secrets & A Disappearance
  • Gator Shifters
  • Small Town

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