Who else is excited that Halloween is just around the corner? Well today I’ve got a sweet treat for you as part of the Halloween Trills & Chills event hosted by The Midnight Garden! I’ve got Hillary Montana here with a deleted scene from her book, Mary: The Summoning. I read this one a few weeks ago and let me tell you it’s one awesome creep-fest! In case you missed it, you can find my review here! Also, don’t miss out on any more Halloween fun and giveaways by visiting the other stops on this tour. You can find the schedule on this post below, or on the kickoff post here! And before getting to the deleted scene, have a look at what Mary: The Summoning is all about:
There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.
Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.
A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.
Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.
A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary--and Jess--before it's too late?
Deleted Scene from Mary: The Summoning
This snippet comes from MARY’s original draft, which was for all intents and purposes a historical. I revised the book to a modern day setting at the request of editors during the submission process. The letters in MARY reflect the back story I have drafted out.
This is the scene where the protagonist discovers Mary Worth’s mother in the river. The pastor mentioned is not the Starkcrowe of the letters in MARY, but Pastor Renault, who was Starkcrowe’s mentor. In the original draft, Renault fancied Mary quite a bit. Mary losing her mother was hugely traumatizing and contributed to Mary’s descent from good, sweet girl to angry, bitter ghost.
~ Hillary Monahan
Deleted Scene from MARY: THE SUMMONING
We searched most of the night, until our eyes drooped and our feet hurt. We ventured into the woods, towards the lake and—in the later hours—out near the river. I managed to wrap a coil of thorns around my dress and tear the bottom hem.
It didn’t slow me down.
Round and round we went, scouting the nearby forest, me calling out so much my voice broke. The pastor only had to shoot wolves away from us once. The musket fire made my ears ring, but I didn’t mind. The discomfort helped keep me focused despite my fatigue.
It was dawn when the pastor clapped his large, pale hand on my shoulder, giving it a squeeze. He was exhausted, the dark circles under his eyes plum-colored bruises.
“I must retire for a time. I’m sorry, but I can inform the constable and he can perhaps start another search while we rest. Mrs. Worth may have taken refuge with a neighbor overnight. It’s not unheard of.”
“I should keep going. She has to be somewhere.” I was so tired, my words slurred like I’d been drinking for days and days. The pastor cast me a thoughtful look before slinging his arm over my shoulders to guide me back to town. I didn’t struggle. I didn’t have the energy. He forced his way through low shrubs to walk at the river side. I followed his steps, avoiding the dips and roots trying to trip us.
That’s when I spotted the lump in the water. My eyes shifted into wicked focus at the white streak tangled in the rocks thirty feet away. I broke away from the pastor’s side, my shriek so loud that the birds in the trees took to flight in a frenzy of wings and caws. The pastor called after me, but I bumbled ahead, staggering towards the thing. No, not thing. Person. It was a person, and I knew long before I saw her face who it was. The mud on the inner banks was slippery and steep, but I lunged for her all the same, grasping for her cloak and dress.
The tide of the river was strong. That didn’t stop me from jumping in, gasping at the frigid water stabbing my skin. I struggled to remain upright as my hands wrapped around an arm. The limp form shifted towards me, and I felt my feet give, slipping over stones and nearly sacrificing me to the current. Only my fingers twisted in the white cloak kept me anchored.
The pastor sprawled on his stomach in the mud beside me, reaching both arms forward to grab me, but instead I braced against a jutting rock in the river bed and pushed myself upright. I managed to wedge my hip between two of the bank’s bigger rocks. Steadier, I shoved the body at him, rolling it forward like a carpet when I didn’t have the strength to lift.
“Noooooo,” I groaned, still not seeing a face, but knowing deep down I’d found her. I watched the pastor pull her to shore. He had to get onto his knees to lug her, grunting with exertion as she flopped to the ground with a wet squish. His jacket and shirt were covered in mud, some of it smearing his chin, too, but he didn’t seem to care. He stared at me, holding out his hands, his musket forgotten on the path behind him. I reached for him and our fingers locked. He pulled, and I slid up the banks on my stomach, now as mud-covered and disgusting as he was.
I shouldn’t have turned the body over. A beautiful, near angelic face—even one as pristine as Hannah Worth’s—went wrinkly and bloated when left in moving water for too long. It looked puffy and droopy at the same time.
Fair skin tinged blue.
As soon as I rolled her, as soon as I got a look at what had happened over the course of the night, I wished I could burn the image from my memory. I scrambled away, slamming my eyes shut with a sob. The pastor quickly used Hannah’s cloak to cover her, hiding her face so I wouldn’t have to see, but the damage had been done. Hannah was dead and she’d been robbed of her beauty by the lashing tides of the river.
About the Author
At night, when the lights are dim and the creepy crawlies scuttle through the shadows, debut author Hillary Monahan throws words at a computer. A denizen of Massachusetts and an avid gamer, she’s most often found locked in a dark room killing internet zombies or corralling basset hounds. Her first novel, MARY: THE SUMMONING debuted fall of 2014 thanks to Disney-Hyperion. Learn more at www.hillaryjmonahan.com and @HillaryMonahan.
Thrills and Chills: Halloween Event Tour with Jonathan Stroud, Hillary Monahan, and Laurie Stolarz
Wednesday, October 1 The Midnight Garden 5 Questions with Jonathan Stroud
Thursday, October 2 The Starry-Eyed Revue Into the Spooky Swamp Setting of Mary: The Summoning
Friday, October 3 Supernatural Snark Rules for Surviving a House of Horrors (with Laurie Stolarz)
Monday, October 6 Xpresso Reads Deleted Scene from Mary: The Summoning
Tuesday, October 7 Love is Not a Triangle 5 Questions with Laurie Stolarz
Wednesday, October 8 For the Love of Words 10 Great Horror Films with Jonathan Stroud
Thursday, October 9 Winterhaven Books How I Became a Horror Fan (with Hillary Monahan)
Friday, October 10 YA Romantics Quiz: What Dark House Character Are You?
Monday, October 13 My Friends Are Fiction Fashion Accessories for Ghosthunters (with Jonathan Stroud)
Tuesday, October 14 The Flyleaf Review 5 Questions with Hillary Monahan
Wednesday, October 15 Books with Bite Top 10 Items to Survive The Dark House Amusement Park
Thursday, October 16 The Social Potato A Tour of Jonathan Stroud’s Writing Space
Win a Thrills and Chills box of horror! Includes copies of the following new releases:
Mary: The Summoning
The Screaming Staircase
The Whispering Skull
Welcome to the Dark House
The box will be delivered just in time for spooky Halloween reading.
Open to US and Canadian residents, see complete rules on entry form.