New Release Blitz: The Quicks, The Deads, and Me by Don Hilton (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  The Quicks, The Deads, and Me

Author: Don Hilton

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 07/19/2024

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 58600

Genre: Horror/Thriller, Paranormal, new adult, interracial, nonbinary, trans, questioning, serial killer, ghosts, mythical creature

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Mazie’s a serial killer. She’s been one for a while. She knows that, of course, and does an excellent job of hiding it.

Then, there’s Sk’doo. Something less than a ghost, it’s doing its thing, zooming around its cemetery, listening to Deads. Its routine changes when a body is placed in a nearby pond. In learning how it hap-pened, Sk’doo discovers its Quick friend, Kaz, is in danger.

Who’s Kaz? She’s lonely, afraid, and confused. She’s ghosting her way through life, preferring the peace of a cemetery to the pain of living. At least until Sk’doo causes her to meet Mazie who brings light and excitement.

Mazie is manipulative, opinionated, and cunning. She decides to “”educate”” Kaz, taking delight in creat-ing a series of uncomfortable situations for her more-than-willing victim. Kaz begins to blossom and falls hard for her new friend.

All the same, Sk’doo must warn Kaz of the danger Mazie brings. The problem is how, when Kaz has no idea Sk’doo exists.


The Quicks, The Deads, and Me
Don Hilton © 2024
All Rights Reserved


“Things are different when you see the other side.”

“Cousin Freddy is the smartest of us all.”

“There’s no use arguing, I just won’t do it.”

I call myself Sk’doo. Not because it’s my name, but because I know everything is called something and I’m part of everything, so I need to be called something. It’s early morning in this place where I am. As usual, just the Deads and me. But that’ll change when the Quicks begin to arrive.

Quicks always do the same things the same way, so the first is due soon, running. After that, it’ll be the one with the dog, walking. Then the caretaker, if they’re working. After that, any number of Quicks throughout the light of day.

And, sure enough, here’s the first Quick: Lady Runner. For years she has passed through almost every early morning. When her hair’s long she pulls it back from her face, especially when the weather’s warm.

I have no legs, so I’ve never run. But I wonder about it. Wondering is one of the things I do. I know Lady Runner enjoys gliding through her every-morning circuit of Outside Road. Her face is calm. I hear her breathing, but it’s not labored. When the kind-of-portly Quicks run, it looks painful, but they do it anyway.

I have something I suppose is pain, that hurts, but when it hurts, I stop. I used to feel it only during lightning storms which always make me zoom to hide. But that changed when they started stringing cables on the tall posts on the far side of Roadway. Even though I can’t get too close, I feel zings from them too.

“In-out-in-out-in-out. The cats are worse than kids!”

Besides the lightning and the cables, the zing comes from machinery. Now, it comes from the Quicks.

I enjoy being near Quicks. Feeling what they feel and helping them find calm. Now, it hurts to approach most of them. It started with the watches they wear and grew from there. Lady Runner, for instance, carries a box and has small objects in her ears that cause zings. So, I keep away.

I don’t know what the zing-things are, exactly. I know Quicks talk to them and voices come from them. Music too, sometimes. But I can’t get close enough to know because they hurt and I don’t do things that hurt.

I am fascinated by Quicks, even when I have to keep my distance. But though I like, wonder about, and help them, I don’t know them.

What I know are the Deads.


“I like it when you kiss me like that.”

“Don’t get near Buddy. That dog farts!”

“Yes, shrimp are treyf. I still eat them.”

I don’t remember not being here. I sometimes wonder if I am here. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. But I know what I do during the time I’m somewhat certain I’m here.

I listen to the Dead—just listen.

I used to try to talk to Deads but gave up when I came to know they don’t listen. I wonder if, maybe, because Quicks don’t listen.

Deads talk all the time. They don’t all talk all the time, or all talk all at once. It’s just that there are plenty of Deads, so one of them is bound to be talking. I used to think they waited until I was near to speak but now I wonder if they talk when I’m not around. Not that it matters, because I’m the only one listening.

“Get out of that tree before you fall and break your neck.”

I remember everything I hear, from both the Quicks and the Deads. I know what I know of Quicks because of what they feel, say, and do. With Deads, it’s all what they have to say.

Deads don’t say all they have to say all at once. It comes out a little at a time. They don’t tell stories. They don’t tell things in order. And they repeat—all the time—they repeat. But if you listen and remember, you can put things together.

A few things about Ezme Evans, for example: Ezme holds Edge on Hill. She became Quick in 1824 and Dead in 1828. She spoke and knew her letters by the time she was walking and reading and doing numbers before catching Summer Disease. Her favorite colors are blue and yellow, the name of her favorite cat is “Skipper,” and her papa calls her “Peapod.” Her last words as a Quick were, “I see where I am going.” Ezme has never said what she saw or where she was going as she moved from Quick to Dead. Maybe, someday, she will.

It takes a while to learn about any Dead. Some of them talk right away. Some of them hardly ever do. What they say usually comes slow and gradual, like water seeping into stone.

I wonder if, maybe, I’m a stone.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Don Hilton was raised the second of three sons in a small Pennsylvania town. Easily bored, his life has been a broad mix of experiences. He’s struggled with the blues and is pleased that time grants some measure of peace. He prefers his peanut butter sandwiches with strawberry jam.

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