Read an excerpt from Smoke and Hellfire by Kristen Brand

The first book in The Shadow Journals series is finally here! Keep reading for an exclusive excerpt and get hooked on the supernatural adventure.

Book Information

Title: Smoke and Hellfire

Series: The Shadow Journals, Volume 1

Author: Kristen Brand (Me!)

Genre: Urban fantasy

Release date: November 21, 2022

Book Description

Keep calm and call an exorcist.

Most people don’t believe in the supernatural—at least until a ghost starts making the walls in their house bleed. That’s when they call Bea Romo Reyes. She’s my best friend and roommate, and she works as a freelance exorcist and paranormal consultant. Meeting her plunged me into a supernatural world both wonderful and terrifying, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

But there’s something Bea’s not telling me, and her secret might be more dangerous than the demons she’s hired to exorcise.

Smoke and Hellfire contains four episodic, novelette-length stories:

The Scent of Brimstone

When my friend dies mysteriously and her house stinks of brimstone, I know a demon is to blame. And when it threatens my friend’s family, I do the only thing I can think of: I call a professional exorcist.

An Unfair Bargain

Bea and I investigate a missing woman who wandered into the forest at night like she was possessed. But the truth of what happened is—if possible—even worse than demonic possession, and we might not make it out of the forest alive.

Drowning, Drowning

A ghost tour in St. Augustine accidentally raises a vengeful spirit who starts picking off the tour group one by one. Can Bea banish the ghost in time to save the young tour guides from a watery grave?

The Corporate Job

I always knew corporations were evil, but this one takes it a step further when they summon a demon to increase their profit margins. With a possessed CFO chained up in the basement and Bea’s exorcism failing, the demon reveals a sinister secret that could change everything.

If you like female friendships, action-packed urban fantasy, and a touch of supernatural horror, then you’ll love Smoke and Hellfire. Buy it now and start the paranormal adventure.


As soon as I crossed the threshold, I stumbled, feeling woozy. The stench of brimstone was like a slap in the face, so heavy in the air that I coughed. Fear squeezed my chest, and I wanted to run back out the door. But Avery’s scream turned into ragged sobs, and I raced forward.

“No!” Joel shouted. “No!”

The sound came from Avery’s room. Dashing as fast as I could, I saw Bea rush through the door ahead of me. I caught up a few seconds later and stopped dead.

The shadows in the room had come alive. They’d reached out from the closet, forming long, grasping hands with too many joints. There were dozens of them. They’d grabbed Avery by the shoulders, legs, and cloth of her pajamas and were dragging her through the doorway. No clothes or shoes lay inside the closet, just swirling shadows and a coldness that seemed to burn.

They had pulled Avery halfway inside. The darkness swallowed her from the waist down, and the only reason she hadn’t disappeared was because Joel had grabbed her hands. Jaw clenched and muscles straining, he frantically tried to pull her free as the shadowy hands clawed at him. Avery kept screaming, her pale face wet with tears, and her hands were slowly slipping out of Joel’s tight grasp.

That’s when Bea charged forward.

Reader, do you remember how I said magic isn’t flashy? It’s subtle and invisible, and half the time it doesn’t work. Well… I don’t think anyone ever told Bea that.

She raised a hand, and her fist erupted in bright orange flames. Then she threw a fireball—an actual honest-to-goodness fireball—at the shadows in the closet.

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