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Kitty's House of Horrors

( Kitty Norville - 7 )Carrie Vaughn


Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt will turn into a fight for her life.

The cast members, including Kitty, arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set. As soon as filming starts, violence erupts and Kitty suspects that the show is a cover for a nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty realizes she and her monster housemates are ironically the ultimate prize in a very different game. Stranded with no power, no phones, and no way to know who can be trusted, she must find a way to defeat the evil closing in . . . before it kills them all.

Kitty's House of Horrors

(The seventh book in the Kitty Norville series) Carrie Vaughn

To Daniel and Mike

Comrades in Arms

The Playlist

Tom Petty, “You Don’t Know How It Feels”

Vampire Weekend, “M79”

Billie Holiday, “What a Little Moonlight Will Do”

The Bangles, “Angels Don’t Fall in Love”

Too Much Joy, “Sort of Haunted House”

The Cure, “A Forest”

Gaelic Storm, “Black Is the Colour”

The Tim O’Brien Band, “Another Day”

The Dresden Dolls, “Good Day”

Sarah McLachlan, “Black”

Public Image Ltd., “The Order of Death”

Pink Floyd, “On the Turning Away”

Jeff Oster, “Tibet”

Chapter 1

I knew if I stayed in this business long enough, I’d get an offer like this sooner or later. It just didn’t quite take the form I’d been expecting.

The group of us sat in a conference room at KNOB, the radio station where I based my syndicated talk show. Someone had tried to spruce up the place, mostly by cleaning old coffee cups and takeout wrappers off the table. Not much could be done with the worn gray carpeting, off-white walls filled with bulletin boards, thumbtack holes where people hadn’t bothered with the bulletin boards, and both of those covered with photocopied concert notices and posters for CD releases. The tables were fake wood-grain-colored plastic, refugees from the 1970s. We’d replaced the chalkboard with a dry erase board only a couple of years ago. That was KNOB, on the cutting edge.

I loved the room, but it didn’t exactly scream high-powered style. Which made it all the funnier to see a couple of Hollywood guys sitting at the table in their Armani suits and metrosexual savoir faire. They seemed to be young hotshots on the way up—interchangeable. I had to remember that Joey Provost was the one with slicked-back light brown hair and the weak chin, and Ron Valenti was the one with dark brown hair who hadn’t smiled yet. They worked for a production company called SuperByte Entertainment, which specialized in reality television. I’d looked up some of their shows, such sparkling gems as Jailbird Moms and Stripper Idol.

They were here to invite me onto their next show, the concept of which they were eager to explain.

“The public is fascinated with the supernatural. The popularity of your show is clearly evidence of that. Over the last couple of years, as more information has come out, as more people who are part of this world come forward, that fascination is only going to increase. But we’re not just trying to tap into a market here—we hope to provide a platform to educate people. To erase some of the myths. Just like you do with your show,” Provost said. Provost was the talker. Valenti held the briefcase and looked serious.

“We’ve already secured the participation of Jerome Macy, the pro wrestler, and we’re in talks with a dozen other celebrities. Name celebrities. This is our biggest production yet, and we’d love for you to be a part of it.”

I’d met Jerome Macy, interviewed him on my show, even. He was a boxer who’d been kicked out of boxing when his lycanthropy was exposed and then turned to a career in pro wrestling, where being a werewolf was an asset. He was the country’s second celebrity werewolf.

I was the first.

While working as a late-night DJ here at KNOB, I started my call-in talk-radio show dispensing advice about all things supernatural, and came out as a werewolf live on the air about three years ago. Sometimes it seemed like yesterday. Sometimes it seemed like a million years had passed. A lot had happened in that time.

Arms crossed, I leaned against a wall, away from the table where the two producers sat. I studied them with a narrowed gaze and a smirk on my lips. In wolf body language, I was an alpha sizing them up. Deciding whether to beat them up because they were rivals—or eat them because they were prey. They probably had been talking to Jerome Macy, because they seemed to recognize the signals, even if they didn’t quite know what they meant. They both looked nervous and couldn’t meet my gaze, even though they tried.

This was all posturing.

“That’s great. Really,” I said. “But what is this show going to be about?”

“Well,” Provost said, leaning forward, then leaning back again when he caught sight of my stare. “We have access to a vacation lodge in Montana. Out in the middle of nowhere, a really beautiful spot, nice view of the mountains. We’ll have about a dozen, give or take, well-known spokespeople for the supernatural, and this will be a chance for them—you—to talk, interact. We’ll have interviews, roundtable discussions. It’ll be like a retreat.”

My interpretation: we’re going to put you all in a house and watch you go at it like cats and dogs. Or werewolves and vampires. Whatever.

“So… you’re not using the same model that you’ve used on some of your other shows. Like, oh, say, Cheerleader Sorority House.”

He had the grace to look a tiny bit chagrined. “Oh, no. This is nothing like that.”

I went on. “No voting people off? No

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