Howl at the Moon by L.A Starkey – Excerpt

Howl at the Moon by L.A Starkey

Pages: 175

Published: February 23rd, 2014 by Patchwork Press


Eighth graders, Ben, Jake and Leah need cash, and mowing lawns in the winter just isn’t cutting it. Their need for cash births the Liarus (Liars R Us) Detective Agency! Their first client is Old Lady Smitz, who is said to have murdered her three sons and husband. She’s missing a family heirloom, but it’s not just any old trinket, it’s the crest of Lykoi. There are only two rules: No girls are allowed and never seal a deal with the witch doctor. Disregarding danger, these three discover that money is usually more trouble than it’s worth!


Cracking open the window, I helped pull Jake in as quietly as possible. He had used the rose trellis that wound up the side of the house to get to my second floor window. The vine was dead to the world this time of year. Those brittle, thorny stems had to hurt like heck, but of course Jake, ‘the man,’ didn’t complain.

“What’re you doing here, you idiot? You could’ve killed yourself out there.” I quickly shut the window, looking over my shoulder and shivering as the night air attacked.

“Shhhh. God, you’re loud, just like your sister. Speaking of, where is she?” Jake peered out into the hallway and started laughing under his breath as he caught my expression.

I walked over and punched him in the arm and narrowed my eyes at him. Ever since we’d gotten into eighth grade and my sister, Elizabeth, had started ninth, Jake asked about her—a lot. Way more than normal, like enough to cause my gag reflex to hang out in anticipation of usage.

“Shut up, Jake. Answer my question. What are you doing here? You’re going to get us both in trouble.” I sat down on my bed, still staring at him as sleep called to me.

“So, am I supposed to shut up or answer your question?”

He barely caught the football I lobbed at his stomach, causing him to bend over at the waist as the air escaped his lungs in a quick puff of surprise.

“Answer the question, dog breath,” I said, laughing at the look of challenge on his face.

“Just because we’ve been friends since second grade and I take up for your skinny butt every day doesn’t mean you can boss me around.” Jake’s face broke out into a wide grin. The guy had always been way too much of a jokester to pull off tough or serious, at least with me. With the other kids at school he was Mr. Popular Jock, but with me he was just Jake.

“Thanks for the history lesson on our friendship. Now answer my question or get out. I was already asleep.”

He repeated my words back to me in a high pitched, witch-like voice. I shook my head and crawled back into bed, then covered up and whispered forcefully over my shoulder, “Get out!”

I felt the impact of the football in the middle of my back about the time he started to explain himself. “Come on, Ben, sit up, dude. This is important.”

I sat up angrily, threw off the covers again and moved to the edge of the bed with a growl in my throat. “You seriously have ten minutes to spit it out. You know I can’t go without sleep, and it’s two in the morning. Hurry up already.”

“Okay, okay.” He sat down beside me. “I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking about how you and I talked about starting our own lawn business to make a quick buck.”

My brow squished in confusion. “Really? At two o’clock in the morning we’re talking about starting a business? You do realize that we’re only fourteen, right? You have your looks to get you out of trouble, but I need sleep to get good grades!”

“Calm down and put your teeth back in your mouth. I think I have a better idea than us trying to make money by cutting grass in the winter.”

“Get on with it.”

Author L.A. Starkey:

L.A. Starkey is the author of the upcoming Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series. 

She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can’t help but indulge in. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn’t seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.

She writes under the following pen names:

Kate Thomas – NA/Adult Paranormal

Isabella James – Sci-fi/Fantasy

Lauren Elizabeth – Adult Contemporary Romance

Author Links:

This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.


  1. Hi Kathy!

    Thank you so much for hosting today! Love your blog. The header is super cute.

    Good Tales Book Tours

  2. ejstevensauthor says:

    This looks like such a fun read!

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