A gray hall monitor in wrinkled clothes walked silently in front of Jana on her way to the school counselor’s office.

Grays moved so quietly that even when you were with one you felt alone. Their hearts weren’t in anything they did. Jana opened the door to the office, expecting to be greeted by someone.

There was a wide oak desk in the middle of the room with toys arranged on it. The room smelled like furniture polish. Antique arcade machines lined the walls to either side. The green leather chair behind the desk was occupied by a half-size dummy of a clown. Its face was enameled white, with an orange red nose in the middle. Red paint outlined a pair of wide-open lips. A red wooden tongue rested inside the clown’s hinged mouth.

“Knock, knock,” Jana said. “Anybody here?”

If the clown answered, she was leaving.

Excerpt© 2011 Randy Russell

About the book:

Jana loved her boyfriend to death.

What people are saying:

“Not your usual paranormal romance. Romeo and Juliet meets Daniel Waters in folklorist Randy Russell’s wry teen debut…Wickedly clever.”–Kirkus, starred review

“Randy Russell has created the ultimate paranormal romance but has also infused a dark comedic element that sets the novel apart from others in the genre.”–Ruta Sepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray

“It’s humiliating to die in a bowling accident, especially when it means going through the afterlife in a pair of bowling shoes. Even more serious for high school junior Jana Webster is the separation from her one true love, Michael…Laughter, for Russell, is not an act of mockery or ironic distance, but rather a marker for empathy with his very human characters.”–Publisher’s Weekly

Released: June 21, 2011

About the author:

Randy Russell lives in the woods in Western North Carolina.  He writes ghosts and dead people. You can visit him at www.ghostfolk.com.


To enter Randy’s “The Dead Rules Giveaway to Support Teen Reading” for a chance to win $500 in free books of a reader’s choice and $1,500 in free books to classroom teachers and librarians–all through independent bookstores–visit www.ghostfolk.com/free.asp. The contest ends July 31, and you get a free Dead Rules button just for entering.