Kitty's House of Horrors


By Carrie Vaughn

Formats and Prices




$9.99 CAD



  1. ebook $7.99 $9.99 CAD
  2. Mass Market $8.00 $9.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 1, 2010. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

In this fast-paced monster mash-up, creatures of the night face the fight of their lives when they square off against one another on TV’s first all-supernatural reality show.

Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville is expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics when she signs on for TV’s first all-supernatural reality show. But as soon as filming starts, violence erupts, and Kitty suspects that the show is a cover for a far more nefarious plot.

When the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty realizes that 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 and The Midnight Hour

Kitty Goes to Washington

Kitty Takes a Holiday

Kitty and the Silver Bullet

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand

Kitty Raises Hell

Kitty's House of Horrors


This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

Copyright © 2010 by Carrie Vaughn, LLC

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Grand Central Publishing

Hachette Book Group

237 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Visit our website at

Grand Central Publishing is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

The Grand Central Publishing name and logo is a trademark of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

First eBook Edition: January 2010

ISBN: 978-0-446-55859-4

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 teams and stupid games? And definitely no shape-shifting on camera. Right?"

"Oh, no, the idea behind this is education. Illumination."

Ozzie, the station manager and my boss, was also at the meeting, sitting across from the two producers and acting way too obsequious. He leaned forward, eager, smiling back and forth between them and me. So, he thought this was a good idea. Matt, my sound guy, sat in the back corner and pantomimed eating popcorn, wearing a wicked grin.

I had a feeling I was being fed a line, that they were telling me what would most likely get me to agree to their show. And that they'd had a totally different story for everyone else they'd talked to.

I hadn't built my reputation on being coy and polite, so I laid it out for Mr. Provost. "Your shows aren't exactly known for… how should I put this… having any redeeming qualities whatsoever."

He must have dealt with this criticism all the time, because he had the response all lined up. "Our shows reveal a side of life that most people have no access to."

"Trainwrecks, you mean."

Valenti, who had watched quietly until now, opened his briefcase and consulted a page he drew out. "We have Tina McCannon of Paradox PI on board. Also… Jeffrey Miles, the TV psychic. I think you're familiar with them?" He met my gaze and matched my stare. One predator sizing up another. Suddenly, I was the one who wanted to look away.

"You got Tina to agree to this? And Jeffrey?"

Both of them were psychics; Tina worked with a team of paranormal investigators on prime-time TV, and Jeffrey did the channeling-dead-relatives thing on daytime talk shows. I'd had adventures with them both, and the prospect of spending two weeks in a cabin in the middle of nowhere taping a TV show was a lot more attractive if I'd be doing it with them.

"What do you think, Kitty? Do we have a deal?"

I needed to make some phone calls. "Can I get back to you on that? I need to check my schedule. Talk it over with my people." Most of my people were already in the room, but the Hollywood talk amused me.

"Of course. But don't take too long. We want to move on this quickly. Before someone else steals the idea." Provost actually winked at that, and his smile never faltered. Valenti had settled back and was regarding me coolly.

"You're not scheduling this over a full moon, are you?" I said.

"Oh, no, certainly not," Provost said, way too seriously.

"Just one more question," I said. "Have you signed on Mercedes Cook?"

Provost hesitated, as if unsure which answer would be the right one. I knew which answer was the right one: if the Broadway star/vampire/double-crossing fink was on the show, I was staying as far away as possible.

"No," he said finally. "She turned us down flat."

Wonders never ceased. But they'd asked her. And she'd said no, so that was a point in the show's favor. "Ah. Good," I said, and Provost relaxed.

We managed polite farewells and handshakes. Ozzie and I walked the two producers outside to their rented BMW. Provost continued to be gracious and flattering. Valenti stayed in the background. Sizing me up, I couldn't help but think.

After they'd driven away, we returned to the building. The summer sun beat down. It had been a beautiful day, a recent heat spell had broken, and the air felt clean. Smelled like rain.

I turned to Ozzie. "Well?"

He shrugged. "I think it's a great opportunity. But it's up to you. You're the one who's going to have to go through with it."

"I just wish I knew what kooky tricks they have up their sleeves. What are going to be the consequences if I do this?"

"What's the worst that could happen?" he said.

I hated that question. Reality always came up with so much worse than I could imagine. "I could make an idiot of myself, ruin my reputation, lose my audience, my ratings, my show, and never make a living in this business again."

"No, the worst that could happen is you'd die on film in a freak accident, and how likely is that?" Trust Ozzie to be the realist. I glared at him.

"Who knows? At best it'll draw in a whole new audience. To tell you the truth, with people like Tina and Jeffrey involved, it kind of sounds like fun."

"You know what I'm going to say," Ozzie said. "Any publicity is good publicity."

So far in my career, that had been true. I was waiting for the day when it wasn't. "Let me call Tina and Jeffrey and find out why they signed on."

*   *   *

I had Tina's cell phone number stored on speed dial—she was one of my go-to people on all things weird—and called her as soon as I got back to my office and shut the door. I expected it to roll over to voice mail but was pleasantly surprised when she answered on the second ring.

"Kitty!" she said, before hello even. Caller ID made everyone psychic, at least with phone calls.

"Hi, Tina. How are you?"

"It's so good to hear from you! Is everything okay?"

People always sounded worried when I called them. Maybe because I only ever called a lot of them when I was in trouble and needed help. I needed to set up more lunch dates or have more parties, to cure people of the idea that a call from me automatically equaled danger. Then again, that was probably a lost cause.

"Everything's fine for once, I think."

"I love how you never sound sure when you say that," Tina said cheerfully.

I sighed. "I'm afraid if I relax at all the universe will decide I need a challenge." Which brought me to the business at hand. "I've just had a visit from a couple of guys with SuperByte Entertainment."

"Oh yeah," she said. "Those guys. What a couple of freaks, huh?"

I agreed; I'd found them eerily plastic, like they'd been pressed from a mold: Hollywood sleazebag. "This show they're putting together? They said you were on board, and I wanted to ask you why you agreed to it. Do you think it's a good publicity opportunity? Did you… I don't know… get a good vibe from those guys or what?"

She paused for long enough I thought we'd lost the connection. "Tina?"

When she finally spoke, she sounded confused. "Um… I mostly signed on because they said that you'd already signed on."


"They told me you'd already agreed to do the show. I figured if you'd decided it was okay, it was a good idea, and I thought it'd be fun hanging out with you again."

"Tina—I heard about this for the first time this afternoon. I hadn't agreed to anything."

"God, they lied to me. I shouldn't be surprised." I imagined her planting her hand on her forehead.

I tried not to sound angry. "You're psychic! Can't you tell when somebody's lying?"

"I'm psychic—that doesn't mean I can read minds," she shot back. "Kitty, you met those guys. They were really convincing!"

"You didn't think to call me to talk about it first?"

"No. I mean, face it—this show totally sounds like something you'd do."

Any more arguing stalled in my throat. Because she was right. I had a few crazy publicity stunts of my own under my belt. And why did I get the feeling Jeffrey Miles would give me a similar story? Those bastards had used me. Flung my name around like so much currency. I ought to be flattered.

"That's it," I said, grumbling. "I'm not doing a show run by lying Hollywood scumbags."

"Kitty, please, you have to sign on. You can't leave me all alone with this thing. You owe me."

Crap. That was a pretty compelling argument. If I left Tina high and dry with this, I'd feel guilty about it for the rest of my life.

"Did you sign anything? Surely if you did you can get out of it."

"Well," she started, and I waited for the other shoe to drop. "Here's the thing: this really could be great publicity." That was going to be everybody's excuse for anything, wasn't it? She continued, "And the other thing is I figure this is the only way we can counter some of the real wackos they're bound to recruit for this. Right?"

"The fake psychics and emo vampires?" I said. I knew exactly what she was talking about: the kind of crap that gave people like us a bad name, that we had to spend half of our time apologizing for.

"Right," she said.

"You've got a point."

"I'm not going to tell you what to do, Kitty. But please think about backing me up on this thing."

"All right. I'll think about it."

"Thanks, Kitty. Come on, it'll be fun!"

Maybe we could make it fun. We'd be like two girls at summer camp.

We clicked off, and I dialed another number. Joey Provost had left KNOB only an hour before; he might not even have arrived at the airport yet.

He answered his phone with, "Hey, Kitty, tell me you've decided to say yes. Don't let me get on the plane without hearing yes."

I suddenly wanted to punch him. Sometimes I really hated caller ID. "Why did you lie to Tina and Jeffrey and tell them I'd already agreed to do the show?"

He hesitated only a beat. "Who told you that? Who said I told them that?"

"I called Tina! She told me!"

"Well, yes. Okay," he said, barely stumbling on the words.

"Explain," I said.

"All right. I'll level with you. We need names for a production like this, and I had to start somewhere. You were at the top of our list—you were always at the top of the list. With you on board, half our other names didn't hesitate."

"Why didn't you talk to me first? Why did you have to lie about it?" I said.

"I had to have some way of convincing you, didn't I? Once I got the others signed up, I could do that."

The trouble was, he made sense, in a weird corporate-logic way. I understood why he did it; but he wouldn't admit there was anything wrong with it.

I tamped down on my anger. "Well, now you have to convince me why I should agree to work with a scheming liar."

He took a deep breath, and the edge of desperation in his voice made him sound honest and heartfelt. "Look, Kitty, I know I shouldn't have lied, I should have been upfront. I know that, and I'm sorry. But this is my big chance. This is SuperByte's big chance. We probably look like a bunch of bottom-feeders—and I freely admit that's what we've been until now. But we're trying to rise above all that and get out of the late-night cable gutter. We have our sights set on A-list cable, maybe even network prime time. We want to go upscale, and this is our vehicle. Having you on board will help us do that."

The guy gave a good pitch, I had to give him credit for that. I had to admit, I was a tiny bit flattered—me, A-list? Really? This wasn't to say the whole thing still didn't sound as exploitative as hell.

But I was always saying I wanted the supernatural out in the open. Didn't I want to have a hand—or claw—in this? If it turned out well, yes, I did. If it didn't turn out well… maybe I just had to take that gamble.

"All right," I said.

"All right, you're in?" Provost said hopefully.

"All right I'll think about it. Seriously."

"That's all I can ask for," he said, back in Hollywood deal-making mode. "Call me if you have any more questions."

Hanging up, I felt like the decision had already been made. But there was still one person I had to talk to about it.

Home was a condo near the Cherry Creek area. I'd spent the whole drive there arranging the coming conversation in my head. Maybe it would even go a little like how I planned it.

The other person I had to talk to was Ben. My husband. We'd been married for a year. And we hadn't killed each other yet, which I was pretty proud about. Not that we would literally do that, but we were both werewolves, and we could—if we didn't depend on each other so much.

Ben was a lawyer with his own practice. He worked from home, which meant he was already in the living room watching evening news on TV when I came in, wincing and looking guilty, sure he'd suspect something was going on.

But he hardly noticed. "Good, you're home," he said. "I have some news."

He seemed positively bubbling. I blinked at him. Wow—my conversation was already derailed and it hadn't even started yet.

"So do I," I jumped in. "I need some advice, actually. I just need to talk this over with someone a little more objective than I am."

"You first," he said. "Let's get yours out of the way so we can get to the exciting part. 'Cause mine's better."

Now I was intrigued. I almost argued, but I wanted to have this talk before I chickened out. I slid next to him on the sofa.

"I've got an invitation to appear on a reality TV show—" I held up my hand to stop him because he'd already opened his mouth to argue. "They're inviting a bunch of supernatural celebrities. Remember Tina McCannon from Paradox PI? She's signed up, and so has Jeffrey Miles, and I don't know who else they've got. But it looks like they're trying to do this with a little credibility. It'll tape over two weeks in Montana. They've got this hunting lodge or something, and they say they want it to be educational. Consciousness-raising. You know?" I realized I was trying to make it sound good. I wanted him to think it was a good idea.

He sat back, brows raised, looking at me like I was a little bit crazy. I'd thought he was long past being surprised by anything I got mixed up in.

"It sounds like the setup for a horror movie to me," he said.

"God, please don't say that. I'm already anticipating nightmares over this."

"Then why are you even thinking about it?"

"Publicity," I said, and I could feel the wild gleam in my eye.

"You show-business people are weird," Ben said.

I liked to pretend I wasn't exactly part of show business. Sure, I was in the business of entertaining people, but I was on radio. On the fringe. And I was even on the fringe as far as radio was concerned. It wasn't like I was in the thick of the Hollywood madness of real show business, right? At least, not yet.

But you know? He was right. Show business was weird.

"It pays pretty well. And. Well. What I'm really worried about is being away from you for two weeks."

Ben and I were a pack. Even if we hadn't been the alpha werewolves leading the Denver pack, the two of us were a pair. A matched set. The idea that wolves mate for life isn't accurate—in the wild, wolves will find a new mate if one of their pair dies, and an alpha male will mate with several females if the pack is prosperous. But Ben and I were pretty solid, and since we'd hooked up we hadn't been apart for more than a couple of days. That was the worst part of this whole deal. I'd gotten used to having him in my life, and I didn't like the prospect of being without. Of not having my guy watching my back.

I saw some of my own thoughts reflected back at me: hesitation, uncertainty. The conflict between human and wolf.

"I don't know," he said, shrugging. "If we were a normal couple and you really needed to do this for your career, it wouldn't even be a question, would it?"

We tried to be normal. We tried not to let our wolf sides overrule us. It was a dominance thing, just like being part of a wolf pack. Every time the wolf side won an argument, we felt a little less human.

"I think I'd still miss you." I leaned my head on his shoulder.

"Thanks." He kissed the top of my head, and I could have stopped talking about anything and just cuddled for the next hour or so. "But you still want to know if I think it's a good idea or a bad idea."


"It sounds… interesting."

"That is such a loaded word," I said.

"And you said Tina's agreed to it? She's cool."

"Yeah, and Jeffrey Miles—you remember him, from the hearings in D.C.? He's cool, too."

He pulled back just enough to look at me. "Do you know what I think? I think it'll be good for you to get away for a little while. Since I came along and you took over the pack, you haven't had a chance to do your own thing. You should go. Think of it as a vacation."

I hadn't looked at it that way. "Most men would get suspicious if their wives wanted to go on vacation alone for a couple of weeks. Come to think of it, most women would get suspicious if their husbands suggested they go on vacation alone."

"Honey, I can't hide anything from you. You'd smell it on me."

"Hmm, true." I turned my face to his neck and took in his scent, distinctively his, soap and sweat, spice and wolf.

He kissed me—a quick peck on my forehead. "I still have my news."

"Is it really better than mine?"

He picked up a letter from the coffee table, marked with some kind of state government seal at the top. Ben was a lawyer; he had dozens of official-looking papers fanned out on the table.

Then he said, "Cormac has a parole hearing."

chapter 2

Moving on to the next call, now. Hello, Audra," I said into the mike.

"Hi, Kitty, yeah, so I'm like a really big fan. I love your show, really."

"Great, thanks very much."

"So, like, I totally need your help. I have this friend who thinks she's a werewolf. But she's totally not. I even went out with her on the last full moon. And I'm like pointing at the sky, pointing at the moon, going, 'Look, you haven't turned into a wolf—you're not a werewolf!' And she's all like, 'But I am on the inside. I have the soul of a wolf.'"

These potpourri shows were great for when I didn't have anything else planned. Just let people call in with all the problems that have been brewing over the last few weeks. Great—in theory. But it meant I couldn't complain about what calls I did get.

I had so much going on in my personal life right now I had a hard time focusing on the call. Cormac's parole hearing was scheduled at the same time I was supposed to be in Montana taping what SuperByte Entertainment was now calling Supernatural Insider. I wouldn't be here to give him or Ben moral support. That pissed me off. But I was also so darned excited over the prospect of Cormac getting out of prison. Apparently, he'd been a good boy, and that shaved enough time off that now, with almost half of his four-year sentence completed, he was eligible for parole, and Ben said it was all but a done deal. Cormac had friends and family in the area, a place to live, and a plan to look for a job. By all appearances he was completely reformed and repentant. At least, he'd convinced the prison psychologist of it. And what I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall during those sessions…

So in as little as a month from now, he could be out. A free man. I was excited—and more than a little anxious.


On Sale
Jan 1, 2010
Page Count
304 pages

Carrie Vaughn

About the Author

Carrie Vaughn had the nomadic childhood of the typical Air Force brat, with stops in California, Florida, North Dakota, Maryland, and Colorado. She holds a Masters in English Literature and collects hobbies; fencing and sewing are currently high on the list. She lives in Boulder, Colorado. Her website is

Learn more about this author