Showing posts with label Teaser. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teaser. Show all posts

Teaser Biker B*tch by Andie J. Christopher w/ #Giveaway

Friday, July 21, 2017

Skylar Clarke has sworn off bikers. But Abner Travis, leader of the local motorcycle club, is the one thing she can’t resist.

Title: Biker B*tch
Author: Andie J. Christopher
Series: Heaven’s Sinners #1
Genre: Contemporary MC Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: July 11, 207
Blurb/Synopsis

 Skyler Clark knows she'll have to face her past when returns to the Russian River Valley to make pinot noir. People in the small town where she grew up haven't forgotten her father – a country doctor turned outlaw motorcycle club president – and his fall from grace. But as long as she keeps her own business squeaky clean and stays away from bikers, she'll be fine.

Abner Travis sold his family's vineyard and winery to build up his business. And he's the president of a clean motorcycle club that does things the overburdened sheriff's department can't. He's too busy making sculptures for Hollywood directors and quietly sabotaging meth labs to chase a woman. But now that Skyler's all grown up, he wants her for his own. He just has to convince her that their dark, shared history shouldn't get in the way.

Travis is the one thing Skyler can't resist, but she doesn’t believe they can last. When her father's old club puts Skyler's business and safety at risk, she has to decide whether to place her trust in Travis or to walk away. And Travis has to decide how much he'll give up to keep the woman he loves.

***Warning: Contains a dead sexy biker who will pull on your pigtails, but only if you beg.***

Spotlight Sra'Kalor by Jessica Werner

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
**TAG LINE**
In a world foreign to you, who can you trust? 

Title: Sra'kalor
Author: Jessica Werner
Series: Ashwood Falls (Part 1)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Mar 20 2015
Editions/Formats: eBook
Blurb/Synopsis:

Feared by the citizens of her birth town and her family, Alana spends her 18th birthday in a way she did not expect: put on a bus to a town called Ashwood Falls, after being told by her parents to never return. Soon after arrival, she learns that she has something in common with the denizens of her new home: Magic. Unable to control her powers, she seeks help in The Circle, a group formed by magic users. She begins her journey in a strange world unknown to her, completely unaware of the dangers.

Leandrus, a powerful demon, had been summoned before. But this time it was different. His powers, and the summoner, were nowhere to be found. The demon makes his way into the foreign town on his own. The problem? The soul of his human host had not been banished and keeps making his life difficult. As if that was not enough, he can sense that his 'One' is near. As he finds Alana - sweet, innocent and inexperienced - he cannot believe that an old prophecy has chosen her to destroy him. To avoid his own destruction, he has to eliminate her first.

Will he be able to ignore his heart and kill Alana? Or will he rather kill the danger threatening her, before it is too late? And how will Alana handle the vast changes to her life? Will she learn to control her powers or will she endanger everyone?


Cover Reveal & Teaser Octavian's Undoing by Airicka Phoenix

Friday, April 12, 2013
Title: Octavian’s Undoing 
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Series: Sons of Judgment Series
Publisher: Airicka Phoenix
Release Date: May 2013
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Warnings: Sexual Content, Language
Formats: eBook & Paperback
Octavian Maximus has already given up his life once for a love that left him empty. He isn’t about to give up his afterlife for a green-eyed, red-haired spitfire with no sense of self-preservation and a smile that could melt even his icy heart, especially since he’s so close to being given a second chance at living again. For a Son of Judgment, being offered life is the reason they were so willing to murder without remorse. Octavian is one of the best. He’s never failed to take out a Mark, until the night one got away and he let it, unsuspecting of the consequences of his mistake. When the Mark tracks him, hell bent on revenge, Octavian is ready for it. What he isn’t prepared for is Ryleigh jumping in to protect him or her death because of it.
Ryleigh Masters has her own problems. Her father was laid off… again, bills are piling up and the rent is due. When she’s given the waitressing job at Final Judgment, it’s a dream come true, until she meets the owner’s son. Octavian makes it no secret that he wants her gone, but Ryleigh has already signed the contract and she needs this job. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep it, even put up with the unreturned feelings Octavian provokes in her. The night he’s attacked, the last thing she expected to happen was to die and wake up with Octavian’s knife at her throat and her life irrevocably changed.


“ I'll pay it.” 
He crossed his arms again, a gesture she was quickly beginning to understand as annoyance. “You can have it to me by tomorrow. I take cash only.”
The blistering surge of heat that lurched up her neck to flood her face also brought a flutter of dread cinching in her chest. “I don't have it,” she whispered, hating herself for admitting such a thing. “But I will!” 
“And how do you suppose you're going to come up with that much in twenty-four hours?”
“By offering you… me.”
She didn't know how it happened, how he vanished from the other side of the desk and magically appeared before her. She couldn't fathom how his fingers found and wove themselves into her hair, twisting the copper curls until she was trapped between his hard body and the equally solid door. His angular face loomed dangerously close, bathing her tingling cheeks with the heat of his breath and the scent of mint. Eyes colder and harder than ice chips, yet dark and bottomless as the bottom of a well bore into hers, freezing her in their consuming depths. 
“Do you think one night in my bed will settle the debt?” he half-asked, half-growled. “Are you really so talented, Ms. Masters?”



Airicka Phoenix is the author of the Best-Selling Touch Saga and Games of Fire, with short stories in Whispered Beginnings: A Clever Fiction Anthology and Midnight Surrender Anthology. When she's not hammering away at the keyboard, she can be found banishing pirates or crawling through the attic looking for lost treasure with her kids. She loves baking, gardening and reading. She also likes to travel and take pictures of everything she comes across. When asked, Airicka describes herself as a sarcastic basket case that has an unhealthy addiction to chocolate, old movies and really bad jokes. She loves to laugh, make friends and write. If she could have one wish granted, it would be to spend one day as a fly-on-the-wall inside Stephen King's mind. If she could have two wishes granted, she would ask for a castle dedicated entirely to her overwhelming collection of books.

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Cover Reveal & Teaser Werewolves Be Damned by Stacey Kennedy

Title: Werewolves  Be Damned
Author: Stacey Kennedy 
Series:  Magic and Mayhem (#1)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing 
Release Date: April 15 2013
Nexi Jones—part witch, part guardian, and wannabe kick-ass warrior—can’t throw a punch or conjure the simplest magic. But that doesn’t stop her from hunting the werewolves who slaughtered her human family. She’ll have her revenge, but only if Kyden, the elite guardian, would get the hell out of her way.
Kyden can’t decide if Nexi wants to get herself killed or if she just has no clue what she’s doing. But her father made it clear: keep Nexi safe…or else. Of course, the more Nexi runs toward revenge, the more she needs Kyden’s aid, and as she grows into her power and confidence, so does his desire to protect her. The only problem? She’d rather he dropped dead.
But when a vampire paints a bull's-eye on Nexi’s back, she’s hard-pressed to deny Kyden and the help he’s offering. Even if it means getting her revenge will be a little bit harder. At least it will still be as sweet."



I’ve found you, fur ball.
Nexi peered from behind the large oak tree and spotted the small log cabin nestled in the thick forest. The porch light cast a warm glow into the night. Fog settled over the lush grass, and the night was dark, eerie. 
Stepping away from her hiding place behind the tree, she strode forward and gripped the dagger tightly in her hand. Keeping the silver blade pointed outward, she climbed the cabin’s porch steps, taking each one slowly to avoid detection. 
Once she arrived at the front door, she wrapped her hand around the door handle. Rich hunger for revenge burned in her veins and made her intent on one thing: to slaughter the werewolf who escaped the night of her parents’ murder. Not caring what awaited her, she stormed inside, dagger pointed, ready to kill. 
The simple cabin had two large brown couches near a wood-burning stove, a kitchenette behind the living room, and a quilt-covered bed resting in the back. And that was it; there were no other rooms to investigate. No secret hiding places she could see. 
No damned werewolf. 
She cursed, shut the front door behind her, then trotted down the steps to return to her hiding spot. On her way across the yard, she glanced at the space to the right of the tree, which looked much like a heat wave, indicating that the portal to the Otherworld remained. 
In some places around the world—or the Earthworld, as supernaturals had called it—there were permanent portals to the supernatural realm. This portal had only appeared because Nexi had travelled to this cabin from the Otherworld. Once she passed through the portal again, the gateway would vanish.
Magic had its perks. Quick travel was one of them.
Nexi shook her head at how normal all this magical stuff seemed now. Just over a month ago she’d never believed in anything that went bump in the night. Now she knew all those things existed, and in fact, she was one of them. 
To her horror, she had learned that her birth mother, Tillie, had been murdered by a power-hungry vampire, Lazarus.  All those years ago, her birth father, Drake, had protectively decided to block Nexi’s supernatural abilities. He had planned for her to live and die as a mortal. Now with her return to the Otherworld and the removal of the block on her true identity, there was no going back. 
She was no longer plain, human, Nexi Jones.
She was Nexi Jones, part guardian, part witch.
Looking away from the portal and to her hiding spot until the werewolf returned, she hurried her steps. She wasn’t ready to return to the Otherworld yet. Not until she had the werewolf’s head as her wall ornament would she dare go home. 
Just as she neared the tree, a woodsy scent that had nothing to do with the forest mixed with the citrusy aroma of aftershave. A blink of an eye later, the dagger she held was now at her throat, a hard body closed in on her back.
“You smelled lovely when you arrived.” The low voice by her ear held a faint English accent. “But I never imagined you’d be so pretty.” 
The blade pressed into her skin, not drawing blood, but implying that if the werewolf chose, she’d be destined for the grave. “I’m…”
“Going to explain yourself.” He lowered the dagger, took hold of her arm, and jerked her forward. 
In a few short strides, the werewolf tossed her through the threshold of the cabin, and slammed the door behind them. He sauntered to the couch, sat down, and regarded her. “Now then, darlin’.” His olive skin was stunningly flawless, and his chocolate-colored hair was spiked tall. “Why would a pretty lass like yourself plan to attack me?” 
“Don’t move.” That charm wouldn’t fool her. “Stay right where you are.”
“My mouth is the only thing moving.” His slanted amber eyes raked over her. “Would you like me to stop talking?”
“No.” She hesitated then added, “Only your mouth can move. Nothing else. Tell me what you know.”
He gave her a long look. “I’d be glad to tell you anything you’d like, love.” 
His kind face and soft voice wouldn’t trick her. He was a werewolf. She was certain, which was another oddity.
After the block on her supernatural abilities had been lifted, she could identify a supernatural creature as if knowing the difference between a brunette and a redhead. “Tell me why you killed my family.”
“That’s an interesting accusation.” He cocked his head, studying her with a frown. “But I think the more important question is who are you?”
She lifted her chin. “The lass who’s going to cut off your furry wolf balls.”



Stacey KennedyI love paranormal romance/urban fantasy and erotic romance, and love a series more. Nothing can hook me in more than an adventure and one that keeps on going. I love a page turner, one that keeps me up late into the night and makes my eyes burn because I can’t stop reading. Witty characters, dominant men, danger, action, romance and hot sex―oh my! My urban fantasy romance novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll find fast paced action, emotions we can all relate to, life threatening moments and a big bad villain that needs to be destroyed. My erotic romance novels are just that…erotic. There is nothing better than taking the dominant men I love and watching them do wicked things to their women. I make the stories as hot as I possibly can and usually the characters take it a step further to even make my cheeks blush. But I just can’t write without a little humor added into the mix so that’s always a must have in my stories. And of course what’s a story without a big dose of emotional characters, too.
I’m a multi-published author and am represented by Lauren Ruth of BookEnds, who is my strengthen in this crazy world of publishing. I’ve written quite a ebooks, and starting in 2013 I will be published in mass-market paperback, which is exciting times.
My journey as a writer all began as a way to keep my brain alive since being a stay at home mom can be a little let’s say―numbing. It was an escape from screaming kids, dirty diapers and plain old mom duty.  It started as a hobby, but as the stories progressed it became a passion, especially when it comes down to the juicy bits. Every mom needs a good thrill! Now with my kiddos in school, I have more time to indulge and get lost in another world for a little while.
I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband who gave me my happily ever after. We have two small children who keep me on my toes and can always make me smile. But we also have basically a zoo at our house with one dog, three cats and two guinea pigs. I love the outdoors, curling up with the latest flick and simply enjoying life.
If I’m not plugging away at a new story—which isn’t often since my muse is annoying and keeps me busy—I’ve got my nose buried deep in a good book! I’m always on the lookout for new authors to love.
So there it is―my life!


Places to find Stacey

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Release Day Blitz Games of Fire by Airicka Phoenix

Thursday, February 14, 2013
Title: Games of Fire
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Action, Suspense, Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: February 14 2013




Sophie has enough problems in her life without Spencer turning her blood to fire, without his eyes freezing and burning her, without his hatred of her. Since his migration into the house next to hers, Sophia Valdez isn’t sure whether she wants to toss him under a bus or kiss that smirking mouth of his. But even as the temperature rises around them, leaping flames of passion, want and desire,
everything either has ever known will be
shattered by the lurking shadow hounding their every step, wanting revenge.

Spencer Rowth moves to the sleepy town of River Port with his mother and twelve year old sister, Suzy, to escape a deceitful father, an unfaithful girlfriend and a life crumbling much too fast for him to grapple onto only to be smacked upside the head by the last thing he wanted again. Sophie was everything he refused to want. Her temper, her wit, her laugh, her smile, the way her entire body goes up in flames under his hands are things he would rather slam a lid on and forget. Instead, he finds himself falling for the smart-mouth next door. But how long will he have before the evil chasing them catches up? How long before the very thing he never wanted becomes his only thread to sanity? And who is after them? What do they want and why do they want Spencer and Sophie dead?

Cover Reveal Games of Fire by Airicka Phoenix

Saturday, January 5, 2013
Title: Games of Fire
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Action, Suspense, Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: February 14 2013




Sophie has enough problems in her life without Spencer turning her blood to fire, without his eyes freezing and burning her, without his hatred of her. Since his migration into the house next to hers, Sophia Valdez isn’t sure whether she wants to toss him under a bus or kiss that smirking mouth of his. But even as the temperature rises around them, leaping flames of passion, want and desire,
everything either has ever known will be
shattered by the lurking shadow hounding their every step, wanting revenge.

Spencer Rowth moves to the sleepy town of River Port with his mother and twelve year old sister, Suzy, to escape a deceitful father, an unfaithful girlfriend and a life crumbling much too fast for him to grapple onto only to be smacked upside the head by the last thing he wanted again. Sophie was everything he refused to want. Her temper, her wit, her laugh, her smile, the way her entire body goes up in flames under his hands are things he would rather slam a lid on and forget. Instead, he finds himself falling for the smart-mouth next door. But how long will he have before the evil chasing them catches up? How long before the very thing he never wanted becomes his only thread to sanity? And who is after them? What do they want and why do they want Spencer and Sophie dead?

Release Day Blitz Allusive Aftershock by Susan Griscom

Sunday, December 23, 2012
Title: Allusive Aftershock
Author: Susan Griscom
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Published by Amber Glow Books
Release date: December 23, 2012



What happens when a major earthquake changes life as you know it and the boy you thought you hated ends up saving you? Three times!

Courtland Reese is the guy everyone hates and makes fun of because … well, he is weird. He communicates with animals. Strange or interesting, seventeen-year-old Adela Castielle can’t quite figure out, but when he saves her from being trampled by her own horse, she begins to understand him a little better and wants to learn more about him.

But, Max--her best friend/dream guy/someday-to-be-her-husband-only-he-doesn’t-know-it-yet--hates Courtland with a passion. Adela wants to know why, except neither boy is talking.

When Max leaves her stranded in his parents' wine cave with his worst enemy, Courtland, after what the experts are calling a “megathrust” earthquake, Adela starts to question her loyalty to Max as steamy kisses in a dark damp cellar only fuel her emotions with more conflict.

But does she really have time to worry about that when fire, destruction and mayhem surround her?

An explosion burst through the air and I almost jumped out of my skin. I turned toward the noise and stared in horror at the sight of the Arco gas station completely engulfed in flames. The fire immediately spread into a clump of trees between the station and the half-demolished grocery store about six feet from where Max stood.
“Max!” I screamed and leaped up forgetting about the clenching in my stomach.
Max hurried back and grabbed my hand again. We ran, hopping over broken brick, concrete, glass, and wood from collapsed buildings, swerving between and around abandoned cars stopped or smashed along the road. Max never let go of my hand. Trees and buildings consumed in flames glowered around us, the heat almost too much to bear. The scent of gas permeated the air along with the muck of smoke and debris. Water spewed up from a broken fire hydrant, knocked on its side by the delivery truck now perched on top of it and I gasped at the sight of a bloodied man’s head hanging out the window.
I wanted to be home more than anything now. Did we even have a home? Were my mom and dad okay? The twins? What about Big Blue? I fought back tears, trying to convince myself they were all fine and probably wondering where I was. I squeezed my eyes shut to picture my mom pacing the living room, worrying and telling my dad they needed to find me.
All of a sudden, we stopped running. I glanced up to see why and gaped with horror at the road in front of us. The broken asphalt had buckled into a pile about twelve feet high, obstructing our way. The crumbled debris from the buildings on both sides blocked the entire area. With the newly formed abyss in front of us and the out-of-control inferno behind us closing in fast, we were trapped.

Places to find Susan

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Release Day Blitz Touching Eternity by Airicka Phoenix

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Title: Touching Eternity
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Series: Touch (# 1.5)
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Dec 20 2012




What would you choose?
She had everything but freedom.
He had nothing but his loyalty, his wits and his training.
She was a prisoner, a disease, not fit for the world, and she didn't know why. But she did know she wasn't allowed to die, she wasn't allowed to live and she wasn’t sane.
He was a soldier, a protector, but his foundation will be tested when he must destroy the only light in his dark world.
Thrown together, prisoner and keeper, their rebellion will splinter through time, changing the course of history and the fate of the world. Their love will challenge their greatest enemy and immortalize them forever.
Loyalty. Freedom. Love.
What would you risk?
"Let me die."
Pain darkened his eyes. "Never."


“Promise me!” He shook her again.
“Isaiah—”
“Promise!” he hissed.
She shook her head. “Not until you promise to not let anything happen to you.”
“I promise to try. It’s the best I can do!” he said when she started to shake her head again. “I can’t see the future, but I do know that I will fight until the day I die to love you and keep you safe. I will never give up.”







Airicka Phoenix is the author of TOUCHING SMOKE (Touch Book #1)TOUCHING ETERNITY (Touch 1.5), TORRID, a short story as part of the Whispered Beginnings: A Clever Fiction Anthology and WANTING & INTENTIONS, two stories as part of the Midnight Surrender Anthology. When she's not hammering away at the keyboard, she can be found banishing pirates or crawling through the attic looking for lost treasure with her kids. She loves baking, gardening and reading. She also likes to travel and take pictures of everything she comes across. When asked, Airicka describes herself as a sarcastic basket case that has an unhealthy addiction to chocolate, old movies and really bad jokes. She loves to laugh, make friends and write. If she could have one wish granted, it would be to spend one day as a fly-on-the-wall inside Stephen King's mind. If she could have two wishes granted, she would ask for a castle dedicated entirely to her overwhelming collection of books.


Places to find Airicka

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Cover Reveal Beg For It By Stacey Kennedy

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Beg For It
Title: Beg For It
Series: Pact of Seduction (#2)
Publisher: Loose ID
Release Date: May 29 2012
bdsm-150x146 Erotica





Goodreads SynopsisThe Pact of Seduction has one rule—fulfill your ultimate fantasy. Bella’s problem, she can’t live up to her vow. But her failure spins events that lead her into unknown territory. Kole, a Dom at the sex club Castle Dolce Vita, wasn’t part of her fantasy, but he’s about to show her he should have been.Kole is more than willing to introduce Bella to BDSM since he’s held an interest in her for some time. But the feisty woman isn’t easily tamed and her strong personality proves to be difficult. While she might be determined to keep him at a distance, Kole has other ideas. He won’t allow her to shut him out.A pact between best friends brought them together, emotional barriers tear them apart. Kole skillfully reminds Bella through pleasure and punishment that she is now his submissive, and her place is under his command.Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and elements, including spanking.

If you enjoy reading Stacey’s writing as much as I do they make sure to add this one to your TBR Pile. It is available today.


Demonically Tempted by Stacey Kennedy Spotlight & Giveaway

Friday, April 27, 2012
DemonicallyTempted1-632x1024

Title: Demonically Tempted
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Series: Frostbite (#2)
Series:Urban Fantasy Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Sensual


Goodreads Synopsis

Tess Jennings, now a member of the Memphis Police Department, is on her first cold case. The suspected suicide of Lizbeth Knapp ten years ago isn’t a theory her family accepts—they believe she was murdered.
But the case is only one of Tess’s worries. Ghosts are talking, and word of her abilities rapidly spreads. A dark ghost is terrifying the spirits of Memphis, and she must force the entity to cross over.
Tess doesn’t have to do this alone. Not only does she have her ghost-lover, Kipp McGowen, but the department has brought in a medium. Dane Wolfe might answer all her questions, but he also brings a world of trouble. Will Tess finally have all she’s ever wanted, or will everything she’s vowed to protect be ripped away?



Teaser Demonically Tempted by Stacey Kennedy

Thursday, March 29, 2012
DemonicallyTempted1-632x1024
Title: Demonically Tempted 
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Series: Frostbite ( Book 2 )
Release Date: April
Genre:Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

    Goodreads Synopsis
Tess Jennings, now a member of the Memphis Police Department, is on her first cold case. The suspected suicide of Lizbeth Knapp ten years ago isn’t a theory her family accepts—they believe she was murdered.But the case is only one of Tess’s worries. Ghosts are talking, and word of her abilities rapidly spreads. A dark ghost is terrifying the spirits of Memphis, and she must force the entity to crossover.
Tess doesn’t have to do this alone. Not only does she have her ghost-lover, Kipp McGowen, but the department has brought in a medium. Dane Wolfe might answer all her questions, but he also brings a world of trouble. Will Tess finally have all she’s ever wanted, or will everything she’s vowed to protect be ripped away?




Copyright © STACEY KENNEDY, 2012
Chapter One
The old farmhouse had seen better days. Not only could it use a coat of paint, but it also needed a dose of love. Dry, brown grass surrounded the home, and the only flowers topped four-foot high weeds. I glanced toward Zach—a cop with the Memphis P.D.—and crinkled my nose. “Someone actually lives here?”
His blue eyes met mine and he ran a hand through his blond, stylish hair and shrugged. “Max said the victim’s sister still resides in the home where the death happened.”
As he lowered his arm, he cringed. The injury still hindered him at times since we solved the cold case of Hannah Reid, especially when the weather was damp like it was today. Heck, only weeks ago he’d been stabbed and shot in the shoulder.
The man who caused Zach’s injury got it worse—by my very hand, no less—but I was glad Hannah’s murderer hadn’t come back to haunt me.
I might have suffered some serious remorse. That is, if I didn’t believe God wouldn’t punish me because I killed a murderer. Brody would’ve done the same to me if I hadn’t gotten to him first. I tried my best to stick with that theory. It saved me from the lingering guilt I might—and would never admit to—have for taking a life.
Sure, there was an internal investigation through the police department, and I had been questioned until my voice went scratchy. But in the end, the shooting had been declared self-defense, and I was perfectly happy with that. Or so I told myself every day until I finally believed it.
Besides, the cops that I now worked alongside had my back throughout the investigation, and nothing would change that. We’d grown close through the time spent during the Reid case, and even closer in the weeks that followed.
“I’m going to see if Lizbeth is out here somewhere,” Kipp—a ghost, and my lover—said, dragging me from my thoughts.
Yes, our relationship was complicated and it’s insanely sick that I’m in love with a ghost, but I wasn’t about to fight my heart’s desire. “If you find her, then come tell us, immediately. The less time I have to spend in that house, the better.” Scummy houses and me didn’t mesh well. I like cleanliness and hate spiders.
“He’s going off on his own then?” Zach asked.
As of late, Zach had caught on to our conversations better. Seeing that I was the only lucky one—or not so lucky as I viewed it—who could hear ghosts’ communication was annoying, at best.
Maybe I gave more descriptions in my answers than I normally did, or maybe he’d gotten used to having to fill in the blanks. Whatever it was, I appreciated the ease of our conversations now. The back and forth got on my last nerve.
As Kipp strode away, I stared at his scrumptious ass filling his dark blue jeans. The man might be a ghost, but he was sex packaged into muscular goodness. One of his eyes was chocolate brown, while the other was crystal blue, and he had untidy brown hair that no matter how messy only made him look more attractive. And he was all mine.
I blinked, pulling myself away from my ogling, and focused on Zach. “Ready?” I frowned.
His gaze danced with laughter, yet a smile never appeared. “For someone who accepted a job with the department, you would think you’d hold more excitement.”
I snorted. “Just because I can officially call myself part of the police department—which is absurd, by the way—doesn’t mean I still don’t have hesitations.”
My gift took a while to adjust to but I knew when to see reason. Helping ghosts that had met a horrible fate wasn’t a bad job. That is, as long as I didn’t run into any more crazy-ass killers who wanted to make me a ghost, too.
Zach approached the house, and I trailed after him, not showing half the confidence he carried in his gait. I climbed the old steps, slightly worried the wood would break under my weight, but seeing Zach went first and the man was all power, the wooden planks could support my slender frame.
He knocked on the door. And a moment later, it opened to a woman who matched the house. She looked to be in her fifties, but the dark circles under her eyes and the hunch to her shoulders made her look well worn.
“Ms. Knapp?” Zach asked.
“Yes.” Her voice dripped with despair. “Are you the detectives?”
Zach nodded. “Is it still all right if we come in?”
She inclined her head, widened the door, and moved aside. “Please call me Anna.”
“Thank you, Anna.” Zach entered the home. “We appreciate you taking the time to discuss Lizbeth with us.”
I hesitantly followed and tried my damndest not to let my repulsion in the house show. Not an easy feat.
“Please, will you have a seat?” She waved out to a couch that I wouldn’t sit on even if it had a layer of plastic over top of it.
I held back my desire to gag, and twirled my finger in my brown, shag-cut hair. “I’m okay here, thanks.”
Zach furrowed his brows at me before he took a seat and shed all emotion as he focused on Anna. “We’re aware that this will be difficult for you to discuss, but we need you to remember anything you can from when Lizbeth died.”
“I’m not sure I can tell you anything that…” She peeked up at the ceiling. I followed her gaze seeing dark brown stains, and restrained my shudder. She finally returned her attention to Zach. “…Max, was that who I spoke with?”
“That’s right. He’s the sergeant,” Zach replied. “He told us the necessary information, but I’ve learned it’s always best to hear it directly for myself.”
In all actuality, I hadn’t heard all the details except that I was officially on my first cold-case file.
“Well,” Anna paused, glancing at her fingers as she fiddled them. “It started a year before Lizbeth’s death. She began to act differently.”
Zach pulled his pad of paper and pen from his pocket, and flipped the notebook open. “Can you explain that in more detail?”
I clasped my hands in front of me. Just because I was now part of team didn’t mean I would start acting like a cop in any official capacity. Let’s be serious now. I wasn’t really a detective.
Anna continued, “She’d talk to me about an evil presence around her.”
“Evil?” I gasped.
“I know how funny it sounds.” She blushed. “At the time, it did to me, too. But looking back, Lizbeth just didn’t seem like herself, and maybe I should’ve listened to her.” Her sigh was deep, and filled with longing. “She used to be a very happy young woman. Full of life and spirit, but all of a sudden she seemed so dark.”
I gave my head a shake, trying to make sense out of her nonsense. “Dark how?”
“Depressed.” Anna exhaled. “She never came out of her room, and totally withdrew from life.”
“She was suicidal, then?” Zack asked with a gentle tone.
“I suppose you’d draw that conclusion from what I’m telling you now, but the truth is I never took her to be the type.” She gave a knowing look. “Like I said, she was well adjusted and quite happy.”
“But you just said she was depressed,” I countered.
“Yes, I did, but still, Lizbeth was a fighter. She used to tell me that this evil presence was overtaking her soul, and she tried so hard to fight against it.”
Zach made a face. I made one of my own. We were speaking English, yet gibberish would have made more sense. Seeing that we were getting nowhere, and I suspected Anna had lost her mind a long time ago, I moved along. “Did her condition get worse?”
“It got so bad, my parents had no idea what to do,” she answered. “You have to remember it was a different time. The medications for depression that exist today didn’t back then.” Tears welled in her eyes, but they cleared just as quick. “My parents took her to a doctor, even admitted her into a hospital, but my mother couldn’t manage to leave her there. She thought love would bring Lizbeth out of her trouble.”
“Clearly, it didn’t.”
Anna’s features darkened. “That’s right, it only got worse. Lizbeth started to hurt herself.”
Zach’s eyebrows rose. “You mean, caused injuries to herself?”
“No one ever knew—and Lizbeth never said—how she did it. But she had lacerations all over her back.”
Zach scribbled notes, and then peered at Anna. “Did Lizbeth ever say anything to you about the wounds?”
Those tears now weren’t so easily pushed away. “She was adamant she had never caused them.”
One conclusion came to my mind. “No one believed her, did they?”
“Who else would have done it?” Anna retorted. “At that point, Lizbeth hadn’t left the house in over six months.”
Zach stared at Anna, his gaze probing. I inhaled deeply, understanding the frustration. The dust in the room settled into my nostrils. I rubbed at the tickling in my nose, and considered what she had told us.
It seemed to me Lizbeth had clearly been suicidal. I’d watched television shows were people cut themselves. Maybe this was all that was going on here. Case closed.
Zach scribbled a few more lines of notes then scrutinized Anna. “How did Lizbeth act in the days before she died?”
“Strange.” Anna wiped the tears from her face. “She always had this dark cloud over her, but in the week before her death it became much worse. She’d stopped eating and we had to force liquids down her throat.” Her chin quivered, more tears spilling. “But it was in her eyes where I saw her demise.”
“What did you see?” I whispered, not totally sure I wanted to hear her answer.
“She was already dead.”
Zach coughed. “Pardon?”
“Lizbeth was no longer in her body.” Anna shook her head, sending more tears rushing down her cheeks. “I know that is hard to believe, but that’s the only way I can describe it. She had already left.”
“Where did she go?” I urged.
Anna lowered her head and sighed. “I have no idea. All I know is she wasgone.”
My assumptions that Anna was off her rocker deepened. One question would solidify if I believed she held any sanity at all. “Why do you stay here…in thishouse?”
Anna lifted her gaze, and her eyes swam in sadness. “I’m afraid that Lizbeth is still here, and if I leave she’ll be all alone. I don’t have the money to fix up the house. Since her death—times have been hard.”
Wasn’t I a shit? Her answer was clear and concise, and, well…I could understand her reasons. If she were crazy, I assumed her purpose for staying here would be, too.
Zach closed his notebook, and placed it into the pocket of his black slacks. “Would you take us outside to the water and discuss what happened the night she died?”
“Of course.” Anna stood from the couch and approached the front door.
Zach gestured toward the hall. I took the hint. Since Kipp hadn’t returned yet, it confirmed he hadn’t found Lizbeth’s ghost. Before we left I needed to check out the house to see if she remained. “Do you mind if I use your washroom?”
“Not at all.” Anna dabbed her tears with a tissue, and then raised her chin. Her deep inhale to compose herself was obvious. “It’s down the hall—third door on the right.”
“Thank you.” I headed toward the hallway while Zach continued to ask Anna another question as they headed out the front door.
The hallway was in a similar condition to the rest of the house, completely in shambles. The flowered wallpaper was peeling off the walls and the color of it resembled something not worth discussing. I wrinkled my nose, catching a whiff of mold, and continued walking.
To my left was an open door to a bedroom. I peeked in and clothes were thrown over the light blue bedspread. Furniture was scarce, but the room seemed lived in. It did appear slightly more taken care of than the rest of the home, which drew the conclusion that this had to be Anna’s bedroom.
I surveyed the room and couldn’t see Lizbeth’s ghost, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t there. She could be hiding. “Lizbeth,” I whispered.
No one responded.
Leaving the room, I carried on down the hall to another bedroom on the right, but as I called out her name again, I received the same response.
The bathroom was to my left and another room lay on the right. The door was closed and I did my best to keep quiet as I opened it. I couldn’t hear Zach or Anna in the house anymore, but I didn’t want to chance it. I pushed the door open and it creaked.
I peered in and my heart skipped a beat. “Creepy.” The room wasn’t in the same condition as the house. It looked brand new, even the paint on the walls appeared fresh, and Lizbeth’s name was written in wooden letters above the dresser. Of all the rooms to keep nice, Anna chose this one. I couldn’t quite decide if that was sweet or freaky.
“Lizbeth,” I whispered again only to be met with silence. I’d never had a ghost hide from me before, usually they were so intrigued by my ability they always approached.
After silence greeted me, I left the room and closed the door. I headed for the bathroom and went straight for the sink. At least the room was clean. Yes, in horrible condition, but the blue bathtub had been scrubbed recently.
At the sink, I turned on the faucet to wash the icky feeling off my hands. I wanted to get home and have a shower. Being in this house for even a few minutes had left my skin feeling filthy and downright gross.
I waited a moment to let the water warm since the pipes thumped indicating trouble stirred, and just as I placed my hands under the water, a voice startled me. “Why are you in my house?”
I looked over my shoulder and spotted a middle-aged ghost dressed in a double-breasted black coat, white dress shirt, and fitted tanned breeches. “I beg your pardon,” I snapped. “But I don’t deserve to be glared at—or spoken to in that nasty tone—when I’ve done nothing wrong.”
“You can hear me?” His eyes widened. “You can see me?”
“Yes I can.” I returned the glower he not-so-kindly offered me. “Why are you so rude?”
“I-I-I…”
“Classic.” I snorted. “The ghost is beside himself. Isn’t it supposed to be the live person who is shocked when they see a ghost?”
“You’re alive?”
Now he was being just downright mean. I shut off the faucet, and with the water dripping off my fingertips, I turned to face him. “Do I look dead to you?”
He gave me a once over with a look that left something to be desired. “No, but why are you glowing?”
“Yes, well,” I wiped my damp hands on my skinny jeans, “that’s my ability.”
He studied me, examining my gold hue—or so I’d been told that is how it appeared—and by his huge eyes this revelation stunned him. “And this ability is how you can see me?”
I wasn’t in any mood to get into this with him. A change in topic was in order. “Have you seen a young girl around here?”
“No,” he responded without haste.
I nibbled my lip, considering that. “Not ever, or not lately?”
“Never.”
If Lizbeth died in misery, it made no sense that her ghost wasn’t here. Ghosts always lingered and needed help to cross over. Someone who committed suicide wouldn’t be a settled soul. And most of the ghosts I’d met returned to a place that had meant something to them. Considering Lizbeth was young when she died, I’d assumed she’d come home. Where else would she have gone?
“How long have you been here?”
“I have no idea.” He paused, thoughtful, then said, “I think it’s been quite some time.”
His response didn’t surprise me. Ghosts never remember much except what they needed to, to move on. Seeing that this ghost would lead me nowhere, I figured I might as well try and help one ghost today. “Do you want to cross over?”
He scowled. “Are you threatening me?”
“Good God.” I dismissed him with a flick of my hand. “You’re foul. I’m asking to be nice. I can help you, if you’d like.”
“This is my house. I don’t want to leave. I want you to.”
I grunted. “Trust me, I want the same damn thing.”
He gestured toward the door in what might have seemed like a bow of respect, if his dark gaze hadn’t thoroughly flipped me off. “Best you see yourself out.”
I had just about enough of his bad attitude. I pointed at him. “You better not go scaring Anna. She’s been through enough.”
“I don’t scare her.” He scoffed. “She’s a lovely woman and I don’t mind her sharing the home with me.”
“I’m glad to hear it, but if I find out you’re frightening her, I will Ghostbuster your ass. Got it, jacko?” I flicked my hair over my shoulder, not waiting for him to respond because frankly, I didn’t give a shit.
I exited the bathroom, heard him grumbling something after me. I really couldn’t blame him, though. If I’d been dead since the eighteen hundreds, from the looks of his clothing, I’d be pissy too.
Once on the front porch, I spotted Zach and Anna. They talked down by a creek that was completely overgrown with weeds, rocks lining the shore.
On my approach, Zach glimpsed at me. I shook my head to indicate I hadn’t found Lizbeth in the house.
He visibly sighed, turning to Anna. “Now that Tess has arrived, would you please tell us what happened?”
I took a moment to scan the area, and listened hard to see if I could hear anything, but only the sound of rushing water and chirping birds filled my ears. The air around the home smelled so fresh, and thrived with nature, it was a wonderful contrast to the dust and mold inside the house.
Anna drew in a long, deep breath. “It was a spooky evening that night. The fog settled above the water and the full moon provided a lot of light.” Her eyes glazed over, lost in memory. “I heard Lizbeth leave the house, so I went over to my bedroom window.”
I glanced back at the house. One lone window faced the creek.
“I saw Lizbeth walking out to the water. She wore just her white nighty, and she was so frail.” Anna shuddered. “She was all skin and bones.”
“She came out here alone?”
Anna nodded. “I didn’t see anyone with her, at the time. She stood by the water’s edge and was so pretty.”
I had a hard time imagining anyone looking pretty in the way Anna had described. But I wasn’t about to bring up that point and merely listened as she went on.
“Lizbeth looked over her shoulder, and I’m still not sure how she knew I was watching her, but she smiled one of the coldest smiles I’d ever seen.” Darkness washed over her expression. “I’m sure that smile will haunt me forever.”
I gulped, a sudden nervousness wrapped around me and icy fingertips ran up my spine.
“What did she do after that?” Zach urged.
Anna shook her head, clearly pulling herself away from the horrifying memory, and refocused. “She turned back toward the water, walked in, and killed herself.”
“Are you saying she drowned herself?”
“I know that’s hard to believe, but the second I saw her walk into the creek, she submerged herself into the water. That’s when I ran out after her.”
“What happened when you reached her?”
Tears welled in her eyes. “She was floating, head first, and so I pulled her out.” A tear slid along her cheek, and she wiped it away, her tone controlled. “I tried to CPR, but it didn’t matter, she was already gone.”
Silence drifted around us. I welcomed it. This story needed some time to process, and even after a minute or so, I still came up empty.
Anna’s gaze stayed focused on the water, as she cried. I couldn’t imagine what it’d be like to be back here, staring at this water, and remembering what happened. How did she continue to live in that house?
A nudge on my arm had me glancing over at Zach. He mouthed the words, “Is she here?”
I shook my head.
He frowned.
Lizbeth’s lack of appearance seemed unusual even to me, but I hoped Kipp had better luck.
Zach cleared his throat. “After you pulled Lizbeth out of the water, what happened?”
Anna cleared her damp cheeks. “My mother and father came down and chaos erupted. They yelled, wanting to know what happened to her. When I told them, it was no surprise they didn’t believe me.”
She brought up a good point. “Where are you parents now?”
“Both, long dead.”
Insert foot into mouth! “I’m sorry.”
Anna sighed. “It’s for the best. Lizbeth’s death hit both of them very hard. My mother was never the same and my father withdrew from life.”
Saddest thing I’d ever heard.
“I can’t find her outside.”
I glanced over my shoulder and Kipp approached, his eyebrows furrowed, frustration emanating from him. Seeing that I couldn’t answer him with Anna here, I simply gave a short nod to show I understood his defeat.
“At what point did you see Hector?” Zach asked.
I jerked my head toward him, unable to hide my shock. “Someone else saw her in the water?”
“He’d been the main suspect in her death but—”
“My statement ruled him out,” Anna interjected. “He probably would’ve been found guilty of her murder since he’d been the only other person present at the time of her death.” Her gaze firmed. “But I said it then, and I’ll say it now, he didn’t kill her. I saw Lizbeth walk into the water and drown herself. I couldn’t make up what I saw.”
“Ask her how she can be so sure,” Kipp said to me.
I shook my head, which I tried to hide by shifting my stance. There was no way I would argue with Anna. Kipp hadn’t heard the rest of the conversation and I believed every word she said.
Instead, I pressed on. “Did you know he was there when you first came out of the house?”
“No,” Anna replied. “He showed up out of nowhere. I hadn’t seen him near the house at all and his arrival startled me. But I’ll tell you one thing, his eyes were exactly like Lizbeth’s.”
My heart did that full skip-a-beat thing, indicating whatever she meant by that, scared me shitless. “They were?”
“When Lizbeth smiled at me, Hector did the exact same thing when he approached. To say it was creepy is really putting it mildly, but it was as if I stared at Lizbeth again—or what Lizbeth had turned into.”
The side of my temple hurt. I zeroed in on Zach. “So after they questioned Hector, they released him?”
“Yes,” he answered. “But he’s now serving time for an unrelated crime he committed a month after Lizbeth’s death.”
I gave Zach and Kipp a knowing look, and they returned it. As much as Anna was sure of what she saw, I suspected she was wrong. A person in a state of shock might not be able to think straight. I surmised that’s exactly what happened.
“I know what y’all are thinking, but I know what I saw,” Anna said, adamantly. “Lizbeth walked into the water and killed herself. Trust me, I’ll never be able to forget it.” Sadness gone. Determination risen. “No matter how much everyone wanted me to retract my statement and pin it on Hector, I wouldn’t send an innocent man to jail for something he didn’t do.”
Innocent, my ass!
Zach inclined his head, as if he agreed with her, but I knew better. “Is there anything else you can tell us, Anna, that could help us?”
“I’m sorry. That’s all I know.”
“Thank you for talking to us.” I smiled, reached out for her hand and squeezed it. “We’ll do what we can to find out what happened to her.”
Anna returned the smile, but on her, it was despaired. “I appreciate y’all working on this case again. I do hope that you’ll discover what truly happened to Lizbeth. If it’s all right, I’d like to go back into the house now.”
“Yes, of course. Thank you for your time.” Zach shook Anna’s hand, and then she started back toward the house.
“This is by far the weirdest situation I’ve ever been in,” I whispered to Kipp. “I’ve never experienced a missing ghost before.”
“Quite unusual, to say the least. Let’s head back to the station and fill Max in on what we’ve discovered.” He sighed. “Or not discovered.”
I headed to the truck with the boys following. Anna climbed the steps of her porch, and I remembered there was something I needed to tell her. “Anna,” I called.
She turned. “You have a very grumpy old ghost in your house, but don’t worry, he likes you, and is fine with sharing the house with you.” She didn’t look nearly as surprised as I’d expected. Maybe she already suspected a ghost lived with her. Maybe not. But my job was done.
Now on to finding a missing ghost…
 
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Happy Reading !!!!
 
Anna Sig Teal

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