UTC: Hello Angel and Charley! (Looks toward the empty seat next to Charley and smiles.)
Charley: Thank you for inviting us to Under the Covers , Angela.
UTC: We’re delighted you’ve stopped by to chat with us today. Charley it’s wonderful you have graciously offered to interpret for us.
Angel: She’s a peach.
Charley: Thank you. I’m so glad to be here. We both are.
Angel: Actually, I had stuff to do.
Charley: (Kicks him, because she is the only one in the room who can.)
UTC: Angel, why do you continue to stay among the living instead of moving on?
Angel: (Rubbing his shin.) I like it here. It’s peaceful when I’m not being assaulted, and I can see my family. Also, I get to work with Charley’s fine ass.
Charley: I like it here. It’s peaceful and I get to see my family. Also, I live for serving Charley. She is a goddess of the highest order.
Angel: You are like the worst interpreter, dude.
UTC: What are your favorite things about Charley? What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve had with her?
Angel: My favorite thing is her ass. And where her legs meet her ass. Pretty much that whole area. And her chest. I don’t really get embarrassed, though. I’m solid that way.
Charley: Her personality and her wicked talent for hunting down bad guys.
Angel: Are you even listening to me?
Charley: And the only time I really got embarrassed was when I had to pretend to be evil in front of this other departed man so she could ‘exorcise’ me. She threw tap water one me and I had to squirm on the carpet and yell, “It burns!”
Angel: I can’t believe you told her that story.
UTC: What do you do when you are not helping Charley out? Have you ever spied on anyone besides Charley, you know, just for your own curiosity or enjoyment?
Angel: Never. Well, okay, maybe my family. I check up on them a lot.
Charley: I like to hang out in the women’s locker room at the gym.
Angel: How did you know I do that?
Charley: I’m a perv. What can I say?
Angel: I hate you.
UTC: Why are you so worried about your mother finding out your spirit is still on earth?
Angel: (Bows head.) She did recently. She found out.
Charley: (Rubs his back.) That’s kind of private for now. Maybe I can answer that during a later interview.
UTC: Of course. I understand. Angel, how do you feel about Charley’s new neighbor, Reyes?
Angel: He’s peachy, too, if you’re into evil so lethal it will melt the skin off your bones.
Charley: I’m not really fond of him, but he’s growing on me.
Angel: Your skin. Clean off.
UTC: Did you spy on Darynda in NOLA? What kind of partying she did attend? Did you see us?
Angel: Hell’s yeah. Lots of pretty chicks there. But Darynda partied way too hard if you ask me. Should writers take off their clothes in public like that?
Charley: (Pastes on her best smile.) Darynda was a picture of self-restraint.
Angel: Pendeja. I’m reporting you to the interpreter’s guild or whatever they have.
UTC: Thank you so much for joining us today, Angel.
Angel: You got it, hot mamma. You ever give lap dances?
Charley: Thank you for having me.
Few things in life can come between a grim reaper and her coffee, but the sexy, sultry son of Satan is one of them. Now that Reyes Farrow has asked for her hand, Charley Davidson feels it’s time to learn more about his past, but Reyes is reluctant to open up. When the official FBI file of his childhood abduction lands in her lap, Charley decides to go behind her mysterious beau’s back and conduct her own investigation. Because what could go wrong?
Unfortunately, another case has fallen into her lap—one with dangerous implications. Some very insistent men want Charley to hunt down a witness who is scheduled to testify against their boss, a major player in the local crime syndicate. If Charley doesn’t come up with an address in 48 hours, the people closest to her will start to disappear.
Add to that a desperate man in search of the soul he lost in a card game, a dogged mother determined to find the ghost of her son, and a beautiful, young Deaf boy haunted by his new ability to see the departed as clearly as he sees the living, and Charley has her hands full. The fact that Reyes has caught on to her latest venture only adds fuel to the inferno that he is. Good thing for Charley she’s used to multi-tasking and always up for a challenge…especially when that challenge comes in the form of Reyes Farrow.
A blank is the only thing I draw well.
“A girl, a mocha latte, and a naked dead man walk into a bar,” I said, turning to the naked dead man sitting in my passenger’s seat. The elderly naked dead man who’d been riding shotgun in my cherry red Jeep Wrangler, aka Misery, for two days now. We were on a stakeout. Sort of. I was staking out a Mr. and Mrs. Foster, so I was definitely on a stakeout. No idea what Naked Dead Man was on. Considering the fact that he looked about 112, probably blood thinners. Cholesterol medication. And, judging from the state of his manhood, which I couldn’t stop seeing every single time I turned toward him, Viagra. If I were to hash-tag that moment, my status would read something like #impressed.
I gave him two thumbs up, then looked back at the house again, happy to be sitting in Misery. The Jeep, not the emotion. I’d just picked her up from the car hospital two days earlier. She’d had several surgeries to fix her broken girlie bits because a raving lunatic rammed into her. He’d knocked her into a state of mangled disrepair and me, as I was in the driver’s seat at the time, into a state of oblivion. I stayed in that state long enough for Mr. Raving Lunatic to cart me off to a deserted bridge to kill me. He failed and died in the process, but Misery had paid a high price for his nefarious machinations. Why did bad guys always try to hurt the ones I loved?
And this one had succeeded. Misery was hurt. Bad. No one wanted to work on her. Said she couldn’t be saved. Said to give her over to the scrap yard. Thankfully, a family friend with a body shop and a few incriminating photos, which just happened to have found their way into my possession, agreed with great reluctance to try.
Noni kept her for two long weeks before calling to tell me that he’d almost lost her a couple of times, but she’d pulled through with flying colors. When I got the green light to go pick her up, I tore out of my apartment so fast, I left a dust trail behind me, along with a flummoxed best friend, who’d been telling me about the couple in 3C. They were apparently newlyweds, if their energy to do it—her words—all night every night was any indication. I hurried back to her, however, because I didn’t have a car and I needed a ride.
When we picked up Misery, Noni tried to tell me everything he’d had to do to her to get her up and running, but I held up a hand to stop him, unable to bear it. This was Misery he was talking about. Not some random Wrangler off the streets. This was my Wrangler. My best friend. My baby.
Holy cow, I needed a life.
I had to hand it to Noni, though. Misery was good as new. Better than I was, anyway. Ever since that night, I’d been having problems sleeping. I suffered from debilitating nightmares that left me screaming into my pillow, and I jumped every time someone dropped a feather.
But at least Misery was okay. Like, really okay. It was weird. Her cough was gone. Her sluggish response time was no longer an issue. Her reluctance to wake up in the mornings as she sputtered in protest every time I tried to fire all engines was nonexistent. Now she started on the first try, no groaning or whining, and she purred like a newborn kitten. How Noni had managed to fix her insides as well as her outsides I’d never know, but the guy was good. And Noni was my new best friend. Well, after Misery. And Cookie, my real best friend. And Garrett, my kind of, sort of best friend. And Reyes, my. . . my . . .
What was Reyes? Besides the dark and sultry son of evil? My boy toy? My love slave? My 24/7 booty call?
He was all those things, but he was also my almost-fiancé. All I had to do was say yes to the proposal he’d written on a sticky note, and he would be my fiancé for reals. Until then, however, he was my almost fiancé.
No, my soon-to-be fiancé.
No! My nigh fiancé.
Yeah, that’d work.
I turned back to the naked dead man, stuffed a couple of Cheez-Its into my mouth, and confessed my latest sin.
“I’m just kidding,” I said through the crackers, regretting the fact that I’d tempted him and now had no follow-up. No punch line. “I don’t know any ‘girl, mocha latte, dead man’ jokes. Sorry to get your hopes up like that.” He didn’t seem to mind, however. He sat staring straight ahead as always, his gray eyes clouded and watery with age, oblivious of my charm, my clever repartee, and my intellectual wit. He was ignoring me!
“Cheez-It?” I offered him.
FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
THIRD GRAVE DEAD AHEAD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
FOR I HAVE SINNED: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
FOURTH GRAVE BENEATH MY FEET: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
FIFTH GRAVE PAST THE LIGHT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
SIXTH GRAVE ON THE EDGE: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Our Review
Sneak Peak at
Seventh Grave and No Body
Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out the jugular of Charley Davidson and serve her lifeless, mangled body to Satan for dinner. So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and the more she retraces his last steps, the more she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fiancé who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life.
A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.
Coming October 2014