No Rest for the Wicked – Teaser #29

“I am on a case right this moment, I’ll have you know. And, no. What Pru studies and what I have gotten wrapped up in is nothing alike. She is not so…tender-hearted as yours truly,” Vi replied, reaching for the bottle. “And don’t forget. Pru seeks all of this out! If I could, I would wake up tomorrow and pretend this is all a bad dream.”

Peter leaned away, but he appeared more puzzled than hurt as he examined her face. She regretted saying the words as soon as she finished saying them, but they were also true. No point apologizing. She poured another drink.

“What happened to you? You are even more surly than usual.” The ghost rested his insubstantial elbows on the table and propped his chin against his fists. “Same side, remember?”

As she peered at him over the top of her glass, the gap in her resolve widened further. Even though death stripped his features of their color, it was still a face she could trust.

With one more gulp to fortify her, Vi confessed, “I seem to have developed a new…talent.”

Read the first excerpt
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No Rest for the Wicked – Teaser #27

Vi’s body relaxed and she rolled to face the wall to better welcome sleep. She breathed into the gentle dark for a few moments, then an alarm bell suddenly went off in her head. Without thinking, she quested outward with her extra sense to find the danger. A ghostly energy approached, and for a moment she thought it was just Peter remembering his promise to a little boy, but a wave of malice rippled through the air in greedy tendrils. Her senses touched it and recoiled, scurrying back to the safety of her skull like a whipped pup.

Pins and needles spread down her spine, an acid burn that singed deeper as the spirit approached. The angry blur came to their car and paused for a moment, as if scenting the air. The ghost moved again and came to a stop just on the other side of the wall. An old, childhood instinct squeezed her eyes shut. But her whether her extra senses or her imagination were to blame, she was sure the ghost raised its hand and rested it on the wall beside her head.

No Rest for the Wicked – Teaser #26

The ghost chuckled and leaned against the wall. “Got yourself some light fingers, eh kid?”

“I didn’t do it!” the little boy cried. “I swear!”

“We know you didn’t,” she assured him, then favored Peter with another glower.

“I was always getting blamed for things when I was your age, too. And you know what I did?” Peter whispered.

George leaned forward with rapt attention. “What?”

“I proved them right,” he said with a chuckle.

“Oh, excellent advice!” Vi interrupted.

The ghost just shrugged. “It’s true.”

“And look where it got you!” she spat.

“I thought I had you to thank for that.” His quiet words stunned her to silence even as he blazed clearer and darker before her, his pain manifesting in his spectral body. His sharp edges dissolved as he turned to the boy. “Anyway, Georgie. I figured as long as people were going to think the worst of me, I might as well live down to their expectations.”

No Rest for the Wicked – Teaser #23

A figure suddenly burst out of the crowd in George’s path, but the little boy could not see or feel him as he passed right through. The ghost walked in a straight line with no mind to any would-be obstacle, the foggy material of his body swirling in response to the contact without hindering his speed. When she took in her former partner’s furrowed brow, she had a fleeting reminder of her vision. Her concern was short-lived; the ghost’s annoyed voice cutting through the crowd told her this Peter could see her.

“Why did you insist on bringing the kid? You know they just complicate matters,” the ghost harrumphed, crossing his insubstantial arms across his chest once he came to a stop. Vi blinked the picture of the living Peter’s dejected form out of her eyes as he continued. “Not to mention, he doesn’t know anything about your abilities, so you’ll have to be on guard all the time again.”

“I couldn’t leave him behind,” she murmured, allowing the sound of the busy station to cover her hushed words.

“Of course not,” Bonnie assured her, unaware of the ghost’s presence. Vi moved her free hand so the back of it touched the other woman’s skin and Bonnie let out a knowing “ah” as the ghost came into view. It was hard to believe this was the same woman who’d slapped Vi across the face for even implying she could talk to the dead when they’d first met.

No Rest for the Wicked – Teaser #22

Viola Thorne was not amused.

If the average person found herself in the middle of a blank, eternal void, she’d probably give panic at least a few moments of her time. But the relapsed grifter simply put fists to hips, and painted on her best surly glare.

“I know I wanted to get a clean start, but this is ridiculous,” she grumbled into the emptiness.

A light breeze suddenly kissed her cheek and gently tugged at her clothes. The force of the wind redoubled, the darkness rippling in its wake as the nothing began the process of becoming something.

No Rest for the Wicked – Teaser #21

To the untrained eye, the silver platter simply floated across the room. No strings held it aloft, and nothing supported it from below, yet it made slow and steady progress hovering across the polished wooden floor. A seated figure watched from the other end of the well-appointed room, patiently awaiting whatever lay at its center and smiling at the strange parody of King Solomon and his magic carpet.

“Very good,” he said. “You get stronger every day, Mary.”

The ghost held her mouth in a firm line as she took another deliberate step. “Thank you, sir.” A tremor traveled through the tray as she spoke, and she puffed up her cheeks as she focused her energy on her hand. The mirrored surface of the tray flashed as she crossed into the pool of candlelight and it crashed to the floor.

“One thing at a time,” the man scolded as he rose from his leather chair. “Remember, throwing something in a burst of energy is much easier than being steady enough to carry things. But you are making excellent progress. Just think! You died less than a year ago and you’ve already come so far.”

“I want to be ready,” she simpered. “When the time comes.”

“And I’m sure you will be,” the man replied before stooping to retrieve both the platter and the folded slip of paper. “Now, what is this you’ve brought me?”

No Rest for the Wicked – Chapter 9 Teaser

“Someone was looking for you.”

Read from the beginning or check out the previous teaser

“Thank you ever so much!” she called after him, employing her best damsel voice. As soon as he turned the corner, her impatient glower returned and she leaned against the counter. Her stomach rumbled loudly and grew even more anxious. Bonnie would be coming back to the saloon any minute, and Vi wanted to make sure she beat the other woman back. Not that she needed to keep a trip to retrieve the post a secret, but old habits told her not to leave anyone in her apartment unattended for too long, and Peter’s strange behavior only served to strengthen the conviction.

“Never fear!” the clerk called. “Your friend Annabelle won’t have cause for any complaints.” He swept back into the room clutching a plain, tawny envelope in his wizened fingers.

“Really?” She couldn’t keep the incredulity out her voice as she straightened and stared dumbfounded at what he held in his hand. “Annabelle Sinclair” had been the last name on the list, the one she’d included even though she’d only ever used it for one job—the biggest one, and the last.

“Yes ma’am,” he replied and slid two letters through the slot. Vi snatched up the envelopes and checked the undisturbed seals. The smaller envelope bore Peter’s name as the sender, but the larger one came from an address she didn’t recognize. She caught a glimpse of the official-looking emblem in the glob of red wax as she turned it over.

“That little one came in with the load a day before yesterday. I filed it myself,” he continued. “The other one’s been here a while, maybe a few weeks? Got a batch going out tomorrow morning if your friend needs to send an answer. Otherwise, it’ll be a few more days before we collect enough for a run.”

“Day before yesterday, you say?” she asked distractedly. That would put the letter’s arrival around the same time Tobias died, and she still didn’t know the full story of the connection between Peter and the ghost. Time to ask good old Toby a few more questions.

The old man cleared his throat. “Pardon me, ma’am. But you don’t own a big, black horse, do you?”

She gave a murmur in the affirmative but couldn’t tear her eyes from the envelope from Peter in her hand. It felt oddly heavy and her searching fingertips found a strange lump as she ran them along the bottom.

“Someone was looking for you.”

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