Brand New Paranormal Release by Sam Cheever — Only 99 Cents for a LIMITED time!

Only $0.99 for a LIMITED Time!

Beset&Bewildered,Book8_3D

She’s trying hard to be virtuous, but evil keeps nuzzling her. And the nuzzling feels sooooo delicious!

I used to be someone who was in control of her life. I was an adult. Responsible and mature. But then I took over the Angel Network, my sister’s demon quashing business, and my life just went to hell…literally!

Part of the problem is, of course, my new partner, Slayer. He’s cocky and opinionated and just so…male. Forget that when he’s nearby my body just about melts with desire. Forget that it’s nearly impossible for us to work together. Forget that dealing with dark worlders on a daily basis is death to my better nature. I just want to prove to Astra that I can run her business as well or even better than she did.

But I can’t catch a break.

What are the chances that one of my first clients would be the Queen of the Hellhounds and that she would drag me to Hell, get me entangled with my dangerously unstable ex-boyfriend, or set me on a path that would nearly kill me a hundred ways to Sunday?

There have to be easier ways to make a living than this.

5 stars

Lots of humor and adventure: 

“This is the second book I’ve read by this author, the first being the first in this series, Bedeviled & Beguiled. Both of which I enjoyed very much. At first I was concerned I would be lost since I hadn’t read the rest of the series, but you can jump right in on this one since it focuses on Darma. I can’t say enough how much I’ve enjoyed these books. Once I started reading I found I didn’t want to put it down.”

Great read. Wonderful:

“Great read!! Wonderful I laugh, cried and couldn’t wait to see what happens. Once you start the book you want to keep reading till the end. Can’t wait till the next one.”

heart

I dropped my air booger down at the Phelps Castle and sat for a moment, eyes closed, trying to contain a rage that felt bigger than I was. If it was the last thing I ever did, I was gonna get my revenge on the contemptible Slayer for what he’d done.

I shifted against the seat, grimacing as a heavy wetness caused a giant sucking sound on the seat. A sour, butcher shop smell wafted upward and I clenched my fists, which I was holding away from my body because I didn’t want to touch the chunks of gore covering my fine, leather outfit. A bloody string of something I refused to identify trailed from my hair. My cheeks were stiff under a drying coat of blood.

“Open door.”

The booger’s elderly electronic brain hesitated for a beat, a confused whirring sound preceding a final click before the door lifted upward. I very carefully shifted my legs outside and straightened away from the car, shuddering when a heavy chunk of something slimy plopped onto the seat behind me.

“I’m going to kill him slowly, one hateful cell at a time.”

“Seal and sanitize,” I told the booger. The door jumped downward and stuck, rising again with a clank, and then finally eased shut. The interior glowed green as the booger struggled to incinerate the goop and gore I’d deposited inside. I didn’t even want to think about what the process would leave behind. If I was lucky it would just be a fine residue of gray ash. If I suffered my usual luck, or lack there-of, I’d be forced to remove a charred hunk of demon flesh from my seat in the morning. I shoved the horrid thought away and buried it under soothing thoughts of my revenge against Slayer.

Sloshing toward the large, arched doorway in the back wall of the castle, I scanned the heights of the dark stone edifice. By habit, I looked for signs that my father, James Phelps, Seraphim in the Angelic choir and God’s right hand man, was home. The façade was dark, the windows like black, unblinking eyes unfavorably judging me as I approached.

I realized as I reached the door that I’d have to touch the handle to open it. My hands were painted in green demon blood with strings of blackened flesh clinging to them. Touching stuff wasn’t an option. Rage flared again and it ignited my last nerve. I’d have to space shift into my room. I hated to do it, but the alternative was coating everything I touched with disgusting refuse and then having to clean it all up. Besides, my father would know what I’d been up to if I left the demon’s magic signature all over the place. I didn’t think I was up to receiving his knowing looks.

Space shift it was.

Picturing an open area of my bed chamber, I closed my eyes and envisioned my body disintegrating on the air, moving through space to that exact spot, and reintegrating there.

The total silence as I entered my shift was disconcerting. I kept my eyes closed because I still wasn’t used to the lack of movement, or the swirling silver sparkles as the magic altered physical properties and changed their location.

It was a great relief when my feet touched the soft rug of my room and the familiar, sweet scent of Lunar Roses dispelled some of my stink.

I opened my eyes and found that I’d landed exactly where I’d planned. Despite myself I smiled. I was a classic overachiever and nobody was as hard on me as I was when I didn’t live up to expectation.

Heading for the cleansing tube, I gave some thought to removing my clothes first and then decided against it. There was no way I was going to try to peel slimy, wet leather off my body while it was covered in chunks. I stepped into the tube and said, “Pulse on full, soap thirty percent, temp one hundred and four degrees.”

Hot, soapy water rained down on me, hard enough to loosen the chunks and scour off the dried demon blood. I stayed under there for long enough to deplete the hot water supply and then exchanged the water for hot air. By the time my below-the-shoulder length hair was close to dry, my televisual was dinging for my attention.

I thought about ignoring it but, being a bit anal about doing the right thing, a complimentary personality trait to go with the over-achiever in my nature, I headed toward the device with a sigh. “Answer call.”

My sister’s pretty face swam online and I mentally prepared for one of our “conversations”.

Astra’s long auburn hair curled wildly around her face, her green gaze widening as she took me in. “Tough day at the office?”

I frowned. “Why do you ask?”

“You have a large, blue eyeball stuck to the top of your head.”

I gave an embarrassing girly scream and reached up to knock the eyeball loose. Unfortunately, it didn’t budge. It seemed to be molded to the strands of my hair like it had been glued there. “Arghhhh! Ish!!”

Astra twisted her lips, obviously trying not to laugh. “You’ll probably need to cut that out of your hair. Demon parts are like chewing gum. They stick hard.”

I barely squelched the desire to growl. “I’m gonna kill Slayer.”

Both of Astra’s slender auburn eyebrows lifted. “What did he do now?”

“He talked me into blasting a Super Demon but he didn’t mention it would implode all over me.”

Astra gave in to the desire to smile. “Let me guess, he was somewhere far behind you when it happened, not a hair out of place?”

I let the growl loose. I figured my sister would understand.

She chuckled happily.

“I’m really glad you’re entertained.”

She flipped a hand upward. “Remind me to tell you about my visit to a dragon roost with the sexy Slayer sometime. Believe me when I tell you I completely understand.”

Though her words mollified me a tiny bit, I was careful not to let her know. “I doubt you know what it’s like to have an eyeball stuck to your hair.”

She cocked her head, narrowing her gaze. “You’re right. But that finger that’s sticking out of your collar, I’m pretty sure that’s happened to me before.”

I shrieked again, smacking at the cold flesh that was stuck to the collar of my leather jacket and dancing around like a Venutian elephant in a room full of mice. “Get it off!”

Giggling emerged from the televisual.

“I swear to god, Astra. You’re second in line for murdering after Slayer.”

“Don’t get your panties in a twist, Darma. Just take the jacket off and dump it in the chute.”

“Throw away my Lara Croft original hunting jacket? I think not.”

Shortly after I’d started helping Astra at the Angel Network, I’d discovered the ancient human heroine, Lara Croft Tomb Raider and decided I wanted to be just like her. I promptly got myself some sexy and indestructible leather clothing and started modeling my hunting persona after the feisty female. I was pretty sure Lara wouldn’t throw away a perfectly good jacket just because it had part of a demon stuck to it.

Astra shrugged. “Well, you could always put a sparkly ring on the digit and paint the fingernail a happy pink color.”

I closed my eyes, intending to count to a hundred so I didn’t shriek foul words at the televisual. I think I made it to ten…

“Darma?”

“End call.”

Astra blinked away and I felt instantly better. “If God loved me he would have made me an only child.”

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LQBFNGC

Amazon.au: https://www.amazon.com.au/Beset-Bewildered-Bedeviled-Beguiled-Book-ebook/dp/B01LQBFNGC

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Beset-Bewildered-Bedeviled-Beguiled-Book-ebook/dp/B01LQBFNGC

Amazon.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beset-Bewildered-Bedeviled-Beguiled-Book-ebook/dp/B01LQBFNGC

iBookstore: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/beset-bewildered/id1126749254?mt=11

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beset-bewildered-sam-cheever/1124570664?ean=2940157148478

Kobo books: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/beset-bewildered

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-besetbewildered-2095566-143.html

GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Sam_Cheever_Beset_Bewildered_Paranormal_Sci_fi_Rom?id=GbX-DAAAQBAJ

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A Tense New Mystery by Sam Cheever

streetsmart-500

*A Note from the Author:

The Smart Investigations, Inc. series is not your typical mystery series. There are two things you might like to know about it. First, the pace is fast, like a great suspense novel, and the mood is tense…a bit darker than your average cozy mystery but not too dark. The romance in the books is sweet, with sensual overtones, like an old time murder mystery from film noire days. And of course there’s a cute little dog named Max, a dachshund, who pees on bad guys because…well…he can! And because he’s a dachshund and they always have an opinion.

And secondly, you’ll notice a second author’s name on the cover. Edric Honeybun is one of the brothers from my popular Honeybun Heat series. In the Heat, Edric is a thriller/suspense writer and the Smart Investigations, Inc. series was originally his before I stole it. So I thought it was only fair to give him some credit. Thus the co-authorship.

 Read the reviews, check out the blurb and if it sounds like something you might enjoy, I hope you’ll give this exciting new series a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Fractured love, treachery and cold-blooded murder…

A nightmarish new case plunges Alex and Matthew into personal and professional chaos as they pursue a killer who traffics in the most vile of human traits. They quickly learn that the current killings are somehow tied to a decades old murder, which comes with a hefty mix of suspects. As they begin to dig into the cold case, they start to realize that one of their suspects is hiding an evil so horrific it can barely stand the light of day.

Unfortunately, the evil they stalk is only one side of a multi-sided problem. Twisted around old loves and never forgotten treacheries, the case threatens their growing feelings for each other and dangerously undermines their professional relationship, while pitting them against a killer more deadly than any they’ve faced. Can they survive the dual threat? Will they reach for each other when things get rough? Or will they let misunderstanding and menace kill the future they’ve started building together?

heart

Tandy Smart clicked blood-red nails on top of Alex’s desk and tugged on a shiny blonde curl as she talked into her pink phone. Alex watched Matthew’s twenty-something sister with a mixture of awe and disbelief. She, Alex, had never been the flirty girl sort. She’d always been driven by the need to learn and, as such, had somehow threatened the tender psyches of any men she might have formed attachments with.

Before Matthew, there had been only one other man who’d seen past Alex’s brains and acerbic sense of humor to the slightly insecure, loving woman beneath. But, watching Tandy do her thing, Alex realized the younger woman’s modus operandi was a mature one, no doubt built over years of flinging out test bubbles to see what worked and then adjusting strategy to get what she wanted. That was where the awe came in. Tandy Smart was as good as her last name. She was no ditzy blonde, though she carefully crafted that persona when interacting with her victims. She was every bit as smart as her sexy brother, even if their methods were as different as night and day. Alex saw what none of the young girl’s brothers seemed to see. Tandy Smart was as savvy as the most dogged femme fatale. And every bit as dangerous because of her ability to hide it.

“Would you do that for me? Aw, that’s so sweet. You’re just the best. Thanks, Roger. I’ll owe ya one.” Tandy hung up the phone and threw Alex a smug grin. “Dandy Joes at two o’clock Wednesday. Back booth as requested.”

Alex shook her head. “You’re amazing.”

“Thanks.” Tandy surged from her chair, seemingly already focused on her next task. Her quick changes of mood and high energy were only two of the things that made Tandy exhausting to be around. “I’m meeting some friends for lunch. Can I bring you something back?”

“No thanks. I brought my lunch.”

Tandy grabbed a cute little clutch and headed for the door.

Alex eyed both the purse and the tiny behind swaying away from her, thinking she’d give anything to have a butt or a purse that small. But then she realized she’d have to give up carbs and store her gun in her bra. Nope, not worth it. “Enjoy your lunch.”

Tandy stopped at the door, turning back with a frown. “You know, my brother is an idiot.”

Alex felt the statement like a physical blow. Blood crawled into her face and turned her cheeks hot. She shook her head, unable to respond. Heading for her desk, she flung a hand dismissingly over her shoulder. “Have a nice lunch, hun.”

The door closed and Alex took a deep breath, her gaze sliding to the closed door of Matthew’s office. Sadness tugged at the sight, regret flared. Alex looked determinedly away, refusing to give in to the despair threatening to drag her down. She’d made a good run at it all. The relationship. The job. The last few months with Matthew, working at his side and sharing his life, had been the best days of her life.

But she’d made a decision and she was determined to live with it.

The office door reopened and Alex spoke without looking up. “Forget your lipstick again?” When Tandy didn’t respond, Alex glanced up from her computer. Her world tilted. Her lungs seized. She stood too quickly and thought she might faint as stars burst before her eyes. “Ben.” Her gaze slipped over him. Over the blood-shot blue eyes and the rumpled clothing. His face was whiter than the t-shirt he wore under the filthy hoodie. His baggie trousers were wet, the knees black with filth. But it was the trail of dried blood on his face that had her rushing forward. “Oh my god. What happened?”

The man she used to love more than anything let her take his arm and walk him toward a chair. His legs buckled out from under him more than once during the short trip. He groaned, clasping his head as Alex grabbed her client chair and pulled it over to the sound of wood screeching against wood.

When he was seated, Alex crouched before him, her hands over his on the arms of the chair. “Who did this to you?”

He frowned down at her, his sexy blue gaze filled with confusion and pain. “I…I don’t know exactly.”

Max yipped behind the closed door, his nails clicking across the floor in Matthew’s office. A beat later he was throwing his tiny body against the scarred wood, whining plaintively. Alex skimmed a quick glance in that direction before returning her gaze to Ben. Something inside her rebelled at the idea of asking Matthew for help with the man she’d once thought she’d marry.

“Ali, I think I’m in trouble.”

She sucked in a small gasp at the sound of that name. No one but Ben had ever called her Ali, and it had usually been in the most intimate of situations. Panicking at the flood of disconcerting memories, she stood up and moved away from him. Alex perched on the edge of her desk and crossed her arms. She knew even as she did it that the distance and the crossing of arms were both protective, shielding mechanisms, but she didn’t care. If there was anyone Alex needed to protect herself from it was the man sitting a few feet away from her. “Tell me what happened.”

His story was fractured, with small blank spaces his injured brain couldn’t fill in. But the gist of it was that Ben had been trying to help what he’d assumed was a homeless guy and had gotten himself caught in the crosshairs of the person who’d attacked him. “Have you gone to the police?” she asked him.

“No.” He shook his head and grimaced, his blood-covered hand flying to his head. “I can’t.”

“Why not?”

He lowered his hand and looked at it, seeming to see it for the first time. He didn’t speak for long enough to make Alex think he hadn’t heard her question. “Alex? Why haven’t you gone to the police? The man who hurt that homeless guy and you is still out there. He might hurt someone else.”

“The police already have their suspect.” Ben’s gaze slid to hers and darkened with fear. “It’s me, Ali. They think I killed that man.”

Though her stomach twisted painfully at the news, Alex made a dismissive sound. “That’s ridiculous, Ben. Why would they think that? Because you tried to save him and couldn’t? Ben, was that what happened? If so, we can help you.” She realized the word “we” had flown out of her mouth all too easily and, truth be told, she wasn’t entirely sure it was a true statement anymore. It was highly likely Alex was no longer a “we”. So she quickly amended her words. “I can help you.”

Ben Phillips continued to stare at his bloodied hand, his face the very picture of confusion. “No. You can’t.” He lifted a terrified gaze to her. “Because I’m afraid I did kill that man.”

BUY Links:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Street-Smart-Investigations-Inc-Book-ebook/dp/B01IAHP6U8/?tag=wwwsamcheever-20

Amazon.UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Street-Smart-Investigations-Inc-Book-ebook/dp/B01IAHP6U8/?tag=wwwsamcheever-21

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ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-streetsmart-2071733-152.html

 

Fun New Romantic Suspense by Sam Cheever – Aloha Honeybun

alohahoneybun-500

In a battle between evil and Honeybun, tall red and sexy will always win.

Alfric and Pleasance are getting married on the romantic and beautiful island of O’ahu! Or are they? Violence in the rainforest has a way of upsetting even the best laid plans. And when that violence comes a little too close to home…the brothers might need to exchange their lei for a slightly more deadly form of body ornament. Invasion, war and centuries of the best and worst nature can hand them…Hawaii’s overcome it all. But the people of the beautiful islands have never experienced the Honeybuns. That’s a whole new kind of natural event!

5 stars

Reader review: “Sam Cheever’s ability to create an exciting, page-turning, action, mystery and suspense romance is second to none. This book immediately draws you in and you will be totally captivated until the last page.

heart

 

 

If they stood very still, the sounds of the rainforest were like a soundtrack. Nature’s music swelled and faded around them, filled with the chorus of life that throbbed just beneath the surface everywhere they walked. It would have been easy to lose the song in the chaos of astounding visuals, but Alf Honeybun was determined to not only hear its magical tune, but to infuse it into his cells. Never to be forgotten.

“This probably isn’t the first jungle-type place you’ve been in,” Pleasance said with a grin.

“No. But it feels like the first. I never really experienced the last one, what with all the shooting and blood curdling screams of agony.”

They stood at the top of a rocky bluff, looking out over the dense green of an O’ahu rainforest. Behind them, the narrow path they’d hiked to gain the top wound back down, an unwelcome reminder that they couldn’t stay there forever.

“It’s so impossibly beautiful up here.” Pleasance frowned. “I should have brought my sketch book.”

Alf wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close, nuzzling her thick fall of black hair. She smelled like the fresh flowers in her lei. Since they’d arrived on the island, he’d bought her a new one every morning. Once they were married and went back home, Alf was determined to have a lei made up for every anniversary. To bring back a taste of the pre-wedding honeymoon they’d been enjoying. “We’ll come back tomorrow. You can draw for as long as you want.”

She turned as he kissed her cheek. “What will you do while I sketch?”

“Navel gaze. I suspect there are many mysteries and conundrums in my navel. I’ve never had time to consider them all. It’ll be cathartic.”

She laughed, a throaty sound that made Alf’s body tighten with need. “So much drama in something so small.”

He winced. “Ouch! Be careful what you’re callin’ small, woman.”

She leaned into him, sliding her long fingers through his auburn hair. He’d let it grow over the last weeks and found himself enjoying the change. For one thing, Pleasance ran her fingers through it more often, and, coupled with the sand, sun and beauty of Hawaii, it made him free and happy in a way he hadn’t been since he was a kid.

The thoughts flitted through Alf’s mind in a flash. But all reflection disappeared as Pleasance’s soft lips found his. Heat flared from the spot where they touched and spiraled downward, swamping him with instant need. Alf wrapped himself around her and deepened the kiss, letting his tongue slide through to tangle with hers.

Pleasance’s soft body molded to his. Her delectable scent encompassed him, driving desire a notch higher. When she made a soft sound of pleasure, need flashed into lust like a spark to a flame. Alf pressed her backward, intending to ease her down onto the blanket and transform their kiss into something much deeper.

He never got the chance. In the distance, a blood curdling scream disturbed the natural peace, ripping them brutally from the moment.

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Aloha-Honeybun-Heat-Book-ebook/dp/B01FIQ5IWA

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Aloha-Honeybun-Heat-Book-ebook/dp/B01FIQ5IWA

Amazon.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Aloha-Honeybun-Heat-Book-ebook/dp/B01FIQ5IWA

Amazon.au: https://www.amazon.com.au/Aloha-Honeybun-Heat-Book-ebook/dp/B01FIQ5IWA

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ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-alohahoneybun-2037592-153.html

iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/aloha-honeybun/id1113428035?mt=11

HELLfired – Humorous MM Paranormal with Heat

HellFired

Cliff Blood is just trying to do his job. But the sexy US Marshal with fire in his eyes is making things really…hard.

Bloodhound shifter Cliff Blood is a bounty hunter with a unique ability to sniff out the bad guy. He only wants to survive on Earth long enough to return to his home planet of Eninac. But when Cliff’s boss is implicated in a bonding scam, Cliff nearly gets burned trying to run interference with sexy Deputy US Marshal Falen Scott. And Marshal Scott has his own secrets — along with a fiery attraction that Cliff is trying his best not to share.

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/HELLfired-Gay-Sci-fi-Paranormal-Romance-ebook/dp/B00UTXMGP0/?tag=wwwsamcheever-20

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/HELLfired-Gay-Sci-fi-Paranormal-Romance-ebook/dp/B00UTXMGP0/?tag=wwwsamcheev0d-20

Amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/HELLfired-Gay-Sci-fi-Paranormal-Romance-ebook/dp/B00UTXMGP0/?tag=wwwsamcheever-21

Amazon.au:

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1121469118?ean=2940151548908

Kobo Books: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/hellfired

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hellfired-1764732-145.html

iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1060263992

Devil May Care – Humorous Paranormal Romance

DevilMayCare

If your name’s Valentine, you just know that February’s gonna suck.

This Valentine’s Day, the ultimate joke is about to be played on poor Valentine. She’s supposed to choke on a chocolate heart and die. You’d think that would be bad enough. But when she misses her chance to die, she finds herself running from an overly ambitious angel and a sexier-than-hell devil named Abbadon. In the race between good and evil it’s no contest. Hell has sexy green eyes, lots of yummy muscles, and a truly decadent pair of lips to ease her pain!

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B6UXJMS/?tag=wwwsamcheever-20

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Devil-Paranormal-Holiday-Romance-Holidays-ebook/dp/B01B6UXJMS/?tag=wwwsamcheev0d-20

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Kobo Books: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/devil-may-care-16

Devil Under the Mistletoe – Fun and Sexy Paranormal Romance

DevilUnderTheMistletoe

Book 1: Holidays Are Hell

 

Damian is supposed to escort sexy Amanda to Hell. But he’d much rather keep her.

This Christmas, Damian Noire’s assignment is to bring beautiful Amanda Wright to stand before the judgment assembly, and then take her to her assigned circle of Hell. It sounds simple. But it’s about to become the hardest assignment he’s ever performed. Amanda might not belong in Hell at all. The problem is, Damian really kind of likes her. And if he gets her the judgment she truly deserves, he’s probably going to lose her forever. But if he doesn’t help her, an innocent may spend eternity in Hell. It appears to be a lose/lose situation on all fronts. Proving once again that holidays truly are hell!

BUY Links:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Mistletoe-Paranormal-Holiday-Romance-Holidays-ebook/dp/B019A5DVSS/?tag=wwwsamcheever-20

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ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-devilunderthemistletoe-1948623-140.html

Yesterday’s Ghosts, Cozy Paranormal Mystery

YesterdaysGhosts_web

The ghosts of the past rarely remain there. Not when the future holds so much possibility for them.

When a local man turns up dead at the Apple Blossom Festival ball, Anna and Pratt discover the man had been writing a tell all book that outed the sins of a good portion of Crocker’s residents. So when the local cops set out to find the killer, it makes sense to enlist the help of ex big city detective Pratt Davies. Pratt’s new in town and therefore one of the few who should be unaffected by the book and able to deal subjectively with the myriad suspects surrounding the murder. But Pratt and Anna quickly learn nobody’s beyond this particular gossip’s range. In fact, it’s possible Pratt’s on the suspect list himself. Along with just about everybody else in Crocker!

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Anna sat behind the counter of Yesterday’s Antiques and watched her two favorite men bicker over the positioning of a new settee she’d asked them to place in the store. Actually, one favorite man and one favorite ghost, though Josselin Zebediah had a life force nearly as big as hers. He just didn’t have a corporeal body to go with it.

Pratt Davies, her sexy assistant in the antiques store, shoved the settee a few inches closer to the wall and turned it away from the deadly rays of the sun. At well over six feet, with dark brown hair that he wore military short, golden brown eyes, thick lashes, a strong nose, a broad jaw, and full lips, Pratt wasn’t hard at all to look at and Anna found his presence in her store a daily distraction that she enjoyed very much.

His nemesis had long, muscular legs and broad shoulders, dark blond hair under a well-worn cowboy hat and intense dark blue eyes. “That ain’t right, Puke,” Joss told him heatedly. “It looks like a doggery for certain.”

“Well, that’s too bad, spook. The sun’s bad for the wood and the fabric. You’re just gonna have to live with it.”

The light fixture above their heads flickered and Anna thought about stepping into the fight. But then Bones, the resident mouse catcher and equal opportunity hater, jumped up onto the settee and spit at both of them before settling into a perfect, orange spiral dead center in the seat.

“Well don’t that just cap the climax,” Joss muttered grumpily.

Pratt glared down at the cranky feline. “Don’t think I won’t move this thing with your fat butt on it, cat.”

The two shared a smile at Pratt’s threat and, just like that, the uneasy truce they’d been attempting to keep since they’d met a few days earlier dropped back into place.
“You should go home and get ready for the ball, Pratt.” Anna closed the record book she’d been pretending to peruse while she watched them bicker and looked up just in time to see him grimace.

Joss shoved his hat back on his head, grinning smugly. “Why so grum, Puke? You got them fancy duds and all.”

Pratt threw Joss a glare and headed toward Anna with a scowl on his handsome face. “I can’t believe you’re making me go to this thing.”

Anna pressed her lips together to hold back a grin. “It’s business, Pratt.” She grabbed the garment bag he’d draped over the counter earlier. “Besides, I don’t know what you’re worried about, you’re going to look very handsome in this suit.” She handed the bag to him and smiled. “I picked it out just for you.”

“If that’s an attempt to make me feel guilty for grousing…” his glower softened as he shook his head. “It’s working. Dammit.”

Anna laughed. “Good. I promise I’ll make it up to you. Besides, you might even have fun.”

He hooked a finger through the hanger and dropped the bag over his shoulder. “You can start making it up to me by saving me at least one dance tonight.”

Anna’s belly warmed with pleasure at the thought. “Deal. That’s an easy promise.”
They shared a smile that ended when Bones flew straight up from the settee, hissing and twisting around to smack the air where Joss had been a moment earlier. All his orange fur stood on end like somebody had stuck his tail into a light socket.

“Stop torturing Bones!” Anna shouted.

Above their heads, the ceiling light flickered as Joss showed his displeasure.

Despite Joss’s jealousy, Anna couldn’t help the smile that slipped across her face as she watched Pratt leave. Their recent battle with an angry spirit and an even angrier killer had brought all the feelings they’d been dancing around to the surface and, for the first time since Pratt had arrived at Yesterday’s Antiques, Anna almost believed they had a chance at something good together.

Unfortunately, the feeling wasn’t shared by the other inhabitants of her little shop. Namely one cowboy and one saloon girl from the early 1800s.

Said saloon girl popped into view a moment later as Anna was counting the day’s receipts.

Anna felt the cool wash of air across her neck and looked around. “Hey, Bess. I haven’t seen you all day. What have you been up to?”

The cranky specter frowned. “I reckon that’s none o’ your concern.”

Anna simply nodded. She was looking forward to the evenings events too much to let Bess’s churlish temperament ruin her day. “Did you happen to see Joss in the attic? He left in a tizzy and I need to talk to him.”

When Bess didn’t respond, Anna turned to find her staring toward the ceiling with a speculative expression. “Bess? Is something wrong?”

The ghost shrugged. “Some folks is just offish, is all.”

Anna closed the drawer to the antique cash register and turned to Bess. “Joss is a bit cranky because Pratt and I…well…” Anna felt her face heat and busied herself tucking cash into a money bag. “Just try to be nice to him. He’ll happy up soon enough.”

Bess looked at her like she’d lost her mind and then, made a disgusted sound with her lips. “It ain’t no great shakes to a curly wolf like Joss that the puke’s got designs on you.” She shook her head. “’Sides, Jossy and me got bigger problems right now.”
She popped away, leaving Anna more confused than she’d started. Shaking her head, Anna locked the front door and turned the Open sign to Closed.

She headed into the back room to grab the antique ball gown she’d found for the ball at the Bickershaw Museum. She couldn’t wait to get home and try it on.

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