ENTANGLED EXCERPT: Medium Rare by Nancy Haddock

Thursday, September 15, 2011 10:00
Posted in category Excerpt

Book CoverIf you’re a paranormal fan like me, you have to be anticipating reading this anthology as much as I am right now.

There have been a number of such anthologies released over the last few years, but none have gone the extra distance this particular one is designed for: to help cure breast cancer.

So while you’re enjoying these very talented authors’ stories in Entangled (you can’t beat the $2.99 price!), you have the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping not only yourself but women everywhere. As a woman, there’s not too many other things better than that.

Now enjoy a quick sneak peak into Nancy Haddock‘s contribution in this extra-special book:

Ghost seer Colleen Cotton and Brickman A. Frasier, the hot by-the-book paranormal investigator of her dreams and nightmares, must team up to locate the one ghost who can save St. Augustine’s specters.

“My ghost investigation team ran into a wall tonight.”

“And that should mean squat to me?”

“It means something to the client. Martha Harrison. She told us you’d done one of your interventions with her ghost last month, and she wants you on site for our investigation.”

I frowned at Brick’s neutral expression. Clearly he didn’t want to lay all his cards on the table, but then he didn’t have to explain Martha Harrison to me. Elderly even by senior citizen standards and a legend in St. Augustine, she’d taught history to generations of students, fought for civil rights, and won her bout with breast cancer and lymphoma both. Far more steel than magnolia, her will was a force of nature. So much so, that I’d quaked in my sandals when Mrs. Harrison called me to do an intervention with her own home ghost, Zavier.

“Listen, Colleen,” Brick said, his voice placating, his energy set to sooth instead of confront. “I admit we got off to a bad start.”

I snorted and crossed my arms. “Brick, you called me a scam artist.”

“I conceded you might be a legitimate sensitive.”

“Only after you told certain people I’d bilk them out of thousands.”

“I apologized for that.”

“Yeah, when one of my clients divulged to you what I actually charge.”

“Okay, I had some bad information. I misjudged you, slandered you, and was an all-around ass, but that was months ago. Give me another chance. Come to Mrs. Harrison’s house with me. She won’t let us set up one piece of equipment until she talks with you.”

I rubbed my forehead and thought about his request. Much as I was attracted to Brick, I didn’t want to make his life one whit easier. However, if I ignored a command appearance from Martha Harrison, I might as well take down my therapist shingle and go flip burgers. Plus I was itching to know what had the local ghosts acting so goosey, and curious as to whether I could help them regain peace.

“Exactly what kind of problems is Mrs. Harrison reporting?”

“Knocks all over the house, bangs and thuds in the attic, shadows moving. And she’s not the only one who’s called about paranormal disturbances. I’ve fielded more calls in the last two weeks than I have for two months.”

I recalled my own uncharacteristically full calendar of clients. Ghostly activity on the rise. No leap of logic to figure something out of the ordinary was afoot.

“Please, Colleen,” Brick said. “I won’t ask anything of you again.”

I gave Brick the evil eye. “If I go, I’ll do it for Martha, not for you and your team.”

“Understood.”

“One crack from any of you, and I’m outta there.”

“Absolutely.”

“Fine. Do you have a digital recorder on you?”

“Uh, yeah.” Brick blinked in puzzlement, but thrust a hand in his windbreaker pocket and pulled out a voice-activated recorder smaller than my dinky old cell phone.

“I don’t suppose you had that running while you were, um—”

“Forcibly restrained by your ghost? No.”

“Too bad. I’ll bet Da had plenty to say.”

“Anything I’d want to hear?” Brick teased.

I waved away his attempt at levity. “Just turn the recorder on now, please.” He pushed a button and nodded. “Da, front and center. I need to ask you about the town ghosts.”

“What about them?”

Da answered even as he materialized between Brick and me. Brick put his hand out to feel the cold spot Da brought with him, and nearly stuck his hand through the middle of my great grand-ghost’s back. With a violent shiver, Brick wisely stepped back.

“The spirits in town seem to be stirred up. Even afraid. Do you know what’s wrong with them?”

Brick frowned, but I kept my focus on Da’s craggy, semi-transparent face.

Da poked a thumb over his shoulder. “Do you want me to answer so he’ll hear me on that gadget?”

For the sake of the gadget, I responded in full. “Yes, speak into the recorder.”

Da half turned. Considering he hadn’t been a tall man but Brick was easily six-five, that put Da’s mouth right about at recorder level.

“All I’ve heard,” he said, carefully enunciating, “is that there’s a raid afoot. An attack, girl. An attack targeting spirits.”

“What could possibly hurt ghosts?”

“There are dead who feed on earthbound souls. Not many of the dastards, but this one must be a doozey.”

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