Because I goofed off and took a long vacation, I’ve come home to play catch up, which means I have two blogs this week (should Typepad continue working) and you get to listen to twice as much rattling on because I haven’t had time to plan anything better. I’m buried deep in attempting to wrangle this new historical mystery into order and the characters are being such pains, I haven’t even had time to research much more than gas lighting—which I have yet to use, mind you.
So let’s address a happier topic—my magical mystery series. Book #5 of the Psychic Solutions Mysteries, THE AURA ANSWER, will be out Tuesday, November 8th (it’s on pre-order now). This is a Christmas book with ghosts—and no, they’re not Christmas Past or Future. Call them the Ghosts of Confused and Cynical.
If you’ve been following the series, you’ll know the evil mayor who attempted to steal our heroine’s ancestral lands went to jail. In this book, he’s about to be let out on bail for the holidays—until someone shoots him. The obvious suspects, of course, are the psychic family he tried to cheat. Not a great way for my psychic solutions team to start the holidays, especially since the mayor doesn’t die alone. A homeless artist dies in the same place—accident or coincidence? No one knows. Either way, Evie has two ghosts to deal with.
She’s also trying to put together the kind of holiday her 12-year-old ward has never had, deal with friends and family moving into her big Victorian, and keep her mother’s gang from setting fire to a mob. All par for the course in Afterthought, SC. Evie’s very proper schoolteacher sister and her daughter have nowhere else to go since a tree fell on their roof. (I think that was inspired by a tree demolishing the house we once lived in during a tornado. My Muse works in mysterious ways.) Evie’s fiancé has already invited Nick, a way-too-handsome, clever, and talkative Brit client to stay while he waits to testify against a former employer. And cousin Pris and her significant other, Dante Ives, plus his twins, are there while they’re creating Pris’s restaurant.
And they all want the mayor’s ghost gone and Evie home to orchestrate the celebrations. So they help. Have you ever had family and friends help with your house and/or business? Entertaining, isn’t it? And when prim Gracie and rakish Nick start lighting sparks off each other and the local criminals. . . well, I hope you never have a holiday quite like this one:
Blend holiday sugar and spice with a heaping spoonful of angry ghosts, then bring to a boil with one psychic detective...
Evie put down her scraper and answered when her phone warbled “I Got You Babe.” Everything in this house was old, including the ring tones.
Jax didn’t even greet her. “You’d better come down to the courthouse and persuade your mother to picket somewhere else. There’s an ugly counter-protest group gathering, and some of them are armed. Apparently Block has called a news conference.”
Normally, Jax’s voice thrilled Evie to her toes, even after all these months together. But this was her fiancé’s angry, frustrated lawyer voice.
Why would former Mayor Block be holding a news conference? Shouldn’t he be in jail? Irrelevant, Evie, focus.
“If Mavis has the whole coven with her, I’m unlikely to be much influence, unless they’re singing Christmas carols,” Evie warned. “I can kill a carol in two minutes flat.”
“No Christmas carols that I hear.” Jax sounded decidedly not merry. “Even the bell ringer stopped. I can’t see if one of the guns held him up.”
“Protesting zoning with guns seems a little. . . out of context?” she suggested, hoping he was exaggerating.
He sighed in exasperation. “The conspiracy nut-jobs are still screaming that Larraine stole the election. These aren’t just local loudmouths, and this really isn’t about zoning. Pry Mavis and her friends out before someone is hurt.”
Oh crap, if the mob wasn’t about zoning, it was about hating on their new Black transgender mayor. Former mayor Block might be a thief, but he was white and male. Of course all the rubes wanted one of their own back. Evie started down the ladder. “Mavis knows things. She must have known the crowd would turn ugly. She’s not protesting, she’s standing guard over her soul sister.”
On the other end of the line, Jax cursed more colorfully than she did. “The sheriff doesn’t have enough men to hold back a mob. And I don’t think a lot of old people waving signs will help.”
Holding the phone in one hand, Evie swiped sticky paper off her overalls with the other. “I’ll see what I can do, but your best option is smuggling Larraine out. Mavis and Company will follow her.”
“We’re working on it, but there are news crews all over—Larraine, get back!”
A loud crack sounded through the phone before the line went dead.
That crack had sounded an awful lot like a gunshot.
“Jax?” Alarmed when she received no answer, Evie shoved her phone in her pocket and rushed for the door. “Riot in progress. Gotta go,” she shouted at her sister.
“You have wallpaper in your hair!” Gracie shouted back.
The last book in the series, THE PRISM EFFECT, (also on pre-order) cousin Iddy the vet’s book, will be out in March. That one will be a wedding book. So you get your ghosts, your mystery, and your romances in this series. These books really kept me entertained during the quarantine years, so I hope they work for you now that we’re all free again—or what passes for free in the aftermath.
What books are you reading that mix genres? Or do you prefer your genres pure?