Ghost Walking, Maggie York #1
Not believing won't make the ghosts go away.
New Orleans' homicide cop Maggie York is at the top of her game until a sniper's bullet changes everything. She flatlines, comes back. But not quite the same. She sees and hears things...ghostly things. And she blurts out enough to her doctors to end up on medical leave with a diagnosis of PTSD. If only.
Six months later, the voices have faded and the ghostly sightings are less frequent. The department still won't let Maggie return to the job. Oh, she's quit talking about ghosts, except to a few friends and the loony relatives who believe she's a witch, but Maggie doubts herself. Since inactivity is making it worse, she sets out to track down her shooter, only things get complicated...a ghostly witness wants his own murder solved, and sexy homicide cop, Josh Brandt—who just happens to be her replacement—wants her to butt out of his case.
After Josh catches her at the murder scene of a key witness, he wonders how the attractive redhead is staying one step ahead of him and how deeply her involvement goes. She doesn't appear as unstable as he's been told, but she's hiding something. He recognizes the signs...because he has secrets of his own. Unraveling her case soon draws them down twisted but intersecting paths.
And failure may cost Maggie her life.
Maggie’s gaze sharpened as the old crime scene routine fell into place. Discarded clothing near an old washing machine, empty beer cans. Hurst and his girlfriend hadn’t been especially tidy, but she’d seen worse. The kitchen was clutter-free except for an empty pizza box on the counter. Large. Smelled like pepperoni. The fridge contained three takeout cartons of leftovers—gumbo, red beans, something indefinable—a quart of milk, half used, and three beer cans in the plastic holder from a six-pack. Apparently no one cooked.
She entered the hallway. A check of the guest bedroom and a glance in the living room yielded nothing unusual, only the expected drawer or cushion out of place due to the police search.
She’d left the main bedroom for last.
The bodies were gone and the bed stripped. She knelt to look under the bed, but anything on the floor and nightstand had been bagged and removed to the lab. Otherwise, it was much as she remembered. Ten by ten, holding a full-size bed and one dresser. She moved across the room to check the closet…and heard a floorboard creak in the hallway.
Maggie froze, her heart hammering. Someone was in the house. She hadn’t been particularly silent, so they must know she was there. Why so quiet? She glided back to the door, the SIG Sauer already in her hand. When the hardwood floor emitted a second small sound, she whipped around the corner, pointing her gun at the intruder.
And faced the deadly end of a Beretta, held by a tall man with compelling, steel-blue eyes. The air vibrated with energy…and for one long moment, they stared at one another.
“Who are you?” she demanded.
“Police. And you?” The voice was cool, richly masculine.
She took in the dark blue jacket over a white shirt open at the collar, a loose tie slightly askew, and his black hair just long enough that an unruly strand curled over his forehead.
“Show me your badge.” She was stalling for time. Maggie didn’t doubt the confident, intense man on the other end of the gun was a cop. A very good-looking cop who wasn’t the least bit happy to find her there. How could she explain her presence?
He flipped open his jacket with one hand, revealing the badge clipped to his belt. “Detective Brandt. Now put down your gun and back away from it.”
He hadn’t raised his voice, but the or else was loud and clear. She nodded, slipped the safety on, and set the weapon on the floor, keeping her hands where he could see them.
“What are you doing in here?” he asked.
She figured he’d soon find out anyway, so she told him the truth—albeit a limited version. “Assessing the murder scene. The male victim was involved in my own shooting.”
The cop’s eyes narrowed, but the gun didn’t waver. “Should I know you?”
She shrugged. “I’m Maggie York.”
Ghost Walking on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29975087-ghost-walking
Book trailer: see below or on Youtube: https://youtu.be/DyukJ4IYqgc
Ghost Witching, Maggie York #2
Seeing ghosts should make solving homicides easy, right? Not even close.
When detectives Maggie York and Josh Brandt catch a new murder investigation involving occult rituals, ghosts, and venomous snakes, it seems like a case that could only happen in New Orleans. Not only does the victim's ghost demand Maggie's attention, but three apparitions begin appearing to her…sending the detectives on a search for more bodies. They soon discover the ghostly trio has links to the Witching Hour Society, an organization of self-declared witches with far more going on behind the scenes. Meanwhile, a neighbor believes the victim killed his family with a curse, and the media eagerly sensationalizes the entire story.
Making things worse, Maggie and Josh have hit a rough spot in their personal relationship. The tension between them is already high when Josh's ex-fiancée arrives in town…and wants him back.
Soon the violence is escalating, the ghosts grow more aggressive, and the deeper Maggie and Josh dig, the stranger things get. Welcome to murder New Orleans’ style.
EXCERPT (opening scene):
Maggie sat cross-legged in the witches' circle, listening to the night sounds of the Louisiana swamp giving way to a hazy dawn. The sluggish air failed to stir the moss-hung cypress trees, and humidity clung to her skin. It would be another scorcher.
Her candle flickered, and she turned it to allow more of the wax to trickle down the side. How had her life evolved to include this? A year ago the hard-nosed cop in her would have scoffed at the idea covens actually existed. Now she was part of one. Not that she'd bought the whole occult package, but her denials rang hollow in the face of collaborating with a ghost to track down a killer. Nor could she explain away the knowledge her distant relatives, Dalia and Selena, gleaned from the Beyond.
Dalia's hard stare brought Maggie's attention back to the circle of thirteen. Spooky how the quiet, unpretentious woman knew things…like Maggie's wandering thoughts. She raised her candle in unison with the others as Selena spoke the words approaching the end of the blessing ceremony.
In contrast to Dalia's petite form, Selena was larger than life, literally and figuratively. The priestess raised her arms, her long, ashen hair braid falling over her shoulder, the white muumuu fluttering in the morning air like a giant bird about to ascend. Her voice matched her size, echoing around the clearing, bringing Maggie and the other participants to their feet.
Although Maggie wasn't positive the white witch rite actually did anything, attendance at coven ceremonies had been one of Selena's requirements for teaching her how to assert greater control over the ghostly apparitions who were bound to make more appearances in Maggie's future. The old woman had been particularly insistent tonight, piquing Maggie's curiosity. And a little apprehension. Had Selena had another of her visions, possibly foretelling trouble in the near future? When asked, her cousin had given a typically cryptic answer. "Good and evil are always in motion."
Which told her nothing new. Maggie sighed, darting a glance at the focused women around her. No matter. The future wouldn't be changed by worrying. Besides, she had no real objection to being here and supporting the coven's hopes of healing one member's gravely ill four-year-old niece, for a laid-off worker to find a new job, and a universal plea for greater wisdom. They could all use a dose of that.
While calling upon the Goddess to bless and protect them, Selena made a three-sixty turn, her gown billowing as she included every participant. Maggie suddenly stiffened and peered behind her cousin. Had something dark and wispy swooped past? No, of course not. The lifting dawn mist had fired her overactive imagination.
Yet her heart beat a bit faster, and she joined in the final lines of the closing chant with more gravity than usual.
"In calm or stormy days to come, light our pathways safely home.
Gracious Goddess, grant our plea. So mote it be."
Maggie was tempted to add an "Amen" for good measure.
As they blew out their candles, her cell phone buzzed. She checked the screen. Police dispatch. Her real world snapped back into place. While they'd been surrounded by the hope inherent in these pre-dawn gatherings, someone else had committed the most grievous assault upon society…the murder of one of its citizens.
Etopia Press: http://www.etopiapress.com/ghost-witching/
Book Traile: see below or on Youtube: https://youtu.be/cxgb07Wzn7w
Ghost Witching on Goodreads: