Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August 1st the 4th book in my Darkness series was re-released. If you love vampires, witches and romance then this series is for you. 

Since I'm feeling generous, I've decided to give away one copy of the first book in the Darkness series, Seducing the Darkness. One lucky winner will receive their very own copy. All you have to do is give me four character names from Seducing the Darkness.

Now here is a look at Charming the Darkness.


    Daniel Vega had never been comfortable as a human so when he was offered eternal life as a vampire, he turned his back on his family and welcomed the darkness. Then Chaos, the one man Danny thought he could always count on, goes missing. Now, shunned by his own kind, it seems that leaving Jacob’s Cove is his only option. Until he crashes into a high-spirited redhead.
    Born from witches, Starla Raine has spent her entire life learning to control and manage her powers. Drawn to Jacob’s Cove, a city magically cloaked in darkness, Starla runs into Daniel, a man connected to the infamous spell, and she knows just what to do. Hold him hostage and, use any means possible to make him give her what she wants.
    The two forge an unlikely partnership, with Danny agreeing to help Starla find the ritual, but only if she’ll work with him to locate Chaos. At first he doesn’t mind using her magical abilities, or her body, for his own gain. Sex is just sex, after all… until someone’s heart gets in the way.


Slamming his fists against the steel door, Danny screamed for
his life. When he heard someone outside the door, he didn’t stop screaming, but raised his voice an octave.
“You have to let me out of here. I have to go home.”
He heard the locks click and as the door opened, he prepared to
make a run for it. He stopped dead in his tracks when Chaos stepped
through the threshold.
“What seems to be the problem, my boy?”
This was the man he looked up to, admired, wanted to be like.
Yet now, Danny had reservations. “I need to go home. My parents
will be worried sick about me.
Chaos closed the door, encasing them both in the dark dank
room. “You are home, my boy. This is your home now.”
“No, no I made a mistake. I need to go home now.” He darted
for the door but it was still locked. “Please, let me go.”
The hand that rested on his shoulder startled him.
“This was just what you wanted. You don’t belong with those
humans and we both know it. You’re different. Like me.” He turned
Danny to face him and the smile did little to comfort Danny. “We are
your family now.”
“I should tell them where I am. I can still be with you and be
with them too.”
“They won’t understand who you are now. They’ll try to kill you
like all humans do. This is your world now, Daniel.”
No, it wasn’t. Was it? He was so confused. He loved his family,
yet he didn’t feel like he belonged. Still…he wasn't sure this was
where he belonged either.
He was so confused.
“They won’t kill me. They’ll understand.”
“Will they? They didn’t understand you before now. What
makes you think they’ll accept you the way you are now. This is
your home now, my boy. Now come. You need to feed.”
Danny walked back to the cot, reluctantly, with Chaos and as
they sat down on the bed, Chaos pulled the sleeve back on his right
wrist and using the index finger of his left hand, sliced his wrist
The smell of the blood called to him and repulsed him all the
Danny looked down at the grey blood oozing out of Chaos’ veins
and realized what he was supposed to do.
And he couldn’t.
“No!” He ran for the door, and once again pounded his fists
against the metal. He’s screamed, he cried and he pleaded to get out
of there.
He was hoisted off his feet and carried back to the bed. As Chaos
tossed him down, pinning him with one hand, he shoved the bleeding
wrist into Danny’s face.
“No! No! No!” Jerking his head from side to side, he refused to
give in to the calling and take the blood into his mouth. His body
ached so fiercely he thought it might break in two.
Chaos shoved the wrist against him mouth and the instant the
blood touched his lips Danny felt the need overtake him.
As he pulled the sweet nectar into his mouth, the tears fell down his face.

My website: 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Only a few more days until Christmas.  Since last year I've gained two daughter in laws. My family is growing. I can still remember when the kids were young. The joy of seeing their faces as they opened the presents from Santa. The anticipation on Christmas Eve to see what Santa will bring them. Cookies and Milk would be set out and the watch out the window to see if they could see Santa in the sky begins. Since having my kids I have always said they are the only gifts I need. This year's wish was no different. All I want is to have my family home for Christmas and to see the joy on their faces as they open their gifts. The most precious of all is seeing my little grand daughter's excitement as she opens hers. That to me is the greatest gift of all.

This year I'm going to add one of the traditions I grew up with for Supper. Every year my mother would make a dish called Mowse. Its a pudding of sorts with dried fruits in a creamy sweet sauce. It was a pudding my father always insisted be made. I used to make it, but haven't for years. I hope my kids remember it.

I'm done all my shopping and now its just sit and relax until the big day is here.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Been a while

So as you can tell I haven't been very present on my blog for a long time. Life has a way of getting in the way. But...I'm back now so look out! LOL

Since being here last I've been through a few publishers.  good portion of my books ended up without a publisher. Thank God it didn't last long. Thanks to Champagne Publishing my Darkness series is back. November 1st Seducing the Darkness was re-released with a whole new cover. On January first 'Happy New Year' to me, Desiring the Darkness will be released. Each book will be released every two months. There's no change in them other than a few sentences maybe, but Penetrating the Darkness will be a completely new book. I am in the process of rewriting it as we speak.

So there you have it. Please come back and see what I've got on my blog.
It could be silly facts about me, crazy things in my life, or other guests sharing their books and stuff.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Secrets of the Dead Chpt 14

Chapter 14

Her force still in control of his hand, C.J. lifted curious eyes. “Save you? From what?” His hand moved again as she controlled what he wrote.

From him.

“Your father?” His hand moved quickly to write Yes.

“Are you afraid of him?” Once again his hand moved as she wrote No. He was confused now. “I don’t understand

Andrea.” His hand moved quickly to write He wants you dead.

The angry cold wind stirred around him, stinging his cheeks and with a jolt, shocking his system, Andrea withdrew herself from him and vanished. And just as quickly as the wind had come up, it dissipated. Lifting his hand, giving it a shake, hating the tingling sensation he always felt after an encounter, he tried to make sense of what she had been trying to tell him.

Who did she mean for him to save and what had she meant by her father wanting him dead? He hadn’t done anything to warrant an entity taking vengeance on him. He had the written words of the dead in front of him yet he was as clueless as if he knew nothing.

This whole ordeal was becoming more bizarre by the minute.

“I’m going to bed,” Jessie announced as she stomped past him, moving through the room.

Shaking himself free of the ordeal he had just endured, his head lifted to Jessie. “Alone?” he inquired, still miffed at her. The ghostly encounter hadn’t rid him of the hurt, or the revelation that he was good enough for a quick fuck but nothing more.

“Yes.” Her head held high, she took the steps toward her room.

“Hope you enjoy company, because I have a feeling he’s going to be in a mood tonight.” Okay, that might have been uncalled for, but he wasn’t feeling exactly kind at the moment.

Pulling out a cigarette, his system still unsettled, he flicked the lighter on as the bedroom door slammed shut.

Grabbing his ashtray, he made his rounds, checking his instruments and making sure everything was running.

Taking one of the digital thermometers, and a camera, he headed up the stairs. Grabbing a pillow and blanket from his room, he set up beside Jessica’s door, and made himself as comfortable as possible. It was going to be a long night.

When the bedroom door opened and Jessie stepped out in a t-shirt and white cotton underwear, he nearly swallowed his tongue.

“What the hell are you doing?” Her arms crossed over her chest, she glared at him.

“Protecting you.” Though, seeing her standing a mere two feet from where he sat, he wanted to do more to her than protect her. That was, he would if he wasn’t angry with her.

“I don’t need your protection, Dowling.”

“Fine, I’m not protecting you, Jessica, I’m doing research. And look, the temperature dropped several degrees the instant you opened your mouth.” He held the thermometer up; though it didn’t show a drop in temperature, he could tell that his snide comment hit the mark by the shocked expression on her face. . He rather liked the way her eyes narrowed and got darker when she was angry.

“You know where you can shove that damn thermometer, Dowling,” she countered, her teeth grinding.

He stood now, simply to look her in the eyes. “No,

Jessica, why don’t you tell me where you would like to shove it.”

“Oh, I think you have enough of a creative mind to know where I would shove it.” They stood toe to toe, both too stubborn to back off.

 “You don’t have the nerve.” He dared her, lifting the thermometer in her face.

Her eyes narrowed, never leaving his. “Oh, I have the nerve, pal.” She grabbed hold of his hand.

“Prove it.”

Her hand clasped onto his just a bit tighter. He loved the wicked look in her eyes. She gasped when he yanked her towards him, colliding with his firm chest.

Dropping the thermometer, his hands came up to frame her face. The instant their lips touched, the passion exploded. He backed her into the room, kicking the door shut in the process, fighting with the t-shirt she wore, trying to get it over her head while he still clung to her lips. Not wanting to release her mouth, he gave up and went for her underwear instead.

Clawing at the snaps on his jeans, Jessie yanked them below his hips, then shoved his boxers down. With both hands, she grabbed hold of his firm tight ass and pulled him against her.

Kicking his legs frantically, he managed to free himself of his clothing, nearly stumbling in the process.

When she hoisted herself up, wrapping her legs around his waist, he didn’t waste any time and shoved her down on the bed. He took hold of her hands, yanking them over her head and when she lifted her hips higher, he plunged.

Greedy to take, eager to have, they moved in perfect

rhythm. He released her hands so his could roam over her body, arousing already hard nipples. She scraped short nails along his back, making him shiver with delight. He took her mouth as the climax spiked through them and didn’t release her until their quivering subsided.

“For the record, I’m still angry at you,” she panted.

“Same goes darling.” But he lifted his head with a smile. “Damn.”

“Yeah. Who would have thought angry sex could be so good.” She chuckled lightly.

 “You want me to leave or can I crash here? Because quite frankly, I don’t know if my legs will work.”

“You can stay, but let me clarify something first.

What I meant earlier, before you interrupted and jumped to your own conclusion…”

“Darling, I didn’t have far to jump.” He stroked the damp hair from her face.

Her eyes narrowed. “Shut up for once, Dowling. What

I was going to say was that I don’t normally have sex with men I hardly know…”

“We’ve known each other for close to five years,


Her eyes widened in frustration. “Shut up. Fine, I don’t normally fuck men I don’t date for a few weeks first.

How’s that?”

“Crude, but I get the point. So…being drunk you lose all reasoning and let your body go. Interesting.” He collapsed beside her, drawing her into him and curling his arm around her. “Looks like the place is still standing.”

“Looks like.”

“I could go check the rest of the house.” He probably should, if his legs worked that was.

“Nah, we’ll find out in the morning.” Curling onto her side, she closed her eyes and drew in his scent. “Why do you always smell so good?”

“It’s called hygiene, darling.”

She grunted. “You’re such a jerk.”

Smiling, he kissed her head. “Good night, Jessica.”

“’night, Dowling.”

C.J. waited until he was sure she was fast asleep before he slipped from the bed. He wanted this recorded and grabbed his thermometer and the mini-cam he’d set out in the hallway. Sitting on the edge of the bed, clicking the camera on, setting the thermometer beside him, he spoke. “Pisses you off that I can have her and you can’t, doesn’t it?”

Monday, February 25, 2013

Secrets of the Dead Chapter 13

Chapter 13

Washing the foul taste from her mouth, Jessie took a moment to calm herself. She didn’t want to think about the reason she had just spilled her guts in the toilet. Sure, a good part of her queasy stomach might be attributed to her hangover, but not all, and it was the other part she didn’t want to think or rehash in her mind.

Feeling more stable, she lifted from the sink and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She looked…she didn’t want to even think deathly, but it was close. Wiping her hands on the towel, she was reminded of the episode in the shower. The hands on her body had felt so—she cut her thoughts off, giving her head a shake.

She didn’t care to go there right now.

Opening the door, she was surprised to see C.J. standing in the hall, leaning against the wall across from the door, waiting for her.

“Feeling better?”

“No. I need something to eat, though. I’ve got the shakes.” Was it from lack of food or the revelation of what had actually happened to her that brought it on? She couldn’t be sure.

“I’ll scrounge something up for us to eat. Feel like talking?”

“No.” She really didn’t.

“I think you might feel better if you talked about what happened to you.”

“And give that bastard the satisfaction of knowing what he did to me is affecting me? I think not.”

“Okay.” He helped her down the stairs. “Wow, you’re shaking like a leaf. Are you a diabetic?”

“No. Why?”

“You’re pretty shaky, and you said you needed to eat.

Probably just shock, and spilling your guts in the toilet.

It’s raining again.”

Glancing out the window on her way through the living room, she saw that it was. “I would love to feel that on my face right now.”

“Doors are still sealed tight. Someone doesn’t want us to leave here.” He helped her to a chair then turned to the cupboards. “How does soup sound?”

“Perfect.” She didn’t think her stomach could handle anything else. “You made me that stupid bet knowing there were spirits here? That’s unfair.”

Smiling, C.J. opened a can of vegetable soup.

“Thought that one got past you.”

“Memory like a—what has a good memory?” Her mind currently was a little off.

“Elephants,” he supplied, stirring the soup in the pot.

“Right. Is there anything to make a sandwich with in the fridge?”

“I’ll check.”

He moved to the fridge and as he bent over she

admired just how well his jeans fit against his nice firm ass. “So, back to my discussion—”

“Wasn’t a discussion, you were accusing.” He carried the meat and cheese to the counter.

“Whatever. That was pretty crummy of you, but what I want to know is how you knew I would believe in ghosts after two days? Unless you had an inside track on that as well? Did they tell you they were going to lock us in here?”

He turned to see her eyes narrowed in on him. “No, I didn’t know they were going to lock us here. I had hoped something would show up to sway you from your adamant disbelief, but that wasn’t the reason why I made the bet.”

“Then why did you make the bet?”

“I wanted to know what it was like to kiss you.” He set the plate of deli meat on the table, his eyes lowering to her with a seductive slant.

“You wanted to know what it was like to kiss me?”

“Yes, I did.”

 “You don’t even like me, or at least you didn’t. I hope that’s changed now, though.” A man didn’t do what he had done with her—to her—if he disliked a woman. But she had to make sure.

“I liked you just fine before, Jessica, even more now; I just liked aggravating you, still do,” he replied comically, setting the hot pot on the place mat on the table.

“Gee, lucky me.” She slapped meat between two pieces of bread, then took a huge bite. “How do I prevent him from touching me again?” she asked apprehensively after swallowing the food in her mouth.

“I’ll stay with you.”

Her brow lifted. “As in, sleep with me?”

“Unless you have a problem with that, yes.” He handed her the bowl, then filled another for himself.

“We’ve had sex, Jessica.” He supplied after a moment’s silence.

“I know that.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“We hardly know each other.”

His eyes lifted to her with surprise. “We had sex,

Jessica,” he repeated a little slower this time.

She snorted in response, stirring her hot soup. “Sex is different than sleeping with someone, and besides, I was drunk.”

His hand stopped midway to his mouth. Dropping the spoon back into the bowl of soup, he replied. “Are you saying that the only reason you had sex with me was because you were drunk?”

“Well, yeah, but…”

“Oh, oh, I get it.” He pushed from the table, obviously angry. “That’s nice, Jessica, fucking nice. Thank you for that.” Marching past her, he left her alone at the table.

“I was going to add that I don’t normally sleep with people I barely know, and that I didn’t regret having sex with you. Until now.” She whispered the last, anger rippling off of her. The room suddenly quiet, she felt uneasy being alone. Looking around, she hoped the entity was no where near her now.

She kept a watchful eye – not that she would be able to do anything if he tried something. Great, not only was she angry but now she was paranoid as well. Great, fucking great.


To keep himself busy and his mind off of a certain female he refused to acknowledge, C.J. went over every bit of information he had accumulated thus far, making sure he had everything documented properly and coded on disc with his own pass code. He wasn’t taking any chances with this evidence.

She only had sex with you because she was drunk.

Growling under his breath, C.J. flipped through his printouts. What was wrong with him, obsessing over what Jessica had said? It shouldn’t matter what she thought, or what she said. It was her loss if she didn’t want to be with him. She was just going to have to fend for herself from now on and find a way to keep Mr. Greedy Hands from copping a feel.

Oh, who was he kidding, he couldn’t do that, couldn’t leave her to deal with the entity on her own. He cared too much about her to do that to her.

The familiar tickle drew his attention. Lifting his head from his papers, he saw her standing before him, that now familiar solemn look on her face. “Hello, Andrea.” She didn’t respond and he hadn’t expected her to. “Why do you always look so troubled? I know your death was tragic, but I sense something else is behind your misery.”

Moving in soundless steps, she closed the distance between them until she was a breath away. She had incredible brown eyes, and he wondered if they had lit with glee when she had been alive. He felt her presence as she touched his hand. It was an odd sensation he had felt only a few times before, but it was never forgotten. A cool feeling like that which occurs from sucking on a mint, came close to what he felt when she touched his hand. And when his hand lifted without his assistance, and began to write on his pad, he was compelled to watch.

Save us.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Secrets of the Dead chpt 12

Chapter 12


C.J stood near the entrance to the living room, watching as Jessica sat with her face practically plastered against the tiny television screen, hooked up to one of his cameras. Just looking at her made him feel all warm inside. He remembered vividly how she had felt in his arms, how her naked body had fit perfectly with his.

Though she’d changed into her own clothing, he could still visualize her wearing only his shirt and nothing more.

He wondered what she would do if he whisked her off her chair and threw her down on the ground and ravaged her delicious body.

“What are you doing?”

Shrieking, Jessie jumped from the chair she’d been sitting in. And C.J.’s first reaction was to laugh.

“Why the hell do you find scaring me so damn funny?

My God, I could have had a heart attack.”

“It wasn’t intentional, darling, but it sure gave me a thrill. What were you watching that has you so spooked?”

As he pulled up a chair and sat beside her, he saw the tape from the night before, stilled on the screen. “Ah, now I see.”

Settling down now, she took her seat, and played the tape. “I was just reviewing this. It’s a little freaky to watch.”

“I imagine for you it is.”

“But not you, because you’re used to this sort of thing.

I still can’t get over it. Did you know this place was

haunted before you came here? Like, seriously know, not

just taking the owners’ word on it?”

“No, but hearing their accounts I had a strong

suspicion what they described was the truth.”

“Why?” She stretched out in the chair, her long tanned legs dangling over the arms.

Damn, she was sexy. He remembered just what those legs had felt like touching his sides, lifting up and curling around his back as he drove himself into her. How wild she had been, writhing beneath him, gyrating her hips, nails digging into his back as her body convulsed over and over and….


“What?” he jumped at her voice, suddenly feeling incredibly hot.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, fine. What did you say?” He couldn’t recall a single word she had said to him.

“You’re flustered. Why are you flustered?”

“I’m not.”

“You are so. You never get flustered.” She sat up, leaning forward. “What were you thinking just now?”

“Nothing.” It suddenly came back to him. He hoped.

“You asked why I knew the house was haunted just by talking with the owners.”

Her lips curling in a smirk, she pressed on. “Let’s set that conversation on the back burner for now and discuss what it was that distracted you, making you pant and looking a little wild in the eyes.”

“I was not panting and my eyes never go wild.”

“Oh, they go wild alright, and you were most definitely panting.” Her eyes wandered down to his crotch.

“You’re hard!”

He didn’t have to look down to know she was right, but he did shift to disguise it a little more. Change the subject and now. “The moment I stepped into this place, I knew there were other presences here, so when I made you that bet, I had the upper hand.”

“Now that wasn’t very nice. What were you thinking about that got you hard? Do ghosts get you hard, C.J.? Are you a necrophiliac?”

His eyes narrowed. “That’s an obsession with a corpse, Jessica. There are no corpses here.”

She bit her lip, smirking. “Fine, whatever. Tell me what you were thinking about.”

 “You’re not going to let up until I do, are you?”

“Nope.” She crossed her arms over her chest and stared at him.

“Fine, I’ll tell you what I was thinking. I was remembering what it felt like to have these gorgeous legs of yours wrapped around my body as I drove myself into you.” His fingers slid up her ankle, past her knee and all the way to her thighs before she stopped him.


“Do you know what else I remember?” He placed his hands on the arms of the chair, standing up, leaning over her, his eyes meeting hers. “I remember how wild you were, bucking beneath me, begging me with your body to give you more.”

She swallowed hard, and if the pink in her cheeks was any indication, she was growing aroused by what he was telling her.

“And I wonder, Jessica, just what else I could do to you to make you scream out in ecstasy.” He took her mouth in one sharp motion that took her breath away. He felt her suck it in, felt her hold it as he devoured her lips.

And while he toyed with her mouth, he yanked her to her feet, pulling her tight against his chest.

There’s my animal, he thought as she backed him against the wall, pressing her belly against his. When her hand slid down and not so gently grabbed hold of his dick, his eyes nearly crossed.

He felt it then, the sharp stinging pain in the center of his chest that warned him of the rage that was stirring in the room. The conflict of emotions swirled like a confusing brew inside of him, his loins begging him to proceed, his mind telling him to take cover.

He hadn’t had time to decide when a loud crash startled them both.

They broke apart, Jessica spinning around just as a vase flew towards them. Grabbing her, C.J. pushed them to the side as the vase crashed into the wall, tiny shards of glass falling to the floor and scattering. The matching vase lay shattered only feet before them.

He released Jessica, stepped back in experiment, and felt the rage still slightly. “Hmm.”

“What hmm, and what the hell is going on? Did that vase just fly towards us?”

“I need to experiment.” Grabbing her by the arms, C.J. yanked her against him and took her mouth hastily while his hands roamed her body. He felt the bubbling in his gut and knew an instant before the rage erupted that he was onto something. Releasing her quickly, he stepped away and waited.

“What the hell?”

“Someone doesn’t like me touching you.”


Rubbing his chest, the burning very unsettling, he turned to Jessica with complete seriousness. “I believe that last night’s display was a temper tantrum because I was with his girl.”

“English, Dowling, I’m a little keyed up here and my mind is mush.”

Oh, he wanted to finish what they had started in the worst way, but he didn’t think now was the best time. Not until the angry energy swirling about stilled. Damn the spirit for ruining his fun. He shifted himself and took a deep breath in hopes of cooling his libido down. “You know those so called bugs you felt the first night you were here?”

“Yeah.” She shuddered.

“It wasn’t bugs, darling, that was a man having a little pleasure moment.”

“What the hell are you talking about, Dowling?”

Frowning, she dropped down into her chair, her body starting to settle down.

“I believe what you felt were the hands of Darius

Smithers, attempting to have his way with you.”

She snorted in response, then laughed it off. “Get out, that is so ridiculous.”

“He was reportedly a ladies man.” C.J. sat on the sofa, lighting a cigarette, feeling the energy around him calm.

He was more than relieved. At least his stomach could settle down now, as well as other uncomfortable aches.

“And I think he’s taken a fancy to you, and might I say, I can’t blame the guy. You are quite the woman Jessica.”

“Are you trying to tell me that you think there is some perverted ghost here trying to fondle me at night?” She snorted again. “Come on, Dowling, that’s absurd.”

“Why is that absurd? Think about what you’ve witnessed this past day, then think back to what it felt like that first night, in your bed. If it had been bugs, darling, where did they go, why didn’t you see any when you changed the bedding?”

She put a hand to her stomach. “Oh god, oh ick.” Then her eyes went wide. “That means in the washroom, it was him touching me, and in bed, he pinched my nipple. Oh

God, God. I feel sick.” Lifting to her feet, she ran for the stairs and to the washroom.

Couldn’t say he blamed her. It sickened him just thinking about what the perverted entity might have done to her. With the smoke smoldering between his fingers, he lifted his head and searched the room. “Only a coward violates a woman, and only a coward hides his face. Touch her again, and you’ll have me to answer to.”

A gust of wind swept into the room, stirring the curtains, rattling the windows and tossing pictures to the floor. In the midst of the storm brought on by a pissed ghost, C.J. stood, calmly tapped his cigarette out, then headed after Jessica. He’d grown out of his fear of the dead a long time ago.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Secrets of the Dead Chpt 11

Chapter 11

They spent the better part of the morning and the afternoon placing the furniture back where it belonged, then cleaning the house. They’d been very surprised to find the bedrooms just as disheveled as the rest of the house.

“I would have to say, someone was royally pissed,”

C.J. commented, finally taking a break and sitting at the kitchen table with a cold glass of water. He could feel someone present, lurking about, and whoever it was, was not pleased at all.

“I’m still trying to grasp this all.” She laid her head gently on the table, exhausted.

Stroking her damp hair, C.J. smiled. “Give yourself time.” She had seen more than anyone he had ever known, and he felt closer to her than he thought he ever would with a woman.

Lifting her head, she sighed. “When was your first ghost sighting?”

This was a tough one. Should he open himself up to her completely and tell her the truth? Or should he give her what she could handle? Dive in, C.J. my boy, and either sink or swim. “When I was three.”

Her brow lifted in surprise. “Three? That’s awfully young. How did you know it was a spirit?”

Lifting a cigarette from his package, he lit up before responding. “I just knew.” He blew a cloud of smoke in the air, and dove. “There are certain people in the world that have the ability to communicate with the dead. Mediums, clairvoyants, etc. I prefer calling myself a spiritual guide.” His eyes met her and he waited. Would this be where he drowned?

She sat back, ran a hand through her damp hair. “A spiritual guide?”

He felt himself sinking. “Yes.”

Taking his glass, she gulped down half before setting it down. “Explain it more clearly to me.”

He was treading water now. “I can feel them, their presence…spirits,” he added, then drew on his cigarette.

“It’s like a tingling at the back of my neck, and a faint electrical charge goes through my system. When the spirit is strong, vengeful or afraid, I often get severe indigestion.

I feel them before I see them.”

“You can see them?”

He flicked the ashes into the ashtray and continued.

“Yes, I can, though sometimes it’s a little foggy. Depends on their strength.”

“You see them?” she asked a little more excitedly, leaning forward, placing her arms on the table.

With a smile and a nod, he responded. “Yes, Jessica, I can see them.”

“Wow. What do they look like? Are they bloody, decayed, bones?” Her eyes lit with excitement.

Apparently he was swimming after all. “Sometimes I see them the way they died, but never as just bones. It’s their soul, their entities that come to me, not their bodies.

When I see them as they were when they died, it’s for a reason.”

“And that reason would be…?” She was totally engrossed now.

“Mostly to make a point, as to say, ‘Hey, look what the living did to me, now fix it’.” He tapped out the cigarette and lifted to make some coffee. He wondered if the entity had tossed the perked coffee and spared the decaf, thinking no one would care to use the decaf.

Shrugging that thought away, he started a pot of water to boil.

“And do you?”

“I try, but sometimes I can’t.” And those were the cases that always ate at his gut. He hated leaving something unresolved, but sometimes there was no other choice.

“Why not?”

He turned back and smiled, realizing she was completely enthralled by what he was saying. “This isn’t freaking you out at all is it?”

“No. And believe me, my not being freaked out by it is a little freaky. I mean, come on, I’m a die hard skeptic, and here I am sitting at a table, talking with a guy who communicates with the dead, in a house with spirits.” She held her hands out as if to say, ‘I rest my case’.

Laughing, he leaned against the counter, waiting for the water to boil. “You’re amazing, Jessica. To answer your question, I can’t always help the dead. I can only do so much, dig into things so far without drawing attention to myself and being called a freak.”

“But you are a freak.” She said it with the utmost affection, and if he didn’t catch that in her words, the smile was enough to clue him in. “I think I get what you mean.

Who knows about this ability of yours?”

“My family, my boss, you.”

Her left brow lifted in surprise. “That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

“No girlfriends?”

“Nope.” There were very few people he trusted with his gift.

“So what about your family, they must have told people?”

“Hard to tell someone something they don’t believe in.” He turned to her and saw the confusion on her face.

“My family doesn’t accept the fact that I can communicate with the dead.”

“For real?”

He nodded.

“Why don’t they believe you?”

“Did you believe in spirits before today?” he countered.

“No, but I’m not a family member. I would think they would trust you more than that.”

Yeah, so did he. “I’m an embarrassment to them. My grandfather has gone so far as to disown me.”

“Get out. Wait, grandfather, would this be the same one whom you share a name with?”

“One and the same.”

Now she understood. “Can’t say I blame you for the name change. Carlton is a stuffy sort of name, and though you are pretentious at times, you’re not stuffy.”

“Gee, thanks Jessica.” The water finally boiling, C.J. filled his cup, setting the pot back, then adding decaf coffee. It would have to do, he supposed.

“Make me one too, please, I’m so damn thirsty.”

“Yeah, hangovers will do that to you.” He set the cup in front of her, grinning.


“Nothing.” Still grinning, he sat down to enjoy his coffee and a smoke.

“That is not a nothing grin, pal, now fess up.”

“Who knew you were such an animal…”

Lowering her head, her face turning red, Jessie tried to disguise it by drinking her coffee.

“Are you blushing?”

“No,” she said vehemently.

“You are, you’re blushing. Oh, my God, that’s so cute.”

Her fist lifted with warning. “Back off, Dowling, or you’ll be sporting a shiner.”

His coffee and cigarette forgotten now, he moved next to her, leaning close to her face. “Wouldn’t be the first time I received a black eye. Come on, animal, take your best shot.”

Snarling at him, she pushed from the table. “And waste my energy on a slug like you? I don’t think so.”


Her back stiffened, and as she turned, her emerald eyes narrowed. “I am not chicken.”

 “Where I’m sitting darling, you sure look chicken to me.”

“You want me to hit you?”

“Not particularly, no, but I like the fire in your eyes.

Reminds me of last night. There it is again.” She was blushing like a school girl and it was very appealing.

“Oh, go talk to your ghosts.” With her head held high, she marched from the room.

Laughing, C.J. leaned back in his chair and finished off his cigarette and coffee. The day was turning out pretty damn good so far.