Hyacinth Finch Has Got One Foot in the Grave, the Other Kicking Ass -- Debriefing the Dead by @kerry
DEBRIEFING THE DEAD
by Kerry Blaisdell
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Ghost Fiction
The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (ISBNs: 978-1-5092-2046-5 Digital / 978-1-5092-2045-8 Paperback)
"Hyacinth Finch has got one foot in the grave, the other kicking ass."
Indiana Jones meets Stephanie Plum in Book 1 of The Dead Series. Set in France and Turkey, this paranormal adventure introduces Hyacinth Finch, a former grave-robber-turned-fence with a problem: She’s half dead, forced by Archangel Michael to steal a powerful relic from Satan himself. She’s also suddenly guardian to her young nephew, whose father’s Mafia family wants him back, at any cost. Running from the Mob, chasing demons, and fending off hordes of dead people—Hyacinth must learn to multitask, to survive her Life after Death! FMI: https://kerryblaisdell.com/.
The only thing Hyacinth wants is her life back. Literally. She and her sister were murdered by Demons, leaving her young nephew, Geordi, to his father’s family in the brutal Sicilian Mob. Then Archangel Michael offers her a deal: recapture a powerful rock the Demons stole, and she can live long enough to find Geordi a safe home. Refuse, and she’ll continue up (or down) to the Afterlife.
So, slightly more alive than dead, she heads for Turkey and the Demons, taking Geordi, her mysterious neighbor Jason, and a sexy dead guy only she can see with her. But the hardest part won’t be battling Demons, meeting Satan, or dodging Middle Eastern customs—it will be later, when Geordi is settled, and Michael rips her away again. How can she abandon her nephew? Or can she outwit the Angel of Death himself, and stay with Geordi forever?
“DEBRIEFING THE DEAD is everything I want in a book: a smart, wise-cracking heroine on a witty, sexy, can’t-guess-the-next-twist ride. Trust me, Kerry Blaisdell is your new obsession. I’m a huge fan!” ~Lenora Bell, USA Today bestselling author
“Filled with quirky characters, gorgeous locations and madcap mystery, it’s easy to overlook that at the heart of Kerry Blasdell’s delicious, rollicking romp of a story is a whip-smart protagonist whose love for her family leads her to strike a bargain with the Angel of Death. Archaeology meets international intrigue in this dazzling debut by an author to watch.” ~Teri Brown, award-winning author of Velvet Undercover
As is so often the case, once I got going, it wasn’t so bad. Opening the first crate was tough, and I won’t say I didn’t cry at all. Vadim was a good partner, and a better friend. At least he’d died doing what he loved—sailing the Mediterranean, with a drink in his hand and two beautiful women at his side. He was a devout atheist, but if there’s any kind of afterlife, I’d like to think he’s still sailing and drinking, and looking for the next big catch.
It took several trips to move the best items, and a few more for the midlevel stuff, plus getting more boxes. By the time I got to the third crate, the sun was well past its zenith, but I’d reached the dregs. Items down here were either unwrapped, loose in the packing straw, or else carelessly covered with rough cloth to prevent scratching.
This crate wasn’t as full as the others, and it looked like I was on my final trip. Thank God. I’d had a quick lunch—veggies, hummus, cheese, and bread—but otherwise worked straight through. Lily’d called twice more, but I didn’t pick up. I’d call her back over dinner, when we’d have time to chat, and I could tell her of my sudden windfall.
I plopped my last empty box on the warehouse floor, then hung over the side of the crate to excavate the bottom. I found a few more canvas bundles and pulled them out, setting them in the box, then went back once more.
I thought I’d gotten everything, until my fingers brushed against something hard, wrapped in cloth, and oddly warm to the touch. I grabbed it and heaved myself out of the crate, then examined the bundle. It felt like a rock, heavy and solid. Most of the items in this crate were broken pottery shards, from vases and the like. Hard, maybe, but not heavy. Careful not to touch the item’s surface, in case it was valuable after all, I turned it over and shook the covering loose.
Sure enough, it was a rock. Plain, gray, ordinary. About half the size of an American football, shaped like an irregular pyramid, with jagged edges and flat-but-rough surfaces. The only unusual thing about it was its warmth. Like Claude Rousseau. Which is maybe why, against my better judgment, I reached out and touched the very tip of the rock’s pyramid.
And then it shrieked at me, the agony of centuries piercing my ears till I thought my skull would burst, electric shocks searing through my fingers, hand, arm, ripping through my whole body, gripping my lungs and squeezing until I couldn’t breathe. I flung the rock away, covering my ears and dropping to the floor, shaking, gasping for air, while still it screamed, on and on and on and on, until I lay huddled on the concrete, red fire burning in my head, blackness filling my soul.
Then everything went silent.
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Kerry was born in British Columbia, Canada, and has since lived all over the West Coast of North America, including California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska—everywhere except Mexico! She’s a “computer industry” brat, not a military one, but moving so frequently meant she spent a lot of time reading, and later writing, great books. She has a degree in Comparative Literature (French and Middle English) from U.C. Berkeley, and a Master’s in Teaching English and Mathematics from the University of Portland. She currently lives in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest with her husband, two “kids” in mid-to-late adolescence, assorted cats and dogs, and more hot pepper plants than anyone could reasonably consume. To connect with Kerry, visit her website at https://kerryblaisdell.com, or go to http://bit.ly/KerrysVOML to subscribe to her Very Occasional Mailing List (to win free books and learn about upcoming releases).
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