Excerpt: The Gravedigger's Son - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

The job should have been easy.

Get in. Assess the situation. Get out. But for veteran tracker Quentin Rutherford, things get sticky when the girl he’s loved since puberty shows up, conducting her own investigation into the strange occurrences of the small, New Mexico town. He knew it would be a risk coming back to the area, but he had no idea Amber Kowalski had become a bona fide PI, investigating things that go bump in the night. He shouldn’t be surprised, however. She can see through the dead as clearly as he can. The real question is, can she see through him?

But is anything that’s worth it ever easy?

To say that Amber is shocked to see her childhood crush would be the understatement of her fragile second life. One look at him tells her everything she needs to know. He’s changed. So drastically she barely recognizes him. He is savage now, a hardened—in all the right places—demon hunter, and she is simply the awkward, lovestruck girl he left behind.
But she doesn’t have time to dwell on the past. A supernatural entity has set up shop, and it’s up to them to stop it before it kills again.
While thousands of questions burn inside her, she has to put her concern over him, over what he’s become, aside for now. Because he’s about to learn one, undeniable fact: she’s changed, too.

Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.

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Paranormal Romance

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Excerpt: The Gravedigger's Son
By Darynda Jones

Excerpt: The Gravedigger’s Son

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Darynda Jones comes a new story in her Charley Davidson series. THE GRAVEDIGGER’S SON is out Tuesday, but you can read a sneak peek below today!

There aren’t as many demons roaming the Earth’s surface as one might think. Or, if one is a skeptic, there are a lot more. It all hinges on one’s perspective. One’s beliefs. But if Amber Kowalski’s suspicions were correct, the bespectacled departed man standing over her was at least part demon. Half, maybe. A third, at the least. Anyone who woke up before the sun had to have a modicum of devilry in them.

“It’s just, you have a big day ahead, Ms. Kowalski.” He pushed his round glasses up with an index finger. “Lots to do.”

Amber pulled the bedspread over her head.  He tugged it back down until she could see over the edge. “Kyle, I finished the Wilkerson job last night.”

“Did you get the money shot?”

“If by money shot, you mean did I take a picture of Mr. Wilkerson taking the trash out at midnight so he could sneak into his basement and watch porn? Yes. Yes, I did.”

“He’s not cheating?” Kyle sank onto the bed, disappointed.

“Nope. Not unless you’re one of those people who think looking at porn is a form of cheating.”

“I thought for sure he was cheating.”

“You think everyone is cheating.” She flipped the bedspread down and gave him a pointed look. “What happened to you?”

He snapped out of his thoughts. “Never mind. It’s time to get up.”

“Nooo.” She covered her head again.

He tugged again.

“Kyle, I didn’t get to bed until two. Wake me at seven.”

“It is seven. Past, actually.”  He looked at the clock on her nightstand. “It’s 7:14.”

“What?” Her lids flew open. She glanced at the clock and scrambled out of bed. Her left foot got twisted in the sheets, and she did a hop-dance to get it out before hurrying to her bathroom. “Why didn’t you wake me?”

“I did.” He followed her but stopped when she slammed the door in his face. He knocked softly. Not all departed could do things like that. Tug at sheets. Knock on doors. But Kyle had been dead long enough to have learned a few tricks. “You have a client waiting in your office.”

“At seven in the morning?” She shouted to be heard over the running water as she heated the shower.

“Yes. She died last night.”

Amber cracked open the door and stuck out her head. “A departed?”

The pay sucked with departed clients, but this was her big chance. Her opportunity to make her mark on the world. Or the afterworld. Either way. Building her departed clientele was proving more difficult than she’d hoped. Nowhere to advertise. No one to give her business card to without it slipping through their fingers.

Amber was part private investigator and part psychic, for lack of a better term. Not a great combination, but the law firm from which most of her business derived didn’t care about her extracurricular activities. They’d realized she was good at her job a long time ago. Well, three months ago. But it had taken Amber three months before that just to convince them to give her a chance. They’d been keeping a roof over her head and enchiladas in her belly ever since.

That was all she cared about. The roof over her gorgeous two-story Adobe, and the food this incredible town had to offer. She’d missed Santa Fe when she moved away for college. More than she would’ve imagined.

The rest of her income stemmed from rich widows wanting their cards read. Like her departed clientele, that part of her business was all word-of-mouth. She didn’t advertise, but as with her PI biz, the clients started rolling in once she got established.

Thus, her big chance with this departed client. She showered at the speed of lightly toasted cinnamon bread and pulled her hair into a bun on the top of her head, ruing the length like she did every morning. She’d been threatening—no one in particular—to cut it off for years, and yet, she didn’t.

Deep down, she knew why: Because he’d liked it. He Who Must Not Be Named. He’d always loved her hair. He would bury his face in it. Tell her it smelled like rain. Felt like water cascading through his fingers. The fact that she’d been keeping her hair long years after he left her a fetal, quivering mass of Jell-O irked Amber to no end.

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