I'm thrilled to reveal the title for Book 2 in The Spectral City series, my new Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy / Supernatural Suspense with Kensington Rebel Base Books!
Coming October 2019
A SANCTUARY OF SPIRITSBook 2 picks up exactly where Book 1 leaves off. Our stalwart band of female psychics work hard to solve the maddening loose ends of an unsettling undertaker, a powerful family with something to hide, and a disturbing magician with something terrible hidden in his set, all while another of their best spirit operatives goes missing...
Because readers have fallen hard for Eve and Detective Horowitz, here's a first draft excerpt from A SANCTUARY OF SPIRITS. Enjoy!
First Draft Excerpt:
The next morning, Eve left early to be down at the Mulberry street offices, hoping to catch Detective Horowitz checking in for his day before he was off to further untangle the uncooperative Dr. Font case. As luck would have it, they came around different corners and the moment the detective caught sight of Eve, he smiled.
“Well, hello Eve, what has you at headquarters first thing in the morning?” he asked, forgoing ascending the front steps and instead crossing around to her at the intersection. “I dare not be presumptuous to think it would be me.”She chuckled and inclined her head. “It is, in fact, you, Detective.”
He took a step closer, leaning in with a bemused expression.
“You really refuse to call me Jacob, don’t you?” he asked, maintaining a partial smile, an inviting, curious expression, furrowing his brow as if by looking at her more closely he might figure her out.
“I don’t refuse… Jacob, I just… it…”
“It reminds us we’re all business at the heart of it,” he said carefully. “Have it your way, Whitby.”
Eve pursed her lips. She didn’t like the formality, it just… felt safer. “Well, I am here to ask you if you’d be willing to meet my parents. Today. Now, in fact.”
“Why the rush? Do they have some foul-toothed British aristocrat lined up for you and you need me to stand in the way?”
Eve couldn’t help but bark a loud, inelegant laugh at this, the sound so jarring a few passersby jumped and turned to her in disdain, which only made the detective join in.
“God, I hope not another one,” Eve exclaimed. “I was threatened by it once, that’s when I asked you to court me in the first place and they haven’t pressed me since. But they do wish to thank you for helping Gran and me, they were very sorry they didn’t meet you the night of the abduction.”
“It wouldn’t have been the best of circumstances to have been presented. And ruse of courtship or no, I think we’d all like to be on good terms.”
“Absolutely,” Eve agreed. “That’s why I need you to come by and collect a device taken from our offices and take it to Bellevue. Please.”
“Yes, father has just been accepted as a practitioner there. He’s been after a position for ages, we’re all very excited for him.”
“That’s wonderful. How can I help?”
“Can I tell you about it as we walk?”
“Lead on, Whitby,” he said, offering another charming smile.
“I’m not keeping you from something, am I?”
“Oh, just a dressing-down by a few incompetent higher-ups who want to keep me ‘in my place’ regarding my persistence on the Font case, so no, you’ve come to my rescue.”
“While I’m so sorry to hear that, I’m happy to come to your rescue,” Eve said, feeling a surge of distinct pleasure at the idea of being a knight in shining armor to such a good man.
They turned and continued north along Broadway’s gentle angle, a central artery for so much of the city.
“So, what am I taking and where?” the detective asked.
“Father will be arranging for a contact in the mental pavilion to take a look at a strange box that was taken off our offices. We think it was created after our abduction, relating to whatever tests were being done on Gran, Cora and I at the warehouse. It may have something to do with brain study, an informal and tangential theory, but it’s all we have to work with. The spirits have said it was placed at our offices to interfere with our gifts.”
“So you’d like me to liaise with a Bellevue clinician or with your father?”
“Both. You see… I know I’ve mentioned my parents don’t like anything to do with the paranormal, which makes my life an incessant parade of frustration.”
“My father truly wants to help but my mother is overprotective.”
“Don’t I know the feeling,” the detective murmured with a little laugh.
“Mother doesn’t want Father to even touch the device in question, and doesn’t want me handling it either. Not that it’s dangerous, mind you,” Eve assured earnestly, “I’d never drag you in the middle if I thought it was. But as a way to stop them quibbling and as a way to introduce you, if you show up and take it as the chivalrous hero, you’ll be seen as the charming and helpful man I know you to be,” Eve declared, clapping her hands together in a little victorious gesture.
“I’m charming, am I?” he asked, looking at her, his tone not sly nor joking, he seemed genuinely touched.
“Yes, Jacob, you’re charming,” Eve murmured with a nervous chuckle, looking away to hide the color that had become a common accent of late on her usually sickly-pale cheeks. “I’ve no doubt you can unseat any of their plans for a foul-toothed Brit to come claim a wayward American cousin,” she added and the detective joined her in a laugh; less nervous this time, more simply an expression of enjoying themselves despite themselves, which they’d done from the first with uncanny ease. They turned off Broadway onto Washington Place in comfortable silence, pleased by the brisk activity of the walk.
They walked along the side of Washington Square Park and continued west along a row of townhouses on Waverly until Eve stopped before a brick and sandstone façade that neatly matched the one beside. “Welcome to Fort Denbury,” Eve said. The curtains on the right were all white lace and open to the day, with window-boxes showcasing orange and yellow autumnal blossoms. The one on the left featured thick crimson brocade curtains, closed at the bay window, with a black mourning wreath on the door in honor of the dead.
Horowitz glanced at Eve’s dress, always in mourning on account of her precinct and motioned towards the lighter side. “This way to your parents.”“How could you tell?” she asked with a chuckle, ascending the stoop.
(End of draft excerpt)
We'll have more excerpts and great news in the new year!
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