Sunday, March 2, 2014

Broken Hearted Ghoul Excerpt PLUS giveaway!

From Broken Hearted Ghoul
First Book in the Taxi for the Dead Paranormal Mysteries
By Joyce and Jim Lavene 

My name is Skye Mertz, and I’m a zombie.

I know. Not exactly a great pick-up line at a bar, huh?

I’m not the newfangled, brain-eating kind of zombie who runs  around moaning and pulling off body parts. I come from old magic, and I look mostly normal. Short blonde hair. Blue eyes. About five foot ten.

My dead husband—this is two years back—used to say I looked like an ostrich first thing in the morning. I think it was supposed to be affectionate.

Anyway, how I got here is a long story. Where I am right now is waiting for a man at an old motel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

It’s cold—though I can’t feel cold anymore. It’s after two a.m., but since I don’t sleep anymore, no problem.

“How long do we have to wait for him?” my new partner asked.

That’s Debbie Hernandez—late twenties, dark hair, big brown eyes. She looks like someone’s mother with her round hips and big breasts. There’s something very understanding about her. She’s compassionate.

I don’t know what she’s doing out here.

She’s not a zombie, but she’s taken on the twenty-year debt for her husband. He’s the zombie. She doesn’t want him to know. It’s complicated.

Oh, the twenty-year thing, right?

Abe, our zombie master—he hates when I call him that—grants everyone twenty years of life when he takes them. Since it usually happens when you’re on your last legs, most people are glad to do what needs to be done.

We wear his mark—a small blue symbol tattooed on the heel of our foot. It kind of looks like an A with a circle around it.

Each of us owes Abe twenty years of service of one kind or another. He’s into a little bit of everything so I guess he needs all different people.

Debbie is the first non-zombie to take on service to Abe that I know of. She was willing to do whatever he asked to keep her husband going. She said her kids needed a father.

I can relate to that. Abe came to me when I was in the hospital after the terrible wreck that left my husband, Jacob, dead at the scene. He offered me twenty years, and I jumped at the chance.

My little girl, Kate, was only five at the time. With Jacob dead, and my prognosis heading in the same direction, it was an easy choice for me. Kate will be an adult when my twenty years of service is up. She can take care of herself then. It was a good exchange.

“It’s cold out here.” Debbie exhaled into the frosty night air and rubbed her gloved hands together.

“You should dress warmer.”

“What about you?”

“I’m dead. I don’t feel cold.”


“Terry must be the same, right?” Terry was her husband. He was a cop who’d been shot during a hold-up. It had been two weeks since she’d agreed to trade her service for his life.

“He’d never let on that he was cold, even when he was alive.” She smiled. “He’s always been a real man.”

Ugh! Protect me from women who believe their men are worthier than them. Jacob and I would’ve never lasted a day if he’d had that attitude.

I’d been a Nashville cop for longer than Jacob had been. Not that being his partner was what made him respect me. Some people just won’t have it any other way. I respected him too.

I finally saw movement at the seedy hotel. “I think that’s him.”

“What do we do with him?” This was Debbie’s first time in the field. Abe said he was moving her around, trying to find the right spot for her.

She was still getting used to things. I cut her some slack. “His twenty years are up. Some people don’t want to let go, even though they made the deal. Like this one. He was supposed to turn up at the mortuary. He never showed up.”

“So we kill him, and take him back?”

“He’s dead already, remember? Basically, we just take him back. Abe cuts the silver cord that binds them to him. That’s about it.”

“Are they all this way?”

“Most seem to be grateful for their time, and they go along quietly. They just step into the taxi for the dead, and we’re off.”

Debbie shook her head. “Taxi for the dead?”

“That’s kind of what I named my van. It only carries dead people.” I grinned. “At least until you came along.”

“This whole thing is so strange. I’m not sure I understood what I was getting myself  into when I agreed to this.”

Too late now.  No point in telling her. The contract can only be broken by death. It was between her and Abe. Nothing to do with me.

“He’s definitely trying to ditch us.” I pointed at the man as he stealthily slid toward his car, glancing furtively around the parking lot. “I really hate these ones. Come on. Let’s go.”

Buy Broken Hearted Ghoul!



petoskystone said...

This sounds like such a cool series! Taxi for the dead...neat concept :)

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Can't wait to read it! Definitely going to be another great series!

SandyG265 said...

This sounds like a good book

Sue said...

I've never been one to read about zombies---but with you as the author, I'm ready to try it.

Unknown said...

Petoskytone is the winner of a copy of Broken Hearted Ghoul. Send me an email and we'll set it up!