Category Archives: mysteries
Anasazi Medium Coming in January 2020
by G G Collins Copyright 2019
Ancient peoples enlighten contemporary humankind in a mystery as old as time. Rachel Blackstone is recruited by the spirit world to prevent a cataclysmic occurrence: the end of the Fourth World of the Hopi. As earthquakes occur and a super volcano threatens to blow, it becomes imperative she discover the root of all evil. But can she stop the greedy men intent on having their way and willing to kill to achieve it? The survival of an unaware civilization depends on her getting it right.
The computer screen went black; followed immediately by her desk lamp. It wasn’t yet dark in Santa Fe, but the sun was on its way down.
“Dammit, not again,” Rachel swore. The City Different was known to lose power from time to time so while not yet concerned, she was frustrated by the outage.
“It should be called The City Dark. Hey, we’re on deadline!” She nodded to her tortie cat, Chile Pod.
But Chile Pod was in alert mode; ears pricked forward, green eyes big, colorful neck scruff raised.
“What? What is it?”
Before she could sort it out, a wolf howled. It carried across the city, both eerie and urgent. Rachel had heard it before; Kiyiya, the spirit wolf who always seemed to be around when she needed a heads-up.
Rachel really didn’t want to get up and look outside. It would be so much better to continue to sit in her kitchen corner safe in her ignorance. She reluctantly pushed her chair back and stood. Before she could cross the kitchen her house shuddered. Things—a lot of things—began hitting the roof and walls of the house. This was no ordinary hail storm, an occurrence fairly common to this southwestern city. They must be huge stones. Usually, they received small hailstones that tended to go splut when they impacted. This sounded more like rocks striking.
When a window shattered, she ducked.
“Chile, get under the . . . !” But the tiny cat was already under the table sitting on a chair peeking from beneath the brightly colored tablecloth.
Rachel raised her eyes upward although there was nothing to see but her ceiling. No explanation was forthcoming. Just as she reached the window something dark hit the pane, cracking it, and bounced off. She stared in horror at what was happening in her backyard.
“This can’t be!” she cried, holding both hands over her mouth.
But it was. Birds were falling from the sky, hundreds of them.
Sensing there was nothing dangerous inside, Chile Pod jumped to the counter to see for herself. Rachel covered her protectively as she watched the ghastly precipitation event. In a few seconds, they abruptly stopped falling.
“Stay inside please,” Rachel said to Chile Pod. “I don’t want to have to worry about you too.”
The storm door creaked as she pushed it open and cautiously stepped outside. There were birds lying on her stoop. She grabbed the broom from next to the door and carefully moved them to one side so she could go down the steps. They all appeared to be dead. Rachel had read about this phenomenon. It was normally caused by loud noises such as fireworks that caused disorientation or a flock flew into a hailstorm and died of blunt force trauma. Of course, doomsday predicators had a lot to say about such events and what they felt was the impending Armageddon.
Rachel was wiping tears as she walked carefully through the bird kill. She found it to be incredibly sad. Once she had navigated the stone path to the courtyard terrace continuing to use the broom to make a path in the midst of so many bodies, she stopped to observe the sunset. It was another spectacular display of colors stretching across a limitless sky, completely unaware of the tragedy that lay upon the ground.
A lone bird righted itself and stood unsteadily. It fluffed its wing feathers as if conducting a pre-flight inspection. None of the others moved. He would have a lonely journey.
Rachel watched this with trepidation and gloom. What had caused uninjured birds to fall from the sky? When the power returned, she would check the internet for similar incidents.
Her attention was quickly captured as cold air closed in around her. Within seconds, she could see her breath. It gathered in a white cloud and slowly drifted away. She held the broom handle in one hand, clutching her arms about her. It felt like winter had come too soon. But Rachel was certain that something frightening was about to happen. She was learning the signs; the wolf howl, bizarre episodes. She waited. It wasn’t her show. But she wished whoever or whatever would get on with it.
She became aware of a sound, low at first; a familiar rattle. It reminded her of the first time she had witnessed the return of a spirit in her living room only last year. Rachel waited; helpless to hasten a ghost making a return voyage.
Slowly moving streams of fog appeared from four directions, moving across her courtyard with excruciating intent. Oddly, each vaporous rivulet carried a different tint: black, white, red and yellow. Some Native Americans believed these represented the four colors of humankind as well as the four directions. When the colors united, a shape began to form.
Suddenly, the rattling stopped as the vapor integrated and became one in the center of her flagstone terrace.
Rachel stood quietly, hardly daring to breathe, every muscle taut with readiness. Just because she’d experienced this before didn’t mean she was immune to fear.
A body was slowly forming in front of her. This person wasn’t wearing a lot. She was seeing a great deal of skin. But she also noticed the spear. Of course she had no weapon unless a broom constitutes one. Just how did one prepare for any eventuality? Ray gun for alien beings? AK-47 for home grown terrorists? Star dust for pissed off fairies? These occurrences were potluck affairs.
A Native American man walked out of the mist. He was very fit, not the fitness that comes from working out in a gym, but from physical work. This was someone who labored outside. He wore a simple loincloth, probably made from an animal skin and shoes made of the same that reached upward to his knees.
His presence was disturbing. It wasn’t just the spear, but she perceived him as warrior if the need arose. This was someone to be feared. Rachel watched him carefully, reminding herself he was in spirit, but also aware that spirits could cause great harm, even kill. She was ready to run, not that it would do much good.
He stepped toward her, shoes soundless on the stones.
“You are the one?” he asked. He spoke in a language she had never heard, but the words appeared in English in her mind, much as supertitles at the opera.
“I don’t know,” she replied not knowing if he understood. “Who are you looking for?”
“The one who speaks with the dead.”
“I believe I’m speaking with a spirit now. Is that true? Are you in spirit?”
“I am from the Land of the Dead.”
“How can I help you?” She really wished she’d stayed near her back door instead of backing into a corner. When would she learn to have these unscheduled meetings on her terms? Could they happen on her terms?
“All the signs except one have been fulfilled. You must stop the last one or the world will end and another begins. This will not be good. All will die.”
“What? What sign?”
“The ninth sign is near to completion. It must be stopped.”
“What has to be stopped?” Rachel was even more apprehensive about this man’s prediction than his formidable stature and spike.
“The ninth sign. A blue Kachina in the sky. If it occurs the fourth world will end, all will die. The fifth world will commence, but without all living creatures.”
Rachel could feel the urgency in his words, but didn’t understand.
“It is the blue star; the brightest in the night sky,” he explained.
“The Dog Star; Sirius?” she asked not knowing if he would understand.
“What will happen to it?” she asked.
“If bad men are not stopped, it will fall to the Earth and destroy the fourth world.”
“Bad men? That could be almost anyone, anyplace.”
“These men will kill our land, our valley where we lived in stone walls.”
“But, what can I do?”
“You have the power of the writing instrument. You must expose them.”
“And if I can’t?”
“Everyone you know and everyone you do not know will die. You will die. Your feline companion will die.” Had he seen her in the kitchen window? How did he know?
“Can you give me more information? I don’t know where to start.”
He turned and pointed north. “In our ancestral lands,” he said and faded away.
The mist dispersed and the cold evaporated. But Rachel felt chilled to the bone.
Book Publishing is Murder!
Taylor Browning is the mystery editor at Endicott Publishing when the CEO is found dead in his locked office. Everyone is under suspicion, secrets are revealed and Taylor does a little snooping. Things go from bad to worse. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on at a publishing house, this is the inside scoop. One thing is certain; Taylor can’t edit her way out of real murder.
Book Publishing is Murder!
Meet Taylor Browning, Mystery Editor at a Santa Fe, New Mexico book publisher.
8 AM GMT Friday to 8 AM GMT Monday. $.99 Cents for 72 hours. UK only.
If only Taylor would stay in her office and edit manuscripts, but no, she can’t resist snooping. Amateur sleuthing, as she knows from reading mysteries, can be dangerous. But that doesn’t stop her.
In Dead Editor File, the first in this new cozy series, the CEO of the book publisher is found dead in his locked office. The staff, while shocked doesn’t seem to be grieving. His ex-wife is positively beaming. Their blockbuster writer wants business as usual. Taylor is new to the book publisher and doesn’t know how to feel.
Soon the police determine it was murder and everyone is suspect, including Taylor. Only her Abyssinian cat, Oscar, is above suspicion. But he has issues at home, especially when a meal isn’t served on time.
Discover why book publishing is murder!
4.8 Overall Rating on Amazon
4.59 Overall Rating on Goodreads
or Click on the book cover. Thank you for reading.
3 Copies of “Looking Glass Editor”
Left From Amazon Promotion.
3 Ways to Get One:
- Use Contact Page on this blog to leave an email address. I’ll send you the link to download your free book from Amazon.
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If you enjoy the exploits of mystery editor Taylor Browning, I’d love a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Short reviews are just fine. Thank you and I hope you enjoy “Looking Glass Editor.”
Happy Thanksgiving! G G Collins
Reluctant Medium Set Free
Beginning Sunday, August 12, 2018 at midnight, Reluctant Medium will be FREE for three days.
Reluctant Medium is the first in the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Series.
It all began innocently enough, Rachel only wished to speak with her dead father. A journalist, he had died under mysterious circumstances. She employed a Hopi ritual she hoped would accomplished this.
FROM THE BOOK: “Rachel learned the ancient ceremony while researching an article about the Hopi Nation. Some Native Americans and followers of eastern philosophies believe one can call back the dead. In her interviews, Joseph, a Hopi holy man, had recounted instances. It was unusual for tribe members to discuss such things with outsiders, but she had written a sensitive portrayal of life within the reservation and Joseph warmed to her. He liked Rachel’s sincerity and the deep respect she had for their traditions.”
As the ceremony progressed, Rachel began to feel anxious as things she didn’t understand developed in her living room.
FROM THE BOOK: Her body trembled as she watched the vapor seep first from the seam where hardwood floor met plaster and then from the intricate crown molding. It poured from beneath the couch like mist on a lake and slid along the wallpapered ceiling, coming ever closer while she watched, fascinated, but with growing anxiety. The hissing began softly, rising to the clamor of a den of disturbed rattlesnakes. Midpoint in the room, the two streams rose and dipped to join in a common countenance. The darkest colors of the miasma collected in an eerie spiral holding pattern, while the particles which reflected light crept away like fog throughout the room, closing off escape.
Once a figure materialized before her, Rachel knew something wasn’t right. She was certain it wasn’t her father.
FROM THE BOOK: “You’re sputtering, Rachel.” He knew her! “How is brother dearest? Still looking over his shoulder?” The comment carried a threat.
Before she could think of anything to say, the arrogant spirit hastened to the front door and vanished, through it, beyond it, into the night.
Rachel stared at the door, willing it to reveal the truth of what just happened. She’d made a terrible mistake. “Oh, my god,” she whispered. “What have I done?”
Now it’s up to Rachel to send back the undead with the help of her best friend, spirit animal and her psychic cat. Along the way she meets an actor filming his series in Santa Fe. She is drawn to him, but he’s married. In the meantime, her divorce from her husband, a documentary producer, is going forward. Will her boss be receptive to taking her back at High Desert Country magazine? And she’s developed a new talent; she sees dead people, no really. Change is everywhere.
There are 5 copies of new cozy mystery Dead Editor File available as an #AmazonGiveaway. Here’s where you can get them, but don’t delay.
New mystery editor Taylor Browning finds herself a suspect in the death of Endicott Publishing’s leader. She’s not the only one; Endicott wasn’t a well-liked man. Learn the ins and outs of book publishing as Taylor tries to solve the locked room mystery. Victor Sanchez, the Santa Fe detective assigned to the case can be annoying, but Taylor’s cat Oscar takes no prisoners at home.
If you enjoy Dead Editor File, please consider writing a short review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Thank you. Happy reading!
Interview with Character Taylor Browning
“Dead Editor File” First Book in the Taylor Browning Cozy Mystery Series
By G G Collins
Taylor Browning is the new kid on the cozy mystery block. By day she edits mysteries at the publishing house and in her off hours she’s learning to sleuth. That’s the trouble, she has developed an interest in crime solving. Of course, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. She can’t edit her way out of real murder…or can she? Find out in the first book in the new series: “Dead Editor File.”
How did you become the mystery editor of the most prominent publishing house in Santa Fe?
Somehow I managed to impress the publisher and senior editor with my knowledge of mysteries, especially the classics like Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart and Phyllis A Whitney. We talked the basics of a good cozy mystery: nearly bloodless murder, cast of suspects and of course the need for tea. But we couldn’t survive in the mystery world today without the heroine having a distinctive job, in my case, a mystery editor. I’ve been on the job less than a year and am learning the ins and outs of book publishing. It’s a strange world of manuscripts, fonts, bluelines and advance review copies. Learning what to do with all of them is challenging. But it’s the authors that require finesse. Even the nicest authors usually slam a door or throw a small fit right before their pub date. But I’m learning. Usually I can keep it together long enough to hustle them out of the office.
Why did you move to Santa Fe to start a new life?
My husband and I dreamed of moving to the Land of Enchantment, but something always stopped us. You know; money issues, job issues, family issues. Life. But when he died, I wanted to fulfill our dream. It was difficult at first. I didn’t know anyone, but I seem to be meeting a lot of people. There is the team at work, the authors, the vendors we use and the bookstore owners we work with. And lately, well, there have been the police. A certain Detective Victor Sanchez who came to our office after the publisher and editor-in-chief was murdered in his locked office. Now that was a bad day. Virginia, our senior editor was sad and Jim, the production manager was nearly ecstatic. I was horrified, but didn’t know him well.
How’s the house renovation going?
You know, it would be helpful if I’d finish a room before moving on to the next one. But no, I have ladders, tools and paint in every nook and cranny. But Oscar and I enjoy the deck the most. We watch the sunsets and unwind with a little wine.
Oscar? Who is Oscar?
Oscar is my Abyssinian cat. You know brown agouti fur with lighter clown markings. I’m told they were the cats of Egyptian kings and pharaohs. Just between us, I tend to believe it because Oscar is a bit entitled especially if dinner is late. There have been a few, uh, incidents. Of course, it’s all because I became involved in the criminal investigation—at least after I was cleared of suspicion. There were times when I was being followed or doing a little sleuthing and was late to prepare his evening meal. It was really no big deal.
How do you see your future?
I love my life—most of the time. Santa Fe is everything I thought it would be, my job is terrific fun and two men are interested in me. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready for a relationship yet. For now, Oscar and I are getting along, if only I can stay on schedule. My author, G G Collins, is currently writing the next installment, “The Looking Glass Editor.” It promises to get me into some weird new age experiences thanks to yet another persnickety writer.
Will have to see what happens next, but I feel confident there is murder in my future. Not me, but someone else. I hope.