Category Archives: mysteries

Ghost Story for Halloween

Contact: Presence, A Short Story

Rachel Blackstone, the Reluctant Medium, is startled when a clock flies across the bathroom while brushing her teeth. Is it a message from the spirit world? She and best friend Chloe hold a transition ceremony and wait for further contact. But will it be peaceful or have they summoned another evil entity?

To Buy Click on the Link Below

https://amzn.to/31Rb8Dl

Mystery Book Excerpt

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.

“Yes.”

“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.

Excerpt of Forthcoming Book

Rachel Blackstone’s Greatest Challenge Yet

Anasazi Medium: A Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery  is due out in January 2020.

(Copyright 2019 by G G Collins)

They ate in silence for a few minutes. It tasted like the best meal Rachel had ever eaten. Everything always tasted better, the sun looked brighter and the birds sang sweeter after a close call. She could feel the adrenaline losing its punch as she came down and began to feel tired.

“Where did the yellow water come from?” Chloe asked.

“No clue, but I’m going to find out. I got a sample on the way home.”

“Rachel, that’s great. What made you think of that?”

“Something’s very wrong,” Rachel said. “First the bird kills, the otherworldly appearance in my backyard, his prediction, the deaths of the university officials, and now being in the right place at the right time to rescue Anna. And there is the ever growing Dog Star.

“My understanding is the yellow water and fish kill is another sign of the impending end of the fourth world.”

They were thoughtful for a few minutes.

“Rachel, I wonder,” Chloe said. “Should we visit the Valles Caldera? Is there anything we could learn there?”

“I think there might be,” Rachel said thoughtfully. “The last time I was there I did an interview for the Longmire TV series coverage, back when they were filming the series in New Mexico. We ran several stories on that production. The Valles Caldera was used as Sheriff Longmire’s ranch location.”

“Quite a drive from the Las Vegas where they filmed the downtown and sheriff’s office scenes,” Chloe said.

“Yes, I know. I drove to both sets for the interviews and again to Madrid and the Mine Shaft Tavern that was used as the Red Pony bar.”

“I hated when that series ended,” Chloe said.

“Yup, me too. Seems like the good shows always end too soon.”

“And Supernatural is ending,” Chloe added. “Don’t know what we’ll do without Sam and Dean to guide us on these, uh, mystical excursions.”

“At least they got 15 years,” Rachel said. “Longmire only got six.”

Rachel changed the subject.

“You know, I’ve had those herb plants sitting on my back porch all summer. I think after what happened today, I’d like to do a little gardening.”

“You want help?” Chloe asked.

Rachel raised an eyebrow in question. She’d never seen Chloe plant any of her gardens.

“Well, I could ask my gardener if he would have time to plant it for you.”

Rachel grinned.

“No, but thank you for the offer. I think I need to do something physical.”

“Okay,” Chloe said. “I’m going to check in at the office, see if anything critical is a foot and then go home to a hot bath and a glass of wine.”

“Do you think they will still grow?” Rachel asked.

“What?”

“The herbs.”

“Sure, everything but the parsley will likely come back in the spring. Sometimes my parsley even overwinters,” Chloe said. “Of course, as you so generously pointed out I don’t cultivate my own so my gardener may have secrets to plant longevity that I don’t know.”

“I just can’t see anything else dead for awhile,” Rachel choked.

“I know,” Chloe said and hugged her friend. “Seeing those dead men will haunt us both for a long time. Go get your hands dirty and forget about today.

“I’ll let myself out.” Chloe was gone in a whirl of her long dark hair.

Chile Pod had finished her dinner and was glazing out the kitchen window at a bird picking at the remnants left on the ground from the feeder.

“You stay there. You can watch me plant the herb bed.” Rachel grabbed a jacket off the hook near the door and went into the evening air.

She’d bought the herb plants in spring and somehow she never got around to planting them, but somehow remembered to douse them with water several times a week. There just never seemed to be a good time. Now the leggy plants were root bound. Rachel hoped she could save them.

During the spring she had bricks delivered. In a fit of energy, she had turned the soil, laid the bricks in a 6-foot square and mulched it. In the meantime, deadlines came and went. Time passed without planting the herbs.

Because she had mulched the garden all she had to do was push the organic matter away, dig a hole and add the plants. First, Rachel took a knife and cut the roots back as she remembered her father doing when she was a kid. It would help the roots grow in a more normal way. She planted lavender and then added rosemary, thyme, oregano and fennel.

With that done, Rachel picked up the bucket against her house and brought it to the garden. Inside were an assortment of stones and crystals she had collected for the past several years. She placed each among the herbs; a river stone here, a quartz there and a lovely piece of petrified wood.

When it was all watered in, Rachel went inside the house and came back with several gazing balls in purple, blue and red crackled colors. In the center of the herb bed she placed a stand and added the larger purple gazing ball. She positioned the smaller ones on the ground and stood back to survey her handiwork.

Satisfied and feeling better, she headed back inside. Before she reached the safety of the backdoor, a wolf howled. Rachel was now recognizing the various warnings that Kiyiya made to alert her. This howl was an announcement, not an urgent warning.

Rachel stopped immediately, her pulse quickened and her breath turned to fog as the temperature dropped. Once again, the rattling sound commenced, the vapors seemingly came from nowhere and formed into a column. She had no idea who or what to expect. Would it be the Native American she met most recently or someone or something altogether different?

Within a couple of minutes, it was the Native who stepped from the fog. Rachel braced herself and waited.

Again, he spoke in a language she didn’t understand, but the words appeared in her mind in English.

“The blue star grows in the sky,” he pointed.

“I know,” Rachel replied. “What I don’t know is who or what is causing it?”

“The evil men.”

“Who are the evil men? What are they doing to cause the star to grow?” Rachel asked.

“I do not know them,” he said. “They are of this time. Not of mine.”

“Do you know what they are doing that is wrong?”

“Taking from our land.”

This wasn’t going well. There was a lot of time and space between them. Rachel didn’t know if she could span the centuries. She tried to keep her words simple to enhance his comprehension.

“I’ve been looking for these men, but haven’t found them. I’ve looked to see where…where work is being done. I’ve checked for mining and drilling permits.”

“I don’t understand,” he said.

“I’m sorry. It’s when men remove earth by digging into the ground.” He nodded with some understanding.

“I’ve been trying to uncover what these men are doing along with two friends who are helping me. And I think that two men were killed who may have known what I need to know.”

The man was silent for several minutes. Rachel thought he was about to disappear leaving her in more confusion.

“Do your powers take you to the Land of the Dead?” he asked.

That took her off guard.

“I…I” she stammered. “I don’t know.”

“You must talk with the Skeleton Man.”

“How can I do that? I don’t know how.” Rachel asked.

“You have friends in spirit?” he said as though having inside knowledge.

“Uh, yes.” As far as Rachel knew that would be one spirit. The Hopi shaman, Joseph, who had helped her before.

“You should talk with spirit,” the Native said. “Time grows…” He searched for the word. “Short.  Everyone will die.”

“I understand, but I don’t know what to do,” Rachel felt panic seeping into her soul.

“You must talk with the Skeleton Man.” He faded from her view in a whiff of smoke.

Read the entire series: Click on the book.

    

Cozy Mystery “Dead Editor File” in Paperback

Book Publishing is Murder!

Click on the book to buy.

 

 

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.

UK Amazon CountdownDeal Cozy Mystery

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.

Available at AmazonUK. Click on the book.

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

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075MQVY1H

or Click on the book cover. Thank you for reading.

 

 

Mystery Cozy Giveaway

3 Copies of “Looking Glass Editor”

Left From Amazon Promotion.

Click on the book for more info.

3 Ways to Get One:

  1. Use Contact Page on this blog to leave an email address. I’ll send you the link to download your free book from Amazon.
  2. DM me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GGCollinsWriter
  3. DM me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6427518.G_G_Collins

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

 

 

Story Reading Ape Book Character Interview

Taylor Browning Talks to the Story Reading Ape

Check out one of the newest cozy mystery characters, mystery editor Taylor Browning. My thanks to Chris at the Story Reading Ape.

Click on the link below to read the interview.

 

 

Book Publishing is Murder! – As Told to G G Collins…

 

Available at Amazon. Click on the book.

Taylor is the new mystery editor at a publishing company in Santa Fe, NM. She’s learning the ropes of her job when the CEO is discovered dead in his locked office. When murder becomes apparent, the staff, the ex-wife and business associates come under suspicion; everyone but Oscar, Taylor’s Abyssinian cat.

 

 

 

 

Available at Amazon. Click on the book.

Taylor finds herself in Sedona, AZ. Her mission? Convince a recalcitrant author her book publisher does need a copy of her manuscript in order to publish it. Taylor is fascinated with the Red Rock Country and the New Age culture. Just one problem; trouble followed. Taylor finds herself alone and vulnerable on a cliff.

 

#Free Three Days. Reluctant Medium Paranormal #Mystery.

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.

Click on the cover to download for Free.

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.

 

 

#AmazonGiveaway Cozy Mystery “Dead Editor File”

Dead GiveAway!

#AmazonGiveaway Just Click!

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.

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/5b265e72e3fe47f2

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 of the “Dead Editor File”

Interview with Character Taylor Browning 

“Dead Editor File” First Book in the Taylor Browning Cozy Mystery Series

By G G Collins 

Available on Amazon; just click on the pic.

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.

La Fonda, the Inn at the End of the Santa Fe Trail

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.

%d bloggers like this: