Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Countdown to Karma! Recap #1: Ghost Shrink and A Cop & A Feel

T-minus six days until Karma!

Naughty Karma is Book Seven in the series, and while it can be read as a stand-alone, it is sort of the culmination of all that has built up in the Karmic Consultants books over the last four years.  Naturally, I would advise you all to reread the whole lot, but since we have lives and towering TBR shelves, I realize this is not always possible, so I thought I'd post some quickie recaps to refresh your memory here as we COUNTDOWN TO KARMA! (This should be read in an echoey announcer voice.)

The series was not released in strictly chronological order (A Cop & A Feel and Finder's Keeper were released out of sequence - and if you want to know why I can give you a long, drawn out explanation about promo anthologies and editors retiring and plans changing and all sorts of fun stuff), but I'm going to recap them in the order they occur in the timeline of the Karmic World.

So today we kick off with the little story that started it all, the one that got me my first contract ever, The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & The Poltergeist Accountant.  And the little novella that could - A Cop & A Feel.



It all starts with a dead accountant.
The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant

LUCY CARTWRIGHT sees dead people. Naked dead people. Every night she is visited by the horny ghosts of pencil-pushers past and talks them through their unresolved issues so they can move on to the white light. She'd love to meet a nice guy - rather than her usual diet of stripteasing stockbrokers on the wrong side of mortality - but her job as a post-life therapist doesn't really lend itself to a healthy love-life. So when a certified stud-muffin shows up on her doorstep, she's convinced her boss KARMA of Karmic Consultants, has sent her a gigolo.

But JAKE COX is no gigolo. A private investigator on the trail of a recently deceased mob accountant, he also happens to be Karma's younger brother. Sparks immediately fly between the tough-guy PI and the girl-next-door who talks to ghosts, but if they give in to their attraction the ghost of Eliot Mellman might not pay Lucy a visit. They keep their hands off one another until the accountant appears in Lucy's bedroom - but Eliot isn't your average ghost. He's uber powerful and instantly adores the dimpled ghost shrink, nearly going poltergeist when he thinks Jake is trying to horn in on his burgeoning relationship with Lucy.

Eliot sends Jake into a trap at his former boss's warehouse and when Lucy realizes what he's done, she rushes headlong in to rescue him. Unfortunately, she forgets to bring the cavalry. Just one pissy poltergeist. Seeing his murderer, Eliot puffs up in all his post life glory, scaring away the bad guys. With Lucy's help, he transcends and Jake has the evidence he needs to take Big Joe down for a long time.

Lucy is convinced she's blown any chance she had with Jake, but even though her life is crazy, he realizes she just might be the kind of crazy he can't live without. He makes it his mission to keep her so satisfied, she won't have any unfulfilled desires to lure horny ghosts to her in the afterlife.

Buy The Ghost Shrink (et al) Now from Amazon :: B&N :: Samhain

A Cop & A Feel

Big Joe's incarceration left a power void in the organized crime of the area and it is filled by a man named Coretti - but Coretti has ambitions of legitimacy. To prove his honorability to a potential business partner, he agrees to be read by one of Karmic Consultants' psychics, a touch reader named RONNA MITCHELL - but he plans to hedge his bets by doing whatever necessary to ensure Ronna gives him a stellar report.

MATT HOLLOWAY is an ambitious young cop trying to get in with the organized crime task force. When they get a tip that Coretti's favorite hit man, Cutter, has been sent to deal with a "reader" at a carnival (where Ronna moonlights reading palms), he's sent to tail Cutter and protect the person he believes must be a vital witness with information on Coretti. Matt ducks into Ronna's booth to avoid being spotted - and it's love at first touch.

The second Ronna lays her fingers on Matt, she sees their future together - but it is only a potential future, provided they both survive the night. By the time Ronna figures out that Matt is in danger (in addition to being the love of her life), he has already taken off in pursuit of Cutter.

Ronna chases after him and saves his life, but Matt only sees that she's blown his mission and Cutter has escaped. He wants nothing more to do with the crazy lady who thinks she's his one and only and brushes her off - which really tics Ronna off.  If he's her meant-to-be, shouldn't he be a little more open-minded?  She retreats to her booth.. where Cutter is waiting to threaten Ronna to ensure her cooperation.

Matt, tipped off by one of his trademark hunches, bursts in to save her, fighting off Cutter and giving her a chance to escape.  But when the victor emerges from the tent to find her - it is Cutter, rather than Matt.  He catches her, intent on killing her if she refuses to cooperate, but when Ronna sees Matt bloodily stagger out of her tent - still alive! - she discovers a new aspect of her talent, feeding images into Cutter's brain, making him the victim of all the horrors he has inflicted on others and snapping his mind like a toothpick.

All in self defense, but afterwards she is swamped by guilt and the fear that she won't be able to turn this horrible new aspect of her gift off.  She refuses to let Matt touch her - until Karma arrives and forces Ronna to read her.  Her usual gift is still perfectly intact - she did not automatically become a monster in the process of defending herself from one.  She lets Matt touch her - and this time he sees their future in the touch, just as she had.  It's going to be quite the happily ever after.

Buy A Cop & A Feel Now from Amazon :: B&N :: Samhain

Up next... The Ghost Exterminator: A Love Story

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