USA Today Bestselling Author
Hiding out in the French Quarter of New Orleans only made sense for someone like Skylar Livingston. Owning a voodoo shop was just an added touch for fun. It also helped with her cover, plus gave space to the multitude of ghosts in her family. And her shop was close to the cemeteries, … a very necessary part of her … hobby.
Gage Hawkins was tracking his uncle’s last movements before his disappearance hunting a special set of tarot cards which led to Skylar’s shop, Talking Bones. After a bad head injury that brought weird sights into his view, Gage could see this Talking Bones place and Skylar were special. He could only hope she had answers because he had a lot of questions …
Skylar preferred the dead to the living most times, but Gage had her reconsidering. Until she realizes something is wrong in his world, and it’s quickly overtaking hers.
When Gage’s uncle turns up dead, more than the undead are in Skylar’s world. … A killer is too …
Skylar Livingston has found the perfect place to live, work and keep her secrets, New Orleans. Her Voodoo shop has lots of things that attract the tourist’s eye and keep her bills paid. It also has wall to wall ghosts who won’t leave.
Gage Hawkins is looking for his missing Uncle who was last seen visiting her store. From what Gage knows he was looking for a specific set of Tarot cards. However, Gage also wants her help with something else. Unfortunately, he doesn’t approach any of this in an appealing way. Instead, he creates animosity between them.
Gage was in an automobile accident that left him in a coma, when he woke, he finds he has abilities he doesn’t understand. On top of that he has survivors’ guilt, as his best friend died in that crash. After a conversation with his brother, he buys lunch for Skylar and returns to her shop to apologize for his actions.
Skylar is wary of him, and he doesn’t blame her and they have an interesting conversation that also includes a bone he spotted on the floor he believes his uncle may have left there.
After that visit things take an interesting twist.
This is a favorite scene.
When she finally closed her shop for the day and locked the front door and made her way up the stairs to her apartment, she felt an odd heaviness and a really weird foreboding. She looked around and then mentally called to the ghosts down in her shop. Anything weird in the ethers right now?
And just as she hit the landing on the stairs outside her apartment door, she heard them calling out to her, “Be careful, be careful.”
She took the hallway to its own balcony, next to the separate balcony to her apartment, and studied her surroundings. There didn’t appear to be anything wrong, and she was desperate to go inside and to just relax. The day had been strange enough without having any kind of danger facing her now. She stepped forward and let herself into her apartment and, after a quick check around that confirmed her place was empty and was safe, she collapsed onto her bed, exhausted, needing a nap before her nightly cemetery visit.
Moments later, she became aware of somebody else lying on his bed, but something was very unnatural about it. It was a vision of Gage, the man she’d met today, the man who had already unsettled her life more than he should have. She saw him on his bed, his lips bloodless and something very strange hovering all around him. She swore, bounded to her feet, and, grabbing her amulets, she stuffed them in her pockets and raced down the street. Only one hotel had that type of design on the ceilings. When she got to the front desk, she asked what room Gage was in.
With a smirk, the front guy told her.
She slipped him a twenty dollar bill and raced up to Gage’s hotel room. She had no key to let herself in, but, using a trick she’d learned a long time ago, she held her hand over the lock, and, with a little help from Thomas, who was nearly always at her side, the door opened, and she slipped inside, racing to him. There was Gage, lying on the bed, his body cold, his face completely bleached of blood, and his lips almost blue. She reached out a hand and placed it over his heart, then stretched out her other hand to Thomas, making an energy chain all the way to those back in her shop, and she poured their collected energy into Gage’s body. She felt it doing something, but it wasn’t enough; the energy wasn’t strong enough.
She cried out, “Gage, talk to me, get back here, where you belong,” she roared. “Enough is enough. You can’t do this.”
And she kept pumping energy into him— blind, dark, light— any energy she could grasp from the surroundings went into this poor man, who had no idea what the hell was going on in his world.
When Thomas cried out, “It worked. It worked,” she looked down to see Gage awake and staring at her in shock.
She sat back ever-so-slightly, slowly withdrawing her hand, so there wasn’t an abrupt separation of her energy from Gage’s. She stared down at him. “Well, that was interesting.”
He rolled his head to the side. “You’re in my hotel room.”
“Yeah,” she confirmed, as she shifted to the side. “Don’t take it the wrong way.” And then she smiled at him. “Glad to have you back in the land of the living.”
“What happened?” he murmured, sitting up slowly and shaking his head.
She watched Gage’s huge body shift into its spirit body, almost as if putting on a human suit, and she smiled. “Well, you were one step away from being dead.”
Dale Mayer. Talking Bones (Kindle Locations 541-566). Valley Publishing.
In spite of, or perhaps because of Gage’s ignorance of his new abilities, Skylar begins to help him understand more. She still keeps her own secrets though.
There’s something dark that is affecting him and they would need to find the answers to that. Gage also keeps feeding her which is kind of funny. He knows she needs energy, and she doesn’t eat as much as she should.
A very unique relationship begins and as they get closer, he begins to see and hear her ghosts.
There’s also an interesting connection with Dr. Maddy and Stefan. As well as the revelation of her very different ability.
I love the way the relationship develops and the way all the different threads pull together to solve the mystery.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.