Today we are celebrating Elizabeth Raven's Bookiversary! Matanzas Moon is one year old today! Help Elizabeth celebrate by checking out an excerpt of her Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy series below and joining her on Facebook for prizes, games, and author takeovers Sept 10-11th 2016. Click here to be a part of the celebration! https://www.facebook.com/events/246457542415361/257135171347598
Lost in her quarter-life crisis, eccentric Bridget Quinn abandons her Vet School aspirations to open a metaphysical store in St. Augustine, Florida. Adept in Palmistry, Astrology, and Tarot, Bridget discovers her dormant gift of clairvoyance in our nation's oldest, and notoriously haunted city. Mediumship proves to be a pesky affliction, especially when Bridget’s attempt to help a ghostly visitor implicates her in a series of vicious murders!
Her heart dangling between Nick Maddox, the compellingly attractive but rigorously skeptical police officer, and RIP Ryder, a witty and rascally hearse-driving ghost tour guide, Bridget stumbles into a web of mystery and mayhem.
Can they catch the killer before another murder? Exactly how do you handcuff a ghost anyway?
Excerpt: Temporarily concluding his interview with Lindsey, the Officer Rudd turned to Bridget grimly. “She’s sustained some severe injuries. The paramedics are on their way to treat her shock and get her to the hospital as soon as possible. I’m going to escort her and finish the interview once she’s stable.”
They watched Lindsey shivering under the purple plush throw blanket as Bridget nodded in agreement with the officer’s assessment.
“My partner, Officer Maddox is finishing up at the dorm. He’ll be here shortly to speak with you,” he added.
“Sure, I’ll be here. The shop doesn’t open ‘til nine, so…” Bridget trailed off, watching Barnabas and Mortimer flank Lindsey offering their warm purrs of comfort.
Clearly in her haste, Bridget forgot to close the door to her loft… The prisoner’s have escaped!
A few minutes later, they heard another a knock. As Bridget opened it, the paramedics rushed passed her heading straight to Lindsey. Too interested in watching the scene in her parlor from afar, she closed the door absently… not hearing the footsteps approaching.
The door was half closed when a tanned, powerful arm reached in to block it. Snapping back to attention, Bridget’s eyes followed the lean, strapping muscles upward to a familiar, heartstopping face. The glint of recognition in his penetrating eyes was unmistakable as he towered over her in Lunatique’s threshold.
“Officer Maddox,” he said with a brief nod. His outstretched hand engulfed hers for a quick greeting as she awkwardly shuffled backward to allow him inside.
“Hi,” she squeaked. “I’m Bri-”
“Bridget Quinn,” he interrupted as he bent over to pass through. Once inside, he straightened to his full 6’5” stature, and inspected his surroundings. Furrowing his eyebrows, he squinted curiously at the peculiar merchandise and atmosphere of Lunatique. After scanning the colorful and eclectic room, his eyes locked on Bridget’s, “…From Gainesville,” he finished.
She was speechless; she certainly didn’t expect him to remember her so astutely.
“Right,” she answered as she instantly forgot how to operate her appendages, requiring conscious effort to refrain from swinging her arms back and forth like a little school girl.
You’re so smooth, Bridge… She chided herself with an inward eye-roll.
His attention had already shifted to the victim. The paramedics had Lindsey on a gurney making their way towards the exit. Officer Rudd stopped to update his partner, and Bridget slipped into the utility room, leaving them to discuss their findings.
Unquenchable curiosity demanded she hover to hear as much as possible. Her position allowed the perfect perspective to admire Officer Maddox’s appearance. He was every bit as handsome as he was at St. George Tavern. More so, even. His wavy, black hair was perfectly tousled, and his five o’clock shadow contoured his impossibly symmetrical features irresistibly. Pity his personality doesn’t match all this glorious hotness.
“There was no one at the dorm.” Officer Maddox’s deep voice was smooth. “Technically, the residential halls aren’t open until Monday. She must’ve had administrative authorization to move in early. We have evidence of a struggle in the third-floor bathroom, a few doors down from her assigned room. The mirror was shattered, and a large shard covered in blood was on the vanity. The forensics team is still collecting evidence.”
“The girl’s in real bad shape,” Officer Rudd stated, shaking his head. “She’s weak from the blood loss, multiple stab wounds to her torso, lacerations on her arms ‘n legs, n’ bruising ‘round her neck. How she’s still conscious, I just don’t know…”
He continued in a hushed tone; Bridget strained to hear more. As they concluded their briefing, she stealthily ducked behind the wall undetected. Hearing Officer Rudd leave for the hospital, she emerged from her cubby with a jaunty parade of black cats trailing behind her.
“I just need a few minutes of your time, Miss Quinn,” Officer Maddox said as he pulled out his trusty pen and notepad.
“Yeah, no problem,” she agreed, casually walking to sit in the parlor. Stifling a smile, she watched him fold his hulking frame to fit onto the dainty Victorian chair across from her.
Mortimer and Barnabas settled around her as Tiki pranced back and forth in front of the officer’s legs.
“Just start from the beginning.” he suggested cordially.
“Sure. Well, I was asleep and heard screaming. I looked out the window and saw Lindsey running from door to door, crying for help. I ran down to see what I could do, ‘cause I know no one is around here that time of night...” Bridget remembered. “Well, not that was the only reason...”
His eyes narrowed as she stammered.
“I mean, I am a nice person, and I try to help as much as I can, anyway.” Just shut up, Bridget. “I mean, just last evening, a super weird lady came by needing help.”
He nodded intently. Bridget begged herself to stop, but she couldn’t.
“I think she had, like, domestic problems and all. I did a Reading for her…”
“A Reading?” He queried skeptically.
“Well, sure. Y’know, a Tarot Card Reading.” Bridget blinked at him, astonished. Duh.
Eyebrows raised high in disbelief, the officer took a deep breath, gesturing for her to continue.
With an elegant leap, Tiki landed expertly on his lap, stretching up his manly chest to rub her forehead to his chin. Beguiling little floozy.
“Oh!” He uttered in surprise, his arms hovering midair. “Cats… Hmmm… I’m more a dog person, myself.”
Tiki curled up and settled herself on his lap. Resigned, he resumed his questioning, careful not to disturb the precious princess.
“Did she buy anything from you?” He asked, making a small circle in the air with his poised pen in hand.
“No, I’d already closed the shop for the night,” Bridget shrugged. “And I don’t charge money for Palm or Tarot Readings. Bad JuJu.”
“What about books, candles, incense… Anything
like that?” “Oh, well, yeah… I just gave her some stuff… To help her… See, the Reading didn’t really make her feel better. It was pretty grim, so I wanted her to have some things… To protect herself.” She explained logically. Staring at her, his mouth slightly agape with incredulity, he shook his head to refocus.
Damn, he has a knack for making me feel like a fool! Bridget fumed quietly.
He opened his mouth to say something, but refrained, quickly looking down at his notepad and shaking his head.
What, you arrogant jerk?!? What?? Inwardly, Bridget dared him to just spit it out, then glared at her traitorous cat nestled contently on the lap of this holier-than-thou bastard!
“Ummm… I think we got a little off track,” she said icily. “We were talking about Lindsey. You know, the bleeding girl that was sitting here a few minutes ago? Yeah, so… I let her in and provided basic first aid… That’s about the extent of my involvement.”
“I see,” he said tersely, flipping his notepad shut as he rose from the chair. “Would it interest you to know that paraphernalia was found in the vicinity of the crime scene that closely resembles…THIS?!?” His arms swept wide to indicate the entire inventory of her shop. Bridget jumped to her feet.
“Is that so?” She challenged testily, her nostril ring flaring as her fiery nature overwhelmed her sense of etiquette and hospitality.
“For the record, Miss Quinn… Exactly where were YOU at approximately four thirty this morning?” He asked, cocking his head with a faint tone of antagonism.
“What?? You can’t be serious…?” Bridget was outraged! She took a couple steps towards the door, facing away from him to compose herself. Abruptly, she twirled to face him. “Oh, WOW! Look at the time!” She said, her voice dripping with exaggeration. Avoiding eye contact, she continued absently about needing to alphabetize her nail polish collection, scooping litter boxes, scrubbing baseboards and other incredibly urgent tasks.
“Right,” the officer said dryly as he strolled towards the front door she held wide open. Stopping directly in front of her, his hands dropped wearily as he struggled with his words. After a moment he said,
“Look, I shouldn’t have said that.”
“Yep,” Bridget snipped, refusing to meet his considerably softened gaze.
“It’s just, where I come from… This is all a little…” He paused, floundering for an adequate way to express the absurdity of this metaphysical stuff without insulting her this time. “…Odd.”
Watching her bristle at his clumsy vocabulary, the Officer knew he’d failed his objective.
“Here,” he offered her a business card and cleared his throat, waiting for her to accept it.
“Please… Just take it…” Bridget cut her emerald eyes up at him with residual fury, finally snatching the card with stony reluctance. “Whoever attacked Lindsey is still out there. You’re isolated here when everything closes down,” he said softly.
How was it possible for him to be even more gorgeous? The sincerity in his hypnotic eyes thawed Bridget’s icy resolve, just a smidge.
“Call me if you feel unsafe,” he said as he ducked through the doorway and was gone.
The colossal nerve of that gargantuan JACKASS! She thought, closing the door behind him with a flourish.
Nick! Officer. Nick. Maddox… Of course his name is Nick! Aren’t most condescending jerks named Nick?!
The internal debate began as her thoughts betrayed her.
…He DID apologize and offer to protect me if needed… Yeah, whatever… Probably just out of a sense of duty. He clearly thinks I’m a dingbat... But damn he IS fine! ... Too bad I hate him!
It was time to head upstairs to get ready to open the store. She spotted Tiki snuggled in the chair where Nick had been sitting.
“And YOU!” She snarled while the cat ignored her. Taking a step up, Bridget added over her shoulder, “Tramp.”
Matanzas Moon and Matanzas Blaze are available through these book sellers!
Amazon Matanzas Moon: http://www.amazon.com/Matanzas-Moon-Elizabeth-Raven-ebook/dp/B017VEG5BU
Amazon Matanzas Blaze: http://www.amazon.com/Matanzas-Moon-Ablaze-Elizabeth-Raven-ebook/dp/B01COCY11U
iTunes Matanzas Moon: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/matanzas-moon/id1058140740
iTunes Matanzas Blaze: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/matanzas-moon/id1091060912
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/matanzas-moon-elizabeth-raven/1122696199?ean=9780996715416
Kobo Matanzas Moon: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/matanzas-moon
Kobo Matanzas Blaze: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/matanzas-moon-2