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Gust Blogger - Joyce & Jim Lavene

What would YOU do?

By Skye Mertz

From Broken Hearted Ghoul – A Taxi for the Dead Paranormal Mystery

I’m a zombie—I know. Don’t judge me.

What would you do if someone offered YOU another 20 years of life?

My daughter, Kate, was only five when I was killed. It wouldn’t have been so bad that I was going to die, but my husband, Jacob, was already dead. And my mother-in-law, Addie, told me she had six months to live after finding out that she had cancer.

I couldn’t leave Kate alone, the way I was left alone. No one should have to grow up in the foster care system the way I did.

So I took Abraham Lincoln Jones’ offer to drive the van that picks up his undead workers. I call it the taxi for the dead. He doesn’t appreciate my humor.

Everyone who takes Abe up on his offer, and gets the circle A tattoo on their heel, has twenty years to live. They have to help Abe with what he needs to have done. I thought he’d want me to continue as a Nashville cop, but that wasn’t what he wanted.

So I drive the taxi, and I take care of Kate. I miss my past life. I miss my husband. But it’s better than the alternative, right?

I’m also looking for answers about Jacob’s death. I know he wasn’t killed in the wreck that took my life the way everyone thinks. Something else happened to him that night. I’m going to use my twenty years to find out what.

In the meantime, I’ve learned a few things that I didn’t want to know. I’ve seen a man become a werewolf, and I know there are ghouls. There is magic too—real magic. I know a sorcerer who isn’t sure who he is, but he can still do some amazing things.

I’m two years into my twenty-year afterlife. I don’t know what’s going to happen when it’s all over. But whatever it is, Kate will be an adult, and I can prepare her for it. It may not be easy explaining that her mother is dead, and her grandmother who takes care of her is a ghost. But we’ll work it out.

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.



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