From ghost hunter to ghost, haunted.
Barrett has a plan—help Austin regain his memory, surround him with his friends and loved ones, and lead him into the light. Unfortunately, the tragic investigation of a melancholy ghost derails everything.
As new lead investigator, Thai struggles to maintain the high ratings SCI has always enjoyed. After a few subpar investigations, the network execs demand results, even if it means the team must put their lives on the line for a house more deadly than its dead occupants.
There are worse things than being dead.
Austin knows something is wrong. Most people ignore him, time eludes him, and his hands are basically worthless. If only he could remember what happened, he would have the answers he so desperately seeks. He’s sick of Barrett’s lies and Casey’s deflections. Austin will have to figure this one out on his own. Will the truth set him free, or destroy his soul?
ExcerptWhile Austin was distracted, Barrett tipped his head, motioning for Casey to follow him to theother side of the loft. He glanced back at Austin to make sure he wasn’t listening in. Fortunately, hewas totally absorbed in the game. Prudence hovered next to him.“His thoughts seem clearer,” Barrett noted in a low voice.“Yeah. His memories are returning. We all watched the SCI episode with the resale shoptogether. He thinks he’s ready to go back to work.” Casey exhaled and shrugged.“Oh.” It wasn’t surprising he wanted to get back to ghost hunting—this was Austin, afterall—but it was a rather dismal thought considering his current condition. “Who is ‘we all’?”“Me, Tina, Austin, and Prudence. Tina’s quite the actress,” Casey said referring to herlandlord and best friend in Shadow Creek. “She can talk very convincingly to ghosts she can’t see.”“How did she manage that?”Casey pulled her phone out of her pocket and waved it front of Barrett. “Simple. I’d text TinaAustin’s questions and statements. She’d read the text and respond. Being a ghost, he didn’t noticethere was a lag time between his remarks and hers.”“Clever,” Barrett noted. “I’ll have to remember that.”“Anyway, when he told me he wanted go back to work, I told him, ‘No way. It’s too soon.’But he’s only going to buy it for so long. His control-freak ways are coming back with a vengeance. Iknew I couldn’t keep him in Shadow Creek any longer. He was chomping at the bit to get back toLA.”Barrett peered into her eyes. “How are you doing?”“Much better.” Casey pasted a smile on her face. “It’s funny the things you can get used towhen you have no other choice.” Barrett took a peek inside her head. An image of the scales of justiceappeared to him. She was telling the truth, or at least believed she was.She playfully punched him in the shoulder. “I told you I was fine. You don’t have to snoop.”“Sorry. Habit.”He paused and glanced over at Austin who was now on his feet, yelling at the TV. He’s wideopen. Throw the damn ball.Barrett’s gaze reverted back to Casey. “You still have your place in LA, don’t you?”“Yeah. Josie insisted I keep it. She was sure I’d come back.” Casey laughed. “Guess she wasright.”“Then go home. Or go to Josie’s, I don’t care which. Look, I know you’re fine, but it wouldstill do you good to take a night off.” Casey bit her lip. Barrett gently rubbed her arm. “It’ll be okay. Ipromise I’ll take good care of him.”“I know you will. It’s not that.” She started flipping a bottle cap between her fingers, glancingback at the ghost with a smile and genuine affection in her eyes. “It’s hard to explain. Being with him… it’s draining. Always on guard, always worrying he’ll find out and freak out.” She sighed. “But Idon’t want to abandon him.”Barrett smiled at her. “You’re not abandoning him. You’re taking a break. I get it; it’sstressful. Now that you’re back in LA, there’s no reason we can’t spell each other.”They walked back to the living area and Barrett plopped down next to Austin. Unlike Casey,he didn’t mind poking around in other people’s (or ghosts’) heads. If Barrett thought it was simplerand more expedient to read their minds, he didn’t hesitate. His head tilted to the side as he studied theinner workings of Austin’s brain.Austin’s thought processes had improved dramatically since Barrett had last looked. He nolonger saw the image of a wrecked CPU. The wires were mostly untangled and some of the torn edgeshad knitted themselves together. There was only one chunk of memory separated from the others, likean island in the sea of his brain. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which memory that was.Austin stared at him, a puzzled look on his face. Barrett cleared his throat. “Uh, who’s winning?”The Chargers, of course. Austin picked up his ghost water and took a sip.Casey leaned over the sofa. “Hey,” she said softly in Austin’s ear, “I’m going home now, butI’ll be back tomorrow morning. You boys have fun.”Austin jerked his head around to face her. You’re leaving? But we just got here. Panic shone inhis ice-blue eyes. Ghosts had attachment issues. Sometimes it was locations they couldn’t leave; othertimes it was an object they treasured when they were alive, and in some cases, it was a person.Austin fell into the last category. He had tethered himself to Casey. Barrett couldn’t say hewas surprised, but it wasn’t a healthy situation for either one of them. For non-sensitives, an attachedghost was like a shadow following them around. Every once in a while they might feel a cold breezeon their skin, or a shiver down their back, but for the most part, they had no idea they were beinghaunted. For Casey, it was different. She couldn’t go about her daily life as if nothing was going on.Until he crossed, she would have an incorporeal sidekick, whether she wanted one or not.
I am a native Texan, wife, and mom. In addition to The Spirit Chaser, I have written a young adult series, The Circle. I’m a full-time reader, part-time writer, and when I’m not kicking a story around in my head, I love to read and review books on Goodreads.