Monday, December 6, 2010

Buried But Not Dead in Lottawatah

To celebrate our new e-book series we've providing an excerpt from one of the two stories in the first volume of our Brianna Sullivan Mysteries e-book series. The following is from I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries - the second story, Buried But Not Dead in Lottawatah

Chapter 1
If you've ever wondered why souls don't stay buried,
Just try it for yourself sometime.

The soil of Rosie Kilpatrick's flowerbed smelled like cedar mulch and weathered cow manure. The cow manure must have been put in by the last gardener. The mulch was from a pile, next to the flowerbed. The shooter wasn't doing it right. The mulch was supposed to go on top. The lily bulbs, then the soil, and the mulch on top. Odd, I couldn't smell the bulbs. I guess they don't have an odor. Or at least the ones lying near my nose didn't. They were probably the reason I was still alive, that and the bullet-dented garden trowel stuck in my back pocket.

I had lost some time. Five minutes, ten, I'm not sure. I hit my head on the edge of Miss Rosie's stone angel when the bullet knocked me face first into the lily bed. A cut over my eye was starting to swell and I had the worst headache I've ever had in my 35 years of life. Last week I'd been hired to renovate the flowerbeds on the Kilpatrick estate, although I'm not really a gardener and it's not really an estate. More like four acres of overgrown weeds surrounding an ancient house with flowerbeds.

My name is Brianna Sullivan and I'm psychic.

I grant you I must not be a good psychic or I would have seen this coming.


Matilda, my 30-foot motor home, has a hearty appetite for gasoline. This wasn't the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last time, that economics, and a crush on a totally unsuitable man, had forced a pause in my cross-country odyssey. Ten days ago I'd landed in Lottawatah, Oklahoma, population 1452 living souls and a couple of dozen in spirit-world transit. Detective Cooper Jackson, the unsuitable man mentioned above, introduced me to the elderly owner of the flowerbed and the stone angel that had knocked me senseless. Okay, maybe some people wouldn't give the angel all the credit.

After I got sick a few years ago, I quit my job with an airline (I was in charge of finding lost luggage), and with the help of a small inheritance, bought a motor home. I was in hot pursuit of romance and adventure on the open road. Of course, every couple of months I had to pull over, park my dreams, and earn a little cash.

The gardening project was running late into the fall season. Miss Rosie had been through a trio of gardeners in the last few years. One had died of old age, one had been more interested in growing something he could smoke, and the other had just up and disappeared. Not that anybody missed him much—especially Miss Rosie who only put up with any hired help because Cooper and a local social worker insisted.

"Damn fool Cooper. Won't leave a body alone." The old lady had made it abundantly clear that I was to sleep in Matilda, stay out of her house, and damn well plant exactly what she wanted, where she wanted. She warned me not to get attached—the job was short-lived. It appears she was correct.

Did I mention my head hurts? That damn angel! Miss Rosie wanted it moved, but couldn't settle on the perfect spot. She wanted a place where the birds would leave it alone. Personally, I thought the birds enjoyed using the old concrete statue for target practice and moving it wasn't going to make any difference. Even if I moved the angel, which I was supposed to be doing today instead of planting lilies, I fully expected to be hosing it down until the birds flew south again. In any other part of the country, that would have happened a month ago. But here in Oklahoma, sometimes the heat of summer and black birds hung around like unwelcome guests, well into November.

Birds, angels, cow manure, and lilies—why these things were important to me at a time like this, I couldn't say. I'm sure you're thinking I should be praying or fighting.

And it's not that I'm against a good prayer or a knock-down drag-out fight when need be, but the lily bed I'd been working in was less than a foot deep. And even with the dirt that the shooter was currently piling on top of me, if I kept playing dead, I should be able to rise from my grave when it was safe. All I had to do was keep calm and resist the urge to sneeze.


Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series by Evelyn David
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

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