Hello, everyone! I’m here stealing a spot again. A couple of days ago, Ghost Dater was released, so I thought I’d share a little about it. I hadn’t planned on writing it, to be honest. In the Rockshade’s PID series, I have Soul Eater and Mind Scrambler, and the plan was to write the third and final story. It was always meant to be three – now I’ve messed it up.
Soul Eater is 51k and Mind Scrambler 53k, a 9k story wasn’t part of the plan, but now it’s here!
Soul Eater came out last year, and just like Ghost Dater, it’s a Halloween story. In Soul Eater, we get to see Thaddeus bring Sandy back from the dead, and now we’re one year later – meaning Sandy has been a ghost for a year.
Everyday life has settled in, and while Sandy is grateful for being alive – or close to at least – he’s mourning the things he can no longer do. Most of all he wants to eat. A year back on Earth, he hasn’t eaten a thing.
Thaddeus doesn’t handle Sandy’s moping well, and things are rocky, but it’s nothing a little magic and chocolate can’t fix!
I thought since Soul Eater and Ghost Dater are linked, I’ll share a little from both of them.
Excerpt Soul Eater:
As he rounded a corner, he came into the main cavern. Table after table were filled with anything a magic user could need. Herbs, potions, knives, stones, and a lot of things he didn’t want to acknowledge.
The howl of a cat in a cage had blue sparks rain from his fingertips, but he tried to suppress it as he hurried past the traders.
Pickering had the last table in the row—of course he had. By now, Thad should have learned nothing ever went quick and easy. He held his breath as he stopped by the table.
“Thaddeus.” Pickering had short, red hair, and his face was filled with freckles.
“Einar.” Thad nodded at him.
“What can I do you for? Looking for a familiar?” He grabbed a cage with the largest toad Thad had ever seen.
“Ah… Eh… no. I was wondering—”
“A love potion?” He held up a tiny, red flask with a skull painted on it, and Thad almost laughed.
“No, thank you. Have you heard about—”
“Shrunken head?” He bent down behind the table.
“No!” Thad hoped he didn’t have a shrunken head back there. Could he ignore a shrunken head or did he have to report it at work? If a raid came out of his visit here, he’d be hunted for the rest of his life, and he did not want the wizards running the largest black market for miles and miles on his tail.
“This then?” Pickering tossed something at him, and Thad caught it. A buzz spread into his fingertips as he held up the…skull. Swallowing hard, he studied the sharp canines. The dog must’ve been massive when it had been alive.
“W-What is it?”
Pickering looked nervous as he leaned in closer and lowered his voice into a whisper. “Werewolf skull, very powerful. But I guess it’s wasted on you, mage.”
Werewolf? Was someone killing werewolves now or was it an old skull? Thad swallowed hard.
“Yes.” Why did it buzz? Thad was a mage, everyone in his family was a mage. Spirits meant nothing to him.
“A hundred and fifty.” Pickering raised one red, way-too-bushy eyebrow at Thad.
“A hundred and fifty dollars?” He could almost pay that to be able to bring it to work and have it analyzed. If someone was targeting werewolves, they had to be stopped.
“Thousand. A hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Do you think they’re easy to come by?” Pickering’s blue eyes were wide as they searched the shadows around them.
Thad’s hands shook as he placed the skull on the table. “No, I guess—”
“I can get you another animal if you want? Lion shifter? I know where there’s a pride. I need your order by the end of the night, though. There isn’t much time left to get it set up. Samhain is the only day a harvesting ritual works, and special orders increase the price, so you know…” Pickering shrugged.
Thad nodded. Coming here had been a huge mistake.
Pickering narrowed his eyes. “So what do you want?”
“I wanted to ask you a—”
“This more your price range perhaps?” He held up four black candles. “Blood candles. They’ll help you call forth the spirits. A hundred dollars.”
Thad nodded. He’d heard of blood candles, never owned any. Warlocks made them—a blood sacrifice to increase the power of the candles. When they were lit in a circle, they’d enhance the power…or something. Thad didn’t do circles. He was a mage, he had the power at his fingertips and not contained in a circle. Not that sorcerers and warlocks couldn’t bring their powers outside their circles—they could—but all their big, powerful magic work required a circle. But if it would get Pickering talking…
“Okay.” He grabbed his wallet and handed Pickering the money he’d budgeted for groceries.
“Excellent.” He turned to a side table to wrap the candles in paper. Thad must’ve lost his mind, but the skull vibrated.
“Have you heard of any…” Thad cleared his voice before hissing, “…soul eaters in the area?”
Pickering froze. “Jesus, Thaddeus. If that’s what they have you working on, you need to quit. Right away.”
“There is someone?”
Pickering shook his head, almost dropping the candles. Thad’s core filled with ice. There was a soul eater? He’d hoped he was imagining the signs.
The skull moved.
It couldn’t have, and yet Thad saw it turn. Perhaps he’d touched the table without noticing.
Pickering wiped his palms on his thighs, not looking at Thad.
“Einar. Someone is carving up young women. My stupid werewolf colleagues think it’s a shifter. It’s not. Someone is stealing their energy.”
Pickering didn’t move. He stared at the half-wrapped candles.
“I’m right, am I not?”
Pickering shoved the candles at him. “You need to leave. Leave now, Thaddeus, and don’t ask any more questions.”
“You think he’s only making angels?” Pickering’s voice was so low, Thad had to strain to hear him. “You think a powerful warlock would leave anything behind for the police to find? It’s a game to him. It amuses him to have the dogs running around in circles. Don’t get involved in this case, Thaddeus.” He turned around so fast Thad jumped.
As Pickering pretended to unpack a box on the ground, Thad picked up the skull. He opened his mouth to get Pickering’s attention so he could hand it back but halted. Looking around, he couldn’t see anyone watching him although that didn’t mean no one was watching him. As carelessly as he could, he placed the skull on top of the candles and cradled the bundle to his chest.
Trying not to run, he took aim at the exit, a furious voice screaming in his head.
Excerpt Ghost Dater:
Thad bought pumpkins, fake spiderwebs, bats, skeletons, and loads of candy—not that he thought any kids would come trick or treating. Their house was a good bit outside of the city. Sandy had been firm on what their house should look like, with a forest a werewolf could run in and stuff. Only, he could never run as a wolf since he couldn’t be away from Thad, and Thad couldn’t hunt like a pack. He couldn’t howl at the moonlight or whatever else wolves did in their spare time.
What he could do was turn their house into a Halloween masterpiece. He loved decorating for Halloween, and he was eager to get back home to add to the things he’d already put up. The best piece of decoration they owned was Sandy’s skull—though he doubted Sandy agreed.
When he parked outside the police station, he was in a better mood. Sandy was still sulking, but it wasn’t as bad as it had been at home. He’d even smiled when Thad had cracked a joke.
“You can wait in the car if you want.”
Sandy frowned at him. “Can I?”
Thad judged the distance from where he’d parked and the third floor where Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department was. “Maybe you’d better come along.” He straightened, and Sandy shuddered as he melted through the car.
“I hate going through things.”
Thad huffed and allowed blue sparks to rain over Sandy until he became solid. “You could have asked me to make you real so you could’ve used the door, or I could’ve opened it for you.”
The glare he got in response had Thad halting. “What?”
“I am real, and I don’t want to have to ask you to open doors for me. I don’t want to have to ask to be corporeal.”
“Oh, I should just know when you want to be solid?”
Sandy’s hands curled into fists.
“Fuck it, Sandy. Stay in the car.”
A woman passing by stopped to stare at them, and Thad raised an eyebrow at Sandy. They didn’t need to cause a scene, did they? “I need a quick word with Elora. No need for you to throw a tantrum.”
Sandy grimaced. “I didn’t mean…”
“That might be.” Fucking hell. Thad turned and headed for the entrance.
“Please try to behave in front of the guys.” He jogged up the stairs, ignoring the way his lungs burned as he reached the landing. He needed to get out running more. Sandy was by his side, not out of breath in the least since the bastard didn’t need to breathe.
“Go talk to Leo while I talk to Elora.”
“Because I don’t want you to hear what I’m saying, and Ric’s an ass and I don’t want it rubbing off more than it already has.” He was only partly joking. Ric, Sandy’s brother, was the one he had the hardest time working with. It had gotten better, but they still didn’t get on.
“I’m a shifter, babe. I’ll hear what you say if I’m standing two desks away.”
Point. “Don’t listen.”
“It doesn’t work like—”
Elora was Thad’s partner. She was a short, curvy woman with psychic abilities, and Thad loved her. They worked well together, knew each other’s strengths and fears, and his shoulders dropped simply from looking at her.
She looked up from a thick book and gave Thad an amused smile. “What are you guys doing here? You couldn’t stay home for one day?”
Thad glanced at Sandy, shot more energy into him, and approached Elora’s desk. “I need a word. In private.” He tried pointing at Sandy with his eyes, which had Elora widening hers.
“Let’s eh… grab a cup of coffee and go to—”
Elora nodded, and together they neared the coffeemaker. Thad looked around but couldn’t see Ric, which was good. If Sandy asked about the cabin, he’d know Thad was lying. Ric left for the cabin every year, and would this year too, should nothing too horrible go down.
“What’s going on?” Elora pulled out a chair by the table in the barren interrogation room.
Thad closed the door behind him and glanced out through the window. Sandy was watching him, so he smiled. “Sandy has been an ass for a week now.”
“Why are we whispering?”
“I don’t know how well he can hear us.”
“Ah…” Elora frowned and continued in a low voice. “So what’s going on?”
Thad slumped on the chair across from Elora. “I don’t know, to be honest. I’ve told him we’re having a Halloween party, but we’re not.” He sighed. “Have you read anything about allowing a spirit or ghost to eat?”
Elora pursed her lips. “Not that I can recall.”
“Damn.” He put his elbows on the table and cradled his head.
“Well, it’s a bit rocky.”
“You and Sandy? No, you’re his mate.”
Her words calmed him a fraction. “Yeah, I know, but… I think he feels trapped with me.”
“He’s said that?”
Thad shook his head. “No, but he’s frustrated about not being able to do things.”
“He’s a proud man. You know how werewolves are.”
All shifters were insane. “I want to cook dinner.”
Elora’s dark eyes flew over his face. “Cook?”
“Yes. I want to take him on a date, or a date at home. I want to cook a three-course dinner, wine, candles, the whole thing. And I want him to be able to eat, to taste.”
Elora shook her head. “I’m sorry, Thad. I’ve never come across anything about letting a ghost eat.”
“But he’s my familiar, right?”
She narrowed her eyes. “I guess… I mean… but he’s not alive.”
“No, I know.” Maybe it was a stupid idea. Perhaps heʼd have to have a Halloween party instead, but Ric was going away, and he was off work, which meant the others would have to work.
“There might be… but I don’t know…”
Thad stared at her. “There might be what?”
She waved a hand. “Don’t get your hopes up, but I just recalled… I’ll see if I can find it and get back to you, okay?”
“I love you!”
Elora widened her eyes and glanced out the window. “Eh…Sandy’s coming this way. I’d rather you didn’t say things like that when he can hear.”
Thad leaned forward. “He knows I don’t mean it like—” The door was yanked open and a pissed off Sandy stepped into the cramped room.
“What’s going on?”
Thad grinned. “Elora is coming to the party, and she’s gonna dress up like Catwoman. It’ll be a fancy-dress party. Isn’t it great!”
When Sandy grimaced, Thad had a hard time not laughing.
Detective Thaddeus Ezax is in over his head. He’s the only wizard in Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department, and it was his name that got him the job. The Ezaxs are known as some of the most powerful wizards in the world, but Thaddeus isn’t your average Ezaxs. Is it any wonder his family shuns him?
When a kidnapping case is dropped into his lap, Thaddeus must act fast. While most five-year-olds can cast a location spell, Thaddeus can’t and is forced to get creative. When he finds himself in possession of a black market werewolf skull with a ghost trapped inside, accidentally releases the spirit, and somehow forms a connection with it, things get even crazier.
Sandulf Hunter doesn’t remember dying, but he remembers the last thing he saw before everything went black — a wizard. All wizards must die! The only problem is, the wizard standing next to him smells too damned good, so good Sandy thinks he might have to keep him.
And since wherever Thaddeus goes, Sandulf finds himself yanked along, he might not have a choice in the matter anyway.
Gay Paranormal Romance: 51,577 words
Thaddeus Esax has a grumpy werewolf problem. For a year, he’s been mated to Sandulf Hunter, a ghost werewolf he brought back from the dead without meaning to. It’s been great. Thad’s been happy, and he believed Sandy was too. But Sandy has been sulking for more than a week, and Thad fears their relationship isn’t going as well as he believed.
The problem with being mated to a ghost is that said ghost never can leave your side, and therefore it’s extremely hard to keep secrets. Thaddeus wants to surprise Sandy, to cheer him up, but to do that, he has to trick him into believing they’re doing something they’re not.
Telling Sandy they’re having a Halloween party doesn’t go over well, but how do you trick a ghost? By making him believe he’ll be dressed up as a pirate for an evening, of course.
Gay Paranormal Romance: 9,376 words