Rufus: Just Saying: Halloween Spooky Ghost Witching and my Pal Ranger
Rufus: How is everything in Iowa, Ranger? Any new toys you want to share about? Hold on my MomPeople is pulling my tail. I hope she wants to give me bologna treats.
MomPeople says I’m to ask about your MomPeople’s new book.My MomPeople is crazy about your MomPeople’s books. she loved the first book in your MomPeople’s Maggie York series, Ghost Walking.My MomPeople says your MomPeople’s new book is PERFECT for Halloween. Spooky and mysterious. Better than hunting squirrels in the front yard.
Ranger: Oh, wow. You have squirrels? I used to chase them all day...before we moved. I've discovered if you don't have big trees, you don't have squirrels. Darn. I suppose books are okay, but what could be better than hunting squirrels?
Rufus: I know. Kind of hard to believe, but you know how People are.
Ranger: Sorry, I guess I got side-tracked. You asked about toys. I have this new ball thing made of tough rubber and crunchy plastic inside. Makes terrific noises, but is pretty hard to rip apart. Sometimes I multi-task—gnawing on it by the deck doors while keeping an eye out for intruders.
Rufus: Since your MomPeople offers interviewees coffee, I have a pupsicle for you. Yeah, chicken broth frozen in an ice cube tray. Pretty cool, huh?
Ranger: Slurp. It's yummy!
Ranger: Um, got any more?
Rufus: So, tell me what is the title of your MomPeople’s new book and when can we buy it?
Ranger: Hmm, let me look. She's got the cover on her computer screen. Okay, it's Ghost Witching (A Maggie York Paranormal Mystery) http://allyshields.com/index.html . And she has October 21 circled on her desk calendar.
Rufus: What’s it about?
Ranger: Ghosts and witches, I suppose. And murder. She always writes about murder. But I don't have time to read her books. I'm too busy guarding the yard.
Rufus: Are there any cool dogs in Ghost Witching?
Ranger: Actually, there is! His name is Scamp. He's a great barker! Ally (my MomPeople) read me that part—probably so she'd get it right. Scamp's an overworked terrier…protects his entire neighborhood!
Rufus: What is your favorite part of your MomPeople’s new book?
Ranger: Scamp, of course. Although I heard her mumbling about a cemetery scene that sounded pretty spooky. She talks to her computer a lot while writing. Sometimes it's not so nice, and I have to cover my ears.
Rufus: Did you help write it? And by that I mean did you keep guard on the house so your MomPeople could write and write? I have to do that here. Boy, People are exhausting.
Ranger: I ALWAYS guard the house and particularly the yard. So many potential intruders go by here every day. You wouldn't believe it!
Rufus: Ranger, thank you for coming to tell me about your MomPeople’s new book. Let’s go downstairs and get bologna treats. I know how to open the refrigerator! But don’t share that with your MomPeople or mine!
Ranger: Oh, goodie. Let's go! My MP recently cut the treats in half. Vet told her I need to lose a pound or two. Do you see any extra inches on this muscled body?
Rufus: Dawgs need padding, winter is coming. I’ll go get some pupsicles to wash down our bologna.
BLURB for Ghost Witching
Seeing ghosts should make solving homicides easy, right? Not even close.
When detectives Maggie York and Josh Brandt catch a new murder investigation involving occult rituals, ghosts, and venomous snakes, it seems like a case that could only happen in New Orleans. Not only does the victim's ghost demand Maggie's attention, but three apparitions begin appearing to her…sending the detectives on a search for more bodies. They soon discover the ghostly trio has links to the Witching Hour Society, an organization of self-declared witches with far more going on behind the scenes. Meanwhile, a neighbor believes the victim killed his family with a curse, and the media eagerly sensationalizes the entire story.
Making things worse, Maggie and Josh have hit a rough spot in their personal relationship. The tension between them is already high when Josh's ex-fiancée arrives in town…and wants him back.
Soon the violence is escalating, the ghosts grow more aggressive, and the deeper Maggie and Josh dig, the stranger things get. Welcome to murder New Orleans’ style.
BONUS!!! Excerpt from Ghost Witching:
Maggie sat cross-legged in the witches' circle, listening to the night sounds of the Louisiana swamp giving way to a hazy dawn. The sluggish air failed to stir the moss-hung cypress trees, and humidity clung to her skin. It would be another scorcher.
Her candle flickered, and she turned it to allow more of the wax to trickle down the side. How had her life evolved to include this? A year ago the hard-nosed cop in her would have scoffed at the idea covens actually existed. Now she was part of one. Not that she'd bought the whole occult package, but her denials rang hollow in the face of collaborating with a ghost to track down a killer. Nor could she explain away the knowledge her distant relatives, Dalia and Selena, gleaned from the Beyond.
Dalia's hard stare brought Maggie's attention back to the circle of thirteen. Spooky how the quiet, unpretentious woman knew things…like Maggie's wandering thoughts. She raised her candle in unison with the others as Selena spoke the words approaching the end of the blessing ceremony.
In contrast to Dalia's petite form, Selena was larger than life, literally and figuratively. The priestess raised her arms, her long, ashen hair braid falling over her shoulder, the white muumuu fluttering in the morning air like a giant bird about to ascend. Her voice matched her size, echoing around the clearing, bringing Maggie and the other participants to their feet.
Although Maggie wasn't positive the white witch rite actually did anything, attendance at coven ceremonies had been one of Selena's requirements for teaching her how to assert greater control over the ghostly apparitions who were bound to make more appearances in Maggie's future. The old woman had been particularly insistent tonight, piquing Maggie's curiosity. And a little apprehension. Had Selena had another of her visions, possibly foretelling trouble in the near future? When asked, her cousin had given a typically cryptic answer. "Good and evil are always in motion."
Which told her nothing new. Maggie sighed, darting a glance at the focused women around her. No matter. The future wouldn't be changed by worrying. Besides, she had no real objection to being here and supporting the coven's hopes of healing one member's gravely ill four-year-old niece, for a laid-off worker to find a new job, and a universal plea for greater wisdom. They could all use a dose of that.
While calling upon the Goddess to bless and protect them, Selena made a three-sixty turn, her gown billowing as she included every participant. Maggie suddenly stiffened and peered behind her cousin. Had something dark and wispy swooped past? No, of course not. The lifting dawn mist had fired her overactive imagination.
Yet her heart beat a bit faster, and she joined in the final lines of the closing chant with more gravity than usual.
"In calm or stormy days to come, light our pathways safely home.
Gracious Goddess, grant our plea. So mote it be."
Maggie was tempted to add an "Amen" for good measure.
As they blew out their candles, her cell phone buzzed. She checked the screen. Police dispatch. Her real world snapped back into place. While they'd been surrounded by the hope inherent in these pre-dawn gatherings, someone else had committed the most grievous assault upon society…the murder of one of its citizens.
See the trailer at: YouTube link: https://youtu.be/cxgb07Wzn7w
Buy Ally Shields novels
Etopia Press: http://www.etopiapress.com/ghost-witching/