Title: Take These Broken Wings
Author: Livia Quinn
Genre: Southern Paranormal Cozy
Welcome to Mayberry, or should I say Middle Earth?
I’m Jack Lang, the Sheriff of Destiny, Louisiana. After my sexy redheaded mail lady zapped me, this seemingly normal small town turned into a never-ending stream of supernaturals – fae, dragons, vampires, djinn—not to mention some plain ol’ kooks. Ironically, I was all set to accept the dark side when I discovered the secret in my own DNA and, well, to say I was in shock would be like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.
There’s one thing that can get me back on the job – a murder investigation. But I’ll also have to deal with supernatural hitmen, dragon hunters and being in the doghouse with my girlfriend. If I don’t get a handle on “My new life” before long, I’m going to lose the respect of the Paramortals, not to mention the woman I love. Maybe I should just holler uncle now. Things can always get worse.
After all, this is Destiny, and ludicrous is its middle name.
Book 5 is the completion of Jack and Tempe’s Paramortal arc, an epiphany of sorts, but the story continues. If you enjoy the Paranormal Urban Fantasy Cozy worlds of Kristen Painter, Darynda Jones or Molly Harper, try the Destiny Paramortals series.
Jack watched, sunglasses hiding his expression as Montana and her partner, Rafe, unloaded the gurney from the back of the truck. A slender older man with wire rims stepped out and grabbed a black bag from inside. He took stock of his surroundings before walking toward us. It was Dan Thorpe, the ME who had worked with Jack last spring, examining and testing several supernaturals, including Jack’s ex.
He stopped when he reached us and stuck out his hand. “Jack. It’s good to see you. I heard you were out of town at some kind of school.” The story we’d circulated round town to keep it simple.
Jack took Dan’s hand and said only, “I’m back.” A fortuitous word choice. Did he mean back in town, back to work, or that my Jack was back? I was pretty sure that wasn’t the case… yet.
“Where’s the deceased?” The ME asked.
Jack made a half turn and pointed at the large puddle to his left created by his big dragon foot. We knew this but to Dan it looked like just another pool of backwater created from the recent rains. He knelt by the puddle working his way toward the pieces of one exposed bone. After examining them for several minutes, he straightened, “Damn. It looks like someone ran over them with a bulldozer.”
Jack asked, “Postmortem?” I laughed covering it with a fake cough receiving a glare from Jack. “Show some respect for the victim, Ms. Pomeroy.” Zeus, he was good. I glimpsed a touch of humor in his eyes.
Dan said, “Given the condition of the remains, and all this backwater, I’m going to need more equipment and different tools.”
“What equipment do you need exactly?”
Dan stroked his jaw and made a list, “A pump to displace the water away from this area for probably fifty feet. We’ll start with that. Maybe we’ll get lucky and all the evidence will be contained here. I have to go back to my office and get some suitable clothing, waders and tools.”
Rafe said, “I’ll run you back to town.”
Jack said, “Dan, if you’ll cordon off the perimeter where you want it, I think I’ve got a pump in my car.” Then his eyes cut to me. He wasn’t serious…
“Where is your car?” asked Dan.
“Uh… down the levee a piece. Tempe and I were walking when we spotted that bone near the bank.”
That was such a lie but the humans must be protected at all costs. It was part of the Paramortal banner—Don’t let the mere-mortals see your magic! If I wasn’t mistaken, I was fixin’ to be called upon for some moisture manipulation.
Rafe made a u-turn down the side of the levee and left. We waited until the sound of the truck’s engine could barely be heard. Conor didn’t bother to remain aloof when it was just the four of us. He took Montana in his arms not caring whether we watched or not and gave her a deep ardent kiss as if he hadn’t seen her in days. Not since their morning tea at least. I cast a glance at Jack, sadness a heavy weight in my chest.
Jack crooked his finger at me. It was too much to hope that he wanted to lay some of the same action on me. Sure enough, he walked about twenty feet the other side of the body and said, “Can you clear this water out of here?”
My brows rose and I put my hands on my hips. Really? Not even a Please, Tempe? “Do I look like a bilge pump to you?”
He did laugh then, but I didn’t see the humor. Suddenly I was furious. I considered refusing. I should, I really should and I would. Next time. But the fact that he was impatient and wanted to get started investigating this tragedy was a step in the right direction. As stubborn and as bossy as he could be, I welcomed that.
“I might help you out. This one time,” I added narrowing my eyes at him. “But you’ll owe me.”
I could almost see his dragon face as those silvery eyes flashed. “Fine. Do it. Just try not to disturb the bones.”
“Says the man—the dragon—who stomped on the evidence with his big clumsy feet,” I retorted.
“Okay. Quid pro quo. Now what are you going to do—spin up a whirlpool, tornado, inhale the water and spit it out somewhere else?”
I gasped, “Are you kidding me? That’s slimy nasty, foul backwater. I suggest you hold onto that tree, or do your dragon thing.” I closed my eyes. Menori was happy. Unlike countless times before when I didn’t know what would happen and needed emotion to even stir a breeze or zap a door lock, she was part of me now. We worked in sync.
I called the wind, feeling the breeze across my face first as it gathered and plastered my clothes to my body. The distant wail announced its approach. Sometimes people don’t realize what they’re hearing, until it’s gotten a good head of steam. It’s as powerful as any force in the universe.
We didn’t need a straight-line wind for this simple job, but I figured it was the easiest to explain. This time of year they came out of nowhere. I held my hand out toward the water and guided the wide swath of wind toward the slew, over the berm and out toward the main channel of the river.
“Okay, that’s enough,” Jack called. My eyes popped open again and I saw him clinging to the only tree around for dear life.
I shut off my power and asked exasperated, “Why didn’t you shift?” His hat was gone and his hair stuck up everywhere. He released the tree straightening his shirt and nodded past me with a raise of his eyebrow.
Zeus’ hand-me-down knickers! I made a great bilge pump if I did say so myself. The water was gone from the puddle, which was clearly dry. Hmm, maybe I went a bit too far. The ground was dry as well. This would be tricky to explain to Dan.
With my fists propped on my hips I turned to Jack, my expression all innocent-like, “Well, weather is known for being unpredictable.”
He rolled his eyes, “Clearly your weather is.”
Love happens…when you least expect it. So does the weather. So magic in one form or another, and storms, are at the heart of most Livia Quinn books. A DC native who lives on the bayou in Louisiana, Livia has stored up a wealth of quirky stories from her jobs as a mail lady, sales person, plant manager and small business owner that she’s anxious to share with her readers. Visit her soon on her new website https://www.liviaquinn.com
Social Media Links:
Livia’s Author Central page http://amzn.to/1T5qmhN
Independent Author Network http://bit.ly/2dlAr8L
Author Central http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KPDXXE2
We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word!