When Cassie Taylor talks, ghosts listen. She wants to heal their souls so they can leave earth. Brooding songwriter Luke Rivers wants to give his recently found daughter a normal home, but he discovers his new house in small town Wisconsin is haunted by a ghost with an attitude. His ghost whisperer has an attitude too—even before someone tries to kill her.
He wants conventional; she wants acceptance. No wonder she thinks men are hard and dead people are easy.
Cassie trudged up the steps, not eager to confront, no, talk to Luke. So far her attempts at businesslike discussions had turned electric-edged, veering into confrontations.
Frowning, she passed the second-floor landing and tramped toward the tower. Why was she letting her real feelings show? Usually she disguised them better, putting on a façade of politeness Superman’s X-ray vision couldn’t see through.
The tower door was closed. Solid mahogany and old like everything else about the house. As she raised her fist to knock, a string of guitar chords flowed out through the cracks above and below the door, a bluesy mix, the tune catchy. She paused for a second, and then knocked decisively, two times. The guitar playing stopped and she felt a twinge of regret for stopping it. If that was one of his, he was good.
Dropping her fist, she took a deep breath. When he opened the door, she had her game face on, the one that said “Talking to ghosts is a respectable profession, and if you don’t like it, you can bite me.”
“What?” he said.
Who had taught him his manners? Scrooge? “You left before I finished.”
He stood on his side of the door, the guitar draped across his chest, one long-fingered hand holding it almost lovingly.
His brows raised and she realized she was taking too long to start talking.
“It’s about the house,” she said, her words whooshing out too quickly, but screw it. If she wanted to talk fast, she’d talk fast. “What do you know about it?”
“It’s over six thousand square feet and has too many rooms.” He shrugged. “I saw it on the Internet, liked the location and the property. Liked the look of the house. Solid. So I bought it.”
“Just like that.” She snapped her fingers.
“I make up my mind quickly.” His tone changed, low, seductive.
Cassie raised her chin. He was doing it on purpose, playing a game to amuse himself and rattle her. Another confirmation of the school of thought that said men reached emotional maturity in middle school.
“When was it built?” she asked.
“Long, long ago and far, far away.”
“Not funny. My guess is close to a hundred and fifty years. Look at the plaster.” She gestured at the ten-foot ceilings. The curlicues with the tiny gryphon face must have been done by a master plasterer. “The etched glass in the doors, the painted ceilings in the main rooms downstairs.”
He shrugged. “In southern California a lot of people have this stuff.”
“They have streets of gold too?”
His laughter rasped like sandpaper. “Fool’s gold, maybe.”
“You must have copies of the transaction somewhere. It should have the house’s age.”
“My lawyer has it. Why does it matter? What does it have to do with Isabel?”
“I don’t know if it does.” She felt like an idiot, but she couldn’t stop the niggle in her mind. It had poked at her brain last night, when she first saw the gingerbread front, the two turrets, the lightning behind the house.
Questioning Luke was a waste of breath, but there was more than one way to find out the age and anything else she wanted to know.
“Ask the ghost about the house,” he said.
“Dead people are not like live ones.” Thank God. “But I’ll ask her.”
If she saw Isabel, but she wasn’t telling that to him. Ghosts were like kittens. Some playful, some shy, some in between. They came out when they wanted, not when she wanted. And sometimes the best way to get them to emerge was ignoring them.
When he didn’t reply, she opened her mouth to talk…and realized he wasn’t looking at her face.
She followed his gaze about a foot down. Straight at her breasts.
Thank God her nipples weren’t hard. With that thought, they started to pebble.
She cleared her throat and raised her eyebrows. The hell if she was going to be embarrassed by his rudeness.
“Are you finished looking at my breasts?”
He grinned. “Never,” he said, then stepped back and closed the door.
She knew she looked like a fish with her jaw dropped and her mouth wide open.
Through the door, she heard the guitar thrum, then Luke’s voice flowed through the cracks above and below the door.
“Round woman, round woman, I want a woman who’s round. I want a woman who isn’t afraid of a few extra pounds.”
She clamped her mouth shut, wheeled around and stomped down the stairs. He was mocking her weight. Although the way he’d looked at her…
Could it be possible he meant it?
The thought made her pause. Shiver. And finally clump down the steps again. No matter what he meant, his hands weren’t traveling up or down any of her round curves. They were a No Trespassing zone, and if he crossed the line…well, she’d do something about it. She just wasn’t sure what.
“It’s not easy to find a book that has it all: Love, Danger, Mystery, Romance, Sorrow, Happiness…I could go on and on, the point is that you can name any number of emotions or aspects that makes up a great book and Dead People has it!” – Evie Paromantasy
“The story is entertaining, eye-widening, edge-your-seat thrilling and belly-laugh funny.” -Lis Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
Edie Ramer has done it again. She has created such a wonderful new world that enthralls and entertains. This book is filled with laughter, heartbreak, mystery, cranky ghosts, and most importantly, love. The depth of which Ramer is able to put into her characters is fantastic. It doesn’t get much better than this.” -Aimee Coffee Table Press