Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Natural Selection and the Dominent Species with David Coy



Dominant Species Volume One – Natural Selection

by David Coy

About The Author:


I’ve had a lifetime love of science fiction and horror. I suspect it started in puberty since most obsessions do. My passion for it was so strong as a penniless youth, I resorted to boosting copies of my favorite authors’ works off the shelves of the book section of the local Federal’s department store. My friends and I soon had a collection of great sci-fi at discounted prices to read and read again. But I’m not wholly without conscience about those shifty activities as a scrawny youth. I’ll shake my head from side to side and mumble “Crap, that was stupid” once ever decade or so. But that’s about it.
I consider myself a sci-fi film Nazi. I’m sure I’ve seen every sci-fi movie ever made – certainly the vast majority of them. I can’t pass up even the worst of it. All those god-awful, black and white B flicks of the 40’s onward, with their outrageous and ham-handed themes of science vs. ignorance and good vs. evil, wrapped in whatever pseudo-scientific covering was popular that year, transfixed me, entertained me, and like the works pinched then stashed in my friend’s basement, made me think. When pivotal films like “Alien” and John Carpenter’s “The Thing” elevated sci-fi film up out of the gutter with all those glorious and expensive production values, I was im himmel.
I attended Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Like so many of my peers at the time, I left Wayne State with an utterly useless BA with a major in psychology. I’ve cleaned tractor cranes for money and worked as a steel mill laborer when the last one of those plants in Michigan still existed. I’ve worked as a night janitor. I moved to southern California when I was 30 years old and sold cars for a while. Shortly thereafter I worked for what used to be called the Hughes Aircraft Company as an in-house photographer. For the last 10 years of my work-a-day life I worked as a senior project manager for Computer Sciences Corporation. I now live in Oregon where I started and recently sold a fitness gym. I relate this choppy history to drive home my favorite maxim relating to life and the living of it: you never know where in the fuck you’ll end up. You’ll find my books laced through with that persistent theme. I hope you find the journey of reading them, should you attempt it, if not straight and linear, at least interesting.




Book Genre
Science Fiction / Sci-Fi Horror
Publisher
David Coy
Publication Date
Digital editions – June 2012

Purchase At Amazon:

Book Description:
Imagine an alien science where tissue, bone, nerves, and muscle are used like we use iron, wood, rubber and wire. Now imagine yourself held captive with hundreds of others by beings who wield this grisly technology as easily as we do hammer and saw; beings whose lineage can be traced through the morally hollow, parasitic branches of nature's evolutionary tree. What would you do to survive? Would you re-draw the boundaries of your own morality to stay alive? What would you compromise? How might you escape? This is the context of NaturalSelection, the first of three volumes of the Dominant Species series of books. What distinguishes Dominant Species from other stories in its genre is its visceral imagery and more importantly, its rich subtext. The story can appeal to those fascinated and drawn to horror and strong drama, and at the same time will fascinate those who can tune into its broader message about our relationship to the natural world. Taken as a whole, the series is a puzzle linked together with genetic threads that unravel like a double helix. Viewers intrigued by mystery and dramatic puzzles will find a fascinating playground for guesswork, thought and discussion.


The first volume sets the stage for the ongoing conflict between Homo sapiens and a visiting alien race. Like all successful serial drama, the story poses many questions to be answered, each one carefully laced into a central theme about human survival, the action driven by antagonists both alien and human.
The story is character driven, each character fully developed and rich, providing the colorful characterization required by serial drama. Central to the first volume is teacher Phil Lynch.


The story starts as a peaceful visit to his weekend getaway in the Sierra foothills. Hours later he finds himself living an unthinkable nightmare. Paralyzed and taken prisoner, his body is used as an unwilling host in a bizarre and grisly series of parasitic infections. On board the alien vessel within which he is imprisoned are more than a hundred other humans – and like Phil – just as confused and terrified – their bodies subject to unfathomable violence for a dark and malevolent purpose. As the terrible truth about the alien visitation unfolds, a small group of captives must first understand – and then fight for escape from the terror that holds them captive. That struggle will stretch razor-thin the limits of the human will to survive.


There is strong language in the story because humans under stress often use such language. There are no puppy love or adolescent motifs of intimacy in the story. Instead there are very many mature, psychosexual themes that run through all three books. Some are represented symbolically, others described explicitly. There is violence. The story is not PG-13.



The story is a human drama that will be appreciated by most adult demographics. It is strong, unflinching theater played through characters who repulse us, fascinate us, and often, appeal to our better natures; ones who continually remind us of our human strengths—and weaknesses.

Excerpt

Mary listened to the droning sound that came to her through the wet air and thought of her mother’s soft humming. She wanted her mother to be there now, to hold her and hum softly to her, to soothe her. She drifted toward her mother’s round arms and warm smile on the ghostly crest of that ugly sound.
Then the dread came. It crashed over her like a cold, brown wave and the memories of her mother’s soft touch were washed away. She was in the big chamber. The big chamber was where the droning sound was. The droning was the collective sound from others just like her, others not asleep yet not awake; others unable to move their limbs.
She could turn and lift her head and see and hear and smell. She could not talk, but she could make a deep sound, a groan, if she tried. When the pain came, the groan would be its outlet. The groan would be the dull steam her violated body would vent in its outrage.
She prayed for a miracle. She prayed that when she opened her eyes she would see big, blue sky and bright light. She pressed her eyes closed and prayed hard but when she looked, only the chamber’s ceiling filled her vision. Its black, bubbly surface gave substance to the dread and when the cutting began, the ceiling’s gloom would stamp its dark print on her soul once more.
Mary turned her head slowly and saw the naked body of a young woman. Then she breathed the warm scent of perfume. The woman was new and a splash of luscious scent had been captured with her. The woman looked at Mary, her face slack with paralysis. Mary could not speak, but if she could have spo#ken the result would have been the same. There was nothing to say to this newcomer, no consolation to be offered. There was no comfort where none could exist.
Then her surgeon witch was there, its long head hovering, twisting and looking. Its thin, quick hands moved like rats over her body, feeling here and there with spiderlike squeezes. For the moment, her body was numb to the creature’s touch and she was thankful for it.
There was a motion under her skin, in her neck, deep in the muscles. It was a roiling little pressure she’d grown to know quite well. A grub was moving, and from the feel of it she thought it was moving upwards. As the larvae fed on her tissues, it caused a single sharp note of pain that grew in volume second by unmerciful second. She heard the high-pitched hiss of the witch’s cutter and was relieved that the cutting was starting.
Mary began her retreat from the sound and the growing bite of the cutter and of the pain of the worm and joined her voice with the others.





Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Escape to a New Life with David Antocci



Escape: A New Life
by David J. Antocci


About The Author:


David J Antocci is a noted wordsmith, blogger and author. His work can be read regularly on the Worcester Telegram and Gazette website where he has spent many years writing about the trials and tribulations of being a real life Mr. Mom.  While his first love is music, he has put down the guitar in recent years in order to pour his passion into writing… and the gentle tap of the keys on his laptop are much less disruptive late at night when the children are sleeping. The ESCAPE books are his first published foray into fiction. He lives in New England with his beautiful wife and children.








Book Genre: Thriller, Action/Adventure
Publisher: Independently Published by David J Antocci
Release Date: June 30th 2013
Amazon

Book Synopsis:

After saving a drowning man during a savage storm, Abby wakes up in a tropical paradise in a fight for her life. She has no idea how she got there, and notices changes in herself that she cannot explain. Haunted by unsettling dreams of her past, she sets out to escape, joined by Eric, who finds himself in the same quandary. Standing in their way is a madman, and his band of willing followers, with a mind set on murdering their unwelcome visitors. An eccentric hermit who has been living there for years offers them refuge, but they must deny his generosity. Escape is their only option.  Yet, they discover this deceptive paradise is harder to leave than they had ever imagined.  One mystery leads to another, until their escape throws them into even greater danger as Abby’s frightening past finally catches up with her.  Her escape is only the beginning.





HER EYES FLASHED open with a start as she gasped for air. Heart pounding, she reached up and felt her moist face. Her eyes were wide open, yet she saw nothing. Blackness surrounded her. She heard what sounded like white noise all around her. Reaching down to feel her body, she found that her skin was cool and wet. A blinding white light streaked across the black sky above, forcing her eyes closed for a moment. Rain. She realized that she was hearing rain beat down all around her.
She sat up, with some effort, her muscles felt very sore. She felt her stomach and thought that it seemed smaller than it should be. Odd. With another flash of lightning, she saw waves pounding the beachhead in front of her. Consumed by confusion, she struggled to remember where she was. How did I get here? Through the haze, she knew one thing. She was soaking wet and feeling a chill. She needed a place to dry out.
Behind her she saw only trees and darkness. Ahead, she saw the blackness of water as far as her eyes could focus. To her left, she spotted a cliff jutting out of the water and up into the emptiness of the sky. There were a number of trees pushed up against what looked like an overhang off the side of the cliff. That’s probably the driest spot around here, she thought. Pushing her wet hair out of her eyes and running her fingers through it, she couldn’t help but think that it seemed a little longer than it should. She assumed that was because it was wet. Where the hell am I? Her thoughts were fuzzy and she could not put the details together, as hard as she tried. She wrapped her hair around itself in a quick ponytail to keep it out of the way.
Still sitting on the sand and looking around, she wondered if there was anyone else out here. “Hello?” The crash of the waves and sounds of the storm drowned out her voice, even to herself. “HELLO!” Listening, she heard nothing. Wait, was that someone calling? Looking left and right as the lightning continued to flash, she saw no one—only empty beach for about a hundred meters in each direction. The sand pushed up against the cliffs on the left, and the tree line came out to meet the water on the right.
She put her left hand on the wet sand and her right hand on her thigh to brace herself to stand. Her right hand felt something hard and leathery. Her fingers traced the object. If she did not know better she would say it was a knife. Perplexed, she wondered, why would I have a knife strapped to my thigh?

She managed to stand, though confusion still reigned over her senses. The rain and waves both let up for a few seconds. There it was. Someone was definitely shouting. It was coming over the water.







Monday, July 22, 2013

What Does it Take to Become President with Greg Sandora



I’m originally from the Portland, Maine area and lived and worked there for years before moving to Southwest Florida. I am currently working on the sequel to Jack Canon’s American Destiny – which will be titled Jack Canon Clean Sweep. The sequel will be available in about three months.

My Dad and Mom were artists, my father painted and my mother wrote poetry and loved to garden. Most Saturdays we loaded up the 1970 Chevy Impala to trek to a one man show somewhere or other. I took a different track graduating with a business degree; owning and operating an Award Winning Franchise Fitness Center. Currently a professional manager I am living in Florida with my beautiful wife and children, and following my passion.


Some of my other projects include a children’s book called Sammy the Sea Turtle – about an infant sea turtle taken from his nest the night he was to find his way to the sea. Sammy lives with the family until their son – the boy who took him, graduates from high school. On that day Sammy, backpack in tow – begins the long journey home.
My second project in the works involves angels – a man during a visit to Bar Harbor Maine encounters an angel; quite accidentally, he is told – she was not supposed to make him aware of her existence. Only three others have ever seen the real thing. Naturally he falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful creature.
www.gregsandora.com


Genre: Thriller and Suspense, Political Thriller
Publisher: Itoh Press
Release Date: March 18, 2013
Amazon Kindle | Amazon Print |Barnes & Noble
Book Description:
It’s the steamy summer of 2016 in Washington, D.C. just days before the Democratic National Convention. A long and painful recession has left ordinary Americans suffering, spawning the hottest Presidential Contest in history. Jack Canon, a man born into privilege, a witness to great social injustice is going to be President of the United States–no matter what! Desperate and corrupt, the leader of the free world orders a hit to slow him down. The plan backfires–the wrong people are dead–a manhunt points to the unthinkable–The President of the United States.

Rewind one year, Jack’s focus on redistribution of wealth and energy has made him powerful enemies. Once his friends, Rogue Billionaires, Oil Sheiks, the Mob, all want him gone. The current President wants him alive–thinking he can win against an unabridged liberal. A Universal Raw Nerve of wealth vs. poverty is exposed becoming a thrill ride as deep machinations of espionage, geo-politics and deception, even murder play out. Kind and charismatic, Jack’s just naughty enough to have you falling for him like one of his loving circle of loyal friends. Of course he’s flawed, a dedicated family man, faithful to one woman, but in love with two. Is it his fault his best friend is impossibly jaw dropping beautiful? Think the crime and passion of the Godfather meets the romance and innocence of Camelot. A story that could spark a movement, a book that can seed a revolution. A heart thumping climax so shocking you’ll pull the covers and draw the shades! One things for sure, through all the drama and suspense, you’ll be pulling for Jack!


AUTHOR POST:




What does it really take to become President of the United States?
Best friends fighting unbelievable odds against a backdrop of suspense, intrigue, and corruption at the highest levels of our government. Cavorting with wealth and power that staggers the imagination, all to finance a campaign to help those less fortunate.
Jack Canon is going to be President of the United States no matter what! This time he’s “ALL IN.”
What drives him?
Early in his life he witnessed unbelievable inhumanity. At the tender age of ten he vowed to someday change this cruel and unjust world.
    “I’ll never forget the look on my dad's face. We were stopped at a checkpoint by dangerous looking men in military uniforms. Soldiers hollering back and forth waiving weapons, searching through our things, taking anything they wanted. One guerilla was approached by an emaciated little boy with skin so thin it strained to cover his veins. Crying out, eyes bulging from hollow sockets, the child’s spindly arms grasped for the soldier’s leg. The helpless act was answered with the butt end of a rifle, sending the child violently to the ground. Semi convulsing, blood gushing from his head, the boy curled up in a tiny brown ball and went to sleep. At least that's what my mom told me. That scene played over and over in my head growing up. It made me sad, but mostly furious, that life could be so unfair. Our family missionary trip to Africa meant to teach us love, compassion, and understanding had burned a fire in my belly so intense it stayed with me throughout my life.”
That was forty years ago…Today, back to back recessions have left ordinary people hurting.
One in six Americans are food challenged.
Nearly one million in the U.S. are homeless, 13% of those are employed full time.
Worldwide, two billion people, live on less than two dollars a day.
Fact:   1% of the World Population controls 50% of Global resources – the rest are forced to live on what remains.
Jack's focus on redistribution of wealth and energy has made him powerful enemies. Once his friends, Rogue Billionaires, Oil Sheiks, the Mob, all want him gone. The current President wants him alive--thinking he can win against an unabridged liberal. A Universal Raw Nerve of wealth vs. poverty is exposed becoming a thrill ride as deep machinations of espionage, geo-politics and deception, even murder play out. Kind and charismatic, Jack's just naughty enough to have you falling for him like one of his loving circle of loyal friends. Of course he's flawed, a dedicated family man, faithful to one woman, but in love with two. Is it his fault his best friend is impossibly jaw dropping beautiful? Think the crime and passion of the Godfather meets the romance and innocence of Camelot. A story that could spark a movement, a book that can seed a revolution. A heart- thumping climax so shocking you'll pull the covers and draw the shades! One things for sure, through all the drama and suspense, you'll be pulling for Jack!


Praise For Jack Canon's American Destiny:

"I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the type to read political novels, but I was surprised by Jack Canon's American Destiny. The book was so well written that I couldn't help but keeping reading." 
~A. Brantley, Amazon Reviewer


"Wow - Great Read and Insight into Politics!"
~The Bookworm



The only thing that gave me a worse vibe than these two was Gene’s taste in decorating. The ceilings were about 30 feet high and three walls held books up to about the first 15 feet, after which was a very large landing around three quarters of the room. The wall opposite the door was made up of five floor-to-ceiling arched windows. The bottom six feet of each had colonial muttons and were partially opened, allowing the outside winter cold to fight with the heat in the room. On the landings above the bookshelves were housed various artifacts of torture.
Gene saw me noticing, “These are from the collection of King Henry,” he boasted.
There were guillotines and stretching racks and other devices all made of aged wood and black iron. Some had big weathered chain links hanging from them and leather straps. There were black iron turning wheels, the sight was gruesome.
Gene motioned to a large axe with a semicircular blade and an unusually long, thick handle.
This is my prized piece of the entire collection – the axe used to behead Katherine, Henry’s youngest bride.” Mounted next to the axe, on a polished cherry post, was a scrap of parchment.
Next to it, carved in gold lettering over black onyx, was inscribed an onlooker. The parchment had faded to an almost illegible degree and was kept behind glass.
Gene said, “The onlooker’s account is sealed in helium, just like the Declaration of Independence, to preserve it. I’ve had it authenticated by historians, expert in the period.” The words were transferred onto the stone.
The eerie account told of the misty morning when the helpless fair-haired teenager, a mere girl, forced to lay under the weight of the wealth of England, was led to her death.
I read the inscribed: Queen Katherine emerged just before nine in the morning. A rain the night before had turned the courtyard muddy to our ankles. The streets containing the foul smell of chicken scratch and horse urine slurried into the mix. Gawkers’ pushed for position and strained to see the delicate fawn-like Katherine as she walked barefoot, clothed only in a very plain and simple linen dress. The exposed skin of her upper chest was so pale I could see the ghostly blue vein patchwork just beneath. The last time I had seen the young queen she was amazing, the most beautiful woman in all England.
Fancily dressed and bright, riding in an open coach smiling sweetly waving to her subjects, I fancied the thought our eyes might have met for a second.
Spill her blood!” A spectator called out. I thought, what cowards this mob, content to stand by and watch. Greedily clinging to their own lives–any one of which could be wrenched from him in a second.
This bitter gray morning, the little Queen made her way slowly up to the old worn wooden steps, pausing briefly, turning sad doe eyes back to the crowd. A pitiful thin waif of a child so helpless and demure, Katherine continued up the stairs carefully gripping the railing as if it were her mothers hand, that somehow she might be swept away from all this.
Once upon the platform, facing the crowd full on, her tiny limbs were exposed and pale, a simple dress hanging over her nearly shapeless frame. She wore no jewelry. Her one remaining vanity, long hair, perfectly combed. The henchman placed her firmly against the block and with a blank and helpless stare Katherine moved her beautiful locks to one side exposing her slender neck.
I waited for her to jump to her feet and scream out in defiance, “What have I done that your precious King isn’t guilty of?”
Laying her head sideways on the block, she awaited her fate in silence.
The black-hooded killer appeared to us like a giant standing over her. A moment before, even the handle of the axe and the blade had been taller than the living little queen. He drew back.
I heard the neck cracking then a thud as the girl’s head crashed to the platform floor. Steam rose from the blood pouring in a warm pool from the lifeless body slumped behind the block.
Gene Hobbs had acquired the only known account of the gruesome event; one can imagine that onlookers must have rushed to write on whatever they could find to recount the scene. The metaphor of the rich over the poor and the machinery of torture in the room made me shudder. Reading the narrative, I felt sickened by the horror of the day, for lost innocence and the tyranny of the time. What a waste of a beautiful young life; what a disgrace for England.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A ParaNormal Detective: New series from Christine Amsden

Cassie Scot:
ParaNormal Detective (Book 1)



About The Author:

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children, Drake and Celeste.



Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Release Date: May 15, 2013

Book Description:

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.






Praise for the Cassie Scot Series:

From Publisher’s Weekly:

In this entertaining series opener, Amsden (The Immortality Virus) introduces readers to the eponymous Cassie, a decidedly mundane member of a magical family. …Readers will enjoy Cassie’s fish-out-of-water struggles as she fights magical threats with little more than experience and bravado.”

Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series, had this to say:


When sorcerers call the shots, what’s a girl without powers to do? Get ready for a ripper of a murder mystery full of romance and intrigue, where magic potions bubble, passions spark and vampires are definitely not your friend. Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective grabs you by the heart and won’t let go until the very last page. Well written, immersive and unputdownable. This is urban fantasy at its best. More please!”



Cassie Scot Blogs
#1
Cassie Scot: Normal Detective
Mini-Story

Last night, I was just about to close up and go home for the day when an old woman walked into my office with a cat carrier. Inside the carrier, a black cat hissed and yowled. I suppose I would have felt that way too, if someone had locked me inside a little cage. I felt instant sympathy for the cat. Not so much for the old lady.

“Cassandra Scot?” she asked.

“Cassie,” I corrected automatically. Only my parents called me Cassandra. 

“I knew your grandparents.”

I tried not to groan. My grandparents had been highly respected sorcerers until they died in a lab explosion a few years back. I never knew what they had been working on, but since that day there has been a swirling vortex in the lab. 

Don't ask – I really have no idea. 

“Have we met?” I asked.

“Miranda Cleaver. Mrs. Cleaver.”

“Nice to meet you, Mrs. Cleaver.” 

If she heard my sarcastic emphasis on the honorific, she didn't mention it. 

“Your grandparents used to set wards in my house to keep the demons out,” Mrs. Cleaver said. “Since they've died, the wards have failed. There are now demons running amuck in my house, and Sylvie – my poor cat – has been possessed by the devil.”

“I... see.” What was I supposed to say? She had just walked past a sign proclaiming, “Cassie Scot: Normal Detective.” 

“I read your web site,” Mrs. Cleaver said.

“Really? Did you see my list of services and exemptions?”

“Of course.”

“So what do you need?”

“An exorcism. I told you, Sylvie is possessed by the devil.”

I glanced again at the hissing cat, whose yellow eyes shone with very typical feline anger. “I don't do exorcisms. It was listed under exemptions.”

“But you're Cassandra Scot, aren't you?”

“Cassie.”

“Your parents are Edward ans Sheila Scot?”

“Yes.” I felt my face burning. Just because I had powerful sorcerers for parents, didn't mean I was one as well. Okay, so it wasn't just my parents – it was my grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousins, brothers, and sisters. Still, there had to be a second cousin out there somewhere without any magic at all. 

Why couldn't people just read the sign?

“Well, then.” She sounded as if the whole matter were settled. She plunked the carrier on my desk and took a vacant chair in front. “I went to your father first. Your grandparents always told me to go to him if I needed anything after they were gone. Your father said you were ideally suited for this sort of work.”

“He did?” My dad wasn't above a practical joke, but this sounded more like something my brother would do. My brother, who looked more like Dad's twin that his son, thanks to Dad's egregious use of youthening potions. 

“Nicolas,” I muttered under my breath. “This is war.”

“What's that, dear?”

“Why don't I take a quick look at the cat?”

“Of course, dear.” Mrs. Cleaver clearly had not expected any other result.

I opened the door to the cage, but carefully did not reach my hand inside. The cat stopped hissing. 
After a moment or two, it poked its nose outside the cage, sniffing the air. Then it stepped outside.

That's when I noticed how very pregnant Sylvie was. 

“She needs to see a vet,” I said. “She's going to have kittens.”

“I know. Little demons. It never used to happen when your grandparents were alive.”

“I... see.” I seemed to be saying that a lot. “You know what? I think I'll need to keep her for a few days. I'll call you when she's free of the... demon.”

“You will?” Mrs. Cleaver's eyes shone with relief. Crazy or not, I knew I'd said the right thing. “How much will it cost? I don't have a lot of money.”

“Don't worry about it.”

“I really must pay you.” She dug through her beaded handbag, closing her fist around a bill, which she handed to me with the air of someone bestowing a treat on a young child. “Thank you so much.”

I watched in bemusement as she walked out the door, leaving me to deal with the pregnant cat. I figured I'd take Sylvie home to my sister, Juliana, a gifted healer. She had been begging our parents for a cat lately, anyway. 

As soon as the door closed behind the old lady, I glanced at the bill she had pressed into my hands. A single dollar. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. 

At least my parents are rich. 

“This is the last paranormal case I'm taking though,” I said to whoever might be listening.
Sylvie meowed. I think she knew I was kidding myself.