Title: SOUL SKINNED
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 93,000
Soul Walking witch Emmy Riley spent her youth on the run from a demon mother determined to use her blood to release her from exile in Hellfire. Remaining free and with all her plasma intact, Emmy’s managed to carve out a relatively normal life as an agent for the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Her ability to commune with the souls of the recently deceased and relive their final moments has made her one of the most valuable investigators in Seattle, and her track record for solving homicides is unmatched within the Bureau.
But when Emmy’s called to a crime scene involving a sacrificially flayed shapeshifter whose soul can’t identify his murderer, it quickly becomes apparent she’s dealing with a demon magick mastermind unlike any other. Before she has time to hunt for answers, another shapeshifter is killed and the murderer leaves an ominous message about Mommy Dearest in the victim’s memories. Emmy realizes that unearthing the demonic magick in her blood might be the only way to stop the madman, even if it means finally facing her past and walking right into her mother’s trap.
In my line of work, the newly deceased always have the most fascinating stories to tell. The still warm one dangling above me was no exception.
At first glance, ordinary supernaturals or realmbounds would suspect that the body, suspended by rope attached to a glistening faeglass chandelier, was an obvious suicide. A sad rich woman who’d lost her husband, reputation, and firehound in the same month and thought death was her only option.
People would likely theorize her suicide was an easy escape from reality and a straight shot to the gates of Celestia, relieving her of corporal burdens and all that.
Too bad both the dead woman and I would adamantly disagree.
Rising from where I’d been kneeling beneath Mrs. Thompson’s swaying body, I wiped graveyard dirt covered palms onto my jeans and hoisted my bag of supplies over my shoulder. I’d fallen victim to a bad stretch of fate as much as the next witch, so I could relate to feeling as though life was shattering to pieces. But the dead woman was oddly dressed for the occasion of killing herself. Her crisp Chanel suit and elegantly chignoned hair spoke more of luncheons and charity events than someone on the verge of self-destruction.
Vision blurry from communing with the woman’s soul in Liminal, the in-between place souls resided before moving on to Celestia’s afterlife, I blinked rapidly until an expensive red pump dangling precariously from a stocking covered toe came into focus. It had slipped off during…