But the upside is, I'm thrilled to be celebrating a new release! Serafina and the Virtual Man came out yesterday at Amazon - the second in the Serafina's series featuring a unique psychic investigation agency based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
So, by way of celebration, here's the blurb and an excerpt from the new book - enjoy!
SERAFINA AND THE VIRTUAL MAN:
Serafina's, Book 2
By MARIE TREANOR
Real man versus dead man - no contest!
Dale Ewan, the wealthy owner of Genesis Gaming, has a serious poltergeist problem. In desperation, he calls on Edinburgh's unique psychic investigation agency, Serafina's.
But Sera and her hacker friend, the beautiful and aggressive Jilly, find more than one spirit haunting the ugly country house. While Sera fights the poltergeist, Jilly encounters what appears to be the ghost of Dale's brilliant ex-partner, Genesis Adam, trapped in his own new virtual reality system.
Jilly delves headlong into Adam's mystery. How did he get there? Why is he more exciting and attractive than any of the real men in her life? How are Jilly's own criminal brothers involved in his death? And what are Dale and his wife Petra hiding? Apart from the body buried in their garden...
While Jilly falls in love with the sexy, virtual ghost, Sera has problems of her own, not least the shadowy presence of the undead Founder that seems to threaten Sera, her vampire lover Blair, and all her friends.
Jilly stared at the stranger in front of her. Typical. The first man she’d met in ages whom she didn’t want to punch, and he was short of the full shilling.
“Dead? Why should I be dead,” she snapped. “Are you?”
He dragged one hand through his untidy black hair and down over his stubbly jaw. “Well, yes, I think so.”
Jilly blinked. “You look pretty lively to me. Where did you come from?”
He gazed around. “I don’t know. Sort of—asleep, and then I was here looking at you.”
Shit, she hadn’t even seen him in her desperation to get at the computers. He hadn’t been on the benches… Perhaps he’d been under them? Or wandered in from somewhere else in the house, through the outer study?
“Who are you?” she asked. And then since attack was the best method of defence: “What are you doing here?”
“Adam. And I don’t know.” His dark gaze came back to her. His frown deepened. “Are you sure you aren’t dead?” He stepped closer, reached out one curious, hesitant hand, and touched her cheek. Almost as if he imagined she’d disintegrate on contact.
Warm fingers, slightly rough in texture…
Her breath caught, but since his hand slid away almost immediately, she’d no reason to shove or punch. She curled her hands into fists but kept them still at her side.
“Soft,” he murmured as if pleased by the discovery. His frown cleared, and his lips quirked upward, almost smiling. “So soft.”
Jilly flushed. “Only on the outside. Why do you keep saying ‘dead’?”
“I remember dying.” The frown was back. “I was shot. Hurt like hell.”
“You’ve been dreaming,” Jilly said with a dismissive flap of one hand.
He nodded. “Could be. Or I could be wasted. Certainly never imagined the afterlife would resemble Dale’s testing lab.”
“Is that what this place is?” Jilly asked with interest. “What’s he testing?”
The frown between his brows twitched. His lips parted, and he sank backward, leaning his hip against the edge of the bench. “Of course… Wow. Shit, this is mind-blowing. I can remember.”
“My life… Well, most of it. No wonder everything’s so unreal.” His glazed eyes came back into focus, sparkling with excitement as he gazed at her face. “And you—did I really manage to think you up too?”
“No, you fucking didn’t,” Jilly said indignantly, and a grin flickered across his face. He had a good grin, boyish and spontaneous, allowing her a glimpse of what might, in other circumstances, be a fun-loving personality.
“Thought not. You’re much too grumpy.”
Jilly felt her lips part in shock. She wasn’t used to anyone calling her something as unpleasantly mundane and trivial as “grumpy.” Even Sera usually just ignored her or threw things at her when she got bad tempered. Men either told her she was beautiful in a placating sort of a way or backed off in terror, which was just as it should be.
Amusement lingered in his dark eyes as he straightened and began to pace around the room.
“Trust me, it’s a fascinating combination, and I’m very glad to have met you. Although I wish I was alive to enjoy the experience to the full.”
Jilly rolled her eyes. “Oh, for… Are you back at the dead thing again? You want to see a doctor, or preferably a shrink.”
He spread his hands wide at his side and came to a halt just in front of her. “Feel free to bring one.”
She had to crick her neck to look him in the eye. She wished she wasn’t so aware of his tall, strong body only inches from hers, and confusion made her snappish.
“You’re not my problem, pal. Look, just walk past me and out the door.”
She stepped aside with a strange mixture of relief and disappointment. He glanced at the door. His brows twitched. Then he took one pace forward and stopped. Suddenly, he looked lost, and, stupidly, her heart tugged as if he were an abandoned child.
“Come on,” she muttered ungraciously. “I have to get out of here anyway. Follow me.” She marched to the door, turned to make sure he was coming too—and found an empty room.
Also, you may already have read Book 1 in the series, Serafina and the Silent Vampire - if you haven't, you can grab your e-copy at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and i-Books.