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I’ve heard a lot about Joyce and Jim Lavene, as they have written several books so far, and they are constantly included in my monthly book releases lists with yet something else they have written month by month, so I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and pick up one of their books. In fact I picked up two books at the same time for the Kindle, this short story Undead by Morning and the first book in the series, Broken Hearted Ghoul.
I liked the paranormal mystery theme of these books, so I made them my entry to the world of Joyce and Jim Lavene. And I have to say, my decision did not disappoint me.
Undead by Morning is a short story of only about 30 pages. It was a quick and fun read. It basically gave the background of how our main character, Skye Mertz, a police officer, ends up being…literally a taxi driver for the dead.
The concept drew me in right away. What if you are dying and you are given a second chance at another 20 years with your family and loved ones? Would you take that chance, knowing what it all entails?
Whens Skye wakes up in the hospital, she learns that her days – make that hours – are already numbered. Her mother in law, Addie tells her of a magical way to cheat death with 20 more years, but there are strings attached to the offer. When she next wakes up, an impressive and massive guy, Abraham Lincoln Jones, is there by her bed, offering that second chance which she realizes that she desperately needs.
Skye is still young and she has a young 5 years old daughter, Kate, that she needs to take care of, since her husband Jacob died in the same car wreck that put her in the hospital under intensive care. So she figures she’d have a chance to at least see her daughter grow up and become independent enough to not need her mother 20 years down the road as much as she needs her now.
The only other person around is Jacob’s mother, Addie, and let’s face it, she is an old woman who doesn’t especially care for Skye all that much. She also is sick with cancer and she won’t last longer than a year at most. So what choice does she have, really, but to sell her soul to the devil (as it were).
So when Abe gives her on her hospital death bed a contract to sign, Skye picks up the pen and puts down her name on the paper, effectively sealing the deal.
Having already read the first book in the series as well, right after finishing this book, it is very clear why this introduction is needed. It does set the tone and the groundwork for what it is to come. Since this first book is about Skye’s story, without having to take away from what is going on after, I agree, she needed these pages all to herself.
I really enjoyed this first book, and I knew that I made an excellent choice in picking up something to read by the famous author duo Joyce & Jim Lavene. Review for next book to follow soon.