– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Some Sailors Never Die’ blogtour, organised by Gurpreet Sihat.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
E.A. Comiskey is an award-winning fiction writer and nationally syndicated blogger. Her work is broadly described as “speculative fiction” and is often a wild mix of humor, mythology, fantasy, horror, and romance.
She lives in a much-loved, rickety old house in rural Michigan with her husband, children, and a veritable zoo of creatures. If there’s a festival in the area, you can bet she’s there, most likely drawing on the pavement with chalk. After all, when you live in Michigan, you go outside whenever you get the chance.
Almost a year ago, Richard and Stanley escaped a nest of supernatural creatures posing as nurses at their retirement home. Together with Richard’s granddaughter Burke, they’ve crisscrossed the country on a mission to protect humanity from the things that go bump in the night, but Stanley’s had some mishaps along the way that have left him weak and weary. Burke suggests that a cruise might be just what the doctor ordered, and the two men go along with her plan.
But evil never takes a vacation.
From the moment they board, Richard suspects something is amiss, but Stanley is too tired to care, and Burke doesn’t believe him. When passengers start dying mysteriously, he’s forced to take matters into his own hands, but can he escape the eyes of an over-attentive activities director, a waiter who takes his job far too seriously, and a wealthy widow who’s determined to win him over long enough to find the monster and destroy it before it kills again?
The tall, skinny, stick of a man wrapped up his speech. “When you’re all done with that, you must visit the dessert bar. It’s a taste of heaven. The champagne strawberries in creme anglaise are to die for.”
He flounced away and Ike arrived out of nowhere—an impressive feat for a guy that took up as much space as two average men. “Are we having fun? Getting to know one another?”
“Not yet,” the lady in purple said, leering at Richard. “I sure am looking forward to introductions, though.”
“Simply fantastic,” Ike said, eyes on Stanley. “Do give me a wave if there is anything at all I can do for you.”
“We should introduce ourselves.” The kid with the girl stuck to his arm had a voice like Beaver Cleaver—kind of looked like him, too, with his fish-belly white skin and floppy brown hair. “I’m Terry Cadwallader. This is my bright, beautiful, talented, smoking hot bride, Val.”
The girl next to him rolled her eyes and swatted at him. “Oh, stop.” She turned her pretty smile on the group and flipped her glossy dark hair over her shoulder. “It’s very nice to meet you all. We’re from Portland. This is our honeymoon. Where is everyone else from?” She fidgeted in her seat like a restless child with twinkling eyes and bright spots of color in her cheeks.
As if the person in charge of the seating chart were performing an exercise in opposites, the old lady on the girl’s left had short-cropped white hair, wrinkly, pale white skin, pale blue eyes and wore a cream-colored dress. The seating effect gave one the impression that all life and color slowly drained from one woman into the other. “We live in southern Arizona. My name is Annie, Annie Santos.” She jabbed a thumb in the direction of her companion—a large man the approximate shape and color of a russet potato, freshly dug from the earth. “He’s Ed. We run a bed and breakfast and, I have to tell you, I couldn’t be happier to have someone washing my linens and fetching my drinks for a change.”
Ed Santos sat with his arms folded across his broad chest like two iron bands wrapped around an old whiskey barrel. “Speaking of drinks, they bringin’ them soon?”
Annie patted his arm and answered in the sweet, high voice one would use to coax a puppy to come get his treat, “There’s water on the table, dear, and we just had drinks in the bar.” She forced a giggle, fake as a three-dollar bill.
He harrumphed in her direction.
What a grump, Richard thought.
As if summoned by the man’s question, Luka returned, balancing a tray full of glasses and passed drinks out around the table. When he’d finished, he presented a basket of breadsticks with the flourish of a circus magician pulling a rabbit from his hat. “A treat to hold you over, yes?” He confirmed that everyone had what they needed and left again.
“I suppose that makes it my turn,” the old lady in purple said. “I’m Julia Domina. I do love a good cruise, among other things.” She stared into the depths of Richard’s soul. “And I’m very passionate about the things I enjoy. Do tell us all about you, sir.” One bejeweled hand reached for her martini glass.
Richard swallowed the lump in his throat. “I’m Dick,” he said. What? Wait! No! He hated being called Dick! “Richard. My name is Richard. Please call me Richard. I don’t like Dick.”
She arched an eyebrow in his direction. “Duly noted.”
“I’m a grandpa. Her grandpa.” He jerked a thumb in Burke’s direction. “My wife died a long time ago.” He wondered why he was still talking, despite his fierce desire to stop. Thank God, the kid rescued him.
“My name is Burke. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, all of you. My grandfather and I and our dear friend, Stanley, all work together. We’ve had a wild few months, so we thought a bit of R and R was exactly what the doctor ordered.”
“You all work together? That’s fantastic!” Terry leaned in toward Burke. His wife mirrored him, keeping them in the same close proximity to one another. “What kind of work do you do?”
“We help people who’ve gotten in over their heads,” Burke said.
At the same moment, Stanley said, “We solve problems.”
And Richard told him, “We’re exterminators.”
Ed Santos laughed and burped. “So, you’re hitmen for hire?” He used his teeth to pull a pineapple chunk off a plastic sword that had been stuck in his drink.
Burke winked at him. “Darn it. You figured us out.”
The Magic of Wor(l)ds