Vicki Pettersson, who just ended her Sign of the Zodiac series, is back with the launch of a new series (Celestial Blues) in The Taken, out June 12. And she’s previewing the first chapter of The Taken right now. Here’s the blurb:
Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he’s an angel, but that doesn’t make him a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he’s been dumped back onto the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine “Kit” Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her clipped.
Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let the sable-haired siren come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to solve the mystery of his own unsolved murder—and dole out some overdue payback for the death of his beloved wife, Evie.
Joining forces, Kit and Grif’s search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn’t Grif’s biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, along with the answer to the haunting question of his long afterlife...
And here’s the first few pages; read the rest at Harper Voyager’s website:
Here’s the thing. Every two-bit Tom and Dick on this glorified mudflat thought prostitution was legal in Las Vegas, but that’s never been true.
Least, not when Grif was alive.
Maybe times had changed—plenty on the Surface had— but it was more likely that the johns were too lazy to trek out to Nye County for a sampling from the legal sexual menu. No, there was too much premeditation in that. But score a lay in some trucker-heavy roach-motel, and a man could tell himself he was the victim of impulse. Caught up in the moment. Just a little ol’ fly snared in Sin City’s glinting web.
Grif knew different. People created chaos, not places, and they were damned good at it no matter where they lived. And when this glittering gem of a city teamed up with the world’s oldest profession, fantasy piled atop fantasy; it could convince anyone that impulse was a virtue, not a vice.
Just one roll of the dice, he thought, checking the number on the warped motel door against the entry in his notebook. Just one sip, make sure to tip. Play hard, enjoy the ride, and be certain to take your secrets with you when you leave. Nicole Rockwell’s last john, however, had taken a bit more.
“Help me!” she was yelling as Grif came through the door. Impressive, since she was missing her larynx. “There’s been a terrible crime!”
Can’t argue that, Grif thought, gaze skimming the hem of her cheap vinyl skirt. “You Nicole Elizabeth Rockwell?”
“Wh-what?” She looked from Grif to the fresh corpse on the bed—her own—then back again. “Yes.”
“Right.” He shut his notebook, returning it to his suit pocket. “Come with me.”
Rockwell took one good look at his quasi-transparent form and promptly collapsed on the bed. “Wh-who are you?”
“Griffin Shaw. I’m here to help.” He hesitated, then jerked his head at her remains. “Sorry I couldn’t get here sooner.”