Ericka Scott

Beyond the Grave

Beyond the Grave300x454

April 2012
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In these two linked novellas, sisters Cassandra Moore and Rosalie Hopkins are led to find love again through messages from beyond the grave.

Postcards from the Dead

The dead don’t speak to her; they send her postcards.

When Cassandra Moore receives a cryptic postcard from her dead husband, Drew Brinkman offers to help her discover the meaning of the postcard. But she doesn’t know he’s an investigative reporter out to prove the ghostly postcards are fakes.

Cassandra Moore is the personal property supervisor at the coroner’s office in charge of giving the decedents’ possessions back to the grieving families. She’s often also able to give them other information. For she receives postcards sent by dead residents of the morgue. Drew Brinkman is a journalist for The Chronicle. Given the assignment of reporting the historical facts of the ghosts of Crescent Cove for the Halloween edition, Drew decides to give the old story a new twist. He’s going to lay those ghosts to rest once and for all, starting with the ones sending postcards from the morgue.

Phone Calls from the Dead

When Rosalie Hopkins receives a mysterious phone call from her missing ex-fiance, she suspects he is trying to contact her from beyond the grave. But can she prove it?

Left standing at the altar, Rosalie has a myriad of reasons to forget her ex-fiance, Kyle Clayton. The evidence says he’s still alive, but her heart tells her something different. Just as she starts a new job, she receives a mysterious phone call…from Kyle. After a series of coincidences remind her of him, she realizes she needs to find him to forget him. And who best to help her with that than the oh-so-sexy private investigator, Tavon Williams?

Tavon Williams has a dark secret. He was one of the last people to see Kyle simply because he was hired to investigate him. After tailing Kyle over a period of months, Tavon had discovered two things. One, Kyle was cheating on his fiancée. And two, Tavon had fallen in love with Rosalie. After Kyle disappeared, Tavon ignored his instincts and let the case drop — for Rosalie’s sake. She deserved a man who loved and cherished her, not Kyle, and certainly not Tavon himself! Then, a chance encounter with her makes him rethink his decision, but before he can come clean to Rosalie, the case takes an interesting turn. Someone breaks into his apartment, plants listening devices, and steals Kyle’s file. Although that isn’t enough to open the case again, something else is. A phone call from Kyle himself…

Read an Excerpt

Postcards from the Dead

Several hours later, Drew found it hard to keep his mind on his mission. He had to find out about the postcards, but how? Cassie was deliciously drunk, but despite the late hour, they’d done nothing more than talk about inane matters, like the score of the basketball game, and how they’d met Kyle.

Perhaps now was the time to introduce a more personal question. But what to say—he couldn’t just blurt out, ‘so have you heard from your dead husband lately?’

“So, you work at the morgue.” Drew shouted over the music.

“What?”

“The morgue. That’s where you work?”

Cassie nodded, her head swaying to the beat of the music. “I’ve worked there for two years, ever since my husband died.”

Now, they were finally getting somewhere. “I heard he was killed in a mugging?”
Cassie nodded again. “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rosalie doesn’t believe he was there by accident though.”

“I don’t understand.”

“The son of a bitch was having an affair,” Cassie shouted. Unfortunately, there was a lull in the music right then, and her voice carried, attracting the attention of several tables in the vicinity.

“Oh, I didn’t know.” Drew pulled a sympathetic face. “How long had you been married?”

“Forever?” Cassie shrugged. “Or at least it seemed like it at the time.” Cassie turned her attention to Drew. “Have you ever been married?”

“No. I came close once, but she changed her mind.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m not, or I wouldn’t have met you tonight.” Drew reached forward, and cupped her face in his hand.
Despite his best intentions to keep this on an impersonal level, sparks of desire flashed through him. He wanted to kiss her again, hold her in his arms, undress her–savor her. But he had to find out about the postcards.

He finally pulled his raging hormones into check and formed a coherent question. “So, what’s it like working at the morgue?”

Cassie bit her lower lip as if thinking of a response. “It’s heartbreaking. I’m the personal property supervisor, which means I collect the decedent’s property, log it in, call the family, and make arrangement for them to pick up the items when they come to identify the body.”

“If it makes you sad, why do you do it?”

“Because I know how they feel. When I had to claim Rick’s body and his possessions, everyone was so nice and sympathetic. It made it so much more humane. When I was offered the job, I figured I could pass that on.”

“That’s a nice thought.” It was nice; Cassie was a compassionate woman. So, what in the hell was he doing here trying to discredit her paranormal experience? Not that she’d told him anything about it. Kyle may have been blowing him a load of shit. “So, what sort of things do you normally deal with? I assume wallets, keys, purses and the like. But anything, well, unusual?”

Cassie’s eyes fixed on his. “Funny you should say that.”

“Funny?”

“Well,” Cassie said. She glanced around as if to make sure she wouldn’t be overheard. “It’s not so much what we find on the body that’s unusual. It’s what I receive the next day that’s creepy.”

Drew leaned forward. Here it was. “What’s creepy?”