DEATH TIMES TWO
E-Book, First edition, 135 pages
Red Hot Publishing
Expected single title publication: January 16th 2014
Published as part of PARANORMAL NIGHTS 12/2013
The V V Inn has a ghost problem. When the lurking specters draw the attention of Constantine, head of Grim Reaper Services, he calls in the only local who can return the remote resort to its former tranquility, Lisa Carron—resident Alaskan reaper.
Still new to the death gig, Lisa accepts the job. After all, how much trouble could one ghost be? Once at the hotel, she learns that not only is the inn full of the dearly departed, she’ll also be working for vampires. Throw in Asa, a young vamp hot enough to melt the Arctic ice, and Lisa realizes she’s way out of her element.
Asa didn’t know what to expect when told a reaper would be working on the property, but Lisa certainly wasn’t it. Blond and curvy, she’s very easy on the eyes. Tasked with helping her, Asa soon realizes that not only can she provide the dead a peaceful passing, but offer him solace in a way no other woman can. Goodreads
This unique co-mingling of authors’ voices and series is rare in it’s conception and in that it’s a very successful execution of the idea to mix two very different worlds together.
The two authors are both women I know and they are both delightful. Their writing styles are not similar in all their works, but in their paranormal series, both write about some spooky and, sometimes scary/horror stuff with humor and healthy doses of snark. You probably need to have read CJ’s VV Inn Series and the first book in Boone Brux’s new series, TO CATCH HER DEATH for the optimal experience.
DEATH TIMES TWO is available as part of the PARANORMAL NIGHTS bundle for ninety-nine cents until mid-January when it will be published as a single title. See Links Below
Back to the story at hand: Boone’s Lisa, who is a Grim Reaper helps confused souls pass over to their next stop. She seems to have taken over her late husband’s job. This is a good thing because he essentially left her penniless. Meanwhile, C.J.’s characters at the VV Inn are hanging out while the boss and her husband are away for the summer. One vampire, Asa, has stayed behind. The Inn is haunted with spirits reluctant to move on and Lisa’s boss sends her to the exclusive resort to take care of it. Asa has to show her around and explain the various phantoms. Lisa and Asa are attracted, perhaps due to the alliterative qualities of their names when printed together.
The two characters take turns narrating the story. I am assuming that each writer was responsible for their characters. The two writers’ voices complement each other quite nicely. The differences between them help to make the characters sing. The story is unusual and not unpredictable in its general plotting – it’s a paranormal romance after all so there are, paranormals and there’s romance. What isn’t predictable is how funny the route to the bedroom is. There are several ways a ghost could try to possess a living being and there are a lot of funny moments around those!
I don’t know if the two writers plotted the book ahead of time or if each would write a chapter and then send it on. I can only imagine the looks on their faces when a new chapter arrived. Both are irreverent and often outrageously hilarious, and the writing fits their personalities as it defines their characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The collaboration enhanced each series: the combination of the two worlds offers depth and possibility to both. While Boone’s world is built around paranormal activities, her character Lisa’s life is that of a widow left with two kids and a strange job. Like a lot of single moms the struggles she faces at work and home are mundane and hard. On the other hand, CJ’s world hardly ever deals with the mundane at all. If there are mortals in the story they are ancillary to the paranormal aspects of the story. Each series benefits! I think this is CJ’s best work, but with each book her writing just gets better and better.
The pacing is great with nary a dull or wasted moment. This is assisted by the alternating voices.
Neither character gets a lot of primary development, but we do get to see into each character’s head a little more than we have in either series. Lisa is a new character in a new series, and Asa is a major character but we haven’t seen him with a regular human before now. His interactions with Lisa are so helpful in understanding his heroic nature, and his humanity. He hasn’t been a vampire very long, and it was not his choice. Lisa never really knew about the breadth of the paranormal world, and her reactions to it may not be what you expect.
I will look forward to whatever comes next in either series and I certainly hope to authors work together again. I ate this one up and highly recommend it.