Fantastic Fables continues today with author Debbie Viguié. She is here with a fantastic spin on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Debbie’s newest release, The Last Grave, is available now. The Last Grave is the second novel in the Witch Hunt series.
At the end of this post, one lucky reader can enter for a chance to win a copy of The Last Grave! This giveaway is provided by Debbie!
Fantastic Fables: The Last Grave Edition
By Debbie Viguié
“Ryan, we’re up.”
Samantha turned and eyed her new partner warily. The two had only been working together for a few days and she hadn’t had a chance to really get to know Lance yet.
“Homicide?” she asked.
“Possibly?” His answer made no sense. They were homicide detectives in northern California. They didn’t get called in on anything else.
He pulled a U-turn and headed the car out of the city.
“Where we going?” she asked.
“It’s a remote cabin up in the Redwoods. They had a break-in and possibly something else.”
It was the “something else” that she didn’t like the sound of. Samantha had come to the city for a fresh start, seeking to get away from anyone and everyone who knew about her past, who knew that she had been a witch. Still, she told herself she was being overly paranoid. There was no reason to think anything even remotely supernatural was happening in her new home. Her new partner would be the last to even believe in that sort of thing.
They drove for what seemed forever, finally turning off main roads onto a dirt path that ran into the heart of the forest. They pulled up at last outside a nice log cabin.
“This is it,” Lance said, getting out of the car. He headed into the house. Samantha took her time, searching around the outside just briefly, looking for signs of the intruder. From inside she could hear her partner grilling the homeowners who were explaining that they’d come home to find their food eaten and their beds slept in.
Samantha slowly began to relax. She could sense no magic at work in the area. She took a deep breath, walked inside the cabin, and froze in her tracks.
As she stared at Lance and the homeowners he was interviewing she realized she had been dead wrong. There most certainly was magic at work even if she for some reason couldn’t sense it.
The owners were bears.
“Come in, dear,” Mama Bear said, turning, her jaws opening and a sweet, human sounding voice coming out.
Samantha turned to Lance, stunned that he didn’t seem the slightest bit phased that he was talking to bears and not to people. The whole thing was fantastic, but he seemed to give not the slightest notice.
Papa Bear looked at Samantha and gave her a slow, deliberate wink. She took a step backward. What magic was possibly at work here? Had they somehow bewitched her partner so he didn’t realize what was happening?
“Please, don’t be frightened, you have to help us,” Mama Bear said, addressing Samantha again.
“We-we’re homicide detectives. I think we need to get someone else up here to investigate a B&E,” she heard herself saying.
Papa Bear now looked distressed and he began to wring his paws. “That’s just it, we’re not sure, but we think there might have been a murder here.”
“What makes you think that?” Samantha asked.
Lance was busy scribbling notes down and didn’t even lift his head.
“We’ll show you,” Mama Bear said, and turned and dropped down onto all fours and headed out the door.
After a moment Samantha followed behind. “So, someone’s been eating your food, sitting on your chairs, and sleeping in your beds, did I hear that right?”
“Indeed you did. We’d be most grateful if you could figure out who it was.”
“You mean, you don’t have any clue who the culprit is?” Samantha asked.
“I’m afraid not. There was no one here when we got home, but we did find this,” Mama Bear said as she led Samantha around to the back of the house.
There, underneath some shady trees, were two large holes in the ground with dirt piled beside them and next to them a third, fresh mound of dirt that looked like it had been tamped down somewhat.
“You see, we like to plan ahead. We dug these plots ages ago for ourselves and then later for our son.”
“Plots? You mean, these are your graves?” Samantha asked.
“Yes, well, don’t look at me like that. Don’t many humans buy their burial plots ahead of time?”
“Sure, some do,” Samantha said, still feeling dazed.
“It’s the same idea. Well, we had three empty graves when we left this morning and when we got home this afternoon, we could tell that the first two had been disturbed slightly and then the third one had been filled in all together,” Mama Bear said, her voice quivering with distress.
Samantha walked forward slowly, knelt down, and placed her hand on top of the third mound, the filled in grave. She pulled energy from the earth and let herself feel the ground and travel down deep. There, a few feet under, she could sense blood and feel something, something large, and it was already decaying.
She yanked her hand away and stood, the echoes of death still pulsing inside her. “You’re right. There’s been a murder,” she said. She turned slowly to Mama Bear. “We need to find out who or what is buried in the last grave.”
Debbie Viguié is the New York Times bestselling author of two dozen novels, including the Wicked series and the Crusade series, both coauthored by Nancy Holder. Debbie also writes thrillers, including the Psalm 23 Mysteries and the Kiss trilogy. She has a degree in creative writing from U.C. Davis. Debbie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She and her husband Scott live in Florida with their cat, Shrödinger. Her newest book, The Last Grave, is the second installment in the Witch Hunt series.
Want to read more from Debbie Viguié?
This giveaway is provided by Debbie Viguié!
One lucky reader will win a copy of The Last Grave
Available March 5, 2013 from Signet/Penguin
About this Book:
Samantha Ryan—homicide detective by choice, witch hunter by necessity—has left Salem for San Francisco, hoping a move will help her forget the horrors of her past. But she’s about to discover that witches tempted by the dark side are everywhere….
Samantha is doing whatever she can to forget her terrible childhood in a coven destroyed by its members’ greed and lust for power. Now she’s a San Francisco detective struggling to fight her own desire to turn to magic. But as she discovers, escaping who you are isn’t easy.
Her latest case seems straightforward enough—the murder of a local historian named Winona Lightfoot. But strange clues take Samantha to the Santa Cruz Mountains, a place teeming with witches and black magic. As she works to uncover the connection between Winona and this coven, an earthquake rocks the Bay Area. That’s when Samantha has a premonition: Something is coming. Something evil.
To survive—and save everyone around her—she will have to tackle her greatest fear, and hope she isn’t the next one put into a deep, dark grave….
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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