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The First Imprint
When teenager Bretta Ariel advertises her services in the local paper, it’s a last-ditch effort to raise money to support her ailing father. Channelling the memories of the dead is dangerous but like every undesirable job, it’s a way to raise quick cash.
With an electricity meter hungry for new coins and an unpaid landlord hovering, Bretta must step into the imprint of a dead man to satisfy his wife’s request. If successful, she will generate a sizable reward and might even land a new career. But, as her father’s crumbling psyche demonstrates, she might also lose her mind.
My name is Lou Lind and from the moment I stepped into Areanna and Lindsay Thea’s living room, the stink of an unsolvable crime was hanging in the air. A smash and grab raid had prised their young son from his bedroom, and despite the shattered glass, the couple swore they’d slept through the whole thing.
Fair enough. You can’t cure stupid.
But when I saw, plain as day, that Areanna was lying through her teeth, I knew I’d need to tackle her alone to sort out the cause of her son’s kidnapping. And if following up this lead presents a challenge to my entire sense of reality? Well, so be it. The good peeps of New Zealand don’t pay me a pittance just to keep my sanity buffed up to a nice shine.
The Hare’s Not-So-Spiky Hedgehog: Grimmer Fairy Tales
In this brave new world, it’s hard to be a hedgehog. People look down on you because of your weird headdress, your strange customs, the family rituals that date back a thousand years.
So when our hedgehog finds a good job with a decent wage, she’ll do anything to hang onto it. But with longer hours demanded by a bigoted boss, she’s on the edge of losing everything. If she does, her daughter will be condemned to live the same hard life she and her husband have struggled through.
Working 24/7 isn’t a reality that any person can practice, but is it possible that a married pair of hedgehogs can turn their biggest impediment into their greatest strength?
Could Annabelle’s day get any worse?
Annabelle’s day is painfully hard, watching the love of her life and her best friend marry. When Martin literally stumbles into her path, seeds of joy may have a chance to blossom.
But with emotions running high and inhibitions dipping low, can Annabelle keep her secret guise hidden? Or will the monstrous reality that caused her last breakup come bursting out in a shameful display?
All I Want For Christmas:
A Ngaire Blakes Short Story
The Christchurch Police are on the hunt for a runaway toddler on a heatstruck Christmas morning. Fears for young Emily’s safety are well-placed; her parent’s home is situated between a fast-flowing river and a row of earthquake abandoned houses.
When an eye-witness reports a man walking a young girl away from the scene, a new specter raises its head. Can Detective Ngaire Blakes beat the ticking time-bomb and rescue Emily before Christmas Day turns from a celebration into a nightmare?
A Companion Short for the Second Stage of Grief
For Ted McCrystal, it’s just another day in prison. Nothing much to do. Except celebrate the ninety day AA chip he just earned.
After three months’ forced sobriety, surely a little prison wine isn’t too much to ask?
The Cup That Made You Stagger
A Companion Short for The Three Deaths of Magdalene Lynton
There was more than one person involved in Magdalene’s death, but only one has paid with his life. So far.
Marge Maples thinks everything will finally be easier: there’s money from the farm sale, she’s no longer on her feet ten hours a day, and her husband Kelvin is about to retire. Life is coming good.
Pity Karma’s such a bitch.
Waiting to Notice
A Companion Short for Skeletal
“I’ll take you through what happened to me while she was still waiting to notice. Waiting to notice I was gone. Waiting to notice I was in trouble. Waiting to notice I was dead.”
Daina told us her story but what about the other players involved?
Ms Pearson, Rachel Harrow, and Jeremy Bond still have stories to tell . . .
Going, going, gone
A Companion Short for Breathe and Release
Everything Elisabet spent the last year planning is falling into place. Everything is ready, waiting for a tip-off that will see her husband getting exactly what he deserves.
What could possibly happen now to derail her carefully laid plans?
The Breaking Wave
A prequel to Found, Near Water
After their daughter is ripped from them by the Boxing Day Tsunami, Christine and Gary Emmett hunt through Phuket, Thailand, trying with increasing desperation to find Tamsin: or find her body.
When a village contact reaches out to say he’s found Tamsin, alive, they make a journey. A journey that could see them reconnect with their lost treasure, or face the truth that she’s lost to them, forever.