"Melina is growing up, but she’s just as sassy as ever! Dead Letter Day ratchets up the suspense and keeps the questions flying."
- Romantic Times Four Stars
". . . a solid, fun, exciting addition to the urban fantasy/paranormal series line-up, and the books keep getting better as the series goes on. Am eagerly awaiting the next book!"
- Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
"Dead Letter Day will give you a case of the warm and fuzzies."
- Rabid Reads
Dead Letter Day
Melina’s missing friend, Paul, could just be taking a little werewolf “me time,” but her investigation yields something more sinister. Suspicions first fall on Paul’s wolf-pack rival. But that wouldn’t explain the sudden windstorms rattling Melina’s nerves—or the ominous, shrieking crows that keep appearing.
The clues lead Melina to a mermaid, a damaged and possibly deranged police officer and patterns for Norwegian doilies—finally bringing her to the realization that she may be dealing with the most powerful enemy she has ever faced.
“I want to talk to Paul.” I kept my eyes averted,
but my tone firm and commanding. It’s important
with werewolves to know where you stand and
make sure they know where you stand. I needed
to show deference to Chuck. He was the Alpha
of this pack, after all. It was also important to
make sure he knew that I meant business.
Because I did. It was a fine line to walk, but I
was doing it.
Chuck clenched his fists for a second and then released them. His stance relaxed, too. Then he lowered himself into the desk chair opposite me, ready to talk.
Seriously. I’m like the Werewolf Whisperer.
“Get in line.” Chuck had kept me waiting in his office for fifteen minutes. Just enough time for me to get a little antsy. Not enough time for me to get pissed off. Or any more pissed off than I already was. He was walking a line, too. Ah, the games we play.
It would be nice, for once, to get a straight and clear answer. ’Niceties observed, I decided to cut to the chase. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
Chuck smiled at me. I took a good long hard at his teeth. They looked totally human. They also looked like he flossed regularly. My mother would approve. “It means that I’d like to talk to him, too. As would a few other members of the Pack.”
“So you don’t know where he is?” That news surprised me enough that I slipped and looked directly into Chuck’s eyes. Mistake. His eyes narrowed a bit and I heard a little growl in his throat. I looked away. Fast.
“Let’s go for a walk, shall we?” Chuck said.
I stood and followed him out of his office. It hadn’t really been a question. It had been a command. Chuck was being polite by pretending to ask if I wanted to walk. I figured I could at least try to follow suit.
I followed him out into the hall, past the stairway to the upper floor, past the dining room and the living room and out the door. It was a big house. Somewhere near the back was a kitchen. I could smell the food cooking and hear voices, although I couldn’t make out what they were saying and my hearing is damn good.
Chuck had built the place himself. Well, not by himself. He had help. An Alpha pretty much always has help. Besides, it was his business. Chuck was a contractor, which is in some ways kind of a perfect job for a werewolf. Who is surprised when their contractor disappears for a few days every month? Hell, most people are so thrilled to get one that shows up most days that they wouldn’t think to question a little flakiness around the full moon. Who notices a few extra flashes of temper or a bloodstain or two on a ripped pair of jeans on their contractor? I’ll tell you who. No one in northern California.
A vampire couldn’t do it. First of all, day work is not a vampire’s strong suit. Group loyalty? Also not totally their thing. Which isn’t to say they don’t band together, but there’s not a lot of trust and camaraderie there. Their politics are much more Borgia-like. But werewolves? They’re strong. They’re loyal. They work well together in groups. They love to be outdoors, no matter what the weather is like. Construction work? It’s like the universe invented it for werewolves.
As a contractor, Chuck can provide employment for a whole range of men and women who are trying to find where they belong. Sometimes it takes a while to find a pack. There are always lone wolves wandering around. Chuck offers employment for a few days, a few weeks, a few months. Whatever’s needed. Some wolves stay with him. Some move on. It’s a good system. At least, it looks good from the outside. Paul always thought it was a good thing, too. Of course, Paul never said anything bad about the Pack. Never. Not in all the years I’d known him.
I was seventeen when I first met Paul. It had been hard enough to figure out how to park in Old Sacramento, but then to walk into a bar? Especially a big old trendy bar like McClannigan’s? I’d been intimidated before I’d placed a hand on the big brass doorknob.
Watching Paul become aware of me being there hadn’t helped. He’d known what I was within seconds of me walking into the bar. It was the first time I saw him lift his head and scent the air in recognition of something arcane entering the bar, but it sure wasn’t the last. Then he’d taken one look at me and muttered, “They make ’em younger every year.”