February 19, 2013

GIVING UP THE GHOST by S.A. Price Release Day -- Excerpt (New Adult)

by S.A. Price
Release: February 19, 2013

Buy: Amazon

Rhys Bellamy is the front man for the wildly successful 13 Shades of Red, a band hailing from New Orleans that is just a bit more then they appear. He’s sexy, caustic and on a path of self destruction that has everything to do with the fact that he can speak to the dead. A man hounded by the death of his fiancĂ©e, Rhys is a lothario of the highest caliber. His life, his band, and his agony celebrates his lost love, Phaedra, and it has made him a very popular man with the ladies, even if they will never mean anything to him. Too bad Phaedra has never and will never contact him.

When the band’s first US tour meets with some unforeseen management issues, Saffron Richards is brought in to take care of it. A veteran of the business, Saffron knows all about Rhys and his reputation and doesn’t want to become another notch on his belt. Too bad fate has it in for the both of them, and gives them an attraction neither can deny.

But life on the road with an up and coming band has its problems, from bosses to groupies to just plain old flat tires. And Phaedra, who has been watching from the mists and reveling in the misery of her lost lover doesn’t want to see him happy. Being together is harder than it sounds, especially when Phaedra crosses the veils on All Hallows Eve to reignite the love that Saffron has set to ash in Rhys. And Phaedra is not giving him up without a fight. Not because she loves him, but because she doesn’t ever want him to forget.

Warning: this is considered a New Adult genre release. Reader discretion is advised.

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The road, as always, comes with unforeseen surprises, and issues.

Rhys hung his head and scrubbed his hand over the back of his neck and let out a deep sigh. It figured something like this would happen, and not even three weeks into the damn tour.

He looked up into the room before him at Randy, their tour manager, hooked up to life support, eyes closed. Eyes that would probably never open again. Shit. They all knew what brought him to this, utter rock and roll stupidity. When his boss had hired Randy, no one knew of the kid’s drug habit, or that it was going to escalate to the point of no return. And now Rhys was here, far from grief stricken, more like pissed off, and gearing up to use his gift.

It won’t be long now kid… His guide, his grandfather Reemus said from his stance next to the door. He leaned against the window, unseen to anyone, as the dead usually are. Not that anyone else could hear him either, Rhys was gifted that eccentricity alone. You about ready to do what needs done?

Rhys frowned and looked over at his dead relation. “Why the hell do I have to do this? I would much rather pull the goddamn plug myself, Son of a bitch has sent us back at least three days, all because of his fucking habit. X is not going to be pleased.”

Nor the fans I’m sure kid. Still it has to be done. Ya need to do this, ya got the gift for a reason kid, and it’s been far to long squandered. Use what the good lord gave ya kid, lest he take it away.

Yeah, cuz that didn’t just sound like heaven. Rhys’ “I see and speak to dead people” routine had gotten old soon after he got the full grasp of his abilities, and he had been trying to drown them out with alcohol for years, especially after the issues with Phaedra. Still, things had gotten better and he was trying to do what his guide and relation asked, but this was ridiculous.

“Ugh, let’s just get this over with.” He said as he sighed.

Any time now kid. The machines can’t hold off what’s meant to be.

He watched the bed, and felt nothing. He barely knew the guy. Being on the road for a few weeks doesn’t lend a person to bond with someone, not really. Rhys had barely spoken to their new manager outside of getting his per Diem and getting the skinny on when they were going to bounce from the venue. Not that anyone did. With the new guy, it was mostly an, ‘us and them’ mentality, between the band and the management. Could that have contributed to the kids OD? Maybe. But it couldn’t be helped now.

He felt the last vestiges of life leave Randy, Something that made him cringe every time. Like a vicious tattoo being put on his skull, the feeling always gave him vertigo. It was a good thing he was standing with his hands against the wall. The body therein was just a husk now, being kept animated by the man made electricity that flowed through it.

Showtime Kid…

Rhys opened his eyes to see a transparent remnant of their manager frowning at him. Rhys waited as it moved forward, and through the wall. Randy the remnant was surprised with what he did. Bet he didn’t ever experience that on a bender.

Reemus moved further away, less the new remnant feed off his essence, something the dead tried to avoid at all costs. The kid looked over at Reemus, and then down at himself, still utterly confused on what the hell was going on.

Rhys wasn’t willing to wait for the kid to get his bearings. “Yep, your dead, and you did it to yourself, Randy.”

Randy frowned harder. Dead? Bullshit! I’m standing here talking to you aren’t I? Now I admit this is one fucked trip I’m on but dead?!

Rhys shook his head. They never believed him, not at least until he did something to prove it, and it was going to suck. He took his hand off the wall and stuck it right through the spectral body of his manager, gritting his teeth at the energy leech the soul attempted. Thankfully it was still a newborn, and it couldn’t do much but make him prickle. He wasn’t going to be here long enough to learn anything deeper either.

“’Fraid so. And not only did you leave this plane quite unexpectedly, but you left the damn tour as well. Thanks for that. Couldn’t you have told us you had a problem?”

Randy gave him a sneer and then his eyes went wide as Rhys pulled his hand out of his torso. “So any unfinished business, and I don’t mean that fucking 8-ball we found in your room.”

Realization finally hit the guy and his eyes turned soft with regret. Kid didn’t mean it, and he just realized his mistake. I… no. It doesn’t matter. But… he looked at Rhys. My mother… She, she’s not well.

Wasn’t that always the way. Rhys sighed and shook his head. “Shouldn’t you have worried about that before you decided to go all Belushi on us?”

I did… Shit. She’s really sick man. I’m a fucker of a son, ok, but she… she needs her medications… She won’t recover from this.

“That’s something you should have thought of kid. I can’t do nothing for that. X will have to deal with that, and she’s not going to be happy.”

Fair enough. But… there’s an account, two actually, Numbers six four three three and five two one seven. Both are with First national. They are for her.

Please make sure…

Rhys nodded. “Done. You about finished? I have a lot to do tonight and this is not the way I wanna end it.”

Randy shrugged and nodded and Rhys looked to Reemus. “All set. Take him.”

Reemus walked closer and a small light appeared in his hand, brilliant, but small and it lifted and floated towards Randy. Rhys stepped back as the ball hovered, doing a once over of the remnant and then came to the front of him and stopped pulsating.

Rhys watched, stepping back another step into the sidewall. He was thanking the gods that they were alone in the room; that the doctors weren’t on their way in. this could get messy, and quick.

The white light pulsed several more times and went dark, an orange glow with a black center emanated from it.

Oh. This wasn’t going to be good at all.

Rhys cringed as the ball moved in on Randy, fused with his torso, sliding inside. It expanded, and grew, and seconds later, Randy was screaming and being enveloped in holy fire.

Reemus watched with undisguised boredom and then it was over, the flames consuming Randy’s remnants, scorching an ethereal ring in the linoleum.

Well that’s done boy. Ya did good.

Rhys looked over at his relation and frowned as the energy was pulled outta him. Seeing a soul go to hell wasn’t something he liked doing, or the aftermath of fatigue. Still it had to be done, and now that it was, well, he could move on with things. It wasn’t his fault those who decided sent Randy downstairs.

Some when up some went down.

“Yeah, well now that my mystical job is done, think you could skip out for a bit?”
Reemus nodded and disappeared and Rhys sighed again and composed himself to walk out to the rest of the band, and let them know it was done.

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