But before we venture into the Halloween spirit of her supernatural world, lets enjoy a drink that Reyna personally recommends:
The Drink: Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster
I first encountered this drink reading Douglas Adams’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and I was smitten. It was described as “like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon, wrapped ’round a large gold brick.” It has also been described in the novel as “the alcoholic equivalent to a mugging; expensive and bad for the head.” Yum.
Ingredients and Instructions:
Fill a 28-oz. hurricane glass with crushed ice. Add the following in order:
1 oz. Everclear® (The ice should sizzle.)
1 oz. Bacardi® 151
1 oz. apricot-flavored brandy
1 oz. triple sec
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. Tom Collins mix
Stir, then top off the glass with ice. Drink. Slowly.
WOW! My only comment is that if I were to drink this slowly, I’ll never get to check out Rayna’s book. So how about grabbing a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, kicking back and relaxing with her book in hand. Now we can start indulging!
The Book Blurb:
Troubled psychic Fia leads a double life. As a ground pounder for Search And Rescue, she finds the lost and vulnerable living and brings them to safety. As a servant to an ancient and indifferent Psychopomp, her mission is no less crucial – to help the suffering dead cross over to the afterlife. Her worlds collide after a distraught woman with a gun disappears into the woods and the rescue becomes a body recovery.
When a frantic hammering erupts from the empty SAR team trailer, Fia appeals for help to Cam, irascible Brit, mentor and Psychopomp aficionado. But nothing is what it seems and a straightforward case soon goes sideways. Will Fia and Cam be able to uncover the shocking truth behind the final act of a desperate woman and free her tortured earthbound spirit?
“Can you tell me about the baby?”
Cam lifted a shoulder and then stared at the bottle in his hands. “Not much to tell, really. It was 1975 and I was working a job in Kings Worthy.” Glancing at me, he elaborated. “That’s in England. It’s a very old place. It was listed in the Domesday Book – you know, the survey taken in 1066?”
I bristled a little. “By William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest. I know. I was a history major, remember?”
Nodding, Cam took up the story again. “Anyway, I was busy trying to lay the ghost of a Victorian clergyman who had taken up residence in the old church. At the same time, there was an archaeological dig taking place in the churchyard. They were interested in the old Anglo-Saxon burials and they eventually unearthed the skeletal remains of a young woman.” He took another drink and affected nonchalance as he continued the story. “Lying between the long bones of her legs, they found the skull of a full-term infant, but the fetal leg bones were still clearly within her pelvic cavity.”
“A coffin birth?” My eyes went wide at this thought.
Cam nodded again. “It happens. A pregnant woman dies and is buried and because of pressure from the gases that build up during decomposition, the dead fetus is expelled from the equally dead mother.” Looking down at his hands again, Cam picked at the label on the bottle. “Anyway, shortly after this find, the cries of a baby could be heard coming from the graveyard. It so disturbed the archaeological team that no one wanted to dig anymore and the work came to a grinding halt.”
“And did it also disturb you? Cam, I can tell this is difficult to talk about.”
Cam rolled his eyes and exhaled deeply, his words were clipped. “Yes, right. It bothered me a great deal. The baby was an innocent and completely blameless, yet she was left to suffer horribly for centuries.”
“But wasn’t the mother with the baby? How did you finally help her to move on?”
“I went into the churchyard with Zackie late one night to find the baby. The mother was nowhere to be found, so I assume she crossed over shortly after her death.”
“She left the baby?” My mouth hung open, aghast at the thought of just taking off and leaving an infant.
“She probably didn’t know the baby remained. In her time, the belief was that unbaptized infants went to Limbo, so in all likelihood, she died assuming that the baby would find its way and be taken care of.” Cam shrugged again. “Who knows? All I know is that earthbound souls of infants are a rarity, so most of the time, they move on with no difficulties. Something went wrong for this one.” Cam frowned as he stared into the middle distance for a beat. “But, you know, as soon as she saw Zackie, she quieted and stopped crying. Getting her to go through the portal was a breeze compared to the clergyman. I had to work another two weeks before the clergyman moved on.”
REYNA FAVIS holds a Ph.D. in biology and brings a scientist’s critical eye to the unseen world, imposing logical consistency and mechanistic detail to the unexplained. A proud and militant introvert, Reyna exerts her power as mistress of the dark arts of introversion through her blog, Introvert Broadcasting Network. When not writing, she responds to callouts as a canine handler for search and rescue. She lives in Warren County New Jersey with her husband, a search dog and a coterie of pets.
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