A Haunting Midlife

Witching After Forty, Book 7

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Ava Harper may be a raiser of the dead and a not-so-famous author, but she isn’t a vampire hunter. Not even close.

With the decision made to stay in Shipton Harbor, she returns to the home she shared with her deceased husband in Pennsylvania to put it on the market. But saying goodbye to the memories of the home they raised their son in is a lot harder than it had sounded in her head.

In the months she’s been in Shipton, new neighbors moved in across the street from her Philly home. Now, Ava has nothing against vampires. But when people in the neighborhood start turning up dead, she can’t help but to check into the newbies in the hood.

Since she doesn’t know enough about law enforcement red tape, she calls her best friend to come and help. However, Sam is working a case with a neighboring town and Sheriff Drew takes it upon himself to show up at her door instead.

And now, as if dealing with how the sheriff makes her knees weak isn’t bad enough, her house is haunted.

Just another day in Ava’s life at this point.






After months of hard work, starting and stopping, a paragraph here and a chapter there.  

Now it was done. After struggling for the last several weeks with the ending of the novel, I typed ‘The End’ with glee and a feeling of accomplishment. The next step was to let that book baby sit on my computer and marinate until I returned from Philly. A few weeks of perspective would help me see errors more easily before shipping it off to my editor.  

I leaned back in my comfy office chair and stretched. My muscles nearly creaked as they loosened. Ah, how I missed my younger days of writing for hours on end only to jump up and bounce from one activity to the next without a crick in my neck or stabbing pain in my back.  

Picking up my coffee cup, I frowned to find it empty. Again. Ugh. It seemed like I’d make a cup and it would set until it got cold, or I’d turn around, and somehow it was empty.  

I set the mug back on my desk and ran my hand through my hair. It got stuck halfway down to my shoulder. What the hell did I have in my hair? Something sticky. Ew. Must have been that latenight… or was it an early morning snack? Leftover donuts from this morning. Or yesterday morning. Olivia had dropped them by at some point.  

Wait, what day was it? I’d been holed up in my office for too long. 

I needed sleep. 

But hey, it was all worth it. Another manuscript in the books. Heh. Pun intended. 

Standing, I picked up my cup and my trashcan full of snack wrappers and takeout boxes. Damn, how long had I been in the office? Aka the writing cave. By the look of the overflowing trash can, I’d guessed a week. That couldn’t have been right. Surely it wasn’t that long. I tended to lose track of things when I got in the zone. Clay had always taken good care of me when this happened.  

Owen, Alfred, and Larry had been trying to keep my head above water, so to speak, but every time they tried it made me think of Clay doing it. And then I’d get sad again, making it harder to focus on the words.  

I opened my office door and stepped out into the downstairs hallway. I had closed the door around midnight—I think—to keep Snooze and his new girlfriend out of the room so I could focus. Lucy, the pretty white cat I brought back to life over the weekend, could talk. Like full sentences. And holy crow. That little kitty was chattier than a teenage boy. Well, boy of any age. Man, could they talk. Lucy would fit right in. Most people thought it was the girls that always had diarrhea of the mouth. I’d never raised a teenage girl, but I had raised a teenage boy, and Wallie hadn’t shut up for like four years. 

Emerging from the hallway, I caught the scent of bacon and coffee. I gravitated to the yummy scents like they were calling me. When I reached the dining room, just off the kitchen, though it was technically the same room because of the open space, I froze.  

Alfred, the house ghoul, stood near the stove, flipping bacon with his Kiss the Cook apron on. Sammie was a few feet behind him, holding out a plate. I soon realized why when Alfie reached over to another skillet and launched a pancake at him. 

With a surprising show of skill for a kid his age, Sammie caught the pancake with his plate. “Hey!” I cheered. “Go, Sammie!”