Meet the Extrasensory Agents...A team of hot psychics who can solve the coldest of crimes!
Mick Tanner's ability to touch an item and know its entire history made him a hit in the sideshow, but has made personal relationships difficult. The closest one he's ever had is with the uncle who raised him in the carnival. So when members of that community begin to die in mysterious ways, there's nothing he won't do to help.
Chief of Police Gypsy Bell remembers Mick as a smug pain-in-the-ass, but he's grown up to be a very sexy, fascinating man. And like it or not, she needs his help to figure out the mystery that's plaguing her tiny town. Because this killer has a plan, a motive, and several targets. He's out to right a wrong...no matter how many people he has to kill to do it.
I’m over the moon about the Extrasensory Agents books being released again. Cold Sight and Cold Touch remain two of my favorite books from Leslie A. Kelly and I can’t wait to read Cold Memory and dive back into the world of the Extrasensory Agents.
To celebrate the release of Cold Memory, Leslie Kelly is offering up three (3) digital (Kindle or Nook) copies of Cold Sight to 3 lucky winners. To be eligible to win, please comment on this post. Giveaway is open until Monday, February 20.
GUEST POST FROM LESLIE A. KELLY
I’m about to reveal two secrets about myself. First, my age—because the story I’m going to tell you will really date me. Second…well, I’m about to confess something I did that was very naughty.
If you’ve heard anything about COLD MEMORY, the new book in my Extrasensory Agents series, you will have noticed that the backdrop of the novel is a carnival. The hero and heroine, Mick Tanner and Gypsy Bell, were both “carny kids.” They spent much of their childhoods going from town to town as their families worked the small fire-house carnivals and county fairs up and down the east coast, and it affected them both deeply.
For Mick, a mysterious, sexy man with the ability to touch objects and know their entire history, the carnival was a refuge, a place where someone strange could fit right in. For Gypsy, who had to grow up too quickly because her flighty mother couldn’t be relied upon to take care of her children, the carnival life is one to which she never wants to return.
Now Mick’s a paranormal investigator, still tied up in all things weird and unexplainable, and she’s a no-nonsense chief of police, who wants normalcy above all else. But when a serial killer starts stalking the carnival, and her beloved grandfather is in the line of fire, Gypsy is willing to do anything—even work with Mick—to stop the murders.
If you’ve read COLD MEMORY already (oh, thank you thank you!) you probably remember that Gypsy and her sister are named after famous strippers. Gypsy is named for the real Gypsy Rose Lee (and she hates her name.) Her sister Esme, however, is named for “Esmerelda” – a fictional stripper who had once worked for their family’s carnival.
Strippers in a carnival? I’m sure you—and people who read the book—raised a brow at that. But I’m here to tell you—the travelling carnival companies that hit small town America most definitely had stripper acts. And I didn’t learn that just from the research I did while writing this book.
Back to my opening point; here’s where I age myself.
It’s 1979. I’m 14 years old. (You do the math.)
My best friend and I go to the Great XXXXX Fair (disguising the name to protect the—ahem—innocent.) It is the biggest county event in the fall, and everybody who’s anybody goes.
Like any young teen who’s finally allowed to go to the fair at night, without parents, this is one of the highlights of the year. Freedom! Nobody picking us up until ten o’clock! And lots…and lots…and lots of boys!
Aside from that, I LOVE the fair. The food, the smells, the lights, the colors, the dinging of the bells, the whoosh of the rides, the crowds—all of that was cake, and the cute boys who would “walk the circuit” on a Friday night were the icing. It was magic to me and my friends, who had saved our babysitting money to buy tickets for the rides. We would act like little kids as we rode and ate cotton candy, but tried to be so adult when walking the midway, hoping to catch the attention of an older boy by floofing our big hair and shrugging the padded shoulders of our jewel-toned velour sweaters.
Anyway, as we cruised the rides and the games and went in the big loop, we would inevitably round the corner to what we always called the “hootchie-cootchie girl” tent. We would get a little embarrassed as we walked by the smirking, tubby old guys, the red-cheeked farmers, the young hunks in overalls with no shirts, and the boys our age who were wide-eyed with excitement at what was going on on the small, raised, pre-show stage.
What was going on? Well, just as I described in COLD MEMORY: strip shows.
There would be four or five women dressed in very little, dancing and gyrating right out on the fairgrounds, in front of all the families and passers-by. The “talker” (that’s what carny folk call the men who shout and urge people to come inside to see the show) would promise that there would be a LOT more shown inside, and for only a dollar, the gents could “step right up and enjoy the show in private.”
I’m serious. Strippers. On the midway. Happened every year.
So this particular September night when I’m fourteen and I’m with my best friend, and another girl from school, we were looking for trouble. We had gone up onto a hill to try to peer down into the stadium where a demolition derby was going on. And while we were up there, we noticed these big, thick ropes extending back from a tent, tied to posts on top of the hill.
The ropes went to the three back corners of the hootchie-cootchie girl tent.
You see where this is going, right?
Well, call us curious. My best friend—partner in crime—went to one side of the tent, and I was at another. The third friend took the middle. Because we dared her—always dangerous—my bestie crouched down and untied the rope.
The corner of the tent sagged inward. We all gaped, prepared to run, but there was no reaction. (Dressing room maybe?)
Then the hissed dare came my way. Well, I wasn’t nearly as ballsy as she was, but I wasn’t about to be shown up, either. The rope was thick, and it was a cold night, but I worked it with my determined teenage fingers, until it loosened from the stake. I took a deep breath, said a prayer, and let it go.
The other corner of the tent sagged in.
There was a bit of a reaction to that. Some voices raised, but nothing major.
We could have gone right then, with nobody the wiser and no harm done, congratulating ourselves on being so brave.
Could have. But didn’t.
Because there was still one more rope, right down the middle.
Our other school friend wasn’t about to be shown up either. So, while we watched, terrified and thrilled, wondering if she would really have the nerve to do it…she really did it!
Down went the entire back of the heavy canvas tent, completely settling on everyone inside.
This time, there were screams and yells. And from the front and sides came a stream of those smirking old guys, red-cheeked farmers, hunks in overalls with no shirts…and topless women.
They spilled right out onto the midway, into the crowd of families and kids.
We were utterly shocked. Completely frozen. I don’t think my heart ever pounded harder, and I know I never again felt the sensation of being glued to the ground on which I stood. I literally could not move, just gaping as people ran around, confusion and shouts filling the night. But then, people started to turn to look at the back of the collapsed tent to see what had happened.
My feet suddenly became unglued. I’ve never run so fast in my life. Across the hill, down into the barn areas where the animals were being displayed, and blending into the crowd. Just three nice fourteen-year-old girls at the fair, trying to look calm and innocent, though we were gasping for breath, shaking with terror-slash-hysteria, not believing we’d actually done it.
Believe it or not, hobody caught us. We got away with it completely. We never told a soul until years later. (When I did tell my Dad, when I was in my twenties and married, he laughed like a loon.)
That is a 100%, absolutely not-one-word-of-exaggeration true story. It happened in 1979 when I was 14, at the Great XXXX Fair, with a friend from school, and my lifelong bestie—the baddest of the bad girls—Lori.
So when you read COLD MEMORY, and you get to the part about the icky “hootch” tents, please remember those things once really existed. And that one night, on a cold midway in Maryland, three young girls brought the whole thing crashing to the ground.