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Death Benefits by Sharon Saracino

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  • Max Logan Series, Book 1

    Max Logan's insecurities have consumed her to the point she has allowed them to skew her perceptions of people and circumstances. She has grown progressively more bitter, sarcastic, and solitary since her divorce and feels as though she has spent a lifetime getting the short end of the stick through no fault of her own; still she trudges on.

    Things can always get better, right? Of course, it's hard to cultivate optimism when she finds herself dead, the victim of a D.I.E (Death in Error) caused by an overeager Grim Reaper in Training. She brokers a deal to be sent back to Earth as a temporary substitute for the Superintendent of Spiritual Impediment.

    Can a girl who can't recognize her own problems rectify the issues of the living impaired? Or will she discover that concentrating on their issues gives her a new perspective on her own?

    Rating: Spicy
    Page Count: 202
    Word Count: 54730
    978-1-5092-0845-6 Paperback
    978-1-5092-0846-3 Digital

    Excerpt

    I could not be dead. I was only thirty-five years old and in excellent health, for a dead chick. I still had things to do, places to go, people to see. And I planned to, just as soon as I got the motivation to leave my apartment. I closed my eyes and clicked my heels three times. I wiggled my nose. I wished on a falling star. If Marvin wasn’t hogging the keyboard, I would have hit Ctrl+Alt+Del. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes. Nothing had changed.

    “That’s impossible,” I said in a flat voice that sounded far calmer than you would expect under the circumstances. “I’m not in your database. Obviously there’s been a mistake. Just send me back, and we’ll call it even. It’ll be our little secret.”

    Elizabeth Kubler-Ross documented five stages of grieving. Other authorities have identified up to seven. But, no matter which theory you subscribe to, all have one thing in common: the first stage is denial. I planned to keep my butt firmly planted in stage one, Denial with a capital D.

    Marvin Jenks, so said his little brass nameplate, was huddled over the keyboard, typing furiously, mumbling something about SSIs on maternity leave, incompetent trainees, and an inept IT department. Over his grousing, I heard footsteps behind me and turned.

    Buddy?” I gasped. “What are you doing here?” The pimply cashier from the SuperSave offered me an apologetic purple grin and shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other.

    “Hey,” he raised a limp hand in greeting, looking past me nervously toward old Marv who was glaring at him across the desk, his foot tapping out an angry, impatient staccato. “How’s it going?

    “How’s it going? Well, apparently I’m dead, Buddy. I’m dead and eternity is an unkempt bus terminal. I’m dead and I’m not in the database, so apparently I can’t even die right. Bottom line? I’m dead, Buddy! Everything is just wucking fonderful, thanks so much for asking.”

    Hmmm…seems despite my best intentions I had moved beyond Denial with a capital D and right on to Anger with a great big capital A.

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