Full disclosure: My short story Slurp will be included in Anne Frasier’s upcoming Halloween anthology. I “met” Theresa Weir (Anne) on Twitter and used her editing service a while ago. [She’s a marvelous critic. If you want professional input, I recommend trying to get a spot on her schedule.]
She had no idea what she was looking for…until it found her.
Officer Daniel Sinclair can spot an outsider a mile away. He ought to know—he’s the worst kind. A natural-born native of Egypt, Missouri, who left home and came back citified. Even before he lays eyes on Cleo Tyler, his L.A.-honed suspicions tell him the psychic hired to locate Egypt’s missing master key is a fraud. She also possesses a soft, exotic kind of beauty that sets him on edge.
Cleo’s used to dealing with skeptics—in fact, she is one. She longs to believe abilities like hers don’t exist, yet she can’t explain the odd glimpses into other people’s lives, nor the terrible flashbacks from her own past. She’d like nothing better than to put on a good show, collect the money, and hit the road. But behind Egypt’s quaint façade is a chill she can’t shake, and a powerful attraction to Daniel that’s stronger than her increasingly desperate need to run.
Cleo more than makes Daniel uncomfortable. She sets him on fire—and sees right through him. And right through the town’s charming veneer at something so deadly, her next vision could be her last.
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Samhain Publishing’s reissue of Bad Karma is a chiaroscuro of romantic suspense with a nice contrast between Cleo’s and Daniel’s dark, even tragic pasts and the lighter goofiness Daniel’s brother Beau and Police Chief Jo bring to the story.
Weir has great pacing — there’s never a good place to put the story down! — but I also adore her talent for description that doesn’t feel like description. I feel myself in the scenes, experiencing the textures, the smells, and the emotions of the characters.
“He stared at her with spoon-bending concentration.” Ha! isn’t that a great phrase?
I classified this as magical realism as well as romantic suspense. There is a fantastical element to Cleo’s experience. Does she or doesn’t she time-shift? (I think she does.)
This is definitely a romance, but not out of a cookie cutter. I couldn’t figure out how Cleo and Daniel would resolve their relationship, another quality that kept me going to the last page.
This book was first published 1999 and won the Daphne du Maurier for paranormal romance and the All About Romance Desert Isle Keeper. It is a page turner — I am a slow reader, and I finished it in two sittings.
Theresa Weir’s dedication for Bad Karma is For the readers who didn’t forget. Samhain Publishing’s new — and improved — reissue will delight those readers and add many more to the Anne Frasier/Theresa Weir fan club.