A Bounce Before I Die
Midlife Muddle Book 2
Villains, Annoying Assistants, and Monsters…Oh My!
My best friend had nothing to do with bouncing or monsters until something went terribly wrong in my new job. Suddenly she’s missing, and the rumor is that a nest of monsters might have her. Those monsters are about to meet their match. I’m going to go medieval on their furry butts. If only I can figure out how to control my bouncing magic for five solid minutes.
I just hope Molly will forgive me for bringing her assistant Rog along on the rescue mission. The man has taken annoying to levels heretofore unknown. Believe me, I’ve tried to shake him. But he’s like a giant octopus with a thousand tentacles. He insists he needs to go with me on the rescue. Unfortunately, the man has even less sense than he has magic. And he has zero magic.
Something tells me this is going to go badly.
"STOP!! WARNING!!! Before starting this second book in this amazing series, go to the bathroom, get your snacks, grab a cup of coffee and a blanket. Then strap yourself in securely as you are about to go on a non stop ride from beginning to end! I'm not kidding...let the action begin!"
More from this series
Praise for One Bounce Away from Crazy
Margery, BookSprout Reviewer
"WOW! This was a fantastic story line!. I was at the edge of my seat thru out the book. An ex police lady is unexpectedly tossed into a realm of others and finds herself 'employed' in a dangerous new job. Each character we meet is more interesting than the last, and Ms. Cheever even tossed in a totally unexpected ending. I sure hope we can enjoy more of Traveler Kitts' adventures."
Valerie Irwin, Amazon Reviewer
Read an Excerpt
Give the Rat Some Cheese
“Rog, I swear to the goddess I’m going to throttle you if you don’t step back,” I said.
Molly’s assistant cocked a bony hip and fixed his expression into a look of disgust even the “get off my lawn guy” would envy. “We’ve had this discussion a thousand times,” he said in a thoroughly disgruntled tone. “I’m right and you’re wrong. There’s nothing more to say. Now step aside grasshopper and let the sensei do his work.”
I grabbed the nearest piece of wood and brandished it in his direction. “Step back Lackofsensei. You are physiologically and emotionally ill-equipped to assemble this desk.”
Hands on hips, the pushy assistant glared at me, his brown eyes bulging with rage. Since both of us were around five feet seven inches tall, we met eye-to-eye across the battlefield, Molly’s Spring designs surrounding us like fancy cloth soldiers. “Woman, you rarely make any sense. But that excrement is beyond ridiculous. Why would I be ill-equipped to tackle this simple project?”
I snorted to ward off a barrage of snarky responses. He’d really left himself open on that one. But I took the high road…or as high as it was possible for me to go at the moment. “Everybody knows that the male of the species doesn’t read directions. Even though you’re a beta male at best, you apparently inherited the instruction-resistant gene.”
Rog launched himself at me, his bony frame hardly creating a backdraft as he chest-bumped me into the desk we’d been struggling to assemble. Unfortunately, instead of a sleek example of Swedish simplicity, it looked more like an alien pod. Parts stuck out from strange places. We’d run out of screws and bolts five minutes into the project. I was pretty sure that one of the drawers had been installed backward. And there was a strange slit in the desktop that I didn't think was supposed to be there. The thing might as well have been made for ET since I was pretty sure the assembly directions had been written by little green men.
Yeah, I know. I’d just accused Rob of not following the directions. But there’s a difference between not reading and reading but not understanding a set of badly crafted instructions.
A tiny woman swept past us on a wave of flowery scent and glossy black hair. Molly rolled her eyes so hard I feared she’d crack her eye sockets. “Sweet Cherubs on a crescent moon!” she exclaimed on her way by. “You two are worse than my sister’s teenagers. Just leave it. I’ll put the thing together after I finish doing everything else you were supposed to do today.”
Molly’s diatribe shamed me and I frowned. Rounding on her annoying assistant, I focused such malevolence on him that my brain conjured a picture of a twitching pink nose with whiskers and big, rat teeth. It looked so real it startled me.
I needed to get hold of my temper before I started attacking the man with mis-assembled desk parts.
Sighing, I extended the board I’d been clutching in a gesture of goodwill. You'll have to forgive me if I cocked my arm into a throttling position with the offering. I’m only human after all. “If you can figure out where this goes, I’ll take back my mean thoughts about men not reading directions.”
Rog crossed his arms over his skinny chest and glared at me. “What about the mean thoughts you were having about me?”
I curled my lip. “Don’t push your luck.”
A soft sigh traveled in our direction from across the room, where Molly was pulling racks of designer duds around in an attempt to perfect the showroom’s feng shui.
I opened my mouth to relent when the rat-face from seconds before reappeared, the tiny black eyes and nasty mouth slashing past inches away from my face on a shriek and a hiss.
“Ah!” I yelped, caught off guard. A beat later, I realized what was happening. “No, no, no, no, no!” I chanted, reaching frantically for the place of serene control that Justice had been trying to help me find.
Another rat joined the first, the two of them mere inches from my face when they leaped into the air. I ducked as the vision sifted away into nothing, fighting to concentrate on my control.
“What are you doing?” Rog asked in his usual nasally tone.
“Huh?” I asked stupidly. Shaking my head, I clenched all my muscles as if that would keep the bounce from coming. That, actually was the exact opposite of what Justice had been trying to teach me.
His deep, sexy voice slid across my thoughts. It was almost enough to distract me into calming the heck down. “Close your eyes,” his sonorous voice intoned in my mind. “Take deep breaths. Think about easing into your bounce rather than being ripped into it.”
Given that I’d been thrown into the traveler gig with zero warning and no preparation, Justice had been trying to get me up to speed for the last several weeks. We’d eschewed training in weapons and fighting since I’d been a cop for decades before I’d retired with the now defunct notion of relaxing more, reading lots of books, and sleeping as much as I wanted in between buying copious pairs of shoes.
Since I’d been coopted into my role as traveler—a sort of inter-dimensional cop—rather than recruited into it or joining by choice, I’d known nothing about the job when the previous traveler had popped out of thin air and magically transferred her job and responsibilities to me before promptly dying at my feet.
After learning to deal with my new future, I’d done my best to succeed. But I’d been shocked and slightly delighted to learn my new job actually came with magical skills. For example, I was supernaturally good with knives of all kinds. Apparently, I also had inner sight, which I had no idea how to use. But mostly, Justice and had I been practicing my bouncing skills, since that was the part of the job I needed and used the most. I was pretty bad at it. So bad, in fact, that I’d bounced over another traveler’s gig in my first weeks as a traveler and nearly killed us both. For me, bouncing was basically a messy shift between dimensions and locations, meant to stop illegal interdimensional travel. For travelers who knew what they were doing, bouncing was much more elegant and targeted. I won’t say I had no skill when it came to bouncing. But I definitely had no control.
Which was a massive problem.