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Over My Dead Body (Teen Urban Fantasy)

213 pages3 hours


Merit Boatman has gone to a better place. Or has she?

When sixteen-year-old workaholic and Tic Tac addict Merit Boatman bites the dust in a freak traffic accident, the last thing she expects is evil Viking god Loki to show up to threaten her afterlife. According to Loki, she’s the only one who can figure out why souls are disappearing before getting to their final destination, and if she doesn’t do it in seven days, he’s got a special place in Hell reserved just for her.

This wasn’t exactly on her To Do list.

Neither was working as an undercover ghost in an office of Death Gods whose job it is to transition souls to the After. Or falling for a certain three-hundred-year-old samurai with a talking dragon. Or making best friends with a valkyrie determined to send her off to Valhalla.

With Loki’s deadline looming, Merit has to face the ultimate challenge—putting her afterlife on the line for her friends, and for everyone on Earth, by facing down an invisible monster who considers her soul a tasty afternoon snack.

Life’s a bitch. But for Merit Boatman, death might be even bitchier.


“So I suppose you’re here to take me to heaven?” I asked Brunnehilde.

She thumped the butt of her spear on the ground, and the tremor it created hit a six on the Richter scale. The people around us cast nervous glances at the skyscrapers on Michigan Avenue. Maybe they could feel her, just a little. Her knife-sharp cheekbones reddened with rage. “No, you’re a good Swede. For your After, you’ll go to Valhalla.”

Not quite what I expected. “I always thought I was Lutheran.”

“Valhalla,” she repeated. “This is clear as sausage water.”

Uh, from the Mount Rushmore set of her face, sausage water was pretty clear.

My paternal grandfather, Farfar, had fed me Viking mythology with my Cheerios. I knew the tales of Odin and the Norse gods like I knew my Sunday school stories. And, of course, he made sure I knew how to swear in Swedish. “Förbanna.” Damn. “Isn’t Valhalla just for warriors?”

She spelled it out for me as if she was dealing with a dense child. “You’ll go to the hall of Odin, through the sacred gate Valgrind, where you’ll be greeted by the bearded god Bragi, lover of poetry.”

Didn’t sound too bad. I nodded.

“There, the great warriors wait to fight once more, with Odin the All-Father, at Ragnarök, the end of days, on the plain of Asgaard. Until that time, they train themselves by day. By night, in the hall of Valhalla, they feast on roast boar and drink ale by the barrel, toasting the bravery of their comrades and the fellowship of brothers—”

Well, I couldn’t drink legally for another five years, and pork wasn’t my favorite. My fighting skills consisted of giving my twin brothers double-headlock noogies, so I might have an adjustment period. Maybe I could get used to it. I admit the idea of a hall full of hot warriors had some appeal, as long as they showered.

“—and you will have the honor of serving at their feet,” Brunnhilde finished.

I blinked at her for a while, waiting for her to clap me on the back and let me in on the joke. The straight line of her mouth never twitched upward.

A vision of eternity stretched before me. My future set in stone. Forever. Nothing would cease, nothing would end.

And I was a beer wench.

“Is it too late to convert to Hinduism?” I asked.

“Enough!” Brunnhilde’s cry reverberated down the corridor of skyscrapers. I imagined windows breaking all the way over to State Street. “You’ll go to the hall of Asgaard. But I can’t take you there.”

“Whew,” I said, a little relieved. “Anywhere else. Really.”

Brunnhilde stuck out her chiseled jaw. “I cannot take you there yet. I have forgotten my pen.”

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