The Soul Searchers Mysteries by Caryn Larrinaga Book Tour and Giveaway :)
A shout from behind us cut off my question. “Penelope!” I twisted in my seat. Kit was marching across the lobby toward us so quickly that I swear her green hair was flying behind her in a streak. Her eyes narrowed in fury, and I cringed away from her. Kit didn’t get angry often, but when she did … She reached us and slammed her hand down on the table. “Raziel Santos? Are you kidding me?” She lifted her hand, revealing a small flyer. A man about my age with severe cheekbones glared up at me from the sheet. He was doing something Kit’s father Yuri often did, looking over the top of his glasses at the camera as though he didn’t even need prescription lenses. His cold, light eyes looked almost as angry as Kit’s. Below his photo, blue ink proclaimed RAZIEL SANTOS, FILMING LIVE FROM DONN’S HILL THIS OCTOBER! “Who is Raziel Santos?” I asked. “He’s that jerk magician I told you about,” Kit spat. “He’s gotten famous on the back of the occult community. Specifically, by being a prick to psychics and the people who ask for their help.” “He’s a world-renowned magician,” Penelope said, pointedly turning toward me as though to exclude Kit from the conversation. “And paranormal debunker.” Kit snatched up the flyer again and whipped it with the back of her hand. “Why would you invite him here? He’s the opposite of everything Donn’s Hill stands for.” Penelope shook her head. “That’s not true. The town has a long history of inviting skeptics to the Afterlife Festival. Houdini’s visit did wonders for our reputation.” “Raziel Santos is no Houdini,” Kit growled. “Your father seems to think so,” Penelope said. “It was his idea to invite him here.” “Bullshit.” “We got to talking one night and …” Penelope tucked a strand of blond hair behind her ear and looked away from us. “And he recommended I reach out to Mr. Santos to invite him here.” Kit’s nostrils flared, and crimson heat crept up her face from her collar. “If that were true, he would have told me.” “He knows how you feel about Mr. Santos. He thought — ” “Oh, so you two are talking about me now?” Kit threw her hands up into the air. “Great. That’s great.” As they argued, I pulled out my phone and searched for Raziel Santos. The internet seemed to be as divided about him as Kit and Penelope. The top few results were fan pages that called him “mysterious and sexy,” but there were also news reports of defamation lawsuits being filed against him and lots of angry forum posts. I clicked the link to his official website and scanned the homepage. “Raziel Santos,” proclaimed the silver script across the black background. “The truth is right here.” Striker rubbed her jaw on the lower corner of my phone. I reached down with my free hand to scratch between her ears. If I didn’t pet her quickly enough, she’d bite my phone to get me to put it down. “Kit, please.” Penelope gestured to the empty chair beside her and held up a single finger to the barista. “Won’t you sit down and talk about this rationally?” “What is there to talk about? This guy is literally trying to destroy my father’s show and everything we’ve worked for. And you’re throwing him a freaking cocktail party?” I raised an eyebrow at Penelope. “Cocktail party?” She sighed and narrowed her gray eyes at Kit. “It’s a reception, the kind you throw an honored guest. Mr. Santos and his team graciously agreed to film their next special here. We can’t buy that kind of publicity.” Kit snorted and looked away, but I studied Penelope. Her cold eyes and pinched brow made her irritation clear, but she pulled her shoulders backward and kept her spine straight. She exuded confidence, same as she had in nearly every encounter I’d ever had with her. She was a smart woman. Or was shrewd the better word? Either way, I had a feeling she was right. Penelope turned toward me then. “Speaking of which, dear, I was planning to invite you before you left here. Light hors d'oeuvres and drinks, Friday night at The Enclave.” I glanced at Kit, who was shooting daggers out her eyes at me. “Oh, Friday? Uh … Kit and I were going to —” Penelope held up a hand. “No RSVP needed. Casual attire is fine if you attend.” She stood, cradling her coffee cup in one hand. “If you’ll excuse me, I have some paperwork left to do in my office here and then a monstrous pile of tasks waiting for me at City Hall.” I moved to stand as well, but Penelope waved her hand at me. “Stay and finish your coffee,” she said. It was one part invitation, one part order. She left us with a final wave, disappearing behind a door near the coffee counter marked PRIVATE. Kit threw herself into the chair across from me with a huff, reached over, and stole my coffee. She sipped it and scowled. “Of course it’s amazing.” The young barista, as though on cue, hustled over to our table with a fresh mug. I reached for it, but Kit slapped my hand and slid my original cup back across the table. “You ruined it with too much cream,” she said. “I thought it was ‘amazing.’” “Yeah, so I expect it to be mind-blowing when you treat it right.” “So. Want to explain why you’re so pissed off at Penelope?” “What, did your ears fall off? She invited that prick — ” “Come on, Kit,” I said. “You told me yourself, your dad loves this guy. He was asking ScreamTV to sponsor a joint episode, right? Is this big special the thing he was asking them to do?” “No.” Her eyes flashed. “He wanted our teams to do something together. Here’s the bottom line: Penelope put the idea into Dad’s head. She’s a manipulative, controlling psycho.” I blinked, taken aback. Her voice was much harsher than it’d been in the van, and her words were razor sharp. “You don’t mean that.” “Oh, I mean it.” She pushed back from the table and stood up. “Everyone looks at Penelope like she’s the queen of this town, but the truth is, she’ll be the death of it.” With that ominous proclamation, Kit stormed out of the inn, coffee cup and all.