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Alli Riggs Urban Fantasy Series Starter Bundle

Alli Riggs Urban Fantasy Series Starter Bundle

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Jump into Alli Riggs' urban fantasy world with these three urban fantasy series starters. Including Tim the Reaper, about a boy who discovers he's destined to become a grim reaper.

Next read Crawford's Murder, a Grimm Fairy Tale Retelling about thirteen brothers and their sister.

Finally, jump into Warding off the Inspector, the prequel to the Stella Diablo Monster Hunter series where monsters are real and someone's gotta fix 'em when they get hurt!



Intro Into Chapter 1


Chapter 1:

Ryan stands at the corner of her yard dripping blood all over the grass. He's circled the block four times to ensure nobody followed him—essential since his house has already been ransacked.

Everything went wrong. Absolutely everything. They were waiting for him when he showed up. Waiting to turn him into an example. How he got out alive, he'll never know. 

Her shadow crosses the window and he scrubs a hand across his face. He wracks his brain again for someone unconnected to him, but who would let his bleeding body into their home without alerting the police?

It has to be Gertie. The name alone makes him cringe for a dozen reasons. For starters, she's plain, quiet, and  never smiles. He tries to avoid her whenever possible, but they have a connection that keeps them friendly. His late wife, Audrey.

A car turns onto the street, its headlights flashing across the lawn, reminding him of how exposed he is standing under the tree. He moves from shadow to shadow until he reaches her infuriatingly well-lit front porch. It defeats the whole purpose of his stealth.

He moves behind her bushes until his body hugs her house, arm outstretched to untwist the bulb.

He manages half a rotation before the door flings open and a foot appears out of nowhere, hitting his already broken nose.

Ryan grabs his face, the blood returning in force. “Son of a...!”

Gertie's face rounds the edge of her door frame and she gasps, eyes widening. She peers at the body hunched behind her Rhododendrons.

“Ryan? What are you doing here?”

“Bleeding,” he says, his voice muffled by his hands.

The porch light clicks off and she steps outside, circling her hand under his bicep and pulling. “Geeze, come in side. Hurry.”

His eyes water as he tries to cradle as much of the pooling blood into his hands as possible.

“Bathroom's this way,” she says, tugging him again. She pulls him into a bathroom with dark blue walls, white tub, and giant mirror.

She shoves his head over the sink and turns on the water then opens a cupboard, pulling out an impressive array of bandages and first aid supplies. When she turns back to him, she stops, taking in his full appearance for the first time.

“What the hell, Ryan. What happened to you?”

He glances up at her, doing a double take. She's in a tank top over a sports bra and a pair of shorts accentuating muscled thighs. Her long brown hair, normally twisted in a tight bun, hangs in a ponytail down her back. It's a far cry from the tweed pantsuits she normally wears.

“I should be saying the same about you,” he mumbles, staring at her well defined arms. “What are you, three percent body fat? You have more definition than me.”

“That's because you've lost about fifty pounds since I last saw you.” She wrinkles her nose. “And what's up with that beard. You look like you're auditioning for ZZ Top.”

Despite the blood, he manages to stare, open-mouthed at her.

Gertie glances at herself in the mirror and her cheeks redden. “I was working out.” She stands, tossing the first aid stuff at Ryan.

“Wha—Hey! Where are you going?” he asks, half standing. “I'm bleeding here.”

“Yeah, well you just made it awkward, so now you'll have to sit there while I put a T-shirt

She pauses in the doorway. "And keep your face over the sink. I don't want blood on my carpets."

Ryan drops back to the toilet, his mouth gaping as she walks away, returning several seconds later with a black T-shirt and a chair in one hand.

She sits, scooting the chair closer to him then takes the first aid supplies from his hands. “So what happened to you?”

Ryan blinks at her several times before saying, “I was mugged.”

She raises a brow. “By who? A football team?”

Ryan snorts but immediately regrets it, as a fresh wave of blood dribbles down his throat.”

She smacks what is probably the only un-bruised spot on his arm. “Stop that. You're making it worse.”

Ryan closes his mouth and watches her. She pulls on a set of rubber gloves and gets to work.

She's quite proficient with the antiseptic and bandages. She must've done Brownies or Girl Scouts or something. Or read about it in a book.

He presses his lips together to keep from grinning at his own joke.

She glances at him and narrows her eyes. “What?”


Gertie raises a brow, her voice more impatient, “What?”

He shakes his head. “Nothing. Seriously.”

Gertie glares at him with piercing green eyes, her tone sharp. “Listen, you wanna get snarky with me? Fine. You can go.”

Ryan's eyes widen, his face suddenly serious. “Sorry. I was just...”

Her eyes return to his wounds and she sighs. “Look, I know we're not best buds. I was more Audrey's friend than yours.”

Her lips tighten. “I'm not the life of the party and I get that. But I'm here now helping you. The least you can do is not laugh at me to my face.”

Ryan's eyes widened further. "I wasn't laughing at you. Not really anyway. I was just wondering where you learned how to do first aid. And I figured you learned it from a book."

Gertie glances up at him then back to his wounds, focusing on one. "Something like that," she mumbles.

She scrubs a little harder than necessary and Ryan winces and pulls away. "Ouch."

"Sorry." She throws away the bloody bandages and surveys her work. She leans back and points to Ryan's shirt. "Take it off. We need to see of they got you anywhere else."

Inexplicably, Ryan starts to blush. Even though he and Audrey had been at Gertie's house several times, and he was a guy, it feels weird taking a shirt off in front of her. He pauses.

Gertie rolls her eyes. "Now you're feeling bashful?"

Ryan shakes his head, his cheeks burning brighter. He pulls the shirt off exposing taught tabs and lean muscles.

Gertie doesn't even seem to notice as her eyes rove over his torso quickly, checking for wounds.

"Turn around so I can check your back," she says, nudging his shoulder as if to help him turn.

Ryan rotates away from her, almost disappointed she isn't more appraising of him.

It's not like he wants her to ogle him, but no guy ever wants to be disregarded completely either.

Gertie's sharp intake of breath causes Ryan to turn, but winces when a sharp pain shoots through his waist.

"What is it?" he asks. 

"You've been shot."


 "You have a hole in your side. Didn't you notice?"

Ryan shakes his head. "I was fighting for my life. It's not like I was taking tally of what they were doing to me. I just wanted to get out of there."

Gertie mumbles something to her self.

"What was that?” he says, glancing over his shoulder again.

Gertie looks up, making eye contact." It doesn't look deep. And it doesn't look like you've hit any arteries, or organs. But it's not something I can fix either. I think we're going to need a little more help than I can offer."

She stands and grabs what looks like a giant syringe filled with aspirins and brandishes it in front of Ryan's face. “I'm going to inject this into your wound to stop the bleeding until we get you stitched up.”

Ryan's eyes widen. “You're injecting aspirin into my wound? Wouldn't that--”

Gertie waves her hand, cutting him off. “They're not aspirin. They're absorbent sponges designed to soak up blood and fill the hole temporarily until you get medical attention.”

“Where'd you get that?”

“It doesn't matter. The point is, it's gonna hurt like a mother, so grab hold of something and grit your teeth. I'm fresh out of sticks to bite.”

Ryan's face drains of color. “Can't we just put pressure on the wound?”

She shakes her head. “We need to staunch the bleeding. This is the best way. Unless you want to go to the hospital.”

Ryan shakes his head. “I can't go to the hospital. That's why I came here. I knew you wouldn't kick me out or run screaming from the house."

Gertie nods slowly. "You got that part right."

Ryan's eyebrows furrowed. “Where can I go to get fixed?” He glances over his shoulder at Gertie. "Have any friends that are nurses?"

She looks at him for a long moment, as if assessing him. "Tell me exactly what happened."

Ryan shakes his head. "I told you. I was mugged."

"Then why didn't you go home?"

Ryan glances at the towel bar just over Gertie's shoulder. "I didn't think I could get to all the wounds."

“Which is why you go to the hospital.”

“I can't.”

“Why not?”

His stomach clenches and palms begin to sweat. He slowly closes his eyes and sighs.  “Because I wasn't mugged.”

“Then what were you?”

Ryan's mind races for a legitimate reason to be hurt, but not wanting to go to the hospital. Nothing. There's no explaining away a bullet wound which, now that she pointed it out, is really beginning to hurt. Darn it. She's like a human lie detector.

“Because they'll look for me there.”

Her eyes soften. “Who is looking for you, Ryan?”

This time it's Ryan's turn to assess Gertie. Her green eyes don't waver. Could he trust her? And if he trusted her would he be jeopardizing her safety?

He shakes his head. He's already jeopardizing her  by being here. He looks down at his hands, knuckles red and raw from fighting for his life.

His brows knitting together. "I guess I got in over my head.”

He looks up and her eyes haven't left him, waiting for more.

He lets out a sigh. “You know how I work for the police right? After Audrey died in the car accident I lost it for a while.”

He shrugs again. “Okay I may have been a little suicidal. So when an opportunity for undercover work came up I took it."

He glances at her. That's where I've been most of this time. Doing undercover work."

"What kind of work?"

"I was following up a lead on a drug distribution program in the city. I was to work my way up the ranks and collect as much information and evidence as I could. When my boss decided they had enough info, they would go in and arrest me and everyone else.”

"What happened?"

Ryan looks at her again. Rather than her being horrified or freaked out as he expected a librarian, and the dullest person he'd ever known to be, Gertie's eyes are inquisitive.

Was she living vicariously through him like she does through one of her books? It didn't matter. He needed her help.

He shook his head. “I dunno. I was supposed to meet my guy at eleven o'clock to cut some drugs I was storing it in my apartment. Around ten thirty I went there to pick up the bricks, but someone was already there tearing the place apart. I thought it was someone there to steal my stuff, or maybe a rival dealer, so I went in with my gun drawn. As I got closer, I heard them talking about needing proof I was a cop. It was my guy, and he'd brought one of his friends. As soon as they saw me they started shooting. The only thing that kept me alive was that my gun was already out.”

Ryan drops his head to his hands. “Most of the time I was just dealing with tweakers and roughing a few of them up to make sure we got our money. I wasn't expected to hurt anyone. As a cop you show up prepared to use your sidearm, but some of us go our entire careers without discharging our weapon.”

Ryan looks up at Gertie, his face etched with pain. “Last night I'm pretty sure I killed someone, and my guy--my best friend for nearly a year--is out to kill me.”

Ryan shakes his head. “It's screwed up.”

Gertie nods but doesn't say anything for a while. Finally, she says, “I'm sorry.”

“Thanks.” He scrubs a hand down his face then takes a deep breath. “I should've known better. I shouldn't have gotten so close to Jessie. I was going to have to arrest him eventually.”

“I get it,” she says, pausing her ministrations long enough to look at him. “Everyone, no matter how evil, has redeeming qualities. Nobody is entirely bad.”


“Have you called your boss?”

Ryan shakes his head. “I'm not sure if I should. Next to nobody knew what I was doing. And yet my guy still knew I was a cop. That makes him suspect.”

“You won't know until you make contact.”

Ryan runs his hands through his hair and sighs. “And by then I'll be dead.”

He shakes his head. “I need a night to get my thoughts in order. By morning I'll know what to do.”

Gertie stands, her eyes skimming downward. “I think I've got you all fixed up. How are your legs? Anything else I need to bandage?”

Ryan shakes his head. “I can take care of that if there's anything on my legs.”

She raises a brow. “You sure?”

“I'm not taking off my pants.”

Her lips twitch and he wonders if he imagined a glimmer of a smile before mentally shaking himself.

He's not sure he's ever seen Gertie smile. He had no idea how Audrey spent time with someone with so little emotion.

Gertie pulls off her latex gloves, tossing them in the garbage with the growing pile of bloody bandages. She turns to Ryan, plants her hands on her hips, and says, “Lets get that bullet wound fixed.”

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