In this gritty urban fantasy, debt collectors take your life energy and give it to someone more “worthy”… all while paying the price with black marks on their souls.
“Wraith is amazing and just as compelling as Lirium—once again I'm hooked!!”
“I loved being back in this world! Wraith has captivated me.”
Wraith is a shadow in the night, haunting the bedrooms of the rich "high potentials" who have stolen life energy from the desperate and dying. The justice and the sweet mercy hit that follow keep her from falling into her own personal abyss. Her secret nighttime work also keeps her on level for her real mission: carrying on her father's legacy of attempting to bring an end to debt collection as a whole. But when a mysterious debt collector interrupts her in the act and discovers her secret, everything Wraith loves may be destroyed by the one thing she can never fix-- the original sin of being a debt collector herself.
Contains mature content and themes.
OPTIONED FOR VIRTUAL REALITY BY IMMERSIVE ENTERTAINMENT
2014 Semi-Finalist in Science Fiction in the Kindle Book Awards
The nine episodes of Season Two of the Debt Collector serial are collectively 125k words or about 500 pages.
It is recommended that you start with the first season, but each season is a complete story for that debt collector and can serve as an entry point to the series. There are five planned seasons in the Debt Collector series, the first four each from the perspective of a different debt collector with the fifth season bringing all four together.
Excerpt from Debt Collector Season 2, first episode – Wraith
My new collection suit weighs less than a shadow on my skin, and my soft-soled boots don’t even whisper as I creep across the thick, yielding carpet of my target’s apartment. With the best bullet-resistant synthetics money can buy, the black curve-hugging suit makes me look more like female-special-forces than someone’s hot date for the night. It raised the bellman’s eyebrows, but an untraceable debit card got me waved through the lobby, no problem. Money buys a lot of things. Access to one of the highest-security luxury buildings in LA. A ninety-fifth-floor apartment high above the smog-soaked city, complete with all the clean air you can breathe. And the no-doubt illegal collection of ivory-handled daggers I passed on the way in. It’s too bad for data-mining mogul Adrien Odel that money can’t buy your way out of a blackened soul.
And tonight I’ve come to collect a debt he doesn’t even think he owes.
Outside the floor-to-ceiling windows of Odel’s apartment, the city is lit up with a nighttime electric haze, the kind that makes it look seedy even in the high-rent district. It’s the perfect backdrop for a collection, and my suit is a black silhouette against it, a hole of death punched in the city’s twinkling lights. The high-tech fabric clings to me like the original sin I can never expiate, the one every debt collector is born with: the ability to deliver death with the slightest touch. We traffic in it, surround ourselves with it, and can never escape it.
Not that I haven’t tried that, too.
But even a short three-week dry spell away from collecting has me needy as all hell. The craving for a life energy hit claws at my back, and every step across the carpet amps up the desire. Even the possibility of Odel pulling a gun and shooting me dead hypes the thrill a little. My palm aches in anticipation—for the justice and the high that comes with it—but I take it slow, watching the placement of my feet and checking the windows. Along one edge, next to a mile-wide screen and some pretentious artwork, there’s a control panel. Only the rich want windows that open in the city, but it’s a bonus for me, especially given the windows face the broad expanse of the skyline and not the high-rise next door.
As I check out the control panel, the high-rise becomes a peep show. A woman’s naked body is pressed against the glass, exposed to the city’s onlookers as a man clutches her bare skin and makes love to her. I’m transfixed by the way they move, skin against skin, without care for the contact or the watchers. In a moment, they’re gone. Maybe reason broke through the passion. Maybe the glass was cold, in spite of the perpetual heat of LA.
Regardless, the image holds me hostage.
Having a lover isn’t something that’s part of my future. Or my present, for that matter. But that doesn’t stop the base need from surging up, usually at the least convenient of times. Then a different image—a cold, pale specter from my past—crawls out of the dark corners of my mind and reminds me I’m not the kind of woman who gets to have a normal life. I’m the kind who takes life and then gives it away. And the ecstasy of that is the closest I’ll ever get to the normal kind again—so it had better be good enough.
I couldn’t stomach even that pleasure for a while, not after what the debt collectors did to my father. I managed a whole three weeks without a single collection. But in the end, it’s the only thing that keeps me stable. And I’ve had a severe lack of stable ever since my father’s death nearly tore down the teetering scaffold of lies that comprises my life. That’s when the abyss reared up and stared me full in the face. Will-power alone wasn’t enough to stop it—the darkness just opened its maw and threatened to swallow me whole. At least that would have put an end the torment… but I couldn’t let the sin of who I am destroy everything my father had worked for. That we had both worked for. So here I am, dressed like a phantom, stalking the rich to give to the poor. With a tremor in my hands that’s more than a little unsettling. For better and worse, it’s the one thing that keeps me out of that dark place and gives me hope that one day I might redeem everything I am and everything I’ve done.
I stalk, heel-to-toe, past the windows, through a long hallway tastefully decorated with more pretentious art, and toward the back bedroom where Odel is supposed to be sleeping. I buy information just like I buy access. My source tells me Odel is in bed every night at ten, like clockwork, occasionally with companions, but mostly not. Tonight, his companion will be a darkness-clad nightmare who will leave him in a cold sweat, instead of a hot one.
When I reach his room, it’s vast—there’s a ridiculous round bed that’s so large, it’s practically a playground; several lacquered pieces of furniture that form glistening shadow-lumps around the perimeter; and more windows, the kind with wide vertical slats that leave shadowed stripes across Odel’s room. A giant aquarium is built into the wall behind the bed, and bioluminescent creatures undulate through the clouded water. They cast a blood-red glow that oozes in between the slices of darkness. I have no idea how the man sleeps in this room, but his barely audible breaths are the slow, steady rhythm of the unconscious.
There’s a lot of floor to cover before I can reach him, so I keep my footfalls muted. I give silent thanks that he’s alone in his bed—I could handle two at a time, but his companions are probably innocent of any real crime, with the exception of their bad taste in men. I slowly tug off my gloves on the way and tuck them in the back of my suit. The less DNA I leave behind, the better. Not that my targets are eager to call the police—too much scrutiny in their lives might turn up the source of those ill-gotten hits. And the mob doesn’t like it when a bright light shines on their bustling life energy trade business. The mob cutting Odel off from his supplier would be the best he could hope for. The worst would involve caskets and weepy nighttime companions. At least with me, he only stands to lose the years of life he’s stolen.
I reach the bed without him waking. His bio says he’s ten years older than me, but thanks to a steady supply of life energy, he looks about my age: twenty-five, if you count the years, not the mileage. With all that life energy in store, he would outlive me by a long shot, if he kept everything he has taken.
I’m about to fix that.
About the Author
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" but she mostly sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.
Yaaaaaaay!!! I'm so happy to have this book out in the world. Andi was a super fun character to write. She has a wacky dress sense, she's a book tuber, and she designs stuff for Etsy. (I also got to write about several hot guys, and, you know, that's always fun ;-) ).
THE TROUBLE WITH FAKING
Upper YA / Sweet NA
After a stupid miscommunication, everyone in
Andi’s new res thinks she’s secretly dating Damien, boyfriend of resident queen bee
Charlotte. Since the rumour’s already out there and refuses to be squashed, Andi
and Damien decide to keep up the facade in the hopes of snagging the attention of
the people they really want to be with. Brilliant plan, right? Especially since Damien
is the guy Andi’s always wanted. But now there’s Mike, the guy Andi’s pretending to
be interested in for the sake of the fake relationship plan, and Noah, Damien’s
annoying best friend—who is so not Andi’s type—and suddenly the plan isn’t
looking so brilliant anymore.
In a dark and desolated After Earth, love still does exist, but the cost of bearing such a
flaw is death.
World War III has left Earth in
utter turmoil. People’s beliefs are said to be the cause of the worldwide destruction. After The Clearing
new laws are set about - to show certitude in anything besides the law is weak and chargeable as
mutiny. To be illogical and have faith in religion is illegal, to be limitless is dangerous. And illness is seen
as a defect – all flaws that are inexcusable.
But to love is the greatest
betrayal of all mankind. It is a fault the world has long forgotten and punishable by death, a fatal risk
Aecker and Opel are fully prepared to take - because in love there is freedom. But how far can they push
back before it claims their lives and of those they care about?
Carlyle Labuschagne is a South African award
winning author working her way into the hearts of international readers with her first two books in the
Broken Trilogy. Her first young adult dystopian novel The Broken Destiny reached top 3 in its YA debut category. The sequel Evanescent won YATR literary award for best Sci-Fi book 2013. Her "Become a Published Author" programme for students launched Feb 2014.
not only an author, but works as a marketing manager by day. She holds a diploma in creative writing
through the writing school at College SA.
loves to swim, fights for the trees, and is a food lover who is driven by her passion for life. Carlyle also
writes for IU e-magazine India, an inspirational non-profit magazine that aims at inspiring the world
through words. The drive behind her author career is healing through words. Carlyle is also the founder
of the first annual book drive – Help Build A Library in Africa Project. And hopes to launch her very own
Indie book festival in Johannesburg March 2015.
goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another.”