This isn't what she signed up for...

Hello.  My name is Josephine Vanguard.  Oh, you’ve heard of me?  Please… you can’t believe everything you hear, or everything you read, or even—now that AI is making videos—everything you see.

ANYWAY, to escape the scandal and to finish an important project, I decided to house-sit an older home in a place where no one knows my name. I was so looking forward to the solitude and the privacy.  But when I arrived, this city girl got more than I bargained for—sketchy utilities, chickens to feed… oh, and did I mention a graveyard to tend to?

A spooky graveyard with a storied past and a steady stream of quirky visitors—including one exasperating man in particular—to interrupt my concentration.  And there's one grave in the old cemetery that no one's willing to talk about...

This isn't what I signed up for.

With all the commotion, I don’t know how I’m going to finish this project hanging over my head, the one that’s meant to repair my reputation. If things don’t work out and I have to change my name, I guess you can call me GRAVEYARD GIRL.


The *FREE* GRAVEYARD GIRL daily serial kicks off Monday, July 1 and runs through December 31, 2024.
Beginning July 1, a new daily episode will be posted on this page at approximately 4am Eastern and display for 24 hours.
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July 18, Thursday

When my phone buzzed, I glanced at the screen and my stomach seized up.

It was Bruce, my editor.

I didn’t want to answer, but Bruce didn’t leave messages.  He would keep calling until I picked up.  So I picked up.

“Hi, Bruce.”

“Josie, my favorite writer—next to your mom, of course.  She called me.”

I frowned.  “My mom called you?”

“Sure did.  Said this mess with your fiancé had driven you underground, and I should reach out.”

I pushed my tongue into my cheek.  “She shouldn’t have.”

“She said you were in Arkansas?”

“Alabama,” I corrected.  “I, um, rented a house in the country to finish my book.”

“That sounds extreme, but whatever works.  So how is the book coming along?”

“Pretty well,” I said, stalling.

“Good,” he oozed.  “When will I see it?”

I grimaced.  “Let me think about it and I’ll email you a new schedule.”

“Email is for Boomers, darling.  Text or nothing.”


“Your mom thinks you should do some publicity, and considering the bad press your, um, boyfriend generated, that’s not a bad idea.”

“I think it’s best to let things die down.  Besides, I’d rather spend the time writing.”

“Just one or two small events so your readers don’t think you have writers block.”

I swallowed hard.  “No, we wouldn’t want anyone to think that.”

“The town where you’re staying in Arkansas—does it have a bookstore?”

“It’s Alabama.  There’s a small bookstore here called Blakemore’s.”

“Blakemore’s… that sounds familiar.  He snapped his fingers.  “I think that’s a New York Times reporting store.”

I rolled my eyes.  “Have you now?”

“Why don’t you set up a signing there, something cozy to get a few photos of you to publish to our social media accounts?”

“I’ll look into it,” I promised.

“Do more than that,” Bruce said, his voice deceptively light.  “I need something to show the editorial staff you haven’t gone AWOL.”

My stomach crimped again.  “Message received.”

“I hope so.  Bye, darling.”  ~

A Note from the Author

To catch up or to read ahead, click here to buy the GRAVEYARD GIRL, part 1 of 6 novella (JULY's episodes).