Author Katie Mettner

Scrying from the Other Side



Welcome back to The View From The Other Side! Today I will be featuring a book that is actually about a woman who had an experience on the other side and then came back to this side with a new, and possibly unwanted, skill. Today's book spotlight is A Scrying Shame and was written by Donna Glaser. It releases today and let me tell you, it would be a scrying shame if you don't read it! Keep reading for an excerpt and for my review. 


Following a near death experience, twenty-five-year old Arie Stiles decides she

might as well take the job nobody else wants: a crime scene clean-up technician. It’s good money, which she could use, and death doesn’t hold a lot of mystery for her.

Or so she thinks.

Arie isn’t on the job long before discovering she’s been “gifted” with a new psychic talent—the ability to scry. Whether she wants to or not, Arie can read the memories of the dead in their blood.

When she is assigned to clean the crime scene of Marissa Mason, the socialite author of the best-selling gold-diggers' bible, Arie finds herself haunted by blood visions day and night, and to her shock discovers an unexpected family connection to the victim. With her brother suffering the unwanted attention of the police as the primary suspect, can Arie face her fear of the blood visions long enough to follow the trail of clues left in the murdered woman's memories and find the real culprit?


Excerpt: 

The small room felt like a coffin, hot and stifling, all the air used up in the swelter. People always talked about Wisconsin as if it only had winters, but summer, though as fleeting as a butterfly kiss, also carried a punch.

If there was any air conditioning in the office, Arie couldn’t feel it. The one small window had two file cabinets jammed up against it. Dusty manuals and three-ring binders piled on top killed off any hope of fresh air. Arie angled her arms away from her sides, irrationally hoping for a stray breeze to offset the dark circles forming there. Another trickle of sweat slid down her spine, pooling along the waistband of her skirt.

The man sat silently across the table from Arie. Basilio Gallo wore his cropped black hair short, tight to his scalp, broken only by a crescent-shaped scar over his left ear. The scar trailed across the side of his head like a little pink worm. His leg jiggled manically as though he was trying to siphon off an overflow of energy. Darting black eyes scanned the wad of papers he clasped.

She couldn’t help staring at his hands. When not scrutinizing papers, he gestured wildly, accenting every statement with emphatic jabs of his stubby fingers. Dark patches of silky hair scattered ever so lightly across his knuckles, adding shadows to the movement. His hands were so clean. Her gaze returned like a cognitive tic to stare at his hands, wondering how he got them so clean. Nobody else would notice or even care, probably, unless they knew what this man did for a living.

She needed this job. And considering the nature of it, she hadn’t thought there would be a lot of contenders for the position. But the stack of applications next to the guy’s elbow was disconcerting.

Arie cleared her throat. Gallo looked up sharply, but she had already plastered on an appropriately pleasant expression. Her left eye twitched at the effort. She faked a cough into her fist, using the distraction to scoot back in the chair. Her pantyhose were in full mutiny; one side half-twisted clockwise in an attempt to cut off the circulation to her leg, and the other surrendered to a snag which, despite a blob of iridescent Tango Mango nail polish, threatened to uncase her thigh like an over-boiled sausage. She silently cursed her mother’s relentless indoctrination in “how to be a lady.” What other twenty-five-year-old wore pantyhose these days?

“So, Arie—”

He pronounced it “Airy,” an image she would never relate to.

“It’s Arie, like the initials R. E. Arie Stiles.” They were the initials for her given name, which Arie told only to the IRS and God.

“Fine. Arie. What makes you think this is something you can handle? It ain’t like TV. I don’t care what you see on those stupid crime shows. There’s nothing exciting about death.”

Arie was tempted to tell him just how familiar with death she really was, but she wasn’t sure whether that would make her appear more qualified or just weird. Instead, she merely said, “I know it’s not. Blood doesn’t bother me—other people’s, that is.”

She didn’t think it did, anyway.

“Blood is the least of it. Wait ‘til you go home and find someone’s brain stuck on your shoe. Besides, it’s the smell that gets to people.”

She swallowed hard. “The... um?”

“Smell. Death has a smell. It gets in your clothes, your hair, your mouth, everywhere. You’re gonna be tasting it days later. I’m tellin’ you. It gets inside you.” Smiling, Gallo tapped the cage of bone that protected his heart, assuming he had one.

“Providing this kind of service”—his eyes held Arie’’s, as though daring her to challenge the euphemism—”is not for the weak. We take care of the problems no one else can handle.” His hand—that clean hand—cut through the air, sweeping the “problems” away. “Don’t kid yourself that this is just some small-town outfit. We’re right here next to the I-94 corridor. We run jobs from Madison to Milwaukee and wherever else we need to. We go in; we handle the situation. We’re what you might call the specialists of death.” His fingers twitched quote marks over the last few words.

“It’s nice that you take, um, pride in your work.” An errant, sweat-dampened tendril of hair flopped over one of Arie’s eyes.

“What do you expect? It’s a business.” Gallo squinted at her. “That’s what you gotta keep telling yourself. A business. Keep the emotions out of it. And what you gotta ask yourself is: can you do it? Can you handle it?”

Arie cleared her throat. Could she?

“Don’t forget,” he added. “If you work up to full time, after a year, you get three sick days and a week’s vacation. Also health insurance. It’s crappy, and the premiums are killing me, but still.”

Thank goodness. Death had benefits. 


Being a Donna Glaser fan, I was very excited to see she was starting a new series alongside her Letty Whittaker mysteries. I nominated A Scrying Shame for Kindle Press and was even more excited when they notified me that my ARC copy was available! I dug into it immediately and Arie (pronounced R.E.) had me hooked immediately. She’s one of those women who doesn’t have it all together, in fact, she has nothing together; after all returning from The Other Side takes a lot of recovery. Once she recovers from her assault Arie takes a job doing crime scene clean up. It is there that she discovers she picked up a new skill on the other side, scrying. I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of scrying before, but it was so fun to learn about it along with Arie, who, as you can imagine, was quite surprised when she discovered this new ability. When she’s faced with cleaning up a grisly murder, the dead start talking to her and the blood tells her things she doesn’t want to hear. Things like, she might be living amongst a murderer.

The story is fast paced, mysterious and at times laugh out loud funny. I love how even when Arie knows things really suck, she can still laugh at herself with her best friend Chandra. You run all the way to the end with Arie until she discovers the murderer and stuns you with the reasons why. The wild web Ms. Glaser wove lets the reader know there will be many more Arie books to come, and I, for one, can’t wait for Scry Me a River! After all, I have to know just what R.E. stands for and if it’s really as embarrassing as Arie wants us to believe.


I give A Scrying Shame 5 cups of Lord, I hope that's only coffee, coffee! 


About The Author

I'm a psychotherapist/office manager/writer, not always in that order. Some folks wonder why a therapist would gravitate toward writing mysteries. It's the people thing. Both of my passions deal with relationships and exploring the past
to gain a deeper understanding--and, perhaps, better control of--the present. My favorite quote is by Oscar Wilde: "The final mystery is oneself." It seems to cover facets of both my careers. So I stole it.

I'm also a wife and a mother of two beautiful children. Three, if you count the husband; usually I do. We own and operate a residential construction company. He swings the hammer; I do the marketing, the paperwork, and deal with any overly emotional, what-do-you-mean-you-can't-put-roof-trusses-up-in-a-thunderstorm? clients. Strangely enough, I often come up with ideas for creative murders and hiding bodies during business hours. I mention this for no reason at all.

Currently I'm at work on the fifth Letty Whittaker 12-Step Mystery, THE LIES WE TELL and I'm plotting the second in the Blood Visions series, SCRY ME A RIVER. I'd love to hear from you! www.donnawhiteglaser.com .

I'm hoping to earn enough money to provide orthodontics for my English bulldog, Belle.


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