PsyCop - The Stories

"You can't smoke crack. You're dead."

_____

Reading Order

 

PsyCop Main Stories

Among the Living Criss Cross Body & SoulSecretsCamp HellGhosTVSpook SquadSkin After Skin •  Agent Bayne

PsyCop Shorts and Side Stories

ThawStriking Sparks • Many Happy ReturnsPsyCop Briefs Volume 1

F.A.Q.

About the stories and reading order

Among the Living

Victor Bayne, the psychic half a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who’s more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves.

He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic (or “Stiff”) from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner’s retirement party and it seems like his dubious luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer with a gruesome M.O. surfaces--and no one agrees what he looks like.

Solving murders is a snap when you can ask the victims whodunit, but this killer’s not leaving any spirits behind
.

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Thaw

As a psychic homicide investigator, Victor Bayne doesn't get much time to relax. Thaw offers a rare glimpse of him off the clock. Heard of the PsyCop series, interested in m/m fiction, but never tried it? Take a taste of Victor and his sexy boyfriend, Jacob, whose smoldering good looks threaten to melt the ice rink they're skating on.

Get Thaw Free at JCP Books

Criss Cross

Criss Cross finds the ghosts surrounding Victor getting awfully pushy. The medications that Victor usually takes to control his abilities are threatening to destroy his liver, and his new meds aren't any more effective than sugar pills.

Vic is also adjusting to a new PsyCop partner, a mild-mannered guy named Roger with all the personality of white bread. At least he's willing to spring for the Starbucks.

Jacob’s ex-boyfriend, Crash, is an empathic healer who might be able to help Victor pull his powers into balance, but he seems more interested in getting into Victor’s pants than in providing any actual assistance.

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Striking Sparks

Andrew’s life is spinning out of control, and he’s desperate for some guidance. He’s heard there’s a palm reader in Wicker Park who’s the real deal: a certified, honest-to-God psychic. He’s confident that she’ll tell him exactly what he needs to hear. Too bad he didn’t account for how long it would take him to find parking.

The psychic’s gone, but one of the other shopkeepers in the building has a sympathetic ear. He’s pretty easy on the eyes, too. Striking Sparks is set in the PsyCop storyverse, but it stands alone. Newcomers can hop right in and try it. Veteran PsyCop fans will be treated a nice, long look at Crash.

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Body & Soul

Thanksgiving can't end too soon for Victor Bayne, who's finding Jacob's family hard to swallow. Luckily, he's called back to work to track down a high-profile missing person.

Meanwhile, Jacob tries to find a home they can move into that's not infested--with either cockroaches, or ghosts. As if the house-hunting isn't stressful enough, Vic's new partner Bob Zigler doesn't seem to think he can do anything right. A deceased junkie with a bone to pick leads Vic and Zig on a wild chase that ends in a basement full of horrors.

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Secrets

Vic has just moved in with his boyfriend Jacob, he can't figure out where anything's packed, and his co-worker is pressuring him to have a housewarming party.

Can't a guy catch a break?

On a more sinister note, Vic discovers there's absolutely no trace of him online. No trace of anyone else who trained at "Camp Hell," either.

Everyone Vic knows has signed a mysterious set of papers to ensure his "privacy." The contracts are so confidential that even Vic has never heard of them. But Jacob might have.

What other secrets has Jacob been keeping?

Read a Sample of Secrets or Purchase

Camp Hell

Victor Bayne honed his dubious psychic skills at one of the first psych training facilities in the country, Heliotrope Station, otherwise known as Camp Hell to the psychics who've been guests behind its razorwire fence.

Vic discovered that none of the people he remembers from Camp Hell can be found online, and there’s no mention of Heliotrope Station itself, either. Someone's gone through a lot of trouble to bury the past. But who?

Read a Sample of Camp Hell or Purchase

GhosTV

Forty-eight thousand adults in the United States are considered missing persons. It's difficult for police to act on cases of missing adults, because while the subjects might be a victim of kidnapping, accident or assault, they also might be seeking a fresh, if somewhat abrupt, start. Various factors determine whether an adult is likely to bail from their regular life: job, family ties, mental state.

Sometimes, though, you just know when one of your friends is in trouble.

Victor Bayne scored a zero on the precognitive portion of his Psychic exam—in fact, if given a choice, he always seems to pick his least advantageous option. But something in his gut is telling him that while his best friend Lisa may fit the profile of a person who picks up and leaves without a word to anyone, she might very well be in danger.

And if he needs to play nice with the FPMP to get to the bottom of things, so be it.

Read a Sample of GhosTV or Purchase

Spook Squad

Everyone enjoys peace and tranquility, and Victor Bayne is no exception. He goes to great lengths to maintain a harmonious home with his partner, Jacob. Although the cannery is huge, it’s grown difficult to avoid the elephant in the room…the elephant with the letters FPMP scrawled on its hide.

Once Jacob surrendered his PsyCop badge, he infiltrated the Federal Psychic Monitoring Program. In his typical restrained fashion, he hasn’t been sharing much about what he actually does behind its vigilantly guarded doors. And true to form, Vic hasn’t asked. In fact, he would prefer not to think about the FPMP at all, since he’s owed Director Dreyfuss an exorcism since their private flight to PsyTrain.

While Vic has successfully avoided FPMP entanglement for several months, now his debt has finally come due.

Read a Sample of Spook Squad or Purchase

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Skin After Skin

Fierce. Audacious. Independent. Curtis Ash can’t be bothered to settle down. He’s too busy enjoying his cushy job as a high-paid stylist, caught in a whirlwind of hookups, parties, and obscenely priced cocktails.

The only snarl in an otherwise charmed life is the salon’s hotshot colorist, Red Turner.  Not only does Red put the whammy on customers and rake in all the big tips, he’s oblivious to Crash’s flirtation. But there will be plenty of time to win him over…so Crash thinks.

Thanks to his refusal to trust his gut, Crash not only tanks his career—he allows the one man who truly holds his interest to slip away. While he insists he doesn’t need a relationship to complete him, would sharing his life with someone really be so bad? 

Skin After Skin is a sweeping saga that begins two years before Among the Living and ends just after Spook Squad. Experience PsyCop like you’ve never seen it before, through Crash’s eyes. Discover new facets of characters and events from the span of the entire series and beyond, all from the viewpoint of an extroverted empath.

Content advisory: one scene includes potential dubious consent.

Read a Sample or purchase Skin After Skin

Agent Bayne

Victor Bayne is through with the Chicago PD. Can he handle the FPMP?
After years of frustration as a PsyCop, Victor Bayne reports for duty at the Federal Psychic Monitoring Program. As a fledgeling agent, he’s ready to smoke out a few ghosts and be home each night in time for dinner. But is he prepared to add a professional dimension to his romantic partnership with Jacob Marks?

Jacob has already established his territory at the FPMP—he’s competent, he’s respected, and he’s pretty much fearless. The last thing Vic wants to do is screw up in front of him.

When fellow agents start turning up dead, Vic is expected to do more than just lay their ghosts to rest. But what if his psychic talent isn’t quite enough? As the death toll rises, he and Jacob scramble to determine who’s in danger, and who’s a killer.

Using all the resources at their disposal, they close in on their suspect. But as they do, their past comes back to haunt them…and even Jacob worries they’ve tampered with forces they should have left alone. Are their combined talents enough to protect them from enemies both living and dead?

Read a sample or purchase Agent Bayne

PsyCop Briefs: Volume 1

Victor Bayne sees dead people for a living…and he sees them off the clock, too.  After all, ghosts don’t confine their appearances to a psychic medium’s work hours.

From the macabre to the mundane, from titillating to tender, these PsyCop shorts feature stolen moments between the novels. Get a glimpse of Vic’s life with Jacob between cases, from both men’s viewpoints. Gain new insight on their psychic talents by accompanying them on odd jobs, shopping runs and family visits, or simply enjoy some downtime in the cannery.

The twenty short works range in length from flash fiction to novelettes, woven together to create a novel-length narrative of Vic and Jacob’s relationship from a fresh perspective. The stories are gleaned from various sources: anthologies, newsletters, and web, with four all-new pieces to tie the collection together and delve deeper into your favorite PsyCops' domestic life.

Purchase PsyCop Briefs at the following places:

Amazon • Kobo • iTunes • BN


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FAQ

Why are the stories such different lengths?

Among the Living was originally written as a standalone story for a line of novellas that had a maximum word count of 35,000 words. As story organically followed story and I began publishing the PsyCop books myself with no restrictions, the story length grew longer, thus the difference in length between the early stories and later stories.

In which order should I read them?

It would be most satisfying to read all the novels back to back, then read the shorts. The shorts are all bonus material; nothing that happens in any short affects the overall series arc. I've listed three shorts separately within the official reading order anyway, even though they're not "required reading." The flash fic Thaw is widely available as a series preview and stands alone. Many Happy Returns and Striking Sparks are from Crash's Point of View and aren't included in Briefs: Vol. 1, but they don't affect the PsyCop series arc. They can be read any time after Crash makes his appearance in Criss Cross.

The shorts in Briefs: Vol 1 are arranged in rough chronological order to form an arc of Vic and Jacob's relationship. One story: Inside Out, is a series prequel, but I'd discourage you from reading it before Among the Living just because it happened first chronologically. I see it as a prequel episode of a TV show. The in-jokes are about seeing the characters as they used to be, before they met, through the lens of what you know about them now.

 

Inside Out*

1 Among the Living

Coffee O'Clock*

2 Criss Cross

Many Happy Returns (Crash)

Striking Sparks (Crash)

Mind Reader*

3 Body & Soul

Thaw*

Jock Straps On Sale*

Stroke of Midnight (Jacob)*

4 Secrets

5 Camp Hell

Impact*

6. GhosTV

Piece of Cake*

No Sale*

Off the Cuff*

Memento (Jacob)*

Let the Chips Fall*

Most Likely To...*

In the Dark*

Waiting Game (Lisa)*

7. Spook Squad

Wood*

On the Road*

Locked and Loaded*

8. Skin After Skin (Crash)

9. Agent Bayne

Witness*

10. Murder House (late 2018)

Everyone's Afraid of Clowns*

 

*in PsyCop Briefs, Vol. 1