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Darynda Jones is the American author of the Charley Davidson series of paranormal romantic thrillers and a young adult novel called Death and the Girl Next Door, forthcoming in October 2012. She lives in New Mexico.
Darynda Jones’ protagonist Charley Davidson is a private investigator living in Albuquerque, New Mexico but that isn't all Charley does for a living. Charley is a portal to heaven and was born onto Earth as a Grim Reaper. Not only can she see the dead but she can touch them. The dead who stuck around after passing, due to numerous reasons, can see her 'light' from anywhere on Earth. When they pass through her, Charley gets a glimpse of their life, scents, feelings, memories and such.
The very first person to pass through Charley was her mother, who died due to birth related reasons, who told her she loved her. Charley can remember this due to the fact that her memory extends from the day she was born. One of the very first things she can recall is the Big Bad, a being shrouded in darkness who always seemed to be saving her. The books balance humor, romance and suspense.
Charlotte/Charley Davidson: The main character who tries to balance life as a personal investigator and grim reaper. She lives in a building across from her office, which in above her fathers bar. From as early as 5 Charley had been helping her father, a former policeman, and her uncle Bob solve cases using her reaper abilities. She is sarcastic and has quick wit. She is a portal to heaven for the souls of the departed to cross through. One of her abilities is that she is able to heal faster than any other human, when forced to she can move at an inhuman speed, and also has the cunning ability to almost get killed in the most unlikely places.
Reyes Farrow: A boy who Charley met when she was younger and tried to save after witnessing him being beaten by his father, during that time he called her 'Dutch'. Later she comes across him in prison, he had been charge with the murder of his abusing father. Reyes has a large fan base of women who scour prison photo's for good looking men. He often visits Charley in her dreams while she was unaware it was him. He is the son of Satan and was sent to look for a portal to heaven, a Grim Reaper, but once he saw her he wanted to be with her and thus got himself born on to Earth. Just as Charley is a portal to heaven, Reyes, is a portal to hell.
Leland Davidson: Charley and Gemma's father. Once as a cop he would get help to solve cases with Charley's ability to speak to the dead. Now he owns a bar and allows his daughter to use the second floor as an office for her clients. It took three days for Leland to see Charley after his wife's death but he loves his daughter very much. By the end of the second book, and for most of the third book, Leland's relationship for Charley is strained after he sends a killer after her. Leland knew that Charley would be alright, due to some strange events that occurred when Charley was younger. However, he did not warn her and she ended up facing the murderer and being caught off guard.
Cookie: Cookie and her daughter Amber live across the hall from Charley and is her best friend. They work together, Charley does field work while Cookie does the research, they both bonded over their love of coffee. Cookie worries over Charley after she stops sleeping, due to Reyes invading her dreams, and does her best to help her in anyway. She knows all about Charley's abilities and about Reyes.
Gemma: Gemma is Charley's older sister. The two of them were in competition when it came to university. However, they are almost estranged and rarely speak. While Gemma knows that Charley can see and speak to the dead she isn't aware of the fact she is the Grim Reaper. Gemma gets along with her stepmother while Charley doesn't.
Denise: Denise is Charley's stepmother and finds Charley to be an embarrassment. She has never accepted Charley's abilities and hates to be around her.
Uncle Bob: Charley is close to her Uncle who she regularly helps on cases as long as he returns the favour, as he has access to things that one would need a police clearance to get. He loves her and stands by her, fears for her, and supports her whenever she needs it. When her father tells her to quit her job her Uncle Bob stands by her side and promises to talk to him.
Garret Swopes: Garret was told of Charley's abilities by Uncle Bob, who spilled the beans while drunk, and had a hard time coming to terms with the idea. Who dislikes Reyes and his involvement with Charley, just as Reyes hates Garret's involvement. He becomes a close friend to Charley and often helps her when she needs it, and even when she doesn't want it.
Angel: A 13yr old ghost Charley met on the same night as Reyes. Angel was killed trying to stop a drive by and works for Charley by tailing the suspects. In return Charley sends the money he would have earned to his mother. He keeps trying to see Charley naked.
Rocket: A ghost who has the uncanny ability to know the names of every person who has died. He lives in an asylum and even though he's old his personality is that of a big kid. He enjoys pretending to scare Charley and gets excited whenever she mentions names. He has a younger sister who died when she was little.
The manuscript of First Grave on the Right won the 2009 Golden Heart Award for Best Paranormal Romance from Romance Writers of America, an award for manuscripts by unpublished authors. Her book Third Grave Dead Ahead was on the New York Times best seller list. NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a Rebecca, two Hold Medallions, a RITA ®, and a Daphne du Maurier.