Saturday, March 25, 2023

Books By Tena Stetler are featured today on Saturday's Blurbs #MFRWAuthor #security force #Meringue Snowflake Magic #A Witch's Quandry

 


Security  Force of Two

Miacoh Zane, a Special Forces veteran, returns to Aspen Ridge, Colorado a small town nestled in the Rocky Mountains, to settle his beloved grandmother’s estate. But the town holds painful memories and family secrets he wants to leave behind for good.

 

Candle Bearclaw, a gifted computer analyst/programmer with talents she’s buried when recruited out of college by the CIA. After fifteen years, she abruptly resigns her position with the agency. She returns to her sleepy hometown only to discover her childhood crush has also returned and a violent crime has been committed.

 

Due to their covert operations experience, Candle and Miacoh are thrown together to assist Homeland Security, FBI, and her father, former chief of police, with a murder investigation. As they search for the perpetrators, will their secrets be revealed as the investigation takes an unusual twist that could blow the case wide open.

 

Universal lInk  

 

https://books2read.com/u/bMN2X5

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Security-Force-Mountain-Town-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B0BS4LKSW2

 

 

 

Meringue Snowflake Magic

 

After being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Wynter Dahl finds herself with a new name and new home. Whisked into the Witness Protection program she finds herself in the Podunk town of Raven’s Hollow, Colorado. She has more than one secret to keep and is not sure who she can trust, though the deputy sheriff is hard to resist.

 

Braydon “Blaze” Nightwing, owns Dragon Fire Pizza and takes his job as deputy sheriff seriously. He means to protect his town and its residents, including the mysterious newcomer. He rescues her after a tumble and finds himself in over his head. He senses she’s more than she seems but so is he.

 

When her cover is blown and her life is in danger it will take the whole town to save her and their annual holiday festival and cookie contest. What is Christmas without a little magic?

 

Universal link: https://books2read.com/u/47gAk8

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Meringue-Snowflake-Magic-Tena-Stetler-ebook/dp/B0BD2Q9C28

 

 

A Witch’s Quandary

 

Gale’s engagement is off because she refuses to leave her thriving business in Ireland to follow Dillon to Scotland.  Her family and friends are on the emerald isle. Yet, when Dillon returns with the whole story and asks for her help, she must follow her heart.

Becoming a Solicitor, then partner or barrister in the Dunlop Law Firm was never Dillon’s dream. Now it’s his nightmare. Called back to Scotland, his father demands he take his rightful place in the business or be disowned and disinherited. But something is terribly amiss in the firm and family.

During Gale and Dillon’s investigation, they discover the enforcer for the Demon Overlord is also delving into rumors of the firm’s illegal activities. Magic has been stolen, someone is being blackmailed, and a member of the Witch’s council is corrupt. If Gale and Dillon want a life together in Ireland, they have to unearth the secrets that threaten to destroy Dunlop Law and his family in Scotland.

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/mKNqq5

 

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/A-Witchs-Quandary-Demons-Witch/dp/B09LXCYWYZ

 

Friday, March 24, 2023

Friday Tena Stetler isVisiting and Talking About Who She Was Before #MFRWAuthor #paralegal #Paranormal Romance/Mysteries #magic

 

Day 1

1. What were you before you became an author? I was a paralegal for a criminal law firm for almost 14 years.  Then I was a IT Manager for an electrical contracting firm for 14 years also. Did this influence your choices as a writer? Sometimes.  I’ve written a book about lawyers, A Witch’s Quandary, they just happened to be in Scotland. LOL I’ve written a few books involving computers, cyber security. Security Force of Two, etc.

 

2. Are you genre specific or general? I don’t mean major genres but subdivisions or romance, mystery or paranormal. I write Paranormal Romance/Mystery. Recently l’ve dabbled in western, historical, timetravel, in addition to romance. But there is always a bit of mystery and magic in all my novels. 

 

3. What is your latest release? Security Force of Two - A former CIA agent and a Special Forces vet return to their small hometown for different reasons none of which includes involvement in an investigation of the new police chief’s murder. Release March 20, 2023.

 

Set for release July 10, 2023, Raven’s Hollow Spring Magic - Spring is in full bloom in Raven’s Hollow, a unique, small town in the Colorado Rockies when a powerful witch’s mother goes missing and her dragon shifter fiancĂ© travels back in time to find her.  Was the antique jelly bean machine to blame? 

 

 

4. What are you working on now? The second book in the Mountain Town Mystery Series.  Security Force of Two was the first book.

 

5. Does your reading choices influence your choice of a writing career? No I don’t think so.  I am kinda eclectic in my reading choices.  I love a good mystery, some contemporary romance, but usually whatever it is has to have magic. Reality is over rated.

 

6. Where can we find you?

Website: https://www.tenastetler.com

Authors’ Secret’s Blog - https://www.tenastetler.com/category/authors-secrets-blog/

My Say What Blog - http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/tenastetler.author

Twitter Page: https://www.twitter.com/TenaStetler  

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14187532.Tena_Stetler

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/author/tenastetler

Newsletter: https://www.tenastetler.com/newsletter-signup/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/tenastetler

Tribber - http://triberr.com/TenaStetler

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tena-stetler

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tenastetler/

Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/tena-stetler-10057978/

 

 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Thursday's Opening Scene from Confronting Erda's Wizards #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #fantasy #jewels #wizards

 Much is demanded of a Healer and inner peace is her only reward. She must seek neither power nor wealth. To walk in the Way is difficult and not all who try will succeed.

When a Healer names a man as Chosen, she must leave the House for she must think only of her craft and those who need her care. If she elects to depart, her knowledge of the healing arts will be stripped from her mind. She will be left with only those skills known to commoners who do not follow the Way.

 

Jindera left the herb storage hut and strode toward the cottage. Clouds dimmed the morning sun, then slid away. The leaves of the oka trees rustled in the summer breeze and the mingled scents of herbals and seasonings swirled around her. The coming of clouds meant a storm approached, but she felt certain no rain would fall this day.

Would the medicinals she would brew from the herbals she’d selected be of any help? She could only hope. All night, she’d fought the fever raging through her mother’s body and had seen no change.

“Mama, why did you leave the Healers’ House?”  Her mother could have remained and raised her children with the sons and daughters of the other Healers. On his tenth birthday, Jindera’s twin would have been sent to his father. But Jindera’s mother had chosen to leave. Love for a man had been her reason.

Tears blurred Jindera’s sight. She had loved her father dearly. His death seven lunars before had brought sadness to a home where love had ruled.

Rays of sunlight glinted on the golden stones of the cottage and brightened the dull yellow of the thatch. Jindera hurried along the garden paths that meandered among the beds of herbals and seasonings.

The plants flourished. Lajin’s touch, she thought. Her brother had only to tend any ailing plant and it thrived. She paused at the cottage door and peered along the road from the village. Her twin should return soon with the staples he’d gone to fetch.

The stench of illness pervaded the room where her mother lay on a narrow cot. Jindera’s breath caught. For a moment, she thought her mother had left this plane without the blessing to release her.

Holding back a sob, Jindera fled to the kitchen to blend a fever potion. She carried the mug of steaming liquid to the sick room and spooned the medicinal into her mother’s mouth. A drop or two fell on the linen sheet and spread like the tears Jindera held inside. She inhaled deeply. She had to hold grief and fear at bay. When the mug was empty, she rested her head on the edge of the mattress and prayed the remedy would work.

She jerked awake. How long had she slept? The light in the room told her ‘twas near midday.

The rasp of labored breathing filled her ears. She felt her own breaths fall into the same pattern. She raised her head and turned toward the door. Where was Lajin? She tried to reach him on the inner path where they could speak in secret. Flight. Fear. What had happened to him? Her hands and body shook. His fear or hers?

Jindera rose and looked outside. The fragrant scents of the garden brought a welcome calmness to her troubled spirit. ‘Twas a false hope. If Mama dies, what will Lajin and I do? Having but sixteen years, they weren’t old enough to hold the land.

She heard a rasping cough and turned back to the cot. Her mother’s eyes were open. A wave of hope spread through Jindera. “Mama.”

“Leave. You. Lajin.  Go soon. Danger comes.”

“We can’t leave you without saying the blessing.”

“Must.”  Racking spasms shook her mother’s body.

“Mama, don’t talk.”

“Must. Once. Three sisters.”

Jindera listened to her mother’s halting words. A grandsire who was a Master Wizard. Mama born on the desert and leaving with her older sister for a Healers’ House. How her two sisters wanted power and schemed to obtain control of others. One who had talent. One who had none. Mama who had talent and wanted love.

 

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Meet the Healers from Nilos #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Fantasy #warriors #seers #healers

 

Join the authors at #MFRWHooks here  http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com   for some great excerpts. Mine is found at eclecticwriter.blogspot.com  Meet the Healers from Nilos.

BLURB:


Return to the world where Midra and Midran rule. The god and goddess have two faces. Midra is Mistrees on the Moon and also Mistress of the Dark. Midran is Lord of light and Lord of shadows. Rons ago, the Three and Three rose, Seer, Warrior, Healer defeated the Lord of Shadows, though remnants of his worshipers remain. As generations pass in the four nomes of the land only a few remain to honor the Mistress. Once again the followers of Midran prevail, leaving trouble to roil beneath the surface. Prophecies abound and many point to change. Will the Three and Three come again?

In Nilos, Healwomen have become only midwives. Their hodara lies in ruins on the bank of the Nilos River in the city of Memphos. Only a few women come for training and remain in the city. Others serve in the highlands and on the desert. The Eldest, she who rules the midwives, sets upon a scheme fo bring the Three to life and to rule the nome.

What will happen when the Eldest sets her plan into action? Will there be just three women or will they find their opposites becoming the fabled Three and Three? Who will rule the changes to come?

Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2021

An evocative fantasy with hints of The Handmaid's Tale, when females are demoted to a servile role in their society. Ms. Walters spins a compelling story of struggle and empowerment. I must try the other books in this series.
Plus that cover is gorgeous!



EXCERPT:

Etan groaned and opened his mouth for another gulp of water. Who? Where was he? He forced his eyes open. The sun stood high in the sky. Grass surrounded him. He knew he’d done that. Then he saw the woman. His eyes widened. Was he looking at himself?

“Who are you?” He noticed a pale yellow camma tearing mouthfuls of grass.

“Geria and who are you?”

“Etan.” He shook his head. “You could be me.”

She nodded. “Besa, my nurse, told me I had a twin. On the day of our birth a priest took my brother away. Are you a priest?”

He drew a deep breath. “The priest died. He asked Ma Nefru to care for me. She trained me as a thief. Then I grew and became a gardener. Why are you here?

“I couldn’t stay at the wadi any longer. My mother is a midwife but she is troubled by evil. When she learned I helped ill people she beat me until I nearly died.”

“Our lives are much the same. Ma Nefru had me beaten and abandoned because I wanted to give food from the garden to homeless children.”

“Where will you go?”

He managed a sitting position. His body didn’t ache as much as he feared. “I thought to the desert to find the woman who gave me away.”

She leaned forward. ‘She would have killed you. Besa told me our mother believed when the priest took you away both would die.”

“Where are you headed?”

She stood and turned a circle and then pointed. “Something pulls me in that direction.”

“Toward the mountains. Why?”

“I don’t know why. First I must go to Memphos and see what supplies I can buy. I’ll also need to find some kind of riding beast.” She pulled a wand from her pack and ran her hands over the length.

His eyes narrowed. “Where did you get that?”

“Besa gave this to me. She said once the wand had a green gem and was carried by a healer.”

Etan leaned closer. “I had one like that but the first time I was caught giving food away, Ma took it.”

She opened her pack. “I have a little food left. Maybe you can help me in the market.”

He nodded. “I could. We might need to find an inn or some place to shelter if the bargaining takes too long. Then you can sell the camma and buy supplies. The beast should bring enough coins to buy all you need. I would go with you to this place that calls you.”

She nodded. “Not being alone would be good and having someone who knows the city will be helpful. Not to mention a brother I have just found.” She shared the remaining food in her pack.

 

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - The Adventure Plot - Opening #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #tip #Adventure Plot #Opening

 The adventure plot ahs some sameness with the Quest plot. These stories usually begin at home. In the Adventure Plot, the character leaves home for various reasons. He or she may be curious about something. There is a motivating force that inspires the character to leave home. This may be reluctant and the character is often forced to leave and head for the unknown world. In some ways, the Adventure Plot reads like a fairy tale with a character leaving safety for some reason. Adventures follow. So these stories open with the character leaving home whether by choice of by being literally thrown out.

 

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Monday, March 20, 2023

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Reading #Writing #Thoughts

 Meander 1 - Reading. Finished the fournew books from BWL and enjoyed three of them. The fourth puzzled me and I couldn't after five chapters decide what the book was about.  Also read severalof Anne Perry's Monk series. Interesting thoughts about law and justice in the book.

Meander 2 - Thoughts - So far since this session began, the Congress has done nothing. We've been watching fools trying to make important things that aren't. Do they care what the majority of the people think. Releasing the tapes of January 6th to a person known not to believe this was more than orderly tourists visiting was a real dumb move by the Speaker. The man needs his mind washed with soap.

Meander 3 - Writing - Am doing a new way of writing the current book since it was already done in Rough Draft and perhaps a draft beyond that. Hopefully I'll have it don in plenty of time. It's the tyoing that holds me behind.

 

My Places

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Sunday, March 19, 2023

Sunday's Book Features Confronting Erda's Wizards #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #fantasy #all ages #mages #jewels


 Two of the Jewels have no Holders and they must be found. The Brotherhood of Wizards also seeks to find them. Jindera is one of the pair and she must escape her cruel uncle. She wishes to find her twin brother taken by the Wizards who will use him in their attempt to destroy the Jewels of Erda. As twins, they can speak via the Inner Path. The Wizards hope to use this.

Mara, is a clanless desert dweller and faces life as the abused plaything of a future clan leader. She flees into an unknown future. On the winds, the crystals call this pair.

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Saturday, March 18, 2023

Books by Priscilla Brown are featured today #BWLAuthor #Finding Billie #Dancing the Reel #Silver Linings




 For mechanic Billie, repairing cars is easier than perking up her love life. https://books2read.com/Finding-Billie


Struggling with a tricky assignment on a wild Scottish island, journalist Jazz's almost literal lifeline is the sexy ferry deckhand. https://books2read.com/Dancing-the-Reel

He almost runs her over, she breaks a shoe in a drain. What can he do but play Prince Charming? https://books2read.com/Silver-Linings

Friday, March 17, 2023

Friday - Priscilla Brown is Visiting and talking about her books #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #romance #Caribbean island #contemporary

 1 Tell me about the book you wish to feature

 contemporary romance Where the Heart Is, set mostly on a  subtropical Caribbean island where he lives and works, and she's visiting on business



2 Where did the idea arise?
from a holiday visit to such an island several years ago (without the romance!)   
 
3 How much research was involved? 
 only about small aircraft

4How long did you take to write the book?
 off and on, about a year

5How long have you bee writing, What is your sun sign
writing again off and on during many years. Sun sign, no idea.

6 Do you stick to one genre or write in a number?
only contemporary romance




Thursday, March 16, 2023

Search For The White Jewel is featured as Thursday's Opening Scene

The black-robed wizard slipped through the doorway leading to the Queen's chamber. He paused and studied the wan woman propped against the black silk pillows. As he approached the bed, his robes rustled.

 The Queen grasped the Black Jewel, symbol of her reign. "Be gone, I say. I have no need of you."

 "Your time has passed. 'Tis time to cede the Jewel to your successor."

  "Not yet." She raised the Black Jewel. Dark rays pulsed in its heart. "Be gone and let me be."

  He evaded the dark beams. "What of the White?"

  She laughed. "Do you think I fear that thing? My sister failed to find the gem. For generations, there has been no sign of its existence. There have been but myths and rumors."

   He smiled. "The White stirs. I sought and I found."

   "Where?" Her eyes narrowed.

   "'Tis where it has always been, waiting for the one who can hold the jewel. But fear not. 'Tis not your battle. Soon you will be gone, and I will have the training of the one who is to follow you. This time there will be no mistakes. As Holder and Chosen, she and I will rule."

   "Be gone, dark wizard." The Queen raised the Black and poured her anger into the gem. Thunder roiled the silent night and a great display of colored lightning brightened the sky above the palace.

     

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Nilos - Meet the Seers #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Fantasy #Seers #Warriors #Healers

 


Join the authors at #MFRWHooks here http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com  for some great excerpts. Mine is found at eclecticwriter.blogspot.com and shows the Seers from Nilos

BLURB:

Return to the world where Midra and Midran rule. The god and goddess have two faces. Midra is Mistrees on the Moon and also Mistress of the Dark. Midran is Lord of light and Lord of shadows. Rons ago, the Three and Three rose, Seer, Warrior, Healer defeated the Lord of Shadows, though remnants of his worshipers remain. As generations pass in the four nomes of the land only a few remain to honor the Mistress. Once again the followers of Midran prevail, leaving trouble to roil beneath the surface. Prophecies abound and many point to change. Will the Three and Three come again?

In Nilos, Healwomen have become only midwives. Their hodara lies in ruins on the bank of the Nilos River in the city of Memphos. Only a few women come for training and remain in the city. Others serve in the highlands and on the desert. The Eldest, she who rules the midwives, sets upon a scheme fo bring the Three to life and to rule the nome.

What will happen when the Eldest sets her plan into action? Will there be just three women or will they find their opposites becoming the fabled Three and Three? Who will rule the changes to come



EXCERPT:

When Koben woke all was dark. During the night he’d been awakened by loud crashes but he’d rolled over. The total darkness of the cave shocked him. Should be morning. He drew his sword and called a flame. His eyes widened. Where the mouth of the cave had been he saw a wall of rock. The noise he’d heard must have been produced by an avalanche.

Trapped. The refuge a grave. His runaway thoughts sent him into a panic. The sword and flame wavered and danced. He drew a deep breath. The sword flame steadied. This wasn’t the time to give up. This problem called for work.

Dianan sat. “We’re trapped.”

“For now.” He hoped his voice showed confidence he didn’t feel. “We need to work.”

“How?” she asked.

“We must start removing rocks and stones from the blockage.

They walked to the wall. She turned. “While you hold the sword aloft, I’ll start. When I tire, we can switch.”

“Sounds good.”

For a time they alternated their jobs. They stacked what they removed on the sides. Twice they nearly started an inward fall.

Dianan dropped a rock on the floor and slumped to the ground. “I have to rest. I ache everywhere.”

Koben nodded. “Makes two of us.” He drank from the flash and wondered how long they would have to work. Would their water hold out? Would they grow too weak and tired to continue? “A short rest.”

“For now.”

“Might be good to concentrate on one area.” He closed his eyes.

When he woke, he felt a light breeze. He sat and saw a small hole had appeared. Dianan moved away from the wall.

“I’ve done all I can for now.” She sank on her blanket. “See what you can do.”


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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Tuesday's Writer's Tip features the Adventure Plot #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Writing #plots #adventure

 The adventure plot and the quest plot have much in common. They also have some differences. The Quest plot is the story of a character in search of a person, place or thing. The Adventure Plot is definitely an action plot.  Sometimes knowing the difference is just a grain of throught.

The Adventure plot focuses on the journey rather than the characters who take the journey. Adventure takes the reader to interesting places and to find interesting exploits. The adventure plot takes the characters to the edge of danger and brings them home.  Will they be changed, perhaps or perhaps not. The adventure plot is all about exploring the unknown and in seeking fortune not found at home.

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Monday, March 13, 2023

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #reading #writing #thoughts

 Meander 1 - Reading - I've finished reading the books for March from BWL. Enjoyed three out of four and that's a fairly good average. The book I had trouble with was confusing and after five chapters, I had no idea what kind of book I was reading. I couldn't read much more and dis a skip and read bit. I won't do a review on this book. That's my choice. Also was back to Monk and Anne Perry for some intense reading.

Meander 2 - Thoughts - No politics this week mainly because I have no idea what's happening in Congress. I'm not sure the ones who serve there have any idea either. Healthwise, I'm feeling some better but I still have fluid in my legs. Not much to do but to follow the directions of the doctor.

Meander 3 - Writing - I now have five chapters written and have three to go. The typing is behind but I'll catch up soon.

My Places

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bid=113639528680724

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Buy Mark

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Sunday, March 12, 2023

Search For The White Jewel is featured today as Sunday's Book

 


When the Holder of the Yellow Jewel dies, her ward Liara believes she will become the new Yellow Holder. The dying word of the elderly woman astonishes the young woman. She will hold the White Jewel. This fabled gem has been lost for years since her mother and her sister fought and her aunt took hold of the Black Jewel.

Liara, accompanied by her foster brother set forth to find the jewel, escaping the soldiers sent by the Queen and Black Jewel Holder. During their escape, Liara meets Valmir who saves her and her foster brother during a shipwreck. During their journey, they meet other holders of the Jewels, including Reena, daughter of the now dead Queen. Though she has the Black Jewel, Reena has no idea how to use the gem.


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Saturday, March 11, 2023

Books by donalee Moulton are featured today as Saturday's Blurbs #Hung Out To Die #Mystery #Blurbs #Rael Brava

 


Three blurbs

 

#1

 

I’m moving full steam ahead up three flights of stairs to my office. Speed is not second nature to me. Given my innate state of being, caution is synonymous with survival. The faster you move, the more likely you are to misstep. Generally, that’s something I can’t risk.

 

I’m reaching for the hallway switch when I notice a light three doors down. That’s Norm Bedwell’s office. And that’s unusual. Our comptroller is typically among the last to arrive. Only a fresh honey crueller from Tim Hortons has ever changed his timeline.

 

I’m running to Norm’s office now, tirade at the ready. The only thing that can prevent the outside security system from working, aside from someone hacking into our server, is if the door doesn’t latch firmly behind the entering employee. A loud audible click lets you know the system is armed, and then you can move forward. Employees are trained to wait for the click; if they don’t, an alarm will sound for two minutes, albeit relatively soft as alarms go. But at this time of day, no one is around to hear it.

 

It must be Norm’s fault, which may mean the system has only been down for minutes if he just arrived. It’s a question I’m tossing at our comptroller even before I’ve stepped inside his office.

 

Norm doesn’t answer.

 

He can’t because he’s swinging from a rope tossed over an open beam (the designer’s brilliant idea), a noose tight around his neck. He’s blue, but not as blue as I believe a dead man should look. This poses a dilemma. I need a few moments to assess my options and identify the safest and most effective course of action. However, I am aware I don’t have the luxury of time. I’ve seen enough Law and Order episodes to know if you don’t call the cops immediately, the delay in time will get noticed, and you’re more likely to find yourself on the suspect list.

 

Dammit. I’m a suspect.

 

 

#2

 

Raynes looks like he’s getting ready to leave. Looks can be deceiving. He lingers for a second. “Have you ever had a donair?”

 

Donairs are a Halifax specialty. Some residents contend this is Nova Scotia’s official food. Aficionados spend a great deal of time discussing the nuances of the dish, thin slices of spiced beef on a warm pita, sprinkled with diced onion and tomato, and swimming in a sweet, garlicky sauce. Or so I’ve been told. To answer Raynes’s question, “No, I’ve never had a donair.”

 

“Let’s go.” He pauses for a split second. “I won’t tell Tiffany.”

 

I’m in. We head to the Donair Queen in Elmsdale, a play, I assume, on the King of Donair in Halifax, where the dish is said to have originated. I let Raynes order for me. “Two donairs,” he says. Apparently, it’s not complicated.

 

The decor is fast food meets comfort food. You order cafeteria-style and either head out or grab a seat. Most people do the former. A few plastic chairs and tables are scattered at the back of the restaurant. Raynes and I stake out a table in the corner. Only one other person is eating inside.

 

For the next 15 minutes, Raynes and I concentrate on demolishing our donair. It’s not as easy as it sounds. The meat, toppings, and sauce are rammed into a loosely folded pita and blanketed with a small piece of tinfoil. No matter where you bite, something falls out or spills over from another place. I see why Raynes grabbed a large handful of napkins.

“What do you think?” Raynes asks when we’ve finally swallowed the last sloppy morsel.

 

“I think I’m in heaven. Let’s do this every week. And if Tiffany finds out, my marriage will be over.” Raynes laughs.

 

It feels casual and natural. And I should know better. “You want something, don’t you?”

 

#3  

 

The parking lot, as usual, is almost empty. It’s a large lot; we need space at the front (and back) for delivery trucks. I walk toward the front gate, counting one black SUV, one silver SUV, one four-door sedan, and maybe a Camry. It’s my mantra. Screw you, Neil Phillips.

 

I am running my card across the security reader when I see it. Orange truck far right tucked almost out of sight. I’m uncertain what to do at this point or what’s expected of me. I always play by the rules, yet I almost sprint back to my car. Somehow my cell phone is in my hand, and I’m dialing Raynes. “We have got to stop meeting like this.” I hear the laughter in his voice.

 

“Orange truck.” I’m almost gasping, moving so quickly back to my car.

 

“Where?” Raynes doesn’t miss a beat. I can hear him scrambling to put clothes on in the background.

 

“It’s in the parking lot. Empty,” I say, anticipating his next question.

 

“I’m on my way. Stay put.”

 

Well, so much for Raynes’s rules. After a few minutes, I get out of my Lexus and casually saunter over to the truck. There’s nothing casual about how I’m feeling. I keep glancing around, expecting someone to jump out of the darkness at any moment. And somehow, I continue moving forward. It’s the scene in every horror movie when audiences yell, “Don’t go there.”

 

I snap a picture of the truck’s license plate and all sides of the vehicle. I even get several pictures of the inside from the driver’s side and the passenger’s side. Each snap, whirr, click is preceded by a furtive glance around the lot. It remains empty.

 

I head back to my car and climb in, wishing I had stopped for coffee. Even a McDonald’s would taste good right about now. And in fairness to the Golden Arches, the coffee is very decent.

 

Turns out, it may be just as well I don’t have any liquid to spill. A lone figure approaches the truck. I feel myself stiffen and straighten, and then I immediately slide down in my seat. I’ve watched enough Law & Order to know what pretend cops do.

 

Raynes is at least 10 minutes out. I’m staying hidden while simultaneously getting a description of the perp (perhaps I watch too much Law & Order) by taking his picture. It is a man.

 

He is now in the truck and slowly backing out of the CCC parking lot. I turn my car on and follow. I honestly don’t know what the hell is wrong with me lately.

 

Buy Marks

 

EBook and Print:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Hung-Riel-Brava-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B0BWFSK9W7/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3A2SPV5F30E7Z&keywords=hung+out+to+die+moulton&qid=1677595724&sprefix=%2Caps%2C86&sr=8-1

 

https://books2read.com/Hung-Out-to-Die

 

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