Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sample Sunday - and More!

Before we launch into this week's sample, I've got two bits of news -- both fun & rewarding in their own ways!

News flash #1: The second book in the Thea Campbell Mystery Series, Levels Of Deception is being readied for publication! Expect to see the cover art soon, some tantalizing bits of story, and when in February (yes, next month!) you can expect to see it hit the virtual shelves!!

News flash #2: The Blog Tour de Force! Don't miss it!! It's fun, easy AND you could win stuff!! A FREE KINDLE with 12 FREE BOOKS! Gift baskets from the twelve participating authors (including me!)! Here's the link to the Blog Tour de Force - Get Loaded! The tour begins on January 17, so mark your calendar!

Now, on to our regular feature.

In today's sample from Death By A Dark Horse, Thea explains the latest bit of drama to her Aunt Vi and Uncle Henry, only to have the conversation take an unexpected turn!

Resting the ice pack against my jaw, I gave a brief sketch of Paul's rescue to an attentive audience. Aunt Vi tipped her head. Her eyes and mouth formed little "Os." Of course I left out the emotional stuff and the Paul-thing after Greg decamped, although I gave Paul credit for his suggestions. Neither did I mention my encounters with Randy. That couldn't be important. No point in adding needless worry.
"Have you called your parents yet?" my aunt asked.
"Please don't tell Mother and Dad. I swear I'll tell them after the police solve this. There's nothing they can do. They'll only worry. Please?"
"They're your parents, love, they have a right to know what's going on."
"I know, but since I'm not involved anymore wouldn't it be better if we tell them after the sheriff solves this? Then they won't worry over nothing. Please, Aunt Vi?" I turned an imploring gaze on Uncle Henry. "Please? It's not like you're not right here."
He ran a hand over his face then studied me for a long moment.
"All right." He flicked a quick glance at Aunt Vi, who shook her head and turned her attention to preparing the tea. "On the condition that, should anything change and you become involved again, they'll be called immediately."
He meant if I were arrested. Good thing I'd left out how close I was to that. I slouched in my chair.
"Thanks. I promise."
Aunt Vi only harrumphed and intently arranged the porcelain tea pot and cups on the table. It was the Spode set with the red rosebuds I bought for her when Jonathan and I flew to Victoria for a weekend last January. If it hadn't been for the shopping and sightseeing, the trip would have been a colossal waste of time.
"It was Blackie's doing, you know," Aunt Vi said pouring the first cup. She handed it to me.
"What was Blackie's doing?" I asked. Talk about a non sequitur.
"At the end of the day, you'll see. He knew." She fixed a cup of tea with milk and handed it to Uncle Henry.
"Blackie knew?" Uncle Henry asked.
"Yes." She passed him the sugar bowl and stirred her tea.
My uncle and I looked at each other. He shrugged minutely. We'd obviously switched subjects, but I wasn't sure what the new subject was. "What did he know?"
Aunt Vi took a deep breath and pursed her lips on the long, slow exhale. Oh. I knew where this was headed but went for the wide-eyed sincere look, anyway.
"He knew you were in trouble, of course. He tried to tell us."
I knew it. She was creating a psychic connection out of a coincidence. I shifted around in my chair.
"You know how close you two are," she said. "Why, he always knows when you're on your way. I've seen him out there in the field stop all at once and gaze into the distance." She did a little impression of Blackie -- freezing as if on point, looking intently in the direction of my house, jaw slack. I had to smile. "See? Just like that. Then he whinnies and goes back to eating. Not five minutes later here you come rolling up the drive. I'm telling you, he knew you needed help today, Thea."
"Don't be ridiculous," I said, taking a swallow of tea. "The next thing you'll be telling me is Blackie can read your Tarot cards."


  1. Loved it. Very natural dialogue. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Susan, DQ me from the Kindle drawing. I own one. But this is such a great book. Thanks for the reminder in the excerpt. You know horses, and Blackie is a character all on his own! Can't wait for Book no. 2 in the series.

  3. Thank you, Linda! They're such fun characters to write!

    Donnell, book #2, Levels Of Deception will be out in February -- toward the end of the month. I'll be posting excerpts before long!