The Lost Great Dane by B.L. Blair

The Lost and Found Pets Mysteries, Book #1

Cozy Mystery

Date Published: December 1, 2016

 

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The Lost Great Dane is the first novella in the Lost and Found Pets series.
Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in
finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a
job.

While looking for a lost cat, Alex finds a weak and injured Great Dane. The
dog has no collar, no tags, and no microchip. And the only person looking
for him is a man who might have murdered his own wife.

Within 24 hours, Alex has a hunted dog, a cryptic message, and a hitman
after her. She realizes the only way out of this mess is to solve the
mystery of the lost Great Dane.

 

 

Excerpt

“You have got to be kidding me,” I said, staring at the small hole in the chain-link fence. The little bit of grass on the other side was mostly dead, and the yard was full of debris. There was an old building not far from the fence that appeared to have been a small barn at one time. An abandoned pickup truck was nearby, but there wasn’t a house or other livable structure. The ground was damp and muddy as it had recently rained. I glanced down at my new, expensive tennis shoes before looking at my companion.

“Are you sure?” I asked. The only response was a sharp bark and pawing on the ground. Hero is a trained search-and-rescue dog, and he is very good at his job. He barked a second time and sat by the fence. I leaned over and gave him a brisk pat. “Okay, give me just a minute.”

Retrieving my cell phone from the pocket of my jeans, I placed a call. Although the property looked deserted, I wasn’t about to go traipsing around without verification. Claire answered on the first ring.

“Lost and Found Pets. This is Claire. How may I help you?”

Claire is my complete opposite. She is short and just a little chubby. She has long blond hair, pretty blue eyes, and a sweet smile. Her bubbly personality comes through with every word she speaks. She is friendly, kind, and supportive. How the two of us became friends is still a mystery to me.

“I need you to do a property search,” I said as soon as she finished her greeting. “Hero found Mr. Fluffy’s trail, but it leads to a fenced property.”

“What’s the address?”

I gave her the particulars and waited while she performed the search. Mr. Fluffy was the lost cat that I was currently trying to locate. The Lost and Found Pets agency tries to live up to its name. We attempt to find lost pets.

I have always loved animals, and I discovered that there was a need for someone to look for lost pets. People love their animal companions. They are willing to pay a great deal of money to find their furry friend. Our clientele consists mostly of those who have money to burn and prefer someone else do all the work. They may be young, up-and-coming professionals who want someone to come home to but don’t have the time to search for them should they get lost, or the elderly whose loss of a pet upsets them so much they have difficulty navigating a basic search for an animal. We also get clients who have exhausted all their own resources and turn to us as a last resort. Lost and Found Pets is a licensed private investigations firm. We are just very specialized.

“It looks like the last owner died about three years ago, and the property hasn’t been claimed. There are a couple of years of back taxes on the books but nothing else. I’m surprised no one has claimed it yet. It’s in a prime spot.”

“Okay, that’s what I needed to know. Thanks, Claire.”

Hero and I were standing on what was probably once a gravel road. Now it was just a large opening dividing several acres of land. I couldn’t see a gate or opening anywhere. It was probably on the other side of the property. If we went around, Hero might have lost Mr. Fluffy’s scent so I reached into my backpack and pulled out a pair of wire cutters. Searching for lost pets often takes me to hard-to-reach places. I carry a whole arsenal of tools. I made quick work of the fence. Hero bounded through first. He is a large brown German Shepherd, but I had to cut the fence even more before I could squeeze through.

After stepping through the fence, I gave Hero the command, and he took off running. I followed a little more slowly, hoping to avoid the muddier areas. Hero headed to the back of the barnlike structure. It was small and falling down. Whoever had owned the place hadn’t done any work on it in years. I heard Hero bark and sped up my pace. When I rounded the corner, I saw at once that I didn’t need to hurry.

“Damn it,” I said softly as I approached the doorway to the barn. The poor cat was dead. His collar had caught on a nail, and it looked like he might have choked to death. There were signs of a struggle. His collar was torn in places, but he hadn’t managed to tear it completely. Mr. Fluffy had been an indoor cat, and his collar was pretty but not designed to break away or stretch. He hadn’t been dead long as his body was still intact. The owners had only realized he was missing that morning. They contacted me midday after a brief search. It was a very typical scenario.

About 50 percent of the time, we are able to find the lost animal. Unfortunately, sometimes we find them too late. Like now. I blinked back tears as I pulled a plastic container from my backpack and gently placed Mr. Fluffy inside. Most of my clients don’t want to see their dead pet, but sometimes they need proof that the animal is actually gone. Hero whined softly. I handed him a treat, which he took but ate slowly, giving me a sad look. I rubbed his head.

“I know, boy. Me too.”

About the Author

B. L. Blair writes mystery/romance stories. Like most authors, she has been
writing most of her life and has dozens of books started. She just needs the
time to finish them.

She is the author of the Leah Norwood Mysteries and the Lost and Found Pets
Mystery Novellas. She loves reading books, writing books, and traveling
wherever and as often as time and money allows. She is currently working on
her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.

 

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A Wider World by Karen Heenan

The Tudor Court, Book Two

Historical Fiction

Release Date: April 25, 2021

Publisher: Authors 4 Authors Publishing

Memories are all he has…

Now they could save his life.

Returning to England after almost five years in exile, Robin Lewis is arrested and charged with heresy by the dying Queen Mary. As he is escorted to the Tower of London, Robin spins a tale for his captor, revisiting his life under three Tudor monarchs and wondering how he will be judged—not just by the queen, but by the God he stopped serving long ago.

When every moment counts, will his stories last long enough for him to be saved by Mary’s heir, the young Queen Elizabeth?

Other Book in the The Tudor Court Series:

Songbird

The Tudor Court, Book One

Publisher: Authors 4 Authors Publishing

Published: November 2019

She has the voice of an angel…

But one false note could send her back to her old life of poverty.

After her father sells her to Henry VIII, ten-year-old Bess builds a new life as a royal minstrel, and earns the nickname “the king’s songbird.”

She comes of age in the decadent Tudor court, where the stakes are always high, and where politics, heartbreak, and disease threaten everyone from the king to the lowliest musician.

Her world has only one constant: Tom, her first and dearest friend. But when Bess intrigues with Anne Boleyn and strains against the restrictions of life at court, will she find that constancy has its limits?

You’ll love this richly-detailed historical novel, because we all want to know what goes on “backstairs at the palace.”

Amazon

About the Author


Karen Heenan was born and raised in Philadelphia. She fell in love with books and stories before she learned to read and has wanted to write for nearly as long. After far too many years in a cubicle, she set herself free to follow her dreams—which include gardening, sewing, traveling, and of course, lots of writing. She lives in Lansdowne, PA, not far from Philadelphia, with four cats and a very patient husband.

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How to Buy a House by Yvonne Aileen

Vital Real Estate Strategy for the First Time Home Buyer

Non-Fiction, Self-Help, How-to, Home Buying

Published: March 2021

Publisher: 800 Muses

Want to buy a house but don’t have a down payment and think you can’t qualify? Keep reading!

You’re not alone, and it’s not hopeless. Yes, rent keeps going up, making it difficult to save. And even though interest rates are great, housing prices keep ratcheting upward, moving further out of reach. And maybe your credit score could be better. It may feel like there’s a big clock ticking double-time and you’re starting to wonder if you’ll ever be able to afford your own home. But you don’t want to be shut out of the market. The best time to buy a house? Yesterday. Second best? Today. You need to take the right steps right now to get in the game.

Discover why not every lender is created equal, how to talk the language of real estate so you can converse on an even playing field. Discover the loan programs that offer no and low down payment options, favorable rates, and easy qualifying.

Authored by a 20-year real estate veteran and national instructor of real estate courses, How to Buy a House will show you:

Every step of the home buying process from question mark to keys

Relatively unknown mortgage loans that are super easy to get

How to get your down payment gifted to you

Why you should never take no from a lender as final

Why your credit score doesn’t matter as much as you’ve been told

Creative ways to find a house you can afford

Negotiation secrets that will save you thousands

A government program that lets certain buyers buy at a 50% discount with only $100 down

Soon you’ll know exactly how to get qualified, get help with financing, negotiate like a pro, and buy a house.


About The Author

Yvonne Aileen (YvonneAileenRealty.com) is a 20-year real estate broker with a passion for expanding homeownership opportunities for those who want it. It all started with a beach walk while living on Maui for two years: She noticed some trash near the entrance and was placing it in a bin when a voice behind her said, “Thank you.” She turned to see a car parked at the entrance that had in it two people: a man and a woman, each in their seats, blankets pulled up to their chins, and all of their worldly possessions in the back seat behind them. They were locals; they had slept in their car, they lived in their car, and yet half the homes on Maui were empty 10 months out of the year. That’s when Yvonne began to educate herself on buyer-friendly loan programs for low and moderate income people. She connected with financing experts, attended affordable housing summits, and finally decided to write a book about it to help more people. That book is How to Buy a House.

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Journey by Gary V. Brill

The Story of an American Family

Historical Fiction

Published: December 2020

We hold these truths to be self-evident…not all men are created equal.

In 1814, James Woodman lives in Washington, DC, as a free black man who owns a business. As a member of the District militia, James fights to save the Constitution from destruction by the British and joins the battle at Fort McHenry, where he witnesses the flag flying over the ramparts.

Fifteen years later, James’s story continues at his farm in Gettysburg. Here, James will again fight for freedom, this time for those attempting to escape via the Underground Railroad. But the slave hunters are savvy, and soon James’s entire family is in danger of kidnapping and death. Faced with brutality and injustice, James embarks upon the battle of his life. Can he help others gain freedom even while his own is in jeopardy?

Journey is the raw, haunting tale of one man’s determination to defend his freedom and offers a powerful parallel with the present day.


About The Author


After wandering the world as a free lance pilot for thirty years I found myself in Budapest where my wife ran a radio network for an American company and I played Blues guitar in clubs around town, raised the kids and wrote. Back in the US now with my wife in the Charlotte area, still writing and playing guitar.

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Dead in a Dumpster

Leah Norwood Mysteries, Book #1

Cozy Mystery

Date Published: September 23, 2014

When Leah Norwood finds the body of Isabel Meeks in the dumpster behind her store, she can’t believe the police consider her a suspect. Sure, she didn’t like Isabel, but then again, neither did anyone else. Isabel had a condescending attitude and a bad reputation. As manager of the antique store, Patina, she had made a lot of enemies.

There is Patina’s assistant manager, the handsome and charming Trent. Isabel was blackmailing him. There is Patina’s owner, the aloof and influential Anthony Thorpe. Isabel was smuggling drugs through his store. And there is the entire drug dealing Cantono family. Isabel had lost a box containing heroin from one of their shipments. That is just to name a few and didn’t even include the stranger who was seen arguing with Isabel just hours before her death.

The police have too many suspects and too many soft alibis. Leah needs to prove to the sexy new chief of police that she had nothing to do with Isabel’s death.

Leah loves a good mystery. Can she find the killer before the police arrest her for murder?

Excerpt

We walked to the end of the hall and then turned left. This hallway was shorter and only contained three doors. Captain Reddish opened the first one. I followed him in and then stopped abruptly. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting. A conference room, maybe, or another office. What I got was an interrogation room. It looked a lot like something you would see on a television police show. It was a small square room with a table in the middle and two chairs on either side. There was no mirrored window, but I did see a camera mounted in one corner.

My heart started pounding, and my mouth went dry. What the hell was going on? I wondered. Was I going to be interrogated? And if so, why? Suspects were interrogated not witnesses. I had told the police everything I knew last night. I thought today was just a formality. I tried to swallow but choked a little and coughed instead. I looked at Reddish. He took a step toward the table and tossed the folder in front of one of the chairs. He motioned toward the chair opposite and said, “Have a seat.”

Hesitantly, I took a step forward but stopped when he said, “I’m going to get some coffee. Would you like anything?”

I shook my head, and he walked out the door leaving me alone. I decided if he was offering me coffee, it couldn’t be that bad. Breathing deeply, I sat down. Maybe they didn’t have any conference rooms or empty offices. My nerves settled down as I stared at the folder a minute wondering if I had time to read it before Reddish got back. It had Isabel’s name on it. I glanced briefly at the camera on the wall and decided not to risk it.

A movement by the door caught my attention. I glanced over as Alexander Griggs stepped into the room. He looked at me and gave me a half smile. The indentation on the right side of his mouth deepened just a little. His intense green eyes pinned me to the seat. My heart started pounding again. Only this time, it wasn’t out of fear. I tried not to fidget as he walked over to the chair next to Reddish’s and pulled it out. What was it about this man that affected me so? He placed the chair parallel to the table and sat down. “How are you, Ms. Norwood?”

“Fine,” I replied and was pleased to note that my voice was steady and clear.

Reddish returned with two cups of coffee. He didn’t seem surprised that Griggs was present so I assumed he was expected. Reddish closed the door, handed one of the cups to Griggs, and sat in the chair opposite me before opening the folder. He took out a piece of paper and then looked up at me.”

“We have a few more questions for you, Ms. Norwood.”

“Okay,” I said cautiously.

“You stated that the last time you saw Ms. Meeks alive was when you went to confront her about the delivery truck. Is that correct?”

I paused a minute. I hadn’t used the words confront her, although that is what had happened. Swallowing hard, I tried not to sound defensive. “I last saw Isabel alive when I went to ask her to have the delivery truck moved.”

“Ask her?” Reddish said looking at me.

“Well, maybe, I didn’t actually ask.”

“I see. So what did you do?”

I didn’t like his tone, but I answered anyway. “I told her that the delivery truck was parked in my space, and she needed to have it moved.”

“According to Mr. Thorpe, you threatened to call the police.”

I looked at Reddish and then at Griggs. Both men looked back at me with no expression on their faces. It was like looking at two stone figures. I wasn’t really sure what was going on, but I was beginning to get a little nervous. Was I really a suspect? I took another deep breath before answering.

“Yes, I threatened to call the police. Isabel was refusing to have the truck moved so I told her that I would report the driver as trespassing.”

“But you didn’t,” Reddish said, his tone dry.

“No, I didn’t need to. Mr. Thorpe had Trent get the driver to move the truck.”

Reddish consulted his notes. “So even though the truck was moved, you were still angry.”

“Yes, I was angry,” I said carefully. I was beginning to think I might need to stop talking. They hadn’t read me my rights, but I didn’t know how much of what I said could be used against me at this point. Did I need to ask for a lawyer?

“Is that why you threatened her?” Reddish asked.

“What?” I squeaked. “I didn’t threaten her.”

“According to a witness, you were angry and threatened the victim. Specifically, you said ‘I think it’s time for someone to teach Isabel a lesson, and I’m just the one to do it’.”

Candace. Of course, Candace told the police what I said. She probably told the whole town. I sat back in my chair, stomach churning, mouth dry, fear racing through me. I looked at Reddish again. He just sat there waiting.

“Okay, so maybe I threatened her,” I whispered, “but I didn’t mean that I was going to kill her. I was angry. We all say things when we’re angry.”

“If you didn’t plan to kill her, then what were you threatening to do?”

“I don’t know,” I said looking back and forth between Reddish and Griggs. This couldn’t be happening. What was I going to do? I wasn’t a criminal. I didn’t even drive over the speed limit very often. “I was thinking something along the lines of letting all the air out of her tires.”

Griggs snorted, but when I looked at him, his face was remote. He didn’t say anything, just took a sip of his coffee. Reddish watched me, eyes narrowed, a shade of distrust on his face. He nodded decisively and went for the kill.

“Ms. Norwood, do you own a gun?”

Shit. It was definitely time for a lawyer.

About the Author

B. L. Blair writes mystery/romance stories. Like most authors, she has been writing most of her life and has dozens of books started. She just needs the time to finish them.

She is the author of the Leah Norwood Mysteries and the Lost and Found Pets Mystery Novellas. She loves reading books, writing books, and traveling wherever and as often as time and money allows. She is currently working on her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.

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Facebook

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