CELTICLADY'S REVIEWS   

08 December, 2016

The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald Audiobook Tour!




Author: Betty MacDonald

Narrator: Heather Henderson

Length: 9 hours

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press⎮2015

Genre: Humor, Memoir

synopsis
When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild. With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine at night, the MacDonalds had barely a moment to put their feet up and relax. And then came the children. Yet through every trial and pitfall – through chaos and catastrophe – this indomitable family somehow, mercifully, never lost its sense of humor. A beloved literary treasure for more than half a century, Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I is a heartwarming and uproarious account of adventure and survival on the American frontier.
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  author-bio
 

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters. MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island). Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona. 
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Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts. Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire; and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine. She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of AudioEloquence.com, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry. In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.
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     tour-schedule 
Nov. 20: From the TBR Pile (Spotlight) 
Nov. 21: Printcess (Review & Giveaway) 
Nov. 22: Book Journey (Review, Interview & Giveaway) 
Nov. 23: The Pursuit of Bookishness (Audio Excerpt, Spotlight & Giveaway) 
Nov. 24: A Page To Turn (Audio Excerpt & Spotlight) 
Nov. 25: Nov. 26: He Said Books Or Me (Review) 
Nov. 27: Field of Bookish Dreams (Audio Excerpt, Spotlight & Giveaway) 
Nov. 28: Que Sera Sara (Spotlight & Giveaway) 
Nov. 29: Terri Luvs Books (Review) 
Nov. 30: Never Anyone Else (Review & Giveaway) 
Dec. 1: Dab of Darkness (Review, Interview & Giveaway) 
Dec. 2: Jorie Loves A Story (Review) 
Dec. 3: Ali The Dragon Slayer (Review & Giveaway) 
Dec. 4: Never 2 Many 2 Read (Review & Giveaway) 
Dec. 5: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview) 
Dec. 6: Terri Luvs Books (Interview & Giveaway) 
Dec. 7: Chapter Break (Interview) 
Dec. 8: Celtic Lady's Reviews (Spotlight) 
Dec. 9: Bound 4 Escape (Review & Giveaway) 
Dec. 10: Avid Book Collector (Review, SpotlightGiveaway)                         ABW Promos3

06 December, 2016

Hit Man, Book Three: Deadliest Lies Series by Michele Mannon Book Blitz!


HIT MAN, Book Three: Deadliest Lies Series
Michele Mannon
RELEASE DAY: December 6th.
Blurb:
An attraction so deadly. Passionate. Arrogant. Relentless. Diego is a woman’s wet dream and a husband’s nightmare. He’s a killer who seduced me…over and over again. He’s the only person who seems to understand the dark, dangerous world I’ve stumbled into. Is he out to save me or am I merely a pawn in a deadly game he’s been playing?
Synopsis
He always gets what he wants.
The seasoned seducer, who probably charms the panties off of every woman he meets. Diego is handsome. Arrogant. Dangerous. Far more dangerous than anyone I've ever met. And with one look from across a crowded room he has me; hook line and sinker, I'm his for the night.
Diego is not a man to mess with, I know that. I just can't seem to resist his kiss, his touch. But can I trust him with my heart, with my body?
I'm being hunted for something I may or may not have seen, and Diego is my only way out of a world of death and destruction.
If only I can believe his dark promises. 
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AUTHOR INFO:
Michele Mannon creates characters who are far from perfect; who are likely to be knee-deep in trouble, heart-first in love and at wits’ end when life unexpectedly, unequivocally turns to hell. Her debut series, Worth the Fight, received two Romantic Times Magazine Top Picks.
Hit Man is the third book in her sexy romantic suspense series, Deadliest Lies and features the most seductive “big-boom” mercenary of them all…Diego.
Michele lives in Pennsylvania but likes traveling to exotic places, including the NJ shore. She’s fond of Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes, quick-witted, Irish-accented men, a good story, and lots and lots of laughter.
For more information about Michele, please visit her website: http://www.michelemannon.com
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The Pawn by Skye Warren Book Blitz!

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Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl's college to take care of the only family I have left. There's one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value. My virginity. A forbidden auction... Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he's the only kindness in a brutal underworld. Except he's playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing. 

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
 THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. It's the first book in the brand new ENDGAME series. 

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Excerpt

“Kinky stuff,” Gabriel says, the corner of his mouth turned up. “What do you know about kinky stuff?”
My face feels hot. “I’ve seen the movie, okay? I know about things.”
That’s a lie. I squirmed through the movie, lips parted in shock. How did people think of this stuff? Why would any girl like it? And I’m not just a random face in this city. My picture has appeared in the society papers. People know my father. Maybe some of the men were cheated by him, just like Gabriel. Would they want to hurt me in revenge?
“Tell me what you know,” Gabriel says.
The words are mocking, but something sparks inside me. “I know that some men like to hurt women. I know it makes them feel big and strong to hurt someone weaker.”
“And are you weak, little virgin?”
No, I want to say. Except I’ve lost everything in the past two months. My life, my school. My friends. I’m a shadow of my former self. Little virgin makes me fight back, though. Gabriel makes me fight back. “I’m doing what I have to do. Is that weak?”

His gaze flickers over my body, the yellow of his eyes brighter in the lamp’s glow. When he meets my eyes, there’s a begrudging respect.
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 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.
Website: http://www.skyewarren.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skyewarren
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skyewarrenbooks/  

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Cat in the Flock by Lisa Brunette December 6, 2016 Book Blast & on Tour March 1-30, 2017!



Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Sky Harbor Press
Publication Date: December 27th 2014
Number of Pages: 197
ISBN: 0986237701 (ISBN13: 9780986237706)
Series: Dreamslippers #1

Synopsis:

Cat in the Flock by Lisa BrunetteA sexy murder-mystery with a spiritual edge.
For most people, dreams are a way to escape reality. But for Cat McCormick, they're a way to get closer to the truth. Cat can 'slip' into other people's dreams.
After graduating college with a degree in criminal justice but little in the way of real-life experience, Cat moves from the Midwest to Seattle to apprentice with her Granny Grace, who shares the ability. Granny uses dreamslipping as a private investigator, and Cat plans to follow in her footsteps.
But forced to take work as a security guard, Cat discovers a mother and daughter on the run. Following the clues, she goes undercover in a Midwestern megachurch, where she finds redemption and goodwill amidst repression, hypocrisy, and murder.

Praise:

"A fascinating tale of mystery, romance, and what one woman's dreams are made of. Brunette will keep you awake far into the night.” -- Mary Daheim, bestselling author of the Bed-and-Breakfast and Emma Lord/Alpine mysteries
"Already hooked, this reader intends further sojourns in Cat's dreamslipping world. Highly recommended." -- Frances Carden, Readers Lane
"Gripping, sexy and profound, CAT IN THE FLOCK is an excellent first novel. Lisa Brunette is an author to enjoy now and watch for the future.” -- Jon Talton, author of the David Mapstone Mysteries, the Cincinnati Casebooks and the thriller Deadline Man
"A little Sue Grafton and a dose of Janet Evanovich… is just the right recipe for a promising new series.” -- Rev. Eric O'del
"The launch of an intriguing female detective series... A mystery with an unusual twist and quirky settings; an enjoyable surprise for fans of the genre." -- Kirkus Reviews

Don't Miss Your Chance to Purchase Cat in the Flock at Amazon , at Barnes & Noble , & Add it To Your List on Goodreads !

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

Sherrie marched into her daughter’s bedroom and dragged a child-sized roller bag suitcase out of the closet. The girl stood in the middle of the room, still in her pajamas. Milk from breakfast had dried around the edges of her lips.
“Ruthie,” the mother said. “I need you to get dressed. We’re going to take a…trip.” Sherrie tried to make her voice sound cheery, but the desperation she felt came through in her tone.
“What’s wrong, Mommy?”
Sherrie set the suitcase on the bed. The bubble- gum pink had once seemed innocent but now looked fleshy and indecent. She glanced at the clock over the bed. He’d been golfing for a good fifteen minutes by now, long enough for her to make sure he didn’t come back for a favorite club or the right gloves. She wanted to be on that morning flight by the time he got home and discovered them gone.
She flung open the chest of drawers and grabbed all of the girl’s socks and underwear, a pair of corduroy pants, black cotton tights, a sweater the color of a Midwestern sky. Nothing pink. Only warm things. Seattle in her memory was cold and wet. It was a grey city; grey clouds over grey buildings. Even the water was grey.
One doll would fit. Made of cloth, it could be folded in on itself and slid down the backside of the suitcase.
“Can I bring the ballerina skirt?”
Any other day, she would have corrected her daughter, who needed to learn the precise names of things. Tutu. There it was in the closet, hanging because it took up too much room in the drawer. She yanked it free, sending the hanger to the floor. Ordinarily, she would pick that up; her house was so clean it hurt her eyes with its spareness—as if theirs were a showroom house, not lived in. She left the hanger there, aware of the thrill this fraction of disobedience gave her. She shoved everything into the little pink case, but with the fluffy tulle taking up so much space, the zipper would not close. The choice was clear. The doll would be a comfort to Ruthie in Seattle, but the tutu would not.
“We’ll come back for this later,” she said, tossing the tutu onto the bed. The zipper closed, the sound of it satisfying.
“No, Mommy!” Ruthie stomped her foot. “I want it now!”
“Then you’re going to have to wear it. Now get dressed while I pack my clothes.” But she felt a pang of guilt for her reprimanding tone, and for having to leave the tutu. Bending down, she used her thumb to wipe some of the milk crust from her daughter’s face. “I’ll let you wear anything you want on this trip, okay, sweetheart? And clean your face with the cloth in the bathroom, like Mommy showed you.”
The girl nodded, as if sensing this was not the time for a tantrum.
Sherrie’s own packing, she did with even less consideration. Under things, shirts. A fleece hoodie. Warm socks. She remembered she needed layers in Seattle. Sometimes it could seem warm even though it rained and the sun had not come out for weeks. Her keepsakes in their tiny, locked chest would not fit. They were the only things she had to remind herself of her life before this, but she would have to leave them behind.
Sherrie kept watch on the clock and glanced out the window twice to make sure his car wasn’t out front even though she knew he wouldn’t be home for another hour. The sun had risen blood-red over the cornfields in the distance, lighting them as if on fire. She’d miss that. And she thought of thunderstorms, which seemed never to occur in Seattle. She’d miss those, too.
Ruthie appeared in the doorway. Her face was clean, but none of her clothes matched. She was wearing pink high-tops that seemed wrong for the city they were going to, the situation, and everything else, but she had apparently decided not to wear the tutu.
“Time to leave.” She took the girl’s hand, promising to herself she’d never let go.

Author Bio:

Lisa BrunetteLisa was born in Santa Rosa, California, but that was only home for a year. A so-called "military brat," she lived in nine different houses and attended nine different schools by the time she was 14. Through all of the moves, her one constant was books. She read everything, from the entire Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mystery series to her mother's books by Daphne DuMaurier and Taylor Caldwell.
A widely published author, game writer, and journalist, Lisa has interviewed homeless women, the designer of the Batmobile, and a sex expert, to name just a few colorful characters. This experience, not to mention her own large, quirky family, led her to create some truly memorable characters in her Dreamslippers Series and other works, whether books or games.
Always a vivid dreamer, not to mention a wannabe psychic, Lisa feels perfectly at home slipping into suspects’ dreams, at least in her imagination. Her husband isn’t so sure she can’t pick up his dreams in real life, though.
With a hefty list of awards and publications to her name, Lisa now lives in a small town in Washington State, but who knows how long that will last…

Lisa publishes a bimonthly newsletter. Sign up and receive a free book!

You can also visit Lisa on her Website  on Twitter  & at Facebook 

Visit these other Sites for More in this December 6 2016 Book Blast:


Plus Join Us In March 2017:

We'll be touring Cat in the Flock by Lisa Brunette with great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and MORE GIVEAWAYS!

Enter For Your Chance to WIN!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Lisa Brunette. There will be 2 winners of one (1) eBook copy of Cat in the Flock by Lisa Brunette. The giveaway begins on December 5th and runs through December 13th, 2016.
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First Degree Mudder by Kate Dyer-Seeley Book Tour with Giveaway!

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First Degree Mudder (A Pacific Northwest Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (November 29, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496705099
E-Book ASIN: B01CMGS41G
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Synopsis

When a mud marathon champion bites the dust, Meg Reed has to go the distance to make sure a killer comes clean . . .
Back home in Portland, Oregon, Meg is ready to take her career as an outdoor writer for Extreme magazine to the next level. Lesser journalists sling mud—Meg plans to run through it. To train hard for Mud, Sweat & Beers, an extreme 5K mud run, she’s signed on with the Mind Over Mudder team, run by ten-time mud marathon champ—and former drill sergeant—Billy the Tank. But when Meg finds her tenacious trainer dead in the locker room, she has a sinking feeling someone may have been pushed too far. Digging through the hidden secrets at Mind Over Mudder is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Meg will have to tread carefully, though—or she may soon be running for her life . . .
Fort Vancouver National Park
Old Army Barracks
My feet squished inside my drenched kicks as I limped through the damp grass. I’d like to give Billy a swift kick in the shins, I thought cranking the volume on my phone to high. Maybe Dean Martin’s “King of the Road” would give me a final boost. Doubtful. I didn’t feel like the king or queen of the road. Quite the opposite.
The rest of my Mind Over Mudder teammates were nowhere in sight. Thank God. I checked behind me twice, just to make sure. I probably could have taken the shortcut straight to the barracks, but I didn’t want to risk being seen. That might have been a mistake. The historic grounds gave off an eerie aura, especially the dilapidated army hospital Building 614, to my left. It was rumored to be haunted. I understood why. Built in 1904 during an influenza outbreak, the three-story brick building had served hundreds of infantry men over the decades.
I shuddered to imagine the torture some of them must have endured. Was that a moan? A prickly feeling ran down my spine.
I think that’s a moan, I said aloud as I glanced up at the broken top story windows. Something ghoulish floated past.
Run, Meg!
I willed myself forward, ignoring the blisters on my heels or the chafing under my sports bra. It felt like I was breathing under water. I didn’t care. I crested the hill and turned onto Evergreen Boulevard.
Relax, Meg. It’s just your mind playing tricks on you. I had read one too many ghost stories when researching the history of Fort Vancouver and its surrounding grounds. The hospital had been abandoned for years, but people swore that things were amiss. Faucets were said to turn on in the middle of the night, bathroom doors banged shut for no reason, faces, like the one I’d just seen, appeared out of nowhere in the windows. The place was haunted. Definitely haunted.
You’re fine now, I told myself, slowing my pace.
I followed the flour on the sidewalk that marked the route of our pre-dawn run. It took us past the Fort’s parade grounds complete with an old-fashioned bandstand and Officer’s Row—a row of stately Victorian officer’s houses. That’s when I saw the creepy old lady again. I’d seen her watching us from her ground floor apartment before. The twenty-two stately mansions that make up Officer’s Row were now used for a variety of purposes. The Grant House had become one of Vancouver’s premier restaurants and the Marshall House a favorite spot for weddings. The remaining properties had been converted into commercial and residential space.
Yesterday when I jogged past the creepy old lady’s apartment she peeled back one lace curtain and watched me and my teammates. It was unsettling to say the very least.
I stopped to tie my shoe under an ancient oak. Its leaves looked parched from summer’s endless sun. My throat commiserated with the tree. I could use an ice-cold glass of water right about now. Pushing myself to standing all the hairs on my arms stood at attention as a creaking sound came from the creepy old lady’s front door. She appeared out of nowhere on the wraparound porch.
Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Where had she come from? I jumped back in surprise. Her glassy eyes bore into me. She wore a faded pink bathrobe and appeared to have been old enough to be one of the original members of the Hudson Bay Company.
“Hi.” I offered a tentative wave.
She didn’t move.
I tried again. “Good morning.”
Her eyes remained locked on me, but she gave no indication that she’d heard my greeting.
Was she a ghost?
I had no intention of waiting around to find out. I plowed ahead, crossing Evergreen Boulevard, and practically hurdling the waist-high wooden fence that ran the length of the grassy parade grounds. My feet revolted as I stumbled down the hill. It felt like someone was sanding my heels with sandpaper.
Pick up the pace, Meg.
The only thing that kept me upright was the promise of a hot shower and the fact that a ghost might be in hot pursuit. I needed to get to the barracks and get out of these shoes. Mud and sweat oozed from every pore. Thankfully, I’d learned my lesson after the first day on the training course and ditched my cute pink tank top and capris for old raggedy sweats and a t-shirt. Everything ended up discolored from the mud. There was no point in trying to look cute while under Billy the Tank’s watchful eye and blaring bullhorn.
I cut through the grass, something Billy definitely frowned on. “Reed!” he bellowed in his bullhorn when he caught me sneaking around the back of the barracks last week. “When you take a shortcut you’re only cheating yourself.”
That was fine by me. I happily owned cheating on myself.
There was a single light on in the otherwise deserted collection of buildings down the hill. The reserve encompassed three hundred and sixty-six acres of land. It included Fort Vancouver, Pearson Airfield and Museum, the barracks, Army hospital, Red Cross building, Officer’s Row, an old chapel, stables, and non-commissioned officer’s houses. The grounds are considered the Pacific Northwest’s most important historical site. And this morning I couldn’t shake the feeling that there were whispers from the past surrounding me.
My target was the barracks’ building where the single light glowing golden yellow looked like a welcoming beacon. Billy and his business partner Dylan had leased the barracks to use as base camp for their three-week intensive training class Mind Over Mudder. They promised that by the end of the session (If you survived, which at the moment looked doubtful for me) that not only would you be in “fighting shape” to finish a mud run, but that you’d also drop pounds and pant sizes. So far the scale hadn’t budged when I stepped on it, and I was so exhausted at the end of the day that I felt like dropping dead.
Using the wooden railing, I placed one hand over the other and slowly hauled my body up the ramp. The rotting wooden slats buckled. Please hold, I said a silent prayer to the Universe. The last thing I needed was to crash through the ramp.
Compared with the other buildings the barracks were in great shape. Everything had sat empty since the army abandoned its post in Vancouver decades earlier. The National Park, along with a trust, had begun renovations on the massive site. The barracks were first on the list, and Mind Over Mudder the first and only tenant at the moment. A sharp splinter lodged itself in my palm. It protruded from my mud-chapped skin. I stopped and yanked it free. Ouch!
Yet another reason to love this training program, I sighed as I opened the front door and stumbled inside. Every muscle in my body quaked. Billy had promised us that muscle pain was a sign that our metabolism was revving up and we were replacing fat with muscles. “Embrace the quakes” was his motto. Easy for him to say. Billy aka “the Tank” was the fittest person I’d ever met. That was saying a lot given that I write for Northwest Extreme Magazine and am constantly surrounded by hard bodied adventure junkies.
Billy instructed us to call him Tank on the first day of training. He looked like a tank. His stout body bulged with muscle mass. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on his body. Let’s just say that he was a bit intimidating when he sounded the whistle around his neck, wearing skin tight army shorts and a sleeveless shirt specifically designed to show off his enormous muscles.
I scanned the dimly lit hallway to make sure the Tank wasn’t there. By my estimate the rest of my teammates should be on the course for another thirty minutes. That should give me ample time to shower, soak my aching soles, and hightail it out of here before anyone was the wiser. I clicked off my music, tugged my earbuds out, and clutched my phone in the hand without the splinter.
The barracks have an ominous vibe even when they’re packed with my teammates and coaches. Shuffling down the long empty hallway made it feel even creepier. Like the army hospital the barracks are said to be haunted. The top floor was used for gun testing. There are still bullet holes in the walls upstairs, and it was said that you could hear phantom gun shots.
A loud thud sounded below.
I jumped and let out a scream.
My heart pounded in my chest. Relax, Meg. Maybe one of my teammates had the same idea.
I continued on, checking over my shoulder to make sure no one was behind me. The locker rooms were located in the basement. Not exactly where I wanted to be at the moment, but I hobbled down the hardwood stairs anyway.
When I was a few feet away from the locker room doors, they swung open nearly smacking me in the face.
I jumped again.
Was it the ghost? How were the doors opening? One of the rumors that I’d heard about the haunted buildings was that doors were known to open and close at will.
I backed up.
At that moment someone barreled through the doors and knocked me off my feet.
“Hey!” I caught myself on the wall.
The guy leaped over me and raced down the hallway before I could get a look at his face. I had a pretty good guess who it was. Tim Baxter, one of my fellow teammates. I recognized his bulk and black hooded sweatshirt. What was he doing in the locker room and why was he in such a hurry?
I pushed to standing. “Tim, where are you going?”
He paused at the front doors.
I noticed a package under his right arm. “Tim!” I called again. “What’s going on?”
He froze. I thought maybe I’d made a mistake. My contacts were thick with sludge. I don’t see distances very well even when my contacts are perfectly clear. Dirt had formed a thick filmy layer, making my vision blurry. I blinked twice.
The door slammed shut. Tim, or whoever had run into me, was gone
Weird.
I brushed myself off and continued into the locker room. Steam enveloped the front area where three massage tables sat empty. Long mirrors stretching the length of the room were completely fogged over. It smelled like stale sweat, moldy wood, and eucalyptus. Someone, probably Tim, must have left the steam room doors open.
Using my hands as I shield to avoid tripping over a bench I made my way past the massage tables and into the shared steam, sauna, and whirlpool room. Doors on either side of the room lead to the men’s and women’s changing rooms and showers. Originally the barracks only housed men, so when Mind Over Mudder renovated the basement locker room they’d had to get creative with the design. The actual changing areas and showers were private and on opposite sides of each other, but the steam room and hot tub were coed, which meant that bathing suits were always required.
My cheeks burned with heat. Muddy sweat dripped onto the floor. The wet air filled my lungs, making me cough.
I fumbled through the dense layer of steam. My hands landed on the cedar steam room door, which was indeed wide open. Someone had propped it open with one of the locker room benches. Really weird. I pushed the bench away. It made a sound like nails on a chalkboard on the tile floor.
My feet slid across the wet floor. I landed on my tailbone as the steam room door swung shut. Awesome. Two falls in a matter of a few minutes. That had to be a new record for me. At least my phone was safely secured to my arm. I just got a new phone after a little accident with my old phone. Smart phones aren’t cheap, especially for a girl on a tight budget. I couldn’t risk damaging this one, so I undid the Velcro strap around my arm and placed my phone and earbuds on a bench nearby.  
Steam billowed from underneath the door. It reminded me of dry ice on Halloween. Whoever turned it on must have cranked the heat to full blast. I braced myself as I opened the door to shut it off.
I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, but I knew where the dials controlling the heat and steam were. The steam room and I had become besties over the past few days. Nothing soothed my training aches and pains like the moist warm air.
I found the thermostat and switched it off. I know I shouldn’t have, but I climbed onto the cedar slatted bottom bench and drank in the steam. Billy would be furious if he caught me wearing my muddy clothes in the hot humid room, but I couldn’t help it. I was freezing. Just five minutes, Meg, I told myself as my breathing steadied and I sunk onto warm bench. This is exactly what I needed, I could almost feel my muscles begin to relax.
Within minutes the steam began to evaporate and the air began to thin. I opened my eyes. My contacts were like glue. Blinking as hard as I could, I tried to loosen their grip. It didn’t work. They felt like sand. I might have to ditch them, I thought as I stood up.
The small cedar room came into soft focus. Someone else was in here with me. I blinked again. “Billy?”
Billy was laying on his back on the top bench with his eyes closed. Why hadn’t he said anything? He must be pissed that I snuck out early.
“Listen, Tank, I’m really sorry I took the shortcut. My feet are killing me this morning. I have like a thousand blisters.”
Billy didn’t respond.
“Tank, I’m a reporter, remember. I’m here for a story. It’s not like the rest of my teammates.” I stood. Spots danced in my vision.
Again Billy didn’t respond. I moved closer. Suddenly, I knew why he wasn’t responding. Billy wasn’t resting.
As I came closer, a horrific sense of dread came over my entire body. Billy was dead.


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Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.
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Reverse your Diabetes

Reverse your Diabetes in as little as 2 weeks!

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