Most of my days were spent hanging out down on the banks of the river, mainly in the tall brush, but still, the sun would beat down bright on the water, warming a few sun spots for me to roll, stretch, and close my eyes.
Teenagers liked to come down there. I could never really figure out what they were doing. They would strip off their clothes, toss them in the dirt, and jump in the river.
Sometimes I would sneak down and watch them, but most of the time I would make my way through the brush, over the rocks, and into the food they would leave right there for me to take.
Just as I would finish eating, the sun would come out. With my belly full, I would dart back over to my secret spot for a long afternoon nap.
One day, something changed for the teenagers. They did their normal stripping of the clothes, but they stood there looking at each other. I had never noticed before, but they didn’t look the same. Within minutes they were throwing their clothes back on. This meant they weren’t going to leave the food where I could get my share.
One called the other Derek, Derek called the other Laurel. A couple weeks went by until Derek and Laurel came back. This time it was much later in the day and they brought cans of nasty beer. Something I wasn’t interested in. Surely they had brought some food. They had every other time, so when they weren’t looking, I tiptoed over behind them.
“Derek! I’m keeping her.” The one called Laurel grabbed me before I knew what was happening.
The two of them argued, but Laurel wasn’t letting go. They took me from the banks of the river to a place home where a ton of kids lived. It was great. I was being fed and pat, carried and cuddled. When they all curled up and went to sleep, which there was no sun spot—it was dark, scary, I was sad. I cried and cried until someone named Trixie scared me too death. This one called Trixie told Laurel that I had to go back where Laurel found me and that cats weren’t allowed in the orphanage. At first I was happy to go back to my little spot on the bank of the Kentucky River, then Laurel cried saying how much she loved me. She picked me up calling me Henrietta. I wasn’t crazy about the name, but she loved me!
Someone loved me.
No one had ever loved me.
I purred, I rubbed against Laurel, I meowed. Trixie said I could stay as long as Laurel took care of me.
Did she? There aren’t too many places Laurel goes with out me. Now that she moved out of the orphanage, she did everything to make me happy. I had a leash that I had to wear so I could go into places like the coffee shop, the bank, and even the dollar store. One of the activities I really enjoyed was riding in her car. The dashboard had the best sun light which created the best sun spot for me to curl up. I wasn’t crazy about the big guy that jumped in the back of Laurel’s car. He was demanding and told her he needed her to drive him around. She seemed happy because he gave her a lot of money. To me he was scary. He called himself Trigger Finger Tony which didn’t make sense because he was missing that finger. I did notice that when he held the gun over the front seat, making me and Laurel a little nervous.
Laurel. She’s tough. She didn’t flinch a bit when he showed her the gun. Well. . . she didn’t flinch a bit when the other guy jumped in and showed his gun too.
I love Laurel. She’s one tough cookie, but I’ve always got my eye on those men and where Laurel goes. I will always make sure she’s safe.
Blurb: Laurel London is one tough cookie. Orphaned and with one heckuva checkered past, she’s grown street smart and no one is going to tell her different, even if it means getting tangled up with the wrong side of the law. After terrorizing Walnut Grove, Kentucky all her adolescent life, she’s back and she’s ready to go on the up and up. Make something of herself. Prove the citizens of Walnut Grove wrong and make them admit she’s somebody.
But when mobster Trigger Finger Tony Cardozza jumps in the back of Laurel London’s car mistaking it for a taxi, she’s up to her ears in no good.
Recently fired and checkbook in the red, when Trigger offers to pay Laurel large wads of cash to drive him where he needs to go and keep her mouth shut, she’s all in. That is, until FBI agent Jax Jackson jumps in the back of Laurel London’s car threatening to take her to jail for her past crimes if she doesn’t cooperate with the FBI by going undercover to help bring down the mob.
Laurel finds herself battling the past and good vs evil and she’s not sure which is more deadly.
Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, June 20th for your chance to win a copy of Checkered Crime. Winner's choice, print or ebook.
About the Author:
SOUTHERN SMALL TOWN MYSTERIES
“Full of wit, humor and colorful characters, Tonya Kappes delivers a fun, fast-paced story that will leave you hooked!” Bestselling Author, Jane Porter
“A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING is hauntingly good read with authentic Southern charm." -Heather Webber Author Heather Webber
“Tonya Kappes strings together the perfect blend of family, friends, and fun.” Author Misa Ramirez
Tonya has written over 16 novels and 4 novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for SOUTHERN SMALL TOWN MYSTERIES charged with emotion and humor, and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers and one ex-stray cats in northern Kentucky and grew up in Nicholasville. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full time but can be found at all of her guys high school games with a pencil and paper in hand. Come on over and FAN Tonya on Goodreads.
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