I know it's been a long time since I've blogged here, but I have a very good reason!
I've just published my NEW Nora Hill Mystery: Superhero in Superior!
As of today it's available in print form only at the Createspace store or on Amazon. (Remember, indie authors get more of the purchase price back if you order on Createspace!)
Digital form will be available in about another week.
I'm so excited about this series and especially this book,and I hope you are too!
So today, after a long absence, I give you a sneak peak into Superhero in Superior!
The woman at the front desk is deeply engrossed in what’s on the TV in the lobby, so when I step up to the counter, I’m basically breaking her trance-like direct connection to the thing.
“Hello. Welcome to the Super 8. Do you have a reservation?”
“No.” I wait for her cheery manner to change. I’m surprised when it doesn’t. Her smile and the twinkle in her eyes doesn’t fade one whit.
“Okay then, let’s get your information. Name?”
We go through the list of personal information questions and by the end of it, this woman, Mary, and I are best buds. Sort of. She’s a chatty lady, somewhere in her late fifties or early sixties, with one of those very comfortable figures that reminds a person of a pillow and a very soft blanket piled in the corner. I study her, hoping to find some outstanding feature other than her dress size and general softness. It’s not like I can call her “Blanket lady” the whole time I’m here.
Mary breaks into my thoughts. “Oh would you look at that? That poor child.”
She’s back in her trance, staring at the TV, and I join her, watching a news story about a boy, who looks like he’s someplace between eight and ten, walking out of a courthouse. He’s crying and he looks like he’s being dragged.
“Looks like the parents lost their rights. Good,” Mary says.
A whisper of a headache starts behind my eyes. I try to blink it away, but I know it’s too late. This is a child I’m going to have to care about. My headache, which is getting worse every second, tells me this child is going to be missing and in danger very soon and I’m going to be the one to find him
This trip to Superior keeps getting better and better.
I check the seating in the lobby, looking for a soft place to land. If this headache gets any worse, a black out is sure to follow.
“And would you look at those two, walking out in tears like they’re sad. Sad they won’t have that precious boy to punch around anymore.”
Mary’s tone is sharp and cold which surprises me because in the short time I’ve interacted with her, she’s been nothing but an overwhelming voice of kindness. I look at the TV again, squinting because I’m also fighting a bulldog of a headache now, and I must have missed the parents because all I see are the boy and the two older people who seem to be shepherding him away from something off screen. I blink, able to ease to pain a little, and relieved that I’ve staved off the blackout, at least for the moment.
Some people get a series of warning signs before they faint. Not me. I get the headache and then I’m out. Next thing I know I’m on the floor someplace and someone, invariably, is trying to call for an ambulance. I’m not a fan of hospitals, doctors, medical personnel in general, having spent so much of my early years being poked and prodded and stared at like some kind of lab experiment.
“That’s quite the story,” Mary chatters, breaking me out of my drift back in time. “The family is new to town. That boy, James or something his name is. He started at Northern Lights Elementary just after Christmas. He started showing up with bruises on his face and arms, poor child. He kept saying it was nothing, but the school called Social Services and they took him away from the parents for abuse. Now, finally, they’re keeping the parents away from him. The foster parents are filing for adoption, I hear.”
I can’t take my eyes away from the TV screen. The camera is now firmly on the child and I have to say, I’ve seen my share of kids who hate their parents, and this does not look like one of them. This kid is reaching out, behind the foster parents, who could be his grandparents, they’re so old, and he’s reaching toward two people I surmise are the parents in question. I can’t tell for sure because I only see their backs as they walk away from the camera. It’s hard to watch the raw emotion on the boy’s face. But this is local news and it’s the lead story, so they run that clip over and over while reading the report about the court case.
“Now maybe he’ll be able to live free from fear,” Mary says.
There’s something else that bothers me about that kid: he’s wearing a long sleeved shirt. It’s a long sleeved Green Bay Packers’ shirt. Granted, it’s not exactly Miami Beach up here in the north woods, but it’s easily too warm for long sleeves. I sense I’m pretty close to black out mode. I’d like to pass out on a bed, rather than on the tile floor.
“Is that my key?” My voice sounds very far away.
“Oh yes, where is my brain? Here you go, you’re in 204, at the top of the stairs.”
“Thank you,” I manage before making a bee line up the stairs. I struggle with the key card, but I make it to the bed for a safe landing as everything around me goes black.