Come to Silver Hills. Where making friends can prove deadly and making enemies might be easier than you think.
Emotions are aflutter at Silver Hills as a new heartthrob moves into the residence. Will all that fluttering still a single heart? And if love dies, will Flo’s very own amour find itself in the crosshairs of the estimable Detective Brent Peters?
Agnes and Hertz are on the outs. Secrets tear the tender fabric of a pulsing heart. What do the secrets have to do with murder?
Affairs of le cœur aside, will Agnes break the clothing store shopping for a party dress? What will break during a rousing class of Zumba? And will Flo be able to soldier through her dance injuries to follow a chubby cherub to a killer?
So many questions. So much hopping, tapping and fluttering. And still a murder to solve.
What will Flo and Co. do?
They’ll do what they always do, of course. Hearts out and chins up, they’re goin’ in!
I really enjoyed Love Hertz. The characters are interesting and hilarious. Flo and Agnes get into so many crazy situations that will have you laughing. This book is so fun. The mystery has so many twists and red herrings to keep you guessing right until the end. This book is full of adventure, mystery, laughs and some romance. A great read!
The last note hit the air, leaving behind a startling silence.
Agnes didn’t stop with the music. She did one last step slide and flung her right arm up, her fist heading right for Flo’s chin.
Flo’s growl deepened. She blocked Agnes’ upward strike with a downward strike of her own forearm and, reaching out as Agnes’ eyes snapped open in surprise, flicked her friend hard between the eyes.
Agnes frowned, reaching up to rub her head. “Ow! Why’d you do that, Flo?”
“Because you’re a menace,” somebody mumbled behind Flo.
Dabbing her face with a towel, TC turned around, her pretty face filled with pleasure and glistening with sweat. Her grin slid slowly away when she saw the carnage Agnes had left in her wake.
Bodies were strewn everywhere. Women rubbing red places on their limbs, carefully pushed to their feet, favoring tender joints. Groans filled the air.
Agnes stood at the epicenter of it all. Her own brand of Level 5 hurricane.
“What happened?” TC asked, all the joy of the dance seeping out of her. She hurried to help a woman whom Flo thought looked slightly familiar up off the floor.
“Agnes happened,” Celia said, rubbing one of her hips.
“Hurricane Agnes,” Flo said, feeling a grin tugging at her lips.
Agnes looked around, her eyes going wide. “Did I do that?”
“O-blivious,” the woman standing next to TC said.
Then someone laughed.
Someone else joined in.
A hoot burst out of Celia’s mouth and she gave into it, doubling over with laughter and holding her sides.
Flo felt a chuckle tickling her throat and set it free, reaching to give a sweaty, panting Agnes a hug. “I have to say, hun. With you around, nothing is ever boring.”
Agnes gave her a wincing smile, glancing around as, one by one, the other dancers joined in the laughter. Then she shrugged and reached for her water bottle. “That was fun.”
She’s got a lot more to lose now…and somebody’s determined to make sure she loses it all.
Blaise is at it again. She’s still searching for that perfect job. But even when she thinks she might have found a job that could be more of a career than just a 9 to 5 gig, something always happens to get in her way.
Usually, that something involves a corpse…
But this time, Blaise’s past comes back to haunt her in a big way. She’d thought she put that whole, seeing a murder on the beach thing behind her. But it seems somebody doesn’t want to leave the past where it belongs.
And her past problems are about to become her current nightmare.
She’s just trying to live her life. But someone doesn’t want to let go of the past. And that means not letting go of her!
“Just think of it as a giant party,” Blaise’s friend, Suz Whatsnoggin told her, grinning.
“It will be just like working at the bar,” Dolfe offered, taking a long swig of his icy cold beer.
Tyrese shook his head. “Not really. There are no Bridezillas at the bar.”
Dolfe’s handsome face filled with worry. “Bridezilla? I don’t know what that is but I’m pretty sure I don’t like the sound of it.”
Blaise winced, imploring her friends with her eyes not to inform her sexy fiancé about the horrors of dealing with a nervous bride. It was the last thing Blaise wanted him to think about on the virtual eve of their own wedding.
Well…if you consider “within the next year” the eve.
Fortunately, Suz caught what her friend was throwing. “It’s nothing you need to ever worry about, Honeybun.” She winked at Blaise.
But Dolfe was not a stupid man. In fact, he was probably even smarter than he was good-looking, Blaise thought. And that was a lot of smart. “It’s just a mean term used for brides who get the jitters,” she told him in as offhand a way as she could muster. “Suz is right. You’ll never experience that with me. I’m a rock.”
He grinned. “A rock, huh?” Being the aforementioned smart hottie, Dolfe was wise enough not to venture any further into those tempestuous seas. He simply smiled, shaking his head, and took another sip of his beer.
Tyrese apparently wasn’t smart enough to stay out of the storm. He dove right in, daring the waves to swamp him. “I have no delusions. If Suz and I choose to get married someday, she’ll be the queen of bridezillas. My Suz will own the term.” He shook his head as Suz gave him a quelling look. “I love me some strong woman. I have my own special way of easing her nerves.”
When he waggled his brows, Suz rolled her eyes. “Stupidity, thy name is Tyrese.”
Ty’s leer slid away. “Babe!” He leaned across the table, one long, brown finger tucking up beneath her delicate chin and lifting. “You know you’re cray-cray about me.”
She leaned in too, her lips a mere breath from his as she released the Kraken. “Dude,” Suz said in her sexiest voice. “You know, if we ever did decide to tie the knot, I’d just be marrying you for your last name, right?”
Ty laughed. “What? You don’t want to lumber through life with the name Whatsnoggin anymore?”
Suz smacked him on the arm.
Blaise shook her head. “Please tell me you didn’t just go there,” she said.
Dolfe winced. “We don’t make fun of a person’s name around here, man. It’s not in good taste,” said the guy named Honeybun.
Ty’s smile withered. “She started it.”
Suz snorted. “Really? That’s what you’re going with? A playground excuse?”
Ty shrugged. “Look, I love your weird name, babe. It’s just one of the many funny little oddities that make you special.”
Dolfe groaned and Blaise sucked in a gasp. “Ty!”
Suz stared at him for a long moment, her pretty face so lacking in expression it was an expression all on its own. It was a face that said, you are so dead, while simultaneously declaring a total lack of concern.
Tyrese slowly lost his swagger and began to wilt, until he became little more than a handsome puddle in the delicate chair. When he was so puddly he looked ready to slither bonelessly off the chair onto the newly carpeted floor, Suz finally gave him a tight smile. “Just for that, if we ever decide to get married, Tyrese Miller, you’re going to take my name.”
Everybody gasped at that, followed by Dolfe’s low chuckle.
“Snap!” Blaise told her friends, knocking dainty knuckles with Suz.
“Come on, girlfriend,” Suz told Blaise. “Help me count the new shipment of linen napkins that just came in?”
Blaise stood, winking at Tyrese. “You’d better pull together your best defrazzling game, son. That’s one ticked off ‘special’ girl right there.” Blaise grinned as she followed Suz’s angrily swaying behind toward the door at the back of the enormous room. Behind her, she heard Dolfe’s deep chuckle as Ty whined at him in a voice that sounded like seagulls on a stormy beach.
Suz stopped at the open storage room door and grinned. “That should keep him on his toes for a while.”
Blaise laughed softly. “Oh yeah.”
Before going inside, the two of them stood in the doorway and looked around at the massive main space. It was a gorgeous room, elegant and clean, with lots of light and clean, simple lines. Blaise was impressed by her friend’s vision and decorating skills.
“It’s really beautiful, Suz.”
Her friend sighed, leaning companionably against Blaise’s shoulder. “It is, isn’t it?”
Blaise nodded. When Suz had first come to her with the idea of a wedding reception barn venue, Blaise had thought Suz had lost her mind. But her friend had quickly sold the plan, backing up her excitement with lots of rock-solid information that supported both the need and profitability of the venture.
With Blaise’s help and Dolfe’s investment in time and effort, Ty and Suz had turned the dream into reality in only a few short months.
They’d found a big, dusty barn out in the country on twenty acres of farmland and woods. The property featured a picturesque creek running along behind the main building, a wide lawn with old growth evergreens, and a lovely bridge over the creek that would make a perfect spot for pictures.
Ty and Suz had turned the interior of the metal-sided barn into a beautiful space, with rustic looking cedar walls, a tall ceiling with the original beams, and cream-colored carpet that Blaise couldn’t help thinking was going to be Hell on Earth to keep clean.
The public portion of the venue mostly consisted of one, giant room, with an alcove for coats and gifts, two bathrooms, and an open-air patio out back that served both as an outdoor kitchen and smoking lounge. The roof of the lounge was outfitted with industrial-sized heaters for cooler nights, and giant ceiling fans for sultry summer nights. The structure was mostly enclosed, with one wall entirely open so that smoke from cigars or the grill could escape harmlessly out into the night. The view through the open wall included the pretty little creek and bridge, as well as a few acres of grass, flower beds, and evergreen trees.
It was actually a really nice space that Blaise hoped they’d be able to use for future Honeybun parties. It was large enough to accommodate a family as big as the Honeybuns, even as they continued to grow.
The non-public part of the venue consisted of a storage room with a small office at the back, and a caterer’s kitchen with restaurant-grade appliances.
The main room held fifty tables that were big enough to seat eight to ten people each, with chairs that Suz had covered in frilly white covers. Overhead, crystal chandeliers looked both opulent and kitschy against the age-darkened wood and were complimented by yard after yard of gossamer drapings, which hung from the rustic beams.
They’d added a small dance floor on one end, with a raised stage and glossy wood floors.
A swinging metal door in the back corner of the main space led to the caterer’s kitchen, which contained ample refrigeration, a bank of industrial microwaves for reheating food that was brought in for events, and a couple of long, wide, stainless-steel counters for food prep. They’d added the kitchen space on Dolfe’s suggestion, and it had required building a small annex of the main building. But Blaise realized it had absolutely been the right thing to do, and she was happy her friends had listened to her very smart fiancé.
Blaise had been intrigued as the couple turned the ugly building into something straight out of a fairy tale. All her doubts had slowly been swept away as she saw the enormous potential there.
And the last hurdle had been breached when they got their first clients, who were on their way to the venue at that very moment for a walk-thru.
Suz took a deep breath. “This is really going to happen, isn’t it?”
Wrapping an arm around her friend, Blaise nodded, “It really is.”
“I hope this couple isn’t difficult,” Suz said, frowning. She chewed on her bottom lip, clearly affected by the whole bridezilla conversation.
“We’ll deal with whatever happens,” Blaise said soothingly.
Suz nodded, giving Blaise a wide smile. “Have I told you that I’m so happy you’re here to help us get this off the ground?”
“Only five times today,” Blaise said, laughing. “But remember, it’s only for the first few months.” The wedding reception venue concept felt too much like working in a bar for Blaise’s taste. She was happy to help out, but it wasn’t what she wanted to do long-term for a living.
“I know,” her friend said on a sigh. “But a girl can dream, can’t she?”
“She absolutely can.” Blaise swung her arm to encompass the entire space. “Look what happens when she does.”
Grab your copy of Risky Venue at its temporary New Release price!
Come to Silver Hills. Where fowl plans can either mean dinner out, or the deadly designs of a chicken-livered killer.
When Vlad’s opponent for the Silver City mayoral race succumbs to fowl deeds, he seriously changes the pecking order in Vlad’s favor. But the victim’s death has made Vlad king of the roost, so the Silver Hills night manager quickly becomes the obvious suspect.
Plucky investigators Flo and Co. are certainly no strangers to Vlad’s evil ways. But they’re also not egg-xactly convinced he did it. So, when Flo learns that the victim, a wealthy local chicken farmer, had been trying to reach her when he was killed, she’s more than a little curious why.
Will their investigation shine a light on a killer’s fowl deeds before he flies the coop? Or will Flo chicken out when the villain threatens to go all cock-a-doodle-do on her bad self? There’s only one way to find out. And you already know what it is… Yep, Flo and Co. are goin’ in, tail feathers high!
Fowl Campaign is Book 8 in my fun Silver Hills Cozy Mysteries. For many of you, your first experience with a Sam Cheever book was Flo Charts, the series prequel. Lots of things have changed since those first days when Flo and Agnes met and jumped into their first mystery together. New characters have appeared, old characters have grown and changed, and relationships have taken interesting turns. But one thing has never changed throughout this series. Flo’s and Agnes’s friendship. When all is said and done, I believe that’s what makes these books so much fun. Sure, it’s entertaining to see the new and different ways Agnes finds to get into trouble. And yeah, it’s educational to watch Flo navigate through all the challenges and personalities, using a strong intellect, pure old-fashioned stubbornness, and a dose of substitute teacher pluck to solve every problem. But I believe the real gold of the books is in the way the two women get along. Their affectionate ribbing. The respect they have for each other. And the way they have each other’s backs through even the murkiest problems. That’s what makes you feel good as you read the last sentence in every book. Because you know you might be leaving them behind for a minute. But they won’t be alone. And neither will you! All you need to do is turn the page of another Silver Hills book to be right there among friends again. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Fowl Campaign and join the fun. And if you’re so inclined, drop a brief review on Amazon so that others will know it’s a good book to read. As always, I appreciate you! xx Sam
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“…characters you can’t help but fall in love with … an intriguing, many layered mystery with many twists and turns, and at least one surprising revelation… I recommend this series and author to anyone who enjoys a good, cozy and fun mystery.”
She might be a country girl who loves short shorts and flip-flops, but her life is less defined by her countrified attire, and more by the way she hunts down a deadly killer.
Murder is sinking its hooks into the quiet countryside and dredging up ugly secrets. Deer Hollow is still a quiet little town steeped in Americana and known for its delicious country fare. But being named a top ten place to live just might have inspired an assassin to make the quaint country spot home.
As Joey searches for a killer, her past is dragged from the murky darkness where she’s hidden it. And secrets she never wanted to discover are rising like the stink of manure on a freshly fertilized field.
I’ve always been perfectly aware of my shortcomings as a person.
I consider myself generally a good person. With good instincts about people and a desire to be kind to others unless they’re unkind to me.
But I do have an aversion to pushy people. Which has put me on the wrong side of salesmen of all kinds more than once.
My second least favorite of these is Realtors. Not that being a Realtor is innately bad. It’s just that the act of buying or selling a house is way too much like dealing with used car salesmen for my taste.
Which brings me to my first least favorite type of salesmen.
Fortunately, it wasn’t a car salesman standing on my porch that sunny, cool-ish fall day in the rural area just outside of Deer Hollow, Indiana.
But it might as well have been.
The woman standing in front of Caphy and me had lipstick on her teeth and hair that looked as if squirrels might have built it on her head for nesting. Lucky for her my dog was much more tolerant than I was. Even when she was being none-too-subtly dissed by said lipstick-teethed intruder.
“Oh my! You should chain that beast up.”
The hand on Caphy’s collar tightened briefly as I fought to contain my instant rage. Cacophony, Caphy for short, was about the sweetest animal that ever lived. She was more than my best friend. I credited her with saving my life when I’d gone into the deepest depression imaginable after my parents were killed in a plane crash on our property.
She was also a Pitbull.
And that was all some people saw when they looked at her.
Caphy smiled at the woman, her muscular tail whipping painfully against my leg. She whined softly, quivering with friendly excitement.
“She’s fine,” I told the woman with the squirrel’s nest for hair. “She lives here. Whereas you…” I let my statement trail away, allowing my uninvited guest to gather my inference all by herself.
The woman frowned slightly, moving a purse the size of her extra-large backside in front of her like a shield. “Oh…um…okay. Well.” She extended her hand a few inches in front of her, a white rectangle stuck between two short fingers. “Here’s my card. My name is Penney Sellers. I was wondering if you’re interested in selling your house.”
I blinked several times. “Not in the least.”
As I responded I realized it was true. When I’d initially learned that I’d inherited the family home after my parents’ death, I’d thought I wanted to sell it. Too many painful memories lived within its familiar walls. I still thought I’d sell eventually. But I wasn’t quite ready to make that decision.
I glanced down at the card, grimacing at the obviousness of the woman’s name. “Is Penney Sellers really your name?”
In response she gave me a slightly snotty smile. “I can offer you a premium price. There aren’t many homes in this area of this quality.”
“Not interested. You do know there’s a huge subdivision going up on the south side of Deer Hollow, right?” Of course she knew that. But I was making a point.
“Those houses are fine. But they don’t have the…” She swung her arms toward the pond and the trees. “Ambiance. The setting here is truly spectacular.”
“Thank you. But I’m not interested in selling.” I backed into the house, tugging gently on Caphy’s collar. Her gaze locked onto the other woman who’d taken a step toward the door as if she was thinking about pushing her way inside. A low growl emerged from Caphy’s throat and the hair in front of her tail spiked.
Penney Sellers stopped dead in her tracks, her gaze shooting to the endlessly sweet creature who was giving her fair warning.
But Caphy’s warning didn’t stop the realtor’s mouth from moving. “Do you own all those woods over there?” The woman asked. Her expression was perfectly innocent. But there was a gleam in her eye that I didn’t like.
“Yes. All the way to the big stone marker on Goat’s Hollow Road. 100 acres.”
The gleam flared, making her look positively demonic. “A hundred acres! My goodness. I’d love to talk to you about subdividing the property. We could build a dozen homes and still have sizeable properties.”
“Not interested. Thanks for stopping by.”
I slammed the door in her face and locked it. Pressing my ear against the warm wood, I listened for her to climb into her car and drive away before I took a full breath. A soft whine drew my gaze to Caphy. “It’s all right, girl. She’s gone.”
The pibl’s tail snapped sideways once and then she nuzzled me, snorting softly. She was sensitive to my moods, and the alarm I was feeling was no doubt putting her on edge. I couldn’t have explained the panic tightening my chest if someone offered me a thousand dollars to do it.
It was an unreasonable fear. But undeniable.
Nobody could force me to sell my house. Nobody could make me give up my private little wonderland. It was all I had left of my parents.
It was also the place where Caphy and I had grown up. Where we’d run and played, where I’d climbed trees and learned to swim. But the new subdivision was affecting my life in ways I hadn’t expected. When I’d first learned it was coming it had seemed harmless. After all, the three hundred acre plot on the south side of Deer Hollow was miles away from me. The homes were supposed to be decent ones, built on quarter acre lots and not all exactly the same. I reasoned it would be nice to have some new blood in town.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on the other stuff that came with those homes. The constant traffic through town from looky-loos. The noise, mess, and invasion of people who thought the town had been conjured up for their enjoyment.
And the realtors, builders and construction people who clogged the streets and turned the few restaurants Deer Hollowboasted into hotbeds of noise and inaccessibility at meal times.
Still, I could deal with all that.
It was the other thing that had my nerves thrumming like a banjo in the mountains of Kentucky.
A temporary office assignment turns deadly. And Blaise quickly finds herself in a killer’s crosshairs.
Backstabbing, infidelity, greed and power. There’s nothing more dangerous than office intrigue. Blaise continues her search for the perfect career by taking a temporary assignment in an architectural firm. Though she quickly learns that wrangling a proposal team to get to end of project is nearly impossible, keeping everyone alive might just be the hardest thing she’ll ever do.
With the help of her sexy fiancé, Dolfe Honeybun, Blaise is determined to get to the bottom of the body in the elevator. Problem is, with a cast of suspects longer than her To Do list, Blaise is up to her perfectly plucked eyebrows in possible killers. And she might not know who the killer is, but he knows everything there is to know about Blaise.
Blaise Runa checked her make-up in the mirror for the last time and climbed out of her car. Her phone rang as she started across the nearly empty parking lot to the ugly brick and metal building squatting alongside the street. The sun was still a vague promise on the horizon and Blaise felt the usual mix of excitement and dread as she approached the smudged glass doors leading to the lobby of the Beck and Poole Architectural Firm.
She tugged her phone from her purse and looked down, smiling at the photo of her newest love, Miss Ivy, the big eared sweet tempered mutt she and Dolfe recently adopted. Blaise punched the Answer button. “Hey, Handsome.”
“Morning, future wife. I couldn’t believe you were already gone when I woke up. Third time this week.”
Blaise pulled a lanyard free of her sweater and lifted the key card on the end, swiping it across the reader to unlock the door. “I have two days to get this proposal together and I’m still missing several pieces. I’m going to have to hit the database hard and try to pull together something for the team to edit.”
Heavy breathing came through the phone and Blaise blinked in surprise. “Are you giving me stalker breath?”
Dolfe’s husky chuckle replaced the breathing, followed by a wet slurp and a tiny yip. “Oh, is that Ivy?”
Another yip. “High, baby! Mama’s got to work today. You be good for Daddy, okay?”
She could almost hear Dolfe rolling his eyes. “You know she’s a dog, right?”
“I’m aware. But she’s my little fur baby too.”
“If she’s your baby then that makes her my baby and I don’t want to claim a baby this ugly.”
Blaise hit the stairs, eschewing the elevator in an attempt to skim the few extra pounds she’d piled on since taking the temporary project management position a few weeks earlier. The building had a killer cafeteria, with the world’s best pastries.
It was going to be the death of her.
“I hope you covered her ears before you called her ugly. She’s very sensitive.”
He snorted. “Sensitive? This little monster thinks she rules the world. She doesn’t have a sensitive bone in her puny little body.”
Blaise grinned. He wasn’t wrong. Ivy might only weigh ten pounds, but she thought she was a lion. “Give her a kiss for me, will you? I’ll see you tonight?”
“That’ll be a hard No on the kiss and a gooey Yes on the seeing me later part.”
“Love ya, babe.”
“I love you too, honey. But I have one more thing to say…”
“What’s that?” Blaise tugged the door open to the office on the third floor where she had a desk and flipped on the light.
“If we’re this monster’s parents, you’re taking the blame for these ears.”
She’s just a country girl who loves her dog. But her life is about to get less countrified and more…erm…homicide.
Deer Hollow is a small community built in a verdant, rolling countryside. The nearest big city is over an hour away and big city ways are rejected at the Hollow. Unfortunately, the big city isn’t the only place where bad things can happen.
Things like murder…which has a funny way of messin’ up a debutante’s day and turning a sunny Sunday in June right over onto its bucolic head.
The whole communication revolution thing is a mixed bag of wonderful and tedious. Things like cell phones are a revelation, allowing twenty-something women like me, who have trouble sitting still, to stay in touch with the important people in their lives while we go about our business.
But even the best innovations have their downside.
For example, a wise woman once told me never to answer a phone call whose number you don’t recognize. Answer at your own risk, my cousin Felicity proclaimed one rainy day in the arboretum.
And I’ve since witnessed the intelligence of her advice. Several times over.
Unfortunately, I’m apparently a slow learner.
“Is this Miss Joey Fulle?”
I frowned, not liking the “I want to sell you a bridge” tone of the caller’s voice. “Nope, sorry. I think you have the wrong number.”
“Actually, I believe I have the right number, Miss Fulle.”
“You’re not right,” I said quickly and disconnected before the man on the other end of the phone had a chance to give me bad news. I had no idea what kind of bad news I was expecting. But I knew it was there, lurking like a vulture in a tree, ugly and ravenous.
I tugged the soft twisty off my shoulder length red-blonde hair and reached up to smooth the hair back into my favorite style, which was a high ponytail. Sweat dripped down between my shoulder blades and I was glad I’d dressed for the heat of an early June morning. Though my plain white tank top and cut off jean short shorts were already damp.
My dog, Cacophony, Caphy for short, bounded up and stopped in front of me, a clump of fur between her jaws. I grimaced. “Caphy, what did you do? Have you killed something again?”
A blonde Pitbull with gorgeous green eyes, Caphy bounced several times, her muscular haunches springing her several inches off the ground each time, and then barked happily and ran off again, tail whipping the air. I sighed, knowing I should follow her and see if I could save whatever she’d decided to “play” with.
My phone rang again. I hit Ignore and trudged after my dog. “Caphy girl, where’d you go?”
The distant sound of barking drew me to a copse of old trees, their gnarled branches bigger around than I was and tangled together high overhead. It was behind one of these, an elegant old Elm tree whose knobby arms spread wider than the rest, that my dog was mostly hidden. I could see her butt wagging happily as she moved around behind the tree.
My sweet Pitty bounced out from behind the distant tree and grinned at me, her entire body vibrating with excitement. “What have you found, girl?” I murmured to myself. “Come on, Caphy.”
But she turned back to whatever she was exploring. That was when I realized she must have cornered something. I picked up the pace and hurried in her direction.
By the time I was fifteen feet away I smelled something rotting and knew that, whatever she’d found, I wouldn’t be saving it.
Real panic set in. “Caphy, you come here right now!”
My dog disappeared behind the tree and I growled with frustration. But a moment later she reappeared, heading in my direction with something hanging out of her mouth. “Ugh!” I fought an impulse to turn and run. Being corpse-woman was not tops on my list of favorite things.
In fact, I was pretty sure it wasn’t on the list at all. “Drop it, Cacophony.”
Of course she ignored me, her steps becoming bouncier and more excited the closer she came. Clearly she wanted to share her treasure with me. I didn’t know how to impress upon her that having a mangled, half dried corpse of a bunny or squirrel dropped on my shoes didn’t take me to my happy place. My usual response of shrieking and running screaming away from her treasure just didn’t seem to be doing much to teach her.
She was a very bull-headed pitty. I grinned at my pun.
Caphy ran up and dropped to her haunches a few feet away. She kept hold of the object, which I was trying hard not to look at, as if she was afraid I was going to take it away from her. She would be right about that. But it wasn’t going to happen until I had a bag or something to use so I didn’t have to touch it. I tried one more time to get her to let loose of whatever she was clutching between her jaws. “Drop it, girl.” If I was really lucky I could convince her to let go of it and I could drag her home.
To my shock she lowered her head and released the contents of her mouth.
I glanced down. My stomach did a painful little dance and my gag reflex kicked in. Caphy was watching me very carefully, letting the object lie there as if checking to see how I would react. I was glad it was out of her mouth.
In fact, I would have been elated about it.
But I was too busy shrieking and running away. It might not work for her…but it worked just fine for me.