All Hoale-ows Eve by Declan Sands

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A Hoaley Addictive Halloween!

Adam and the gang are just out for a fun night of trick or treating when a dirty devil plows into Mink and leaves a surprise in his candy bag. Next thing they know, Mink’s in jail and they’re hunting for an international jewel thief named Monkey. Will the trail of tricks end in treats for everyone involved? Or will they all end up with egg on their faces and TP on their shoes? There’s only one way to find out!

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Mink stumbled over his cape and nearly pitched face first into a water-filled ditch at the side of the road. Clinking like the tin man, Delf grabbed hold of Mink’s pitchfork and kept him almost upright. His overflowing bag of candy tipped dangerously, causing Mink to shriek in a decidedly unmanly way.

Adam lifted the patch off his right eye and peered out from underneath it. “Avast ye, matey. Ye’re ballast appears to be unbalanced.” The sound-activated parrot on Adam’s shoulder squawked, causing Maddy to jump and shriek. “Good god, Ads!” I swear I’m gonna pinch that parrot’s head off before the night’s over.”

Mink slammed the bulging bag against his chest, turning a fiery red face in Adam’s direction. “You’d better watch the talk about my ballast, Ads.” He grinned widely, his teeth nearly glowing white against the cherry red of his face. “Delfie likes my ballast, don’t you honeybuns?”

The giant, red-haired knight of the round, or square, table, Adam wasn’t entirely sure, lifted a creaky arm and shoved the hunk of metal covering his handsome face upward. “You’re lucky if I can find your ballast wearing this outfit,” he groused.

“I think you might have enough candy Minks.” Adam lifted his own, much less bulky bag. “You have easily four times what the rest of us do.”

Dressed as Wonder Woman, Maddy adjusted her fake boobs and cocked a padded hip, her mink-brown pageboy dancing under a sparkling gold lame headband. “That’s because everybody can tell we’re adults and they all think he’s a child.”

Mink frowned in her direction, looking a little scary since he had horns and a pitchfork. “I beg your pardon. They’re more generous with me because I’m so damn loveable. You…” he swung an accusing finger over his three friends. “You’re all cranky. Nobody wants to give candy to a bunch of sour pusses.”

Adam gave up on the patch and tugged it up to his forehead. “Sorry to burst your bubble Suzie Sunshine, but they’re shoving candy into your bag as fast as they can because Delf’s always standing behind you looking like he’s going to run them through with his staff.”

Mink’s eyebrows danced and he twirled an invisible mustache between his fingertips, using his best Groucho Marx voice, “I’d like him to run me through with that staff, yuk, yuk.”

Delf’s armor shimmied and Adam decided he was either having a seizure or he was laughing. There was no way to know for sure because his handsome mug was completely obscured by metal.

“Whatever. Wonder Woman’s feet are tired. I’m heading back to the bar.”

Mink crossed his arms over his chest, looking demonic until he stabbed himself in the cheek with his pitchfork. “Ow! Spoil sport.”

Delf clanked. “She’s right, gumdrop, we’ve been out here for hours. I think you’ve done enough damage.”
Sighing, Mink nodded. “Okay, but don’t come running to me when you run out of candy. You’re not getting any of mine.”

Turning toward the flashing neon sign of the distant bar where they’d started the night’s adventure, Adam threw an arm over Maddy’s shoulders and kissed her cheek. “I’m really glad you’re back, Mads. I’ve missed you.”

She lay her head on his shoulder, sighing. “Me too.”

The sidewalks were full ahead of them and some of the celebrants were getting a little rowdy. The crowd shifted suddenly, somebody giving a little scream as they were shoved aside.

“Hey, you poked me with that thing!” a woman shouted.

Mink chuckled. “That’s what he said.”

Delf clanked in response.

A wiry figure dressed all in red shoved free of the crowd, running down the street right at them. He kept looking over his shoulder as more shouts rose up behind him.

“What’s going on?” Maddy asked.

Adam shook his head. “Looks like somebody got too much into the spirit of his costume.”

The devil running toward them looked enough like Mink that Maddy and Adam both turned to make sure he was still behind them.

“Minks, looks like one of your people is up to no good.”

Mink opened his mouth to respond just as the devil runner stepped off the sidewalk and seemed to stumble, pitching forward and slamming into Mink. The two devils went down in a pile of horns and pitchforks and there was some unattractive rolling around and grunting.

Delf was concerned enough to tug off his helmet. “Hey, watch out.” He reached an enormous paw toward the topmost devil and hesitated. It was nearly impossible to tell which one was Mink.

Adam waded in, grabbing hold of the devil on the top and pulling him carefully to his feet. “When he was looking into the guy’s face he could easily tell it wasn’t Mink. The newcomer’s face was slender with high cheek bones and his lips were plumper than Mink’s. “Are you okay?”

The guy nodded, sending a quick look over his shoulder.

“Look what you did to my candy!” Mink was scrambling around picking up candy from the wet, dirty street. “It’s gonna be ruined!” he whined.

“Here let me help.” The other devil dropped to his knees and grabbed Mink’s bag, shoving handfuls of candy back into it. “I’m so sorry, man.”

The invading devil dropped the last handful of candy into the bag and pressed it toward Mink, pushing to his feet. “I gotta go. Sorry about the mishap.” He took off running, disappearing into an alley just as four guys in suits with guns drawn shoved free of the melee in front of the bar and pounded toward them.

“Oh crap,” Adam said. He pointed toward the alley. “He went that-a-way…”

The big guys pushed Delf aside and he stumbled backward, sounding like a tin roof in a hail storm. One of the men tackled Mink to the ground, clamping cuffs on him before Adam’s parrot could shriek, “Avast ye, maties” into the chilly night.

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New Release — Hoaley War by Declan Sands

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Sometimes the past rises up to bite you in the butt, and you never see it coming!

Adam and the gang are rehabbing an old church when they come across a tunnel they believe might have been part of the historic underground railroad. The two corpses they find lying in the tunnel transform the event from one of historical significance to recent tragedy. The investigation for how the two recently murdered people got into that tunnel leads Adam and the gang through a hair-raising series of events that will affect them for a long time, in ways they could never have imagined. Will Adam’s nosiness finally cause irreparable harm to one of the gang? Or will they rise above the tragedies they uncover, and come together in love and forgiveness, becoming all the stronger for it?

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“And you punched a hole in this wall, why?”

The man holding the sledge hammer looked sheepish as he stepped back, resting the head of the big tool on the pile of fractured concrete by his feet. “The wall was moist. I just tapped it to see if it was solid.”

Adam scanned a look over the six foot five inch tall three hundred twenty pound ex-linebacker. “Tapped it, huh?”

An embarrassed grin spread across the man’s wide face. “Sorry, boss.”

Adam shook his head. He examined the hole more carefully. “This is just filler. No wonder it fell apart. He held out his hand. Give me that sledgehammer.” Taking the heavy tool, he hit the edge of the six inch wide hole with it. Moist concrete filler crumbled to the ground, opening another six inches next to the original hole. A thin, metal mesh showed through the hole. Adam hit it again.

Twenty minutes later he had a hole barely wider than a man and four feet tall. Blackness yawned away from the opening and the sour stench of mildew wafted out on the stale air. “What the hell is this?” Adam asked rhetorically.

Sandy Bradley frowned, ducking down to peer into the hole with Adam. “Looks like they walled off part of the basement.”

Adam frowned. “Father Paria didn’t say anything about a walled off section. I’m a little surprised since he would have liked the room to be bigger anyway.”

The two men peered into the darkness for another minute. Adam glanced at Sandy. “Run out to my truck and get my lantern, will you?”

The big man nodded and left, leaving Adam standing before the pitch black hole wondering at the disgusting smell emanating from it. He figured there must be an underground spring beneath the foundation and it had probably been seeping up into the space for years. Which would explain why somebody, at some point in the past, had walled it up.

A faint clanging sound bounced through the space, pinging off the unseen walls of the formerly closed off area. Adam blinked, wondering where the sound was coming from. He stuck his head into the opening and, after a moment’s hesitation, stepped through.

Adam stood perfectly still for a moment but didn’t hear anything else. He figured he’d probably been hearing his crew outside gathering their tools after returning from lunch. Sound carried strangely in the ancient church. He’d even considered, once or twice late at night, that the place might be haunted by the spirits of old parishioners.

Cool, moist air lifted Adam’s hair and he grimaced at the foul stench. He squinted, trying to see something…anything…in the dank space. There was a total absence of light that was disconcerting. Even still, with the moist chill seeping into his bones and making him shiver, Adam couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching him.

Air whispered past again. He turned his head and jolted as something chirped.

“Rats,” he murmured with disgust. If they left the room exposed, he’d have to get an exterminator in. Maybe he should just wall it off again and pretend they hadn’t found it.

“No!”

Adam jumped, taking a step forward at the distant shout. “Is somebody in here?”

Silence throbbed in response.

He took another step and his foot bumped something. Hissing ensued and definite scurrying sounds. Adam turned and started out. He’d seen too many horror movies starring rats and had no intention of giving them a chance to nibble on him.

Heavy footsteps sounded on the steps beyond the room they were renovating and, a moment later Sandy strode into view. The lantern Adam had requested swung from his thick fingers. “Maddy’s here,” he informed Adam.

“Good. She can help me decide if we want to wall this thing back off.” Adam turned the lantern on. “Right at this moment I’m inclined to just pretend we never saw it.”

Adam lifted the lantern and its bright, cleansing light painted damp rock walls and a dirt floor. The wind sloughing through the void beyond the reach of the illuminating arc whistled past again, carrying a rotten meat stench with it. “Ugh. It smells like the rats have been bringing their treasures back to this roo…”

He stopped, his mouth hanging open. His pulse spiked and panic slipped along his spine. He wanted to turn and run but his feet were glued to the spot in horror.

Sandy moved up behind him, his bulk warm and reassuring. Until he screamed like a girl and turned tail to run.

Adam didn’t take long following him out.

 

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Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Romantic-Suspense-Mystery-Construction-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B011C0UUQ0

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Declan Sands writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Declan is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

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