Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Mystery Mentions: 'Can Natalie Come Out to Play?'

When I first had the idea for this book, we'd just moved to De Pere, WI (outside Green Bay) and since it's a closeknit area, it took a while to get to know people.  I still don't know many people here, since we don't have ties to this area, but it's become comfortable, because my friends are online.

I had to imagine what it would be like for someone, say, from NYC, who had no one here.  It would be very tough, because the society in Wisconsin is like no other I've ever experienced.

Thus, the Natalie mysteries were born.  This is the first of the series, and I hope you enjoy the excerpt. 

Note:  Our youngest daughter designed the cover for this book.  She also did 'All for Aaron,' by Markee Anderson, 'With my Whole Heart' by Markee Anderson, 'Kissing the Waves,' by Markee Anderson, 'Love Means Nothin' by Markee Anderson, and 'Diplomats,' by Andie Alexander, to name a few.  A picture of her is on the cover of  'Angel 911: bullied,' by Kyra Myles.

When native New Yorker Natalie DeLeon finds a dead woman at her work as a hotel clerk in Wisconsin, she argues with the murderer about the mess, and he threatens her life if she tells anything. Even though she’s not allowed to talk or she’ll die, the Green Bay and De Pere police consider her their best witness, much to her dismay. Between sexy detective Peter Brown and his ghost-hunting buddies, she can never have what she really wants—to be left alone to finish her college degree then get out of the close-knit town where she doesn’t fit in.


As the dark red blood spilled down her designer outfit, there was no doubt the brunette woman propped up at the foot of the bed in front of me was dead. I stared into the hotel room, unable to move from my spot. The dimly lit room had been trashed and a smashed television lay in glass strewn everywhere.

Since the woman was dead, I couldn't help but feel sorrow at the loss of a life. It was very creepy, staring at potentially the aftermath of someone's last breath. I wanted to scream and run away, but was stuck in my spot.

A blond, possibly graying man, dressed in all black and wearing gloves, came out of the bathroom and stared at me with angry dark brown eyes. "Who are you?"

As surprised and mortified as I was, I watched the man, determination filling my face. "I work here."

"Lady, you'd better leave and forget everything or I'll kill you, too. I'll be watching you." He leaned closer to me so I could see his nose hairs. "I have connections that'll let me know if you talked."

Setting my jaw firmly in place, I threw my hands on my hips and spouted out the first thing that came to my mind. "Are you going to clean up this mess?"

"Are you serious?" He pulled a knife from his pocket and pointed it toward me.

I spun around and ran back toward the front desk, noticing someone coming out of their room at the far end of the hallway. They were too far away to help, so I ran to my coworker. "Call 9-1-1!"

I turned my head to see if the evil one was following me, but he was gone. With a quick peek around the corner toward the room, the man was nowhere to be found. Furthermore, there was no indication that he'd ever been there. How weird. It was dark outside, too, so I knew I couldn't have seen the guy if he'd left the hotel.

My co-worker, Jerry, hung up from his phone call. "What's the matter with you? Didn't you see I was on the phone? She could be 'the one.'"

I yanked the guy out of his seat and coaxed Jerry toward the room with him in the lead, in case knife-man was still around. "Come with me," I said. "I want you to see something. No phone call is worth missing this."

He walked with me back to the room containing the dead woman and looked inside. With a moan, the guy's knees turned to jelly and he fell to the floor, passed out.

No one was in the hallway, so I reached down and slapped his cheek, hard. "Wake up! The murderer could still be here."

"Murderer?" He lifted his head an inch. "Where? What happened?"

"You passed out from seeing a dead woman. We can't stay here in case the guy comes back."

"Oh yeah." His head hit the floor again, but his eyes stayed open.

I pulled Jerry to his feet by his shirt. "Get up. I have to call the police." After moving my sleeve over my hand to protect the crime scene, I shut the door to the room. I was more than annoyed, but for some reason, seeing a dead body didn't upset me as much as I thought it would, even with all that blood involved.


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Have a great week!

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