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Excerpt from Time Out

Read this excerpt from Time Out, book three in the South Texas Mystery series. MuseItUp Publishing has announced a July 2013 release date for the eBook.

__________

On the west side of Pawnee, a town of three hundred people, Glennis’s reverie dissipated when a gray Crown Vic darted from a side street and began following her. Her heart leaped in her chest.

Damn. Someone is tailing me. Again?

On a desolate stretch of highway between Pawnee and Oakdale, she floored the Belvedere until the Crown Vic was a mere speck in the rearview mirror. A moment later, she crossed a knoll, and the Crown Vic disappeared. She breathed a sigh of relief, but past a curve, she noticed a HiPo cruiser idling at a roadside park.

She let off the gas, but it was too late. The cruiser flipped on its dome light and took out after her.

Damn. I don’t need this—please.

Resigned to a citation, Glennis pulled off the highway and waited for the officer to approach the car.

It was Ron Kidman, the same officer who had helped investigate the Ray Willis murder scene in Pettrolius.

“Evening, ma’am,” Kidman said, lifting his hat as he peered inside the Belvedere. “You seem to be in a hurry this afternoon. Do you have some kind of emergency?”

Glennis wanted to blurt out the whole, sordid truth.

You bet this is an emergency. A man in a Crown Vic is tailing me, and I don’t have the slightest idea who it is. A shooter is running loose in Pettrolius, and no one knows if it’s the same man who killed Ray Willis. An arsonist is torching buildings and no one knows who that is, either. It’s too much, too soon, and I don’t know how to deal with it, okay? I’m not a trained investigator; I’m just a lowly newspaper reporter, and I’m tired.

“Hello, officer. I guess my foot got a little heavy,” she heard herself say. “I’ve had a lot on my mind lately ….”

He peered at her for a few moments, as if examining a science specimen. “You need to take it easy, Miz Dunning. We all know the pressure you’ve been under lately .with the murder and all.”

Kidman’s words and his manner sliced through her like a dull knife, reopening old wounds that had never healed. Her heart went into overdrive as clashing thoughts fought for dominance.

Tell him.

No, he’ll never believe you.

Tell him. What do you have to lose?

Finally, it was too late to stop the words that escaped her mouth. “Someone is following me.”

That got his attention.  He glanced toward the section of highway that led east toward Pawnee. “Who’s following you, ma’am?”

“I don’t know who it is. A man driving a gray Crown Vic. He followed me all the way to San Antonio one day.”

He glanced back at the highway again. “I don’t see anyone, ma’am.”

Her cheek flinched from an involuntary spasm.

Damn. He’ll think I’m lying.

“The car came out of nowhere. I tried to outrun him. That’s why I was speeding.”

This time he eyed her compassionately, a look a preacher might use with a wayward congregant. Flipping open his ticket book, he began to write on it. “I’m going to give you a warning this time, Miz Dunning.” He tore off the ticket and handed it to her. “But I want you to take it easy, okay. Take it from someone who’s been there. You need to get away from Pettrolius for a day or two. Longer, if you can swing it.”

He tipped his hat again. “Good day, ma’am.” Then he walked back to his patrol car, crawled inside, and waited for Glennis to pull back onto the highway.

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About cchessher

Librarian, writer, editor, teacher

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