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See You Next Tuesday by Ken Harris Banner

See You Next Tuesday

by Ken Harris

July 11 – August 5, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

See You Next Tuesday by Ken Harris

From the Case Files of Steve Rockfish

PI Steve Rockfish’s father loses part of his retirement savings in an online romance scam while partner Jawnie McGee handles the firm’s newest client who spins a tale of alleged spousal infidelity. Rockfish ignores his current case load and becomes fixated on tracking down those responsible for the fraud. Restitution is coming in the form of cash or broken bones. At the same time, Jawnie’s surveillance of the cheating spouse reveals more acts of kindness than sex leading to a client who doesn’t want to believe the good news.

Unbeknownst to the partners, each investigative path leads the partners to the Church of the Universal Nurturing II where the fraud is on a cryptocurrency level. Their new SunCoin is marketed as the only post-rapture currency accepted inside the pearly gates. After all, who wants to show up to the after party with out-turned pockets and not get past Heaven’s paywall?

Church elders court Rockfish and his new-found Hollywood wealth with an old-fashioned honey pot. The danger level ratchets up as Rockfish counters by sending the firm’s two new confidential informants undercover only to find the church’s endgame grift is larger and deadlier than anyone expected.

Praise for See You Next Tuesday:

“Action packed and smartly written.”

Kevin Somers, GoodReads Review

“Harris has created his own sub-genre with this series, which is a beautiful and unique thing to see. Beloved characters must brave the most dangerous, harrowing journey yet. The suspense woven through this tale is done with a finesse rarely seen, and ensures we stay glued to the page.”

Ben Eads, author of Cracked Sky and Hollow Heart

“The second in the Case Files of Steve Rockfish series begins with separate cases involving a cheating husband, a corrupt religious cult, a stockpile of poison gas, and a currency scam. The cases come together in a wild ride worthy of a chase scene in a movie, as the detectives pursue the cult leader in a rip-roaring page turner of an ending.”

Carolyn Geduld, author of Take Me Out The Back and Who Shall Live

“Harris takes you on two journeys you hope will never happen to family members but fear it could. The emotional roller coaster you will ride, keeps you reading and hoping the end comes with a taste of sweet revenge. Harris finds a way to weave a story that keeps you turning the pages and wanting more Rockfish.”

Stephen W. Briggs, author of Family of Killers-Memoirs of an Assassin

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction, Crime Thriller
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: July 14th 2022
Number of Pages: 546
ISBN: 1684339898 (ISBN13: 9781684339891)
Series: Case Files of Steve Rockfish, #2
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

After a couple of early morning passes for Jawnie to grab a handful of fresh photos, the team backtracked to an abandoned gas station they had passed on the way in. Rockfish parked the van behind the dilapidated building. Jawnie bundled their supplies and they headed out with backpacks bursting at the seams. It would be a two-mile trek to the edge of the woods overseeing Diane’s trailer.

The route would take them along the main road for half a mile and then a diagonal cut across fields littered with large, round hay bales before entering the woods for the rest of the hike. As they veered off the road, Jawnie wanted to pick up the pace so that they weren’t visible to any curious drivers coming down this open stretch of highway. But one glance at her partner told her he was already looking forward to the first rest stop.

They arrived at their vantage point an hour and fifteen minutes later. Rockfish dropped his backpack and took up position on the ground. “Let me sit here for a minute and I’ll be okay, I swear.”

Jawnie slid off her pack and patted Rockfish on the shoulder as she walked over to get a better view of their target. The line of sight was perfect. She could use her telephoto lens and look down into the trailer through a window. They were close enough to watch what went on in the backyard without the help of her camera. The field between them and Diane’s was also littered with the large round hay bales. They’ll provide more than ample cover if I need to get closer for any reason.

“Nice job picking the spot, boss. I hope you live to walk another day.”

“Fucking Bataan Death March had nothing on this hike,” Rockfish said and Jawnie could tell he had yet to catch his breath.

They set up their gear and took turns peering through the camera’s telephoto lens, down onto the property and sometimes straight through the uncovered window. It wasn’t long before Jawnie concluded that the only people at home were Sunny and another woman who she assumed was Diane.

“No sign of Roan unless they’re keeping him in some back bedroom and not letting him out. But all these two are doing is eating cereal and watching television. The View was on. Now it’s turned to The Price is Right.”

“See, now you’re experiencing the glamour side of being a P.I. Not all of it is meeting with Mafia Dons and car chases. I used to love this grunt work, but this old body sure doesn’t want to keep up.”

“Sit tight,” Jawnie said. “You keep providing that wit and wisdom and I’ll take care of the physical stuff. Partners, remember?”

The quiet morning hours slowly turned into an equally uneventful afternoon where Rockfish spent way too long bitching about the Nature Valley pressed cardboard bars that Jawnie had packed for lunch. And she, without hesitation, returned fire.

“If you hadn’t done takeout from the Waffle House this morning, you could have spared us all, and not had to keep making that twenty-minute hike back into the woods every hour on the hour. That stuff isn’t meant for anyone’s stomach, and those cardboard bars are binding. We should all be thankful for that.”

“Maybe it’s the water?”

She looked down at the Dasani bottle at her feet. Yeah, it’s definitely the water and not seventeen grams of pure grease. I’d better change the subject before this goes any further.

“We’re going to want to get one of those trackers on that Jeep down there.”

“Yup, hopefully once it gets dark, we’ll draw straws,” Rockfish said.

“I’m letting you know I’m going to do it. I’m quicker, a smaller visual target and won’t need CPR upon my return.”

Jawnie was into the last hour of her shift on the camera, a little after 2pm, when the back door to the trailer opened. The women emerged and walked across the lawn towards the trampoline. They’re not going to jump on this thing, are they? She watched them crawl through the netting and lay in the center. Now they’re not dressed for sunbathing, not to mention the sun isn’t cooperating this afternoon and it’s freaking mid-April. Jawnie hunched over the camera’s tripod and swung it towards the trampoline. A flash of light caught her attention, and she zoomed in. The flick of a lighter and a hand rolled joint passed between the two. Jawnie wouldn’t need to wait for the cover of darkness when a THC haze would do the trick.

Jawnie turned and waved Rockfish over. “Look at this.”

He glanced through the telephoto lens, and she relayed her plan. Rockfish kept nodding as he agreed. Or is he enjoying the view? I’m going and won’t take no for an answer.

“Okay, no dillydallying. Down and back,” Rockfish said. “Put your phone on vibrate in your back pocket. If it goes off, turn around and head back. That means they’ve moved off the trampoline and I don’t want you taking any chances. You got me? Vibrate equals full stop and start working your way back. No hesitation, get back here, moving from bale to bale to bale.”

“Got it.”

“Come back as careful as you went down. If you hear my voice, then you know shit’s gone sideways. Time to put on your track shoes.”

Jawnie took one of the GPS trackers and carried it in her right hand. She serpentined from one hay bale to the next until she had made her way down to where the field met Diane’s property. Jawnie peeked out around the large bale and could see it was a diagonal sprint, twenty yards to her left, to where the Jeep Wrangler sat in the driveway. She peeked around the other side but could not see past the trailer’s back corner. Back on the left side of the bale, she knew her best shot would be to aim for the passenger side rear wheel. Snap this puppy on and then slide around the back to reassess. Fuck, I hope no one drives down the road at that point.

Jawnie inhaled deeply and took off. If she were wrong and there was a third occupant, who was in the front living room, she’d be fucked before she got halfway. She reached the Jeep in six long strides and the driveway gravel gave way as she slammed on the brakes. Jawnie landed on her ass and popped right back up. She slapped the tracker up into the wheel well and heard the satisfying clunk. She pulled her hand back. Well, it didn’t fall out. That’s a bonus. No buzz from Rockfish yet. Time to press that luck he told me not to. She presumed that if no one had fired a load of buckshot over her head by now, no one was sitting in the living room, looking out over the front yard.

She worked her way around the back end of the Jeep and then forward, along the driver’s side, towards the set of double windows next to the small front porch. Jawnie reached up and stood on her tiptoes to peek inside. The stench of cigarettes hit her senses from the open window before her eyes focused on the inside. A second later, when they did, she wished they hadn’t. The place was a disaster. Domino’s boxes and Big Gulp cups littered any flat surface. And then she saw it. Someone had draped a black leather duster over a wooden chair next to the small dinette.

Fucking B-I-N-G-O was her name-o. A fist pump and a game of hay bale Frogger later, Rockfish claimed she resembled the cat that had eaten the friggin canary and went back for seconds.

“He’s here,” Jawnie stammered. “I mean not right now, but he’s been here, and odds are he’s coming back, if not for the jacket, another round of good times. Raffi and Lynn both mentioned that damn coat.”

“And you saw no one else?”

“No one. When I got back to the field, I stopped behind that first bale and looked back to see if I had missed anything, but you saw that.”

“I did. Now let’s make sure this thing actually works after making the trip.” Rockfish pulled out his cell and opened the tracking app. “Good clean signal,” he said. “I believe we’re in business. I hope someone gets in that Jeep and heads out so we can really test this thing out.”

“Based on the Domino’s delivery boxes piled up, I think the only destination you’ll get off that one is 7/11. Cigarettes and Big Gulps runs.” “Don’t forget the rolling papers,” Rockfish said. He put his fist out and she bumped it. That was her attaboy, and Jawnie couldn’t have been happier.

She sat back on the ground and her heart continued to beat as if it would come through her ribcage. Jawnie tried to relax but had a hard time settling back into the waiting game. The adrenaline rush from that little ten-minute operation was the first on the job, legit high she had experienced. She couldn’t wait for the Jeep to head out for Earl or for him to show up. It didn’t matter whether the action came at dinner or lunch tomorrow. She’d be ready.

Jawnie’s second opportunity came after ten that night before they were ready to call it a day. Rockfish had tracked the headlights as they came down the road and turned into the driveway, sans blinker. An old Chevy pickup pulled in behind the Jeep and backfired before the engine died. The driver quickly climbed the porch steps carrying a twelve pack of beer in his right hand. The small porch light above the door lit Earl Porbeagle in all his glory. Rockfish knew when he saw him. The man could pass for any Kilingess resident, in a tank top and jeans.

An hour passed before the kitchen and living room lights went off, one at a time. A couple of seconds, later Rockfish could see through the telephoto lens a light from a rear window at the back of the trailer had flickered on. It illuminated the far corner of the backyard.

“Hey, I think we’re primed—”

Jawnie was three hay bales deep into the field before Rockfish could tell her it was time.

She followed the same path as before and stopped again at the last bale that separated the field from the property. Her breathing was calmer on this second trip, and she looked around the left side of the hay bale at her target. The porch light lit little more than the small landing and the front half of the Jeep. Darkness smothered the old pickup. Jawnie counted to three and stepped out into the open. She slowed this time as she approached the driveway and didn’t end up on her ass.

Jawnie crouched down at the right rear wheel and reached up the side of the truck to the bed wall. These old trucks had holes on the top of the bedsides, called stake pockets, or so Rockfish claimed. It would be an undetectable spot; he swore on it. She ran her hand along the top of the bed and easily found the first one. Clunk.

Well, I’ll be damned. Old man knows his shit. She turned and bent over, stayed low and sprinted back to the confines of the hay bales.

***

Excerpt from See You Next Tuesday by Ken Harris. Copyright 2022 by Ken Harris. Reproduced with permission from Ken Harris. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Ken Harris

Ken Harris retired from the FBI, after thirty-two years, as a cybersecurity executive. With over three decades writing intelligence products for senior Government officials, Ken provides unique perspectives on the conventional fast-paced crime thriller. He is the author of the “From the Case Files of Steve Rockfish” series. He spends days with his wife Nicolita, and two Labradors, Shady and Chalupa Batman. Evenings are spent playing Walkabout Mini Golf and cheering on Philadelphia sports. Ken firmly believes Pink Floyd, Irish whiskey and a Montecristo cigar are the only muses necessary. He is a native of New Jersey and currently resides in Northern Virginia.

The Pine Barrens Stratagem published on January, 27, 2022. The sequel, See You Next Tuesday published July 14th and the third in the trilogy A Bad Bout of the Yips is coming March 9, 2023.

Catch Up With Ken Harris:
www.KenHarrisFiction.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @08025writes
Instagram – @kenharrisfiction
Twitter – @08025writes
Facebook – @kah623
Twitch – @KenHarrisFiction

 

 

Tour Participants:

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GIVEAWAY:

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Shadow of the Gypsy

by Shelly Frome

June 6 – July 1, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Shadow of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome

A nemesis out of the past suddenly returns, ​forcing Josh Bartlett to come to terms with his true identity.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction
Published by: BQB Publishing
Publication Date: May 5, 2022
Number of Pages: 330
ISBN: 1952782570 (ISBN13: 9781952782572)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Shadow of the Gypsy Book Trailer:

Read an excerpt:

Quickly, he was outside in the snow again, searching frantically for the Christmas present. Trudging through the stands of evergreens in his slippers, shivering so hard he couldn’t stand it, frozen crusted pine combs under foot till he spotted the van in a clearing. There were shouts and threats. There was a bloodcurdling scream. He thrust himself forward to see, though for the life of him he didn’t want to see, didn’t want to ever know. A dagger flashed in the moonlight. Zharko’s hand raised up and plummeted down over and over, finally cutting off the screaming for good.

Spinning around, Josh scurried over the pine combs and raced off, shaking with fear and cold, searching for the Christmas present. Longing to join the kids beyond the woods, snug inside, embraced by their mothers and the warmth of the hearth, glistening presents dangling under the tree laced with tinsel and garlands of spangled light.

He thrashed around seeking this first-ever Christmas present that would make everything nice but found only his pillow and woke with a start. He sat up. There was no going back to sleep opting for dreamy images of walking to school with Molly as the weather turned to spring, buttercups lining the path. No way to erase anything. He was left with the same chill again from this morning turning into an ache that had no name.

An ache it was useless to gloss over.

Quickly, he was outside in the snow again, searching frantically for the Christmas present. Trudging through the stands of evergreens in his slippers, shivering so hard he couldn’t stand it, frozen crusted pine combs under foot till he spotted the van in a clearing. There were shouts and threats. There was a bloodcurdling scream. He thrust himself forward to see, though for the life of him he didn’t want to see, didn’t want to ever know. A dagger flashed in the moonlight. Zharko’s hand raised up and plummeted down over and over, finally cutting off the screaming for good.

Spinning around, Josh scurried over the pine combs and raced off, shaking with fear and cold, searching for the Christmas present. Longing to join the kids beyond the woods, snug inside, embraced by their mothers and the warmth of the hearth, glistening presents dangling under the tree laced with tinsel and garlands of spangled light.

He thrashed around seeking this first-ever Christmas present that would make everything nice but found only his pillow and woke with a start. He sat up. There was no going back to sleep opting for dreamy images of walking to school with Molly as the weather turned to spring, buttercups lining the path. No way to erase anything. He was left with the same chill again from this morning turning into an ache that had no name.

An ache it was useless to gloss over.

***

Excerpt from Shadow of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome. Copyright 2022 by Shelly Frome. Reproduced with permission from Shelly Frome. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Shelly Frome

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at UConn, a former professional actor, and a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He also is a features writer for Gannett Publications. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, Murder Run, Moon Games, The Secluded Village Murders, and Miranda and the D-Day Caper. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio: A History and a guide to playwriting and one on screenwriting, Shadow of the Gypsy is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Catch Up With Shelly:
www.ShellyFrome.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @ShellyFrome
Instagram – @AuthorShellyFrome
Twitter – @ShellyFrome
Facebook – @ShellyFrome

 

 

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Click here to view Shadow of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome Tour Hosts

 

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Serpent's Doom by Connie di Marco Banner

Serpent’s Doom

by Connie di Marco

May 23 – June 17, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Serpent's Doom by Connie di Marco

Kudos for Serpent’s Doom

“Connie di Marco’s twin loves of Astrology and the detective fiction genre are on full display in her latest installment of the Zodiac Mysteries: Serpent’s Doom. It makes perfect sense to fuse these two disciplines in which intelligence, intuition, and interpretation play such a key role. It’s also a delight to see Astrology driving the plot forward rather than employed as a mere gimmick. This adds dimension and suspense to how the mystery plays out and di Marco’s wonderfully cinematic prose keeps you turning the pages in increasing anticipation.”
-Christopher Renstrom, astrologer for the San Francisco Chronicle, SF Gate and Astrology Hub, author of The Cosmic Calendar and creator of rulingplanets.com

“Intriguing and riveting, Connie di Marco’s latest Zodiac Mystery, Serpent’s Doom, is a new year’s firecracker of an adventure. Told with heart and conscience, Serpent’s Doom features a superb cast and setting, with a plot right out of the headlines. The best yet in this highly original series.”
-James W. Ziskin, author of the award-winning Ellie Stone Mysteries

“Connie di Marco’s Zodiac Mysteries have it all: vibrant characters, sharp and suspenseful plots and comedic interludes. I love the added bonus of astrology and metaphysics and eagerly await the next installment.”
-Karen Christino, astrologer and author of Foreseeing the Future

“San Francisco Astrologer Julia Bonatti will need more than the stars when she tries to help a boy find his missing mother. di Marco takes us on a thrill ride from Chinatown to famed Bay City locales. An enticing mystery with compelling characters who pull you in. ‘Dear Zodia, is it in the stars that Connie di Marco will write more Zodiac Mysteries?’ I certainly hope so, because I’m hooked!”
-Laurie Stevens, author of the award-winning Gabriel McKay suspense novels

“Another page-turner with San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti. I alternately wanted to shake her and cheer her on as she reluctantly becomes entangled with a boy who needs her help. A fascinating look into a different culture, where involving the police is a bad idea, prompting Julia to take matters into her own hands.”
-Sheila Lowe, best-selling author of the Forensic Handwriting Mysteries and the Beyond the Veil Mysteries suspense novels

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Suspense Publishing
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Number of Pages: 300
ISBN: 0578326566 (ISBN13: 9780578326566)
Series: A Zodiac Mystery, 4th (Each is a Stand-Alone Work)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Cheryl, the manager of The Mystic Eye, signaled to me. I was at the Eye to fill in at the evening’s psychic fair. She indicated a young woman in a cotton skirt and denim jacket. Her dark hair was cut in bangs and pulled back in a low ponytail. She wore no makeup and clutched a small, zippered plastic purse in her hand. I nodded to Cheryl and headed down the narrow side corridor to the small reading room I had been assigned for the evening, each space protected by a heavy drape.

I took my seat and cleared my astro program for my upcoming visitor. She was slender, young, mid-twenties at a guess. Her legs were bare under her cotton skirt and I was sure her denim jacket didn’t sport a designer label. She was hardly dressed adequately for the chilly night. Her jaw was clenched and her hands were red and raw, her nails bitten to the quick. As she took her seat across the small table from me, the collar of her denim jacket pulled away betraying darkened discolored skin at her collarbone. A bruise? She was so tense she seemed to vibrate. The electricity was difficult to ignore. Was it anger? Fear? Maybe an unnecessary terror of the occult? That might explain her tension, but still…that bruise raised a red flag.

I smiled, said hello and introduced myself. She nodded and watched me intently. I asked if she was familiar with astrology and she said she wasn’t. “Well, let me explain a little. Your natal chart is a map of the heavens at the time of your birth. It shows the gifts and talents you bring to this incarnation. It also shows the difficulties you’ll contend with in life. Do you have your birth information?”

“Yes.” She nodded and passed a slip of paper to me. There were two birthdates, with time and location, jotted down hastily. She knew enough to offer the information I needed to set up a chart. Perhaps she wasn’t as clueless about astrology as she first claimed.

“Can I ask you your name?”

“Tracy. Tracy Wyler. The second birthdate is my husband’s.”

“Okay, Tracy.” I plugged the information into the program on my laptop and two charts were instantly generated. “Would you like to focus on your chart? Or perhaps on your relationship with your husband?” She nodded but didn’t answer. I clicked on the bi-wheel option where I could see both charts at once, displayed in inner and outer rings. Then I set up a composite chart. I didn’t like what I saw. There were connections between the charts that indicated physical attraction, but I didn’t like the Mars and Saturn and even Pluto connections from her husband’s chart to her personal planets. I checked the composite chart, hoping something more positive would be indicated. As often happens in astrology, the composite echoed the synastry, or comparison, of the two individual charts.

This was not a good relationship for her. Her body language told me a lot, even without the insight of the charts. There was no choice but to go for it. She obviously needed help and I had only fifteen minutes to offer her what I could. I had to be blunt. She’d either listen or react with anger. “Tracy, you already know what I’m about to say. You need to escape this marriage.”

She gasped. Her eyes widened. She nodded her head quickly and tears sprang to her eyes. “I know things aren’t good but I don’t know what I can do. I have no place else to go.”

“He’s hurt you, hasn’t he?” The Mars and Uranus aspects to her husband’s Sun sign indicated anger and the possibility of violence if unchecked. There was that, but it was more the connections between these two individuals that concerned me. She reached over and rolled up one of the sleeves of her jacket. Dark bruises lined her arm. She craned her neck and showed me another mark on the side of her neck. “How long has this been going on?”

“We got married three months ago. It started a few days after. He keeps telling me I can’t do anything right. That I’m stupid.” She stifled a sob and took a deep breath. “He says…he says I’m so ugly that I better behave because no one else would want me.” Tears were filling her eyes, her breathing was shallow. I passed a small box of tissues across the table. “But then, when he cools down, he says he’s sorry, that he really loves me and he won’t do it again…”

“I have to say this, Tracy. I doubt this will change. Even with a lot of psychological help, even if he was willing…it’s a recurring pattern.”

“I don’t know what to do,” she cried.

“Do you have any family?”

“Only my mother and she’s in Indiana.”

“What does she have to say?”

“She says I should listen to my husband. After all, he works and he supports me.”

I felt a slow rage rise in my chest. What kind of a woman would advise her daughter to submit to physical abuse? Any kind of abuse? “What he’s doing is against the law, Tracy. You may not be aware of this, but we have serious laws in California against this type of thing. The police are required to arrest anyone accused of abuse. It’s not up to the cops to decide. They must arrest the accused party. All you have to do is call the police, show them what he’s done to you, and he won’t be coming home.”

“They won’t arrest him. They won’t. He’ll convince them, he’s so persuasive.”

I reached across the table and grasped her hand. “You don’t understand. Here the laws are different. The police have no choice. He’ll be held, maybe without bail, and he’ll be charged. That would give you time to get away and find shelter.”

She began to cry in earnest. “It won’t matter. Eventually he’ll get out and come after me. It’ll be worse than before.”

“All the more reason. Once the police take him away, you can go to a women’s shelter. Listen….” I had to break through her wall of hopelessness. “I keep lists of all kinds of resources for my clients.” I quickly opened a document on my laptop. I wasn’t attached to a printer in the tiny reading room, but I grabbed a notebook from my purse and jotted down the addresses of the three nearest shelters and passed the slip of paper to her. “The police will even take you there and they are not allowed to give out your location. And if you want, they’ll escort you home to retrieve your personal belongings. Do you have children?”

“No,” she said. “Thank God I don’t.”

A dark foreboding swept over me. This woman should not return home tonight. “What do you say, we go into the office here and call them right now? I’ll stay with you till they arrive.”

“I…I don’t know….” She twisted her fingers together. “He says he loves me, that he’s sorry. That it’ll never happen again.”

Yeah, right, I thought. Heard that one before. I waited, trying to see which way she’d go. There were aspects in her natal chart that indicated introversion and shyness. If she had met another type of man her fate would be quite different, but whoever this guy was…he’d use her like a punching bag.

“Tracy, do you have any idea how many women are killed by their husbands or partners in this country? I happen to know these statistics. It’s important in my line of work. Clients come to me with all sorts of problems.” It’s all well and good to talk about Moon signs and romance and money opportunities, but some people are already on the ropes, already at their weakest and most vulnerable, and one of them was sitting across from me right now. “Of the women murdered in the U.S. alone, ninety-seven percent are killed by their partners or husbands. Every single day three women die because of domestic violence. Those are real bad odds, Tracy. You can be safe. You can divorce this man and you can find a way to support yourself. It won’t be easy, but at least no one will be hurting you. And there are people who will help you.”

“I’m so afraid,” she wailed. “I…there’s something else…. I…oh God, I’ve….” She stifled a sob. “I’ve met someone else.” At this, she burst into tears. “If my husband ever finds out, he’ll kill me. He’ll—”

“Look, Tracy, first things first. You need help. You need to get to a safe place. Later, you can sort out all your feelings, but first you need to find shelter so you can get your head on straight.”

“I know,” she said, nodding.

“Come on. Come with me. We can have privacy in the office.” I reached out for her hand, a hand that was ice-cold. She quickly pulled away and clutched the slip of paper in her hand.

“I’m sorry…” she whispered. She stood and ran out of the reading alcove. I hurried after her, but she was too fast. She had pushed through the front door. I caught a glimpse of her through the plate glass window, running toward Columbus Avenue. I hurried to the door, hoping to catch up with her, but when I reached the sidewalk she had already turned the corner at the end of the block. I ran down the street but she was nowhere in sight. I sighed and walked back to the front door of The Mystic Eye. If she was afraid to turn her husband in, I hoped she’d at least head to a shelter to protect herself.

***

Excerpt from Serpent’s Doom by Connie di Marco. Copyright 2022 by Connie di Marco. Reproduced with permission from Connie di Marco. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Connie di Marco

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries featuring Julia Bonatti, a San Francisco astrologer who never thought murder would be part of her practice. Writing as Connie Archer, she’s the national bestselling author of the Soup Lovers’ Mysteries from Berkeley Prime Crime. Her recipes and excerpts can be found in The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook and The Cozy Cookbook. Connie is a member of the Crime Writers Association (UK), Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Connie di Marco:
www.ConniediMarco.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @Connie_di_Marco
Instagram – @Connie_di_Marco
Twitter – @askzodia
Facebook – @zodiacmysteries

 

 

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GIVEAWAY:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Serpent’s Doom by Connie di Marco. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.
https://kingsumo.com/g/ypr0jh/serpents-doom-by-connie-di-marco

 

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