August 8: Literary Gold
August 9: The Avid Reader
August 10: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
August 11: Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
August 12: All the Ups and Downs
August 15: Novels Alive
August 16: Rogue’s Angels
August 17: Westveil Publishing
August 19: Travel the Ages
ENJOY THIS EXCERPT FROM: LOVIN’ YOU CRAZY
-Somebody was following her. A shiver of warning ran up the back of Tommie Murphy’s neck. In her rearview mirror, the beam of headlights mimicked her actions as she increased and decreased her car’s speed. Add the fact that she was lost in the small city of Sebastian, Florida, and, well . . . she wasn’t having a good evening.
Her stomach grumbled and ached with nerves. She dragged in a large breath and inhaled the lavender air freshener she’d hung on the rearview mirror. It was supposed to possess a calming effect. The scent wasn’t working well. She should hit an intersection soon and could figure out her location and lose her shadow.
Besides, a vehicle behind her in the middle of nowhere didn’t mean anything sinister. She’d spent too much time worrying about Roy Davis, and she was on edge. Every day, she regretted that she’d trusted the ex-police chief. His kind, fatherly act had encouraged her to believe in him. Mistake. She’d gotten too close to him and suffered for it. Roy had suffered too. He was in prison, and his friends were hanging low. She was safe.
And I’m alive. Others weren’t as lucky. Once she had enough money, she would move away where nobody knew her past. Now the darkness wrapped around her, offering little comfort. Clouds shrouded the moon and stars in the sky. The headlights revealed oaks, palms, and bushes lining the way.
Lights from an approaching car caught her attention. She tightened her grip on the smooth steering wheel and concentrated on driving until the other driver disappeared in the blackness.
Stay focused. Charming Arturo at dinner is my number-one priority. Once I find my way to his house.
She’d worn the deep blue dress that she’d bought from a secondhand shop. The original price tag was attached when she found it. She kept it in the closet for special occasions. She’d included a necklace her host, Arturo Alvaro, would recognize. By most standards, she’d overdressed, but not for what she had in mind.
Tommie slowed her maroon, decade-old clunker. She’d saved a part of her pay from her former job at the Aloha Surf Stop to buy her used hatchback because her surfboards and gear fit inside. Instead, she should have purchased a car with a functioning GPS system.
Hold it. Her phone had one! Why hadn’t she thought of that before? She stretched her arm around the two-tone yellow and indigo surfboard between the front seats––as far as the shoulder harness allowed. Her fingers scraped against her cell and knocked it to the floor next to the door. Thud.
Great. She straightened, exhaling a resigned huff. Spot a clearing and pull over to get her cell.
As the vehicle tailed her, she was reminded that she wasn’t alone. Muttering, she rounded a curve. On the side of the road, a well-lit store and fuel pumps beckoned to her. Civilization. She veered into the lot and stopped. Tommie tensed. Where was her shadow? Seconds ticked to a minute. A pickup truck lumbered past.
She could have sworn it had been a car trailing her, but what could she tell in the dark? Maybe the driver had turned around for some reason. She massaged the knot in the back of her neck.
In the large, storefront window, a clerk lingered by a register. Relief swept over her. With luck, the market employee would be able to direct her. She squared her shoulders. She wouldn’t let her imagination ruin her plan for Arturo Alvaro. He was in for a big surprise.
I hope you enjoy our get-together, Arturo. I will.