Hello, I’m Caroline Clemmons and today I’m talking about one of my 99 cent e-books. The authors here at Ebooks 99 cents believe readers deserve a break, so we offer numerous bargains for you. When promoting my books, I often feel like one of those loud TV spokespersons:
DON’T MISS OUR SPECIAL DEAL OF THE DAY….
ALMOST HOME is my first mystery, and is also the first of a series about a young Dallas Police Detective, Link Dixon, who moves to his hometown west of Fort Worth, Texas after the death of his wife. Link hopes the move near extended family in a wholesome environment will rekindle smiles and security for his solemn six-year-old son, Jason. That part of his plan works. Their life in the Victorian home Link inherited from his grandmother is hampered by repairs, but both Link and his son love the old house.
Disappointed the only law enforcement job available is at the bottom of the sheriff’s deputy totem pole, Link feels his law enforcement experience is being wasted. He’d endure anything to help his son, so he is willing to tolerate the job. But something ominous has happened to his hometown while he’s been gone. What he thought of as a Mayberry-like place has become more like Miami Vice. When he’s recruited by an old friend in the DEA to work undercover locally in place of a recently murdered agent, Link’s life becomes even more complicated.
The good thing about living in your hometown is you know and are related to many citizens. The bad thing about living in your hometown that is you know and are related to many people you have to arrest. Sure enough, his first night on the new job requires Link to arrest his worthless cousin Virgil Lee Patterson. His alcoholic, Mama’s boy cousin remains in trouble most of the time.
Eventually Link is framed for the first murder and a second one. Only help from an old friend and several new ones keep Link out of jail. But how can he prove his innocence? Who can he trust? Who could foresee his crazy cousin Virgil Lee would hold the key to solving the complicated mess?
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE….
In my author’s opinion, ALMOST HOME combines the things I like about Bill Crider’s Sheriff Dan Rhodes series with Joan Hess’ Maggody series. That’s not to say I consider myself in the same league with Bill Crider or Joan Hess, but their work influenced as well as entertained me. ALMOST HOME is filled with quirky characters as well as downright evil ones. Since it’s a series, the quirky ones will appear throughout the series. I tend to get rid of the evil ones–which is one of the perks of writing imaginary characters. Good always triumphs!
Here’s an ALMOST HOME excerpt
Link swore to himself and poured sweat even in the shade as he continued his undercover surveillance for Travis. Thoughts of Jason made him wish he were home instead of fighting insects and heat on a hunch. After a swipe at his forehead with his shirtsleeve, he peered into his binoculars.
The dogs rose to their feet, ears cocked, and soon began barking. Their noise alerted Link to the rapidly approaching dusty white van. Two men came out of the gray home, silenced the dogs, and waited. A large man exited the van and conferred with the other two in the open area near the vehicle. Clearly something was going on. Would this meeting be something worthy to report?
The three men were so different in size they looked like Small, Medium, and Large. Link swatted at something crawling on his neck, but smiled to himself at his labels for the men. Now Small and Large moved containers from a storage shed into the southern older home. Medium unloaded the contents of the van into the same building. Dogs ran back and forth in a frenzy.
Something about Large seemed familiar, but distance prevented his identity from registering in Link’s brain. Large moved his shoulders and dragged his left leg when he walked. Link knew he had seen that before, but could not remember where or when. Something just beyond his conscious nagged that the memory was important, but nothing surfaced.
Without lowering the binoculars, he swatted at a no-see-‘um then rubbed at sweat on his chest. He had a bad case of cotton mouth and the heat zapped his energy. A beer would be great about now. A drink of anything would be a comfort, but he’d already emptied the water canteen.
The nearby river flowed lazily, inviting him to come in for a swim or to cast a fishing line. Across the river, a large bluff filled his view. Slightly down river from the bluff was a park-like, peaceful looking meadow with lush grass and large cottonwood and willow trees. That’s where he needed to be, but he’d be visible to anyone in the mobile homes.
He stood at the same level as the mobile homes, separated from the men he watched by a scrub-covered ravine. Travis had mentioned he suspected a drug lab and clearinghouse. Link hadn’t seen evidence to prove anything illegal—suspicious maybe, but that wouldn’t help the case.
He studied the land around the site once again. He needed proof. While the men were acting strange, there was nothing obviously wrong. How could he get closer?
The mobile homes’ positions on the side of the hill gave an excellent view of the river below. A boat might pull up and dock, but not without being seen by anyone watching from the area. Whenever a fishing or pleasure boat cruised by, the dogs rushed to the shore to challenge the boaters.
He saw no way to approach the house without being seen or alerting one of the dogs. One dog—the huge Doberman—paused with ears up. Damn. He would swear the dog stared at him. Small saw the dog’s attentive stance and looked Link’s way.
Link had purposely worn drab clothing that blended into the summer landscape. Small would not have been able to see him from that distance without field glasses unless Link made a sudden move. Still watching in his direction, Small said something to Medium, then called the other dog over, a large mastiff. Large moved to the van and pulled out a rifle.
Whoa! Time to leave.
Link slowly eased backward until there were more trees and brush between him and the three men. He caught a glimpse of the rifle lifting towards him and the flash of light on the scope’s lens. He wheeled and lit out for his car. If the men and the dogs tracked him, he hoped he could reach the car before the dogs found his scent.
A shot whizzed by his ear and struck a tree trunk. Splinters of bark showered him. A man’s shout sounded over barking dogs. How close were they?
Panting, his shirt saturated with sweat, Link raced. Binoculars and canteen bounced against him by their straps. He had no idea how long it took him to reach his car. His western boots weren’t made for speed, and he wished he were wearing running shoes.
On level ground, he broke into a run, keeping as much cover between him and his pursuers as the terrain allowed. Only a few minutes had passed, but he’d bet he’d made better time than when he ran track in high school. Of course, in track, the only gun was a starting pistol firing blanks.
His car was hidden in brush behind a dilapidated barn. Sliding behind the wheel, he wasted no time. The massive Doberman bore down on him. Within seconds Link drove out of the brush, heedless of scratches to the Jeep’s paint.
Another shot rang out, smacking into the old barn. How well had they seen his car? Did they recognize it? Jason couldn’t lose another parent. Lord help him, Link should never have agreed to this undercover shit.
Turning onto the caliche road and away from the men and dogs, he accelerated and left whirls of white limestone dust in his wake. Dogs were supposed to be pets, companions animals, not used to chase men.
A mile down the road he took a sharp left onto a narrow paved road. Luckily for him, he knew these back ways where he learned to drive as a kid. A few more turns and he slowed down. Only his heart still raced.
As he drove the long way toward home, he wondered about his next move. They would be alert now, which made everything that much harder. No getting close to that place with those dogs on guard. Even at night, their barking would be as good as an alarm. How could he see what those storage sheds hid?
BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE ….
AND IF YOU ACT NOW…..
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