Announcing the Release of: BLOOD SPEAKS ~ The Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes Trilogy, Book 3

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BLOOD SPEAKS:Taut and compelling detective story, with a clandestine twist. Dry humor. Sweet, romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully.  

…and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. ~ Hebrews 12:24 [NASB]

 

BLOOD SPEAKS in a nut shell

Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, Brooklyn gal PI, waited a long time for the solitaire on her finger. When her sometimes boss, a shadowy figure and director of a secret government organization, offers a one-week bridal shopping vacay in Virginia, she jumps at it.

Joined by bridesmaids, Sandra Daube and Bertha Dagney, Ronnie sets off for the village of Heritage Cove on Arrowhead Lake, Virginia. Their joyous stay at the rustic yet luxury Heritage Cove Inn is shattered by a murder with tendrils and a clandestine motive stretching back to the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

It doesn’t take long for Ronnie and her gal-pals to become targets of the killer. It goes without saying, Taylor County Deputy Sheriff, Lieutenant Dawson Hughes leaves Texas to protect his bride-to-be. He’s joined by Sandra’s employer, conservative political activist Ben Cohen. Neither hell-nor-high-water can keep Gabby Hayes look-alike Hoot Dagney from the side of Bertha, his new bride.

 

Excerpt:

I walked over to the front bay window to gaze out at the beauty of the snow in a neighborhood filled with houses dating back seventy-five years, or more. Maybe I’d get a handle on my squirrely feelings. I scooped up a forkful of pie, but never got it to my mouth. “What the…”

At the edge of the Rosier property, Craig Munro had climbed into a leafless tree with low branches. Using a telephoto lens, he was trying to take shots through the large, bow-shaped window.

“Now he’s gone too far,” I hissed under my breath. I stepped to the side hopefully quickly enough to avoid his camera’s view finder. As I scanned the room for LeBlanc or Peterson, I spied Detective Ross on the sofa patting Cecile’s hand.

Even better.

Mrs. Blanchard took the pastor’s hand. “Your sermon was fitting to Melanie’s life. You captured her quirky innocence.”

I quickly moved away from them. I’m not good at funerals unless I’m functioning in an official capacity. By joining the family at the house, I’d slipped out of professional mode and began experiencing some of the emotions I’d felt when my murdered husband had been laid to rest. Sadness was always something I could cope with. After mom and I were abandoned by my dad, that was something I lived with for quite a few years.

It was that I couldn’t deliver justice where evil had devastated lives that tore at me. Since I’d started trusting the Lord, I’d gotten better at handing distressful situations over to Him. Still sometimes my inadequacy taunted and played terrible head-games.

The old, avenging Ronnie was back in a flash. I strode over to him. “Detective, I need to have a word with you, now.”

The urgency of my voice must’ve surprised him. He immediately stood and followed me.

I didn’t take him to the bay window, but to another, smaller window that had a direct view of the reporter’s deviousness. “There’s a newspaperman up in that tree trying to get photos of what’s going on inside the house.”

Ross took off across the room. “Knepp, come with me.”

The two men hurried outside with Officer Murray and the rookie following them.

I walked over to the bay window and took a bite of spinach pie as Ross hauled the reporter out of the tree and slapped handcuffs on him.

Munro dropped his camera… and, well, Ross must’ve had a clumsy moment because he stepped directly on it, crushing it into the snow.

My emotions were feeling much better now. I took another bite of spinach pie.

 

Praise for BLOOD SPEAKS:

If you enjoyed the first two Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes books, it’s a cinch you’re going to love this one. The scene is set–and captured my attention–with the wintry, getting-ready-for-a-wedding first chapter. Ronnie and her two bridesmaids, Sandra and Bertha, set off for the luxurious Heritage Cove at Arrowhead Lake, Virginia for a one week vacation gifted to her from her shadowy “boss.” As usual, Ronnie–and this time, her close friends–light straight-way into a murder investigation, and the clues are hinting at long ago motives clear back to Kennedy‘s assassination. Of course, Ronnie and her friends become targets of the killer. Fast paced and delightfully written with wit and suspense that keeps you burning the midnight oil, this novel is filled with colorful characters, dialogue that is spot-on, and scenes that will make you drool with envy. And with a truly satisfactory ending, what more could you want? Except your own personal copy. ~ Carole Brown, author of KNIGHT IN SHINING APRON

In this one you’ll find a handsome hero and a smart heroine. If you think romance and dead bodies can’t mix, wait until you read Dawson and Ronnie’s story. Don’t pass this one up, if you’re into a good detective/crime novel. What makes this one even more special is the fact that it’s a Christmas story. Curl up and enjoy. Keep warm and snuggle with a book that might keep you awake through the night since you’ll want to know who the killer is and see what happens to soon-to-be favorite characters. Will a wedding and honeymoon ever take place for Ronnie and Dawson? It’s been a pleasure to know another good one was on the way as the series continued. ~ B. J. Robinson, Author of CHRISTMAS IN THE SMOKIES, WHEN THE SNOW COMES, SIEGE OF AZALEA PLANTATION, AZALEA PLANTATION, amongst over twenty novels

Grab a cup of joe or hot chocolate and immerse yourself for an enjoyable read. Nike Chillemi has a knack for cozy mystery, a mixture of mystery and subtle humor that brings you into the settings and the characters of BLOOD SPEAKS. After this read, if you haven’t already, you’ll want to go back and read the rest of the series. Ronnie is a detective with heart and soul, a character you can easily fall in love with.” ~ Linda Wood Rondeau, author of MIRACLE ON MAPLE STREET

Deputy Sheriff Lt. Dawson Hughes and PI Ronnie Ingels return in BLOOD SPEAKS… a fine Christmas caper that brings murder a bit too close for comfort. As per previous books in the series, BLOOD SPEAKS features first-rate detection and secondary characters that you won’t soon forget. Chillemi’s tight plotting and well-paced action keep the story moving, but her rich descriptions of time and place, along with culinary tidbits to entice foodie and mystery fans alike, make BLOOD SPEAKS a holiday mystery confection you’ll want to savor long after the last carol has been sung. ~ Jenna Victoria, author of    WAR OF THE HEART

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Have a blessed holiday season!!!

Nike N. Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista Blog

Purchase BLOOD SPEAKS on Amazon

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Blood Speaks ~ cover reveal

 

Blood Speaks, Cover

Book #3 in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes Trilogy, an Authorized Operations Novel…

…is a fast paced detective story set right before Christmas.

This novel will release within the next two weeks.

 

Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, Brooklyn gal PI, waited a long time for the solitaire on her finger. When her sometimes boss, a shadowy figure and director of a secret government organization, offers a one-week bridal shopping vacay in Virginia, she jumps at it.

 Joined by bridesmaids, Sandra Daube and Bertha Dagney, Ronnie sets off for the village of Heritage Cove on Arrowhead Lake in Virginia. Their joyous stay at the rustic, yet luxurious Heritage Cove Inn is shattered by a murder with a clandestine motive and tendrils stretching back to the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

 It doesn’t take long for Ronnie and her gal-pals to become targets of the killer. It goes without saying, Taylor County Deputy Sheriff, Lieutenant Dawson Hughes leaves Texas to protect his bride-to-be. He’s joined by Sandra’s employer, conservative political activist Ben Cohen. Neither hell-nor-high-water can keep Gabby Hayes look-alike Hoot Dagney from the side of Bertha, his new bride.

 

5-Star Review for DEADLY DESIGNS ~ by author Carole Brown, on Amazon

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Customer Review

 

Chillemi’s Deadly Designs is one of the best crime fiction novels for today’s world, October 14, 2016

By  C. Brown

This review is from: Deadly Designs: The Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes Trilogy, Book Two (Authorized Operations) (Kindle Edition)

Chillemi’s Deadly Designs is one of the best crime fiction novels for today’s world. Filled with tension and fast-paced action, the book also brings out the romance between the protagonists and both the suspense and romance are handled as an experienced, great writing author should do–realistically and attention-grabbing.

Ronnie Ingels teams up with Lt Dawson Hughes to find the missing wife and daughter of nerdy radio DJ Harper, even though reported far later than they should have been. Fear for the missing mother and daughter is building when the double protagonists go from questioning the elite society of Connecticut and grouchy local police detectives to an underworld of fashion and terrorism.

One impressive ability that shines from Chillemi’s writing, is her ability to infuse faith and inspirational moments within her plots that are realistic and encouraging to readers, and far from overwhelming.

The question is: did the model/mother take off on one of her usual pot-smoking experiences with a shady “friend,” or did the international terrorists kidnap the two as pay back for the DJ’s pro-Israel, conspiracy theory he spouted on a regular broadcast? Is the husband at fault? And can Ronnie and Dawson rescue the family before it’s too late?

Time is ticking…and everyone knows time is a factor in finding a live child. Recommended highly!

Link to review  DEADLY DESIGNS now on sale till Christmas for $1.99

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Find Over-50 Romance in a Whodunit ~ pre-Christmas sale

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Bertha and Hoot Dagney are perhaps the most beloved characters in my detective series, other than main characters private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels and deputy Dawson Hughes.

Bertha  brings to mind the old classic war movie saying Big Bertha. She’s a head taller than Hoot and outweighs him by half. When we meet Hoot in the tiny village of Arroyo in west Texas, he’s sporting a beat-up prospector’s hat and has a beard reminiscent of Gabby Hayes. They’re an odd couple for sure. Hoot owns a diner and Bertha is his head waitress and chief pie baker. Bertha is one of those Christian women who is genuinely kind, from the heart. And Hoot is protective of her.

So, what’s award winning HARMFUL INTENT all about?

Sweet, askance romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully. (Ages 17 to 117)

Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.

Ronnie is a sharp shooting, Brooklyn born and raised private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.

Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.

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Grace Award 2014 inMystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historic Suspense

readers-favorite-5-starsReader’s Favorite 5-Star Review

 

HARMFUL INTENT AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

Readers’ Favorite Review of HARMFUL INTENT ~ 5 Stars

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Readers’ Favorite Review gave HARMFUL INTENT a glowing 5 Star review. Here are a few notable excerpts from the review below:

  • kept me captivated from the beginning
  • The plot was amazing and the story line’s twists and turns kept me guessing until the end.
  • This is truly a murder mystery that I recommend to those who love a good, cozy mystery and to those who love sleuthing mysteries. It was awesome!
Star Star Star Star Star

Harmful Intent
The Veronica
by Nike N. Chillemi
Fiction – Mystery – Murder
220 Pages
Reviewed on 09/12/2016

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers’ Favorite

Harmful Intent by Nike N. Chillemi is a murder mystery filled with lies, betrayal and intrigue. It is set against the arid backdrop of a small town in Texas, a place where guns and hospitality go hand in hand. Veronica Ingels, P.I. finds evidence that Mark, her husband of a year, is cheating on her. To have time to think, she calls her boss and informs him of her dilemma. Being a good friend, he gives her personal time off to deal with the situation. Veronica leaves New York and flies to Texas to stay with her best friend, Cassidy. When she arrives at Cassidy’s Bridal Shop to announce her arrival, she finds Cassidy in Mark’s cheating arms. In shock and anger, she runs out of the shop and drives around, lost on the back roads in rural Texas. Unsure of what to do next, she calls her boss and gives him an update. He sends her to an old friend of his who has a temporary job and a room for her, while she works out what she is going to do. Unfortunately, things only get worse for Veronica…

Harmful Intent by Nike N. Chillemi is an exciting murder mystery that kept me captivated from the beginning. The story is written as reports from Veronica’s and Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes’s (a former Army Ranger) points of view. At first, it was a little confusing, but as I got accustomed to their reports, I got into the story and forgot its unusual portrayal. The plot was amazing and the story line’s twists and turns kept me guessing until the end. Texas was a wonderful choice for the unfolding of the plot. With their easy going attitude toward guns and ‘the door is always open’ way of thinking, I felt like I was at home! The characters were so real that I was able to connect with them and heartily loved the “good guys” and vehemently hated the “bad guys”! This is truly a murder mystery that I recommend to those who love a good, cozy mystery and to those who love sleuthing mysteries. It was awesome!

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HARMFUL INTENT NOW 99cents ~ FATHER’S DAY SALE

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This meme is courtesy of author Tammy Doherty. Thx girl, for helping me out.

 

Happy Father’s Day to all dads, grandpas, step-dads, uncles, big brothers (the blood kind and those who volunteer),  foster fathers, and anyone who steps into the gap and takes on the role of dad.

In honor on Father’s Day HARMFUL INTENT will be on dale for 99 pennies until midnight Sunday, June 21st

 

Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.

Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.

Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.

 

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Won the Grace Award 2014 in the Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense/Historical Suspense category

 

You can purchase HARMFUL INTENT AT Amazon.

HARMFUL INTENT, the Perfect Kindle Christmas Gift ~ read an engaging chapter

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The world always seems more vibrant to me at Christmas. It’s also a time when I love to curly up with a good novel and a cup of hot tea. For those of you who are like me, crime fiction lovers, let me suggest you try a deadly funny contemporary detective story, HARMFUL INTENT.

It’s humorcide…as mentioned before, deadly funny. Take a look-see at the first chapter. Now on sale through the New Year for 99 cents on your Kindle.

Chapter One

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY
May, Day One, Morning
Veronica Ingels, Private Detective

I unstrapped the banker’s special Colt .22 from my ankle, then leaned against the bureau in the one bedroom condo I shared with my husband, Mark.
Massaging my temples did nothing for my whopper-headache. Infidelity surveillance. So many of the bodies-in-the-buff I’d snapped shots of were much less impressive than might be imagined. Awful way to make a living, but couldn’t see myself doing anything else. Catching the guilty party in the act had almost become a mission.

 
This past week, the job that had me living out of a suitcase in a nondescript motel on Long Island had been particularly icky. The sleazoid owner of a repo agency cheated on his wife, my client. He, thought himself to be super macho, with this sandy buzz-cut and a six pack pushing through his black silk-tee. He took one look at the blond bombshell who thought she shouldn’t have to make payments on her Caddy, and… ahem… they’d made an arrangement.

 
Due to their total disregard for modesty and all caution, the job ended several days ahead of schedule. I dropped the incriminating photos off with my boss at the detective agency. Thankfully, I didn’t have to sit across a desk from the wife and show the evidence to her. Well, it’s what she’d paid for.

 
Earlier in the morning, on my way home from the stakeout, the Southern State Parkway had made like a parking lot. I maneuvered through stagnant, rush-hour traffic on my way home, trying to erase the images of those two lowlifes in all their glory. Sliding an Adele CD into the drive and turning the volume up had helped somewhat.
Silence met me as I opened the door to our condo. Mark’s Sports Illustrated magazine lay perfectly aligned with the corners of our rectangular, glass coffee table. Right where Mr. Fastidious had set it before he left for his speaking engagement.

 
I left the suitcase in the entry way, tossed my keys on top of the magazine, and it slid off the table with the keys and onto the floor. I left them, as Mark wouldn’t return for another two days. That was par for the course in a marriage with a motivational speaker.

 
I usually begged off on out-of-town assignments, but with Mark away, I had taken the surveillance on Long Island. So why was my scowl mocking me in the mirror above the bureau? “Okay, he’s always on the road… so just suck it up.”

 
After disregarding package directions and downing four Extra Strength Excedrin, I picked up the gold-framed wedding photo of Mark and me. There we were, on a glorious spring day, locked in an embrace. Smiling, we gazed into each other’s eyes on the granite steps in front of the arched, red doors of my mother’s church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. My blond hair was in a French twist adorned with baby’s breath, not the high ponytail I threw it into for work. And, my dream dress… a Battenberg lace sheath with a sweetheart neckline and a flutter train… had transformed me into something elegant.

 
I did a quick two-step with the photo clutched to my heart. One year later and it felt as if we were still on our honeymoon. If only Mark didn’t travel so much.

 
I pulled the Glock pistol from my conceal and carry shoulder bag and took the clip out, opened our closet, knelt and retrieved the gun lock-box from the far corner. Time to put the weapons away and morph into my wifey role. I’d make a trip to the supermarket and pick up a couple of steaks to have on hand when Mark came home. Then a stop at Henry Schwartz Tobacconist for Mark’s favorite, a couple of Arturo Fuente Anejo cigars.

 
I was about to unlock the box when I spied one of Mark’s shirts crumpled in the opposite back corner. It must have fallen off the hanger ’cause Mr. Neat would never have dumped it there.

 
I snagged it off the floor with the tip of my Glock, gave the garment a good shake, and was about to return it to a hanger when I spotted deep-red lipstick on the collar. My hand trembled. I wore soft pinks or muted pinkish-browns, if I bothered with lip-color at all.
“No.” Deep in the reptilian part of my jaded private investigator’s brain, I knew the signs. I walked stiff-legged toward my bedside lamp and switched it on.

 
“Can’t be.” I examined the shirt. Definitely lipstick and there was a heavy musky scent as well. Not at all like my signature ocean-breeze cologne. I sniffed again, willing it to smell like my light scent. No such luck!

 
I dropped the Italian, custom tailored shirt on the floor and backed away as if it were a viper about to strike. After taking several calming deep breaths, I reloaded the Glock and shoved it back into my purse. With two swift steps, I swept the Colt off the bureau and secured it in my ankle holster. I don’t always carry concealed, but in this instance, the weapons made me feel secure.

 
Rushing for the door, I snatched my keys off the floor, kicked the magazine across the room as if I were a quarterback, then struggled to keep my balance. I stumbled over the silver, hard-sided weekender I’d lived out of during the infidelity surveillance, and tumbled to the floor, skinning the heels of my hands on the hardwood. In the process, my cell phone slid across the highly polished flooring. I crawled after it.

 
It needed a charge, but the call to my boss went through. I kept the details of my sad story to a minimum, and he gave me a week off.
After squelching the urge to scream, I grabbed the weekender, rushed out the door and took the elevator down. My hands shook as I pulled my topaz-metallic Chevy Cruze Eco out of the building’s underground parking garage. Mark had said the car matched the blue of my eyes. A tear ran down my cheek. I had to get away from here… needed time to think.

 
I headed for the airport.

 
Parking at JFK had been a nightmare. Security queues were extremely long and TSA agents testy. Flights were delayed due to a storm front moving toward the east from the Midwest.

 
I stood at the American Airlines ticket counter. “Yes, that’s right. Veronica Ingels. The return… um… make it one week from today.”

 
“Certainly.” The young woman dressed in navy with a red and white scarf around her neck smiled and in short order handed me my tickets and boarding pass.
“Excuse me.” I zigzagged through throngs of weary passengers on my way to the women’s room. A busty woman in black leggings and a zebra print tunic hurtled past me on her way out of the lavatory. I sidestepped her, entered a stall, and sat. I fished around inside my hard-sided weekender for the two portable gun cases still in there from the surveillance job. I made sure my weapons were unloaded, and locked them in the cases, then shoved them into my luggage and closed it. I hurried to the counter to declare the weapons and sign the necessary paperwork before boarding. TSA would take a hard look at my weekender and it would be stowed in the hold. Wouldn’t have to worry when I landed since I was licensed to carry in Texas.
Just last week, my best friend from college had said over the phone, “Come on down, honey, any time. I’ve got the sweetest guest room overlookin’ the pool.” An offer she’d made many times.
Of course, as per usual, workaholic me begged off, citing a crushing load of cases at the agency. However, if there ever was a time to take her up on her offer, this was it.
By this time my cell phone had died, and I’d left my charger in my car in long-term parking. I found a store on the concourse selling chargers, but the lines at the register were so long I had to abandon that plan and run to board my plane.
The pilot battled turbulence, advising us to keep our seat belts fastened, as we flew through western storm clouds. I pulled out my pressed-powder compact and using its mirror applied fresh lipstick, light pink. What I saw appalled me… a pasty white pallor, dark circles under my eyes. Not surprising, as I was all but ready to reach for a barf bag.
After changing planes in D.C. and Dallas, hoping they didn’t lose the stowed-bag with my weapons, I arrived at my destination. Abilene.

 
“Good evenin’, ma’am.” The clerk at the rental car counter smiled, drawing his Texas twang out as if we had all the time in the world. That type of easy-going attitude had New Yorkers virtually twitching when they went out of town.
I tried to mold my lips into a smile. Hadn’t eaten anything in hours, except peanuts, although the flights had been so rough I probably couldn’t have kept anything down. Focused? I hardly knew the time zone, couldn’t put two coherent thoughts together, and wound up with what had to be the ugliest car on the lot, a lime green Smart Coupe.
I threw my weekender into the pint-sized trunk and in twenty minutes arrived at Cassidy’s Bridal Couture. The heavy glass door silently opened, and I stood in a gossamer world of white. For the first time since leaving Brooklyn, I felt safe.

 
Rushing toward the back, I made my way through an ocean of gowns, mostly bridal. Some mother-of-the-bride, bridesmaids, and prom.

 
As I approached the bridal veil display, I tripped over my own feet, disbelieving my eyes.
Mark held my college BFF, Cassidy Renault, in his arms, his body pressed up against hers with insistence, kissing her. Or, was he performing a tonsillectomy? When they came up for air, he had a deep-red lipstick smudge at the corner of his lips.

 
I ducked behind a rack of sale dresses, gasping for breath.

 
“This won’t do, darlin’.” Cassidy reached over, her talons matching the smudge on his lips and snatched a tissue from a faux gold dispenser on the ornate highly polished Louis XIV desk. She purred as she wiped his face.

 
I hurled myself in their direction. No doubt, my body went into near spasms and conveyed all the emotional turmoil coursing through me. Fear, anger, even self-loathing gnawed at me.

 
“Ronnie, what on earth are you doing here?” Mark took a backward step and his voice registered shock, but not even a hint of contrition.
“Me! I think the better question is why did I find you here, Mark, with my so-called best friend?”

 
Cassidy stepped closer to my husband and held onto his arm. “Now, honey, I’m real sorry you had to find out this way, truly I am. But since you have, you’ve got to face facts.”

 
I had heard stories about ultra-feminine southern belles who were made of steel. Here stood the woman I’d shared secrets with in college showing not a scintilla of embarrassment. I waved a finger in that witch’s face. “Don’t you call me honey.”

 
She pursed her painted lips, looking like a red grouper. “Ronnie, nobody wants to hurt you. You’re lovely as the girl next door, but Mark has moved on.”

 
It was a good thing my weapons were locked in that stupid little car, because in that moment I wanted to shoot them both through the heart with a single bullet. Truth be told, my aim is that good.

 
Mark wrapped a protective arm around Cassidy’s shoulder. “Ronnie, I was going to talk to you when I got home from this trip.”

 
That explained why his shirt with the lipstick stain had been left on the closet floor. He had no reason to hide anymore. Maybe he wanted me to find it. “Oh, I see and just what kind of motivational speaking have you been doing all this time?” My voice dripped sarcasm.

 
He took a step forward. “It’s something you’re just going to have to deal with, I’m afraid. I’m asking for a divorce.”
I pivoted, tripped over my feet again, and this time knocked over the veil display. Took something with yards of tulle halfway through the store before I shook it off. Tears streaming down my face, I raced blindly out the door, probably looking like a mad woman.

 

Courtesy of FreeImage by moniquef12
Courtesy of FreeImage by moniquef12