"There's nothing wooden about Dead Man's Carve. Roberts mingles a sparkling, unique voice with a great old-fashioned mystery."
Wendy Lyn Watson
Mysteries a la Mode
Pet Boutique Mysteries (as Annie Knox)
Rilee Dust isn't your typical wood carver, she’s young and making a go of it in the small village of Tickle Creek, Oregon. She’s also the only one in town who isn't determined to get rid of her strip club neighbor. Everyone else, however, is ready to evict the Girls, Girls, Girls.
When a dog adopts her and turns her life upside down, Rilee’s not so sure it’s a good thing. Especially when he leads her to a moose, a military man and a dead body. Because the moose kicked her butt, the man saved her life and the dead body is one of her customers.
Now Rilee’s smack dab in the middle of all the small town politics with a killer on the loose who has an ax to grind. And Rilee just may be the next victim to have her name carved in stone.
A whimper at the back door ruined the moment. I debated whether to check on the stray creature looking for a handout, but oblivion called my name.
The whimper got louder. Persisted and permeated my wall of defense.
Sinking into a black hole had my name on it, and if I got up, my husband … well, he would chide me for being a softy. I smiled and pulled my feet out of the covers. The cool wood planks of the loft chilled my toes as the whine turned into a howl. Oblivion would definitely have to wait.
Heat raced to my face, threatening to take over my entire body despite the chill that still ran through me, I quickly apologized. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t sure if I dreamed it or not.” Then I quickly asked, "How did you find my house?"
He stared, returning the perusal I’d so blatantly delivered, as he stepped forward and set the oversized coffee mug on the nightstand. The silence stretched between us and my grip tightened around the corners of the sheet as I yanked at the bottom swath exposing my legs up to my thighs.
He backed up toward the doorway, a safe distance away. "Your dog. I believed you called him Mr. Bogart?" his eyebrow lifted quizzically and I nodded. "He led me here."
"Where are my clothes?" I blurted out.
"I couldn't carry you and them. I had to leave them at the bridge."
We ran along the stream in the opposite direction from where I’d gone for a swim a couple hours earlier. Bogart’s nose up in the air, he headed toward the railroad tracks a short distance from the bridge. Out of breath, I suddenly knew time wasn’t on our side, and I no longer wanted to follow Bogart. The woods were quiet, almost somber in their silence. The creek’s voice whispered in my ear and I knew something was wrong.
So wrong, the peaceful calm of the forest shuddered.
Bogart came to a halt, and my pace slowed with foreboding. “Come on boy,” I whispered, “let’s go home.”
He lay down and whimpered. Big round head between his paws, he cried with despair as he peered back at me and then looked toward something on the other side of the railroad tracks.
My hand fisted around the carved groom, the cut of his jaw jabbing at my palm as I clung to Jacob’s jacket. Slowly I approached Bogart and followed his gaze.
My faith in the man who had been my customer the day before was restored. He had been good, honest and decent. But now he resembled my clothing on the bridge, a twisted mangled mass on the opposite side of the tracks.
Join the Facebook Party to Celebrate the Release of Dead Man's Carve and enter "The Giving Library" Grand Prize Giveaway that features over 20 books from authors who have donated to the giveaway in support of Kym's efforts to raise funds for Wounded Veterans.
Tuesday, November 4
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About the author:
Three career paths resonated for Kym during her early childhood: a detective, an investigative reporter, and…a nun. Being a nun, however, dropped by the wayside when she became aware of boys—they were the spice of life she couldn't deny.
In high school her path was forged when she took her first job at a dry cleaners and met every cop in town, especially the lone female police officer in patrol. From that point on there was no stopping Kym’s pursuit of a career in law enforcement—even if she had to duct tape rolls of coins to her waist to meet the weight requirements to be hired.
Kym followed her dream and became a detective that fulfilled her desire to be an investigative reporter, with one extra perk—a badge. Promoted to sergeant Kym spent the majority of her career in SVU. She retired from the job reluctantly when her husband drug her kicking and screaming to another state, but writing continued to call her name, at least in her head.
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