USA Today Bestselling Author
Eye of the Falcon
Back in Ireland as a young girl, Issa had formed a strong bond with the falcon her father used as the lookout for his smuggling operation. One night, during a job gone wrong, her father and brothers were killed. Issa’s mother wanted a fresh start, and they immigrated to America.
Issa pursues a career in environmental sciences and continues her passion for falconry. Unable to find a special falcon like the one she’d had in Ireland is a constant disappointment for her…until the fateful day her world explodes yet again.
Eagle is a retired military pilot. He’s set up a small ranch outside Denver, Colorado where he runs a rescue center for raptors. When one of his newest arrivals, a sharp-eyed falcon, begins acting irrationally, Eagle hates the thought but knows his only choice is to euthanize it. Only the wounded bird rips free.
Badly hurt, somehow it manages to disappear into the skies only to return the very next night with a beautiful, injured woman…and a message of death and destruction for both Eagle and Issa.
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Queenie Landry’s job as a fortune teller at an amusement park pays the bills but it’s a far cry from the respectable psychic advisor role she once filled at the police station where the love of her life, Kirk Wallace, was a detective. A case went bad when she steered the team in the wrong direction and a woman died. Queenie experienced a horrific crisis of faith in her own abilities and pushed everyone away.
Nine months later, alone and denying her psychic gift, she gives birth to a son and feels redeemed. But a happily-ever-after isn’t to be. Following a severe illness, Queenie wakes up eighteen months later only to be told her son died. Unable to handle her grief, she opens herself once more to her abilities, desperate to connect with her child. Resigned to telling fortunes at the park, she’s stunned when a man walks into her tent and she sees a vision of a woman he’s murdered. She realizes she has to contact Kirk again.
Kirk left under duress. Though he regrets his decision, he’s never forgotten Queenie or found anyone to replace her. Having to be the one to tell her about her son’s death all but destroyed him because he knew it would unhinge her and he isn’t sure how she’ll ever find stability again.
Unknown to either of them, someone has been watching her for a long time, someone who likes to play games with other people’s lives–as he has Queenie’s. But even he’s confused by the creepy spiders amassing all around her. What message are they trying to convey to her that she’s stubbornly refused to hear…and what price will she have to pay if she fails?
Eye of the Falcon
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Eye of the Falcon
As a child Issa bonded with a falcon in Ireland, circumstances had her mother moving them to the US. It’s now years later, Issa has just cleaned out her mother’s apartment following her death. She lives out in the wilds because she needs the wide open spaces. Her cabin is small but functional and away from the boxed in feel she gets from the city. She’s a bit distraught but gets a bit of solace from the birds she cares for. A beautiful falcon, Roash, a Snowy Owl, Humbug and a tiny saw-whet owl, Gillian all have special needs and Issa is more than happy to meet them. She’s yet to find a job even as a biologist with a PhD in Environmental science the offers haven’t exactly been flooding in. After storing the boxes in her root cellar, she hears a disturbance outside. A gunshot has her tearing out the door only to be captured by strong arms and then encased in some sort of sack.
Eagle has a small ranch outside of Denver, he’s set up a sort of wild bird rescue, treating injured birds of prey. An injured falcon had shown up a few days earlier and now Eagle is afraid he’s going to have to put it down. However, the moment they’re outside the bird flies off. Something he shouldn’t be able to do with his injuries.
Eagle then realized all the birds were eerily quiet. As he investigates with his rifle and his dogs at his side, the falcon he calls Rikker flies up from the brush and then goes back down. What Eagle finds when he gets closer stuns him.
This is a favorite scene.
But Eagle found none of those four-legged creatures.
And still behind Eagle was only silence. Every bird watched his progress. He kept glancing into the pens for any clue. Something was seriously off. A thick dark growl erupted from Gunner’s throat. The huge sheepdog ambled forward, his ears up, his back raised. Hatter raced behind with a lesser sense of smell. More concerned with the joys of puppyhood, he pranced and jumped around Gunner, trying to figure out what this new game was all about.
Unfortunately Hatter was no puppy— he was just stunted in growth and seriously stupid.
Eagle walked past, dropping a soothing hand on the back of Gunner’s neck. “What is it, boy?”
Gunner hunkered down as the hair on the back of his neck rose again. Eagle studied the long grass and the thick forest beyond. The air was still, heavy. Nothing moved. Not even the wind.
A negative space was up ahead where the ground cover appeared flattened. A trail of broken and trampled grass led to it, but, unless the animal left the same way, no path exited the hollow. With Gunner at his side, Hatter loping behind, Eagle slowly approached. Reaching the first fence line, he stood on the bottom rail and stretched up, hoping to see what was hiding.
Just then something erupted from the long grass.
He watched in amazement as Rikker soared high above, splitting the air with its piercing screech, only to circle back around again and again and slowly lower itself down. Eagle could see its broken wing, and yet the bird still flew straight. Eagle didn’t understand— but he wanted to. He swung a leg over the top rail of the fence and jumped down on the other side.
He ordered the dogs to stay. Gunner broke into furious barking, as if warning Eagle not to go there. But the big heavy dog couldn’t jump this fence easily. With his weapon ready, Eagle slowly parted the long grass. Just as he caught a glimpse of something white on the ground, the falcon rose once again, flapping its big wings in front of him.
“Easy, Rikker. Take it easy now. Let me see what’s going on.”
Unable to see around the irate bird, Eagle stepped forward, using his arms to brush back the raptor. His gaze dropped to the ground, and he froze, his mind struggling to compute the scene before him.
A nude woman— bloody, bruised, and scratched to hell— lay collapsed on the ground unconscious.
“Jesus Christ.” He put away his weapon and dropped to her side. She was on her side, but Eagle could see she was young, with long dark-red hair half covering her face, skinny to the point of being gaunt. Her bare feet were bloody and torn. As if she’d run until she couldn’t take one more step …
Instinctively he searched for a pulse, only to have Rikker flap his dangerously large wings in Eagle’s face and claw at his hands.
“Stop. I must help her. Just like I helped you.”
With a wary eye on the bird, Eagle was determined to subdue the falcon if he wouldn’t let Eagle check out the woman. He slowly outstretched his arm again. Rikker made a harsh cry but settled onto the woman’s shoulder.
Not the best place, but it would do for the moment. Eagle found a pulse at her wrist. Slow and steady. He did a quick check for injuries. He ran experienced fingers down her spine, her extremities, looking for breaks. He couldn’t find any broken bones, but her right ankle was swollen, and one shoulder badly cut, and any internal fractures would be hard to confirm without X-rays. He frowned, his mind racing to identify the wounds and their cause.
Keeping his face and eyes protected from the falcon, still uncertain of the reason for the bird’s presence, Eagle searched the woman’s back and chest again and found a small hole on the shoulder she lay on. He settled on his heels. He knew that wound.
She’d been shot by a small caliber handgun at close range. He gently rolled her forward and found no exit wound.
“Goddammit.” He glared at Rikker. “What the hell is going on here?”
In a move that shocked Eagle into silence, Rikker slowly lowered his head and stroked the woman’s cheek with his beak.
“Well, shit,” he whispered. Eagle pulled off his shirt, throwing it across her form. Wishing he had a blanket with him, he glanced at the house and realized it’d be better to pick her up and take her back, but how badly wounded was she? He worried about internal injuries the most. Still, she couldn’t stay here. That’s when he noticed the bright red blood on the grass beside her head. As soon as he probed that side, she moaned. In a gentle voice he whispered, “Take it easy. You’re safe now.”
Just then she rolled to her back. Her eyes opened, and cloudy midnight-blue irises gazed at him. She seemed to focus, only to have her lashes slowly drop again. Her mouth worked, and he could sense the effort behind her need to speak.
“It’s okay. You’re safe.”
Her eyes opened, this time with more clarity, and landed on Rikker. Instead of crying out or screaming in terror, she murmured, “Mo chara, you found me.” She gently stroked the falcon. He crooned at her touch, and her eyes drifted closed again.
Aware of time passing, but also aware of something magical happening, Eagle studied her waxy features, his gaze catching sight of the fresh blood on her forehead.
He slipped his arms under her frail form and lifted her. As if Mother Nature herself was helping, the wind picked up, making the trees bow around him, the branches forming a protective curtain for him to carry her through, unseen by others. The air held an eeriness, like something otherworldly. The dust swirled up at his feet, taking away his footprints, even though it had rained just that morning. And then a rumble sounded, … as if someone gave them cover to hide the noise Eagle now made.
Unnerved, but understanding an opportunity had presented itself, he cradled her against his chest and strode back to the dogs. He awkwardly made it over the fence and froze. Rikker stood on Gunner’s back, both ahead of Eagle as if urging him to move faster, with neither complaining about the odd transportation system. Even Hatter was out in front, for once a serious look in his eye.
Eagle didn’t have a clue what was going on, but, whatever it was, it had to do with the injured woman in his arms. He picked up speed, almost running to his house. As he came to the large falcon pens, the silence was suffocating. His heart slammed against his chest, and he could hardly breathe for the tension coiling inside.
As soon as he pounded up the steps to his house and bolted inside, the dogs barked and the raptors screeched, filling his world with a cacophony of sounds— like some invisible command had been released.
He stared down at the frail woman in his arms and asked in a low shocked voice, “Who are you? And what the hell just happened to my world?”
Dale Mayer. Eye of the Falcon (Kindle Locations 176-229). Valley Publishing.
Eagle calls in some help, and when Issa wakes she doesn’t remember much. A vet, a doctor both say she should go to the hospital and he should call the sheriff but he knows something bigger is involved and won’t do that.
Both Stefan and Tabitha get involved in the most unusual way. I have to admit I was a bit puzzled when Stefan had to be pulled back by both Dr. Maddy and Celina. It’s the after affects of that bit of ‘flying’ that really had me laughing out loud as everything Stefan starts painting ends up with an owl in it.
Plenty of tension as Eagle helps Issa and tries to get her to remember what happened. Everything seems to lead back to her childhood some how, and Stefan encourages her to look further therein.
I couldn’t put this book down as the pieces start to form and come together. The relationship between Eagle and Issa simmers before it sizzles.
A fun and interesting tale with yet another unique ability and lots of intrigue and suspense.
5 Contented Purrs For Dale!
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Queenie is a psychic, the real deal like Stefan. She’s working at an amusement park answering a question for five dollars. She is using her gifts, but her boss Carlos isn’t a believer so he’s tending to overwork her. This particular day a spider decides to show up and walk across her table. Now spiders aren’t her favorite things so the urge to pick it up surprises her. The images she sees with the spider on her hand are startling and bring back painful memories. This was immediately followed by a man wanting to know if he would be acquiring a particular property. The vision Queenie gets is fast and overwhelming. This man had killed. Then the spider was back and what she hears really sets her off balance.
This event starts Queenie on a different kind of journey. She contacts her ex Kirk a Seattle detective, only to regret the call and sends an email with the visions details. They aren’t enough to pinpoint the body or convict the killer but they were something to follow up on.
Kirk and Queenie broke up after she fell into the depths of despair after losing her son to illness. She herself was in a coma when he died, and although they have the signed cremation documents she doesn’t remember ever signing them. She sent him away and he didn’t come back.
Kirk pays her a visit after a woman comes to the station to report her mother missing. The details fit.
This is a favorite scene.
Kirk stared at Queenie, hating the fear on her face as soon as she saw him.
She stared at him, walked around to the table and sagged into the chair. “What are you doing here?” she asked, her voice trembling.
He stroked a hand through his hair. How did he explain when he wasn’t even sure himself? They had so much history. So many highs, so many lows, such a mess of a relationship, so much pain and ugliness … He’d done his damnedest to weather it all, but, in the end, it had broken them. He wasn’t even sure what words to give her to make her feel more at ease. “Your email.”
He could almost see the wave of fear falling from her shoulders like a shawl she took off and laid on the chair behind her. Why? What was she afraid of?
“What about it?” she asked. “I told you all I knew.”
She glared at him, getting her spunk back. He loved that. She was never the kind to stay down for long. Even when she was at her absolutely most broken, she’d come out in the ring fighting. Unfortunately it seemed like she’d been fighting everyone, even him. All he’d tried to do was help her, but she couldn’t tell who was helping and who wasn’t. She’d sent him away, and, to his everlasting regret, he’d gone.
She nodded. “He was only here for a couple minutes. He laughed at me because I was bothered by a spider, but he left, outraged at my words.”
His heart slammed against his chest. “You told him something that upset him?” He watched the regret whisper across her face.
“I didn’t think before it came out,” she said. “I was so upset at what I saw that I said something to him about him already knowing the owner was dead.”
Kirk leaned over, placed his hands firmly on the table in front of her and glared at her. “Did you in any way indicate you knew he’d murdered this woman?”
Her face went blank. And then she shrugged. “I don’t think so, but I don’t know. You know what it’s like when I get the visions. They come and they go. I grasp bits and pieces, but I don’t record everything.”
He looked around at the table she worked behind and the absolutely ridiculous headdress sitting on the side of it. “What the hell are you even doing here? You have talent, real talent, and you’re sitting here, acting like some charlatan.”
“I’m doing what I do because it’s what I do,” she said, her tone hard. “I don’t exactly have much in the way of career options. Nor can I keep working for the police when they’ve decided I was half-cocked and unstable. Plus they never paid for my assistance either— they didn’t want anyone to know they were listening to a psychic. So … that doesn’t work. … At least not anymore.”
He hated the note of accusation in her voice. He understood it, but he hated it. “I didn’t have anything to do with that,” he said.
Her smile, if anything, went more blank. She stared at him, her eyes, as always, huge wells of deep midnight blue. For the longest time he would succumb to the lure and completely bury himself in those eyes, in her life, their love all-encompassing, their passion all-overwhelming. When they made love, it was completely transported to something else. They forgot their surroundings; they forgot everything but what they were feeling. He wondered if her psychic ability had wrapped him into her same weird slice of life because it never felt the same before or after. He’d had relationships since, more to help him forget what he’d lost, and had never found anything even close.
“Why do you keep putting yourself in danger?” he cried out in frustration.
She looked at him. “Are you serious? Look where I am. What danger am I in?”
“You called out a murderer.”
“I don’t know that for sure,” she said instantly. “Besides, I was … off. … That damn spider had me off my game, so the murderer surprised me.”
“Explain.” His voice was direct and hard, uncompromising.
She shrugged. “It wasn’t much. Just something unusual.” At his look, she groaned and explained about the spider’s and this man’s arrival at the time. “I don’t know. I’m still not myself,” she muttered.
“But you were sure enough that you contacted me.”
Her back stiffened, and she just glared at him.
He was sorry for making it sound so heartless. He knew she came from a place of deep pain, and he wished he could do something to help her. But there wasn’t anything. He’d already tried many times. “Back to this man. Can you describe him?”
He watched as she closed her eyes and gave him a recital. “Six foot two, at least 280, most of it chest and belly. Blustery, arrogant, the world is his, and the rules don’t apply to him.”
“Going slightly bald on the top. His hair is dark, almost black, but gray’s etching in. His face has a florid complexion, definitely a double chin, dressed well. The child was more easily identifiable.”
“He came in with a small boy, holding his hand.”
“What can you tell me about the boy?”
“Five-years-old, wearing jeans with the cuffs rolled up, sneakers that had little lights when he walked.” Her voice softened as she described the child. “Plaid shirt. He wasn’t happy. He didn’t like being in the tent, and he didn’t like it when the man got angry. He flinched at the tone of voice the man used, and, when they turned, he was dragged out of the tent by the big man.”
“What did he tell you exactly?”
“He asked if he would get the property he was after.”
Kirk listened while she continued with the message she gave him.
“Tell me what you saw in your vision.”
“A woman, early fifties, maybe blond hair, longish, floating around her head. She was just beneath the surface of the lake, maybe an hour’s drive from here. Her property borders a lake. There’s an old home. She’s slim, maybe too slim. But she’s at peace.”
“What do you mean, she’s at peace?”
“Her face is peaceful.” Queenie stopped, confused. “At least it feels that way.”
“She’s dead,” he said. “Right?”
Queenie nodded. “She’s dead. And it was not a natural death.”
“How do you know that?”
“Her throat has been sliced,” she said quietly. “But it’s still not enough for you to go on. It never is.”
He stood back, his fingers jiggling the coins in his pocket as he studied her. “Something’s different this time though.”
She stared at him. “What?”
He lifted his gaze to a point in the tent behind her. “I had a young woman come in, reporting her mother as missing. Her property borders a lake. And it’s about an hour out of town.”
Queenie stared at him. Then she held out her hand. He hated this part. It didn’t always happen when they touched— and it never happened, at least he didn’t think it ever happened, when they had sex— but, when she wanted to know something, it was her way of accessing it. He stared down at her hand.
“Scared?” she challenged.
He extended his hand and placed it on hers, hating she could still get that response from him. It wasn’t that he was scared; it was—
“It’s her,” Queenie said softly. “It’s her mother.”
“Every time you do that is so damn freaky.”
Cautiously he added, “So you’re saying, if we go to that property … How will we find the mother’s body?”
Queenie gave a sad smile. “She’s under the lake’s surface. You won’t see her unless you are almost on top of her. But she’s not close to her property. She’s on the far side of the lake.”
“How did she get there?”
“He used the woman’s boat, rowed it across and dumped her out. Other houses are around. He believes nobody saw him.”
“Believes?” he pounced. He watched her eyes unfocus, going wide and black. Another process of hers that always unnerved him. “Who?” he asked urgently. “You know we need witnesses.”
But no answer was immediately forthcoming.
He slowly went to pull away his hand, but she grasped it firmly. He waited, not sure what she was up to. With Queenie, one never knew.
Her voice changed, became someone else’s voice. A man’s voice. “Somebody else saw him,” she said, almost trancelike.
He stared at her, instinctively pulling back, but she wouldn’t let Kirk go.
“Somebody not of this world. Somebody with abilities like mine. Somebody who’s watching him.”
“Watching the killer.”
“Why would he do that?” They’d handled a couple twisted cases earlier on. Cases he still had trouble sleeping with. The last thing he wanted was to have another one.
“It’s a game to him.” She opened her eyes, dropped his hand and stared at him, her eyes coming around, focusing on Kirk. “I didn’t just say that, did I?”
He nodded. “Oh, hell yeah, you did.” He shook his head. “But I sure wish you hadn’t. You need to tell me who he is.”
“I don’t know,” she said in a flat tone. “I don’t know who he is.”
“How is that possible? He just took over your body, spoke the words you were thinking.” Shocked, he whispered, “Can you make sure he can’t connect again?”
She gave a broken laugh. “I didn’t expect to connect now. … How can I stop him if he tries again?”
“Did you learn to protect yourself at all?” he asked. “You always talked about needing to do more of that.”
“Yes,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of work in that area. You’re right. The next time he tries, maybe I’ll stop him, now that I know he’s there.”
“Next time?” he asked, his heart sinking. “How do you know there will be a next time?”
“He’s not done,” she whispered, her eyes huge wells of grief. “He’s a killer himself. And he’ll kill again. But now that he knows I’m here, he wants to show me what he can do.”
Dale Mayer. Itsy-Bitsy Spider (Kindle Locations 611-694). Valley Publishing.
Stefan answers her call for help, but he also tells her he can’t see the entity. For Stefan that is unusual and a bit scary. He also helps her with the spider issue she appears to be dealing with, they hold some very interesting information.
Kirk works on finding the missing woman, and finds himself more and more intrigued as to Queenie’s abilities. They are so much more than they were before.
I loved the way things slowly build and intertwine in this one with intrigue, suspense and a second chance romance.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.