Fun-sized bites of Trouble, Cat Detective! All proceeds from the sale of THE TROUBLE WITH CUPID will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
The famous black cat detective from Wetumpka, Alabama is at it again in this collection of sometimes poignant, often amusing short mystery tales.
Bestselling authors Carolyn Haines and Laura Benedict lead the lineup with the sassy “Calling All Cupids” and the sweet “Of Mice and Munchkins,” followed by Claire Matturro’s heartwarming contribution, “The Madonna in the Garden.” With additional stories by eight other authors, including critically acclaimed veterans and exciting new talents, The Trouble with Cupid is a delightful offering of wicked fun for anyone who loves mysteries, cats, and a touch of romance.
Authors: Laura Benedict, Carolyn Haines, Greg Herren, Michelle Broussard Honick, Eve Osborne, Fran Roberts, Nancy Sartor, Maggie Toussaint, Lisa Wysocky, Claire Matturro, and Jaden Terrell.
The Trouble books are a multi-author coalition published by KaliOka Press with each mystery novel featuring Trouble, the black cat detective. All the full-length mysteries are available in e-format and print.
These appear at the beginning of each of these wonderful Trouble adventures. They are a blurb from Trouble and are awesome, funny and inciteful.
I think my favorite of these was Tidbit #2. Here’s just a bit of it.
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy) . KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations (467-483). Kindle Edition.
I always love when Trouble tells us things and these little blurbs are absolutely purrfect. Thank you for giving Trouble this voice.
5 Contented Purrs for Jaden!
It’s Valentine’s night and Trouble is home with his biped Tammy. She’s a bit occupied with her boyfriend Aiden when Trouble hears a yowling outside. Upon investigating he finds a pretty little kitty with a problem. Her owner is missing and Trouble has no choice but to assist this lovely lady, Trinity.
Fortunately for him her owner, Lana has invited others over on this Valentine night. Tatty, Lana’s sister is first to arrive after Trouble finds the first clue, but the phone call Tatty gets frightens her. Even as she’s contemplation the call the door bell rings.
This is a favorite scene.
The doorbell sounded, and she panicked briefly. The black cat grabbed at her jeans leg with gentle claws and moved her toward the stairs. The cat wanted her to open the door. Which was pretty darn smart, because it might be a clue where Brent had taken Lana.
She ran down the stairs and threw the front door open. The tall, broad-shouldered man who stood there holding a bottle of wine and a bouquet of lilies wasn’t Lana’s fiancé, Sam Cook, so he had to be her “date.” She’d forgotten all about the blind fix-up.
“You must be Tatty, and I’m Gabe McLeod,” he said. “Am I too early?”
She bit her lip and struggled for a reply. “Uh, something has come up.” She looked behind her, trying to figure out her next move. “Do you know where Sam might be?” She had a really bad feeling. If Brent had taken Lana, what had he done with Sam?
“He should have been here,” Gabe said. “Do you mind if I come in?”
Tatty realized she’d been blocking the door and stepped aside. “I’m afraid our plans may have changed,” she managed.
“Uh, I don’t know where Sam is.”
“Lana should know. Those two can hardly breathe without being together.” Gabe put the wine on the kitchen counter and held the flowers out to her.
Playing for time, Tatty got a vase for the flowers out from under the sink. She tried to act normal until she gathered her wits. “Thank you for the flowers.” In a moment she had them sitting beside the toaster.
“Where is Lana?” Gabe turned to look at her and stopped. “What’s wrong?”
Tatty didn’t know Gabe McLeod from Adam’s house cat, but she had to tell someone what had happened. She needed advice about what to do. She was torn about calling the police, and she needed to check on Sam. She was a stranger in Wetumpka, and she could only hope that Gabe could help her.
She blinked back tears and bit down harder on her lip. Now wasn’t the time to react emotionally. “We need to check on Sam. He may be in danger.”
Gabe came to her and put his hands on her shoulders, giving her a bit of steadiness. “What’s happened? I can’t help if you don’t tell me.”
Tatty stared into his dark brown eyes. He was the lifeline she needed to keep from falling apart. For Lana’s sake, she had to hold it together. “Brent Harlow, this man my sister worked with back in Nashville, has abducted her.” She led him up to the bedroom and showed him the lipstick words on the mirror.
“Is this man dangerous or merely delusional?” Gabe asked.
Tatty needed an answer to that question—and fast. Lana’s fate hung in the balance. “He is delusional. He built this fantasy about Lana. He managed to hack into her emails at work—he has some talent with technology. His obsession with Lana consumed him to the point that Lana moved here to get away from him. We thought it was over. It’s been months since Lana heard anything from Brent. Now he’s tracked her down and taken her. I’m worried that he may harm her. Maybe Sam, too.”
“Was there anything that might have stirred Brent up?”
Tatty put a hand on her forehead. “The wedding announcement. It ran in the Nashville Tennessean Sunday. How could I have been so stupid? I thought—Lana and I both thought—Brent had moved on with his life. I mean once he realized Lana didn’t want him, I—” She stifled the sob.
“Hey, now.” Gabe rubbed her back. “Look, we’ll find her. We will. But you’re right. Let’s check on Sam. He should have been here and I’m worried. If he’s okay, he can help us hunt for Lana. She couldn’t be far. I can smell the roast in the oven.”
“Should I call the police?”
“Me-ow!” The black cat rose on his back paws and put his front paws on her knees. He shook his head.
“I think the cat is saying no,” Gabe said.
“I don’t even know this cat,” Tatty said. “He was just here. But he does seem to know a lot. The cat seems to know that Brent warned me against calling the police when he called. Let’s find Sam and see if he knows anything.”
“Who am I to argue with a black cat or an upset sister?” Gabe asked.
“I don’t know what to do. Maybe we need the police.” Tatty brought her phone out of her pocket and the cat jumped and knocked it from her hand.
“Definitely, the cat is saying no,” Gabe said. “So let’s find Sam.”
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy). Carolyn Haines. Calling All Cupids. KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations (154-189). Kindle Edition.
I love Trouble and he definitely has a handle on this case. With help from Trinity the cats assist Gabe and Tatty in finding Lara and her kidnapper.
Laughter, fun, intrigue and interesting insights from Trouble had me turning the pages.
5 Contented Purrs for Carolyn!
Gregg Davidson is the principal and also the head teacher at the Wetumpka Montessori School. As this book opens he discovers his classroom mice are gone the door to their habitat open. When Trouble comes to say hello as he’s cleaning up the room he gives Trouble a challenge to find the mice.
Holly Burris is visiting her brother and helping out with his daughter Ally while his wife is away on business. It’s Valentine’s Day and Trent has arranged to have dinner with his friend Gregg with the motive of introducing him to Holly.
This is a favorite scene.
Their burgers came quickly. Realizing she and Trent had been doing most of the talking, she decided to dive in.
“How old are your kids? Do they live with you?”
Gregg gave her a puzzled look. Trent nearly choked on his beer.
“What did I say? Did I say something wrong?” Holly felt the heat rise to her face. Damn Trent for not telling her anything about the guy. Hadn’t Trent said something about kids?
“No kids here.” Gregg raised his hands, defensive. “Never.”
Holly looked at Trent, who was recovering. “You said something about kids wearing him out when we came in, didn’t you?”
Now it was Gregg’s turn to laugh. “He meant the students. At my school. I teach five-year-olds, but we have a classroom for threes and fours, too.”
Holly swatted Trent’s arm with her napkin.
“Hey, don’t blame me,” Trent said. “You’re the one who made the assumption. You know what happens when you assume.”
She turned back to Gregg. “I’m sorry. My brother’s an ass. I think that’s what he’s trying to tell us.” So he was a kindergarten teacher. That was something different.
“Ally’s in my class. She’s a creative little girl, and definitely spirited.”
“Is that what they’re calling it these days?” Holly said with a smile. “She’s what my Grandpa used to call a pistol.
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy) . Laura Benedict. Of Mice and Munchkins. KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations (579-590). Kindle Edition.
Now while we do have the mystery of missing mice, there has also been graffiti around town. Unfortunately that escalates when it comes to what’s written on the school’s doors.
Plenty of suspense, a lot of fun and a wonderful romance.
5 Contented Purrs for Laura!
Trouble is again visiting while his biped Tammy is traveling. In this one a Madonna statue with sentimental value has been stolen from the Anglican Church. Trouble is assisting Lucas with another case but has tagged along with him and his partner Mai on this one.
Mai isn’t very fond of Trouble and thinks Lucas will get an unsavory reputation from having the cat around on cases.
This is a favorite scene.
Soon after, we are back inside Lucas’ vehicle, and I’m carefully tucked in between him and Mai as they toss words back and forth.
“We don’t have a dang thing to go on.” Lucas backs the car around in the church driveway and heads out to Meredith Road.
“Dang? Where’d you learn to cuss?” Mai smiles and cocks her head at him. “You a choirboy or what?”
But her words are teasing, and when she flips her shiny black hair, I get it. She’s flirting. Lucas nearly drives over a curb as he gets it too and turns red. Poor boy. I purr just to remind him I’m here in case he needs my help.
“Neighborhood boys, I’d reckon.” As soon as he says “reckon,” Lucas blushes a deeper shade of red. “Maybe some kind of scavenger hunt or just the petty theft boys’ll sometimes do to show off.”
But Mai doesn’t tease him this time. “I don’t know. Do kids even do scavenger hunts anymore?”
I meow to indicate support for the idea of teens, though not necessarily just boys. Mai frowns and looks down at me. “Does it have its shots and stuff?”
It? Pardon me. I flatten my ears and give her a hard stare, which she matches and raises one by squinting her eyes into narrow slits as she glares at me. “Does it have fleas?”
Fleas! She might be cute, and I suppose she’s smart or she wouldn’t be gifted in speaking so many foreign languages, but if she’s planning on spending time with Lucas, she’s going to have to learn better manners. Or wait until Lucas and I have finished our big case and I’ve gone back to Tammy Lynn in Wetumpka.
“Oh, nothing’s wrong with Trouble.” Lucas perks up, glances at Mai, and smiles, nearly missing a stop sign. As he puts on the brakes and I dig my claws in the seat to keep from tumbling forward, he laughs. “He’s healthy as a horse, and four times smarter. Shoot, he’s as smart as your average person.”
Huffily, I let out a short, low meow. Average person. I beg your pardon. That’s a low bar to set. And Lucas knows better.
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy). Claire Matturro. The Madonna in the Garden. KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations (1192-1207). Kindle Edition.
This is an enlightening tale that hits on racism, forgiveness and sweet romance as this tale unfolds.
5 Contented Purrs for Claire!
Michelle Broussard Honick
While Tammy Lynn is off at a destination wedding, Trouble is visiting Julia in Nashville. Julia has a lovely female cat named Belle that Trouble finds charming. Of course there’s mystery involved and this one involves Julia’s client Brady Grant.
Brady is a popular Nashville singer and unfortunately he is in the hospital following an attempted poisoning. Since Brady is a single father, Julia has been taking care of his daughter Andy at their home so Trouble isn’t seeing much of Belle.
Julie is dating Brady’s pulmonologist Steve, he’s the one who determined that the inhaler was used to poison him. There are several suspects from Brady’s ex-wife, his manager, an obsessed fan and also another singer.
Trouble is determined to find out who’s trying to kill Brady and it’s my opinion he wants this done expediently so he can spend more time with Belle.
This is a favorite scene as they get together for lunch at the Hip Joint.
“The Hip Joint definitely is the coolest coffee shop in town,” a bubbly Andy raved. “Thanks so much for letting me come with you. Do you think I could have a latte?”
“Would you settle for a cup of my favorite Angel’s Dream tea instead? It’s even better with a slice of their pound cake and strawberries, and we can pretend we’re having High Tea with Harry and Meghan at Kensington Palace!”
“Dessert before supper—I like it!” Andy decided. “Hey, Julia, do you know when Daddy and Steve will get here?”
“How about now?” Brady asked. He smilingly pulled up a chair from the table behind his daughter as she reached up to hug him. “I’m glad you brought her and our favorite sleuth along, Julia. I feel better knowing Trouble is on the job.” He smoothed Trouble’s velvety black fur. “And maybe we could order some of those tuna salad sandwiches to share with him.”
“What a loud purr! I swear he’s smiling at you, Brady!” I laughed, as Steve slid into the chair next to me, reaching for my hand.
“We’re going to have to discuss the case later,” Steve murmured, nodding at the party in the opposite corner.
I nudged Brady. “Your esteemed rival, Dave, seems to have made a royal appearance. Ten-to-one he’s trying to talk your favorite co-writer into giving him a hold on his newest song.”
Brady’s smile didn’t falter. “Don’t think for a second that I’d take that bet. I’m sure you’re right about Dave’s plans, but I’m not worried. I’ve been friends with Del Moon as long as I’ve been in town, and he’s already promised me that song,”
Dave and his entourage noisily settled in at the table next to that occupied by Del and his ten-year-old daughter, Melody, who went to St. Bernard Academy with Andy. I noticed Melody motioning for Andy to “come on over.”
Our usual server stopped by the table with menus. “We don’t need them, Dixie,” Brady said. “We’ll have a big platter of the pimento cheese and the tuna salad sandwiches with two black coffees, two cups of Angel’s Dream tea, four slices of your special pound cake with strawberries, and a big bowl of filtered water and an extra plate for our little friend here. That oughta hold us til supper.”
Dixie smiled. “I do like customers who know what they want. I’ll go place your order.” She started to walk off, then turned back. “And Brady, I’m so glad you’re okay.”
“Thank you, darlin’. I’m just glad to be here.” Andy waited politely before asking, “Daddy, may I go over to Del’s table for a little while to talk to Melody?”
Brady grinned. “Sure, sweetheart. Just be sure to come back before the music starts and…”
They laughingly chorused together, “Stay in my line of sight!”
The three of us chuckled until Dave sauntered over to our table.
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy). Michelle Broussard Honick. Trouble at the Hip Joint. KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations (1733-1763). Kindle Edition.
Lots of twists in this page-turning short.
Love, laughter, suspense and romance abound.
5 Contented Purrs for Michelle!
Fran Driscoll Roberts
It’s Valentine’s Day and Cami and her husband are heading in opposite directions. Cami on a flight with Trouble to return him to Tammy Lynn and Levi, who in the Coast Guard, to his station to catch his transport to a thirty day training session in California. Cali would be staying with Tammy until his scheduled return home.
As is always the case in February, the weather takes a turn for the worse. While flights are being cancelled left and right, Cami’s takes off only to land in Chicago with engine trouble.
As they wait they meet Moses a Ghanan Paralympic medal winner, who thanks to weather delays is low on funds and has a couple of young ladies helping him raise some money for food. He’s been touring events to raise money for his team but his budget has been severely strained by continual delays.
Cami and Trouble befriend the gentleman and they all have a meal together when the unthinkable happens. The Medals he showed them earlier and has been guarding with his life are gone.
This is a favorite scene as Trouble starts investigating.
“Everybody in this terminal is confined to these last few gates for the next hour,” said the Deputy U.S. Marshal. “Nothing is going out, and I believe we can coax the passengers into helping with the search. Moses, your story is known, and most people are sympathetic. The storm is forecast to be ending within the next hour, and your replacement plane is en route.” The Marshal was an older fellow with a military haircut and a slim build. He had merry blue eyes, and could have passed for anybody’s grandfather. His involvement in the investigation was a favor to the airport police supervisor, an old friend from his Army days. “Intra-agency goodwill,” he’d said with a wink.Moses looked about to cry. A large vein in his forehead throbbed. “The plane is worth nothing now. I cannot go anywhere without the medals.”
The U.S. Marshal began to pace. “There has only been one flight out of here in the past forty minutes, and we have video of the few folks who have recently left the airport. Chances are, the medals are still here. We don’t have a warrant, but we do have years of experience searching for items of importance. And we have a few gadgets up our sleeve the thief may not have anticipated.”
“Yes,” said Cami. She watched Trouble walk through the restaurant, stopping to peer into each bag on the floor and pawing at luggage and purses unnoticed.
Pippa, the angelic-looking girl at the next table, was taking more items out from under her dress. She had a black leather glove, three silver bangle bracelets, and an ornate red barrette. Her mother glanced at the Marshal, the police and security officers circulating through the area, and then down at the table, her face pale and horrified.
“Trouble, my money is on her for the thief,” Cami whispered into Trouble’s ear when he returned.
The little girl stared at Cami from across the room as if she knew exactly what she had just whispered. A cold chill ran down Cami’s back and the cornflower blue eyes seemed to slice right through her.
Cami repeated her concern sotto voce to the U.S. Marshal, and he summoned two officers with a tilt of his head. Maybe the flustered woman was a pro, and her daughter was just part of the family business. Or maybe she had just ruined the woman’s already tough day.
Trouble meowed and walked out of the restaurant. Cami followed. He sauntered back to the water fountain where they had first met Moses. Along the way, Cami kept a careful eye out for clues. Was Trouble suggesting that the pouch had been slit open before they went into the restaurant? If so, the list of suspects just tripled.
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy). Fran Driscoll Roberts. Engine Trouble. KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations (2120-2139). Kindle Edition.
Suspenseful and fun as Trouble sniffs out the culprit of this interesting theft and a wonderful surprise as well.
5 Contented Purrs for Fran!
In this book before she leaves Trouble Tammy tells him to protect her friend River Holloway. Now their at a Ranch where River is catering a corporate dinner for North Merrick Security Systems. She had turned the job down three times before her ex Pete, who is also the CEO offered an exorbitant amount of money. Money River needed because her brother stole the mayor’s car after their mother’s funeral.
Trouble decides he likes the man but he would protect River even from him if necessary.
It also seems that beyond the actual meal, Pete wants her help in solving a mystery. Although the nature of said mystery wasn’t revealed until dessert.
This is a favorite scene.
Pete gestured to the empty place after everyone had cobbler. “Bring another dessert and black coffee for my final guest.” So I did, wondering who the mysterious guest was while I enjoyed the compliments on the meal.
“Certainly.” I filled his request and topped off the coffee cups. The tardy guest better hurry or the ice cream would be soup.
Pete followed me to the coffee station at the sideboard. “Please join us, River.”
A spark of desire flashed between us, and I acknowledged the undercurrents of his employees weren’t the only ones in this room. Longing filled his eyes, and my heart jolted. Damn. I wasn’t prepared for this. How could he ignore me for months and expect me to open my arms to him?
I had to be strong for both of us. After this meal, he’d leave again. He wanted me because I was the one that got away. Pete never backed away from a challenge.
“I should pack the van,” I said. “I have a long drive ahead of me.”
“It can wait.” He tugged me closer. “I need your help solving a mystery.”
His heady scent, a blend of sea breeze, citrus, and Pete, made it impossible to think straight. “Okay, I’ll stay, but I don’t see how I can help.”
He reached behind me and shut the kitchen door. “I trust you.”
How odd and yet his admission melted the starch in my spine. Pete escorted me to the empty seat, pulling out my chair, his hand lingering on my shoulder as I sat. If not for him ignoring me for months, I’d think he cared for me. The notion skittered in my head, tantalizing me with fairy tale possibilities. The roses and candlelight were infecting me too.
Pete tapped his dessert fork against a crystal water glass. “I’m glad everyone could join me at the farm on short notice. Holloway Catering provided an excellent kick-off to our corporate retreat. Thank you, River.”
Polite applause ensued. I nodded, sipped coffee, and wondered where this was going.
“I asked River for an outsider’s perspective of our discussion. I’ll get right to the point. Once the cartel takeover threat to North Merrick was neutralized, a new problem problem came to light.”
Cartel takeover? My blood iced. Pete had said nothing of a takeover or drug lords, just that he needed to address the company’s problems. Drug cartels played for keeps. He was lucky he survived. Why didn’t he tell me what he was up against?
“Someone in the company wants North Merrick to fail,” Pete continued. “Further, someone at this table leaked proprietary information to our competition, embezzled money from the company, and sabotaged several clients’ customized security software. Until I know different, every employee at this table is guilty.”
The outcry deafened me. It took everything I had not to cover my ears. Trouble leapt from his post by my chair to the nearby window, crouched low, and stared outside. What did he see in the dusky twilight?
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy). Maggie Toussaint. Trouble with Horses. KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations (2412-2475). Kindle Edition.
With Pete’s declaration of someone sabotaging the company the fun really begins.
This is the ultimate mystery dinner, with plenty of suspects, suspense and more than one surprise.
5 Contented Purrs for Maggie!
I love all the Trouble mysteries but I particularly love the ones when he’s home with Tammy Lynn.
In this one, Tammy Lynn is upset because Aiden isn’t around or calling her as Valentine’s Day is closing in. Worse is that now Trouble isn’t eating and she needs to figure out why.
Trouble’s girl has disappeared and when Tammy follows him she discovers the hairs and contacts their vet. He figures out who the cat belongs to and Trouble kind of takes it from there.
This is a favorite scene.
I strolled back to the shop and hopped onto the front counter, where Tammy picked me up and gave me a snuggle. Although a cat of my aristocratic tastes must maintain an appropriate level of detachment, I rewarded her with a purr. I could tell she was still concerned about me, even though we now knew Priscilla was not so much missing as “away.” But for how long? I hadn’t seen the stray bruiser for a few days, and while he clearly lacked my superior intellect, he did seem the persistent type. What if he somehow found his way to Millbrook and I wasn’t there to protect my love?
“I’m sorry, Trouble,” she said. “Mrs. Beachcroft still hasn’t returned my calls. I’m sure they’ll be home soon. Unlike Aiden.” She gestured to the phone. “I got a text. No service, he says. Can’t call out. Will explain soon. Right. No service, but he can text.” She set me down on the counter and hurried off to rearrange the front window display. She didn’t fool me a bit, especially not after I saw the shimmer of tears in her eyes. It made me want to bite Aiden, even though I rather liked the chap.
And even though I needed him for my plan to work.
Since Tammy seemed to need a little space, I grabbed her mobile phone in my mouth and disappeared into a quiet corner of the shop.
I was in high gear now. I could see Aiden’s phone number from the caller list and therefore could also text him. It wasn’t something that as a cat I had a lot of experience with, but I was determined to master texting or swiping so I could convince Tammy I needed a smart phone.
I sent Aiden a short text message along with an emoji of a cat, hoping he would realize it was me. Can you pick me up at the central fountain by the Millbrook courthouse tomorrow at noon? I dared not give Elsie’s address until I’d had a chance to scope out the situation. I planned to find transportation to Millbrook and hoped that Aiden might be close enough to get me and Priscilla back to Wetumpka. Tammy had enough on her mind—and besides, if I could just bring Aiden back to her, I knew they would be able to straighten everything out.
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy). Eve Osborne. Double Trouble. KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations(2863-2877>. Kindle Edition.
I got a real kick out of Trouble texting and the surprise he finds when he locates his Pricilla.
A fun and romantic page turner that stars both Trouble and Tammy Lynn.
5 Contented Purrs for Eve!
This is another one with Tammy Lynn, Trouble and Aiden. This mystery however is darker and far more dangerous.
A murder has been committed at the river, and part of the evidence is a book. Aiden calls in Tammy since she’s an expert. When she see it she explains the man shouldn’t have it since the book was a fake and she has the only copy. They head to her shop to see if the book is still there and as soon as they enter her shop Trouble sends things flying off the counter.
This is a favorite scene.
Tammy hurried after Trouble, collecting the flyers he seemed bent on scooting across the floor and trying to keep her face from blooming scarlet. “I am so sorry, Aiden,” she said as she bent and snatched. “I don’t know what’s gotten into that cat.”
Aiden picked up the final flyer, put them all back in the plastic holder and turned to Tammy. A dark red flush showed above his stiff beige collar.
“I know it’s terribly late to be asking. Every time I got a minute to call you, something fell apart.” He shrugged. “And I’m sure you already have plans, but if you don’t, would you consider going out with me?”
Tammy couldn’t stop her eyes from flying wide, but she managed to add a smile. “I don’t have plans, Aiden, and I would love to go out with you.” She put a hand on her neck trying in vain to stop the heat that was rising toward her face.
“That’s great,” Aiden said with a grin that tried to swallow his face. “I’m so sorry to ask so late.” He turned to the cat. “I guess I should thank Trouble for reminding me.”
Tammy narrowed her gaze at the cat. He’d been particularly obnoxious in the last few minutes, totally intent on keeping those flyers moving. He was now licking one paw in a pose that said he was as contented as if he’d just finished a bowl of cream.
Could he have deliberately set out to remind Aiden? She shook her head at herself. Trouble was an enormously intelligent cat with a knack for crime solving, it was true. But he was still a cat. It was hard to imagine he’d concern himself with affairs of the human heart.
She turned back to Aiden just in time to catch a look on his face that sent a thrill through her. It was warm and approving as if she’d done something clever instead of chasing holiday flyers across the room. Then she realized he wasn’t looking at her.
He was looking at Trouble.
“So,” Aiden said, shaking himself as if he’d momentarily lost his train of thought.
“The book is missing?”
He turned the plastic bag with the novel over in his hands. “How do you imagine he got it?”
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy). Nancy Sartor. The Rescue. KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations (3090-3105). Kindle Edition.
Plenty of twists and turns as this story continues. Trouble of course is in the middle of it all.
I really do love these suspense filled tales.
5 Contented Purrs for Nancy!
Tammy’s friend Becca was offering up her Equestrian facilities for special events. To launch the idea she’s hosting the 1st Annual Valentine’s Day Festival it would be a 3 day event. Tammy has brought Trouble and every Valentine’s book she had in stock to sell.
Chad, the gentleman at the next booth over from her had a 3D printing machine and was selling all kinds of Valentine themed offerings. During quiet time he was working on a snoring app, he had a deadline he needed to meet.
This is a favorite scene.
Chad yelled at the gray man and tried to run after him. However, the people sprawled on the soft arena floor, and the number of couples walking through the aisle who had their arms wrapped around each other, combined with Chad’s physical awkwardness, prevented his progress. By the time Chad finally reached the door, the gray man was nowhere in sight. Becca, who was still escorting Cat and Carole past various booths, saw the commotion. Then she saw Chad leaning against the open doorway, his face in his hands.
“What happened?” she asked, rushing toward him.
“My computer’s been stolen. It has my app on it. My snoring app. Years of work is just . . . gone.”
“You didn’t have your app backed up?” she asked.
“An earlier version,” he said. “It’s just the most recent set of tweaks that weren’t, because I was still working on them. I’m on a tight deadline. There is another meeting with Z-Corp, the health giant, next week. They want to buy the app from me and will give low-cost downloads of it, and include the bracelet with some of their anti-snoring medications. They also will promote it heavily to doctors and so will their doctors. The money they are offering is . . . well, it’s astounding to me.”
Becca understood how the loss of a computer and the files for an app like this could be devastating, but she also didn’t want her first annual event to be tarnished by scandal. She needed to tamp this down quickly.
“I’m so sorry this happened,” she said, leading him away from the door. “I tell you what. You have a crowd of people around your booth. Go take care of them and I’ll call the police.”
Chad noticed that Becca’s hand was rubbing circles on his back as they walked. It felt nice. Soothing. Soon, he began to relax. He looked at her face, into her unusual turquoise eyes, and saw kindness. He sighed.
“At least whoever stole my computer can’t get into it. I have a series of complicated passcodes that they’ll never break through,” he said. “I employ full-disk encryption encryption with a complex passphrase as the encryption seed.”
Becca smiled at him, although her eyes glazed over at his words. That happened a lot when he talked about computers or his app. But then Becca rallied and said, “I’ll call the police now.” Then she squeezed his hand and walked away.
Chad could not take his eyes off her.
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy). Lisa Wysocky. A Troubled Romance. KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations (3606-3626). Kindle Edition.
Security increases but the chances of getting the computer back were slim. Until the thieves realized they couldn’t get into the laptop.
Some very hairy moments, lots of interaction with Trouble and his new friend Peaches, and a blossoming romance.
5 Contented Purrs for Lisa!
Trouble knew he needed to be in New Orleans, someone there needed his help. Terry is lonely, and the cat he calls Trouble hasn’t shown up to eat. He heads out to the sotre hoping he can get what he needs before the crowds get to thick. New Orleans parade routes really become clogged with people.
This is a favorite scene.
I slipped on my sandals, shoved my wallet and keys into my shorts pocket, and went out the front door. I looked for Trouble, keeping my eyes open, but I didn’t see him anywhere.
There was a crowd at the corner, with ladders for the children and chairs for adults, coolers and bags for the captured treasure, the smell of charcoal and roasting burgers and hot dogs and sausage, the scent of grease from the big corn dog and funnel cake stand set up at the corner at Felicity Street. Kids were playing frisbee and tossing a football around in the street, the downtown side of St. Charles already closed off for the start of Iris. I couldn’t help but smile and say hello back to people. Strangers greeted me as I weaved around them on my way to Walgreens. Carnival brings out the best in New Orleans, and people are always so festive and cheerful and friendly and happy.
It didn’t take as long as I thought it would at Walgreens, and miracle of miracles they did have my French Vanilla creamer. I was in a really good mood as I walked back home.
And when I got to my corner, there was a man standing there, holding Trouble.
“Trouble?” I said. He’d been purring and cuddling with the man holding him, but when he heard my voice he squirmed out of his arms and ran over to me, winding in and around my legs and purring. I knelt down to pick him up. “There you are,” I said. “I was worried about you.”
I looked up, and caught my breath. “Jeff? Is it really you?”
“It’s really me.” He smiled his gorgeous smile back at me, his dimples deepening in his tanned cheeks, his green eyes sparkling the way that always used to—well, apparently still did—make my knees weak. “Your cat is very friendly.”
“Trouble? Yes.” I could feel myself blushing. “How long has it been?”
How many times had I asked myself if I’d blown my second chance?
Jeff was a friend of Russ and David’s, and the first person they tried to set me up with after Paul died. We’d actually met before that dinner party set up, when they sprang him on me. Years earlier, when Paul and I had separated, we’d connected on-line and met for coffee. He was so handsome, so tall, so sexy, and so kind…but Paul and I had made it through that bad patch and I’d never spoken to Jeff again. And then Russ and David tried to set us up. That dinner had been so awkward, with the two of them hovering and the two of us so embarrassed at how obvious they were—he’d known about me coming but I hadn’t known about him, and it was all such a huge mess that afterwards he’d walked me home and I asked him over for dinner as a do-over.
We’d dated for about three months, nothing serious, just spending time with each other and getting to know each other. He’d moved away shortly after our coffee date, going to Dallas for a job that had turned out fairly well and he’d been able to quit that job and move back. He was a painter and a photographer, had a very successful show in a great gallery on Royal Street and then had done some in Palm Springs, New York and Beverly Hills. He was a rising star in the art world and he wanted to travel. I wasn’t in that place yet, I was still settled in New Orleans and a jet setting life of traveling the world wasn’t something…wasn’t something I was ready for. So things came to an end, without any hard feelings, and he was off. We were friends on social media, and sometimes I would see his posts from exotic places all over the world, from Peru and Bangkok, the Marshall Islands and Paris, Istanbul and Egypt, and he always looked so happy.
There was always the same guy with him, it seemed, in many of the pictures and I was happy for him. But…sometimes, sometimes when I would see one of those pictures I would feel a pang, a sense of you really blew it…but I couldn’t feel sorry for myself for long because Jeff always looked so happy.
“I didn’t know you were in town,” I said. I gestured down the street with my head. “I just live down the street. Would you like some coffee or something?” It sounded lame, and Trouble was looking at me, clearly thinking, you are so bad at this, no wonder you’re still single.
Terrell, Jaden. The Trouble with Cupid: 10 Short Mysteries Spiced with Romance (Familiar Legacy). Greg Herren. Passin’ Time. KaliOka Press. Kindle Locations (3868-3896). Kindle Edition.
Trouble has a great sense for the humans around him and once again proves he can help in many ways.
A wonderful tale of a second chance that went no where, to a third chance that just might.
5 Contented Purrs for Greg!
The voice of Trouble in this anthology is provided by Jaden Terrell, a Shamus Award finalist and the internationally published author of the Nashville-based Jared McKean mysteries. She is a contributor to the Killer Nashville Noir: Coldblooded anthology and to Now Write! Mysteries, a collection of writing exercises published by Tarcher/Penguin for writers of crime fiction. A recipient of the 2016 Killer Nashville Builder Award and the 2009 Magnolia Award for service to the Southeastern Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, Jaden is a former special education teacher with thirty years of experience as a teacher and trainer. She is a writing coach, workshop leader, developmental/content editor, and ghostwriter.
Claire Matturro, twice a Romantic Times book award winner, has been a journalist in Alabama, a lawyer in Florida, an organic blueberry farmer in Georgia, and taught at Florida State University and University of Oregon. Her books are: Skinny-Dipping (2004) (a BookSense pick, Romantic Times’ Best First Mystery, and nominated for a Barry Award); Wildcat Wine (2005) (nominated for a Georgia Writer of the Year Award); Bone Valley (2006) and Sweetheart Deal (2007) (winner of Romantic Times’ Award for Most Humorous Mystery), all published by William Morrow, and Trouble in Tallahassee (KaliOka Press 2017). While living in Tallahassee, she was a member of the vestry at St. Andrew’s Anglican Catholic Church. Now living in Southwest Florida, she remains active in writers’ groups and reviews books for Southern Literary Review.
Fran Driscoll Roberts was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Although she loved the people and her Green Bay Packers, she relocated to the Gulf Coast to enjoy six months of summer and three weeks of winter. She currently teaches middle school social studies in Pascagoula, MS, and truly enjoys a challenge. Her first two books were devotionals, brought about by a curse she prayed upon herself as a young child: “Lord, please don’t ever let my life be boring.” The first book is 31 Prayers for the Addict I Love written after the untimely death of two addicted loved ones. The second is 31 Prayers for When Life Isn’t Fair. Roberts’ first fiction novel, A Place Called Grace, is a Christian Romance/adventure. The sequel— A Place Without Mercy” was released in December, 2016. There are more stories to come, since her wild imagination rarely rests. Roberts has also published several poems and short stories, and loves to read as much as write. She lives in Pascagoula with her two daughters, four dogs and a cat (the number of animals could vary at any time, though). She also has a grown son in South Carolina who also happens to be her favorite preacher, though the pastors at First Baptist Tillman’s Corner are in her top five. She’s a member of Gulf Coast Writer’s Association, Mobile Writer’s Guild, and West Mobile Writer’s Group.
This is Eve Osborne’s first published short story, but she has been writing fiction since she was a kid. Her background in general management has given her elevated sensitivity and consciousness, a heart for cooperation, and a great insight into human behavior. An empathetic animal lover of all creatures big and small, she lives in Auckland, New Zealand, with her husband, son and pets.
Nancy Sartor is a Nashville born writer, a charter member and current president of Word Spinners Ink, the oldest on-line writer’s group, a member of RWA, MWA and SiNC, the current secretary of SEMWA, a graduate of Donald Maass’s Breakout Novel Intensive Workshop, workshop on micro tension and the Writer’s Police Academy. She lives in Rural Hill, Tennessee, just east of Nashville with her husband, classical composer and conductor, David Sartor and two Maine Coon cats. Nancy has three published novels: Bones Along the Hill, Christmas Across Time, and Blessed Curse.
Lisa Wysocky is the author of the award-winning Cat Enright cozy equestrian mystery series, now optioned for film and television. She splits her time between Tennessee and Minnesota, and when not writing or riding, spends time as executive director of the nonprofit, Colby’s Army.
Greg Herren is the award-winning author of thirty-five novels, including the Chanse MacLeod mysteries and the Scott Bradley adventures. He was won two Lambda Literary Awards, the Anthony Award, and two Moonbeam Children’s Book Award medals for Outstanding Young Adult Mystery/Horror. He has also been short-listed for the Macavity Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and twelve more Lambda Literary Awards. He lives in New Orleans with his partner of twenty-one years, and is currently working on the eighth Scotty Bradley novel.