“Not a Mermaid” is finally up on Amazon and pretty much anywhere you find your e-books! The paperback will be available, hopefully, next week. Been having some problems with the print cover, but I think we’ve solved them!
Anyway, the real reason I’m here is to say thank you to anyone who has stuck it out and been so patient waiting for Book 2 of Jake & Boo’s adventures. I thought you might like to get a peek at Book 3:
I was helping Miss Nancy spoon beans and rice into a serving dish when we heard a knock at the front door.
“Who could that be?” my mother asked. “Were you expecting anyone else, Nancy?”
“No. We’re all here.”
“I’ll go,” said my dad, and fled the kitchen. Mom resumed her interrogation of Petreski, and Miss Nancy handed Don a dish to take to the dining room. I grabbed the water pitcher and followed him, setting the pitcher on a folded napkin on the dining table. I could hear Dad’s voice in the living room, but couldn’t make out his words, or the low voice that answered him.
“Who could it be?” Miss Nancy asked, coming out of the kitchen, my mother right behind her. They passed through the dining room, stopping abruptly at the French doors that led to the living room.
“How –?” My mother’s eyes went wide and I don’t think I’d ever seen her struck speechless before.
“Nancy. Is it really you, Nancy-Girl?” I heard a rough, low voice ask.
Miss Nancy gasped, taking a step back, and before anyone had a chance to say or do anything, she crumpled to the floor. I looked up, at the man’s face as he came into view, and recognized the shuffling figure from my recent dreams. Why was he here? And why was my mother yelling at him, and my father pulling her back?
The man ignored my mother, stepping around her and bending over Miss Nancy, and I was moving forward before I could stop myself.
“No! Don’t touch her!” I threw myself between the intruder and my friend, and I felt someone – I think it was Don – grabbing my arm and trying to pull me back. I could hear Petreski’s voice and turned towards it. He would know what to do. He was kneeling next to Miss Nancy, checking her pulse, his cell phone pressed to his ear.
The strange man stood still, surrounded by our chaos, and never took his eyes off Miss Nancy’s face. My mother seemed to recognize him, and whoever he was, it was a shock to Miss Nancy. All I knew for sure was that, whoever he was, he was bringing trouble to our door.
“She fainted, but we’d like to take her to the hospital, make sure there’s nothing more going on. But it’s up to her. If she says no, we can’t make her go.”
I recognized the EMTs as the ones who had shown up a few months ago, when I’d been knocked out in a vicious street brawl. Okay, actually I’d been pushed down by an angry fat man and hit my head, but it was in the street. I turned to Petreski. “You made me go. Can’t you make Miss Nancy go?”
“Hey,” said the EMT whose name I didn’t know, “I thought I recognized you! Doug, it’s that guy who hit his head when that lady got stabbed with the icepick! Remember?”
“Oh, yeah! Well, you actually hit your head, so he was right to make you go,” said Doug.
“No hospital,” Miss Nancy broke in. She sat on the sofa, my mom on one side, me on the other. “I know you’re worried,” she said, turning to me, “but if I promise to go see my doctor first thing Monday morning, will you stop badgering me about the hospital?”
“Works for me,” said Doug. “What about you, Ty?”
“Yep. Okay, we’ll get out of your hair. Good-night, folks.”
The EMTs left and the room was silent.
“Jacob. Abernathy. Hillebrand.” I did not like the tone of my mother’s voice. “What’s this about you going to the hospital and a woman getting stabbed?”
I looked around the room, anywhere but at my mother. My father sat in a rocking chair by the fireplace, Don leaning against the wall behind him. Petreski was perched on the arm of the sofa next to me, and the strange man from my dreams was standing near the door to the dining room, his gaze flitting back and forth between Miss Nancy and the food on the table.
“I didn’t stab her.”
“Of course you didn’t. But it does sound like the kind of… life event… that you should tell your parents about.”
I looked up at Petreski, but he shook his head. “I’m with your mom on this one.”
“He saved her life.”
Everyone turned to look at Don, even the stranger in the room, and I wondered why we weren’t focusing on him right now.
“Who are you?” I asked him, and he turned to look at me. Miss Nancy’s shoulders stiffened under my arm.
“Yes. I’d like to know that as well,” said my mother. “Because I know who I think you are, but that’s impossible. I don’t know what kind of trick, or joke, this is, but it’s not funny.”
“No.” Miss Nancy stood. “It is not funny, and it is not a joke. What are you doing here, my brother, when I saw you put in the ground twenty years ago?”