This is a great book, and if you want to learn more about the author, Donnell Ann Bell, hop on over to my other blog, Five Scribes, and check out my interview of her.
She's giving away one book here and one at Five Scribes to a lucky person who makes a comment. Digital or Paperback in North America and Digital for International readers.
I hope you enjoy the excerpt.
“I saw your closing argument,” he said. “You did a good job.”
He’d been in the courtroom? How’d she miss him? He kept his dark blond hair shorter than she liked, but she loved dimples, and it didn’t hurt that he wasn’t obsessed with a razor. Based on his tanned, unlined face, she’d place him in his late twenties, early thirties. With those aviator sunglasses, it was hard to tell. She couldn’t see his eyes. Too bad.
On the other hand, Eden never missed a chance for a critique. “So if you were in that jury room right now, how would you vote?”
“I only heard your side.” He shrugged. “Besides, I come with a pretty strong bias.” He pulled back his jacket, revealing the shield clipped to his belt.
A cop. Thus explaining his arrogance. She finished the last bite of the dog, tossed the wrapper in a nearby trashcan, and leaned down for a closer look at his ID. “Well, then, Detective . . . Dancer. As much as I appreciate the beauty tip, I don’t think we―”
“I’d like to talk to you about St. Patrick’s School.”
As much as she willed it not to, her mind rewound seventeen years. She’d read the school was having financial woes and had formed a fundraising committee. Shading her eyes, she squinted up at him. Had he gone to St. Patrick’s? “If you’re alumni, you’ll have to swing by my office. I don’t keep my checkbook with―”
“Are you always this difficult to talk to?”
“Always.” She blinked. “What part of ‘swing by my office’ confused you?”
“The part where I produce my credentials and you think I’m a solicitor.” The detective pointed to the table. “Could we sit, please? I’m here on official business.”
What he could possibly have to say to her in any capacity was beyond comprehension. Still, it was warm outside, and she had a magnificent view of the foothills. She moved to a picnic table shaded by a poplar tree, stepped up on the bench and plopped down on the tabletop. “I think I should warn you, Detective, I didn’t leave St. Patrick’s on the best of terms.”
He opened a pocket notebook. “I talked to Mr. Edgars, the school’s current principal. He went through old records and told me you’d been expelled.”
“I prefer to think I was forcefully invited not to return. So did St. Patrick’s burn to the ground and I’m your best suspect?” She shook her head from side to side. “That’s just sad.”
“As far as I know, it’s still standing.” Kevin joined her on the tabletop. She liked that about him. He knew how to eat a hotdog, and he wasn’t uptight.
“I was told when you attended school you were particularly close to one of its teachers.”
A laugh escaped and she slapped her thigh. “I was expelled, Detective. They didn’t make that part up. I wasn’t tight with any of those cold-blooded penguins.”
“Her religious name was Sister Beatrice,” he said, undeterred.
As Eden mentally ticked off the names of her teachers, their names came easily to mind. Yet, at his use of this unfamiliar person, her stomach felt like she’d been afloat on the Red Sea at the time Moses had parted it. Eden pressed a hand to her stomach just as her cell phone rang.
Typical cop, Dancer didn’t give space. She would have called him on his behavior if the party needed attorney/client confidentiality. But since all that was required was a simple, “good-bye,” she saw no reason to challenge him.
No matter how much she liked the cop’s looks, there was no way in hell she was reliving her days at St. Patrick’s. She stood and flipped the phone shut. “Verdict’s in. Gotta run.”
He helped her from the bench, earning him yet another gold star and annoying her further.
She walked away. The tenacious man called after her, “Eden, you didn’t answer my question. Sister Beatrice, do you remember her?”
She sighed and turned in his direction. “You seem like a nice guy, Detective. I wish I could help you. Sorry. That name doesn’t strike a chord.”
To buy her books, visit her website: www.donnellannbell.com