Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Howlz: Suspicious Surprises by Camille Anthony (Paranormal, AA, Hot Flash, Christmas, Seasonal Themes, Holiday Howlz Series)

Holiday Howlz: Suspicious Surprises

by Camille Anthony

Cover art by ReneƩ George

ISBN: 978-1-60521-366-8

Genre(s): Paranormal, Action/Adventure, Hot Flashes

Theme(s): Christmas, Seasonal Themes

Series: Holiday Howlz Multi-Author Series

Length: Hot Flash


There's a suspicious man in town, asking questions no one wants to answer.

Puppy suspects Carly is keeping something from him. When she's not avoiding him, she's busy emptying the contents of her stomach. She can't be pregnant, so her symptoms have Quentin fearing for her health.

Carly's sure she has a touch of flu, but to appease her lover, she takes time off from planning the Library's First Annual Christmas Eve party to see the doctor. Shocked at his diagnosis, she stumbles away, only to come face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend, suspiciously here in Barkus to surprise her. Suddenly, she's keeping more than one secret from Quentin.

Only trust born of true love will guide these two lovers through this Christmas minefield of suspicious surprises.


December 22

Ola, jefe! Mighty suspicious finding you here. I thought you worked capitol city.”

Curtis Roberts’ heartbeat jump started into fast forward at the quasi-friendly greeting, knowing it was his death knell. Damn it to hell. How had Manolito Contreras, known on the street as the Bloodhound, found him? Better yet, how had he recognized him under a full beard and mustache and a low brimmed hat?

Hiding his misgivings, Curtis bared his teeth in a false grin. He held up his fisted right hand, offering the other man a fist bump. “What brings you here, Manny?”

The short Hispanic reciprocated bumps, his sly smile revealing glints of gold. “Same thing prolly brought you… I’m looking to score.”

Curtis cleared his throat. “I… uh… had to expand my field of operations.”

For some reason, Manny thought that was hilarious. “Funny thing, mi hermano. My field suddenly… expanded, too.”

Curtis hid a grimace at Manny’s braying cackles. He needed to lose this joker before being seen with him screwed the scam he was setting up. “Well, it was nice running into you, man, but I gotta run…”

“Not so fast, jefe. You still with that hot mamacita you used to hang with? What her name… Curly, Shirley?”

Why the fuck would his info broker mention his old girlfriend? “Carly. Short for Carlisle. I haven’t seen her since I broke up with her. Word’s out she nutted up after hearing her brother bought it in Iraq.”

Manny clicked his teeth. “Too bad you split with her. Word’s out on you, too. Some seriously impatient mo-fuckers are offering a juicy reward for your current whereabouts. Plenty bloodhounds sniffing around” -- he jabbed his chest -- “but I’m talking to you ‘cause I’m the best.”

Fear was an ice flow sliding down Curtis’s back, chilling him. “Fuck!” He ran shaking fingers through his dreads, ravaging his Do in his agitation. “Is it the Salonos?”

Manolito’s nod made his pulse race.

“Listen Manny, we go way back. Cut me some slack. I got a sweet scam in the making I can deal you in on…”

The shorter man waved off his offer, shaking his head. “I like you, hombre mio, but you know it don’t work like that. Besides, your name’s on too many lips for you to score a deal around here. Your mark’s been spooked.”

Curtis cursed under his breath, his shoulders slumping. He didn’t question the truth of the Bloodhound’s statements. The man’s honesty was legend and his ability to ferret out information was uncanny. “I’m dead, Man.”

Manolito pursed his lips. “Hell, we been through so much shit we almost brothers, but I make my money in the information business and your whereabouts is lucrative business.” He shrugged. “Why don’t you hit up your ex? She got more’n enough to bail your ass out of hock.”

Curtis stared at him, unable to process what he was hearing. “Why do you keep going on about Carly? She’s a fucking librarian. She don’t make near the amount of money I need.”

“Dude, the families of them three soldiers killed during a leaked combat raid got handed over two million dollars tax free, courtesy of Tio Sam’s guilty conscience. Curly’s the only family her brother had.”

Curtis shook his head. “How the fuck do you get your hands on all this information?”

“It’s what I do -- my primo talent, mi amigo.” Manny sobered. “And since I really do like you, I’ll tell you where you can put your hands on Carly Brothers for a small finder’s fee.”

Curtis noted he got the name right. “Man, I got no duckies. I’m tapped out…”

“The hell with it, consider this an early Christmas present.”

“Why are you doing this for me?”

“It’s not for you, it’s for me. See, I get paid double. Once for giving you an extension, then again three days later when I give the Salanos your position. By then, you’ll have the money to pay or they’ll take it out of your hide.”

Curtis nodded. He’d have done the same. “I kinda screwed the pooch the way I dumped her, but it’s not like I beat her or nothing. Besides, Carly’s so soft-hearted she can’t carry a grudge in a bucket.”

“What you gonna hit little mama up for?”

Curtis ran the figures in his head, then said, “I figure a hundred grand. That way, I can pay the Salanos their eighty-five grand, you, your five, and still have ten grand for me.”

He laughed out loud as his envisioned his prospects taking an upward turn. “I’ll enjoy fucking her, convincing her I’ve changed my mind.” Curtis screwed his face up. “Boohoo, I miss you so much, I don’t care that you can’t have no babies.” He sneered. “She’ll probably thank me for taking her defective ass back.”

Manny frowned. “Amigo, don’t piss her off before…”

Curtis’s sharp chopping motion cut the other man off mid-sentence. “You might be the god of information, but I’m the king of schmooze. Just tell me where she’s. I’ll handle the rest.”

“An out-of-the-way town called Barkus, Kansas. You blink you’ll miss it.”

No comments:

Post a Comment