Indie Book Promo is happy to welcome Deborah Brown to the blog. She is the author of Deception in Paradise and is here to share some information about her book. If this sounds like something that you would be interested in reading, please find buy links at the bottom of the post and pick up a copy or two.
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Madison Westin is back!!
The Florida Keys are hotter than ever.
With Madison’s never-say-no style she’s smarter and packing an attitude not to mention her Glock.
This time, trouble rolls into Tarpon Cove in the form of Madison’s ex-husband, Jackson Devereaux, whom she hoped to never see again. His arrival brings unparalleled chaos and an uninvited corpse.
Teaming up with her hot friend, Fabiana, the two women go from chasing the usual cast of misfits and weirdos to hunting down a murderer. The action turns deadly serious when they stir up a nasty enemy as they try to stay one-step ahead in a game of cat and mouse that threatens their lives.
With my heart in my throat, I pulled to the side of the road, threw open my car door, and reached for my cell phone to call 911. Moments before, a beat-up red Pinto had raced around my Tahoe on the passenger side, almost clipping my front bumper. The car sped into the intersection, weaving and skidding out of control, and smashed into a light pole, where the front end folded like an accordion. The Pinto ricocheted back into the intersection. One of the tires had flipped into the air, landing on the windshield, of the pinto shattering the glass.
Sitting with cell phone in hand, I breathed a sigh of relief when the door of the Pinto opened; the crazy driver must be okay since he was climbing out. I watched with open-mouthed, wide-eyed shock as Joseph got out of the car, clearly drunk. He weaved back and forth, hunched over, threw up several times, stood up, looked around, and stumbled off. I wondered whose car he’d been driving. His last two or three cars had been impounded, and the court had revoked his driver’s license months ago.
Looking around, I realized I was the only eyewitness. The traffic light and the cars driving by barely looked at the car abandoned in the middle of the street. I ran across the road, looked in the wreckage for other passengers, and breathed a sigh of relief that it was empty. I took a deep breath. No one was paying any attention, as I walked back to my SUV. The police could investigate without my help. If asked, I wouldn’t lie for Joseph. I’d learned a long time ago that lying to cops was a good way to end up in jail.
When I first arrived in Tarpon Cove, I didn’t know my way around. It didn’t take long for me to become the go-to girl for free rides to those with no transportation. In addition to the jail, I’d made several trips to the probation office and managed to get a couple of people to their court hearings on time. Most of them were my tenants. The irony here is that Joseph would call me for a ride home from the jail. My biggest problem was saying no.
* * *
Fall in south Florida is one of the reasons a person lives here year-round. The weather’s perfect, warm days with baby blue skies, white fluffy clouds, and cool evenings. An added benefit for me, my shoulder-length red hair isn’t the curly, frizzy mess it usually is. In fact, in the fall, it is almost straight, unlike the humid days of summer.
I loved driving through the streets of The Cove, windows down, fresh air in my face. Weekends were a good excuse to take the long way and drive along the Gulf with its white beaches and clear blue water. The Overseas Highway was always stacked going north, with tourists driving back from Key West to Miami and beyond.
I turned the corner onto Cove Road and was surprised to see my gate standing open. A sleek, black two-seater Thunderbird roadster sat in my driveway. Fab had once again traded for a new sports car. She changed cars like she changed shoes. I parked next to her and pulled my workout bag out of the backseat. As I walked up to the front door, I saw her through the kitchen window, feeding my cat Jazz on the counter.
“Madison, let me explain,” Fab said.
I threw my bag on the floor. “What have you done now?”
Fab had become my first friend in The Cove. Jake at the local bar described her as his favorite kind of trouble. Sexy and hard-bodied, she was the kind of woman every man wanted until they discovered that she packed a gun in the front of her bra.
“I took on a small side job,” Fab said. “I need your help.”
“My help?” Afraid to ask, I put my purse and keys on a bench in the entry and pointed to the man in my living room. “Who’s he?”
The stranger sat tied to one of my chairs, a piece of tape across his mouth.
“Calm down. Now, about your help.”
I walked into the kitchen. “I’m not helping you with kidnapping. Why can’t you ask for favors that are legal?”
“I didn’t kidnap him.” Fab’s blue eyes flashed with annoyance. “He skipped on his bond. He had a court hearing this morning and was a no-show. Brick posted the bail, and he gets his money back if he’s in court tomorrow morning.”
“I thought you handcuffed people.”
“He is handcuffed. He jerked around on the chair so much, I thought he’d tip it over and break something. The tape was necessary. He wouldn’t stop whining, and I couldn’t take it anymore. It was either that or kill him.”
“Okay, Fab, I get the part about you doing investigation work for Brick. Why’s this man in my house?”
“It’s shift change at the sheriff’s station. I have another pickup to do. If I take him in now, I’ll have to sit there for at least an hour. I thought I’d leave him here, come back and get him, and turn him in before the next shift change.”
“What was he arrested for?”
“Dickie was arrested on a sex charge.”
“Dickie?” I turned and looked at the man again. “Fab,” I said in a loud whisper. “That’s Dickie Vanderbilt. He owns Tropical Slumber Funeral Home.” Dickie was nice enough, but he had the creepy factor going for him. Maybe because I knew he hung out with dead people all day. “Sex charge? As in sex offender? I don’t believe that.”
“That’s what he was whining about, saying it was all a misunderstanding. They all say the same thing. He should’ve shown up in court and told his story to the judge. Plus, you don’t use Brick for bail money and then skip.”
“Where was he when you found him?”
“Slumped over his desk, drunk, at the funeral home.”
“Doesn’t seem like he skipped anywhere to me. I’m taking off the tape.” I walked over to Dickie and started to pull the tape off slowly, while he squirmed around like a two-year-old.
Fab came up behind me. “Stop.” She stepped in front of me and ripped the tape off his mouth.
“I know it hurt, but faster is better. Now you two can sit here and talk all you want.” Fab grabbed her keys off the counter. “You going to be okay with me leaving him here for a couple of hours?”
The space between my eyes started throbbing, announcing a whale of a headache. “Dickie, I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m Madison Westin. We had the funeral for my Aunt Elizabeth at your place.”
“Yes, I remember.” He sniffed. “The best turnout I ever had.”
“Gee, sorry I missed that.” Fab rolled her eyes. “So, he can stay?”
“Dickie, can you behave yourself?”
“Yes,” he said, tears in his eyes.
“He can stay,” I told Fab. “Untie him. Cuff one of his arms to the chair if you have to.”
“What if he tries to get away?”
“Then I’ll shoot him.”
I’d never seen such a big smile on Fab’s face. In addition to her hotness, I had no doubt she was crazy.
“I have a Glock in the car,” Fab offered.
“Thanks, but I have my own Glock.” My brother Brad had given me another gun when I told him I passed an advanced gun safety course. He increased my arsenal to three guns. I was now the proud owner of a Beretta and two Glocks.
“Don’t worry; he’ll be here when you get back.” I turned to Dickie. “Promise me you’re not going anywhere.”
“I promise. You won’t have to shoot me,” Dickie said.
“So what’s your plan?” I asked Fab.
“I’ll be back in a couple of hours to take him off your hands. I want to beat the night shift rush, when they bring in the street girls and dime dealers.”
“Can I ask where you’re going?”
“No.” She hesitated, her eyes fixed on me. “I’ve got another job from Brick.” Brick Famosa owned several high-end car rental businesses in South Florida. In addition, he’d just opened a bail bond business not far from the courthouse. He’d gotten his start with a hole-in-the-wall pawnshop that he turned into a string of locations throughout Florida. If it had to do with cash, high interest rates, and the possibility of getting your ass kicked if you screwed him, then he owned it.
She shook her head. “Something different.”
“Good thing. Your latest ride only holds one other person, in case you forgot.”
“I get my cars from Brick, so when he calls, I have to respond. Besides, the jobs are easy, and it’s all about the perks.” As a private investigator with dubious clients, Fab rarely separated the line between legal and illegal; in fact, she pushed the line wherever it served her purpose.
I walked Fab to the front door. When I opened it and saw my mother standing there, the blood must have drained from my face. “I wasn’t expecting you.”
“Really, Madison, you don’t look happy to see me. Do you want me to leave?”
“Fab has something to tell you,” I blurted.
“Hi, Fab honey. How are you?” Mother asked.
“I’m good. Love your shoes.” She pointed to Mother’s bright red peep-toe pumps. “I’ll let Madison explain. I’m late for a job.” She pushed past us and ran out the door.
“Fabiana Merceau!” I yelled. “Get back here!”
Fab waved as she got in her car and peeled out of the driveway.
Deception in Paradise can be purchased on Amazon.
Deception in Paradise is Deborah Brown’s second novel in the Paradise series, a Florida Keys mystery, which makes the reader laugh, cry and cheer…
Since all great journeys start with a single step, I’ll have on a cute pair of shoes.
Crazy. Ice cream loving. Redhead. 5’2″, long legs. As an avid exerciser, I get to the gym every five years or so. I hate being tricked by that stinking raisin in the oatmeal cookie when my heart was set on chocolate. And it’s totally acceptable for me to be mildly annoying when it makes me laugh. South Florida is my home, with my ungrateful rescue animals, where Mother Nature takes out her bad attitude in the form of hurricanes.
Deborah can be found on: