Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Good Tidings - A Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery (Book 2) by Terri Reid Excerpt

Good Tidings - A Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery (Book 2) by Terri Reid
$2.99 or FREE for Prime Members

Black Friday - the official opening of the Holiday Shopping Season and Patrice Marcum is stuck in the middle of her local superstore with a crying infant, a near hysterical desire to just abandon the diapers and milk she desperately needs, and the snowstorm of the century dumping a half-foot of snow on the parking lot outside. She needs a miracle.

The little old lady seemed sweet, but there was no way Patrice was going to leave three-month old Jeremy with a stranger. She looked outside at the snow-covered parking lot and saw yet another distressed shopper’s cart topple over in the drifts. The old lady sensed her distress and volunteered to call a store employee to help watch over Jeremy while Patrice got her car. The older gentleman, wearing a store badge with the name “Ron,” seemed too good to be true. What could be safer?

Less than five minutes later, after brushing the snow off the van and driving across the crowded and snow-packed parking lot, Patrice pulls up in front of the store. Jeremy is not there. Pushing back panic, she rushes into the store and looks around. Jeremy is not inside either. She pushes through the line at Customer Service, the associate calls Ron on the intercom, and issues a Code Adam. When Ron appears and he’s only seventeen years old, Patrice realizes the worst. “Oh God! They’ve taken my baby!”

Mary O’Reilly, Private Investigator, is decorating her office for the holiday season when the newly installed bell over her door jingles. She looks over to see a six year-old boy standing next to her desk. His name is Joey Marcum and he wants to hire Mary to find his baby brother

Mary nodded. “Okay, Joey, but I’ll want to work with the police on this one. Do you have any problems with that?”

Joey paused. “No, I guess you can talk to them.”

“That’ll be helpful.”

“But you can’t tell my mom you’re working for me,” he said, “Promise?”

“Yes, I promise.”

Joey shrugged. “I don’t think she’d understand, seeing that I’m dead, you know.”

Chapter Two

After hanging the first set of lights on her bare wall, she realized that Rosie was right - she needed something more to add to the d├ęcor. But that something was not going to be mistletoe.  She made a call to Deininger Floral Shop and explained her dilemma. Within a few minutes the downtown floral shop delivered a box of fresh evergreens ready to be hung.
Two hours later Mary climbed down the ladder and surveyed her handiwork. The lights and garlands were now wrapped around long-needled evergreen swags.
She took a deep breath and let the scent of Christmas fill her lungs.  There was nothing like the smell of fresh evergreens. The mellow sounds of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” filled the room and Mary felt a little homesick, even though she had just been with her family in Chicago for Thanksgiving the day before. Accompanied by Kenny G’s saxophone she sang along, “Faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us once more. Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow. Hang a shining star upon the highest bough. And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.”
The jingling of the doorbell instantly halted Mary’s solo and she turned to see her newest visitor.
A young boy, about six years old, stood just inside the door.  He shifted awkwardly as he held her gaze and took a deep breath.
“Can I help you?” Mary asked.
He nodded. The sprinkling of freckles across his nose did nothing to lessen his sober expression. “Do you do real people stuff?” he asked. “Not just ghost stuff?”
She motioned to the chair at the other side of her desk, while she sat behind it and pulled out a paper and notepad.  “Yes, I work on investigations that involve live people too,” she said. “I used to be a police officer.”
He settled himself on the chair and met her eyes. “That’s good, right?”
She nodded and held back a smile. “Yes, it’s good,” she said. “My name is Mary O’Reilly.  What’s your name?”
“Joey,” he said. “Joey Marcum. I need you to find my brother.”
“He’s lost?” she asked.
Joey shook his head. “He got took,” he said. “Some bad people took him...today...at the store.  My mom’s really sad.”
“Has she called the police?” Mary asked. “Do they know?”
Joey nodded. “Yeah, they know, but they ain’t gonna be able to do much.  They said they don’t have much information to go on.”
“Joey, the Chief of Police is a friend of mine and he’s very good at what he does,” she said. “I know he’ll do his best to find your brother.”
“Yeah, probably,” Joey said. “But my brother’s only three months old and my mom’s freaking out.  I figured you could help too... then there’s more people looking.”
Mary nodded. “Okay, Joey, but I’ll want to work with the police on this one. Do you have any problems with that?”
Joey paused. “No, I guess you can talk to them.”
“That’ll be helpful.”
“But you can’t tell my mom you’re working for me,” he said, “Promise?”
“Yes, I promise.”
Joey shrugged. “I don’t think she’d understand, seeing that I’m dead, you know.”

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