Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dark and Stormy: A Tillgiven Romantic Mystery by Traci Tyne HIlton


Barnes and Noble

If Isaac Daniels can catch the pranksters before they ruin the Christmas Smorgasbord, he can make up for ditching his job in October. It's a great plan--until a dead body turns up.

Dani Honeywell grew up in the mountains with a mom on the search and rescue team, so if there's one thing she knows, it is dead bodies.

What she isn't that keen on is pickled fish.

So when a dead body turns up at the Tillgiven Bible School she has the chance to escape the kitchen and do something she's good at.

Solve a murder, save her boyfriend's reputation, and avoid pickled fish--Christmas break is starting to look up!


I didn’t like the way Xavier was staring at Dani. So much contempt in the morning for a girl who clearly knew what she was talking about. I yawned and slung my arm over her shoulder.
She didn’t shrug me off as quickly as I thought she would.
Xavier turned away.
I leaned dangerously close (for the morning) to Dani. “Let’s get out of here.” I whispered.
“Yes, please.” She slipped into a pair of snow boots and grabbed a coat.
I had been out looking for Rolf already once this morning. I hadn’t gone far, just checking out the sheltered corners of the buildings and that kind of thing.
The stillness of the morning—no wind, no snow falling—and the brightness of the lowering moon on the snow gave the campus an otherworldly feeling. I ought to be used to it by now, the snow had been around for a while, but every time I stepped out into the frozen landscape, I was struck by it all over again.
“Should we start looking for a snow cave?”
Dani blew onto her gloveless fingers, and then wrapped her coat sleeves around them again. “Probably. But let’s start by looking for footprints.”
I stared at the fresh snow.
“There is new snow,” she said, reading my mind “But it blew so hard that most of it piled up. If he wandered off into the woods we can probably still see the outlines of his trail.”
“Okay.” I narrowed my eyes, and shined the flashlight towards the woods as we walked, hoping not to find anything at all. The only thing I wanted to find was a voice mail from Rolf telling us what time he was coming back to the school.
We passed the boys' dorm, and I glanced at the broken awning. It had tilted during the storm, as though the wind had shoved it over, but it hadn’t collapsed. Neither had the roof. I paused to look up at the eaves. “Looks like we all panicked for nothing,” I mumbled.
Dani stared at the window in the side door. “What’s that?” She stepped forward, cupped her hands around her eyes, and pressed them to the window trying to see in the dark building. “Can I see your flashlight?”
I passed it to her. The roof was perfectly fine. No new damage at all. I pressed on the leaning posts to see how much give they had. They swayed, but didn’t fall.
“Isaac, what is that?” Dani’s face was pale. She held the flashlight so it cast its light on the floor of the hall. The light caught on a piece of reflective tape, like what you’d see on a ski jacket. She moved the flashlight around, revealing a lump that was about person sized. My gut fell to my knees.
“How cold do you think it got in there last night?”
Dani shivered. “Cold, but safe.” She grabbed the door knob and rattled it. “Rolf? Are you okay?” She hollered, with her face close to the window.
I placed my gloved hand over her small, cold one, and lifted it off of the knob. “Let me.” I had the key, but I felt like I was working underwater as I pulled it out of my pocket and moved it to the door.
The door groaned open just as slowly, and Dani pushed passed me before I could force myself to step inside and check out the…shape on the floor.
I watched her like she was on television. She flicked on the lights, which crackled to life, and then moved her flashlight beam over the shape on the floor. The reflective tape was on a coat. The coat was on a person. The person was face down, at an angle. It could have been Rolf, but the back of his head was bloody so it was hard to tell at first.
The room spun. My head felt like it was full of sand that was slowly falling to my feet. I reached out for Dani, but she was already on her knees, beside the body, Rolf’s wrist in her hand.
“Call 911.” Her voice came out clear and strong, through the fog in my head.
“Yes. Right.” I did it. Then I hung up and called 411, the Swedish emergency number. The operator asked me questions I didn’t understand, so I just started talking. “Tillgiven School. Skola. School. Brunn Vatten. Body. We found a dead body. His name is Rolf. What should we do?”

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