I’m so excited to welcome Mairanne Harden here today! She’s showing us some of the places the characters in her new release, Malicious Mischief, see every day. If these gorgeous pictures don’t make you want to read the book, I don’t know what will!
`ENJOY THIS DAY THESE PHOTOGRAPHS COMPLIMENTS OF GOD`
(Psalm 118:24, tweaked a little)
The beauty of the Pacific Northwest drifts from regal mountains to polished lakes to far-reaching forests. There is too much beauty to capture in a few photographs, but with these snapshots of the setting for Malicious Mischief, 1st in the Rylie Keyes romantic mystery series, I’ll try.
*Inland from Puget Sound is Bellevue, Washington, the setting for Malicious Mischief, 1st in the Rylie Keyes romantic mystery series*
*A morning view of the Cascade Mountains from Seattle. Lake Washington and the city of Bellevue are lost in the blanket of fog.*
*West of Bellevue is Lake Washington, interconnected to Seattle by two bridges. Detective Thad Talon’s apartment overlooks this view*
*Flanking Bellevue’s eastern edge is Lake Sammamish with its breathtaking view of Mt. Rainier. Rylie Keyes and her grandfather live on its shore in their rundown bungalow. Solo bunks on their old sailboat, while Officer Zach O’Neil lives two doors down in a street-side apartment.*
*Eagles greet Rylie, Solo, and Zach most days from their perch in what locals call ‘the eagle tree’ along the lakeshore*
*Trees much like these nearly killed Rylie when she crashed in the Fountain of Youth
Retirement Home van*
*Officer Zach O’Neil worked out of this satellite police station before the robbery and fatal suspect shooting*
*Wilburton Trestle, aka Suicide Trestle in Malicious Mischief. Rylie and Solo parole this Bellevue landmark each Saturday night with the hope of talking down potential suicide jumpers*
*A humpback whale as seen in nearby Puget Sound*
*The Bellevue Sister City Mosaic at Crossroads Park*
*Rylie and Solo purchase pies for the seniors at Fountain of Youth Retirement Home at this Trader Joes.*
*A stormy evening view of Lake Sammamish*
It’s my greatest wish for you to enjoy reading Malicious Mischief, 1st in the Rylie Keyes mystery series, as much as I enjoyed writing it. ~Marianne Harden
Thanks so much, Marianne! What beautiful scenery for your book! Keep reading for the official book blurb and an excerpt…and of course a giveaway!
I managed to look down. Froze. Zach’s jacket had somehow twisted to the front, leaving my butt out in the open. I started to tug it back into place, spied a huge pool of blood nearby, and keeled over. Splat.
“Isn’t that somethin’, you’re wearing a pink thong.” Cokey Bill’s voice sounded distant. “Doris won’t wear one, on account of her incontinence.”
Dizzily, I struggled to my knees, staggered a little, then righted with a hand to one of the orange boxes for support. “Mr. Oley—we need to get—help. Doris needs—help.”
“Ah, that’s the sweetest thing, you moving over like that. I got a nice view now.”
I lapsed into a moment of stillness, hand to my heart. I had a strong feeling nothing could be done for Doris, so I wanted to give Cokey Bill a moment with his wife.
“Rare and beautiful thing, a nice ass,” he said.
Omigod! “Are you kidding me? You pervert. You’re looking at my butt!”
“I’m a simple man,” he said.
“You should be ashamed—” I broke off when his eyes went glassy. “Mr. Oley, are you all right?”
He sunk lower in his seat, grinned, and sagged against the steering wheel, making the horn blare with his pointy nose.
I couldn’t move, couldn’t blink. This wasn’t happening.
Solo popped his head inside the open passenger door. “Holy crap!”
“Where have you been?” I managed.
“Watching some bunnies in the bushes.” He looked from Cokey Bill to Doris and back to me. “What did you do, whisper them to death?”
“No!” I said, gulping air. “Check his pulse.” Then I closed my eyes to the blood and straddled Doris to do my best with CPR. It didn’t matter that I thought it was useless, I couldn’t give up on her or Cokey Bill. A minute later, I eyed Solo. “How’s he doing?”
He shook his head, shoulders slumped. “Dead.”
The blood left my face, I felt it go, drip by bloody drip. “You sure?”
He nodded. “Pretty darn.”
I dragged my eyes off Cokey Bill and went back to work on Doris. The shock and effort made me woozier. My panting and the footsteps outside sounded as one. When the truck’s rear doors flew open, my heart skipped a beat.
“Holy Mother Mary!” Zach said.
Fish and guts streamed out in a silver wave. Zach leaped back. I grabbed for something, anything, but my hands were slimy. The truck’s sharp angle made it worse. I missed a hand strap, but fisted some of Doris’s shirt. She wasn’t moving, probably caught on something. I heard a ripping noise. Ack! She was on the loose.
A jaunty slippery-slide over the rear bumper whipped me higher than a bucking horse. We bounced onto the pavement, bounced again. It turned out Doris was kind of springy. Even so, we went splat, a bouncy splat that whipped me onto my back, my knees heavenward, and my arms above my head. I opened one eye, peered up at Zach; his eyes were steely.
“I can explain.”
I love making people laugh. True, I should probably spend time on an analyst’s couch, but I’d rather spill loads of fun into my books. I’m rarely at a loss for words, which is wicked cool for a writer. And it would be poppycock to say I didn’t laze away my wonder years dreaming of far-off places.
Over the years, I’ve traversed the insanely fun back roads of Australia and New Zealand, trekked the wildly exotic landscapes of Asia and Africa, soaked up the blistering Caribbean sun, survived bitter Arctic cold to witness the Northern Lights, and lost a wee bit of my heart to the awesomeness of Europe.
My goals in life are simple: do more good than harm and someday master the do-not-mess-with-me look. I roost in Washington State with my husband and our two children.
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