We are proud to announce the publication of the 10th Brianna Sullivan Mystery, Lottawatah Fireworks. A novella-length story, Lottawatah Fireworks continues the spooky, yet funny saga of reluctant psychic Brianna Sullivan, who planned to travel the country in her motor home looking for adventure, but unexpectedly ended up in Lottawatah, a small town in Oklahoma.
Excerpt from Lottawatah Fireworks:
"You're gonna love it."
That was at least the tenth time he'd said that and I didn't believe him anymore than I had the first nine times.
I wish I could have had more faith in his reassurances, but I was too pissed at Cooper to do much more than grunt at his enthusiastic tour guide spiel. Yesterday, while I was off in the wilds with his mother and great aunt, Cooper had bought an adjoining plot of land where he proposed to build our dream home. He had bought this land, forty godforsaken acres, sight unseen by me. Bought this land despite the fact that, as my old next door neighbor Molly Goldstein, who I think was 120, used to say, it was in Yenavelte. Mrs. Goldstein spoke Yiddish, made the best Matzoh Ball soup in the world, or at least in all of Chicago, and most of all, understood that nobody wanted to live in Yenavelte, the middle of nowhere, most of all not me, her little Brianna, who was such a Shaineh Maidel, pretty girl.
I loved Mrs. Goldstein. Cooper Jackson, not so much.
He kept repeating how much I was going to love the location (I repeat Yenavelte); enjoy the large pond full of catfish (yeah right); delight in the acres where we could run some cattle. I actually laughed out loud at the last one. Only thing I knew about cows is they made cow patties and I had stepped in one on a visit to a friend of Cooper's. The smell alone was enough to make me a vegetarian. I'd had to throw out the shoes.
He was still talking. "Those blackberry bushes that my Great Aunt likes so much...." He took one hand off the wheel and turned me sideways. "They're just about 5 miles that way as the crow flies."
"Wonderful." It was clear he didn't have a clue about what I wanted. I thought we'd end up in a nice little bungalow in Lottawatah proper, if there is such a thing as a proper Lottawatah. Or a lake lot if we could afford it. Jack Fulsom had offered us a deal on one of the lots in his development by Lake Eufaula. And instead, Rest in Peace Mrs. Goldstein, I was in Yenavelte. So what if he'd spent summers with his genetically-challenged second cousins just down the road.
After traveling the same dirt road that I'd been on yesterday, Cooper made a sharp right just before we got to the place Sassy had parked the Cadillac for the berry picking expedition. He stopped and got out of the truck, unhooking the gate of a barbed-wire fence.
We bounced along a well-worn dirt track for about two miles when Cooper pulled up in front of a large, rambling shack, and I'm using that term very lightly. It did have four walls, but the front door was hanging off the hinges, no window had any glass panes, and the piece de resistance was the antlers hanging above the entry. Welcome Home.
Cooper bounded out of the truck like a little kid about to enter the Magic Kingdom.
"Brianna, old man Barnicle...you know the guy who owns the gunsmith shop in town?"
"No." I didn't have a clue who he was talking about. And didn't really care.
"Barnicle's Gun Repair. It's a block down from Tiny's. Has an old ship's cannon by the door. Puts a stuffed pirate out there on top of it at Halloween."
"No." It dawned on me that for some reason it was important to Cooper that I know where that damn gun shop was. Like if he could just get me to acknowledge the store, he'd feel free to continue his explanation of why he'd made such a foolish mistake in buying this place.
He stared at me in consternation. "Come on! You must have seen it. There's a fruit stand across the street."
Wonder if they sold blackberries? I couldn't stand any more of this conversation. This insignificant chatter that avoided the main event; the discussion about why we were in this spot right now.
"Oh, yeah. That gun shop." I lied. But better the sin of a lie than the homicide I was contemplating.
Cooper smiled, satisfied enough to move on. "Brianna, old man Barnicle was practically giving this property away. He used it as a hunting lodge, but his arthritis is getting so bad, he just can't handle the upkeep."
I think a sound exited my mouth, but I'm not sure. I couldn't focus on anything but the fact he'd purchased this place without talking to me first.
"What do you think?"
I'm sure Cooper really didn't want to know what I thought. I was still choosing my words when he swept me up and carried me across the threshold, such as it were.
And past the threshold? Not good. It wasn't much to look at. And what was there was hard to see in the dim light. I glanced around the main living area. On a positive note the back part of the lodge was better lit. The sun was peeking through the huge hole in the roof, illuminating all the trash piled up on the floor.
My mind slipped past his last question and went back to his statement about poor arthritic Mr. Barnicle and his reasons for selling. "Upkeep? What was he keeping up?"
Cooper somewhat unceremoniously put me down.
"Use your imagination, Brianna." His tone expressed his annoyance with me. "This house isn't staying. The land's what's important. We'll knock down the house and build us a new one."
Yeah. Okay. I took a breath. "A new one that has wood flooring?"
Cooper grinned. "Not at first."
I headed for the door.
He grabbed me, pulled me close, and gave me a quick kiss. "I'm kidding, of course, it's going to have a floor, even indoor plumbing. Might spring for electricity."
"Hey!" I pushed at his chest. "Do I really look like a country girl to you?"
He laughed and swung me around. I could almost catch his enthusiasm. I might even have cracked a smile, except for the young man sitting on the floor in the corner of the room. He wasn't nearly as excited as Cooper about our moving in. Of course, he was dead, and from the looks of it, had died in that very spot, a big hunting knife sticking out of his gut.
I could see faint stains on the floor. Blood. The murder wasn't that old. The ghost nodded to me and then said quite firmly, "You're not welcome here. Get out!"
Oh goody. No doors, no roof, no toilets, and a resident angry ghost. Yeah, there's no place like home.
----------For more read LOTTAWATAH FIREWORKS.
Sullivan Investigations Mystery
Murder Off the Books Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Murder Takes the Cake Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Murder Doubles Back Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Riley Come Home (short story)- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Moonlighting at the Mall (short story) - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
A Haunting in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Lottawatah Twister - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Missing in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Good Grief in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Summer Lightning in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Lottawatah Fireworks - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Ghosts of Lottawatah - trade paperback collection of the Brianna e-books
Book 1 - I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries (includes the first four Brianna e-books)
Book 2 - A Haunting in Lottawatah (includes the 5th, 6th, and 7th Brianna e-books)
Book 3 - Lottawatah Fireworks (includes the 8th, 9th, and 10th Brianna e-books)
Zoned for Murder - stand-alone mystery
Love Lessons - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords