The Body in the Beauty Parlor comes out March 2nd. Right now, it’s only $5.99, and here’s a little snippet to tease you:
When they stepped into the kitchen, the cats ran to greet them and twine around their ankles, begging for food. Jazzi laughed and bent to pet them, then noticed the answering machine blinking in the corner. They only used it for business, so she went to push the button to listen to the message.
“Sorry to call this number, but it’s the only one I had for you, Jaz. This is Chad. Can we meet somewhere to talk? Maybe the coffee house on Anthony we used to like? Ginger and I are having problems. I blew it with you, and I thought you could help me so I don’t blow it with her, too. I’d sure appreciate your take on it. Tomorrow night, if you can?”
Ansel stiffened ramrod straight. “I call you Jaz. He did, too?”
She shrugged. “What other nickname can anyone come up with for Jazzi? Did Emily have a nickname for you?” When a flush colored his face, her eyebrows flew up, and she grinned. “That good, huh? I’m a slouch. I only call you Norseman or Viking because of your coloring.”
“And my parents are one hundred percent Norwegian,” he added.
“What did Emily. . . . ?”
He cut her off. “Don’t ask. She was a nurse, obsessed with body parts.”
“Really? Who knew? Did you play doctor?” She was enjoying watching him squirm.
He glanced at the answering machine again, and his humor faded. “Your Gran warned you about Chad yesterday.”
She gave him a look. “Not to go back with him. Like I ever would. I have you. I hit the jackpot.”
His shoulders relaxed a little. “Are you going to meet him? He was a jerk the last time we saw him.” They’d run into him at a restaurant when he was with his buddies at a bar. He’d stopped to say hi, but all he did was complain because he’d found out Ginger had an abortion when she was young and somehow it made it so that she couldn’t have babies. Chad had always wanted a houseful of kids. That’s one of the reasons they broke up.
Jazzi studied him. “What would you do if Emily was in town and called you for help?”
Ansel’s blond brows furrowed into a frown. He grimaced, and she knew his answer. “I’d meet her.”
She went to wrap her arms around him. “I know you would. That’s why I love you so much. You’re so nice.”
With a sigh, he dropped a kiss on her forehead. “Can you meet him early enough to come home for supper tomorrow so we can eat together?”
She nodded. “He can meet me on my terms or forget about it.” She called Chad back and agreed to be at the coffee house at five-thirty. When she hung up, Ansel didn’t look happy, but he’d come to terms with her going.