Wednesday Sampler: Fur Ball Fever by Maureen Fisher
October 28, 2015
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Wednesday’s Sampler is an excerpt from Fur Ball Fever, a hilarious and romantic mystery from Maureen Fisher.
As reviewers have said: This laugh-out-loud, sizzling hot story had me hooked right from the start and didn’t let go until the end … Delicious, humorous, and a cast of amazingly quirky characters make for a memorable read.
An impulsive pet spa owner who loses her client’s prize pooch …
After a lifetime of impetuous mistakes, Jersey Shore pet spa owner Grace Donnelly outdoes herself when a client’s prize poodle, a shoo-in to win the annual Fur Ball, goes AWOL while in her custody. With money, careers, and lives in jeopardy, Grace is not afraid to strap on the leather to go undercover in a fetish club looking for clues. Too bad her helpers consist of an aging hippie aunt, a renegade schnauzer, a drag queen, and a dominatrix or two. Worst of all, the only man truly qualified to help is her former flame, the most domineering male on the eastern seaboard.
A smokin’ hot bodyguard with his own agenda …
Texas-born security specialist Nick Jackson faces his worst nightmare when Grace’s amateur investigation nearly blows his covert operation. Unless he nails the con-artist who scammed his home-town’s seniors and whacked a witness, his homicidal granddaddy will take justice into his own liver-spotted hands. To salvage his case, his sanity, and his ex-lover’s velvety skin, Nick joins forces with the sassy crusader who rubs him the wrong way–and so many right ways too.
Together, they weather an explosion of murder, mayhem, and mystery …
Action bounces from the upscale Shore community of Saltwater Estates to a beach harboring washed-up corpses, a fancy yacht no honest preacher could possibly afford, and the bawdiest nightclub in Atlantic City. Hazards multiply like bunnies, culminating in fun, danger, romance … and a Fur Ball extravaganza the locals will never forget.
“Nick’s a good man, Gracie,” Auntie Beth said. “Work with him to find Miss Coco.”
The very idea made Grace shudder. If she allowed Nick into her life again, she stood a good chance of losing a giant chunk of herself, the chunk that made her who she was, simply to please him. She couldn’t, make that wouldn’t, take the risk.
She stared blindly out the window. Darkened cityscape whizzed by at warp speed. After a while, she said. “I know you want what’s best for me, but I need to stay away from Nick.” When her aunt started to protest, Grace added, “I’ll find the dog myself.”
“Ah. The strong, independent, pig-headed route.” Auntie Beth hunched her shoulders, radiating disapproval. “What’s your next step?”
“Find Krissi,” Grace said promptly. “Julius and Oliver hang out at Kinki. I bet Krissi does too. I need to figure out a way to infiltrate our favorite fetish club.”
The car hummed along quietly as Grace considered various options. Sometime later, she said, “Remember my pet spa client, Shawn Easedale, or Shannon Easy, as he calls himself? He’s the lead singer for Queenz in Concert.”
“Damn straight I remember Shannon. I adore him, uh, her. She’s real talented, sounds exactly like Céline Dion.”
Grace gave an exasperated sigh, but allowed herself to be sidetracked. “How would you know who Shannon Easy sounds like?”
“Last month, me and the girls drove down to Atlantic City to see Queenz in Concert. Shannon’s version of The Power of Love brought the house down. It involved a blow-up doll, fellatio, and some fancy maneuvering.”
Grace tried to dismiss the picture that popped into her mind, that of Auntie Beth with her cronies at a drag queen concert, all of them no doubt lightly stoned on Acapulco Gold, and swaying in rhythm to a ditty about an inflatable lover. “But we digress.” She blinked the vision away and got back on topic. “Shawn owes me big time for helping out after his bulldog had a run-in with a skunk.”
Auntie Beth took the Saltwater Harbor exit. “I see where you’re headed. Queenz in Concert performs in clubs across Atlantic City. If anyone can get us into Kinki, it’s their lead singer.”
“Us?” Grace eyed her aunt in alarm. “Uh-uh. No way. You’re not coming with me, and don’t try to follow me again. I’ll coax Shawn into escorting me to the club for Rodeo Nite tomorrow.” She paused. “What do you think Rodeo Nite is?”