Bad Karma by Debi Chestnut
I am pleased to host Debi Chestnut @DebiChestnut1 today on the blog tour for her new book, Bad Karma published by Cayelle Publishing @CayellePub and run by Love Books Group Tours @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours. You can follow the tour here.
ZOEY CALLAWAY is an introverted Information Professional, content with her cramped apartment above her mother’s garage. She’s a simple person with a simple life until murder shatters her small town of Hope Harbor, Michigan.
When Zoey’s uncle is found dead in his bathtub, police think it’s an accidental overdose, but circumstances tell Zoey a different story. After inheriting her deceased uncle’s home and black kitten, she moves in and catalogues his belongings, inadvertently piecing together clues to solve a crime her uncle had stumbled upon before his death. With a stalker following her every move, Zoey calls upon all her investigative skills to identify the killer before she becomes the next victim.
It wasn’t even nine a.m. and I was already having a bad day. I was working on Project Shadow for the FBI. Suspected human traffickers. I shook my head. What some people won’t do for money! The FBI occasionally hires freelance information professional like me to dig into the lives of “persons of interest” as they call it when they need to circumvent the law – and they pay extremely well .
Anyway, the database I needed to complete the project was down and my call to tech support was a waste of time. I wound up talking to some guy on the other side of the planet named Pardeep. He was pleasant enough, and his English quite intelligible. He tried to help, but in the end he couldn’t fix the problem, leaving me behind the eight-ball with the FBI. With nothing left to do but wait, I decided to go for a run.
A wall of cool air hit me as I stepped out the door of my apartment; rain-laden clouds darkened the western sky. Thunder rumbled in the distance as I popped my earbuds in and hit my
6 | B a d K a r m a favorite playlist. With luck, I’d be able to complete my five miles and be back home before the early fall storm hit.
I was just hitting my stride, listening to Aerosmith doing “Walk this Way,” one of my favorites, when the phone call came. Damn it, I had told Pardeep not to call for another hour. I guess hours pass quicker in India. I stopped running and gulped in air as I wheezed a weak, “Hello.”
“Is this Zoey Cal away?” The voice was not Pardeep’s. This voice was low, sultry, and very sexy. He sounded hot, I thought, but he’s probably short, fat and bald, so don’t get too excited, Zoe.
“Yes,” I said between breaths. I willed my heart rate to lower itself. “Who is this?”
“Miss Cal away, my name is Seth Andrews. I’m a detective with the Hope Harbor Police Department.”
My stomach flipped. The detective continued. “I’m sorry to have to do this over the phone, but I’m afraid I have some bad news. I believe Felix Cal away is your uncle. Is that correct?”
My mouth dried up. I couldn’t talk. I managed to squeak a response, “Yes, he’s my uncle…why? What—?”
“I’m truly sorry,” the voice cut in. “A neighbor found your uncle this morning. I’m afraid he’s dead.”
My legs turned to rubber. Oh God, not Felix. Not Uncle Felix.
Dropping to my knees, I managed to sit myself down on a lawn next to the sidewalk.
“What do you mean he’s dead? I saw him a few days ago. He can’t be dead.” This was not happening. No, no, no! Not Uncle Felix. He couldn’t die. We had so much to do.
“I’m sorry, Miss Cal away. I wish I didn’t have to make this cal.
I’d rather we talk in person. Yours was the only number we could find. We still need to talk to you, however, and it should be face-to-face. Are you able to come to the station?”
And then the tears came, cascading down my face, soaking my cheeks and entering the corners of my half-open mouth I tasted the salt and looked through unseeing eyes at the empty street before me.
A Northern girl with a wicked imagination, Debi fell in love with mysteries after reading her first Nancy Drew book. She left her job as a paralegal to write full-time. Along with her mystery series, Debi is also the author of many books on the paranormal. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two black cats, and her lab, Hunter. You can find her at www.authordebichestnut.com