Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Meow Mayhem, by Lisa Lickel


Ivy Preston keeps other people’s secrets for a living. When a small town mayor invites Ivy Preston and True Thompson to move their businesses to Apple Grove, can their love survive the sudden rise in crime?


After being left at the altar, Ivy Amanda McTeague Preston uproots herself and her cat, an Egyptian Mau named Memnet, from her boring and lonely life to start over at the urging of Mayor Conklin, a fellow pedigreed Mau owner. Truesdale Thompson is ready to move in a fresh direction with his life. A private man whose physical wounds are the only outward sign of a tragic accident in his past, True and his cat, Isis, open a branch of his trendy little bookstore and coffee shop in Apple Grove. When Ivy takes a mysterious message while the mayor is away on business, only Ivy’s criminology professor mom, and True believe there’s something rotten in Apple Grove. Can Ivy carry on her romance with True while saving the town from further Mayhem?

Chapter One

      The alarm next to my ear shrieked me awake at two forty-eight a.m. I scrambled upstairs to my home office to catch the urgent summons. My messenger service board light sputtered an angry red, signaling an incoming call for one of my clients—ID code, the mayor’s office. I frowned. In the middle of the night? This had to be a crank call. I hoped it wasn’t one of those angry at the world verbal abusers. I was tired and not in the mood to be professionally pleasant. I held the headpiece next to my ear and answered. “Office of the Mayor.”


      I couldn’t make anything out through the crackling static and so I boosted the gain. I tried to turn the outside antenna with the automatic control, but another burst of static rocketed me out of the chair. I whipped off my earpiece. “Oww!”

      I sat down again slowly. The light blinked balefully now. I checked the caller ID. Chicago. Summersby Building. “Hello? Can I help you?” I flicked a switch up and down. All I heard now was a soft buzz. Then a distinct click. At least the recorder had been on. I yawned. Summersby Building was probably a construction company doing work for one of the new businesses coming to Apple Grove. That’s why I was here, too, invited on behalf of the mayor’s new community growth incentive. I yawned again and hung my earpiece on a hook. Maybe some cleaning crew accidentally hit redial. I went back to bed.

      The next evening, after my third attempt to reach my friend Donald, the mayor of Apple Grove, Illinois, I ran my fingers across the rows of red and yellow and green blinking lights of my servers. I usually found them cheerful. Comforting. But sometimes my system of eight blinking bubbles reminded me of all I hated about Christmas. In the gloomy twilight of early fall, they felt sinister.

When I moved here two months ago, April Fool’s Day, to be exact, the phone and cable companies had wondered about how I could make McTeague’s Messenger Service work with my three servers. I showed them Donald’s letter of reference and the preliminary approval of the exception to the zoning ordinance in this quiet little neighborhood.   

      Usually I took messages. This evening, I needed to give one. One that I dreaded. I took a deep breath, plugged in my headset and dialed.

      “Apple Grove Police. Officer Ripple. How can I help you?”

      “Hello, hello? I need to report a kidnapping.”

      “Kidnapping? Name?”

      “Ivy Preston.”

      “Right. High Vee? Could you spell that, please.”

      “I – V – Y. Preston.”

      “And where are you now, ma’am? Can you see any weapons? Do you know the name of your kidnappers?”

      “Oh, no, Officer. It’s not me. It’s the mayor.”

      “Mayor? Got that. First name?”

      “Donald Mayor. And is he a relative? Is there a note?”

      “No…you’ve got it all mixed up. I’m calling about somebody kidnapping Mayor Donald Conklin.”

      “You think someone’s going to kidnap the mayor? That’s a pretty serious charge.”

      “Not going to. I think they already did.”




A graduate of the Christian Writer’s Guild’s Apprentice Course, Lisa Lickel was a top ten finisher in the first Operation: First Novel contest. She is a freelance editor and mentor, blogger, avid book reviewer and workshop leader.
Lickel’s novels include The Last Bequest, The Map Quilt, Meander Scar, A Summer in Oakville, Healing Grace: a novel, and Meow Mayhem. Her work has appeared in Writer’s Digest, You Can Write for Children, and Harpstring.
She enjoys membership in local book clubs and writing groups, as well as American Christian Fiction Writers, and Wisconsin Writers Association, where she is editor-in-chief of Creative Wisconsin Magazine. She holds a bachelors of science in history and RECES. She lives in a hundred and sixty-year old house and is active in local historical societies. Married to a high school biology teacher, she enjoys travel, books and collecting dragons.

Lisa is giving away a copy of her book MEOW MAYHEM. She will send an ebook copy to the winner, or if preferred, a print copy. However, she does not yet have print copies, so there will be a lag time to receive the print version.
The drawing is open to US addresses only.
To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment including your email address. You may enter twice, once on each spotlight post. 



Shelley Wilburn said...

For anyone thinking of reading Meow Mayhem...it's a very good book (I read the eBook)! I'm thinking print copy would be nice ;-] shelley[at]where2[dot]org

cjajsmommy said...

Please enter my name to win a copy of this book. djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jo said...

I would love a copy of this book. Sounds like a fun read.


apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lisa Lickel said...

Thanks, Shelley...

ann said...

Sounds like a good read for me . Enter me to win please
amhengst at verizon dot net

KayM said...

Lisa, I like your ideas for books. I would be happy to win a copy of Meow Mayhem.
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

squiresj said...

I'm sorry but I only like print. But if I get one, I also review it for you. See I live in a rural area where internet stinks - limited on useage.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Teela said...

Oh I'm REALLY REALLY hoping that I win your MEOW book, Lisa! teelayoung@hotmail.com http://coffee24tea.blogspot.com

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009 Design expanded and personalized by PattyWysong.com 2011.

Back to TOP