Shannon here: Heartsong Presents Mysteries author, Cynthia Hickey shares a glimpse into the fiction love story of her characters in Fudge-Laced Felonies. Leave a comment to win a copy of the book. Deadline: July 30, 8:00 PM Central. Here’s Cynthia:
Fudge-Laced Felonies was so much fun to write. The hero, Ethan, is a conglomeration of all the aspects I find attractive. Dimples, a sense of humor, a strong will, and an unshakeable faith in God. Even when the heroine, Summer, is up to her pretty neck in mischief, Ethan is there to save the day. Too bad the two don’t realize that their lifelong friendship has grown to something more.
In an attempt to get Ethan to see her as more than his sister’s best friend, Summer embarks on a dangerous quest to find out who buried diamonds beneath her rosebush. And winds up dragging Ethan along with her. What ensues is a hilarious, romantic adventure that leads Summer to the truth of her strength and Ethan’s love for her. Their heavenly Father.
EXCERPT OF CHAPTER 1
I marched into church on Sunday–not to search for God but to find a killer.
My prey stood in the corner of the foyer, lurking in the shadows. With narrowed eyes, I intended to face him. Instead, the delicious aroma of coffee wafted in the air, beckoning me like a siren’s song. I glared at the one I pursued just long enough to let him know I meant business, and switched my course across the tiled narthex of the large church to the fellowship wing. I needed caffeinated reinforcement before confronting the villain.
“Good morning, Summer.” The barista, Susan, smiled and slid an ice-cold mocha- flavored concoction into my waiting hands. “Thought you were going to pass us by.”
“Not a chance.” I nodded toward a man behind her. His back was turned, giving me a clear view of dark blue jeans beneath a navy apron. “Who’s the new guy?”
Susan shrugged. “Nate something. I can’t remember. He was here this morning when I got in. Seems like a nice enough kind of guy. Quiet.” She winked. “Very handsome.”
“Not interested.” Pursing my lips around the straw, I closed my eyes, giving in to the sheer bliss of the drink. Immediately, the coffee seized my brain in a painful grip of ice. My eyes shot open.
Susan smiled. “I’ve told you a thousand times not to gulp it.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose between my thumb and forefinger. Pressure released, I turned, focusing again on the man I’d come to confront.
“Leave him alone, Summer.” Susan handed me a napkin.
What? Did everyone know what he’d done?
“You’re glaring at Ethan like you want to put a hole through him.”
“He’s a murderer, and I intend to see justice served.” Righteous indignation rose in my chest, and my face grew warm. My fair skin probably burned as scarlet as a summer sunset. I ducked my head and took another long suck on the straw, drawing strength from the frozen coffee.
Ethan Banning, murderer extraordinaire—looking as fine as Adonis in khaki pants and a baby-blue polo shirt—emerged for his routine of greeting the arriving parishioners. A wide, white-tooth smile, and dimples you could drown in had probably sent many a woman’s heart into palpitations. I steeled myself to resist his charms as I approached him.
“Good morning, Summer.” His deep voice rolled over me like faraway thunder on a spring day.
With tremendous willpower, I forced myself not to fall into his deep blue eyes and, instead, focused on a spot over his shoulder. Big mistake. He stepped closer, and I caught a whiff of some heavenly man cologne.
“It’s not a good morning, Ethan.” I stepped. “You’re a murderer.” I lowered my voice to a whisper. “I can’t believe the people of this church trust their youth to you. I’ll never allow you to care for any of my children.”
“Got your Irish dander up again, don’t you?” Ethan laughed. “You don’t have any children.”
I met his gaze. The drink in my hand sweated, the condensation running down my arm. “Well, if I did, I. . .”