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Red-haired Sara Henderson knows about the serial killer who, on foggy nights, stalks and kills redheads. Fog, thick, gray and silent often shrouds San Diego evenings--and fog is the killer’s friend. Trying to resume her life after an unpleasant divorce, Sara tries to ignore her gathering tension, but when she begins to get eerie phone calls, she becomes wary of the two men who are interested in her. Is one the killer? The disabled boy she befriends could tell her--if he could speak--about the dangerous man with the owl tattoo who prowls those foggy nights…
Sara Henderson crossed the dark parking area toward the lighted school buildings, not quite running. She’d almost decided not to come. The UCSD extension class was at a junior high school close to Balboa Park, right next to the zoo. And spring was still months away; this time of year the dark came early. But she’d convinced herself it was silly to worry about being attacked every time she went out alone at night. Or almost convinced herself.
She glanced to each side as she hurried, unhappy about the large hibiscus bushes lining the sidewalk. Impossible to spot someone hiding behind or between them. Fallen eucalyptus leaves crunched under her feet, covering the sound of possible footsteps behind her.
Increasing her pace, she resisted the urge to turn her head for a quick scan behind her. She wouldn’t be here if Dr. Zimmer hadn’t urged her to find a way to make contact with other people. Easy for him to say, he wasn’t a woman. Wasn’t a red-haired woman. He didn’t have to worry about anybody stalking him on a foggy autumn evening. Or any other time.
But it was partly her own fault. If she’d been on time she might have found others to walk with. Instead, she’d dithered about going or not going until almost too late.
She was breathless by the time she opened the door to Room 24 and slid into a seat. No way was she going to walk back to that parking lot alone after the class was over.
Sara wasn’t certain why she’d chosen a mythology course. An introduction to computers would’ve taught her a useful skill. Or she might have taken a refresher in her field of special education. What good would mythology be when she dredged up the courage to go job hunting?
"We all practice procrastination, Sara," Dr. Zimmer had said, "but reality can’t be postponed forever."
Her lips curled in wry amusement. Perhaps she’d chosen mythology because he stressed reality.
Why were the others in the room with her taking this class? She was looking them over when a man in a brown corduroy jacket with leather patches on the sleeves came up the aisle and leaned on the lectern.
"I’m Ralph MacDuffy," he announced, running a hand through his ginger hair, artfully disarranging the curls. His smile seemed a deliberate attempt to call attention to the contrast of even white teeth against tanned skin--to say nothing of the dimple in his right cheek.
Sara looked up at him with mixed appreciation and cynicism. There was certainly no question of his good looks or his awareness of them. Still, he seemed young to be an assistant professor, so he must have something going for him other than being a gorgeous hunk.
As she listened to Ralph MacDuffy extol the heroes of myths around the world, she grew more and more uncertain of her subject choice. Did she really want to wallow in legendary heroes after trying to live with one for seven years and failing miserably?
Sara shrugged. Heroes were the vaunted men in all civilizations, no one bothered to laud losers. Certainly C.W. had gotten his share of adulation--so much so that he came to believe he truly was as heroic as the media claimed he was.
"...and, of course, we must not neglect the Kalevala of the Finns," MacDuffy went on. "Longfellow, one of our early American moralists, thought it good enough to steal from for his Song Of Hiawatha. Meter, cadence--a direct theft." He raised his left eyebrow engagingly and paused for effect. Though competent in her own area, Sara had never felt herself to be an expert in any field whatsoever but she did know the Kalevala--Grandpa Saari used to recite it in Finn, yet--and she knew something about Chippewa Indians because she’d gone to school with them when she was growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
She raised her hand. "Mr. MacDuffy?"
"Ralph--we’re contemporaries, after all."
AUTHOR’S BIO: Jane Toombs, along with the Viking from her past and their calico cat, Kinko, spend winters in Florida and the rest of the year on the south shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Jane is the author of seventy plus published books and fifteen short stories. Her favorite reading and writing genre is fantasy/paranormal.
Race With The Moon -- Vella Frazier is a healer, but her powers extend far beyond the nursing she did before summer commenced. When she bumped into Guy St. Simon in a rush to catch her plane back to Minnesota, his energy passed through her, leaving her to contemplate the strange life changing experience.
Ms. Toombs again enthralls us with exacting details of ancient Finnish and French cultures relating to loup garou--the werewolf--the shifters. As family members come close to the pain and danger of shifting, Vella and Guy work under time constraints governed by the moon to save them.
The storyline is well-done, the suspense riveting, and the ending heartwarming. Readers of romance paranormal or otherwise will enjoy this exciting trek into a world of unearthly charms. -- 4 Hearts, Mary Ann Carman, http://www.mywordsworth.com
Night Of The Owl -- Jill M. Smith wrote: 4 Stars “...fast paced and taut psychological thriller.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 306
Paper Weight (lb): 12.8
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