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Billie A. Williams
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Trudy Moncha wasn’t quite sure what to make of Yachne. Her talk of ghosts, witches and the devil bordered on extreme paranoia, zealot or something worse. Trudy wanted to assure her that she would not harbor evil, but that she was determined to renovate and open The Pink Lady Slipper in the near future. “I had intentions of restoring the Lady Slipper and turning it in to a bed and breakfast.” There will be no evil in that. Ordinary families on vacation needing a place to spend the night will find haven at the Lady Slipper. That’s what I have planned.” She said hoping that appeased Yachne.
Wringing her hands and ready to bolt out the door at the drop of a pin Yachne bubbled over with foreboding. “Oh fine. Another brothel. Another house of ill repute. Another evil den of iniquity. This place needs to be burned. Burned to rid us of its evil,” Yachne said agitated, rising to leave. “I must get back. Pastor Joseph will be worried for my well-being.”
“I’m sorry you feel the house harbors evil Mrs. Yachne. Mother loved it, so do I,” she said opening the door for Yachne.
“Like an evil lover. You unmarried woman are ripe for the devils deeds,” she turned and walked quickly down the outer stair case of the Carriage House.
Trudy Moncha spun the barrel around checking every stave, every ring of the safety barrels that were placed about the rodeo center arena. She bounced the rubber mallet against the sides with a force similar to how a bull might hit it. She wanted to be absolutely sure that all the barrels were sound. Call her paranoid, if you will, but another defective barrel like the one Cyclone smashed to smithereens had nearly cost Trudy her life. That was no accident. There was no way it was going to happen again. Not to her, not to any other rodeo clown either, she thought massaging her game hip as she limped from one big barrel to the next.
The loud speaker bellowed “Trudy Moncha to the office trailer please.” The office trailer of the rodeo grounds supervisor sat out in the secured lot behind the rodeo grounds. As she limped to Kyle Houston’s trailer she wondered if maybe this was the day he told her to hang up her face paint and retire from the rodeo circuit. And do what? She thought, entertain at kids’ birthday parties as a has-been rodeo clown? What would she do if she couldn’t follow the rodeo in some capacity? It had become her life. Well, she’d have to cross that bridge when she came to it.
Kyle looked drawn and pale when Trudy entered the trailer. He handed her a telegram. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled his eyes downcast.
She shook as she took the telegram from him. Trudy didn’t like the look on the usually jovial man’s face. She wasn’t getting fired, but maybe that would have been easier to deal with than what awaited her. The language of the telegram’s cryptic bursts slashed at Trudy’s insides as though a knife ripped across her heart.
Mother dead, buried. Stop
Come home at once. Stop
Call 555-1212 Stop.
The full weight of the rift between Trudy and her mother struck her like the weight of a rodeo bull on her back. How could she just up and die on her? Her emotions rode the bucking tide against the belief of what she read. Anger, anguish, rage flew at her like mud clods from a bronco’s hooves.
“Damn, damn, no!” she said kicking the chairs and tossing the telegram into the air. She retrieved the telegram from where it landed and read it again. “No! No,” pain and sorrow gurgled out in a tear-filled, anguished cry that squeezed from her as though that bull sat on her chest this time. Sinking to the floor sobbing, “Nooo,” she cried out with the pain that tore at her life.
Kyle rounded his desk, reached down and drew Trudy up into his embrace. “I’m so sorry honey, so sorry. If I can do anything, anything at all...” He let his voice trail off knowing how useless any words were at a time like this. Instead, he held her and let her pour her grief out in a flood of tears that turned a dark blue stain on the pale blue of his shirt.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to come unglued Kyle,” she finally said.
Trudy hadn’t seen or heard from her mother in a year or more. If she’s dead and buried what more did they need of her? Why the urgency? Trudy’s mind raged. “How could they have buried mother without notifying me? Why hadn’t Linda or Paul called or telegraphed before this? I always sent an itinerary to mother so she would know where I was in case of a family emergency.” Even though they rarely spoke, Trudy made sure her mother could reach her. Obviously, her sister knew how to reach her, she’d reached her now. But, why did she wait until now?
“Can I use your phone?” she asked.
Kyle released her from his tight embrace and pushed the phone across the desk, “sure kid.” He sat back down behind his desk, fingers laced together over his rotund belly, as he leaned back in his chair and watched while Trudy dialed the phone number.
Numbly she pressed each key pad of her sister’s telephone number. “It’s Trudy. What’s going on?”
Linda told her they had already buried their mother. “She left you everything, except for her car and a stupid painting. You inherited everything! The family homestead and anythin
Award winning Mystery/Suspense author Billie A Williams is a fiction, non-fiction and poetry author and has won numerous contests for her short/flash fiction stories, essays, and poetry. She is published in various magazines such as the literary magazine Thema; Guide, a Magazine for Children, Novel Advice.com, Writing Etc. WritingNow.com, and Women In The Arts newsletter as well as Sister’s in Crime, to list but a few.
Her articles, columns and features have appeared regularly in newspapers. Short stories, Flash fiction, poetry and book reviews have appeared in Mystery Time, True Love Magazine and various anthologies and on line e-zines and web sites. She writes a bi-monthly column titled “Whodunit?” for Mystery Fiction’s Voices in the Dark and is a contributing editor for Writingnow.com a Blueberry Press Newsletter. She also hosts her own writer’s group, Word Mage. She is an active blogger; http://printedwords.blogspot.com and http://onewomansgarden.blogspot.com , as well as owning and operating a Book Club for serialized chapters of her Novel The Capricorn Goat~~January Flannel available for free to those who sign up for her mailing list http://www.billiewilliams.com/BOOKCLUB.html and a Free Writer’s course at Pens In Motion http://www.pensinmotion.com , a five week series of writing lessons pulled from her three published books on writing how to write and two currently being developed.
Williams is currently a member of The Wisconsin Regional Writers Association (WRWA) National Association of Women Writers (NAWW) Sister’s in Crime, Women in the Arts Program, Electronically Published Internet Connection (EPIC). Her website www.billiewilliams.com
She lives with her husband in Amberg, a small Northern Wisconsin community where the winters are cold and long, but the people are warm and friendly.
Billie A. Williams has breathed life into a believable set of characters you'll love or love to hate. The story is packed with enthralling plot twists that keep the reader glued to the page as the dark dynamics of relationships and crime unfold. Death by Candlelight holds rare delights in store for the murder mystery lover., --Susan J. Letham, http://www.Inspired2Write.com
What is innocence? What is guilt? And who is really to blame for the death of Randolph Ord III?
A domineering mother, a spoiled son, and a woman who dreams of a husband, a child, and a home. The characters in Death by Candlelight are familiar, and that's what lends them their appeal. You may sympathize with them. You may despise them. But Ms. Williams brings them to life so vividly they won't leave you cold.
The gripping murder investigation in Death by Candlelight takes the 'whodunnit and how?' a step further and explores the shades of gray that make up the 'why?' Billie Williams has studied her craft and knows how to keep a reader turning pages. The plot is substantial and full of clever surprises.
The smoothly-paced story unfolds to reveal, little by little, a dramatic tale of twisted family relationships, crime, love, envy and death: the perfect mix for a murder mystery. -- Susan J. Letham, http://www.Inspired2Write.com
Death by Candlelight portrays the unbending force upon humans to repeat generational cycles of abusers and victims. Cycles that love, faith or hope can rarely supersede. Yet, with the unraveling of a murder, we are still left with a glimmer of hope. , -- Shelly Moloney, Author Star Slurry
DEATH BY CANDLELIGHT is a fast-paced read filled with a diverse cast of characters who each have their own motives for murder. Just when you think you've hit the calm after the storm, Williams' story takes the reader in a new and more intriguing direction. -- Shirley Kawa-Jump, THE VIRGIN’S PROPOSAL, Silhouette Romance, January 2003, Writing classes: email@example.com
Death By Candlelight,, The story? TERRIFIC. I could hardly wait to finish it.. reminds me of Sydney Sheldon.... --Judy Bozicevich, Administrative Assistant, Edward Jones Company
Every time I thought I had Death by Candlelight figured out, Williams threw in a new twist that left me thinking, I DIDN'T see that coming! Death By Candlelight isn't so much a "Who-Done-It" as it is a character driven story filled with more twists than a Colorado mountain road. It's a quick read without any lulls in the action. Death by Candlelight is a fabulous first novel by Wisconsin writer, Billie Williams. Be sure to watch her career--I'm sure we'll hear from her again--at least I hope we do! -- Beth Erickson, http://filbertpublishing.com
Fire At Thunder Ridge: “Bloody footprints in the snow--the most puzzling fire I’ve ever heard about--once wasn’t enough for this book. I had to go back & read it a second time to admire Billie Williams’ inventiveness & vivid imagery all over again.” -- Fran Keighley, Golden Wings Award winning author.”
…I think the best word to describe Fire at Thunder Ridge is "thrilling." With action, suspense, and intrigue, Fire at Thunder Ridge is a mystery-suspense to keep the reader hooked until they finish the last page… Fire at Thunder Ridge is exciting and very suspenseful. I highly recommend it!, -- Beverley Bateman, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.beverleybateman.com, It's only a step from caring to killing
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 282
Paper Weight (lb): 12.0
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