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Small Town Secrets
Billie A. Williams
Page a Day
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Someone is bent on burning down Nettlesville, Wisconsin—a small, rural remote, community—one building at a time. The cause is arson, but with no suspect, no person of interest tagged, Olga Corn Editor in Chief, owner of The Daily Nettle Newspaper, stirs the pot of unrest blaming Chaneeta Town Chairperson for allowing the town Constable to go on a month long vacation leaving the town under the protection of his female deputy Taaktu Tewsday.

The regular constable, Dusty Rhodes, while on vacation in the Wilderness Area of Colorado, is mauled by a Grizzly bear. His deputy, Taaktu is asked to assume his position until he can return to work, which won’t be for several months. She hires a new arrival in town, Hope Morgan Anderson, who has ties to NYPD (The New York Police Department) to assist her. At this point, no one knows that the new arrival is the illegitimate child of Chaneeta Morgan Bailey. No one accept Olga Corn, that is, who discovered the skeleton in Chaneeta’s past that included this child,(now a woman), and an arrest on Chaneeta’s record for armed robbery. Olga plans to use both to get Chaneeta thrown out of office.

In the back of Chaneeta’s mind she knew Amanda would not show up Thursday for the reopening of the Café. After what she had seen in the park, coupled with the fact that Taaktu never found her after that to talk to her, worried Chaneeta.

Chaneeta resigned herself to be breakfast cook until they could hire someone else. She was prepared to open as cook. Twice and Hope showed up right on time glad to be back to work. The crowd was slow to show up. A few stragglers here and there appeared as the morning wore on. Not at all the typical breakfast crowd. The Golden Kettle was feeling the impact of the rat poison in the sugar. Chaneeta couldn’t blame them. Who’s to say someone didn’t dump rat poison or something worse in some other foodstuff?

She even posted the Health Inspector’s clean bill of health on the window for people to read. Half the usual breakfast crowd was struggling to regain their status quo health-wise, queasy stomachs, ulcerated stomachs, intestinal woes; luckily they had pumped everyone’s stomachs quickly. It took time to heal. Chaneeta knew this and she hadn’t spoken to many town folks since the incident. They all seemed to be hiding away waiting to see what developed. Of course, Olga’s lashing and bashing hadn’t helped at all.

Chaneeta easily kept up with the few breakfast orders, while she prepared the noon special of stuffed pork chops, scalloped potatoes with a choice of vegetables--either green beans or corn. That always went over well.

A gun shot from out front startled her. Was it in the café? Was it a backfire outside on the street? She hoped the latter but knew better. Chaneeta dialed nine-one-one as she rushed out to see what was going on. Angus Taylor stood near a booth toward the back of the café, a double barreled shot gun pointed at Iggy who sat in the booth looking neither scared, nor shocked, not the least bit worried. Hope was busily escorting the few customers that had come to the café, out the door. Angus didn’t seem to notice, his attention so intent on Iggy. “You are gonna pay for what you did to my little girl,” his voice choked with emotion.

Iggy looked defiant, not the least bit frightened. “I didn’t do nothing to that whore that half the other guys in three counties haven’t done.”

“She’s pregnant with your child.” Angus didn’t care who heard, obviously, he was more angry than embarrassed for his daughter’s indiscretion with this man. You are going to do the honorable thing and marry her.”

Iggy let out a hoarse, wild kind of laugh. “Go away old man, my breakfast is getting cold.”

“Angus,” Chaneeta approached him cautiously. She had to defuse his anger before he decided to pull the trigger on that shot gun in Iggy’s face. “This isn’t the answer; this isn’t the way to do this.”

Angus held the gun steady, aimed at Iggy. “Stand up,” he ordered.

Iggy put his fork down, but didn’t stand. He stared straight ahead, not a twitch, just defiance.

Chaneeta held her breath. Twice and Hope stood by the front door. Hope started to move forward and Chaneeta held up her hand to stop her. She shook her head no. “Angus, we can put him in jail. We can try him for his wrongdoings. But, in a civilized society, we can’t shoot him.”

“He ain’t civilized. He don’t deserve to be treated any better than a wild animal.”

“Daddy, don’t.” Everyone’s eyes turned to see Suzette. Chaneeta didn’t know she had come into the café. She had been in the bathroom, obviously. No one said anything. Twice and Hope apparently didn’t know she was there either, the looks on their faces told Chaneeta that.

Suzette held up her arms. Bright red streaks oozed from gashes in her wrists down her fore arms to her elbows. Some of her blood had dripped and smudged onto her blouse and jeans. Tears streaked her mascara down her cheeks. “Please,” she said in a gargled whisper before she collapsed in a heap on the floor. Angus and Chaneeta rushed to her.

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: shirleyjump-subscribe@yahoogroups.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, babateman@shaw.ca, http://www.beverleybateman.com, It's only a step from caring to killing

Fiction Books :: General Books

ISBN: 1597057665
ISBN(13-digit): 9781597057660
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 296
Paper Weight (lb): 12.4

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Linda K. Rettstatt Sharon Woods Ben Douglas

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