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Dark Diamond Reel
Donna H. Parker
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Constancy's recent losses have shaken her. Even her engagement to diamond magnate, Zared Fraser, hasn't helped her recover. Officer Danny Egan thinks he never wants to see Constancy again. Then a frantic S.O.S. proves him wrong and tumbles them both into a deadly reel that will change their lives forever.

Oh, my pounding, roaring head!

This flu, or whatever it was, had taken a turn for the worse overnight. Most of yesterday it had manifested itself as nausea and a kind of floaty feeling. Sometime in the night it had become an impossible, excruciating headache.

I lay curled up in my bed a moment, willing the pain to ease.

The pain ignored me. Obviously, if I wanted to function at all this morning, I was going to need chemical assistance. Hoping an aspirin or two wouldn’t reignite the nausea, I crawled out of bed and wobbled into the kitchen for some water.

The clock’s half-hour chime informed me that it was six-thirty. At this time of year six-thirty didn’t look like morning. Except for a little glow from the streetlight shining through the kitchen window, my apartment was cave dark. Never mind. I could get my water without turning on any more light. More light could only cause more pain in my poor head.

Because of that decision, it took a couple of seconds longer than it should have to discover the fact that my aching head was probably going to be the least of my worries for the day.

When I did see it—him, I literally felt the hair rise on the back of my neck.

The shadowy man-shape slumped at my kitchen table didn’t move. Neither did I. I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. With my head pounding like it was, I couldn’t even think what to do next.

Who was he? What was he doing here?

His head was down on the table like he was sleeping. I could tell that his face was turned toward me, but I couldn’t see it well enough to make out his features. Finally my brain released my muscles. Keeping my eyes on the intruder, I retreated one silent step, then another. As long as he didn’t move—

Then the truth slammed into me.

The man wasn’t moving.

At all.


Not again! Please let him be still alive! Or a nightmare. Or hallucination. Anything but a corpse. Another corpse.

I stared at him with eyes that couldn’t quite focus, hoping I was still asleep. Hoping he would soon vanish like bodies did sometimes in my nightmares.

I counted slowly to ten. He didn’t go anywhere.

The whole thing was absurd, insane, unfair. Again.

Too bad I couldn’t scream like normal people. Couldn’t last time I found a body, couldn’t now.

Who is he? How did he get here?

The last thing I needed was to have to reprise my role as chief suspect in a murder investigation. Why did some dead guy have to appear in my kitchen?

I didn’t even know this man. I didn’t know how he’d died. I didn’t know what to do next.

One thing I did know. I was in trouble.

Deep, deep trouble.


At least my finding this corpse can’t harm Gram.

If that thought was supposed to be sent as a consolation, it was bittersweet at best.

I clenched my jaw against the familiar, crushing flood of grief and defied those ever-lurking tears one more time. I knew I couldn’t fight them off forever, but a crying fit now wouldn’t help anything. Gram herself would’ve said so.

What should I do, Gram?

How many times had I asked her that question? As many times as I asked, she always answered the same way. Just calm down and use the good sense God gave you. Take a deep breath.

Well, why not? It worked when I was a kid. Maybe it would work now. I took a slow, deep breath. Despite the hammering inside it, my brain began to function a little better.

I still couldn’t bring myself to turn on a light, but as I edged closer to the table again I could see enough to know that things actually didn’t look as awful now as they had last time. There were no sprays of blood on my walls, no dark crimson puddles on my beige tile floor, no gory scissors.

This body was, as far as I could tell, undamaged. I had no reason to assume he was dead. Except that he wasn’t moving—and that his eyes were open and staring, and empty of anything that remotely resembled life.

Donna Parker was born in the rural Missouri Ozarks during an ice storm. Despite some circumstantial evidence to the contrary, she did not grow up in the 1800s. The most important things in her life are her Christianity and her family. She loves books, both reading and writing them; old things and their histories; and music, especially Celtic and bluegrass fiddle music. She and her husband of over three decades currently live in Alabama. They have two adult sons.

Donovan's Dream: “A truly fanciful tale, or is it? ...If you truly appreciate a flight of fancy then you must take the trip with Donna Parker as your guide. I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a read as much as this. Truly enchanting. I look forward to reading many more of this author’s books. On the heart-caught-in-my-throat scale this book rates a 5 (♥♥♥♥♥)” -- Dee Carey, The Fox Lady, www.adeecarey.com , fantasy novelist

“Donna H. Parker, mystery writer extraordinaire, does it again with this very complex backwoods story, Donovan’s Dream. She magically fiddles her way right into your heart with this spellbinding tale of fairy fiddles from the Ozarks, and their tantalizing, mesmerizing folklore. She’ll have you believing in ghosts and enchanted fiddles. I highly recommend this book. It is a definite keeper.” Five cups, JoEllen Conger, Conger Books Review

Constancy's Waltz: Donna Parker introduces you to her main character, Constancy, an unassuming elementary school teacher, who quite accidentally falls into things she never expected, like mystery, intrigue, and romance. Donna weaves Christian principles throughout Constancy’s Waltz. Once I started reading, I could not put it down. If you want a clean, yet captivating and entertaining book of romance, Constancy’s Waltz is perfect reading! -- Teresa Hampton, author, Leading Ladies, Come to the Garden, http://www.publishingdesigns.com

Constancy's Waltz: “This is a relatively gentle mystery, and I am loving it. The main characters are dears, and there is enough suspense to make this one hard to put down.” --Radine Trees Nehring, author, http://www.RadinesBooks.com

Constancy's Waltz: “Mystery lovers and romance lovers alike will fall in love with CONSTANCY’S WALTZ. It’s a book for the keeper shelf.” --Laura V. Hilton, author, http://www.shoutlife.com/laurahilton

Song Of Healing: An intriguing journey into the legends of Scotland and the Selkies, the mystery of a prophecy, and the dangers from the ones who would seek The Keeper of The Key for their own personal gain.

With an enjoyable cast of characters, a tender love story, and a strong blending of the paranormal, Song of Healing brings to life the legends of old, with the strong accent of the Olde Country and beliefs of another time. A fascinating read for anyone who loves a bit of everything! —Angela Verdenius, Soul of the Forgotten

Fiction Books :: Mystery & Detective Books :: Hard-Boiled Books

ISBN: 1597056694
ISBN(13-digit): 9781597056694
Copyright: 2009
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 303

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