Free Fiction Thursday – A Death in Cumberland

Happy Thursday, everyone! And happy first day of November.

I’ve got a couple of cool things happening this month. The first is the release of my brand-new mystery novel, A DEATH IN CUMBERLAND, featuring rural Nevada sheriff Jill Jordan. To celebrate, this week’s free fiction is an excerpt from the novel. Enjoy!

A Death in Cumberland
Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press
Copyright © 2012 Annie Reed


Chapter 1

Nora Corbitt parked her car at the very edge of the dirt parking lot at Founders Park.  The lot was full, but at this time of night no one would see her back here so close to the street.  The two baseball diamonds on the far side of the lot were lit so bright it looked like the middle of the day over there, but the banks of lights were focused on the playing fields, and the parking lot didn’t have any lights of its own.  Where Nora stood next to her car, she was hidden by the long shadows thrown by the few spindly trees that separated the lot from the baseball fields, and that was just the way she liked it.

It seemed like everyone in Cumberland had turned out for the city league tournament.  Grown men playing softball like their lives depended on it.  She’d seen flyers for the tournament at the grocery store.  Nora didn’t like crowds, and she hated sports and the men who played them.  She wouldn’t have left her house at all except for the cat.

“I have this cat, it’s a stray, but my dad won’t let me keep it.  Can you take it?  I hear you do that, right?  Take in cats?”

The voice on the phone that afternoon had been young.  Nora didn’t trust the young, and she hadn’t answered right away.

“I’m afraid my dad will kill it.  He doesn’t like cats.”

Nora had stroked the calico in her lap, a beautiful cat with only one eye.  The cat was like her, a survivor.  That’s all Nora had ever wanted to do—help the cats survive.

“Yes,” she’d said to the young voice.  “I can take it.”

They’d arranged to meet in the parking lot at Founders Park.  “After the games start.  My dad will be playing and he won’t notice if I’m gone for a few minutes.”

Nora didn’t ask why the meeting had to be secret.  She’d lived in Cumberland long enough to know that people who lived in small towns had their secrets, just like the town itself had secrets.  Nora was one of them.

(read the rest of the excerpt here)

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