Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke’s days can flip from macabre to comical with a beep of her police scanner. Then an ordinary accident story turns extraordinary when evidence goes missing, a prosecutor vanishes, and a sexy Mafia boss shows up with the headline tip of a lifetime. As Nichelle gets closer to the truth, her story gets more dangerous. Armed with a notebook, a hunch, and her favorite stilettos, Nichelle races to splash these shady dealings across the front page before this deadline becomes her last.
Enjoy the Excerpt from Front Page Fatality:
I hurried to Bob’s office and tapped on the doorframe. “Yeah?” He didn’t turn from his computer monitor. “Did you need me to make any changes to my piece before it goes?”
“No. Not a lot of bite, but it looked like you didn’t have much to share. What happened to the vigilante?”
I kept my eyes on my shoes. “They didn’t have it. Not yet, anyway. Maybe Monday,” I said, making a mental note to come up with a plausible story to put him off again before then. “The cops are trying to figure out if these guys were connected. Hopefully they’ll get lucky this weekend.”
“Just as long as Charlie Lewis doesn’t have it Sunday.” Bob’s eyes never left the screen—I’d bet he didn’t even lose his place in the story he was editing. “Have a good weekend, kiddo. See you Monday.”
Not even sticking around to chat with Melanie at the city desk as I normally would, I called a goodnight to anyone who happened to be listening as I unplugged my laptop and slid it into my bag. Striding to the elevators, I waved at our features editor, a grandmotherly woman whose home cooked treats could’ve come straight out of Aunt Bea’s kitchen. She carted in batches of various baked and fried goodies at least once a week (twice, if she was stressed or there was an upcoming holiday) and was thereby solely responsible for any widening of my ass that might occasionally occur.
“Have a good one, darlin’.” The “g” disappeared into Eunice’s native Virginia drawl. “Enjoy your Friday night.”
“Friday night, hell, I’m out of here until Monday,” I stepped into the elevator with a grin. “See you then.”
The promise of a whole weekend with nothing to do was thrilling all by itself. I parked my little red SUV in the Carytown shopping district and melted into the collection of people who made up the city I had come to love in the six years since a stinging rejection from my dream employer brought me south to look for a job.
There were impeccably-dressed mothers pushing babies in hip strollers along the sidewalks, teenagers still high on the excitement of school letting out the week before, and couples walking hand-in-hand looking in the shop windows. The eclectic storefronts beckoned passersby with everything from toys and Christmas decorations to maternity clothes and jewelry.
A cobblestone sidewalk led to the heavy oak door of Pages, so picturesque it could have been conjured from the narrative of a nineteenth-century novel. The shop was housed in an old stone cottage that had surely been someone’s home in a previous life, the door flanked by mosaic stained glass windows half-hidden behind climbing roses and jasmine vines, growing thick in twin shoebox-sized gardens and mak- ing the summer air sweeter with their perfume.
I turned the brass knob and shoved the stubborn old door, instantly overtaken by a very different fragrance. The smell of ink and paper and aged leather inside the little shop bordered on intoxicating. There were no maps, no sections, no pretty directional signs. Just tall shelves stretching from wall to wall and floor to ceiling in the small space, cluttered and piled with a fantastic collection of great stories. Jenna was the store’s buyer, and she spent hours each day hunting down rare volumes and first editions. Pages was no generic bookstore; it was a book lover’s haven.
“Hey.” My friend waved from behind a stack of books perched on the sales counter. “You’re early! How’d you manage that?”
“There was annoyingly little to be written of the story I spent the whole day chasing. I’ll tell you all about it at dinner.”
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Author Bio: LynDee Walker grew up in the land of stifling heat and amazing food most people call Texas, and wanted to be Lois Lane pretty much from the time she could say the words “press conference.” An award-winning journalist, she traded cops and deadlines for burp cloths and onesies when her oldest child was born. Writing the Headlines in Heels mysteries gives her the best of both worlds. Her debut novel, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, is an Amazon new humor #1 bestseller. LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is working on her next novel. You can visit her online at www.lyndeewalker.com.
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