The Riddles of Hillgate
Z & C Mysteries, Book 1
Zoey & Claire Kane
Publisher: Breezy Reads
Date of Publication: October 18, 2011
Number of pages: 139
Zoey Kane is known around Riverside for making risky purchases. When her daughter Claire learns a most recent investment is eighty acres on the haunted side of town, she is simply flabbergasted. Amazement takes over the whole community, however, when an old mansion is discovered deep within trees. After the estate is turned into a popular hotel, no one could have expected just how risky this purchase would be.Excerpt:
Serena DuBois showed up on a rush order to the front steps of the magnificent estate at about 4 p.m. Guests wouldn’t arrive until 6. Serena was a blues singer from Charlotte, very well known, having a voice compared to warm syrup by the media. She was part Hispanic and part French and looked as beautiful as a flower. “I’ll wear this for tonight.” She laid out a white, glittering, slinky dress. Her hair was already done up, with curls adorning her heart-shaped face.
“Wonderful!” Zo clapped her hands.
“We’ll invite the media tonight,” Claire said. “They’ll eat it up.”
But something very unexpected happened that night—limos were replaced by multiple taxi cabs, hearses, and older cars in general. The ushers opened the doors to reveal witches, vampires and ghosts.
“It’s near July,” Claire said. “Did they mistake it for October?”
Zo explained to Miss DuBois that the crowd had changed to a rather freaky crowd of “Children of the Night.”
“That’s not for me, Ms. Kane,” Miss DuBois informed Zo an hour later. “I can solve both our problems; my cousin, Fanny Gwen! She’ll be here within the hour, way before show time. Just pay her what you were going to pay me.”
“But…,” protested the confused and worried hotel entrepreneur.
“It will be okay,” assured the glistening singer as she picked up her bags and walked out the door.
Claire helped the next guest. The dashing vampire spoke, overemphasizing his Rs, “Do you have a r-r-r-r-oom, lovely lady?” He smiled, showing long pointy fangs.
“Let’s see, and you would be Count Dracula?”
“You can call me Lucas… Will you be coming with the r-r-r-oom?”
“Don’t bother with me, Lucas. I have tired blood. It will just run you down, and you won’t be able to go to your Socialist meetings.”
“No matter, as long as you have fresh blood refrigerated and ready to be served in iced goblets.”
“We have some very Bloody Marys, garnished with Tabasco and celery.”
“Okay, sister. Heavy on the Tabasco!” He winked, threw his cape around to the other shoulder, and walked away, key in hand.
A heavy woman entered the lobby with great drama. “I feel the trapped spirits in this hotel, even now.” She laid down, arms spread out. “I must commune!”
Bob, coming through the doors, stopped abruptly before stepping on the one who “must commune.”
“Just step around her. She is not presently available for comment.”
Bob immediately placed a call on his cell. “Bring extra video. Tonight is going to be out of this world—literally!”
“I suggest setting up in the ballroom, Bob.”
“Thanks, Claire.” Off he went, whistling.
“Hi. I’m singing tonight,” a gravelly voice said as Claire was reviewing the names of the guests: Grave Gary, Pricilla Dead, Marcel, Prince of Mist, Dr. K., Midnight Man, Ted Johnson (crossed out), Pooky Boo!…
Looking up revealed an abundantly endowed woman with black, ratted hair and a spike collar. She was wearing her favorite torn and hole-dotted dress, which stopped just above her chubby knees covered in black torn stockings. “I’m Fanny Gwen. I’m singing tonight.”
“Riiiight… Up the stairs to the third floor ballroom. Make yourself comfortable.”
“I will. My band will be here in two minutes.”
“I’ll send them up,” said Claire, before speedily calling her mom. When Zo answered, Claire said, “Motherrrrr! Shouldn’t we talk? Soon?”
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Claire has a Masters in Journalism, was Editor for Eye Witness Magazine and can’t make Irish Rum Cookies to save her life.
Zoey has dabbled in modeling, is a licensed real-estate agent, seeks for treasures (great and small), and is often underestimated.
Together, Zoey and Claire are a mother-daughter mystery solving duo. During their downtime, they dream of island men whisking them away.
(Zoey and *Claire are also fictional, and their authors are a real life mother and daughter who use their names as pseudonyms. Don’t tell them that, though.)
*Award-winning author, Molly Snow, writes under Claire Kane. To see her paranormal romantic comedies, visit mollysnowfiction.blogspot.com
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