With: Mary Behre
I believe in live and let live. Until you bite me. Now you're dead
and I'm on steroids and antibiotics. My arm will heal but you'll
still be dead.”
That was a recent status update on my Facebook page after—you guessed it—a certain poisonous arachnid decided to snack on me. While that post was morbidly humorous, the effect of the spider bite was serious.
The thing to note is that I’m a First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor. For twenty years, I’ve taught people how to respond to emergencies like mine, so I acted quickly. And still, I required one round of steroids and three rounds of progressively stronger antibiotics to combat the poison.
As I sat in the doctor’s office the morning after the bite, waiting to be seen, I found myself wishing I’d had the capabilities of veterinarian Shelley Morgan, the heroine of my latest novel, Guarded (A Tidewater Novel #2). She’s is an animal empath. Shelley can communicate with virtually any living creature she meets.
If I had had her crift (cursed gift), I could have simply explained to the spider that setting up residence under my mailbox was a bad idea. Then he could have packed up his web and moved to more a suitable location. You know, like the woods; far, far away from me.
Here’s a quick blurb about Guarded.
A psychic veterinarian who can talk to everything from naked mole rats to ferrets, stumbles onto an exotic animal kidnapping ring. When a zoo owner is murdered and all signs point to the vet as the killer, she enlists the aid of her super sexy cop friend.
Will he be able to help her clear her name before he's forced to arrest her?
Want to know more? Read on for an excerpt.
Excerpt from Guarded (A Tidewater Novel #2)
“Something’s wrong with Mr. Fuzzbutt.” Beau’s angelic voice rang out seconds before the backside of his long-haired black guinea pig bounced before Dr. Shelley Morgan’s eyes.
“Doc, can you help him?” Beau’s voice, still high-pitched from youth, wobbled as he spoke.
She turned to the worried ten-year-old who was small for his age. His large luminous brown eyes were framed by thick black glasses. His clothes, although threadbare and clearly hand-me-downs, were clean as were his faded blue sneakers.
“Don’t worry, Beau. I’m sure he’ll be fine. Just have a seat in the waiting area and I’ll be back shortly. I’ll bring Mr. . . .” she couldn’t bring herself to say the word Fuzzbutt to the child, and settled with “your little buddy back after I’ve examined him.”
“Okay, Doc. I trust you.” Beau nodded. His words so mature for one so young. “But I can’t just sit and wait. How about I bring in the bags of dog food from outside?”
“That would be a big help, Beau. You remember where the storeroom is? Just stack the ones you can carry in there. And don’t try to lift the big ones.”
Not that the little guy would be able to do much. The last time the clinic received donations, the dog food had come in fifty-pound bags. Beau likely didn’t weigh more than sixty-five pounds himself. Plus, it had rained late last night and the town handyman she’d hired hadn’t had a chance to fix the hole in the shed’s roof. So chances were good several of the bags were sodden and useless.
Still, he beamed as if she’d just handed him a hundred-dollar bill. “You know it! I’ll have the bags all put away before you can bring Mr. Fuzzbutt back. Just you wait and see.”
Then Beau was out the front door. The length of bells hanging from the handle jangled and banged against the glass as he took off around the corner to the storage shed.
Gotta love small towns. Shelley couldn’t suppress the grin, even as good ole Mr. F made a soft whoop, whoop noise in her hands. She glanced into his little black eyes and asked, “So are you really sick?”
The eye contact formed an instant telepathic connection. Shelley’s world swirled to gray. Still vaguely aware of her surroundings, she focused her attention inward on the movielike scenes sent from the little boar in her hands.
An image of Beau’s anxious face peering between the bars of the cage, filling and refilling the bowl with pellets sprang into her mind. At first she thought the guinea pig was repeating the same image over and over, but quickly she realized what was happening.
“Oh, so you’ve been eating,” she said. “But Beau doesn’t realize it because he’s been topping off the food bowl.”
Mr. F. whooped again.
She chuckled. “Well, you’re a pretty wise pig not to eat everything you’ve been given. Many others wouldn’t have such restraint. I’m not sure I would. You sure you don’t feel sick?”
The little pig winged an image of Beau snuggling him close and occasionally kissing him on the head as they watched Scooby-Doo.
Mary Behre, author of the Tidewater series, is the lone female in a house full of males and the undisputed queen of her domain. She even has the glittery tiara to prove it. She loves stories with humor, ghosts, mysteries, and above all else, a good romance. When not writing, she enjoys reading, gluten-free baking, and hanging out at the beach with the most important men in her life, her family.
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