Detecting Autumn released a few weeks ago and I was thinking about some of the fun scenes from the book as I work on the next novel in the series, Catching Kiera.
Today, I thought I would share one of my favorite excerpts from the novel:
But first – the book description – which should help set the stage so to speak on what Detecting Autumn is about:
On the back cover:
“All’s fair in love, war, and romance novels.”
Bestselling romance author, Autumn Alex Monroe lives and works by her misguided credo.
Whether she’s jumping from planes, dating members of the mafia, or falling for the detective who’s trying to find out her true identity, Alex will do anything to write the perfect novel.
Private investigator turned brew master, Shane Everett, is selling his detective agency and moving to Granite Lake to open a brewery with his brothers.
When mafioso, Gabe Moretti, offers Shane easy cash to investigate his girlfriend, the witty and sexy author Alex Monroe, Shane takes the job.
Shane soon discovers that Alex has multiple personas, she’s weird, wild… and totally irresistible.
Plus, she needs Shane’s protection from the sociopathic goon who claims to be her boyfriend.
With Alex’s bizarre sleep disorder, a wedding held at gun point, and their off-the-charts attraction, Shane and Alex will have you cracking up with laughter and swooning over every page.
“Alex is short for Alexandria,” she said, watching his response.
Shane didn’t hesitate and started typing on his laptop again.
“Are you looking me up? Right in front of me?” she asked.
“I am. It’s not a problem if you don’t have anything to hide,” he said, then added, “You’re named after a school and it’s not in Texas.”
The waitress appeared at the side of the table holding a carafe of coffee. “Would you like a warm up?”
“Please,” Alex said.
She refilled the cups and moved on.
Alex deliberately ignored Shane’s questioning glances and picked up her mug, buying some time before answering. Sweat collected under her arms and the warning bells chimed louder inside her guilt-ridden conscience. She chugged the coffee like it was the shot of inspiration she desperately needed, and promptly burned the ever-loving mother out of her tongue and throat. Hot coffee spurted from her mouth and nose and sprayed across the table.
“Holy monkey hellfire!” She reached for the nearest glass—her coffee-flavored Arnold Palmer—and swallowed the cold tea, then held ice cubes in her mouth to try to squelch the sensation of her tongue being emerged in lava. Tears collected in her eyes and her chest felt tight as she tried to breathe through the pain.
Shane dabbed a napkin against his face, then across the laptop. “Is the coffee a wee bit warm?” he asked.
She nodded. The ice cubes froze her tongue and the roof of her mouth, but the burning wouldn’t stop. Alex swallowed some of the melted ice water and wished it would cure the searing pain in her throat. “Sowree,” she mumbled around the ice.
The waitress appeared again and looked at the wet table and the front of Autumn’s now coffee-stained shirt.
“I think we’re finished here. Can you bring the check?” Shane asked.
They paid and returned to Shane’s 4Runner.
“How’s your mouth?” he asked.
“Nevah betta,” she said almost incoherently. Her tongue felt like it was three times its size and mostly numb. She wanted to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation, but laughing moved her throat, which caused more pain.
“Are you ready to go back to your hotel?” he asked after starting the engine.
“Yass, pleee.” She sounded like a lunatic on a bender.
Her burnt tongue had conveniently gotten her out of the conversation about her identity. Was it a win-win? Based on the damage to her tender tissue, she thought it was more like a lose-win.
They pulled out of the lot and Alex watched for any dark sedans. She didn’t see anything or anyone suspicious.
“I’m concerned about your burned mouth. Third degree burns are serious. I know a little test to help determine if there’s going to be any permanent damage. The test might indicate whether you need to visit a walk-in clinic,” he said conversationally.
She eyed him. Was he serious? “Whaa is it?” Alex needed to stop talking. She didn’t want to make things worse. Anything but a suggestion to buy ice cream was unacceptable.
“If you can say the words, ‘I was born on a pirate ship with a bunch of apples,’ then I think you’re in the clear. Go ahead and try it so we’ll know if we should head to an Urgent Care or not.”
Alex scowled, even though the corners of her mouth twitched with humor. She said as clearly as she could, “I met a pirate ship named Shane who was a total apple.” And it came out sounding exactly like, “I met a pile of shit named Shane who was a total asshole.”
He laughed and the deep resonate sound entered her ears, caressed down the length of her spine like a lover’s tongue, and settled in the apex of her womanhood. Damn. That was not the response she wanted after calling him an asshole. His eyes crinkled at the corners when he smiled and his teeth were white, straight, and the tips of his canines were pointed and incredibly sexy. He had a lot of positive checkmarks. She inhaled slowly and decided she needed to find his faults quick, or she was going to make more bad decisions which included Shane Thompson.
“Why don’t you put the wig back on? Just to be safe,” he said.
She reached back onto the floor behind their seats where she’d deposited the wig and picked up the dinosaur head. “We’re switchin’ roles this time,” she mumbled and slipped the T-Rex mask on, then tossed the wig into his lap. She wasn’t sure if he understood her words, but he caught her drift.
“Whatever floats your goat, Alex,” he said, the smile staying in place.
He circled the lot before parking near the rear entrance.
“The tires on my car are fat,” she said, pointing at a red Mini Cooper. “Flat,” she said more slowly this time, but the word still sounded like fat.
“Alex,” Shane said, his smile vanishing and his tone becoming more serious than she’d previously heard from him before.
She couldn’t stand the sound of her swollen tongue, so she gave him a questioning look which he couldn’t see because of T-Rex.
He backed into a parking space and cut the motor. “I’m going to escort you inside and I’m bringing my gun. If you would rather find a new hotel instead, we can do that.”
She gave it some thought before opening the door. Hadn’t she wanted the full mafia experience? She definitely did, and Shane Thompson joining her misadventure was buttercream icing on her danger cake.
She had to collect her belongings from her room, but more importantly, she needed her computer.
Shane finished adjusting the blonde wig on his head, then reached for the floor. He sat back up, holding a small hand gun. He tucked it into the back of his waistband underneath his shirt.
“Concealed carry?” she asked, but it came out all flibberty gibberish because of her tongue.
He seemed to be able to translate. “It’s legal, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“You’re a cop, aren’t you?” she said, but nothing coming out of her mouth sounded right.
“Did you just clear your throat or did you ask to see me…. cock my pistol?” He glanced at his crotch, slid her the side eye, and tilted one eyebrow suggestively. “I don’t usually show and tell on a first date, Ms. Monroe. You ready to do this?”
“Sweet Jesuits, you’re full of yourself,” she mumbled, grabbed her bag, and stepped into the balmy night.
If you’d like to read more from Detecting Autumn, the book is available on Amazon in ebook and paperback.
I loved writing Detecting Autumn and I hope to continue writing more romantic comedy in my next series.
Do you have a favorite scene from the book or any of the Granite Lake Romance novels?
I hope you do. You can comment below and let me know!
Cheers & Happy reading,
Jody A. Kessler