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Simply to Die For

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Author: Maxine Douglas
Description

Leaving one life behind to begin anew, Kandi returns to her home town to open up a candy store. Unfortunately, circumstances pulls her back to the old ways, forcing her to track the trail of a serial porn star killer…

Jimmy, a reporter, discovers the woman he’s fantasized about is on the “porn star” killer’s hit list. Can he find the killer before the killer finds Kandi?

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Title Simply to Die For
Series A Black Horse Canyon Novel
Author Maxine Douglas
Genre Cozy Romantic Suspense Mystery
Release August 22, 2017
Designer Charlotte Volnek
Length 158 pages
ISBN 978-1-77127-935-2
Price $5.99
Tags Cozy mystery, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, California, LA, adult films, adult film industry, movie industry, police corruption, starting over, starting a new life, newspaper reporter, private investigator, serial killer, mobster, bad cops,

 

Excerpt

“Crap! Not now, I don’t have time to play telephone tag,” Clar hissed at the mechanical voice as she paced the kitchen floor. After the beep, she said. “Please have Levi Andres call Clar Turner as soon as possible. Thank you.” Clar disconnected then checked the time. It was ten in the morning on the west coast, there should be someone at the studio by now manning the switchboard. Even if there was a shoot on location, someone would be in the office.

 

“We interrupt this program for breaking news!” Oh shit, what now? She poised herself for more bad news. Another reporter came on the screen looking very serious. At least it wasn’t Jimmy this time.

 

“We interrupt this previously recorded program to bring you breaking news for SXY— this just in. Reports of an assault on Cum Again Studios earlier this morning are surfacing. Unconfirmed reports of at least six dead and one wounded. SXY has a reporter on the scene and will bring you up to date information as it becomes available. Stay tuned.”

 

Oh shit, Levi! He was supposed to be shooting a new film there today. He’d laughed about it last week. Hands shaking, she punched in the studio’s number again.

 

“Cum Again Studios,” said a snide voice.

 

Clar breathed a sigh of relief in spite of the fact that it was Evelyn Dagmyer one of her least favorite people. “Evelyn, it’s Kandi. What’s going on? Is Levi…” She bit her lip unable to say the words she feared.

 

“Get off the phone, Kandi. You’re not on the list of people I’m allowed to talk to,” she said with a sniff. As usual, the offensive woman’s sharp tone held annoyance and disdain but there was something else that made Clar crumble inside. It sounded like she was holding back tears. What the hell? Evie didn’t get emotional which meant. Oh hell. “Let’s skip our usual banter and get to the heart of the matter. Is Levi okay?”

 

“So now you care…interesting.”

 

What the hell was that supposed to mean? It was Evie who’d fired her off the last set, inadvertently aiding in her departure. Now she was acting like Clar had abandoned them all. “Tell me about Levi, damn you!”

 

“He’s still…” her voice broke, making Clar’s gut tighten.

 

“Let me,” a low male voice said in the background.

 

“This is Detective Cameron, who am I speaking to?” The gruff male voice echoed with authority. A chill went through her at the officious voice with its gruff Midwestern tone. Chicago maybe, she thought absently.

 

“This is Clar Turner. I’m trying to reach Levi Andres at Cum Again Studios. Is he…?” Clar’s hand shook, feeling the pressure of tears behind her eyes. She could not afford to give into them, not now.

 

“Ah yes, Miss Turner,” he said, adding, “I was just about to call you.”

 

She closed her eyes and prayed softly. Please let Levi be safe.

 

“Yes,” she said tensely as she heard a woman sobbing loudly in the background.

 

“Ms. Turner, yes, it’s indicated you are Andres’ only contact should something happen. Like I said, I was just getting ready to call you.”

 

Oh god, this could not be happening. She felt like she was going to pass out. It was like Dylan all over again, but ten times worse. Levi loved life, he didn’t do drugs, he was… She sniffed back tears. “Yes.”

 

“Levi has been transported to a local hospital. He had been asking for you and the studio requests you return to LA as soon as possible.”

 

She let out the breath she’d been holding, relief surging through her in a giddy wave. “He’s alive. Why didn’t you say that in the first place,” she yelled, not caring that she was berating a cop. Okay, calm down, you can’t help Levi if you piss off the cops. “Is he going to be okay? What happened?”

 

“He’s in surgery. The rest, Ms. Turner, the rest I’m afraid is a police matter and cannot be discussed over the telephone.”

 

“I’ll be on the next flight.” Clar had already pulled an overnight bag from the top of the closet as soon as the words ‘Levi’ and ‘surgery’ were in the same sentence. Levi was hurt enough to go to the hospital and she should have been there to protect him. She’d never believed his wild, they’re out to get me stories, and now he was hurt. Clar never should have left LA without him. She never should have thought she could start over again.

 

“Check in with LAPD when you arrive. I need to talk to you before giving you clearance to see Mr. Andres.”

 

So she needed to go through this detective to get to Levi. Why? That didn’t sound right but in her haste she didn’t ask questions. “Yes, yes of course. Detective Cameron.”

 

“Thank you for your cooperation, Ms. Turner, I’ll be waiting for you.” The emotionless voice confirmed then faded away with the chatter behind it.

 

“Wait! Cameron?” Then the phone went dead. “Damn it!”

 

Clar grabbed several things and headed out the door, punching the number of the one person she knew she could count on in a fight.

 

“I need you. Jackson. Can you meet me in LA as soon as possible? It’s Levi this time.”

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