The thought drifted into my mind with enough urgency to make my stomach grumble. I opened my eyes and blinked up at the ceiling. For a few seconds I couldn’t remember where I was. Morning brain fog is nothing new for me, my body needs a specialized fuel called “coffee” to get all the cylinders firing.
Another low growl- this time not from my stomach. I looked over to find the source of the sound and my eyes met the golden eyes of a wolf.
My wolf, thankfully. Though, technically, Moss is only part wolf, he’s the spitting image of his timber wolf mother- only bigger.
Moss punctuated the thought with a muzzle-nudge to my cheek and a well aimed trio of rapid-fire licks. Right on the mouth.
“Ick!” I pushed him away and tossed the sheets back. “Okay. I’m up. See?”
My stomach growled again. I couldn’t really be sure if I was actually hungry or if Moss’s thoughts had bombarded me long enough to take root. It happens from time to time. Just one of the many joys of being an animal telepath. Sometimes, when I’m asleep or just really tired the shields I have around my mind fade away and I’m left unsure whether my feelings are my own or belong to the animal closest to me.
Having a telepathic ability might sound fun or intriguing. It’s not. Try waking up with the urge to hoard food for winter. That happened when I was three and a squirrel had moved into the tree outside my bedroom window. My poor parents- they found pecans stuffed all over the house for months.
I’m not saying my ability doesn’t have its perks. It does. I’ve become the go-to animal behaviorist who can get results when no one else can. Something I would not be able to do if I couldn’t have a two-way conversation with my clients- or rather, my client’s pets.
In case you’re wondering, my business cards do not read: Grace Wilde, animal psychic. I don’t tell people about that quirk. I’m pretty sure they’d think I was nuts.
As I shuffled into the bathroom- large canine in tow, grumbling about his breakfast- I glanced at the clock. If I didn’t suck down some coffee and get a move on, I was going to be late for my first appointment. Luckily, I’m a low maintenance kind of girl and in twenty minutes, I was showered, fueled and ready for the day.
Though my clients had me zig-zagging all over Jacksonville, everything was going smoothly until the last appointment of the day. That was when I hit a snag.
Even after in-depth conversation with a Quarter Horse named Biggun, I was stumped at his sudden aversion to the horse trailer.
My ability has limits- I can’t just look into an animal’s brain and flip through it like you would a picture book. I only know their thoughts when they’re thinking them. And if their mind is clouded with an emotion like fear- I get a big dose of that, too. I understood Biggun was afraid. I knew what he was afraid of. I just didn’t know why because the horse wasn’t clear on it, either.
I wasn’t about to give up, though. Tenacity is stamped in my DNA right next to stubbornness and determination.
One thing I’ve learned – the answer is there if you look hard enough, even if it means crawling under a horse trailer. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s how I found the broken support beam. It wasn’t visible from anywhere else but Biggun, being true to his name, was heavy enough to feel the floor wasn’t quite stable.
I was actually getting good at solving mysteries. Just ask Sergeant Kai Duncan with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. But that’s a story for another time…
Thanks to Berkley, I have one (1) copy of WOOF AT THE DOOR to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. Contest ends July 13; US entries only per publisher’s request.
You can read more about Grace in Woof at the Door, the first book in the new “Call of the Wilde” mystery series. Click here to read the first chapter of the book.
Meet the author
Spending the first years of her life on a Costa Rican coffee farm blessed Laura Morrigan with a fertile imagination and a love for all things wild.
Later she became a volunteer at a local zoo, helping out with everything from “waste management” to teaching an elephant how to paint. Drawing from her years of experience with both wild and domestic animals and her passion for detective novels, Laura created the Call of the Wilde series. She lives in Florida with her husband and far too many cats, loves the Blue Angels, wearing flip flops in November, and thunderstorms.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.