I awoke to the sensation of a long body stretched lazily over mine. Opening my eyes, I found myself looking up into two brown ones.
“Nigel?” I said to my husband, as a nose nuzzled against my neck.
“Are you comfortable?” I asked.
“Because, I’m not. Help me out, will you?”
Next to me, Nigel rolled over, laughing when he saw me pinned underneath our bullmastiff, Skippy. “Aw, don’t make him get off of you,” he said. “He’s just saying ‘hi.’ Besides, he looks so comfy.”
“That’s great, but I think my lungs are in danger of collapsing.” Skippy wagged his tail and began to enthusiastically lick my face. “That is, if I don’t drown first,” I amended, as I tried to push Skippy off of me. With Nigel’s help, I was finally able to squeeze out from under him, and roll toward Nigel’s side of the bed. Skippy happily settled into my vacated spot and lay his massive head on my pillow.
“See, he just wanted to snuggle with us,” Nigel said as used his t-shirt to wipe the drool off of my face.
“That’s not snuggling,” I said. “That’s full-body-contact sleeping. In fact, in some countries I think we’d be legally engaged now. I feel like I’m covered from head to toe in dog slobber,” Nigel laughed and continued to wipe off Skippy’s drool, until I pointed out that ‘head to toe’ was only an expression, and that I wasn’t comfortable performing in front of an audience. Nigel conceded the point and made the necessary adjustments. When we stumbled out of our bedroom sometime later, Skippy was patiently waiting for us on the living room couch.
While Nigel made us coffee, I attempted to shove Skippy off the couch. After awhile, I gave up. When Nigel returned, I was reading the paper in the club chair. “You made the gossip page,” I said as he handed me my coffee.
“I can totally explain that,” Nigel said as he took a seat in the chair opposite of mine. “You see, it was all David’s idea really. He bet me…”
“Nigel, it’s about last night’s Oscar ceremony,” I said before taking a sip of my coffee.
Nigel affected a look of relief. “That does make more sense, now that I think about it.”
I smiled at him over the rim of my cup. “What bet?” I asked.
“Exactly,” said Nigel with a wink. “Best to play it dumb should anyone ask.”
I rolled my eyes and resumed reading the paper. After a minute, I said, “Why do they always have to mention the fact that I’m an ex-detective like I did a stint in prison?”
Nigel laughed. “What did they say this time?”
“Among last night’s attendees was Movie Magic founder, Nigel Martini,” I quoted. “The former playboy attended the ceremony with his wife, Nic and their dog, Skippy. Mr. Martini looked impeccable as always in a tux by Oscar de la Renta while Mrs. Martini donned a gown by Christian Dior – a far cry from her days in uniform as a New York City Homicide Detective. Not to be outdone, Skippy was also dressed for the occasion, sporting a black silk bowtie on his stately neck.”
I threw the paper down. “‘A far cry from her days in uniform’? Honestly? Detectives don’t even wear uniforms.”
“A fact, which as I’ve said before, makes role-playing all the more difficult. But, look on the bright side. You got top billing over Skippy.”
You can read more about Nic and Nigel in Murder With A Twist, the first book in the NEW “Nic & Nigel” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on May 15 for the chance to win a copy of MURDER WITH A TWIST. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.
Meet the author
Tracy Kiely received a BA in English from Trinity College. This accomplishment prompted most job interviewers to ask, “how fast can you type?” Her standard answer of “not so fast” usually put an end to further questions.
She was eventually hired by the American Urological Association (AUA), who were kind enough to overlook the whole typing thing, mainly because they knew just what kind of prose she’d be typing. After several years, Tracy left the AUA taking with her a trove of anecdotal stories that would eventually result in her banishment from polite society. That’s when she thought writing a novel might be a good idea.
Murder with a Twist is her first novel in the Nic and Nigel Martini series. It can be enjoyed straight up or with a twist. She is also the author of the Jane Austen inspired Elizabeth Parker mystery series: Murder at Longbourn, Murder on the Bride’s Side, Murder Most Persuasive, and Murder Most Austen. These can be enjoyed with either tea or a very dry sherry.