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Category Archives: Round Robin

Round Robin Episode 5

“Honey, are you sure this is the place?” Beth Carlson’s brow furrowed as she looked at the wreckage in front of her.

“This is the address she gave me and look,” long arm quilter Harriet Truman pointed to the broken glass of the store front window. “It says ‘stones’. This has to be the place.”

“Why would Sarah’s cousin arrange to meet us in a bar, for heaven sake? We’re here to talk about the raffle quilt for an animal shelter benefit aren’t we?”

“It wouldn’t be the first time Sarah had things wrong,” Harriet said and pulled her aunt off the sidewalk and behind a large potted spruce tree just in time to avoid a large man in a black mackintosh as he pushed out the door and staggered across the street. She could hear the faint sound of sirens in the distance.

Harriet stepped to the door. “Wait here,” she said and went in. She followed the sound of a moan to an overturned table. A slender young woman lay on the floor at her feet, her eyes closed. Harriet kneeled and gently shook her shoulder.

“Are you okay?” she said.

Aunt Beth lowered herself on the opposite side of the girl and gently eased a black stiletto heeled shoe from the young woman’s clenched left fist, causing the girls eyes to fly open.

“Where am I?” she whispered.

A tall man with sand colored hair watched the trio from across the room, and when Aunt Beth had helped the injured woman to a seated position, he eased out the back door.

“What’s this” the young woman asked and dropped a folded piece of cloth from her right hand. Smaller sewn pieces formed a purposeful pattern.

“Where did it come from? It’s not mine.”

Harriet smoothed the square of multicolored cloth.  “Looks like a quilt block,” she said.

“Let me see,” Aunt Beth said and held out her hand. She studied the pattern.

“This block is called Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.”

Go on to Episode 6

Arlene Sachitano writes The Harriet Truman/Loose Threads quilting mystery novels as well as The Harley Spring Mysteries. You can find her at

http://www.arlenesachitano.com or

http://www. arlenesachitanosblog.blogspot.com

 
 

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Round Robin Episode 4

…stood Matt, still holding the smoking gun. He took three steps closer to Jackie as his arm stretched towards her, Moses-like, and his lips widened into a sneer.

“This is it, you condescending bitch.” Matt’s voice was cold as death. “You’ve cheated on me for the last time.”

Jackie felt a bolt of electricity race up her spine and burst in her head. How could he have known? She had always been too clever for him, or so she had thought until now.  Her mind was spinning fast. She knew from the compassionless tone in his voice that pleading wouldn’t help.  She tried to swallow but her mouth had gone bone dry.  She croaked, “If you kill me, what will happen to the shelter? You’ll be killing all those animals too!”

Matt stood perfectly still. It was too dark to tell if his eyes were softening. She didn’t even know if he had heard her over the sound of the music and the other people screaming. But then she noticed a ray of hope. She saw Jack slowly rising from the floor, like a tiger ready to pounce.  She had to give him time.

“Matt, you got this all wrong. I’m here on business.”

Over the thump of LL Cool on the sound system, Jackie heard the wail of sirens in the distance.  Help was minutes away, but minutes might as well be years. That unwavering gun was pointed directly at her forehead. Screw this, she thought. Her body tensed as she made ready to jump.

In what seemed like super slow motion, she saw Jack lunge at Matt, arms stretched, pain twisting his face. She leaped at the same time, not at Matt, but to the side. A gunshot roared so loud in her ears it sounded like the ending of the world.  Pain screamed in her mind.

A moment later she lay on the floor, looking up at…

Go on to Episode 5

Alan Chin writes gay fiction. Visit him at http://alanchin.net

or http://alanchinwriter.blogspot.com and http://twitter.com/alanhchin

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2010 in Round Robin, Zumaya Publications

 

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Round Robin Episode 3

Jackie registered the broad shoulders under a black mackintosh before noticing the smoking barrel swinging Jack’s way. “Get down!”

Jack’s attention swiveled her way, but unlike most men she’d known he actually listened. Hitting the floor before the dead bimbo, he upended his table and ducked behind it.

Glasses shattered, sending a trail of glittering shards across the stained concrete floor. The businessmen at the oak bar shrieked like school girls before melting off their stools to cower near the brass footrest.

Taking her own advice, Jackie pressed inside the curved side of the bar. Her tight jeans cut across her belly as she kicked off her stilettos. Well this certainly hadn’t gone the way she’d planned. Palming the heels, she wielded the makeshift weapon. Three inches of Chinese plastic against bullets, not if she wanted to get out of this alive. Time for plan B.

“Stand up and face me like a man, you son of a bitch!” Another pop and the lampshade over the pool table exploded.

Jackie’s tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. Could she make it down the hallway to the bathrooms?

Two more shots echoed around the bar.

Wood chips from Jack’s table sprayed the floor. “Jenner, is that you?”

Jackie mentally cringed. Maybe it had been a blessing that the PI hadn’t returned her call. The man sounded too damn relaxed for someone being shot at. Inhaling a calming breath, she looked for an exit. Matt would have to understand. Becoming collateral damage wouldn’t help fund the animal shelter and she didn’t have that much life insurance.

Jackie peered around the edge of the bar and her heart stopped beating. There, just beyond Jack’s table…

Go on to Episode 4

Linda Andrews writes romantic adventures with a paranormal twist

Visit her at http://www.lindaandrews.net

 
 

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Round Robin Episode 2

What the hell happened to the lights?

“It’s okay, folks.  Just stay where you are.”  The bartender didn’t quite manage to hide his panic.

Jackie’s heart pounded as she watched a flashlight beam swing around behind the bar.  At first she thought she’d heard a shot, but it must have been a transformer or breaker popping.  Not a big deal, and it gave her a few moments to pull herself together.

She couldn’t believe Jack had fallen for such an obvious fake.  If the woman had been any more plastic, she would have melted under the bar lights.  Her mother had been right; Jack was as superficial as the makeup caked on his date’s face.  He hadn’t even noticed Jackie watching him, and she’d worn her sexiest black jeans. Top notch private investigator, my ass.

Still, he knew where the skeletons were buried and she needed to dig up one in particular.  If she didn’t find her mother’s secret account, she and Matt would lose the shelter.  Jackie couldn’t bear the thought of all those kitties and puppies being put to sleep.

Matt would have a heart attack if he knew where she was and what she had planned.  At first she’d thought it would be easy to appeal to Jack’s good nature, but he hadn’t even returned her calls.  Plan two had been to charm the information out of him.  She’d learned a thing or two from her mother over the years.  But this dinner date had delayed that.  Maybe she should just strut past his table and spill her drink on him.  If nothing else, that would get his attention.

Tough Enough

The lights blinked on, and a collective sigh rose from the bar’s patrons.  Jackie sipped foam from her beer, grabbed her helmet, and slid from the barstool.  Taking a deep breath to steady her nerves, she started toward the table with glass in hand, then stopped.

Jack, half out of his chair, clutched  his date with one arm around her waist.  The woman’s blonde hair, cocked strangely to one side, verified Jackie’s earlier assessment.  But what made her gasp was the figure standing in shadows by the door…

Go on to Episode 3

Sarah Storme, author of Tough Enough, writes spicy contemporary and historical romance.  Visit her at www.SarahStorme.com.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2010 in Round Robin, Zumaya Publications

 

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Round Robin Episode 1

Photo credit: Studio D

Everything was going beautifully last Wednesday before the lights went out. For the first time since Annie died, I let Winston and Terry talk me into going on a blind date. Nothing elaborate, just a drink in Milestones, the bar on the ground level of my condo so I could make a fast escape if it turned out dismal. I was approaching the whole thing more as a chore than a pleasure but I couldn’t see the guys letting go until I bowed to the pressure and gave in.

I should have asked who picked the girl for me. If I’d known it was Winston, I would’ve skipped the meet altogether. But I didn’t know, so I was waiting at a table when she arrived, smiling and wind-blown and stacked just the way I like them. She introduced herself –Riane—and ordered a bone-dry martini. I stuck to scotch. Milestones wasn’t really crowded but there was the buzz of spring in the air and people around were laughing. Riane was easy; easy to talk to, easy to like, and easy on the eyes. I began to relax a little.

“So, Jack,” she said, “Winston tells me you’re a Private Investigator.”

“When the mood strikes.”

I took a sip of scotch, waited for the usual disbelieving reaction. Instead I heard a pop, the lights when out, and my arms were filled with dead female. I couldn’t call her a woman anymore because as she fell into me she changed…

Go on to Episode 2

M. D. Benoit is the author of the SF Mystery series The Jack Meter Case Files, featuring Private Investigator Jack Meter. Visit her website at http://mdbenoit.com
Follow her on Twitter: @mdbenoit2

 

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Zumaya Authors’ Round Robin

Look in regularly at Tales from Zumaya Books for an exciting Round Robin by a variety of Zumaya Authors. Each author will post an entry here in sequence, picking up from a sentence the previous author left unfinished. They will use their own style and genre, so you can expect a wild, fanciful ride. And here’s the first sentence:

Everything was going beautifully last Wednesday before the lights went out…

 
 

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