MYSTERY AT MAGNOLIA MANSION
Brenda Maxwell’s new interior design client tells her to “paint, wallpaper, whatever” his hundred-year-old landmark mansion, “but for God’s sake, don’t go overboard.” When she figures her grandiose plans will fit handily into his edict’s “whatever” section, they’re launched into a constant head-bumping mode.
Brenda’s poor money management skills (that’s his view, but what does he know?) and lawyer David Hasbrough’s ridiculous need to control her life (that’s her well-reasoned evaluation of the situation) combine to keep the battle going. Is this couple’s romantic goose cooked? Well, she can’t be near him without sparks flying and goose bumps popping out everywhere. But that mansion has to be done right!
She jumped. There he stood, directly in front of her, stark naked! Well, except for a bath towel wrapped snugly around his hips. He was dripping water on her nice clean floor. She tried to turn away, but her muscles refused to budge. His chest, sprinkled with curly black hair, narrowed to a tight stomach which showed off six-pack abs. His muscular bare arms and legs were certainly not those of a desk jockey. No, the man got exercise somehow.
“Oh! Oh, I’m sorry!” She finally insisted that her muscles work, and they grudgingly turned her toward the door. Her cheeks burned. Her mind was in turmoil.
“Me, too,” he said. He flashed a silly grin, backed into the room he’d come from, and closed the door. It was a downstairs bedroom right off the kitchen, complete with a full bath, which she’d earlier pegged as a live-in maid or cook’s living quarters. He’d apparently swung a big deal at that garage sale because she’d noticed the mismatched bed, chest, and end table in that room, which weren’t there on her first visit. The only other furniture in the whole house was the rusty chrome-legged kitchen table and its four matching chairs he’d apparently bought at the same time. If that was his idea of a great décor . . .
Hey, he was!
Her goose bumps got goose bumps. Something moist touched her neck, now brushed it ever so slightly. She stiffened and turned quickly. His lips were only millimeters away from hers.
“Mister Hasbrough . . .”
He backed away. “David.”
MYSTERY ON FIREFLY KNOB
When Erica Phillips visits choice inherited property on a Cumberland Plateau knob overlooking a beautiful valley, she finds scientist Mike Callahan camped there to study unique fireflies. She needs to sell it fast to buy a new building for her antiques business, but he freaks out when a condo builder offers her a contract. Miffed, she tells him, “If I have my way, this place will be sold within the week. And, Mr. Callahan, I will have my way!”
Their budding romance plays out before a background of a murder mystery, distrust, and heart-racing hormones. Will it blossom into a lifetime relationship?
She set her salad on the table and went to close the cabin door, and paused, her hand on the latch, to peer out. Mike was standing at the table by his tent, staring at her.
Her heart raced, and her face became hot. She pulled the door closed quickly and shuddered. Why was she feeling this way? She retraced her steps and sat at the table, and crossed her arms on its surface and stared at the door, as if she could see right through it to her squatter’s camp. What was this attraction? He was an interloper, for heaven’s sake, a total stranger who had literally forced himself into her life. Yet he was having this very strange effect on her. Her heart was pumping to beat the band, probably producing much more heat than that little air conditioner could possibly handle, like there was an actual, physical connection between her and that Mike person which took over her very body. That kiss sat between them like the proverbial eight-hundred pound gorilla. Her fingers involuntarily found her lips, and she closed her eyes and imagined Mike’s own luscious lips gently touch them, and his body become one with hers…
Don McNair, now a prolific fiction writer, spent most of his working life editing magazines (11 years), producing public relations materials for the Burson-Marsteller international PR firm (6 years), and heading his own marketing communications firm, McNair Marketing Communications (21 years). His creativity has won him three Golden Trumpets for best industrial relations programs from the Publicity Club of Chicago, a certificate of merit award for a quarterly magazine he wrote and produced, and the Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil. The latter is comparable to the Emmy and Oscar in other industries.
McNair has written and placed hundreds of trade magazine articles and three published non-fiction “how-to” books (Tab Books). He’s also written six novels; two young-adult novels (Attack of the Killer Prom Dresses and The Long Hunter), three romantic suspense novels Mystery on Firefly Knob, Mystery at Magnolia Mansion, and co-authored Wait for Backup!), and a romantic comedy (BJ, Milo, and the Hairdo from Heck).
McNair now concentrates on editing novels for others, teaching two online editing classes (see McNairEdits.com), and writing his next romance novel.
Don will giving away reader’s choice of a copy of one of his books on www.DonMcNair.com to one randomly chosen commenter.