Date Published: December 1, 2016
The Lost Great Dane is the first novella in the Lost and Found Pets series. Alexandra Prescott opened the Lost and Found Pets agency because she loves animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.
While searching for a lost cat, Alex finds a weak and injured Great Dane. The dog has no collar, no tags, and no microchip. And the only person looking for him is a man who might have murdered his own wife.
Within 24 hours, Alex has a hunted dog, a homemade microchip, and a hitman on her tail. She realizes the only way out of this mess is to solve the mystery of the lost Great Dane.
As I headed down the hallway to the office, I could hear Claire talking to a client. I glanced at my watch and realized it was our two o’clock appointment. I gave the client a brief nod but didn’t interrupt. When I reached my desk, Hero came over to greet me, and Jerrie raised her head. Once she realized I wasn’t doing anything interesting, she went back to sleep. Both cats were curled up on the love seat that was directly in the path of sunlight streaming through the front windows. It is one of their favorite spots.
I played with Hero for a moment and gave him a treat as I absently listened to Claire try to talk our client out of requesting the advanced search. The woman was elderly, and it was apparent that she didn’t have much money. Even worse, her missing pet was a bird. Hero could search by air scent, but it was very difficult to track something that flew.
“Mrs. Kearns,” Claire said in a soft, caring voice, “it is very hard to find birds. We will be happy to call all the shelters and some local aviaries. Maybe someone found her and turned her in.”
“No, no she won’t go to anyone else. Please, dear, please help me. I’ve had Molly for almost thirty years. I just don’t know what I’d do without her.”
The woman’s voice broke on the end. Claire looked at me. I closed my eyes briefly and nodded. Claire quickly rounded the desk and sat in the chair next to Mrs. Kearns. As she spoke softly with the woman, I gathered Hero’s leash and my backpack. Hero followed me over to them.
“Mrs. Kearns,” I said. “I’m Alex, and this is Hero. Let’s go see if we can find Molly.”
I spent the next two hours searching Mrs. Kearns’ neighborhood for her parrot. In the end, it wasn’t Hero that found the bird but one of the neighborhood kids. They had been out playing in the yard a few houses down, and one of them spotted the brightly colored Macaw in a tree. It took Mrs. Kearns coaxing and a special treat of a juicy apple before the bird consented to fly down, but both the client and the bird were finally corralled.
Once Molly had been returned to her cage, I took her picture for my wall. As Mrs. Kearns thanked me for what seemed like the hundredth time, I gathered my things and prepared to leave.
“Wait, dear.” Mrs. Kearns hurried over to the table and began digging through her purse. For an older woman, she moved fast. She had told me she just turned eighty. I thought about introducing her to Harvey. I had a feeling the two of them might get along.
“Just a moment, dear,” she said. She found her wallet and pulled out some bills. She tapped them together and turned back to me. Head high, she held them out to me. “I know your fee is two hundred dollars. This is $172. It’s all I have at the moment, but I will get you the rest. You have my word.”
My heart broke a little at those words. I could tell Mrs. Kearns lived on a fixed income. Her house was clean and orderly, but the furniture was old and the outside could use a paint job. There was no doubt in my mind that money was all she had. I had a feeling it was all she had left for the entire month, and it was only the eighth.
My first instinct was to refuse, but I changed my mind when I looked in her eyes. She was both terrified that I would accept the money and terrified that I wouldn’t. I took the money from her hand, plucked a twenty from the stack, and shoved the rest back to her.
“We have an installment plan, Mrs. Kearns. Ten percent down,” I said, holding up the twenty, “and equal monthly payments until the balance is cleared.”
Relief flooded her face for just a moment. I quickly looked away, called for Hero, and headed for the door. Too many bad memories came back to me when I thought about worrying if I had enough money to eat. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
“You take care of Molly, Mrs. Kearns.”
“Thank you, dear.” I heard her whisper as I closed the door behind us.
B. L. Blair writes simple and sweet romance and mystery/romance stories. Like most authors, she has been writing most of her life and has dozens of books started. She just needs the time to finish them.
She is the author of the Holton Romance Series, the Leah Norwood Mysteries, and the Lost and Found Pets Novellas. She enjoys reading books, writing books, and traveling wherever and as often as time and money allows. She is currently working on her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.
$50 Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes gift card to one lucky winner to celebrate the release of my novella, The Lost Great Dane. There are two ways to enter the contest:
1. Preorder The Lost Great Dane – forward a copy of your preorder email to firstname.lastname@example.org as proof and then enter the email address you used in the rafflecopter entry.
2. Complete all the puzzles to find the name Alex gave to the lost Great Dane and then enter the name in the rafflecopter entry.
You may use both options to enter and increase your chances of winning.