Thursday, August 25, 2011

BLB Tour: Credo's Hope, part 2

Reader Girls is hosting the second part of the Credo's Hope Blog Tour. Author Allison Holt has provided an excerpt from her novel for us to enjoy. We welcome her back.

First, we'll post the blurb: Introducing Detective ALEXANDRA WOLFE, a fresh, funny, tough cop who skates on the edge of the law in her quest for justice. A Mafia boss, a hunky bi-sexual nurse, Alex's rescued mutt, Tessa, and her exuberant best friend, MEGAN, help Alex turn her everyday life as a detective upside down.

Six years ago, Brian McClelland was murdered, and his brother was convicted of shooting him. When Megan bullies Alex into reviewing the case, Alex discovers that her Captain was the chief investigator who overlooked evidence that might have proved the brother's innocence. Against the Captain's orders and Alex's better judgment, she unofficially re-opens the case and finds herself following a twisted investigative trail left by the murder victim. The problem is, she has no idea what he was investigating or whether his investigation ultimately led to his death.

As she digs into clues from the past, she finds herself at the doorstep of the beautiful and daunting Giannina Angelino, who just happens to be the head of the Angelino Crime Family. Things really heat up for Alex when she starts to receive unsolicited help from the mafia, and the police department, once again orders her to stay away from the murder investigation and from any connections with organized crime. This in itself proves difficult since Gianina doesn't answer to Alex's chain of command and continues to help wherever and whenever she sees fit.

Alex's unorthodox methods blur her personal and professional lives and when her two worlds collide, keeping her day job becomes the least of her worries as Alex struggles to keep from following the dead man's trail straight to her own demise.

Excerpt from Credo's Hope:  

Blood smeared the mattress where Bibi O'Dell had fallen after she'd been shot. Given her occupation, hooker, and her drug of choice, meth, I wasn't surprised when she told me to go stuff myself after I asked who'd pulled the trigger.

"C'mon Bibi, can you at least give me a hint?" I watched as the paramedics struggled to lift her from the mattress to their gurney. She was a hefty woman, weighing in at close to three hundred and fifty pounds of unhelpful dead weight.

Bibi slapped one of the men on the hand. "You watch where you're puttin' those hands or I'm gonna charge you for my services."

I've known Bibi for almost five years, and I've arrested her more times than I'd care to count. I reached in, grabbed one enormous leg, and hefted it onto the gurney. Unfortunately, not much of the rest of her made it that far. "Why can't you be a skeleton like all the rest of the meth users?"

Bibi paused mid-complaint and fixed her bulging fish eyes on me. "You callin' me fat, Detective Wolfe?"

"Not at all. I'm saying if you were a competent meth user, your leg wouldn't weigh more than I do."

Bibi shifted her gaze to one of the paramedics. "She callin' me fat."

I moved to her midsection and wiggled my gloved hands under her until they were smashed beneath her butt. "All right everybody, on three." All six of us heaved her onto the gurney, and I quickly pulled my hands out.

Bibi held out her hand, palm up. "That'll be fifteen dollars."

I put my hands on my hips. "Excuse me?"

"Fifteen dollars for services rendered. You can't put your hands on my butt and not expect to pay for my services. I'll sue your ass for lack of payment. Me'n your captain are on a first-name basis, you know. Just let me call him, then see what happens, uh huh."

I looked around at my sergeant, Kate Brannigan, who raised her hands and grinned. "Don't get me in the middle of this; it's your problem, not mine."

Unfortunately, my captain probably was on a first name basis with Bibi. I slid my thumb under the cuff of my glove to peel it off, then reached into my pocket and pulled out two crumpled bills, a ten and a five. Bibi would be out of commission for a while and I really couldn't begrudge her the money. I grinned as I handed her the bills, then pulled off the second glove.

Kate laughed as she pulled off her own gloves and took one last look around the room, making sure we'd collected all the evidence we might need if the case ever went to court.

I followed the gurney out into the living room and threw the gloves onto a pile of trash. Nearby, a cat lay sprawled on a sofa, his green eyes lazily tracking my movement.

"What'd you see, fellah?" I walked over and ran my fingers through his fur while he rolled onto his side and batted me with his paw. Kate's cell phone rang and I watched as she slid it out of her pocket and stepped outside. The cat batted my hand one last time, then flipped off the sofa and hit all four living room walls before racing full tilt into the kitchen. He did a few circuits around the countertops and finally landed next to a sink loaded with plates full of rotting food.

When I followed him in, he sprang from the counter onto the refrigerator, then disappeared back into the living room. I walked to the refrigerator and opened the door. Putrid air spilled out and I held my breath long enough to look inside. A carton of curdled milk, some old carrots, stale bread, and an open can of beans were the only items on the otherwise bare shelves. I quickly shut the door and followed the cat, holding my breath until I was out of the kitchen and back in the living room.

Kate returned, trailed by Jack Dougherty, a patrol sergeant on the Southside. Jack came over and held out his hand. "Hey Alex, I haven't seen you since Bonnie's last softball game. Where've you been?"

Bonnie is Jack's 7 year old daughter, and I'm Alexandra Wolfe, a detective in the Special Crimes Unit of the Tucson Police Department. I nodded towards Kate. "If my sergeant'd give me time off, I'd have you guys over for a barbeque or something, but no…"

Kate walked into the kitchen and said over her shoulder, "I'm actually doing the world a favor, keeping you busy, Alex." She scrunched her nose at Jack. "Have you ever tasted her cooking?"

Jack reached up to scratch beneath his thinning hair. "Unfortunately, yes."

Kate finished her inspection of the kitchen and pulled a notebook out of her pocket. "Anyway, Alex, I need you to talk to the neighbors, see if they saw or heard anything unusual last night. Jack and I can finish up in here." She scribbled something in her notes, and I grinned at Jack as I headed out the door. He threw me one of his little-boy smiles before he turned to follow Kate into the bedroom.

The house was one of two built inside a yard fenced with rusted goat wire. I watched the ambulance pull away with Bibi before I walked around the weeds as best I could and knocked on the door to the second house.

While I waited, I peeled some old paint off the wall next to the front door. The boards were loose, so I jiggled one up and down and pulled an old nail out of the wood. The door opened a tiny amount and an ancient woman peered out at the nail I was holding in my hand. She opened the door a little wider, reached out and took the nail from me. Balancing her weight on the doorknob, she stepped onto the front stoop. I watched as she leaned down to aim the point of the nail at the now vacant hole, then wiggled it back into place.

"Um, sorry about that." I said, pointing to the nail. "I wasn't really paying attention."

Wrinkles lined her face, but her smile radiated warmth and old-world charm. "That's fine, Dear, I understand. Can I help you?" She stood bright eyed and erect, hands clasped in front and shaking a little from age, which I guessed to be somewhere in her late eighties.

About the author: Alison Holt writes what she knows. Her stories reflect the twenty years she spent as an officer moving through the ranks of the Tucson Police Department. During her career, she worked patrol to investigations, commanded undercover units and riot control squads and trained as a hostage negotiator. Always the one to rock the boat, she took a voluntary demotion toward the end of her career to supervise the department’s eleven man K9 unit. Her characters talk like real cops, think like real supervisors, and react like real people. Prior to joining the police department, Alison earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona. When she retired, Alison went back to doing what she had always wanted to do—write. Her first book, The Door at the Top of the Stairs combines her insights into human nature with her knowledge of the darker side of the human psyche.

Alison's life as a cop gave her a bizarre sense of humor, a realistic look at life, and an insatiable desire to live life to the fullest. She loves all horses & hounds and some humans…
To find out more, go to her website at www.alisonholtbooks.com.

Next stop on the tour: Backseat Nightmares

For the entire tour, go here

Thanks to Alison Holt and Book Lovin Bitches tours.


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