Today we have the gorgeous cover reveal for Blonde and Fabulous by Anna Snow! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy this January!
Title: Blonde and Fabulous
Author: Anna Snow
Release Date: January 2018
About Blonde and Fabulous:
Feather boas, strippers, and murder? Oh, my! After a busy few months, Private Investigator Barb Jackson is dreaming of a few days off with her hot man at her side... but her dream of a blissful vacation is abruptly put on hold when her good friend Cindy comes to her in desperate need of help. Cindy is a dancer at the Double Down Club, a somewhat upscale gentlemen’s club that often caters to somewhat less-than- law-abiding men, where two dancers have been murdered. The police don’t have a clue who pulled the trigger or why, and Cindy is afraid she might be next. Between rowdy club patrons, a bouncer with a past, and enough catty dancers to fill a scantily-clad lineup, Barb has suspects galore. But which one pulled the trigger...and just may do so again! Platform heels, cocktails, and body glitter abound when Barb takes on the craziest case of her career. [caption id="attachment_26145" align="aligncenter" width="830"] stage with closed curtains and spotlights[/caption]
“The human body was not meant to be twisted into this position,” I complained to the yoga mat beneath me because from my position, I couldn’t look directly at Mona or Mandy and if I tried there was no doubt that I’d fall flat on rump. I was fairly certain that at that very moment, if a pretzel could speak it would ask me how I got twisted into the particular position I currently found myself in. I still couldn’t believe that I’d let the girls talk me into taking a yoga class. Me. Cake-lovin’, wine-in-my-yoga-pants-on-the-sofa, pizza adoring, Chinese food gobbling, Barb Jackson. I shook my head mentally. Who was I becoming? Yoga? Ugh… “Oh, stop complaining,” Mona said with way too much cheer for someone currently twisted up so perfectly and with such ease a slinky would be jealous. “Just think about how good you’re going to look in that pink bikini Kelly helped you pick out, and how much Tyler is going to love you in it.” I pictured my dear old aunt Mona waggling here eyebrows the way she always did when she was talking about what she called, the naughty business, even if what she was talking about at the time wasn’t really that naughty at all, and smiled to myself. After my mom and her sister, my aunt Hannah, were killed in a car accident when I was seventeen leaving me with not even one living relative, their best friend Mona stepped up to the plate and took me in. Since then, I was as protective of Aunt Mona as she was of me. “Tyler likes how I look right now,” I argued and moved into another twisted beyond belief position, something the yogi called Birds of Paradise. I struggled to suppress the urge to tell him where he could shove his calm breathing and his bird positions. I was currently in anything but paradise. My legs burned. “True, but you were just saying how you wanted to lose about five pounds before your cruise,” my friend and co-worker Mandy decided to chime in from her mat on the other side of Mona. “I’ve found that yoga is the best and easiest way for me to lose a few pounds, and it relaxes you.” She said with her usual amount of cheer. At that very moment, a bead of sweat dropped on the floor from my forehead and my legs decided to start shaking like Jell-O. Yeah, really relaxing. “Do you remember everything I say?” I asked between clenched teeth. My legs were on fire. “I try to. It makes my job easier.” She whispered back to me when the yogi gave us a dirty look for talking. The yogi stepped in front of the class and called out the next position. When I started to unwind my arms from between my legs and place both feet back on the floor one of the things that I’d feared since walking into the yoga studio happened. I lost my balance and toppled over. Arms flailing, I slammed into Mona causing her fall onto Mandy. We crashed to the floor like dominos. The rest of the class spared us a short glance, then went back to their business, only a few small chuckles could be heard from them. “Man, I missed it. Could you three do that again?” I didn’t even bother to try and get up. I just laid there like a flounder out of water gasping for air. Whoever said yoga was easy was full of it. As far as I was concerned, my yoga practice for the day was over. I scowled over at my best friend Kelly. I’d been surprised when she agreed to come along to a yoga class since her idea of working out was about the same as mine (the walk from the microwave to the sofa) but when we arrived and I got a look at her, the surprise melted away. Kelly was currently sitting along the far wall with a chocolate shake in one hand and her new cellphone in the other. Ever since Mandy started teaching her about all the wonderful technology in the world today, (Mandy’s words not mine) I doubt she’d put her new iPhone down for more than five minutes. YouTube was her latest discovery and obsession. I’d been forced to watch cat videos about every ten minutes since the moment she’d discovered them. Before the iPhone, she’d still been using some flip phone from the Paleolithic era. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that old, but you get the idea. “No way, and you better not be recording any of this,” I waggled a finger in her direction. I glanced up at the clock. Only five minutes were left in the class and I’d never quit anything in my life so I decided to give this yoga stuff one more shot. The instructor called out the next position. This time he called it Down Dog, or as I secretly called it, Cat Warming Butt in Sun. “Party pooper,” she said with a chuckle. “A little YouTube fame never hurt anyone.” “Yeah, right,” I answered. “Just think, Barb,” Mona said completely ignoring Kelly. “In two weeks you and Tyler will be soaking up some sun on the deck of a fabulous cruise ship. A seven-day, six-night cruise to the Bahamas? Sign me up,” she giggled. “Especially if it comes complete with a man as good-looking as Tyler.” I’d never taken a real vacation with a boyfriend, or ever if I were to be honest, and I hated to admit it, but I was nervous. Sure, Tyler and I had been together for a few months and we’d spend a few days at each other’s place during the week, but this was different. This was one full week of him experiencing me, Barb-the-control-freak-work-a-holic-Jackson in all my not-so-splendid glory. Morning hair, morning breath, and all. The thought scared me a little. “I’m not sure Tyler knows what he’s getting himself into,” I said and changed positions when the yogi called out to lower ourselves to the mat and relax. Mona lowered her voice. “You’re just looking for a reason to back out of this vacation. Tyler is crazy about you. He’s seen you in the mornings with bedhead and bad breath. He’s seen you after a three-day stakeout, and believe me, that’s not a pretty sight,” she added as a side note. “And he’s seen you go neck deep in a box of leftover Chinese after a long day. If he hasn’t run away from you screaming by now, then I’m pretty sure he isn’t going to.” “Maybe you’re right,” I relented and closed my eyes while I relaxed into my mat. “You know I am,” Mona stated confidently. “I’m never wrong.” “I agree with Mona,” Mandy chimed in. “About Tyler anyway,” she clarified. “Tyler loves you. I don’t think a week alone on a cruise is going to change the way he feels. Especially after he sees you rocking that bikini,” She raised herself up on her elbows long enough to grin at me over Mona then lowered herself back down onto her mat. I still couldn’t get over how fit Mona was. She ate like a garbage can, and only did yoga about once a week, but in the hour that we’d been twisted and tormented by the Yogi, she’d barely broken a sweat. I really needed to step up my fitness game. A few minutes later the yogi dismissed the class with a calm Namaste. I rolled up my mat with more vigor than I’d intended and then slung the strap over my shoulder while Mona and Mandy did the same. “Big date with Detective Boyfriend? A night in with the cats?” Kelly asked sarcastically and laughed. Before Tyler came along the going joke among the four of us was me becoming a crazy cat lady before I even hit forty. There was even a betting pool. Mona, my dear old auntie held out hope that I’d meet a man and little babies for her to spoil. When I met Tyler and our relationship hit the three-month mark Mona won the betting pool. A whopping ten dollars. “So, what’s on your agenda for tonight?” Kelly asked when we joined her where she waited for us by the exit. “Well, all of the cases at the office are wrapped up or on the schedule for when I return from vacation and Tyler is working late so… nothing I suppose.” I shrugged. “Same here,” Mona said. “I’m off for the next three days while the captain and his wife get moved into the new house they just bought.” “My nephews went home last night, so I’ve got nothing to do either,” Mandy said. “What about you?” she asked Kelly. “Silas is out of town at some artist-schmartist convention and won’t be back until sometime tomorrow so it looks like a pint of Jen & Barry’s and a cheesy action flick for me.” “Why don’t we meet at my place in about an hour, order some Chinese, put on one of those cheesy flicks Kelly mentioned and call it a night?” I offered. “I’ll bring the wine,” Mona said. “I’ll see you girls in about an hour.” She patted my sweaty shoulder, grimaced at the palm of her now equally sweaty hand, and then hurried out the door. Kelly, Mandy, and I exchanged looks and shrugged. “See you in an hour.” Kelly smiled and the three of us left the building. I watched the girls get into their cars and pull away from the curb, then reached into my bag and started searching for my key fob as I walked toward my car. It wasn’t until I bumped into someone and dropped my purse that I looked up. “I’m so sorry,” I apologized and met the gaze of the woman I’d run into. “Cindy?” I smiled. “I haven’t seen you in a while. How are you?” I’d had the pleasure of meeting Cindy back in the summer while working a case. She was a dancer at the Double Trouble Gentleman’s Club, and she’d been a huge help in solving the case. “Oh, um, things are good,” she said and glanced around nervously before meeting my gaze. “I’m still working at the club.” She said with a small nod. Her sky-blue eyes darted around the busy street as she fidgeted with the keyring in her hand. I stepped forward and lowered my voice. “Are you alright?” The corners of her full lips turned downward in a frown. “Yes.” she nodded her head, then bit her bottom lip. “Well,” she said hesitantly. “I’m… I’m not sure to be honest.” She finally said. “What do you mean?” She reached up and ran the fingers of her left hand through her shoulder-length platinum blonde hair and blew out a breath. “There’s been some trouble at the club in recent weeks and it has me and the other girls on edge.” I frowned. “What kind of trouble?” Cindy glanced around again and leaned closer to me. “Two girls were killed. Murdered right there backstage at the club.” She took a deep breath. “The first girl was killed about a month ago, and the second just two weeks ago.” “Murdered? I didn’t hear anything about any of this on the news.” I said with confusion. “The news doesn’t report on every murder in the city, I’m sure you know that. And my thinking is they didn’t want dead strippers all over the evening news.” She had a point. Not everyone was as understanding as I was about women doing what they had to do, or just what they wanted to do, to survive. Stripping included. “I see your point,” I agreed. “Do the police have any leads?” She shook her head. “None. There have been cops coming and going since the first dancer was killed, but they don’t seem to have any leads that I’m aware of and honestly, the rest of us who work there are getting worried. Two of us have already been killed and we don’t know by whom or why. What if this guy is just some sicko who gets his kicks killing half naked women? What if one of us is next?” Her lip trembled but she calmed herself. Being the awkward duck that I was, I wasn’t good at comforting people, but I at least tried. I reached over and patted her shoulder. “Is there anything I can do?” She looked at me with her big blue eyes and I could practically see the exact moment the idea hit and sparkled in her eyes. “Yes,” she said with a growing excitement that vibrated in the air. “You’re a private investigator.” She grabbed my shoulder. “You could look into this for me.” Her smile grew along with her excitement. “I normally wouldn’t ask but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t scared, and so are the other girls. So far, you’ve solved every case you’ve been given, if what the news says is true. If anyone can find who killed those girls and why, it’s you.” Now it was my turn to bite my lip with hesitation. I was supposed to be wrapping up cases and preparing for my big cruise with Tyler, but how was I supposed to look Cindy in the eye and tell her no when she was so visibly distraught? How could I live with myself if I turned her down and then something happened to her, or one of the other women for that matter? The bottom line was, I couldn’t. Tyler, Mona, Mandy, and Kelly were going to throttle me, but Cindy was genuinely frightened. I couldn’t tell her no if there was even the slightest chance that I could help her. Besides, I had two weeks until our ship set sail. I could wrap up this case by then. I’d been known to do more in less time. I took a deep breath and then nodded my head. “Okay. I’m in, but I’ll need some information from you and maybe some help if it comes down to it.” “Anything,” she said and nodded so fast she looked like a bobble head on the dashboard of a taxicab. “Whatever you need. Just say the word.” I looked at my watch then back up at her. “It’s getting late. Meet me at the office tomorrow morning and we’ll get started. I want to make myself perfectly clear, I’m not making any promises,” I said firmly. “But I’ll do my best to figure this all out.” “I know you will.” She smiled at me and clasped my shoulder. “I’ll be at the office first thing in the morning.” She released my shoulder and waved as she hurried away toward the same yoga studio I’d just left. I watched as she disappeared inside and then shook my head. How did I always seem to get myself into these situations? It was a question that others had asked me a million times over the years, but one I’d never asked myself. I was supposed to be relaxing and prepping for my first ever cruise with Tyler, not chasing down yet another murderer. But that’s exactly what I was doing. I wanted to deny it, but I knew what my problem was. I just couldn’t say no to people, but if it meant that I was helping save their lives, did I really want to turn them away? Absolutely not. I fished in my purse and pulled out the key fob and unlocked my car door as I turned and closed the distance to my car. Once inside, I tossed my blue yoga mat in the backseat, then my purse in the passenger seat, and started the ignition. I sat with my hands gripping my steering wheel staring out the windshield in complete silence for a few moments wondering what I had just gotten myself into, and whether or not I’d bitten off more than I could chew. I took a deep breath and cleared the doubt of my abilities fogging my mind. Whatever the situation might be I was more confident that I could handle it much better than how I was going to handle the girls’ and Tyler’s reactions when I told them that I’d just taken on another murder case.