Welcome to Celebration Township.
Casey Lowe is new in town and hiding from her past. Her next-door neighbor, Thad Wagner, is a sexy police officer, who is good with his hands, and his lips, but Casey refuses to get involved with a married man, and Thad can’t seem to understand why she keeps pushing him away. No matter how they try to stay apart, something keeps drawing them together. When an unexpected visitor shows up at Casey’s house the week before Christmas, her future is on the line. Will Thad figure it out in time to save her, or will Casey become a conspirator to a murderer?
Tangled in Tinsel is the first book in the thirteen-story novella series that takes place in quaint Celebration Township, Pennsylvania. The rest of the series will begin to release in the fall of 2016.
Ten minutes down the road, a siren caught my attention, and I saw the telltale red and blue lights flashing in my rearview mirror.
“Shit. How fast was I going?” I glanced at the speedometer. “Only sixty-five. What’s the speed limit here?”
“I don’t know,” Brandy said as she glanced over her shoulder. “Maybe it’s your neighbor.”
“Crap, let’s hope it’s not.” I slowed and pulled over to the shoulder, hoping he was only trying to get around me. No such luck as he stopped behind me. “Damn, I think it is him,” I said as I stared harder into the mirror.
“That’s good. I’m sure you can get out of this then,” Brandy said as she put mascara on. “Actually, I’m glad you got pulled over, now I can put my mascara on without getting it all over the place.”
“Figures you would find something good in me being pulled over by the police,” I retorted as I dug through my purse for my wallet. A tap on my window brought my head up fast, and I lowered the window as I glanced up.
Lord, have mercy on my soul! This man was incredible looking. His short hair was light brown and parted on the side. His blue eyes were striking as they stared down at me.
“Morning, ma’am. I’m Officer Wagner of the Celebration Police Department. Do you happen to know how fast you were going?”
I opened my mouth to speak and found words escaped me as I watched his lips to see if they would continue to move. He had the most incredible lips I had ever seen, and I wondered how they would feel.
He tipped his head to the side and studied me. “Ma’am, are you alright?”
“Casey,” I stuttered out.
“My name is Casey, not ma’am.”
Brandy snickered beside me, and I almost elbowed her.
A smirk raised one side of his mouth and displayed the cutest damned dimple I had ever seen. “Okay, Casey, do you know how fast you were going?”
“Um,” I cleared my throat. Did I tell the truth? Of course I tell the truth! Jesus, I knew what happened with the police when you didn’t. “Sorry, I was going about sixty-five, but I don’t know what the speed limit is.”
“Actually, you were going sixty-nine when you were clocked, and the speed limit is thirty-five.”
I cringed, “I’m so sorry. We woke up late, and I’m rushing my friend to the airport. She has a flight out at eleven. I honestly didn’t know the speed limit.”
“Well, Casey, now you do, and I hope that in the future you will obey it.” He grinned down at me and held out his hand. “I’m Thad, by the way, I believe we’re neighbors.”
I looked at his long elegant fingers as they came my way. Why was my heart beating like it was trying to get out of my chest? I placed my hand into his and we both stared at one another. “Casey,” I said again lamely.
“It’s nice to meet you, Casey. Do me a favor and slow down. Get your friend to the airport safely.”
“Yes, sir,” I stated automatically while I realized I was still holding his hand. I yanked mine back, embarrassed at my reaction to him.
He laughed a deep laugh and put a smile on his face that made his eyes seem brighter than they had been just moments before. “I’m letting you off with a warning today, not because you are my neighbor, but because you did me a favor last night. Thank you for dropping the food off at home for me.”
“You’re welcome, and thank you for not giving me a ticket. I promise I’ll pay better attention.”
“Drive safely, Casey,” he leaned down and peered past me to Brandy, “and have a safe flight.” Thad’s subtle cologne reached my nose with his movement. Thank god I was seated, or my knees might have buckled.
“Thank you,” Brandy replied.
Thad stared at me for another moment before he stood up, “I’ll see you around, Casey. It was nice meeting you, and welcome to Celebration.”
“Thank you.” My voice came out huskier than it should have, and I cleared my throat as he walked away. I used the side mirror to watch him; his back was as nice as his front. When he reached his driver’s-side door, he turned and our gazes locked in the reflection. He winked and climbed into his truck.
“Talk about a hottie,” Brandy said as she fanned her face. I put the window up and checked my mirror again to make sure it was safe to get back onto the road.
I’d learned two things just then: One, Officer Thad Wagner was an extreme hottie; second, he was also a very dangerous man, if only to my starving hormones.
Stacy resides in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, who works in law enforcement, and her teen daughter who is working toward her second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and on the choral and cheerleading squads at school. She also has a son who is currently serving in the United States Navy.
Stacy is very involved in Domestic Violence Awareness and served on the Board of Directors for her local Domestic Violence Center for three years. She continues to volunteer with them when she has time.