Excerpt from HEADSTONE: THE CURSE

IN ‘HER SILENT SHADOW‘ COLLECTION

She tucked her hair behind her ear, opened the car door and sat behind the wheel, simultaneously resting her purse on the passenger seat. Life for Belinda couldn’t get any better and to compliment her upbeat mood, she decided she’d listen to some rock music during the drive over to her friend, Marva’s house. After starting the car, she reached forward to switch on the radio, when she thought she saw something move on the floorboard of the front passenger side. Tilting her head, she zoomed in on the floor and spotted a long, gray snake slithering forward from under the seat. Then, her peripheral vision immediately caught something in the seat next to her—another snake, almost identical, was crawling over her purse. With her heart pounding and a shrilling scream stuck inside her throat, without a moment to spare, she yanked open the car door and got out, slamming it shut behind her. It was then that the scream finally escaped and, in a flash, Cindy and Wanda appeared in the doorway of the parlor.

“What’s the matter?” Cindy was concerned.

“Snakes! Snakes are in my car!” Belinda was standing a good ten feet away from her car.

“What?” Cindy’s eyes widened with shock.

“I found snakes in my frigging car!” she repeated.

Cindy hurried over to her. “How did they get in there?” she asked.

“How the hell am I supposed to know? I just want them out!”

Wanda was now standing on the front steps looking out at Belinda with a subtle smile on her face. She always wanted to see the overgrown baby suffer.

“Wanda! Go get Jimmy from the back!” Cindy exclaimed. “He’ll get them out.”

“Your maintenance guy?” Belinda asked Cindy.

“Yeah. He’s not scared of anything. Bravest man I know—even braver than Charlie.”

Jimmy arrived in the parking lot shortly thereafter with a white bucket in one hand and a long tree limb in the other.

“I hear there’s snakes in your car, lady,” he said to Belinda.

Jimmy was a slim, straggly-haired man in his early fifties, the sight of which would make some people cringe with distrust, particularly if he appeared from out of nowhere on a dark, deserted road. Yet, he was the typical example of why one should never judge a book by its cover. Though he could pass for being homeless, the man had amassed a decent fortune through hard work on a miniscule salary over the course of three decades. He’d been working for Cindy for the past five years after retiring from a government department as a maintenance worker.  

“Yeah! They’re in there!” Belinda pointed, rather annoyingly.

“Well, let’s go get ‘em out then!”

“Let’s?” Belinda gave him a menacing stare.

He backed off towards the car. “I meant me.”

He peered through the driver’s side window first, then moved over to the back door.

“Wow! You surely have a whole community of snakes in there!”

“You call two a community?” Belinda scoffed.

With his head pressed against the window, Jimmy said, “I ain’t no mathematician, but I know how to count. You’ve got at least a dozen slitherers in here. Come see for yourself.”

Alarmed, Belinda glanced at Cindy, while Wanda continued observing from the front of the parlor.

“Are you kidding me?” Belinda asked.

Cindy walked over to the car and looked through the window next to where Jimmy was.

“He’s not kidding, B,” she said. “They’re crawling all over your car, even the back seat.”

Belinda suddenly felt faint; her heart beating wildly.

She went over and looked through the front window. “My God!” she whispered.

“Anyway, ladies. Now that you’ve seen what we’re working with, let me get these good ole boys outta here and back into the bushes where they belong.”

Belinda quickly returned to her previous spot and Cindy joined her. Jimmy put his bucket down near the tire and opened the back door. He then reached inside with his tree branch and calmly extracted the snakes one by one, dropping them into the bucket. Belinda inwardly squirmed at the sight of the reptiles and even turned away for a while as Jimmy proceeded.

“These boys are harmless, little lady,” he said as he peeked under the seats to ensure he’d gotten all out.

“What do you mean by harmless?” Belinda said, looking his way again.

“These are hognose snakes, if I’m lookin’ right. They wouldn’t have done nothin’ to you other than give you a good scare by just being themselves.” He grinned.

“What’s so funny?” She glared at him.

“You must’ve really pissed someone off for them to put snakes in your car. You’re lucky they didn’t choose a rattler or some other kind that wouldda done you in nice and good.”

He shut the car doors, picked up the bucket full of snakes and headed to the backyard.

“You sure you got them all out?” Belinda hollered.

“If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have closed your car doors, lady.”

“Thank you, Jimmy!” Cindy called out behind him.

Continuing on, he raised his left hand. “Welcome!”

Wanda shook her head.

“Are you okay?” Cindy rested her hand on Belinda’s arm.

“No! I’m not okay!”

“Maybe you should call someone to come meet you…”

“No, I can drive. I hate to go back inside that car, but I can.”

“I hope you find out who did this, B. It’s a terrible thing they’ve done. You could’ve ended up in an accident if you didn’t spot them before you drove off,” Cindy said.

Belinda sighed heavily. “I have no idea who would be stupid enough to do this. I… I thought I locked my car.”

Cindy gave her a reprimanding look. “We all know you hardly ever lock your car in the daytime, B. You were easy prey.”

“I’d better go now; I’ll see you later, Cindy.” She headed for the car, when suddenly, she stopped in her tracks. “Wait! Get Jimmy back here!”

“What’s the matter?” Cindy asked.

“He didn’t check the bloody trunk!”

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Happy New Year!

I am so glad that 2020 is over and done with. Aren’t you?

Doesn’t mean that the pandemic is over or all of our challenges. A new year for me simply represents a new start; a refreshed mindset and faith that wonderful opportunities lie ahead. To be honest, 2020 had its really negative aspects, but some positive ones too.

As you probably know, I’ve published several books again last year, all of which I am proud of, and there are more to come this year. My book, Headstone: The Curse will be included in Her Silent Shadow collection next month, then after that (also in February) is Blind Risk, book six in my Lucille Pfiffer cozy mystery series. Next is, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, book three in Hewey Spader Mystery series and we’re only touching the surface with these books this year. 🙂 If you’re not already a subscriber to my newsletter, be sure to sign up. You will get a welcome gift.

In closing, thanks for following me on my blog and I wish you all a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year.

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READERS’ FAVORITE AWARD WINNING AUTHOR

Would you marry someone if you knew when they were going to die?

In this edge-of-your-seat installment of The Cornelius Saga, Mira and Bobby are set to finally walk down the aisle after years of courtship, but something innately sinister threatens to shatter what’s meant to be the most beautiful day of their lives. Will it be proven that Mira’s premonitions were right all along?

‘Til Death Do Us Part’ is bound to be the most thrilling, chilling, dramatic episode in the history of the Cullen family saga.

Soooo exciting! Today is the day!

“…A cross between Carrie at the prom and a scene from The Shining.” – BookBub reviewer

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An unforgettable high school reunion!

Dr. Mira Cullen gets an invitation to her high school reunion ball. It’s hyped to be a memorable event, but not in the way anyone expects! Rosie is thrilled that her mom will be reconnecting with her high school friends, but what neither of them realizes is that not everyone coming has happy memories of the past and someone may have a sinister plan to “unite” them forever. Another chilling thrill ride in the popular Cornelius Saga series that will lock you in from the first paragraph and leave you thinking twice before you decide to attend your next reunion — of any sort!

“The riveting drama rises exponentially throughout this impeccably plotted tale of love, betrayal, secrets, lies, hatred and redemption, as the wonderful Tanya R. Taylor proves yet again she’s a genius, at keeping up the nails-on-a-blackboard, nerve-shredding tension, that means you’ll be glued to the edge of your seat right to the very last word!” -Goodreads reviewer

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Five MYSTERIES in One Awesome Collection – JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS

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After losing her eyesight a few years earlier, Lucille Pfiffer no longer has faithful Donnie, her beloved husband, to look after her anymore. It’s just her and her loyal, but no-nonsense Shih-Tzu Vanilla. Lucille takes on two renters in her huge, lovely home who look up to her like a mother, but they have no idea the secrets she keeps from them and others in order to protect her pension money. Life for the four of them is in no way “normal” as Lucille and Vanilla find themselves entangled in one baffling mystery after the other.

Cherished secrets come to light.

Juicy gossip proves to be nothing at all compared to the truth that Lucille and Vanilla unveil!

Kidnappings, murders, betrayal and so much more are discovered within the pages of this most exciting and entertaining collection!

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Will Lucille be able to save her cozy neighborhood of Harriet’s Cove or will everything go up in flames? Surely, Lucille has a humongous task on her hand. Her success or failure to convince the powers that be to grant the seemingly bizarre request of her “unwelcome guests” will directly affect the life of every resident of her beloved Harriet’s Cove. And as daunting a task as it is, she believes the said request is not unreasonable, but actually well deserved. Yet, how does one elderly, blind woman accomplish such a mission when the forces out there are clearly against her, placing her mercilessly between the proverbial rock and a hard place?

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Tanya R. Taylor is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, whereas she will earn from qualifying purchases.

New Book in Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series!

I’m so happy to announce that book six in my popular “Blind Books” series will be out this coming Saturday, October 31st–HALLOWEEN!

If you are not a subscriber to my newsletter yet, you may sign up here: http://eepurl.com/dIS_9v

Lucille has a humongous task on her hand. Her success or failure to convince the powers that be to grant the seemingly bizarre request of her “unwelcome guests” will directly affect the life of every resident of her beloved Harriet’s Cove. And as daunting a task as it is, she believes the said request is not unreasonable, but actually well deserved. Yet, how does one elderly, blind woman accomplish such a mission when the forces out there are clearly against her, placing her mercilessly between the proverbial rock and a hard place?

Will Lucille be able to save her cozy neighborhood of Harriet’s Cove or will everything go up in flames?

Click here to get it at Amazon.com.

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Tanya R. Taylor is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, whereas she will earn from qualifying purchases.

Every Dog Has Its Day is Out Now

~ Out Today! ~

“I admit that I am still thinking about this story… That is how much it resonated with me.” – Goodreads reviewer

“The world that Tanya R. Taylor has created gives the readers something to think about.” – Amazon customer

Is there even a remote possibility that the residents of Eppington will be rescued? Will life ever return to normal in that town?
Now with the urgent task of rescuing his parents, Hewey must find a way to do so without getting caught. Will he be able to get to them in time or will he have to live with the guilt of not doing so? Furthermore, Johnette Christie’s body was quietly removed from her home in the middle of the night. Where was she taken and will her killer be identified?

The answers are here in book two. Another exciting, suspenseful installment in the new Hewey Spader Cozy Mystery Series.

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Lucille Pfiffer is back in book five!

Get ready for another exciting installment in Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series. Book five is now available for Pre-order and readers are reserving their copies at this special price of 99 cents for the ebook like hot cakes!

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“You can either do what you can to make it happen or watch your dream house eventually go up in flames. And even if you build another, that one will go up in flames too.”– Excerpt from book four -‘Blind Fury’

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Will Lucille be able to save her cozy neighborhood of Harriet’s Cove or will everything go up in flames?

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Quantity vs. Quality

I’ve been reflecting on something lately that has to do with the sincerity and quality of friendships. When choosing our friends, we aim to be around and associate with like-minded people. People who share similar interests and basic morals, etc. People who brighten our world and not darken it. People who are sincere and honest, no matter the cost. Not that friends will agree with each other about everything because people have their own opinions about different things, and in a way that can be a good and healthy thing. However, when you find that your core beliefs are different pertaining to right and wrong, and those things that affect human beings and societies as a whole, you may have a problem and may need to examine that friendship. I know a lot of people, but there are few people I call my friends because I take friendship very seriously. From time to time, you have to weed out the ones in the batch that have proven to be disingenuous and shady. That’s for your own good. People like that, at any moment, can turn on you because they lack basic morals and principles. If, for instance, you believe that what Hitler did to those Jews was horrible and your friend acts as if there wasn’t really anything wrong with it, you need to examine that friendship. If you see something that adversely affects other people and you’re heart-broken about it and your friend doesn’t seem to care one iota, you need to examine that friendship. If you see your friend is nosy and tends to gossip about everybody, what makes you think they don’t already do the same thing to you–running you down behind your back? Surely, people have certain views and opinions, but there are some things that cannot and should not be compromised. I personally cannot deal with people who refuse to put right where right is and wrong where wrong is. If they ever get the opportunity to stand up for you, they won’t do it. If there is no sincerity, no compassion, no heart, no meeting of the minds that speak truth and desire goodness to prevail, then maybe that friendship is nothing but a sham. How can two walk together unless they agree–at least on those things that matter the most in this life? How can a person who is truthful (who calls a spade a spade) have a meaningful friendship with someone who is shady and pretentious? That doesn’t compute. If it doesn’t uplift you, it’s bringing you down. Friendship is never about quantity, but quality. Just a reflection.