I keep thinking I should be inventing cute titles for these weekly posts–something to pull you in, make you sit up and take notice and think, “Oh, oh, I want to read that!” My first title here today was “The Post-Insurrection Edition,” however, I’m not completely convinced we are in the post-insurrection mode quite yet, so I’m going to go with a real snippet today from the first book in the new Langes of River’s Edge series that will be releasing from Tule Publishing in 2022. Beats heck out of rehashing the past week’s political chaos, don’t you think?
Everyone loves Mac’s Riverside Diner and Mac and Carly are still serving up delicious gourmet and yummy diner fare in the new series. This scene happens in the diner, where Police Lieutenant Ryker Lange has stopped by for supper on a snowy January evening. He has just made an incredibly klutzy move by knocking over his iced tea and some condiments off the counter just as the delectable Kitt Boynton walks in the door. Oh, yikes! In spite of his tea-soaked trousers, he’s desperately trying to regain his composure as he grabs whatever he can to clean up the mess, including drying off a wet salt shaker. Kitt surprises and charms him by sharing an old Irish superstition about spilling salt with him:
Kitt hurried over and grabbed it. “Quick, hold out your hand.”
Rye couldn’t imagine what she was doing. “What?”
“Hold out your right hand, palm up,” she insisted, jiggling the saltshaker.
Mystified, Rye obeyed and she shook a few grains into his hand. “Quick now, toss that over your left shoulder.”
“Um… okay.” Rye furrowed his brows and released the salt over his left shoulder, then brushed his palms together. “What’s that about?”
Kitt picked up the towel he’d set on the counter and began wiping down his stool and the one next to it. “It keeps the devil away.”
“Sure, it does.” Rye met Mac’s gaze over the mess Carly was busy mopping up on the counter. Mac merely raised one salt-and-pepper brow.
Kitt straightened up and handed the towel to Mac. “He’s just there, you know, over your left shoulder… waitin’.”
Rye glanced ruefully at his damp pants, deciding the embarrassment was a done deal, so he might as well follow along with this intriguing conversation. The brogue alone was enough to set his head spinning. “Is he now?” He sat back down.
Kitt perched on the stool next to him, her denim-clad knee brushing his as she turned slightly to face him. “Aye. And it’s bad luck to spill salt, always has been. That kind o’ carelessness invites the devil in.”
“Really? Why?” The chatter in the diner had quieted. It seemed the rest of the patrons were as curious as he was.
Kitt’s expression clearly told him she was stunned at his lack of knowledge on the topic of salt and the devil. “Of course, really. For many years, salt was hard to get and thus, quite precious; it was often used as currency way back in the old days. If you spilled it, you were invitin’ bad luck or the devil into your life. But”—she held up one finger—“if you toss a few grains over your left shoulder after you spill salt, it gets in the devil’s eyes and blinds him. Then he’s powerless.” She glanced around, suddenly aware that she’d become the center of attention. Color rose to her cheeks. “Um… at least that’s what my ma always told me.”
The small group of patrons burst into spontaneous applause and she offered a small nod before swinging her stool back around to face Carly and Mac. “Sorry,” she whispered. “Didn’t mean to make a scene.”
Hope you enjoyed this little clip–the book will be available in February of 2022, and I hope you’ll enjoy updates, cover reveals, and snippets here until then.
Stay well, stay safe, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful!