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The honeymoon’s not over yet!
Kim and Brien’s excellent adventure at the swanky Sanctuary Resort & Spa continues when an unwelcome visitor drops in on New Year’s Eve.
An elusive marine GPS device found and lost again, unleashes another wave of murder and mayhem in Corsario Cove! What is it about that thing? Will the secret be revealed when they visit the chamber of heinousness? Stooges, Krugerrands, and monks—oh my! Is it going to be a Gnarly New Year for Kim and Brien?
Character Guest Post: Truth or Chore?
Brien and Kim are back from their honeymoon. They’re not in Corsario Cove but out in the California desert where they met. It’s a balmy evening in January on the patio of the condo they rent. The moon is shining, the palm trees are swaying, and they’re lingering over a cold beer and a platter of nachos.
Brien: “These are awesome nachos, even without the beef.”
Kim: “Gracias, Dude. I’ve been getting tips from St. Bernadette so I can better perform my wifely cooking chores.”
Brien: “Too bad you don’t cook every night. You’re way better at it than I am, even without Bernadette’s tips. Maybe I should ask her for help, too.”
Kim: “Sure, you could do that. Nachos aren’t that hard to fix. Heck, it’s hardly even cooking. Especially if you leave out the barbacoa or carne asada you carnivores love so much.”
Brien: “Like the ones we had that night we met. Those were epic nachos.”
Kim: “That’s what you remember about the night we met—the nachos?”
Brien: “Not just the nachos. It’s my turn to ask you questions, though. Truth or chore: what do you remember?”
Kim: “It was an evening a lot like this one—gorgeous lounging on the Huntington’s patio overlooking the swimming pool and golf course. I remember being nearly knocked out by that house Jessica’s dad had designed and built. It’s a work of art. When I worked for Mr. P, he had an enormous house up in the Hollywood Hills. That one was dark and sinister—like a holdover from a gothic horror movie set. He was so impressed that it had once been owned by a dead monster movie mogul. Complete with secret rooms and passage ways. Creepy. How did I get on this topic?”
Brien: “Uh, you were talking about meeting me for the first time. My memories of nachos are way better than your memories of creeps!”
Kim: “Jessica’s house triggered those memories, not you. Give me a break. It’s still a little hard for me to open up about mushy stuff like feelings, Brien. You must know that about me.”
Brien: “I do.”
Kim: “So, truth—no chore. I wasn’t just knocked about by that house. You wowed me, too, Moondoggie.”
Brien: “I thought you were a knockout, too. I tried not to stare at you in front of the Cat Pack but whoa, that tattoo of yours was so hot!”
Kim: “My tattoo? That’s what grabbed you about me—my Saraswati tattoo?”
Brien: “I didn’t know she was Saraswati, or that she was a goddess. She was beautiful, like you. Your face and that smokin’ hot body of yours. What did you like about me? Truth or chore.”
Kim: “Okay, truth. You do have a bodacious body, as you surfer dudes like to say. I was totally in awe. I’m not even sure I could hear what you were saying, Brien. You didn’t say much did you?”
Brien: “Nah, I was tongue-twisted.”
Kim: “Tongue-tied is what you mean, right?”
Brien: “Probably. You were quiet that night, too.”
Kim: “I still am, but not like then. I didn’t like being around a lot of people. All those awful parties I had to go to working for Mr. P. At least I didn’t run off to a corner and hide that night at Jessica’s house.”
Bien: “I wouldn’t have let you go off by yourself, Kim. Truth or chore: was it love at first sight?”
Kim: “Truth. I don’t believe in love at first sight. Let’s just say I felt a strong attraction to you.”
Brien: “That’s fair. I’d have to say it was hard to figure out if it was love or not with all that animal magnetism between us.”
Kim: “Yes, that’s a perfect way of putting it. You also made me nervous—maybe because I was fighting off that attraction. Besides, I didn’t want to get involved with anyone.”
Brien: “Yeah, I could tell that, Kim. That’s why I didn’t push it. From what you and Jessica went through with Mr. P and the Doc, it couldn’t have been good hanging with those bogus guys—and you did that for years. I felt bad for you. Sometimes, though, I thought it was me you didn’t like.”
Kim: “You irritated me. I didn’t understand that when you’re nervous instead of hiding in a corner or clamming up like me, you talk. The more anxious you get the more you say, and that’s when you make mistakes. Truth: that drove me up the wall at first.”
Brien: “Malapropisms—you told me all about that. What changed?”
Kim: “Later one night when you drove me home. We were alone and you were quiet, except for a question or two. Something simple, like how are you doing? The way you said it—the way you often say things—was so sincere. I remember feeling safe answering you honestly. That surprised me.”
Brien: “That night changed things for me, too, Kim. We were friends after that.”
Kim: “Yes, friends. And I wanted to see you again. Just you, without that crowd around. That’s why I said yes right away when you asked me to go with you to the 60’s beach movie film festival.”
Brien: “Truth or chore: when did you realize it was love?”
Kim: “Soon. You became my dream date—my very own Moondoggie. Was that ever a shock. It took me a while longer to deal with it. Then one night you called me Gidget. That’s when I knew you were on to me.”
Brien: “I was—at least I hoped I was since I was in deep by then.”
Kim: “Me too, even though I still couldn’t say I love you.”
Brien: “You had to hear it from me first. Not quite love at first sight, huh?”
Kim: “Close enough, Moondoggie.”
Brien: “One more question. Truth or chore: Do you want me to take that job and move with me to Corsario Cove or not?”
Kim: “Um, it’s going to have to be a chore.”
Brien: “You won’t tell me the truth?”
Kim: “I can’t, because I haven’t figured what that the truth is yet. Maybe we should take that second honeymoon, then make a decision.”
Will Kim & Brien leave Palm Springs, their friends and their jobs behind? Stay tuned for their next adventure to find out.
About The Author
Anna Celeste Burke is an award-winning and bestselling author who enjoys snooping into life’s mysteries with fun, fiction, & food—California style! Her books include the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series set in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, the Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery series set on California’s Central Coast, and The Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery series set in Orange County, California–the OC. Coming soon: The Misadventures of Betsy Stark that take place in the Coachella Valley. Find out more at http://www.desertcitiesmystery.com.