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The Crazy Town Series by Crazy Ink Book 14
BY STEPHANIE AYERS
Too loud, too bright, and too bubbly. That’s what the residents of Crazy Town consider Emmalee Bishop, a young woman who walked into town looking for the one person with clues to her past—her birth mother. As bumptious as she is bodacious, she can’t seem to escape trouble no matter where she goes. When trouble follows her into Crazy Town, it just might be more than the residents can handle.
In a town full of secrets, will she find who she’s looking for or will the residents run her out before she gets a chance?
A black and white sheriff’s car pulled up beside me, and a really cute cop with a big dimple in his chin cranked down the passenger window and smiled at me.
“Sorta,” I said.
I was nervous. All my run-ins with the law back in Cedarville were another reason behind my decision to leave. I weren’t a bad kid, and Poppa Josh and Momma Heather taught me right. It was just that I hung out with the wrong crowd (and I say wrong crowd loosely because that was only according to those same hypocritical hussies who ran Amber out of town), but they weren’t bad kids, none of them, neither. When they got in trouble, I did too, whether I was involved or not. Why? Just because I was with them. I probably had some jealous hussies running their mouths to their mommas, too.
And since I’m being honest, I’ll admit I hated that town and couldn’t wait to get away from those holier-than-thou, Sunday church going, barhopping Monday through Friday hypocrites. I needed a break and a chance to prove myself. Ya know, a clean slate and all that.
“Where ya headed?”
He flashed a smile again. He had dimples on his cheeks, too. They ain’t as big as the one on his chin, but they were nice enough.
“I’m headed there myself. Want a lift?”
“I ain’t sitting in the backseat,” I said, feeling a little leery.
No way in hell was I going to start my new life rolling into Crazy Town in the back of a squad car.
The cop laughed. “Nah. That’s for criminals, not pretty girls like you.”
My cheeks burned, and I ain’t got no idea why. Compliments ain’t never made me blush before. Granted, a hot cop ain’t never hit on me before, neither.
“I wouldn’t mind a ride,” I said.
He reached over and unlocked the door.
“Hop in. Just make sure ya buckle up. Don’t need the brass sweatin’ on me. He’ll give me hell for lettin’ ya ride up front, but what’s a deputy gonna do? Let a girl walk the road alone?”
“I mean, you could. I ain’t doing nothing but walking.” I pulled on the door handle to get out, but it didn’t open.
Of course, it didn’t open. It was a cop car. Once you got in, you ain’t getting out until they let you out. Dagnabbit, Emmalee! What did you get yourself into now?
“It’ll be dark soon. The road gets kinda crazy up ahead, and if ya aren’t familiar, you can get hurt.” He smiled at me again, then he started asking questions I ain’t got the answers for. “What brings ya to Crazy Town?”
Oh, Lord, I wanted to kick myself so hard! “The sign.” What the hell kind of answer was that, Emmalee?
He laughed. Loudly. And I didn’t mind it. I laughed, too.
“That sign has brought lots of people to Crazy Town. If ya want a tour, I’d be happy to oblige. I’m Tim, by the way. Tim Cullen.”
“I could use a bite to eat, so that’s a good place to start. I can figure it out from there. I’m Emmalee Bishop.”
“I’ll drop ya off at the Git It ‘n Go, best diner in town. If Willadeen don’t make it, she’ll tell ya where to get it. Plus, everyone in Crazy Town goes there. You’ll get a real good feel for the locals. It’s also the best place to get all the gossip. It’s a popular hangout.”
“Sure do appreciate it. Thanks.”
I stared out the window to keep myself in line. I couldn’t trust myself around good-looking men. Problem was, I found most guys attractive. I ain’t got no clue what’s wrong with me. Maybe once I found my real parents, I’d get my answers.
Tim pulled up to a stop sign beside a little chapel, and an old nun waved from in front of the church.
“Sister’s kinda a fixture around Crazy Town, but if she asks ya to help around the chapel, it’s best to say no,” he whispered and gave the nun a nod of his head.
He continued driving straight until he turned and pulled into the parking lot of a cute little diner.
“Whelp, we’re here,” he said and released the door locks. “Ya sure you don’t want a tour of the town first? It might help ya get your bearings.”
I gave him my biggest smile and unbuckled my seatbelt.
“Nah. This is perfect. Thanks for the ride, Officer Cullen.”
Tim shoved a business card in my face and pointed down an adjoining street.
“See that building with the flagpole? That’s the sheriff’s office. Ya need anything, you can call me or stop in the office. If I’m not there, the dispatcher can find me.”
“All righty, Officer Cullen. Thanks again for the lift.”
“Call me Tim. Seriously. You’re what—nineteen? Twenty? I’m not much older than you. It wasn’t that long ago I was new in this town, too.”
I watched him pull away before going into the diner. It was busier than I expected it to be for a small town so far off the highway. The aromas that drifted up my nostrils made my stomach growl. Since most of the tables were full, I took a seat at the counter.
“Someone’ll be right with ya,” a husky woman hollered from the passthrough window. She had one of those take-charge attitudes that made everyone pay attention to her.
A miniature version of the lady behind the grill stopped in front of me.
“Hi. I’m Roxy Jean. Ya want something to drink?”
“Water’d be fine,” I said.
Roxy Jean looked at me through narrowed eyes. “Just water? For real? If ya don’t have money to pay, just say so. Momma will feed ya anyway. That’s just her way.”
Roxy Jean pointed to the lady who greeted me. “That’s Momma, otherwise known as Willadeen, around here. Tell ya what. I’ll tell Momma you’re my guest, and she won’t hassle ya to pay. How’s that? Gotta tell me your name first.”
“Whelp, it’s official now, Emmalee. Welcome to Crazy Town. Whether you’re just passing through or looking for a place to stay where your secrets remain your own, you’ve come to the right place. Now, what would ya like to drink?”
“How ya know I ain’t gonna run off on ya?”
“I don’t, but it don’t matter if ya do. I have a feeling ya won’t, though, and we’re gonna be fast friends in no time.”
Sure, we will, until you find out your boy liked my boobies better. But Roxy Jean ain’t like the other girls I was used to being around. Her pants were so tight, I saw her camel toe. Her shirt was at least two sizes too small. Roxy Jean was my kind of chick. We might be friends after all.
“You got lemonade?”
Lemonade was my favorite drink in the whole world.
“Yep, we do. Fresh squeezed, too. I’ll be right back.”
A creative ninja with a dark mind and a quirky nature, Stephanie Ayers writes all the words and spins twisted tales filled with horror, fantasy, suspense, and anything in between. With a trunk full of tricks thanks to a checkered past, she haunts Irish castles and snowy mountaintops in her dreams, while living the unicorn life in Ohio disguised as a human. When she isn’t listening to the voices in her head, she spends her days as a mom, Gigi, cat lover, and Netflix binger, while avoiding housework at all costs.
Since signing with Crazy Ink Publishing, Stephanie has managed to somehow meet (most of) her deadlines and produce over a dozen solo works (with no ending in sight). With ink in her blood, an absence of fear, and a passion for telling stories, she isn’t afraid to dip her pen in the inkwell of many genres, and even has four successful series in her name—the stand-alone horror volumes of The 13 Series, the individual fairy tale retellings of the Portal to Madness series, the read-in-any-order cozy paranormal mysteries of the Coven Cozy Mysteries, and her epic five book fantasy series, Destiny Defined.
When she isn’t lost in her overactive imagination or entertaining her mini-unicorns, you can find her weaving words for Ladies of Horror fiction or playing with graphics and building her newsletter.
Links to Stephanie’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
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