Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thankful Author 2019- Reily Garrett

I am so very thankful for my family, both two legged and four.
The past year has seen many changes, both with work and family. Schedules have alternated and rearranged to offer us more quality time together.
Most folks don’t consider their animals as part of the family, but in our household, fur kids rule.


Enter a world where ignorance and darkness mask chaos and deceit.

Keiki’s focus on designing drones shatters one morning when her prototype records the murder of her friend. Captured video detailed the masked killer’s promise to find his witness and finish the job.
Experience has given her good reason to not trust cops, especially when they come knocking on her door. Their suspicions narrow when her roommate disappears without a trace.
Conflicting evidence at a brutal crime scene leaves gossamer threads weaving a complicated web of lies and deceit. Every lead Detective Garnett finds steers the investigation to a deeper, darker network entangling Keiki in a labyrinth of cunning subterfuge.

Garnett is torn between following the letter of the law and protecting the witness determined to clear her name. Can he earn Keiki’s trust in time to save her life, or will a psychotic killer destroy the woman who has demolished his emotional barriers?


“Aw, Keiki, if I could find the fun button in your brain, I’d set it to permanent on. You’re always working.” Shelly tisked but smiled. “Not that you shouldn’t love your work, but you have an old man psyche trapped in a young woman’s body.
“The next time you fall asleep working on your drones, I might go to town with my entire set of permanent markers.” Shelly held her hand out to accept the offered flower pinched from its low-growing stem. “My doppelganger would look good with cat whiskers and exotic pink eyes.”
Nothing dulled the pride invading Keiki’s mind as she maneuvered the drone’s controller from the comfort of her kitchen while Shelly sat miles away in an isolated meadow.
Manipulating her latest design to perform a simple but intricate task was the coup de grace. Shelly needed private time to mourn her sister, yet the remote location instilled a sense of wariness.
“If you test that theory, I’ll replace your scented shampoo with baby oil.” The threat of laying waste to Shelly’s makeup or hair products usually ended any debate.
“Okay, okay. Become a spinster with hundreds of drones instead of cats. I’ll keep you in contact with the outside world.” Shelly paused and tilted her head as if listening to something far off.
“What is it, Shelly?”
Thanks to the hilly terrain their two-way communication crackled off and on.
“Don’t know. Keiki, can you extend the range on this thing’s transmission ability?”
Late fall blossoms covered part of the drone’s camera lens to prevent Keiki from watching the device’s slender appendage perform. From her cozy apartment, she flexed the lever that maneuvered the mechanical arm to deliver its prize.
Instead, her entire perspective listed sideways with a squeak.
Damn. The soft whirr from the small rotors altered in pitch as if someone held the device secure. “Hey, what’s going on?”
“Nothing. It’s fine, Keeks. Oh, there’s a frat party tonight, wanna go?”
 “I don’t think so. And before you start, I do have fun. I just don’t have time to hang out and party with you and Gabby. Some people stay focused on their future.” Keiki said as she monitored her prototype’s efficiency on her laptop and sipped a caramel latte.
Her latest brainchild suffered from minor lapses in coordination, but she promised to have a finished product by midsemester, just weeks away. “The left arm is stuck, can you gently coerce it forward, Shells?”
 “Sure. My sister loved these flowers.” Cross-legged in front of her private, woodland flower garden, Shelly let a wistful sigh escape to form a small white cloud in the crisp morning air.
A distinctive snap detailed the arm’s failure to comply.
“Oops. Sorry, Keeks. It fell and one arm broke off above your tracker thingy. I’ll stick it in my pocket, and you can glue it, or whatever. Do we still have audio and visual feed?”
“Yeah.” Keiki groaned, foreseeing the hour it would take to fix. “Don’t lose it. That thing is part of two prototypes, but that one gets the best reception.” Keiki set her coffee down, the cup tilting when settling on her roommate’s work access card. “Shelly, your ID has a brown ring on it. You really should be more careful with it.”
“How rude of me to leave it where you’d drink your coffee.”
“That’s why we get along so well. We think alike. I’ll stick it on my dresser. It’ll be safer there.” Keiki switched off the drone’s motors but left the audio/visual feeds running.
“If you’d stop losing your own, you wouldn’t have to borrow mine… hey, did you hear that?”
“No. What?” Keiki tried to turn her camera away, but couldn’t get a good vantage point.
“Sounded like a branch snapping down the trail. Something big and heavy.”
“Is it a black bear? Stand up, Shelly. You know what to do.”
A silent moment passed.
 “Hmm, must’ve been my imagination. I don’t hear it now. Anyway, as I was saying. You’re better than family, the golden child who’s building my dad’s mini aerial force.” Shelly snorted and thumbed her nose at the camera. “It’s not like you’re gonna sell it to that pompous ass, Cannon, our biggest competitor.”
“Right. As long as I keep designing these unique gadgets, I’m like the adopted black sheep.”
“Huh. Even Dad knows you’re the one keeping me out of trouble. Hey, about the KA party the guys are throwing tonight. It’ll be fun. We’ll impress everyone with your fountain of useless knowledge after dyeing your hair neon green for the race tomorrow.”
“Thanks, but I’m still working out the kinks on this mechanical arm.” Keiki had no intention of showing off her get-out-of-handcuffs skills to a bunch of drunken kids.
 “Wish I dated a hunky private investigator. I’ve been thinking though, that’s just it. If not for me and Gabby, you’d have no social life at all. Why do you think—”
“We’re not dating. You know I do his photography for extra cash. College isn’t cheap.”
“Yeah, machinist and student by day, super sleuth at night. That’s how you keep busy and out of trouble. No wonder my dad loves you better than me.”
On screen, Shelly’s words halted as her jaw dropped.
“Uh… who are you? What do you want?” Shelly leaned sideways to gain her feet, tilting the angle of the lens.
Through the drone’s small camera, booted feet skidded to gain purchase in the blanket of damp leaves. The majority of the crisis continued with sound. Keiki’s imagination supplied the visual.
No one had ever intruded on her private sanctuary.
“I’m a messenger. I’m gonna show your boss what happens when he refuses to work with us. We tried being nice. Now it’s my way.”
Miles downgrading the audio quality to mediocre didn’t soften the cruel bite of a temper coming unhinged.
A slight pause, as if warring factions sized up the competition before a fight allowed for a shallow breath. “What’s going on, Shelly?”
“This is private property. My father—” Her words drifted off under the deep gravelly laughter.

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 Reily is a West Coast girl transplanted to the opposite shore. When she’s not working with her dogs, you can find her curled up with a book or writing her next story. Past employment as an ICU nurse, private investigator, and work in the military police has given her countless experiences in a host of different environments to add a real world feel to her fiction.

Over time, and several careers, many incidents have flavored the plots of her stories. Man’s cruelty and ingenuity for torment and torture is boundless, not contained by an infinite imagination. Witnessing the after-effects of a teenager mugged at knifepoint for a pair of tennis shoes, or an elderly woman stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver for no apparent reason, left an indelible impression that will forever haunt her subconscious. In counterpoint, she has observed a woman stop her vehicle in severe, snowy weather to offer her own winter coat to a stranger, a teenager wearing a threadbare hoodie. Life’s diversities are endless.

Though her kids are her life, writing is Reily’s life after. The one enjoyed after the kids are in bed or after they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the time she kicks back with laptop and lapdog to give her imagination free rein.

In reading, take pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask in their accomplishments, then share your opinions of them over a coffee with your best friend (even if he’s four-legged). Life is short. Cherish your time.

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1 comment:

  1. Reily, our fur-babies always ruled the house, lol! They are/were such a huge part of our family. Wonderful post! Happy (early) Thanksgiving!