I’m finishing up the second in the Kristen Maroney Mystery Series and I thought you might like a peek:
Around eleven, Gram finally decided she was ready for bed, so Conrad and I tucked her in and headed down to Manatee Beach for our midnight patrol. The moon was full, and we’d hardly stepped onto the beach when we saw two turtles on their backs.
“Is it me or are they stepping up the pace?” I asked as we headed for the nearest one. By now we’d perfected the technique of righting them.
“I’m hoping it’s a coincidence,” Conrad replied. But we kept finding more turtles to rescue and about 1 am we ran into a group of shirtless men who were standing around a nest. One of them was squatting down holding a burlap bag open with both hands. Two others were kneeling so they could scoop handfuls of eggs into the bag. Conrad and I stopped and watched them but they didn’t seem bothered.
“Buenas noches,” Conrad said. They answered in turn but continued their work. Conrad’s Spanish is better than mine so I let him engage them in conversation. It seemed to be working, because he soon handed one a brochure. I was beginning to regret the two beers that I’d drunk and whispered in Conrad’s ear that I needed to retreat into the trees for a nature call. Conrad nodded, probably thinking the men would be more comfortable without me, which was surely true. I headed for a pile of sand that would hide me from view.
I was pulling my shorts up when I heard rustling behind me. I whipped around, instinctively alarmed and glimpsed a dark figure in jeans with something long in one hand. I opened my mouth to scream just as the side of my head exploded with pain and then everything went black.