New Year, New Book, Excerpts, and a Contest!

Happy New Year, everyone!  Today is exactly one week from the official launch of my next Downward Dog Mystery, Pre-Meditated Murder.  In honor of the new year, I’m going to give away an awesome coloring and activity book called Moments of Mindfulness to one of the readers of my blog. After all, who doesn’t want to start the new year with a little more mindfulness?

To enter: Read the five snippets from Pre-Meditated Murder below, and pick your favorite.  Leave a comment below saying which one you chose and why.  Don’t forget to leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win. Winner will be selected on launch day, next Monday, January 8!

Good luck! 

Snippet 1

Rene yelled from the front door, “Kate, get in here!”

She didn’t have to ask Bella twice. Bella lunged towards Rene’s voice, practically dislocating my shoulder. I slipped and slid and tried to hold on as she dragged me through the front door and down the long bamboo hallway.

Rene laughed and reached toward Bella’s collar. “For goodness sake, Kate. Let her loose.”

“I don’t think that’s a good id—”

The metallic clank of the leash’s clasp hitting bamboo interrupted my sentence. One hundred pounds of pure German shepherd bliss galloped down the hallway, leaving me in a horrified silence punctuated only by the scrape of German shepherd toenails against flooring. Not a single room escaped Bella’s inspection. A long drink from the guest bathroom toilet, a dig in the family room’s rug, and a joy-filled roll on a bedroom’s queen-sized mattress later, Bella flopped on the deep red couch across from the living room’s stone fireplace. A storm of silky black undercoat snowed down on the fabric around her.

Shedding season. Fabulous.

Snippet 2

He took a deep breath. “Stay here.” He strode toward the two women without looking back.

Like hell.

I pulled Bella’s leash tight and marched behind him. Gabriella glanced at me curiously. When her gaze flicked to Michael, she jolted, then froze, hands suspended mid-gesture. She didn’t speak, so I tried to read her facial expression: wide eyes, tense jaw, open mouth.

Was she surprised?

She had to be, of course, but I read something else. She certainly didn’t seem happy. If pressed, I’d have said her expression looked an awful lot like fear.

Of Michael?

Snippet 3

Bella stopped lunging and whipped toward the child. The ecstatic toddler bee-lined it toward Bella, across the busy parking lot. The blue Chevy Malibu (driven by the male teenager that had been making out earlier) sped toward him, seemingly unaware that a child was careening toward his front bumper.

“Stop!” I yelled.

In a freeze-framed moment of gut-wrenching clarity, the teenager’s face twisted in horror. He slammed on the brakes and the car flew into a skid. I dropped Bella’s leash and dove for the child, praying that Bella wouldn’t go after Gabriella again. Tires screeched on pavement. Burning rubber stung my nostrils. My knee scraped painfully against the sidewalk, but I grasped hold of the child and yanked him toward me.


Snippet 4

As the twilight darkened, so did Bella’s mood. Every shadow became danger; every person, a potential threat. Leading her was like walking unexploded ordnance, apt to go off at any second. She snapped at a man with a goatee and lunged after a beagle. She body-blocked me from a dozen perceived evils, including a downed piece of driftwood, a man on a bicycle, and a white plastic grocery bag floating along the shore. I shortened her leash and wrapped it tightly around my wrist. “No off-leash time for you tonight, Missy Girl.”

Snippet 5

I looked down at the mantle and realized what Shannon hadn’t wanted me to see. A shrine to a life that Michael claimed had never existed. My own metaphorical spine shattered, slicing my heart into pieces.

In the eight-by-ten portrait farthest to the left, Gabriella smiled at the camera, wearing the white cotton dress she was wearing in the wedding photo taped to Crystal’s mirror. She held a vibrant bouquet of yellow, orange, red, and pink Gerbera daisies. Michael gazed adoringly at her in a black tux with a yellow Gerbera daisy boutonniere. In the photograph next to it, the couple shared a wedding kiss so romantic it made my stomach churn. Next up was a four-photo collage. Michael and Gabriella on the beach, cuddled next to a campfire, hiking in the forest, clinking champagne glasses. If Michael and Gabriella’s life together had been the sham Michael claimed it was, why did it look so real?

Vote for your favorite in the comments below, good luck, and Happy New Year!

Tracy Weber

PS–Want your very own autographed copy of Pre-Meditated Murder? E-mail me at I have a box hot off the press that I’m selling for $15.99 plus $3.99 shipping.  First come first served!

20 thoughts on “New Year, New Book, Excerpts, and a Contest!

  1. Lily-Ann Gill

    I love the first one. It reminds me of my childhood black lab, Fritz.. he would act the same way. We could barely keep him on a leash, and when we did he still had complete control of us ?
    (And let’s not even mention the mess he made when he found a open toilet to slip up what we figured was colder water than his dog dish)
    I can’t wait to start this series!!

    1. Sherry Wehmeyer

      #1 I enjoyed Bella’s antic’s very much. Kinda of a “oh, no” but you just can’t help laughing kind of thing. Very fun.

  2. Kris F.

    It’s a toss up between snippet 1 & 4 but I think I’ll go with #1…..probably because I can related LOL. Our GSD would think it’s funny to have us run from room to room as she’d drink from one toilet run to another room to cause chaos there…thankfully we’ve learned from those days!
    Looking forward to reading this book!!

  3. Sharon Forrest

    I just started this book, so I’m going to say #1 because I get a kick out of Bella exploring a very expensive vacation rental.

  4. Robyn K

    I love this series, and this book was my favorite! I love snippet 4, because Bella is Kate’s protector, and loves her unconditionally. Thank you for this chance!

    1. Whole Life Yoga Post author

      Bella would do anything to protect Kate, and vice versa. I’m so delighted you like the series!

  5. Robin L. Coxon

    All the snippets are intriguing but I like Snippet #3 since I know Kate would put herself in dangers way to protect a child. Your ability to describe a snippet and make the reader actually feel like they are there is fantastic.

  6. Kay Bennett

    Since I have read the book (Loved It) I have to go with #1. I loved that whole scene and really wanted to be right there!! Thanks for the chance to win. Can I steal your year of the dog photo?

  7. Kate (really that's my name!)

    Snippet 5! I like it because it draws me in to wonder about M’s unknown past, and asks so many questions: where is G? what happened to their marriage? who is C and why does she keep the picture taped to her mirror instead of in a frame? Also, the descriptions of the photos are enticing: the type and color of the flowers, the emotions expressed, the contrast of those emotions with what M has said about his relationship with G. What happened? why does he currently feel it was a sham, when in the pictures they were both genuinely enraptured with each other? And K’s reaction is elegantly described; it’s what I’d feel if I found pictures like that. Just stumbled across your blog and so happy to find that you write mysteries *and* practice yoga! Thanks for the snippets!


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