Catch an Honest Thief

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
An Indiana Jones-style caper across the desert of New Mexico; high-tech gadgets, a mystery and a romance.

Alexia must protect the crystals that power the city of Haven. Going undercover and stealing the crystals seemed like a great idea--until a real thief showed up. Confessing her duplicity might help Chris, the attractive new security chief, but it would cost Alexia everything she holds dear.
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About Maria E. Schneider

Maria writes cozy mysteries, romantic fantasy, paranormal mysteries, urban fantasy and has just completed a ghost story. Audio books for some of her novels can be found on google play or kobo books.

Introduction to Author Maria Schneider

It’s gardening season again! I go out every morning to water and plant. Had just started the sprinkler, when I realized a bird had become tangled in the support strings hanging off the tomato cages used to prop up large tomato vines.

Upon closer inspection the fluttering, frantic “bird” was actually a baby dragon. “Not again,” I muttered. Dragons were so temperamental. Birds couldn’t singe me while I freed them either.

“Okay, you. Hold still.” I shut the water off, leaving the poor baby dripping. His dark blue head feathers hadn’t yet hardened into spines. Most of his iridescent scales were a mix of brown, light yellow and white. Later in life he’d probably turn more beige and sage to match the desert terrain.

I retrieved clippers from my garden cart, an old rag that used to be a kitchen towel and approached slowly. The dragon’s eyes were huge, wide orbs staring piteously up at me.

“You’re gonna hafta hold still,” I ordered. “I’ll cut you free.” Scissors would be a better tool, but I hated to leave him there, dripping, sad, and at his young age, vulnerable.

“Do not flame me,” I instructed, cutting at string behind him. This particular piece of twine wasn’t holding him at all, but he needed to adjust to my intent. Snip, Snip. The string frayed instead of cutting clean, but I kept at it. The dragon’s snout was wide open in distress.

“Gimme a couple of minutes and you’ll be free.” I ran the old towel down his back, squeegeeing his scales and accidentally smashing down a few feathers. He looked worse for it, but he barely dripped anymore. I finally freed one clawed foot. Predictably, he tried to fly, but his wing still had a cotton string running under and around. I latched onto it and half pulled, half cut the threads. He shredded the rest of the string and left a pretty good sized trench in the back of my hand from a toothy, smokey strike.

“Dammit!” I snatched my hand back. “Ease up, little one!” More cutting and suddenly he squawked, much like a bird, and bounced off the wire gate. He was still pathetically wet and in such a hurry, he splatted rather ungracefully onto the ground face-first.

A large shadow covered the sun, putting me and the little dragon in a gloomy, dark shade. The baby bobbed onto clawed feet, trilled an excited call and stared over my shoulder.

I swallowed hard, still leaning over the little guy. The clippers were a visible, threatening, but inadequate weapon.

With my heart making more noise than the baby dragon, I dared turn my head and only my head. Like a giant scaled bear sitting on her haunches, there was mom dragon. Her gray snout wound between two juniper trees, easily capable of taking a chunk out of my butt, which was inconveniently still high in the air. I knew the rules. Humans who saw what they weren’t supposed to see had to die, lest the magical others be discovered. “Never saw a thing,” I said. “Wouldn’t dream of telling a soul.”

Her diamond eyes seemed small compared to those of the baby dragon, but that was because her head was longer than my leg. She didn’t blink, letting slit, golden eyes convey a very nasty threat. She didn’t let loose with flame, even though a mysterious forest fire that cindered me, my house and my garden would likely be blamed on an errant lightning strike. Her gaze did search the sky hopefully, but the desert of New Mexico is often devoid of clouds.

“Not a soul,” I repeated, while baby dragon fluttered, fluffed and hopped over to his mother.

A tail many times larger than the largest of rattlesnakes snaked out from behind a pinon pine, gathering junior dragon inside protective scales and muscles. His protesting squawk was a direct result of her hurry and displeasure.

I straightened. No sense dying in a bad position with my butt up in the air.

She regarded me with solemn focus before one giant, black talon stepped back. Scales rippled with desert colors, reflecting gray-brown tree limbs mixed with mottled green and blue sage speckled with chamisa yellow.

“Nary a word,” a dry, hot wind boomed.

My hair blew straight back, and the ends split from the sudden heat. “Not a word,” I agreed with a very emphatic nod.

Of course I was lying. In the dark of the night, behind closed doors, I write about dragons all the time. Dragons of Wendal is the first book of one such series. Sure, it’s billed as fiction. No need to have mom dragon come back looking for me!

Visit Maria at her blog: www.BearMountainBooks.com.

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Reviews of Catch an Honest Thief by Maria E. Schneider

Marisa reviewed on Sep. 4, 2010

I've liked it a lot. Very fast-paced, entertaining but not funny (if you know what I mean), characters with quite a few layers and an unexpected end. I think it worths reading it.
(reviewed 10 months after purchase)
Kevin Argyle reviewed on April 28, 2010

A female psychiatrist, small / average in stature but with a dark secret, who works in a new community, a sort of experimental scientific City called Haven is powered in an unusual method, and also is trying out a different ways of doing things,

This “City” is mistrusted, misunderstood and definitely not the place to be, according to the ordinary local townsfolk who think Havens residents witches, weirdo’s or nutter’s.

OK, OK not all that thrilling you may think?

Wrong!

Not you might think a strong female lead character?

Wrong Again!

Our leading lady develops very quickly, and once the scene is set, the plot in this unusual story fairly speeds along and all the important characters soon grab the reader’s interest,

The conclusion is perhaps obvious, as is relationship development, but boy the author keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering just how each problem might be solved in an attempt to save Haven

Oh and the psychiatrist, she’s an expert shot with any kind of gun and tough like old boot leather, yet vulnerable enough to bring out the big brother in us all

Can Dr Alexia Zimmerman save Haven, and herself whilst maintaining her secret?

Well to find out, you will have to read: -

Catch an Honest Thief

By Maria E. Schneider

Definitely one TBR (To Be Read)
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
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