John DeMers is a well-known food writer and cultural critic. He is the author of thirty-eight books, including Follow the Smoke, Food of Jamaica, and Top One Hundred New Orleans Recipes. He is the host of the Delicious Mischief radio show and a contributor to several online and print magazines, including Houston Arts Today and Houston Modern Luxury.
Marfa Shadows: A Chef Brett Mysteryby John DeMers
Brett Baldwin is a Texas chef who keeps his life, his emotions, and especially his restaurant, Mesquite, under careful control. But when Meridyth Morgan, a Hollywood star and Brett's high school love interest, shows up in Marfa, Texas, and begs him to help find her missing brother and is then kidnapped herself, Brett soon finds himself in a world of drug smuggling, human trafficking, corruption, extortion, and murder. With support from his best friend Jud Garcia, an orphaned Native American who raises bison and enjoys smoking illegal substances, Brett embarks on a dangerous journey to reunite with Meridyth and must confront some unfinished childhood business that, no matter how famous he became as a chef, had kept him from truly becoming a man.
- Bright Sky Press
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- 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
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Sits in the shadows til everyone leaves. Wen everyones gone she steps out. She wonders if she can talk to her mom by doing wat the other cats do. She looks at the log and presses her paw on it. A mystical pure white shecat appears. Mom! Snowpaw gasps. Yes it is me the white cat answers. Ive missed u sooooo much. Tears enter her eyes. Hows dad? Hes fine. I miss u both. Also have u seen redpaw? She- shes with us in starclan. A fox killed her. The white cat looks down at snowpaw and starts to fade. I will always love u she says. No dont go snowpaw meows loudly but shes gone. Snowpaw sits down and cries hoping someone will find her and show her the way back to camp.
Pads up, desperate to talk to Starclan. "You know we don't come if you go looking for us." "Leafshine!" Winterbird exclaimed. "Yes, sister, it's me. Now, what's troubling you?" The star-furred warrior asked. "The Dark Forest is growing. What should we do?" "Don't worry about it right now. But if you really want to do something, because if I know you, you do. Don't turn evil. And don't make other cats evil." Leafshine told her. "Do you know why Hazelwing turned evil?" Winterbird asked. "No, sister. But it may of been because of our strong belief in Starclan." "Our own brother, hated us." "Enough to kill me." Leafshine said sadly. "And enough to try to kill me." "How did Lilacstar kill him?" Leafshine asked. "I was dead by then." "Of course, as deputy she knew Hazelwing was evil. She hated him, so she silently stalked him then she leaped on him and killed him by biting his neck." Winterbird told her brother. "Leafshine? Leafshine, where are you?" She said franticly as he faded.
The streaked warrior pads up to the tree and touches his nose to the bark to dream. In the dream, a familiar yellow StarClan warrior stands before him. "Sunsting," the ShadowClan warrior greets him. Sunsting nods and gets straight to the point. "Why'd you come, Streakfeather?" "The prophecy you told me when I was a kit. It never came true. I heard that StarClan warrior Blackstar tell the she-cat she would have the kit, but she disappeared before her next litter was even in her belly." Sunsting laughs. "Then she and Blackstar had that fight. Granted, Blackstar's something of a jerk, but still." Streakfeather stares at Sunsting, unamused. "The kit with the blue spiral on its neck. Can you tell me to whom it shall be born?" "Remember when I first told you that prophecy? You asked why I'd told you." "And you implied that it was because I was socially awkward." "Yeah, yeah, but it was also because I expected you to recognize one or both of the kit's parents if you saw them." "You told me the kit would have the power either to save or destroy the Clans." "Yeeeaaah, about that...it now only applies to this Clan." "Interesting, but I am not finished. How am I supposed to recognize the parent of a kit such as that? The parents could be loyal or not, but the parents cannot always influence their kit's nature. I understand the rest of the Clan could influence its behavior as well, but personality—" "Yeah, look at you. Growin' up emotionless in a more or less cheerful Clan with no father and a kind, loving mother. I know. One's traits aren't always influenced by how they're raised, and you're a perfect example of that. So am I. A warrior of the evil DeathClan and now a member of StarClan because I stayed...I guess you could say pure. But that has nothing to do with it. I thought you'd recognize the kit's parents based on their personalities and pasts, cats whose former was not affected by their latter. Cats...like you." With that, Sunsting vanishes and Streakfeather wakes up. He pads back to camp, thinking about what Sunsting had said. —$ + ¿ € @ |< ¿ € @ + # € ¿
I pad up to the oak tree, quiet. I press my paw up to the bark, yet no one appears. Desperate to speak to my family, l press my paw down again. A cat appears, his brown eyes warm. "Hey, sissy," he mews. "Hi, Blazepaw," l mew, purring. He pads up to me, and l become fully aware of the stars in his fur. "Mom doesn't want to talk to you," Blazepaw says blankly. My shoulders hunch, and l sit down. "Why not?" My voice is hoarse. "I dunno," he answers, stretching. "But she's pretty mad. I think it has to do with dad. This is the first time you've tried to talk to her since you killed dad again." I sigh, my ears flattened. "I can't believe she still thinks he cares about her," l mumble. "I mean, look what he did. He killed her, and you guys, and tried to kill me. How blind can you be?" I shake my head. "It's not that," he mews. "She just doesn't want to admit it." I lean against the tree. "I know. I wish Dad hadn't done what he did. You guys would be alive," l say. "And he'd be in StarClan, not the Dark Forest." Blazepaw stiffens, and disappears. With a heavy heart, l pad to camp.