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  • But Wait There’s Myrrh ebook paranormal womens fiction cozy mystery morgana best
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But Wait, There’s Myrrh (EBOOK)

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EBOOK. Book 1 (the novella prequel) in the MenoPaws Mysteries, Paranormal Women's Fiction cozy mystery series. 

Jennifer is about to go through the change - only it's not the change she expected. 

Her husband has been playing cat and mouse, and soon Jennifer has a murder to solve.
Yet it's all not cat and dried.
Changes are happening. Is she simply hiss-terical, or will she take advantage of this new op-purr-tunity?

But Wait, There's Myrrh, is a novella. The rest of the books in the series are full-length novels.

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This is the story of how I became a cat.
Most people do not become cats, but I was never like most people—even more so now that I do my private business in a litter tray. It all started the day I hit menopause.
There are thirty-four symptoms of menopause. Thirty-four. Let that sink in for an hour or two. Headaches. Night sweats. Irregular periods. Mood swings. That morning my mouth burnt like I’d sucked on a battery—don’t ask me how I knew what sucking on a battery was like—and my breasts hurt like I’d chest bumped a sumo wrestler.
And the worst part? My hot flashes were triggered by caffeine and alcohol, which meant I had to abstain from my two major food groups. I decided then and there, as I stood in my kitchen peering down at an empty cafe mug, that there was no God. Or there was a God, and he hated me. I said he, because no woman could do this to her sisters.
“Is my breakfast ready?” James asked. James was my husband.
Once upon a time, I had loved James. He was clean. That was the first thing I thought when I saw him. Clean. He smelt like sandalwood and moss and things that lived deep in the Australian bush, and because I was young, and because I wanted to escape from my family, I married him in a little chapel by the sea.
Ever since I said I do, I’ve said I do to taking out the rubbish; stacking the firewood; cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen, and everything else; cooking; mending clothes; buying snacks for James’s poker nights; buying snacks for James’s non-poker nights; turning an eye when James sneaked out to visit his mistress; turning the other eye when James sneaked out to visit his other mistress.
Much like menopausal symptoms, the list went on.
“No,” I said.
James appeared in the doorway. He was still handsome, which was infuriating. I’d gone all pale and grey and squishy, while he’d sharpened into a man who could spark envy in George Clooney. Tall, dark, with a silver speckled beard and the same blue eyes that had made me act stupid and giddy as a twenty-one-year-old clerical assistant.
“No,” I replied. In thirty years of marriage, I’d never forgotten his breakfast. “You said I had to rearrange the Christmas scenes.” The previous morning, I had arranged myrrh, frankincense, and stones I’d painted gold in the nativity scene next to the Christmas tree. James had insisted the myrrh had made him sneeze.
James didn’t look angry. James never looked angry. It wasn’t his style. Instead, he moped. He muttered. He sighed. He ignored me when I asked a question, and he ranted at me when I pointedly did not ask a question. He forgot to invite me to friends’ barbeques and didn’t forget to invite me to his boss’s work functions, which were boring and featured a bunch of men talking about football, while the wives were expected to stay in the kitchen.
“Wait,” I said, too on edge for whatever reason that morning to deal with any more of my husband’s passive-aggressiveness.
I touched his hand, and he flew back in shock.
James flew across the room, and he landed against the fridge. The hideous fake potted plant he had bought for me last Christmas shattered as James collapsed onto the floor, blue sparks flying off his hair.
James stood up and dusted himself off. “The static in this house is insane.” This always surprised me, his inability to stir up any sort of intense emotion in himself. If someone had sent me shooting across the kitchen, I would have been furious.
“Yes,” I said, looking at my hands. I didn’t think static had anything to do with what had just happened—but what had just happened? Surely, I didn’t think I had developed superpowers. “I’m going to the bookstore.”
“Goodbye,” James said with a shrug. I knew he wouldn’t clean up, but at that point, I didn’t want to stick around to vacuum. I needed fresh air.
It was finally raining on Dingo Mountain. Months of drought hadn’t robbed the town of its green, but I did have to order a whole tank of water the day before, so of course it was raining now.
I pulled off my sodden coat as I slipped into the bookstore. A Likely Story was a local celebrity bookstore in our little town in Queensland, Australia. The New Zealand Prime Minister had stopped in there on her tour of our country, and at least two of the three Hemsworth brothers had brought their children.
A Likely Story was run by a man named Edison Chester. He was small and round and kind, with a pink nose and no hair, save for the hair that was growing out of his nose and his long, white beard. He greeted everyone the same, with a smile, and he either directed them to the cafe, which served the best coffee on the mountain, or to the book section of the store, which served the best rare books.
I never bought a book. My husband wouldn’t spare the money, but Edison didn’t mind if I sat in my favourite nook, the one near the window with the big armchair, and paged through whatever took my fancy. I travelled the world from the comfort of that nook, exploring chocolate factories with Charlie and moving objects with my mind with Matilda Wormwood. It didn’t matter that these were children’s books, or that I wasn’t actually exploring or moving anything. Except I had moved something—someone—with my mind that morning, hadn’t I?
“There you are.” Agatha grabbed me by the elbow and dragged me into the café, where we took our usual seats.
Agatha Jones was tall and thin and dressed like a starlet from the forties. I didn’t know why she hung around with dumpy old me, but I wasn’t about to ask. I liked Agatha. I liked her sharpness. I liked her lack of care for the opinions of others.
“Do you know what happened to me just now, Agatha?” I asked after we had our coffees.
Agatha placed a hand over her heart and looked at me with wrapt attention. “No?”
“I gave him an electric shock. James.”
“An electric shock?”
“I zapped him. Like I was a taser.”
Agatha thought for a moment. “But that’s not uncommon, Jennifer. When I started to go through menopause, my doctor told me that due to the changes going on in my body, I might notice more electric shocks.”
“But I wasn’t the one shocked,” I replied. “James was.”
“That is strange.” Agatha paused, holding her cup in front of her mouth. “That is very strange indeed.”
I scratched the back of my neck. That was another symptom. Itchiness. “You don’t think something is happening to me, do you? Something strange.”
“It happens to all of us, eventually.”
“I’m not talking about menopause. I’m talking about—well, I don’t know what I’m talking about. But I feel different.”
“That’s perfectly normal.”
“I’m dizzy.”
“And I can move things with my mind.”
Agatha placed her teacup in the saucer. “Say again?”
“This morning I was thinking about Captain Wentworth—”
“From Jane Austen’s Persuasion?”
“Yes, from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. And the book flew off the shelf and landed in my lap.”
“Maybe you’re anxious. You need to take an Epsom Salts bath.”
“I think I’m developing telekinesis.”
“Oh,” Agatha replied, “I’m sure your bone density’s just fine, Jennifer. Just be sure to look after yourself with nutrient-rich foods and vitamins.”
“Not osteoporosis, Agatha. Telekinesis. The ability to move objects with one’s mind.”
“Isn’t going mad also a symptom of menopause?” Agatha said then.
“Only according to men.”
“You cannot move objects with your mind, Jennifer.”
“Then what about Captain Wentworth?”
“I don’t know.”
“It’s a bit strange, don’t you think? I hit menopause and I start shocking my husband and moving books across the room.”
“Do it again.”
“My husband isn’t here?”
“No,” Agatha said. “Move a book. Any book.”
“I’m not sure I can do it intentionally.”
Agatha raised her perfectly bladed eyebrows. “That’s convenient.”
“Fine. Don’t believe me.”
“I’m sorry, Jennifer. Menopause is a scary time for any woman. Your body is changing in a drastic way. I understand why you’re having these delusions.”
“Um, these thoughts.”
“I’ll tell you what”—Agatha unzipped her purse—“why don’t I treat us to a nice, big breakfast? I’ll order, and while we’re waiting for the food, you can have another cup of coffee. That will help calm your nerves.”
“Oh, don’t leave me alone, Agatha. I feel all shaken up.”
Suddenly, I felt foolish for asking. I knew I had sounded desperate—but I was desperate, wasn’t I? Desperate to know I wasn’t mad. Desperate to know how I had sent James rocketing across our kitchen that morning.
I didn’t take up Agatha’s offer of breakfast. Instead, I pulled on my coat—now dry—and walked home, shivering beneath my old umbrella. While Christmas fell in summer in Australia, it was often cold and wet on the mountain.
I figured James had gone to work, even though it was a Saturday, because the man loved to do nothing more than potter around with cars at the garage. He was a mechanic and a brilliant one at that, apparently. Someone was always stopping me to tell me as much.
“James?” I said as I opened the front door. I was not expecting a response.
I froze. My husband sounded strange. Tight. “Aren’t you heading into the garage today?”
“Jennifer! I thought you were at the bookstore?” His voice held horror.
“I feel all shaken up this morning. Are you all right?”
“I’m fine.”
His voice was definitely tight. I stepped forward hesitantly, and I placed my keys and umbrella on the kitchen table. “James, are you alone?”
He didn’t reply.
I slipped off my coat and placed it next to the keys and the umbrella. “James?” I said again.
I heard a scramble and a thud. I opened the kitchen blind and looked into the garden, only to see a naked woman running through my rose bushes. Well, the poor thing was going to leave the cottage with her legs all scratched up from the thorns.
“Was that your mistress?” I asked, because of course James had a mistress. We had not been intimate for ages, and he was, after all, a red-blooded man. He had told me as much when I had caught him cheating with my best friend two weeks before our wedding. Then I had been so desperate to save face in front of my mother that I had gone through with the marriage.
But my mother was gone now—had died ten years ago—and yet I was still married. And miserable. And maybe I didn’t have to be either. Maybe I could be single and happy. The thought had never occurred to me until I stood in that kitchen, among the shards and leaves of a broken, fake potted plant, watching a naked woman run down the road.
“I can explain,” James said. He reached into the cookie jar and popped a sizeable cookie into his mouth.
“Would you boil the jug?” I replied.
He swallowed loudly. “Er, would I boil the jug?”
“Yes. I’d like a nice cup of tea while we discuss our divorce.”
He scratched his arm. “Jennifer, it doesn’t mean anything to me.”
“What doesn’t mean anything to you?”
“Her.” His face flushed as red as the belly on a venomous Red-bellied Black Snake.
“And she is?”
He coughed. “Luella.”
“Oh. The cow who works at the supermarket,” I said. I had never called anyone names. It felt delightful. “Well, I expect that’s why she always overcharges me for pears.”
“And apples.”
“And apples. Yes, James. Thank you.”
“Let’s not do anything hasty.”
“I’d like a bagel too, if you wouldn’t mind running to the bakery.” I patted my stomach. I hadn’t eaten carbs in fifteen years, and just look where that had got me! “Make that seven bagels.”
“Jennifer.” James raked a hand through his beautiful hair.
“Well,” I said. “You had better get dressed and get going. Bagels do not fetch themselves.”
His mouth dropped open. “I—are you—you’re not serious about a divorce, are you? You can’t throw away everything we have over one mistake.”
I thought for a moment. “Do you think I have developed superpowers?”
James looked at me in disbelief. Then he said, in a voice as confused as it was quiet, “Menopause! It really does send women mad.”
And then he dropped dead.

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