"Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping" is the first novel in the Anna Romano Mystery Series. It is a funny, whimsical, murder mystery series that appeals to 'mystery readers' of all ages. Anna Romano is a middle-aged, Italian woman who is also a successful published author, a lover of cats, and an excellent cook with a hankering for Italian cuisine. She lives by herself in her quaint house, in a quiet community, with a white picket fence in Central New Jersey. When she is not writing her next book or hosting book-signing events with her publicist, she is cleaning litter boxes and baking Cannolis…but never at the same time, of course! In this first installment, on a typical day in Anna's somewhat-perfect life, a book-signing event turns her world upside down. Is it a case of mistaken identity or was she just being paranoid? After being stalked for weeks, Anna quickly finds herself literally 'tied up', fighting for her life, and desperate to get back home to her cats; all while unwittingly falling in love with the detective who was trying to save her. How she finds her way out of this mess is anyone's guess! Find out more about Anna and the dangerous cases of murder and mayhem she 'haphazardly' gets herself into, in the new Anna Romano Mystery Series.
Cheryl Powell, (writing under pen name Cheryl Denise Bannerman), is a multi-genre author of three successful works of fiction, a motivational speaker, and CEO. She resides in Orlando, Florida, where she runs a virtual Training and Development company, GC Learning Services LLC dba Learn2Engage, which she founded in 1996.
The stalker had taken the crank calls and verbal threats to a whole new level. Anna was not ready for this invasion into her home and life. Especially when it involves her babies!
Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping: An Anna Romano Mystery Series, Book One
As I pulled into the driveway and opened the garage door, I anticipated seeing Petra or Tiny running to the window. But nothing.
I closed the garage and walked through the door that led to the kitchen and still, nothing. No one was running to greet me or brushing up and down my legs. Where was everyone?
That’s when I saw it, turning the corner into the living room. The entire wall was desecrated. Smeared with photographs of me at the grocery store, outside the house gardening, driving… it was so eerie I got a cold chill up my spine and the little hairs on the back of my neck stood upright to attention. Right above the photos, in red paint, were the words “SILENCE IS GOLDEN.” His message was clear. The tall, wiry man with the red hair wanted me to remain silent about something… but what?
This was definitely ‘the next level’. Shirlene was right, as usual.
Remembering why I was headed to the living room in the first place, I looked down in search of my babies. There was a sinking feeling in the pit of stomach when I saw the first drop of red on the carpet. I was convincing myself it was just a drop of paint, when I saw the second drop…
I covered my mouth with my hand and held my breath. There is no way anyone could be that cruel. I followed the drops down the hallway until the trail stopped in front of the linen closet. I could feel my hands trembling as I reached for the knob and turned it slowly clockwise. The closet door was only open a crack when the seven of them ran out in a panic. Oh, thank God! Distressed meows and loud purring ensued as I bent down to hug them all. My life was nothing without these guys. They were my family and I loved them. In that moment I was beyond thankful the stalker had a conscious, or heart, or whatever made sickos like this tick. In the end, he decided to spare my babies.
I knew this was the last straw. I could not dismiss this incident. Unlike a crank call, this type of invasion into my life threatened my safety and the safety of my babies. This could not be taken lightly.