The plot is going to be more complex than that of News from Dead Mule Swamp, so there will be more to read. The most serious flaw of the first book is that it's just to short to be a full novel. I don't think I'll have that problem with "Paddy."
Here's the opening:
You can buy book 1, News from Dead Mule Swamp, for only 99¢ at Smashwords, Amazon, or iWriteReadRate.
“Knick-knack, Paddy- WHACK, give your dog a bone,” I sang, thumping the rubber bone on the rug. The large Irish setter named Patrick, Paddy for short, lunged for his toy, but I pulled it out of his range, and sang the line again, this time thumping the bone on the other side of the overgrown puppy. Paddy wasn’t my dog. He belongs to my cousin Vic, who was on a month-long trip to Egypt, doing research for the University of Chicago. Since I was the one family member with lots of space, and a house that could stand the dirt, I agreed to keep Paddy for all of July, and part of August.
My name is Anastasia Joy Raven, and I live at the end of East South River Road, at the edge of Dead Mule Swamp. I’ve been here in Forest County since early spring. Most of my time has been spent trying to revitalize an old house that I bought with money from the divorce settlement. My ex, Roger, and his new friend, Brian, now occupy my former home in the Chicago suburbs, so I moved north and moved on. At least, I’m trying to move on. Some parts of that are going well, renovating the house, for instance.
The house is a basic L-shaped farmstead with a two-story section at right angles to a single-story. I finished the living room project in June, and the result is a large cheerful space. I painted the walls in two shades of blue with white board-and-bead wainscoting and trim. Then I sanded and varnished the wide pine flooring. The result was clean and inviting. So far, the furnishings consist of a few secondhand pieces from the thrift store, set on a cheap area rug, but I have dreams of a country-comfortable look. When July began, I was still hunting for the right fabric to make curtains, but without near neighbors, having the windows covered didn’t matter very much.
I stood up and tried to convince Paddy that his play time was over. He was just over a year old, full of energy, and large. He shed hair like a yak and shook mud balls from the swamp all over the house, including on my new wainscoting. But I couldn’t resist his cheerful disposition. Paddy-WHACK seemed to be his favorite game, but he’d only been here a few days. I suspected that he’d find pastimes a lot more mischievous before our six weeks together were over.
That morning I faced the first problem that Paddy brought to my life. I didn’t really know what to do with him when I needed to go out, and I had a commitment today. I had to drive out to Hammer Bridge Town and spend an hour with a man named Corliss Leonard.