Featured Excerpt: New Release – Beet It by Alex Westhaven

Round and red,
earthy and sweet,
never underestimate
the power of a beet.

The beets Tara Pyle grows gives her body extraordinary healing powers. But when she tries to share the bounty with her boyfriend, Colin, the results are devastating. Under the scrutiny of both the police department and the hospital staff alike, Tara turns to the one person who can help her unravel the mystery of her precious beets. But will she be able to handle the unsavory truth?

 

Buy Digital: Amazon
Buy Print: Amazon | Barnes & Noble (June 10)
Buy Audio: October 2022

Excerpt:

“You look like a vampire.”

She wiped the beet juice from the corner of her mouth, looking up at Colin Yeger, her still-citified boyfriend of three months. He’d moved to Meadowlark just six months ago and asked her out two weeks later. He was mostly easygoing about small town life, but he hadn’t quite come to terms with the concept of growing your own food yet. She took in his standard khakis and polo shirt – a blue one today. One of these days, she’d convince him to go shopping with her. The man needed jeans and t-shirts. Maybe a flannel shirt or three. Nothing like a tall, dark-haired man in flannel to get a girl’s heart beating faster.

Tara grinned. “Careful. You might be next!”

“I’m not afraid of you.” Colin laughed. “I don’t trust beets. They’re shifty. And that red color is not something you want to see coming out the other end either, if you catch my drift.”

“They’re vegetables, Col. There’s nothing to trust, or not trust. You just eat them. They can’t be shifty. They aren’t sentient. ” She ignored the second comment. He wasn’t entirely wrong there.

He shook his head and rocked back on his heels, both hands shoved deep into perfectly pressed pockets. “You’re wrong. All vegetables can be evil little buggers. And if you keep eating beets, someday they’re going to get revenge. They’re out for blood, you know – they suck it out of the soil. That’s why they’re red.”

“That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. The only thing these beets ‘suck’ from the soil is fertilizer from my mom’s compost.” Tara stood up and brushed the dirt off her knees. “Beets are yummy, and very healthy. Pickled, sautéed, boiled… I’ve never eaten a beet I didn’t like. When was the last time you tried one? And what’s your stance on other root veggies like carrots? Are they evil too?” She walked over to the carrot section and started pulling up bright orange spears, tucking them in with the beets. Collin followed, his shadow helping to block the sun while she worked.

“I like carrots. They’re bright and happy. They don’t bleed like beets.”

Tara shook her head and sighed. “You are so weird. And I’ll have you know I’m sauteing some of these beets for dinner. I expect you to at least try one slice. According to ancient folklore, two people who eat part of the same beetroot will fall in love. Don’t you want to fall in love with me?” She laughed as he backed away with his hands up when she thrust the basket toward him. “You don’t want to fall in love with me? Come on, Col. Where’s your sense of adventure? I’ll even bite your neck if you want me to.” She winked when she felt like cringing. That last comment might have taken it a bit too far. Thankfully, he laughed, though he was still backing up.

“I’ve got no problem with you, but I’m not going anywhere with those things. And now you’re red-handed. Put them down, quick, and run before the cops come after you!”

Laughing, Tara grasped one beet by the top and pulled it out of the basket, brandishing it like a weapon.

“The beets are on my side, Collin. I think you’re the one who’d better…ah…’beet’ it. Get it?” He pretended to be scared as she chased him through the back door, dropping the basket on the kitchen counter as she passed through. Collin scrambled over the hardwood floors, through the living room, into the hall and on to the bathroom, slamming the door in her face and securing the lock with a click.

“Now they’re making you evil!” he yelled, and if not for the chuckle that followed, Tara might have believed he was actually afraid. “Nothing good will come from eating beets – you’ll see!”


Alex is the thriller/horror pseudonym of Jamie DeBree. She lives in Billings, MT with her husband and two dogs, and has an entire collection of dolls that people seem to find creepy. She has literal skeletons in her basement closet, and she and her husband enjoy scaring small children every Halloween. She enjoys writing weird bits of freaky fiction inspired by subjects overheard in public, and the deviant minds of intelligent maniacs. To connect with Alex, visit her website at AlexWesthaven.com.

We’re doing a “windowed” release for this story, so right now, you can buy a digital copy on Amazon, read for free on Kindle Unlimited, or order a paperback copy through your favorite online or brick-and-mortar retailer. The ebook will only be available in Kindle Unlimited until September, after which it will be available at all the major online retailers. So if you prefer to read free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription, get it while you can!

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