Award-winning Paty Jager

Shandra Higheagle Mystery #10

Secrets… Scandal… Murder…

An autistic boy and his brother need potter Shandra Higheagle’s help when a teacher’s body is found after a confrontation with the older brother. Shandra knows the boy is innocent. Digging into the teacher’s life, she and Ryan turn up scandal.

Detective Ryan Greer has believed in Shandra’s dreams in the past, but she can’t always be right. When his investigation uncovers a principal on the take, females being harassed, and parents kept in the dark, he discovers more suspects than the brothers. Shandra’s time at the school is coming to an end, and the killer has struck again.

“I’ll be fine. Besides, you’ll be there sometime this morning, won’t you? To talk to Jennifer?” Shandra buttered her toast and tossed half the slice to Sheba. Having a large dog made it easier to eat foods she shouldn’t. She could take a few bites of the forbidden food and then toss it to her furry companion.
“Yes. I’ll head there after I go by the department and fill in Sheriff Oldham. After the school, I’ll catch up with Mrs. Lawrence at her work. Someone, somewhere is bound to slip up and give me a detail that will give me a foothold on some information.” Ryan set his coffee mug in the sink and stopped beside her. “Please be careful.”
Shandra stared into his pleading eyes. He knew her well enough by now to not tell her what to do. But his caring always did more to shake her need to find the truth.
“I’ll be careful. I just want to make sure the real killer is found.” She hugged Ryan, wondering how she’d been so lucky to have found him.
“Good. We have a wedding to plan for and it’s hard to do that without a bride.” He kissed the top of her head and walked into the living room.
The wedding! She still needed to get the invitations sent out. In all the hubbub the last week or so, she’d forgotten they were in a box in her suitcase in the bedroom. Sheba rose up off the floor as Shandra headed out of the kitchen. Before she crossed the living room, Sheba woofed and pounced on the door.
“You have to go out the back door.” Shandra pivoted toward the kitchen.
Sheba woofed and pounced on the front door again.
Shandra spun around. “You can’t go out there unless I watch you.”
 The dog pounced at the door and dug at the floor.
“Okay. I get the point. You want to go out the front door.” Shandra snagged her coat from where it lay across the back of the couch and walked to the door.
Sheba whined and plopped down on her furry backside.
“What is wrong?” Shandra looked out the peephole on the door before opening it. All she spotted were kids headed to school. To avoid one of them getting knocked down by her overgrown puppy, Shandra grabbed the leash by the door and clicked it to the collar.
“Let’s go.” She opened the door, and Sheba refused to move. “You’re the one who had to go out this door.” Shandra glanced down and found a shoebox.
She shoved back into the house and closed the door.
Where had she left her phone this morning? A quick look through the living room and kitchen didn’t find it. The second she stepped into the bedroom, her gaze landed on the object of her search. She crossed the room, grabbed the cell phone, and hit Ryan’s speed dial number.
“You have reached Detective Ryan Greer—”
“Voicemail!” She hung up and dialed the Sheriff’s Department.
“Weippe County Sheriff’s Department this is Deputy Davis. How may I help you?”
“Cathleen! This is Shandra.”
“Hi Shandra. Ryan is in with the Sher—”

“I know. He’s not answering his phone. Someone left a shoebox on the front porch.” She knew there could be something innocent in the box, but given someone followed her last night, she really didn’t need to find a harmful surprise.


Award-winning author PATY JAGER and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

She has published thirty novels, four anthologies, and seven novellas. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story. 


ANGI: How often do you get lost in a story?
PATY:  Writing a story, I get lost nearly every day. I try to write 2-5 hours every day to keep up with my deadlines. To read a book, I also read a I’m using for research every day but I tend to only get the chance to read for enjoyment about once or twice a week.

ANGI: What’s your favorite thing about your book’s heroine?
PATY:  Shandra Higheagle is a halfbreed. Her father was Nez Perce Indian and her mother was Caucasian.  Her father died when she was young and her mother remarried. They didn’t allow her to know her father’s family or that heritage. As an adult she is learning about her roots and discovering who she really is. I like her loyalty to her family and friends and how she shows the truth and wisdom of women.

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
PATY: That’s tough! I love musicals- Dirty Dancing, Mama Mia, Burlesque. But I also love The Proposal, Everafter, and Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr. I watch these movies over and over when cleaning or sewing.

ANGI: What’s your perfect day?
PATY:  A perfect day could go two ways. 1) sunshine, an hour ride on my horse, several hours writing, hubby takes me out for dinner. 2) Hanging out with kids and grandkids playing games, have a meal, and they all go to bed. 😉

ANGI: Salad or soup?
PATY:  Salad- green with honey mustard dressing

ANGI: Would you put yourself in a Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
PATY:  If you’re talking about my life- Fairy Tale. If you’re talking about my imagination- Action Adventure. I lived vicariously thought my character Isabella Mumphrey in my Action Adventure trilogy- Isabella Mumphrey Adventures.

ANGI: Favorite TV rerun you watch every time you channel surf? 
PATY:  M*A*S*H  and Murder She Wrote

ANGI: Favorite date night…fancy or at home? 
PATY:  Fancy- we stay at home all the time being ranchers and semi-retired.

ANGI: Champagne or Soda?
PATY:  champagne

ANGI: Geek or Jock?
PATY:  I like to think Jock. I played basketball and threw the discus in High School and have always ridden horses. I always need help with the electronics.

ANGI: The most daring thing you’ve ever done… Care to share?
PATY:  Skinny dipped with three other couples at night while the kids were sleeping in tents.

ANGI’s GOTTA ASK:  Where is your favorite writing space & why? 
PATY’S GOTTA ANSWER:  I like to write at my desk in my office. Having this spot and place to write and spread out my research materials makes if feel like I step into my office and it’s time to work. 


Silver Dollar Saloon
short story in Wild Deadwood Tales 

100% of profits go to the Western Sports Foundation

(Yep…they help cowboys!) 

Shandra Higheagle Mystery #1
Read a little, Buy the book

Silver Dollar Saloon #1

Tumbling Creek Ranch #1

PATY is giving away winner’s choice from her back-list and a $5 Amazon gift card. 
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PATY WANTS TO KNOW: Do you read across genres? For instance: I write mystery and historical and contemporary western romance. Would you read a book from all three genres or are you loyal to one genre?  Thanks for stopping by and learning more about me.  


  1. I'm an eclectic reader. I read across most genres. Historical Fiction is my absolute favorite.

    1. Hi Mary, You can probably guess that I'm asking because I write in multiple genres. I started my publishing career with historical western romance. Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

  2. Hi Angi! Thank you for having me on GLIAS! I forgot I was here until I glanced at my calendar.

  3. Replies
    1. Hi bn100, I know I should remember your real name, I'm sorry, I don't. I'm glad you like to read different genres.

  4. I like to read historical and contemporary romance.
    Rafflecopter answer enemies to lovers.

  5. I like to read a bit of everything, combined and a little bit of each

  6. Hi Paty thank you for coming to GLIAS and I love your answers to the questions that were asked. I like to read everything except sci fi ! I would love to read one of your books and of course when finished review on a few sites. ptclayton2@aol.com peggy clayton Hope you come back again!

  7. Hi Rita, I thought I already replied to you but I guess not! Thank you for stopping in and joining the contest!

    Hi Calvin. Thanks for stopping in and joining the contest. I like different genres too, except horror or deep POV suspense. I get scared easily!

    HI ptClayton. Thank you for having me here! They were great questions to answer. I don't mind light sci-fi but the real intense stuff loses me. I'm not a geek and don't really care what propels a spaceship. LOL Thanks for stopping by and joining the contest.