Friday, January 31, 2014

Sunrise vs Fog = Magical

We had some really foggy days here in Florida last week. I snapped this shot one day on my morning walk.  I love the "blurring" effect the fog had.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Book Blitz Month!

Did you know that January is Book Blitz Month?  (We didn't either.)

B.E.: Rather than give you all 11 titles, I'm gonna cheat and just point you at the blog post where I keep track of the books I've read this year - 2014 - Books Read

JB:  Well, I'm way behind B.E.

Nearly Departed -- JB Lynn  (seriously, I had to re-read it, lol)

Nightwatcher  -- Wendy Corsi Staub

Sycamore Row -- John Grisham

Half-broke Horses -- Jeanette Walls

A Death in Belmont -- Sebastian Junger  ** a re-read for me

Tell us what books you've read this month!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tidbits, Teases and Treats -- Oh my!

I'm in the edits cave (which is nothing like the Bat Cave….mine is stocked with caffeine, cheese, and repetitive music) so I thought I'd share a couple of unrelated bits.

1) If you're a Kobo or Nook reader and have been waiting for THE HITWOMAN AND THE NEUROTIC WITNESS it's now available.

2) The sequel to NEARLY DEPARTED is scheduled to be out at the end of April. I'm writing it now…well technically I'm laboring over the edits for #3 right now…but I'll be back to writing ND2 by the end of the week.

3) I'm laboring over the edits for THE HITWOMAN HUNTS A GHOST. (I'm TRYING to get it out by the end of the month, but I'm not sure it will happen.)

In the meantime, here's the blurb:


​Bumbling hitwoman Maggie Lee has discovered the sister she thought was dead might be alive. She’s desperate to find her, but all of her bosses are making unreasonable demands. Demands she can’t afford not to meet.

Once again, Delveccio, the chocolate pudding loving mob boss, needs someone whacked.

Her obnoxious boss at her day job insists she intervene on his behalf with her semi-psychic friend, Armani. 

And the mysterious organization with the power to put her almost-lover Patrick behind bars has saddled her with an annoying new partner and sent her on a mission that has gone to the dogs. 

With the clock ticking, Maggie (along with her snarky lizard, dyslexic Doberman and Southern belle cat) does her best to pull off every job without winding up in jail or dead…but is her best good enough? 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Teaser from Susan Hatler, Author of LICENSE TO DATE

Today we've got Susan Hatler as our special guest! Take it away, Susan!

Thank you for having me here on Killer Chicks!! For your fabulous TuesdayTeaser, I'm going to give you a little snippet from my new release, License to Date, which is FREE for a limited time on Amazon and iTunes.

After discovering her fiancĂ© cheated on her, Kaitlin is focused on two things: remodeling her new home and avoiding men at all costs. But her friends insist she get back in the driver’s seat and date again. They strike a hard bargain and agree to paint her house if she goes on five dates.

Anxious to get the paint job started, Kaitlin schedules five dates in five days, but her plan falls to pieces when a sexy bartender at her venue-of-choice makes her swoon. Even though he observes each of the dates from afar, she can’t help but want him to come a little closer.

The last person she should fall for is a mysterious bartender with a sinful smile, but Paul makes her want to take risks again. Will the charming man with electric blue eyes break her heart or will he prove to her that a license to date is what makes life worth the drive?


I entered the regal lounge, checking my watch. Over half-an-hour early for my date. Propping myself onto the navy-blue and gold patterned chair at the bar, I pulled out my cell to text Chase. If he was available now then we could start the date early and we could end it early.  Brilliant idea.
“Would you like something to drink?” a smooth male voice asked.
The bartender appeared in my peripheral vision, but I kept my eyes fixed on my keypad as I ordered, “A Geoffries Martini, please?”
“Your wish is my command,” he said, then stepped away.
If only he could actually grant wishes. Then maybe I’d get free labor, no strings attached. A bartender-genie, that’s what I needed. . . .
The bartender shook my drink, ice clinking around the shaker. “Waiting for friends?”
“No, I—” My mouth froze when my gaze connected with deep blue eyes that sent an electric jolt through me. Heat curled my toes and my mind went blank. “Um, what?”
The corner of his mouth lifted. “Just asked if you’re meeting anyone.”
“Yes, a date.” I cleared my throat, trying not to focus on how the bartender’s tousled dark hair made his sapphire-blue eyes stand out even more. After all, I couldn’t invite him to be date number three now that I’d told him I was on a date. Or could I . . . ? 
His brows came together as he poured pink liquid into a martini glass. “You don’t sound too thrilled about your date. This a set up?”
“I’m looking forward to my date,” I protested.
Not a lie. I was looking forward to having it, then having it be over.
“I don’t buy it.” He set the cocktail in front of me, then gave an inquisitive side-glance that turned my insides liquid. “You look more annoyed than excited. Why don’t you tell me what this date is really about?”
Wrapping my fingers around my glass, I ignored the flutters in my belly, and the desire to tell him everything. “You don’t want to hear about my problems. I’m sure you’re super busy.”
He leaned onto the bar, bringing those mesmerizing eyes level with mine. “Not terribly.”
With him so close, I breathed in his musky scent and my heart jumped into my throat. “Are you this attentive to everyone you serve?”
His gaze left my eyes, trailing down to where my long red strands rested over my shoulder. “Only the beautiful redheads.”

Thanks again for having me here at Killer Chicks!! Don't forget to grab your copy of License to Date for FREE right now, and pop by my Facebook Page and let me know how you liked Kaitlin's story:

Happy reading, everyone!!

:-) Susan

Monday, January 27, 2014


I love catalogs.  For 20-some years I've been ordering from Swiss Colony - and then their family of companies.  But I have never gotten so many catalogs as after I moved here.  I think what did it for me was requesting a catalog from Springhill - because hey, I had a home of my own and could plan my own gardens. 

Since about mid-summer, I've been flooded with catalogs.  Home goods, plants, food...  Here are the ones I've received (some of them once a month):

Michigan Bulb Co. - with as many plants as Springhill, but some different varieties.

Exciting Gardens - more plants at cut rates (but they don't show which ones are deer resistant, so I might have to give them a pass)
O&H Danish Bakery - OMG, so yummy to flip through.

Midnight Velvet - a member of the Swiss Colony family, but with clothes and jewelry instead of food.

Seventh Avenue - another member of the family, but fine home furnishings and decor.

Ginny's - yet another member, but homegoods.

Jack Stack Barbeque - not sure where this one came from, but everything in it makes me hungry.

The Wisconsin Cheeseman - seems like a SC family store, but has a lot of the same items as SC under a different name and logo.

Wine Country Gift Baskets - not sure how I got on this list, since I don't drink, but hey, it looks yummy.

Prufrock Press - I think I get this because I had someone ship me a book from there.

Monroe & Main - yes, SC family again, this time with everyday clothes.

Roaman's - this one comes to the former gal who lived here or current resident, so that's me.

Breck's - more plants and flowers!

Bits and Pieces - Quirky items and unique gifts (like the coffee mug that looks like a camera lens on its front cover).

Through the Country Door - Swiss Colony has a lot of family members.  This one does folksy gifts.

Usinger's - billing themselves as America's Finest Sausage.

Smith + Noble - also to Current Resident - they sell window treatments.

That's about it.  I know the last time I ordered from catalogs, I got a ton of other different stores sending me theirs.  I don't know about you, but getting these in the mail makes me kinda happy.  I may not order from them all, but I like to 'window shop' through them and joke with the Hubs about what I'm going to buy.  ;o)

What about you?  Do you get any neat catalogs?  Cuz, hey, a gal this far out in the sticks can never have too many catalogs.

Bonus!  Writing this post helped me sort through my catalogs and figure out which ones I need to trash.  Yay!  Do you hoard catalogs or are you able to toss them out when you're done browsing?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fab Photo Friday - The Road to Home

The other day,  I wanted to get a few shots to show the folks at home what I'm talking about when I say getting here is uphill both ways.  This is the Ozarks, man.  Ain't nothing flat about this place.

If you click on that to make it larger, you can see the hwy coming in from the West.  I'm standing on the farm road coming into my neighborhood.  Top of one hill toward top of the next.

And that is the view looking east from the top of the same hill.  You can't see from all the trees and a curve, but at the bottom of this hill is the river.  Cool bridge there, if you like bridges.

Last, that one is the top of the hill on the highway.  Making a left out of my neighborhood is a bear, because you can't see what's coming over the hill, but hey, surprises are what makes life fun, right?

Thursday, January 23, 2014


It's National Pie Day!

Do you like pie? What's your favorite?

JB: Pie!
I LOVE pie!
I love Key Lime, Cherry Crumb, Pumpkin, Apple, Peach…
I'm hungry now….

B.E.:  I love pie, too!  Sweet pies, savory pies.  I had a beef pot pie for dinner last night.   Mmmm.  I still remember eating this one piece of pie back in 1992.  Caramel apple upside down pie at a restaurant in St. Louis.  OMG. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Perfect Confluence of Suckage

The weirdest thing happened last week. A reader (not going to say who, but K knows who she is) quoted a phrase I'd coined in a blog post…in 2012.

This kind of blew me away, because I could barely remember using it, and yet she remembered both the phrase and who'd said it.

So I thought I'd share the phrase and the post and see if I could get anyone else to remember it. ;-)

Here's the beginning of the original post:

There are times in the life of all of us when we feel like nothing is going right and everything is going wrong.

We suspect we’ve pissed off the Fates.

Or have done something to screw with our karma.

Or crossed the path of a black cat, while walking beneath a ladder, on Friday the 13th.

That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. Like I’ve got the reverse Midas-touch…everything I touch doesn’t turn to gold, but turns to lead. And sinks heavily upon my heart, my soul, my being.

(I’ve been known to resort to melodrama when feeling blue.)

I even named this time: A Perfect Confluence of Suckage — 

(the link to the whole original post is here.)

Despite my best efforts, my personal PCS worsened for quite a long time, but things now seem to be leveling out (or I've hit bottom…would I know the difference?).

I'm grateful to the person who reminded me of the PCS phrase because they inadvertently reminded me that, despite how much it sucked, I'm emerging from one of the suckiest periods of my life. It didn't kill me (even though there were days when I was sure it would) and I actually DID make progress in some areas, although it was hard to see through the morass of suckage.

So now I'd like to pass on that favor to you. Are you going through a Perfect Confluence of Suckage? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the demands of the people in your life? Do you hate your job? Have you gotten bad news? Are you combatting writer's block? Are you collecting rejection letters? Are your book sales tanking?

If YOU are having a day or week or month of PCS, please know that it will pass. Maybe not today, or this week, or this year, but it will eventually ease up….sort of like a destructive tornado eventually runs out of power.

Tell me Killer Friends: How do you combat PCS?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Wrongful Termination

Hey all!  I'm at a loss today for what to post, so here's another snippet of the book I'm currently rewriting: Wrongful Termination.

If you missed the basic plot for this book last time I posted a snippet, it's about a big-city detective who goes to a small town to attend his brother-in-law's funeral, and discovers the rash of accidental deaths that Serenity's been experiencing may not be so accidental at all.  Too bad for him the local authorities aren't really interested in his theories.

Pulling into the parking lot of the police station slash ambulance barn, he still didn’t have any answers.  Its corrugated metal painted a bland beige sure wasn’t providing him any information, but he couldn’t make himself go into the building.

Minutes later, a tap sounded at his window.  Clem Washburn stood there with a smoking stogie hanging out of one corner of his mouth.

“I was wondering when you’d make it back around here,” he said after Dennis rolled the window down.  “Still looking under rocks for a murderer?”

“I haven’t found one yet, so I guess the answer’s yes.”

“You do know that by now you aren’t likely to find one.”

“We aren’t back to that again,” Dennis said.  “I thought after Linda Lopez, you were on board with the idea.”

“Well, see, here’s the thing.  I spent some time investigating… you know, that thing we officers of the law do?”  Washburn laughed like the concept was foreign to big-city cops.  Dennis failed to see the humor.  “Anyway, I got it on good authority that the old guy who owns the RV is more than a little forgetful.  Betty herself says he’d forget his ass if it wasn’t bolted on.  And the neighbor across the street swears she saw that old fool out messing with the RV about the same time Linda got home from work.  She said he was tinkering in the Winnebago for about fifteen minutes before going back inside the house. Looks like he left the damn thing running after all.”

Dennis shook his head.  A lecture about the difference between real investigation and relying on hearsay hovered on his lips, but he knew his words would be wasted here.  “So the neighbor witnessed him starting the RV up and walking away?”

“She didn’t have to.  In this weather, an old guy like that ain’t gonna sit in his camper, freezing his balls to the naugahyde.  He must’ve started it and then forgot.  I spoke to Stew.  He’s ruling it accidental.”

“Of course he is.  He’s getting pretty good at filling out the ‘accidental death’ box on his forms, isn’t he?”

“What are you trying to say?”

Pulling out his notepad, Dennis ran his finger down the page.  “Looks like in the past six months, at least a dozen accidental deaths occurred.”

“Kids drive like idiots around these country roads,” the chief said, leaning on the edge of the SUV’s window.  “Deaths are bound to happen.  It’s a tragedy, but it ain’t murder.”

Dennis grabbed the cuff of Clem’s coat.  “I’m not talking about car accidents, Clem.  I’m talking about accidental deaths.  Take this lady, for instance,” he said, pointing at his pad.  “Winifred Meeker.  Age sixty-eight.  Accidental overdose.”

The chief scoffed.  “Winnie took some heart medication and then half hour later, she forgot and took it again.  I don’t see the mystery in that.  Not to speak ill of the dead, but she was a crazy old bat.”

“She forgot and took enough to kill herself?  I can see taking an extra pill, but I know this drug and she would’ve had to take ten times the prescribed dosage to cause death.”

Shrugging his arm away from Dennis’ grip, he said, “Stranger things have happened.  Stew said it was an accident and I don’t have reason one to doubt his word.  He knows his job.”

Dennis had his doubts about the validity of that statement, but he kept his sarcasm to himself.  One by one, he read off the names on his list, detailing the causes of their deaths.  One by one, the chief came up with plausible—if entirely improbable—reasons for each.

“Enough,” the chief finally said.  “You’re jumping at shadows, Haggarty.  Why?  I don’t have the faintest.  Go back to where your theories might blow someone’s skirt up.  Denver sounds like the perfect place for a guy like you.  Serenity was doing just fine before you came and it’ll be doing better after you’re gone.”

“You’re making a mistake…”

“The only mistake I’ve made is letting you have your way in this damn town for too damn long.  I let you go and upset people fir no damn reason.”  He stepped away from the vehicle.  “Now, you’ll excuse me but I have actual work to do.”

Running a hand through his hair, Dennis stared at the police chief like he’d grown a second head.  “That’s all you have to say?”

“I think I already said everything that needs saying.  Except ‘goodbye’.  Goodbye, Detective Haggarty.  Feel free to come back to Serenity anytime, but stay the hell out of my way when you do.”  The chief’s phone began a tweety version of Stairway to Heaven as Dennis put the car in reverse. 

It's not polished yet, but it's feeling pretty good at this point.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Who knows, maybe someday this one will actually make it into print.  ;o)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Grouchy Pants

This went up by accident yesterday.  Sorry.

I don't know what it is, but sometimes something comes over me that turns me into a big ol' grouchy pants.  It happened over the weekend.  I was fine and then sometime Saturday afternoon, everything irritated me.  Okay, maybe it started on Friday...  I know at some point there was this itty-bitty, all-too-perky local news chick doing a story about how Facebook was created for college students, but now it's more for 'grandpa', and I went off on a tear that set my Hubs back a little.  I seriously wanted to smack the crap out of that kid for implying only grandparents hang out on FB (because, hey, I hang out on FB). 

And then Saturday something else on TV set me off.  Sunday, it was something on the internet.

I think I need to go into the woods with the limb saw and hack the crap out of some downed trees.  Work the irritation out.  Because I did resolve not to let irritating people get to me this year. Not that FB is helping because some people I blocked so they wouldn't irritate me keep showing up again and no matter how many times I unfollow, there they are again.  Gahhh.

Ohm.  Ohm.  Ohm.

Maybe I need to just write a scene of utter destruction, kill a bunch of fictional people and be done with it.

What about you?  Do you get in those moods where you'd happily rip someone's head off?  What do you do come down off the ledge?  Or are you more mellow?  How do you stay mellow?

*And no, there really isn't a reason for this.  It's not that time of the month.  No one has done anything.  It's just one of those things.  And it will pass without me actually harming anyone or anything.  No need to send the men in white suits carrying an 'I love me' jacket.  Really there isn't. 

Friday, January 17, 2014


I love pink.

I hated this clock.

So I decided to PINKify it

It's only halfway done. I'm adding another layer, alternating white and pink, but so far I'm happy with how it's turning out. Gotta love coffee filters!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ditch Your Resolution

Tomorrow is National Ditch Your New Year Resolution day.

Are you ditching any? Have you ditched any already?

JB: Since the year is new, I haven't yet ditched any of my goals…give me time. ;-)

B.E.:  1) Take my writing more seriously.  Check.  2) Cut irritating people from my life.  Semi-Check (you can't get away from them all without being a true hermit).  3) Accept myself warts and all.  Check.   I guess I failed at ditching the ol' New Year Resolutions for today.  Check back with me in a couple months.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I could write a better book than THAT

So here's an ugly truth most writers won't willingly admit to:

We all think we're better than somebody.

Published writers, unpublished writers, best sellers, self-published…at one time or another (or, if we're really honest, REPEATEDLY) we all think, "I could write a better book/screenplay/article/essay/ad copy/ romance/thriller/horror/fantasy/memoir/how-to/etc than the one I just read."

I thought it last week as I read a New York Times Best Seller.

I thought it last night when I watched an episode of a television show that "should" work, but doesn't (at least not for me).

I think it every time I hear one of those stupid H&R Block commercials that says something like "in a study of self-prepared returns H&R professionals found more money for 1 in 5 people"

I know a lot of people will say you shouldn't put down another person's work, but sometimes I think it might be that little dose of inspiration you need.

If you believe that you can write a better book about a Vegetarian Alligator who works as a pig farmer but moonlights as a sommelier, I say take that passion and go for it! Grind the other vegetarian alligator writers into the ground beneath the weight of your brilliance!!!!

Do something more than gripe about that best seller or television show.  Or like me, stop muttering, "That means that 4 out of 5 people you want to pay you will get nothing for their money. How stupid do you think people are, H&R Block?" (seriously…you'd probably be better off if you eliminated ALL sorts of muttering)

Tell me Killer Friends:

Without naming names, because I'm really not about bashing people here (unless the person is dead, then bash away, cuz who's gonna care?) tell me. Have you ever thought, "I could write better than that?" Or "I could cook better than that?" Or "I can Irish Dance better than that?" Have you allowed the thought that you're better at something, fuel you? Or are you always overcome with guilt?

I, for one, pretty much always use it as fuel…cuz you know what? A lot of the time I AM better. ;-)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


If you love Scandal, you’ll love Stealing Justice.

In this first book in a thrilling new romantic suspense series…

Justice “Grey” Greystone was fired from the FBI for insubordination. Now the FBI wants him to use his renegade skills to take down a serial killer who’s above the law. To trap the Lion, Grey will need to send the perfect woman undercover.

Sydney Banfield runs a women’s shelter and bends the law daily to help victims of abuse escape their painful lives. Three of the women she’s recruited for government jobs have become victims of the Lion. If Syd has her way, the vicious killer will never touch another woman again.

Grey and Sydney set a trap—with Sydney as the sexy bait—but the Lion adds a complex twist to his homicidal agenda. With Sydney’s life on the line, Grey must race against the clock to catch a killer who’s as unstoppable as he is evil.

Don't miss the launch party this Thursday. 

There'll be books and prizes and I'll (JB) be there! Like the "Justice Team Series" Party Page so you don't miss out!

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter at Like her author page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane's Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. For more information on Adrienne's books, please visit Adrienne can also be found on Facebook at and Twitter at For information on Adrienne’s street team, Dangerous Darlings, go to

Monday, January 13, 2014

Checklist for Dating Non-Murderers

As I've said before, I watch a lot of those true-crime shows.  Watching them, it seems to me that a lot of people would still be alive if they had some kind of checklist for avoiding people who may eventually murder them.

So before you go anywhere alone with your dates, see how they stand up against the checklist...

1) Is the person you're going out with actually the gender they claim to be?

2) Has the person suffered more than one personal tragedy of a spouse, a significant other and/or some other family member committing 'suicide'?  If they've been widowed, how many times and why?

3) Does the person wonder about how much life insurance you have?

3b) Do they want to get life insurance for you and make themselves the beneficiary?

4) Is the person overly concerned with your car's maintenance?  Have they been under your car or do they wish to be under your car?

5)  Does this person want to take a long drive out in the country with you, where neither of you have supposedly ever been and where there's no cell service?

6) Does the person keep offering to make you beverages that may or may not contain antifreeze?  (i.e. Gatorade in a glass instead of out of the bottle, sweet tea, peach tea, lemonade that's slightly greener than it ought to be.)

7) Does the person try to distance you from family members?

8. Does your dog hate this person?

9)  Have you ever gotten the urge to tell someone 'if something happens to me, this person did it'?

10) Has this person ever named a weapon?  For instance, did they pull out a big knife and introduce you to 'Bubba'?

11) Would they object to a background check?  

12) Do they hide when a police car drives by?

*Note:  This list is intended for humor purposes only. I am not a professional in anything but writing - even if I do watch an inordinate number of crime shows.  However, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that if you are in a situation where the person you're with makes you feel scared, nervous, uncomfortable or just plain creeped out, go with your gut instincts. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fab Photo Friday - Turkey Bomb!

Here in the woods, first thing in the morning, we see wild turkeys high up in the trees.  I think they're soaking up the first rays of sun (and avoiding the predators on the forest floor).  It's really striking to look out and see all these huge birds in the trees, silhouetted against the dawn.

But when they drop out of the trees, that's when the excitement starts.  Hubs and I have come to refer to this as TURKEY BOMB! 

I wish I could get action shots of one all the way to the ground.  I'm lucky I got that one, though, so I'll have to be content with just watching them drop.  =o)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

National Soup Month

With most of the nation in freakin' cold weather from the polar vortex, what better day to celebrate National Soup Month!

So, tell us, Killer Chicks, what's your favorite soup?  Do you ever make your own?

B.E.:  I like soups of all kinds - especially when it's chilly-cold.  And I like chili - even when it's not cold.  Sometimes I use Campbell's Chunky or Progresso or any old canned soup, but I do like to make my own soups when I can.  Problem with my soups, though, is I never use a recipe, so when I make a soup I really like, I can't repeat it exactly.  It's more a pinch of this and a dash of that, throwing whatever I think will be tasty into the pot.  With lots of tasting. 

JB:  Strawberry soup is my favorite…though that's more like dessert than soup.

I make a lot of soup. Right now in my fridge/freezer I've got Butternut Squash Apple soup and 16 Bean Soup (based loosely on the recipe found here). And there's chili in the freezer, B.E.!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Got Goals for 2014?

My name is Jen and I'm a compulsive goal-setter.

Therefore, January 1st, is pretty much my favorite holiday.

Most years.

This year, not so much.

Because of seismic life shifts in 2013, I'm feeling more uncertain than excited about the New Year.

But, because, as I said, I'm a compulsive goal setter, I HAVE set a series of goals for myself.

In no particular order:

Work my writing business plan 
        I'd share it with you, but it might make you cringe, weep, or laugh maniacally…I've done all three when I've studied it. Needless to say, I hope it will make readers happy. This includes more Hitwoman books, the next Spring Cleaning Mystery and hey, have I mentioned my work with Strong Brew Coaching
       And because I know someone will ask: Yes, the possibility of the Hitwoman books becoming a TV series still exists…yes, there's been progress made on that front, but no, I can't tell you what it is yet…

Attend Sleuthfest (Okay, this one's a cheat since I scheduled it last year.)

Learn to swim better (this is one of those "I'm hoping practice results in progress" type things)
Make pink stuff for my home (more on this next week)
Have more fun (Yes, that's a nebulous goal, but then again, so is my life path.)

Tell me Killer Friends: Did you make any resolutions or goals for 2014?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Wrongful Termination

Here's a piece of what I'm currently re-writing in an attempt to get it ready for publication.  It's a mystery/suspense called Wrongful Termination about a string of accidental deaths in a small town and the big city detective who doesn't think they're so accidental.

At this point in the story, Detective Dennis Haggarty has arrived in Serenity, CO to attend his brother-in-law's funeral and in the midst of it, he tries to slip outside for a break...

Telling himself the heat of the mourners pressed into the room and the cloying scent of too many flowers were what made his stomach clench, he made his apologies and backed away.  Kimmy looked horrified.  He just wasn’t sure if it was her mother-in-law making her feel that way, or his own exit.  All he knew was he needed some air before he told that old bitch what he really thought of her, her son and the whole weird little town.
Halfway to freedom, an old man in his Sunday best overalls latched onto Dennis’ arm.  “Say there,” he said through a fog of beer breath.  “Ain’t you that police fella from Denver?  Come out to check on our little town, eh?  Quite a ta-doo, ain’t it?”
He tried to pull free without causing a scene, but the farmer’s fingers were cinched down tight.  “I wouldn’t know.  I came for my brother in law’s funeral.  Now, if you’ll excuse me…”
“Same difference.”  The smell of barley and hops slowly found itself overwhelmed by the odor of animal waste.  If he had to venture a guess, he’s say pig or goat.  “The whole town turned out for this one.”
“I see that,” he said, jerking at his arm regardless of the scene it might cause.  All at once, the farmer loosened his grip, causing Dennis to almost punch a skinny gal in a summery floral print dress.  “Excuse me…”  She shrugged and smiled, giving him a view of the space where her front teeth should’ve been. 
Where the hell am I? Deliverance?
“Only someone like Jimmy coulda pulled this kind of crowd, ya know.”  The farmer continued before Dennis could extricate himself.
“He must’ve been pretty popular here,” he said as he began to back away.
“You got that right.  He was the life of the party down at the Tavern.  Still, seems like with all the funerals we been having lately, they’re more a social gathering than a time to grieve, ya know?”
“I don’t follow…”
“Well, I ain’t leadin’.”  The man laughed in Dennis’ face, leaving him to wonder how much worse the smell could be. 
“I mean, I don’t understand.”
“Well, then why didn’t ya say that?  Damn city folks don’t speak clear these days.”  He chuckled like he’d just told the best joke.  “What I meant was we’ve been having a lot of funerals around here lately.  Seems like people are droppin’ like flies.” 
Another man walked up and slapped the farmer on the back.  With the man’s attention averted, Dennis made a break for the outside.  Behind him, he heard the guy shout after him.  “Have yourself a smoke for me.  If the missus caught me out there, I’d be deader than ol’ Jimmy.”
A roll of laughter chased Dennis out into the cold night air.  For once, though, the chill didn’t do a damn thing to clear his head.  Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a cigarette and cupped a flame to his face.
“You can’t do that there.” A pinch-faced lady with white curls shuffled up the sidewalk toward him.  “Law says fifteen feet from the door.”  Her glee over catching someone in the act of breaking the law was unmistakable. 
“Oh.  Of course.  I wasn’t thinking.”  He held his cigarette behind his hand as he scanned for a place to stand.
“Over there.”  Her words spat out like bullets from a semi-automatic as she pushed past him.  “Gazebo.”
     He followed the direction of her peremptory wave and barely made out a small structure set away from the mortuary.  In the glow of a string of Christmas lights, he picked his way through the packed snow to the tiny area.  He could almost bet it would be a nice place to sit and think when the weather grew warm.  Now, however, dozens of footprints and hundreds of discarded butts created a dirty mess.  Stepping to one side, he made his way toward a bench that looked semi-clean in the dimness.
      Even in the low light, though, he couldn’t mistake the body laying in the slush.