Hi. My name is Rebecca Robbins. Dru was nice enough to ask me to stop by and talk about a typical day in my life. I wish I could say that my life was filled with excitement, but the dead body in the rink toilet last month was a total fluke. Honest. Life in Indian Falls isn’t exactly the stuff action movies are made of. It’s just…well…Indian Falls. Okay, that sounds lame. So why don’t I just show you a day in my life and let you decide how to describe it.
The sound of the whizzing skates, laughter and the Village People streamed into the office as I fired up the computer and got to work. After two hours, I’d finished cutting payroll checks, ordered a shipment of nachos and frozen pizzas and called my Realtor twice to see if any new bids had come in on the rink. Yeah – I was that desperate to sell. Owning and operating the Toe Stop roller rink in Indian Falls, Illinois was my mother’s dream. My heart squeezed knowing that dream died the minute she did.
Shaking off the melancholy threatening to descend, I zipped off an e-mail to my best friend in Chicago promising her I’d sell the rink and be back in the city soon. Hey – it could happen.
Pushing back from the small, wooden desk, I decided to take a whirl by the rental counter. Exchanging smelly shoes for skates wasn’t the most exciting job in the world, but long periods of standing was the best way I knew to resuscitate the butt muscles that had fallen asleep. Sitting at a desk had that effect on me, which made me wonder if I shouldn’t get a different job when I got back to the city. The only physical action required of a mortgage broker was chasing a client who’d panicked at the sight of all those zeros.
After an hour of watching people skate counterclockwise, my butt muscles were feeling revived and ready to go. Since my staff had things running smoothly, I headed to the front door into the sunshine ready to pay a visit on my favorite ex-circus camel, Elwood, and his equally fascinating owner, Dr. Lionel Franklin. Maybe if Elwood was up to it we could go on a camel ride. And if not… Well, Lionel and I had been avoiding taking a ride of our own. Maybe it was time to seriously think about fixing that.
“Rebecca. Wait up.”
I smiled at the familiar voice and turned. Coming toward me in a sequined silver shirt and skin tight white pants was my grandfather. The sunlight hitting his shirt was enough to make me go blind. A month ago, Pop had taken a spin on the Senior Center float as Elvis. What has started as a one day lark had morphed into a new career complete with a wardrobe that could be seen from Mars.
Pop came to a stop next to my car with a smile. “I’m glad I caught you. It’s Marcy Jones’s birthday. Her mother hired me to surprise her with a song and a scarf and my car is on the fritz.”
Marcy and I were in the same grade growing up. Back then she jumped at every loud noise. I hoped she didn’t startle as easily now otherwise Pop’s singing was likely to cause tears.
“Can you give me a lift to the Jones farm?” Pop asked.
“Sure Pop.” The farm wasn’t too far from Lionel’s place which meant I could help my grandfather and still get my camel ride. Could I multitask or what? Wait… “Do you need me to come back after the party and give you a lift home?”
Pop flashed me a perfectly white, dentured grin. “Not if I play my cards right with Marcy’s grandmother. If that’s the case, I’ll be staying until breakfast. I hear she makes a mean omelet.”
I had to ask.
Plastering a smile on my face, I revved the engine on my yellow Civic and listened to my grandfather’s off-key voice practice “Falling in love with you” as I drove. Maybe the rink would sell soon, but until then this was a typical day in my life. Gotta love it.
You can read more about Rebecca in SKATING OVER THE LINE, the second book in the “Rebecca Robbins” mystery series. The first book in the series is SKATING AROUND THE LAW.
Joelle Charbonneau has performed in a variety of operas and musical theatre productions across the Chicagoland area. She now teaches private voice lessons and uses her stage experience to create compelling characters in her books. The first of the Rebecca Robbins mysteries, SKATING AROUND THE LAW (Minotaur Books) was called “Sexy and funny” by Kirkus Reviews. The first of her newest series, MURDER FOR CHOIR, will be published by Berkley in the fall of 2012. Visit Joelle at www.joellecharbonneau.net
** Joelle has generously offered to give away two copies of SKATING AROUND THE LAW. To enter, leave a comment with a valid e-mail address in the comment box. Please break it up using (at) and (dot), like domain(at)host(dot)com. One entry per person and this is open to anyone with a U.S. mailing address. Contest ends on October 3, 2011 at 6pm EST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **
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