Has something ever happened to you and you know you’ve had enough. Kaput. Finished. Step away from the situation. Do not engage. Run like hell.
That happened to me just a month ago. I was a New York City event planner. A successful one. I was coordinating the wedding of the daughter of an extremely rich give-her-anything-she-wants corporate mogul.
You’ve seen that show Bridezillas? Couldn’t hold a candle to some of my clients. When this particular bridezilla, in a melt down over oysters, decked a waiter, destroying six hundred dollars’ worth of champagne, I knew it was time for me to go.
So I went, straight up the Hudson River to a little town on Lake Champlain, called Celebration Bay. They needed a coordinator for their seasonal festivals. That would be me.
It’s a great little Victorian village of quaint shops and good restaurants that survives as a holiday destination spot. I live in a carriage house behind a big Victorian mansion. My landladies, two retired school teachers, Miss Ida and Miss Edna Zimmerman, have helped me fit in with the not always accepting locals.
I’m happy as a clam. I haven’t worn a pair of four inch heels since I arrived. I take the man in my life, Whiskey, my rescued Westie terrier, to the office with me. Everyone loves him so they’re inclined to like me, too.
I still work long hours. I have big responsibilities. But I can’t imagine doing anything else.
My day starts around six am. I try to stick to my regimen of running three miles a day, fresh air, no car fumes, no muggers in the park. And no guys wolf-whistling at me as I jog by. At seven-thirty or so, I walk to town hall where I have my office. On the way, I stop by Dolly Hunnicutt’s Apple of My Eye Bakery for breakfast for me and my assistant, Ted Driscoll, a handsome guy of a certain age and a mysterious past. Dolly always remembers a treat for Whiskey, too.
My new best friend BeBe Ford, who owns the Buttercup Coffee Exchange, has my order, latte for me, tea for Ted, waiting.
Ted always arranges our breakfast on a serving tray and we eat at my desk while we go over the day’s schedule. Very civilized. Then we divide the tasks and get to work. There’s a lot of running around, coordinating activities, dealing with traffic concerns, soothing ruffled feathers, there can be a lot of those when everyone is working like crazy to get ready for the onslaught of tourists that keep my town alive.
One thing I didn’t expect and that I NEVER had to deal with in Manhattan is murder. Really? In the most beautiful, most wholesome, most family-friendly town in New York State? But as our less than energetic, but surfer dude cute, local newspaper editor points out. “When you get big and attract outsiders. Sh—happens.” Did I mention he likes to fish and doesn’t like crowds. Sounds like he’s ready to retire right? But he’s only thirty-five. Ted says there’s a story there; it has something to do with him giving up his job as investigative reporter with the LA Times. Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? Not sure I want to know.
Most nights I don’t leave work until after six or seven. If I didn’t run in the morning, I try to do a few miles at night. But usually I just curl up with a glass of wine, Whiskey, and cable television. Or meet BeBe for dinner at Buddy’s Place, a local diner that serves the best pastrami sandwiches north of 56th street.
Then I get up and do it all again. Do I get bored? Not yet. I love it. There’s no place better for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, Fourth of July . . . I mean every day’s a holiday in Celebration Bay. Except for that murder thing. I hope it doesn’t become an everyday occurrence.
You can read more about Liv in Foul Play at the Fair, the first book in the new “Celebration Bay” mystery series.
** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of FOUL PLAY AT THE FAIR to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends September 7. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **
Meet the author
Shelley Freydont is the author of eight mysteries that have been translated into seven languages. She loves puzzles of all kinds and when not writing or reading mysteries, she’s most likely working on a jigsaw, Sudoku, or crossword. Her first women’s fiction Beach Colors written as Shelley Noble was a June 2012 release.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.