I live by the credo that you create your own reality. Sometimes that’s a problem, especially when my best friend, sister by choice and business partner, Florilla (Flo) Munrow is around.
I’m Clara Martini and I met Flo a dozen years, three idiot boyfriends and at least a hundred bad dates ago. We were both gainfully employed by an obscure and very male dominated agency of the U.S. Government. Flo had the fun job; she was the nature guru who got paid to play in the woods. I had the crappy job; I was in charge of Human Resources.
Geez-o-pete, here she comes. I was hoping to get this written before she showed up.
“Sweetie, what are you doing?” Flo is sipping some hazelnut coffee out of a Wizard of Oz mug.
“I’m trying to write a blog about a day in our lives.”
“Like the day we spent with the Jersey Devil? That’s a good day to write about.”
“Well then, did you at least write about The Diner?”
“So, are you going to read it to me?”
“About a decade ago, we repurposed a Fodero diner and opened AstroBotanics Chocolate Diner and Metaphysical Emporium, here in Dolly’s Ferry. It’s one of those artsy towns on the Jersey side of the Delaware where the locals either love you or leave you alone in hopes you’ll go out of business and go away. Luckily we’re loved and everyone in town just calls us The Chocolate Diner or simply, The Diner.”
Where else can you nosh bonbons while you consult an astrologer, shop for pruning shears and herbal charms or strut your stuff in sexy shoes all at the same time? I take care of the Astro and Flo’s in charge of the Botanics. We both do the Chocolate and stilettos”.
“Do you think they’ll understand what we mean by herbal charms?”
“What do you mean we? How did this become a we project?”
“Well you said it was about a day in our lives, that includes me, ergo, we.”
“I explain that we are life coaches with a twist. We teach people how to use herbal charms to help them create their own magic. And, we hold martini, astrology and herbal workshops for conjuring prosperity, harmony, happiness, and getting over idiot boyfriends.”
“I like it. Of course The Diner ain’t The Diner without our capricious crew.”
“I’ve got them covered too.”
Lucille Carlisle, our dog- obsessed Francophile photographer visits each day with her rescue mutts for a daily dose of chocolates. She’s our best customer and our biggest fan. Well, except for Phillip.”
Phillip Emond, a half French Canadian, half Native American free spirit, pulled up on a bright red Valkyrie the first day we opened for business and never left. Lucky for us Phillip takes better care of The Diner than we do and he loves to help women try on shoes.
And then there’s Abigail Stone, canine caretaker by day and alternative rock singer by night, she saves our butts on the weekends and during emergencies.
“You didn’t mention Oscar.”
“Okay, I’ll say he’s your long-suffering boyfriend. A history professor in Manhattan, who has visited you on weekends for the last ten years.”
Flo stuck her tongue out at me. “Not funny. I think if you’re going to blog about us, your birthday from hell makes the best story.”
My birthday from hell began with a midnight email from my mother which read, “Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine that you’d be alone and single on your fortieth birthday?” Seriously, what mother does that? I hated that she was right. I would have been married by now if The Royal Supreme Idiot hadn’t cheated on me – a month before our wedding.
Your fortieth birthday is supposed to be a turning point. For me it was almost my last.
“You know, it wouldn’t have been so bad if you hadn’t lost the Tiffany box Flo.”
“Misplaced. I misplaced it.”
“How do you misplace a box the size of a soup tureen?”
We had been exchanging birthday presents back and forth in our Tiffany box, a relic from Flo’s grandmother, for years. So, since we had already planned to venture into the City the day after my birthday to score some aphrodisiacs to spice up our new Valentine’s Day passion spell, why not just drop by Tiffany’s and get a new box? Easy peasy right?
Well, you can’t even begin to imagine how a mysteriously missing Tiffany box can turn into a Pandora’s box of metaphysical mayhem and murder!
You can read more about Clara in Tiffany Blues, the first book in the new “Martini Munrow” mystery series, published by J.C. Vogard Publishing. Book is available at online booksellers.
dru’s book musing is giving away one (1) Kindle copy of “Tiffany Blues.” Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends November 26.
Meet the author
J.C. Vogard is the nom de plume of two co-authors, sisters-by-choice and dear friends who have been cavorting around New Jersey together for the last quarter century. Their first creative venture, AstroBotanics, a mind, body, spirit and herbal consulting company, was the inspiration for Tiffany Blues and the Martini Munrow Mystery series.
J. has a Masters Degree in geography from Rutgers University and had a career in Natural Resources. These days she spends her time (when she’s not writing mysteries) designing, creating or Feng Shui-ing native wildflower gardens and helping others discover the joys of nature. J. lives in the woods in Flemington, NJ with her husband, two sons and her two rotund kitties.
C. has a degree in sociology from Douglass College of Rutgers University. After a career in Public Administration and Human Resource Management she retired and has been a holistic practitioner, astrologer, Reiki Master Teacher and Feng Shui consultant for many years. When she’s not writing mysteries, she’s also a wedding minister who creates unique and personalized ceremonies. C. lives in Hillsborough, NJ with her husband, her son and her old cat.
They invite you to enjoy the antics of the delightful Clara Martini and Florilla Munrow as they jump headfirst into the metaphysical mayhem!