Keeping MumYou know how some people are a little envious of their best friend? They wish they could sing as well, or draw, or looked as good in a pair of skinny jeans? That’s just never been how I roll. Cam Harris and I have been best friends for more than twenty years and we’re just way too opposite for me to think about being jealous. For starters, Cam really can’t sing a note, and while she does rock a pair of skinny jeans, I find them tight and binding. I’d rather wear a flowy skirt or a pair of yoga pants anyway. Besides, Jake loves my curves. But I do have one thing I’m pretty envious about. Cam really won the jackpot in the Daddio Lottery.

I mean I love my dad, but… he’s always wanting me to do things I hate. Like behave. See, he’s a former senator, always in the public eye. He says I reflect on him. Well poo. That’s his issue. What I really want to talk about though, is all the ways Mr. H. really rocks.

For starters, he has saved my bacon (not literally—I’m a vegetarian) more times than I can count. He’s bailed me out of jail twice (both times wrongly… well… unjustly accused). There is no way I could call my own dad for that—he’d be mortified. But Mr. H. just believes in me because he’s known me since I was a girl. He doesn’t ask too many questions—just waits for me to explain in my own time.

And he asks me for relationship advice, which is a hoot. He’s a total babe magnet—age-appropriate of course—and his daughters get uncomfortable hearing about it, so he likes to run things by me. And if I were twenty years older I totally get it. He’s funny and charming in that ‘aw, shucks’ kind of way. Plus he’s handy—never hurts to have your guy be handy!

Finally though, he is mostly just really good company. Half of high school I was avoiding home—my dad was still trying to mold me, and by mold, I mean make rotten. The Harrises always welcomed me, but Cam and her mom had all these activities, so sometimes I just hung out. He taught me enough carpentry to build book shelves and I got him hooked on strange TV shows like Twin Peaks and The X-files. Cam still doesn’t know that he taught me how to beat her at Cribbage.

So if any of you are looking for good role models on how to be a great dad… or even a good friend… just look to Mr. H. He’s got it down.

You can read more about Annie, Mr. H. and Cam in Keeping Mum, the third book in the “Garden Society” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is The Azalea Assault. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Book Blurb: Cam and Annie are simultaneously roped into organizing a political fundraiser, so Annie suggests they have fun with it and hold a murder mystery supper. There is nothing that could go wrong with that… but when someone other than the intended victim turns up dead and an important guest goes missing, they have some sleuthing to do.

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by 6pm EST on March 22, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of Keeping Mum. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Hart_signing2013Meet the author
Alyse Carlson is the pen name for Hart Johnson. Alyse writes books from her bathtub. A social scientist by day, Hart spends her evenings plotting grand conspiracies and murdering people on paper. You can learn more about her at her blog:

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