Frame ChangeHi! My name is Nina Bannister. I have lived my whole life in Bay St. Lucy. I suppose the first thing I should tell you is—oh darn, excuse me, I’ve got to go and let my cat Furl out.

Okay, I’m back. I’m a retired high school principal, but most of my best memories are from when I was a high school English teacher. Thirty two years. How time flies. Seems like yesterday when I…but you probably don’t want to hear much more about that. Better to talk about ‘now’ than ‘then.’ Just a minute. I’ve got to let Furl back in.

Furl and unFurl, Furl and unfurl, in and out, in and out. That darn cat!

Most days I spend my mornings at Elementals: Treasures from the Earth and Sea. My best friend Margot Gavin owns the shop, and we used to work there together, puttering around and rearranging this and that, mostly drinking coffee out in the garden section—but Margot got married a year or so ago and now runs a bed and breakfast in northern Mississippi with her new husband.

I do miss her, but she comes back to town from time to time for a visit, and we catch up on what’s been happening here on the gulf coast. Really not too much happens in Bay St. Lucy. We have several nice restaurants and lovely shops that the tourists visit. We’re not extremely well known, and we like it that way. The tide comes in, the tide goes out, the tourists come in, the tourists go out, and life rambles on at a slow pace, which seems commensurate with the in and out of the daily ocean currents. But Bay St. Lucy is home, always has been, and Furl and I love it here.

I suppose I should tell you about some of the small problems that I’ve been involved in. We have had a few brutal murders—just five, no big deal—well, actually six, if you count the new book that’s coming out in October. (It’s called Sex Change, and it’s NOT WHAT YOU’RE thinking!). It’s just in time for the November elections. It’s very strange that I always seem to become involved in these murders. We have a great police department, headed by a competent and caring Moon Rivard. Sometimes I seem to get involved because of my late husband Frank’s law partner Jackson Bennett. It’s not intentional on his part. He’s a great friend and advisor to me (and was, a few years ago, one of the best running backs in the history of LSU). Other times I’ve become involved because my good friends have been accused of being murderers.

And that’s just ridiculous!

To think that Macy Peterson, sweet blue eyed Macy, could ever have taken a letter opener and…

. . .but there I go, getting ahead of myself again. Suffice to say that I have a very gentle circle of friends, and they could never have done the terrible things they always seemed to be accused of doing. Even though, I must say, there have been some pretty evil characters in Bay St. Lucy in the past couple of years, and if anybody ever deserved to be murdered, well…but no, I’m a good Methodist, and should not be even thinking such things!

But if you really want a normal day—minus the murders—it’s something like the following: wake up, let Furl out, go to Bagatellis’ Bakery (WONDERFUL CROISSANTS!), walk back to my beach front shack, let Furl back in, eat and have coffee on my deck, count the dolphins that I can see swimming by, take my Vespa into town and to Elementals, do whatever needs to be done, come back home, let Furl out again, have a small lunch, read (Dorothy Sayers? Jane Austen?), let Furl back in, take a nice nap, and then, in the late afternoon, go fishing with my friend Penelope (it is true Penelope speaks only in obscenities, but I’ve known her so long it doesn’t bother me anymore) and, most days, catch dinner.

Some days I might eat out with Allanna Delafosse, John Giusti and Helen Reddington, or Jackson and his daughter Alyssa, one of my Lady Mariners basketball players (point guard) the year that I coached. We can choose from Sergio’s by the Sea or any one of a number of seafood restaurants. Sometimes I might go to a concert at the Auberge des Arts (the old Robinson Mansion, which you know about if you’ve read Sea Change).

Every evening ends with a walk on the beach and a chat with Frank (who, even though he is not here in the flesh, will always occupy a large part of my mind and soul). As for life in general, I’m reminded of what Jane Austen tells me every day: “A mind lively and at ease can do with seeing nothing and can see nothing that does not answer.” I want to keep my mind lively but NEVER let it be at ease. Thanks for sharing my day and remember you are invited to drop in on Furl and me at any time you choose.

You can read more about Nina in Frame Change, the fifth book in the “Nina Bannister” mystery series, published by Cozy Cat Press. The first book in the series is Sea Change.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 3 for the chance to win a kindle copy of FRAME CHANGE. The giveaway is open to everyone.

Meet the author
Pam (T’Gracie) Britton Reese is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at Indiana-Purdue University at Fort Wayne. She has published books about autism with LinguiSystems. She enjoys teaching and research, but is never happier than when plotting (with her husband) a new murder, or coming up with ways that Nina Bannister can solve it.

Joe Reese is a novelist, playwright, storyteller, and college teacher. He has published seven novels, several plays, and a number of stories and articles. He and his wife, Pam have three children: Kate, Matthew and Sam.

You can visit them at their website, on Twitter or Facebook

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