“Excluding homicide detectives and mystery writers, I doubt if anyone wakes up Monday mornings thinking, ‘Hmm, this would be a good week to solve a murder.’ But there are days, and then there are days that change everything.
I treasure the first five minutes of early morning, nestling beneath my comforter in my post-divorce townhouse, grateful to be free, independent, and warm. Utter bliss until my list of things-to-do-today calls a committee meeting to nudge me into consciousness. My cue to throw on old sweats, brew my first cup of coffee, and then head outside for a run before I dress for work.
I’m Liz Cooper, Los Angeles psychologist. I spend my office hours talking with clients who seek solutions or magic cures for their problems. There are no magic cures, hell, there is no magic, but we sort out issues and work out solutions in our sessions.
Ask me and I’ll tell you I became a psychologist because people, human emotions, and social interactions fascinate my scientific mind. But deep down I might admit I became a psychologist because my mother is slightly nuts and my ex-husband Jarret was and remains the boy who never grew up. Like the homicide detectives in my family—my retired Dad and my brother Dave—I look for facts and logical answers.
As with most women, one-third of my closet is black. Black sweaters, shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, shoes, and belts. Black is the new black, the chic choice, the flaw concealer, the slimmer—just ask my fashion-aware mother. The day everything changed I had a non-fashion reason to wear black: my best friend Robin and I would be at Forest Lawn cemetery later to visit her husband Josh’s grave.
Josh died two years ago in a horrible car accident, the day after his fortieth birthday party. At his party Mom did a Tarot card reading for Josh. And though Mom continues to believe in mystical nonsense, after that night she stopped taking her Tarot cards to parties.
So today Robin and I will visit Josh’s grave and remember the good times. I’ll use my heart and all my skills to comfort my dear friend and be there for her. I’d do anything for my childhood buddy and, as I’m about to learn, that includes delving into the world of the supernatural to save her.”
Prior to her writing career, Rochelle Staab was an award-winning radio and music industry executive. WHO DO, VOODOO? is the first novel in her “Mind for Murder” mystery series featuring Los Angeles psychologist Liz Cooper and Religious Philosophy Professor Nick Garfield.
The plot for WHO DO, VOODOO? originated on a late night in Hollywood as Rochelle stood with a friend in front of a Psychic Advisor storefront, waiting for the restaurant valet next door to bring their cars. The open but mysteriously deserted shop sparked her curiosity about the proliferation of psychic shops in L.A. Who visits psychic shops? Why? What goes on behind closed doors in the supernatural subculture of Los Angeles? Months later a voodoo tour of New Orleans shifted Rochelle’s imagination toward darker belief systems and an idea for a mystery series: What if there were amateur sleuths who specialized in occult-related crimes? And what if one of those sleuths was a staunch non-believer? You can follow Rochelle on her website: www.rochellestaab.com
** To celebrate the release of WHO DO, VOODOO?, I’m giving away one copy of the book, thanks to the publisher. To enter, you must leave a valid e-mail address in the comment box with your comment. This is only open to US addresses at the publisher’s request. Contest ends on November 7th at 6pm EST. Winner will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.