I’m a mom living in the quaint suburban town of Rustic Woods. Many of my days go something like this: I have one headache, two doctor’s visits to reschedule, three daughters giving me the evil eye, four piles of clean laundry screaming to be folded, and five minutes to get to ballet class which is twenty minutes across town. Husband Howard has called to tell me he’ll be working late for the eleventh night in a row.

“I don’t want to go to ballet today!” wails my usually good-natured Amber.

“Those lessons were expensive and you’re going. I was dollars away from having to sell a kidney to pay for them.” I point to the stairs. “Go get your bag.”

I pick up the phone and punch in some numbers. “We’ll go as soon as I reschedule these appointments.”

Amber crosses her arms across her chest, sticks out her lip and glares me down before turning to stomp away.

A woman answers after three rings.

“Schmenck, Schmenck, and Yang Pediatrics, can I help you?”

“This is Barbara Marr. My daughters, Bethany and Callie, had appointments with Dr. Yang at four o’clock. You’re not going to believe this – it sounds crazy, I know – but I couldn’t find my car keys for over an hour. I turned the house upside down. That’s why we missed those appointments. I have them now though – the keys, that is. They were in the freezer next to the peanut butter.” I end with a chuckle hoping to add some levity to an otherwise gruesome tale.

As you have probably guessed by the specific details above, many of my days are not only chaotic, but repetitive.

However, there are other days that are, well . . . a tad more interesting.

See, I attract trouble the way the North Pole attracts short men with odd wardrobe choices. More to the point: I find dead people.

For instance, there was the time I found a severed human head in my neighbor’s basement. Technically, I guess you could say in that particular case, that I found part of a dead person. Then there was the time that I accidentally ran my minivan into a neighbor only to find out that someone else had already tried to kill her first. And most recently, a famous movie director actually died on top of me. Don’t worry, it wasn’t sexual—I’m happily married. It was messy though. On the upside, at least it wasn’t another neighbor.

Now, the days when I try to mix mothering with murder investigation—those are days of pure bedlam. Trust me. I could write a book.


** Thanks to the Karen, I have one (1) e-copy of SILENCED BY THE YAMS to give away. Contest ends February 22. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. E-book will be sent via e-email directly from the author. **

Meet the author:
Karen Cantwell is the author of the Barbara Marr Murder Mystery series. Like her character, Barbara Marr, Karen is a mother living in the suburbs. She has never, however, found monkeys in her trees (at least not literally) or a severed human head in her neighbor’s basement, and for this she is very thankful since she would not approach the events with nearly as much chutzpah as Barb. Books in the series are Take The Monkeys And Run, Citizen Insane, and the newly released SILENCED BY THE YAMS. She is currently conjuring a fourth in the series, Saturday Night Cleaver. Karen loves to hear from readers. You can find her email address on the website, KarenCantwell.com.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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