“So, do you work?”

When people ask me that question, my first inclination is to groan (to myself, of course) and take a deep breath. Then I tell people what all I do. A ‘normal’ day encompasses checking in on my friend next door, who is just starting a bed and breakfast, and looking after my animals; Hoppy is a little ten pound three-legged Yorkie-Poo—more Yorkie than Poo, if you ask me—and Denver is my ‘crabby tabby’, also a rescue pet.

Then, I go to work. I don’t have one job, I have a half dozen, because I fill in for most of the store-owners in town. None of them can afford permanent help, so I am their go-to gal when they have a doctor’s appointment, need a vacation day, or are under the weather. So let’s say today it is at the Queensville Emporium, where I fill in most often because the Klausner’s, who own the store and still run it, are into their nineties and need time off for appointments, etc. I love working at the Emporium; it’s an old-fashioned general store where they sell everything from hula hoops to hot dogs. It also contains the Queensville Pharmacy counter, run by my friend, Valetta Nibley. Mid-morning we take a tea break out on the porch, and she fills me in on every stitch of gossip she’s heard over the last twenty-four hours.

It’s our entertainment. Hey, we live in a small town, and nothing is more interesting than the details of other folks’ lives.

But other than paid work, right now I’m also busy helping our heritage society prepare for our annual ‘Tea with the Queen’ event. Queensville, Michigan is a border town, right across the St. Clair River from Canada, and we get many Canadian tourists, especially on Victoria Day, the weekend before our Memorial Day. It’s a fun event, with a local woman playing Queen Victoria presiding over a grand tea on the lawn of a local historical house. I’m a ‘servant’ at the event, but this year I plan to bake something for the tea, too, using an authentic vintage recipe.

Because in between multiple jobs and family obligations, my real love is collecting vintage cookware and cookbooks. I go to flea markets, garage sales, antique markets and estate sales looking for those wonderful old pieces to decorate the kitchen of my Queen Anne style home. I say ‘my’ home, but I co-own it with my sister Becca, a result of our parents, who moved to Boca Raton several years ago, deeding us the house jointly. I can’t get enough Pyrex, Depression glass, vintage cookbooks and linens.

At the end of the day I head home, let the animals out, do household chores on the house and work for a few hours on my ‘secret’ project—the one I haven’t told anyone about yet, not even my sister, Becca—then it’s dinner, a walk for Hoppy and outside time for Denver, then to bed with a romance novel.

What about romance for me, you ask? Not since Joel Anderson walked out of my life, leaving me with the crushed up remains of my heart. I’m getting over it, but it’s slow going. I’d love to find someone new; wouldn’t we all? At thirty-two, I’m still waiting for the love of my life to turn up.

But I have a sense that change is in the air. Do you ever get that feeling? I sense that my settled, easy, kind of boring life is going to change, and I’m not sure if I should be excited about it, or scared.

You can read more about the changes in store for Jaymie Leighton in A DEADLY GRIND, first book in the new Berkley Prime Crime ‘Vintage Kitchen Mysteries’ cozy series.

** Thanks to the Victoria, I have one (1) copy of A DEADLY GRIND and a crafted bookmark to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends May 4. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **

Meet the Author
Victoria Hamilton is the new incarnation of a nationally bestselling romance author. She now happily writes about vintage kitchen collecting and dead bodies for Berkley Prime Crime in the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries. Besides writing about murder and mayhem, and blogging at Killer Characters, Victoria adores collecting vintage kitchen wares and old cookbooks, as well as teapots and teacups. She loves cooking, cross stitch and crocheting, and pampering her pets. Visit Victoria at: www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com to read an excerpt from A Deadly Grind, and for online availability of this and other Victoria Hamilton Mysteries.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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