Call me Stella. Let me tell you, a day in my life goes by in a blur! What with improving people’s hair at my salon for hours on end. Talk about crimes of fashion! Before I style them, that is. But I’m especially busy now that I’m getting married to the man in my life, the one and only Nigel Percival Griffin. He is a dreamboat, and he has the cutest English accent.
Anyway. I can’t just lay around and dream about marrying Nigel all day.
First things first! A day in my life, right? Okay! First I open my eyes, then I open a Coke. Nothing like sugar and caffeine to get me going and blast me out of bed. Then I have to create my look for the day. I have to look totally fabulous, not just for Nigel, but also because I manage Stylettos Hair Salon in Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., and “fabulous” is practically our motto. Actually our secret motto is “It’ll grow,” but don’t worry, if you’re my client, you’ll still look fabulous when it grows out.
You’ve heard of Stylettos. At least if you have fabulous hair in this city, you’ve have. My philosophy of life is that performing hair and makeup is not a trade or a craft, it is a performance art, and I am the artist. So if I tell you your ends are dry and you need some product, you should listen!
With the wedding looming, I gotta look better than ever. My bridal colors are pink and white, as if you didn’t know, to go with Washington’s famous cherry blossoms. To go with my theme, I spiced up these brown curls of mine with some pale pink highlights. Color my wedding-cake world pink, pink, pink! “La Vie en Rose,” like the song says.
After I get to work and wow everyone with my Stella Lake Ensemble du Jour, I check in with my maid of honor and BFF, Lacey Smithsonian. She’s the fashion reporter at The Eye Street Reporter, you know, the one who keeps getting involved with all those crimes. Solving them, not committing them, I mean. And figuring them all out with fashion clues. The first murder even happened right in Stylettos, my own salon. I tipped her off to it, but Lacey took down the murderer. Course he almost took her down first. You can read about it in The Eye or in Killer Hair. Do we make a great team, or what?
Lacey is throwing my bachelorette party, so we have to discuss all the details every day. I’m totally not worried about the bachelorette bash or the wedding or anything. What could possibly go wrong with Lacey in charge? Well, she is kind of a murder magnet, but that’s not her fault, and a murder would never happen with a wedding to organize.
Marie Largesse, the psychic, (you’ve heard of her) is one of my bridesmaids. She’s gonna play the mysterious Gypsy fortuneteller at my bachelorette bash. The best thing about Marie is that whatever fortunes she tells people are always totally positive, on account of how she faints when she sees anything bad coming in your future. When she wakes up she can’t remember any of the bad stuff, but Marie fainting is kind of a bad sign. But if she’s awake and telling your fortune and not sprawled on the floor fainted dead away, you can be sure you have only good things coming your way. I am seriously hoping and praying that Marie doesn’t faint or anything, until after the wedding. I mean, everyone deserves a break from bad luck, right?
Anyway. Marie is lending me this gorgeous shawl for the “something borrowed” part of the bridal rhyme. The weather in the spring can be totally unpredictable in D.C. so having a shawl is a good idea, and this shawl is spectacularly gorgeous. It’s some kind of embroidered Russian antique shawl. A gift from Marie’s fiancé, Gregor Kepelov, who is like an ex-KBG spy or something and sort of an international man of mystery. But there’s just one little thing. The shawl could be slightly, um, haunted. There are rumors. I’m spooked enough as it is. And Nigel and me, we’ve had bad luck. But Lacey tells me she’s sure I’m just having a bad case of bridal nerves. I hope so.
And there’s just one other thing. I’m the tiniest bit worried about my bridal gown. I thought I liked it when I bought it at that crazy sale, where I had to go mano-a-mano with another bride to land it. It’s white and poufy and totally wedding-y and I should be thrilled with it. But now? Well, it might not be quite Stellarrific enough, you know? I don’t know how to tell Lacey, my favorite fashion maven, that I might kind of hate my wedding dress. But she’ll think of something, she always does. I mean, come on, she’s the maid of honor, she can do anything! Everything’s going to be okay. After all, nobody’s gonna die or anything! Lacey promised me. And Lacey is always right. Well, mostly.
Anyway, you can check out the whole story in Lacey’s new book, Veiled Revenge. Stella Lake out, and have a Stellarrific day!
Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of VEILED REVENGE to give away. Contest open to US residents only and ends February 23. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher.
Meet the author
Ellen Byerrum is a novelist, playwright, reporter, Washington journalist, and a graduate of private investigator school in Virginia. Her Crime of Fashion mysteries star a savvy, stylish female sleuth named Lacey Smithsonian, a reluctant fashion reporter in Washington D.C. (which she calls “The City Fashion Forgot.) While researching fashion, Byerrum has collected her own assortment of 1940s vintage dresses and suits, and the occasional accessory, but laments her lack of closet space. She has been a D.C. news reporter in Washington, a playwright, and holds a Virginia P.I. registration. Although she currently resides in Denver, Colorado, fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian will continue to be based in Washington, D.C. Veiled Revenge is the ninth book in the series.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.