Despite the wild adventure described in the first book about me (NICE WORK by Denise Weeks), I’m just plain Jacquidon Carroll, a regular person. Aside from my unique first name, I’m just a normal, typical, happy woman in my twenties with a younger sister I’m pretty close to (in age as well as in camaraderie). I’m not really any kind of amateur sleuth. Certainly not a Jessica Fletcher or Kinsey Millhone type.
Can you believe that Mama and my new, um, friend (he’s not exactly my BOYfriend, but I wish he were) Fred have started calling me and my sister Chantal the “Snoop Sisters”? In case you didn’t know it (I certainly didn’t–I’m only twenty-five), the “Snoop Sisters” was an old TV program, part of the NBC Mystery Movies series that included “Columbo” and “McMillan and Wife” and several others. Helen Hayes and Mildred Natwick played elderly sisters who write mysteries and track down killers from their nursing home, dropping witticisms at every turn. Think “The Golden Girls” crossed with “Murder, She Wrote.” Anyway, my sister and I are NOTHING like them at all. It was only by accident that we bumped into a killer.
Anyway, we got involved in this sleuthing deal only temporarily when I was laid off from my job at CSD Enterprises, and the next day my ex-boss Yancey drank a bottle of JavaJuice and fell over dead. The police thought I might’ve found an opportunity to poison him (or to splash some quinine water into his drink–he’s deathly allergic–which they felt would be the same sort of thing) as I was taking my leave from the company. After all, I did put up quite a fuss because Yancey’d had me going through resumes and choosing an “assistant” over the past few weeks, and as it turned out, he replaced me with her. (It’s called “downsizing” and then “opening a new position,” if you hadn’t guessed.) Several people from the office said I was “out of control” (I wasn’t; you should see me out of control, dear) and implied that I should be a suspect–including my boss’s boss, who was also his ex-wife, Bonnie. I was really hurt because I had thought Yancey and Bonnie both liked me and respected my work, but oh well . . . you never really KNOW people, do you?
You’d never suspect that stolid old Yancey or that prude Bonnie could have been secretly involved in a different lifestyle and that they had a reputation for not playing fair in their dealings in those clubs. But the two of them had enemies there (for good reason, as it turned out), and my sister and I ended up having to visit sex clubs in order to track down the suspects and find the real killer (who got Bonnie before we could stop the madness).
My house got destroyed by one of the perp’s final desperate acts, so now I’m living with my sister in her old Victorian on the square in downtown Renner, Texas. Only temporarily! Because I’m going to get a check from the insurance company Any Day Now so that my dog Fala and my two cats Ampersand and Octothorp can move with me into a nice new place. I think we’re about to wear out our welcome with my sister, who doesn’t like cat hair on her furniture (whereas I do not feel that any outfit is complete without dog hair).
Staying with Chantal does help to keep me on my diabetic diet, though. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a few weeks before I was laid off from CSD, so it’s all still pretty new to me. I’m doing pretty well, though. And I went through an outplacement career center to look for another job, and guess what? I ended up working in the career center’s office (at least for now) and dating the guy who runs the place. I guess the upheaval in my life all happened for a reason. I believe everything happens for a reason, and it all works together for the greater good. At least I hope it does.
Next on the agenda for me? I’m a finalist in the National Tree-Trimming Contest this year, and on the fifth of December, Chantal and I am going to New York City so that I can be in the final round, held at Rockefeller Center. (She’s going as my guest and has already amassed an entirely new travel wardrobe. She loves telling people that the only reason I am a finalist is that she sent in photos of my last few Christmas trees with an essay all about why I should be in the contest–I didn’t even know she had entered me until I got The Call from the organizers.) This should be a blast for us, as neither of us has ever been to New York. Might I win the $25,000 prize and all new Christmas decorations? Or might we get into some kind of trouble while we’re away from home, all alone? It’s up to you (as the song says), New York, New York! (You’ll be able to read all about the trip in the next Jacquidon Carroll mystery, HAVE YOURSELF A SCARY LITTLE CHRISTMAS.)
Denise is giving away one (1) copy of NICE WORK. Contest open to US residents only and ends March 23. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher.
Meet the author
Denise Weeks, a lifelong writer from Dallas, Texas, has been writing since she could hold a crayon. Novelist, pianist, belly dancer, baton twirler (but no fire batons ever again, by order of the Renner, Texas, Volunteer Fire Brigade), and amateur radio operator, she is a graduate of Southern Methodist University (many years after Laura Bush). She has worked as a software engineer, Dairy Queen soft-serve cone maker (she perfected that little twirl on the top of the dipped cone), and math tutor. She and her husband live happily in a northern suburb of Dallas, Texas, with their two beloved pets: a yappy Pomeranian and Denise’s elderly mother. The first Jacquidon Carroll mystery, NICE WORK, won the Dark Oak Mystery Novel contest. Writing as Shalanna Collins, she has published several YA fantasy novels.
You can find more about Denise on her social media sites. Visit her websites:
http://deniseweeks.blogspot.com (general official blog)
http://jackiesjotting.blogspot.com (for the Jacquidon Carroll series)
Denise’s (and Shalanna’s) books are available from Amazon and other retail and online booksellers.