My fingers hover over my laptop as I desperately wait for a burst of inspiration. The blank white screen kind of freaks me out, so I peck out the words A DAY IN MY LIFE with the three fingers I generally use to operate a keyboard.
That’s a bit better, doesn’t look quite so imposing. You know, I’m not much of a writer. I’m more action-oriented. And I’m a great big sucker.
Jessie Chandler, a goofy-ass mystery author chick, is a regular here at the Rabbit Hole. She downs a ton of our specialty dark hot chocolate with extra whip while she writes. Trust me, you don’t want to see what happens if she doesn’t get her whipped cream. Anyhoo, we’ve become pals, and she asked if I’d write a blog post for her. Said it would help her book promotion or something. So here I am.
Every time Jessie shows up, weird things happen. Not long after the first time she visited the Hole, my best friend, Coop—a six-foot-four, chain-smoking vegetarian—became a suspect in the murder of his super-skanky boss, Stanley “Kinky” Anderson. After all was said and done, I told Jessie about what happened. She decided to write about the insanity, and it actually became a book called Bingo Barge Murder.
A wet nose nudges my arm as I gear up to plunk out another sentence. Sitting next to my leg, paws akimbo, is an ex-police bloodhound with a wicked penchant for sniffing crotches. That’s why he’s an ex.
“Hey Bogey,” I say and give the top of his furry noggin a rub. Bogey’s butt shakes as he wags his tail and lets loose a gigantic string of drool that lands on my leg. I adopted the mutt when his previous owner was found dead, stuffed in a circus desk. Yeah, a circus desk. After nearly being blown to smithereens by a drug runner, and then surviving a Mexican cartel shootout, I brought Bogey home. Jessie turned that fiasco into a caper called Hide and Snake Murder.
“Shay! Eddy’s got a question.” That’s Kate. She’s the whirling dervish who co-owns the Hole with me.
“What?” I heave a sigh and glance across the front counter to see Kate on the phone, apparently with Eddy, who owns the huge Victorian that houses the Hole and her apartment.
“She wants to know if Coop’s coming tonight for the Mad Knitter meeting. And she wants you to pick up a jar of pickles for the festivities.”
I make a face. “Not sure, and I suppose.”
Kate sees the look on my face and laughs. “Just kidding,” she says.
Should I kill her now or later? Let me tell you, I don’t ever want to see another jar of pickles. Just a few months ago, JT dragged me to the Renaissance Festival for the first— and last—time. In search of a restroom, I accidentally came across a corpse. Yup. A very dead one. In a privy. With a pickle stuffed in his mouth. A little later, JT showed up wearing pickle chunks, and was promptly arrested. I didn’t know that the lead cop on the case was JT’s archenemy, and he wasn’t looking anywhere but at my girl for the homicide. Someone had to prove JT innocent, and that someone was me. Jessie ran with that and embellished the facts a bit. The story became Pickle in the Middle Murder. Just remember, you can’t believe everything you read.
Now, it’s the day before New Year’s Eve, and somehow, JT and I both managed to finagle some precious time off. Tomorrow we’re heading up north to Duluth, a seaport–or actually—lakeport city north of Minneapolis. It’s going to be the first real vacation we’ve ever taken. I can’t wait.
I’m pulled from my hot Jacuzzi, cold beer, and Coney dog daydreams when the bells attached to the front door jingle. In strolls Jessie. She spots me sitting at one of the round café tables, waves a hello at Kate, and heads my way. Damn. I’m never going to get this thing done. Then another thought strikes me. Oh shit. What’s going to happen after she leaves this time?
Yup, more trouble comes for Shay when her bar-owner dad goes missing on the busiest liquor-selling day of the year: New Year’s Eve. His gun has been used in a murder, and the dead guy who’s frozen in a huge block of ice isn’t talking. Follow Shay and her zany friend’s latest adventures in Chip off the Ice Block Murder, book 4 in the Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series.
You can read more about Shay in Chip off the Ice Block Murder, the fourth in the “Shay O’Hanlon” caper series, published by Midnight Ink. The first book in the series is Bingo Barge Murder. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.
Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on May 27, and you will be entered for a chance to win an autographed copy of CHIP OFF THE ICE BLOCK MURDER. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.
Meet the author
Jessie Chandler is the author of the Shay O’Hanlon Caper series, and is a board member of the Midwest chapter of Mystery Writer’s of America. Her debut novel, Bingo Barge Murder, won the Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award from the Golden Crown Literary Society. Hide and Snake Murder, Jessie’s second book, won an Independent Publisher’s Book Award and a Goldie in the Mystery/thriller category from the Golden Crown Literary Society. Visit her online at JessieChandler.com.
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