Hi, my name is Tina Shaw. I live in the wonderful town of Newport, RI, where my typical day is filled with sunshine, the scent of the ocean, and old mansions. Plus some stunt kite flying at Brenton Point if the winds are just right.
I used to live by a schedule and most of my days were typical. But things changed when I moved back to my mother’s old Victorian house in Newport just before I turned thirty. I’d been away, except for visits, since I left for college back when I was eighteen. My mother’s a bit controlling and likes to keep secrets, but we generally get along okay. My great-uncle Bob also lives with us along with Princess, his golden Lab hearing assistance dog. He’s an old Navy guy, and so much fun to be around. He likes to use clichés a lot, both twisted and regular, and the biggest words he can think of.
The only drawback to living back home is the food. Neither my mother nor our uncle can cook (cliché alert) worth a hoot. So, unfortunately, since I never learned to wield a spatula, there are no recipes in my stories. And I’m often a big hungry.
However, since I came home, I’ve taken up a new profession—that of personal organizer and time management helper. Jan includes a few hints in her stories about me as problems dealing with those things pop up. It’s been interesting so far. You’d be amazed at the secrets you’ll find in people’s jumble. I mean, like a dead body in a perfect baby’s nursery in an otherwise badly cluttered home (Organized to Death). Or the secrets to her murder in the hoarder’s house next door (Buried Under Clutter). Or maybe a ghost in a friend’s old Victorian’s attic (upcoming next spring, Cluttered Attic Secrets).
I’m fortunate to have lots of help figuring out who the villains are from my old school chum who wants to be more than friends, Hank (called Hank the Hunk by my girlfriends). Like my mother, he has a few secrets, so I’m not quite sure what he does for a living, but he says he’s a police consultant. I’m pretty sure once you find out more about him, you’ll be as skeptical about that as I am. But he does hang out around the police station and seems to know a lot about police procedure. You can forgive a guy a lot of things when he’s as yummy as old Hank.
The downside to this new profession has been my mother’s dislike/disdain for the whole idea of “mucking around in other people’s messes,” plus, of course, the dead bodies. The upside is, I’m never bored.
Now that we’ve cleared up the whole ghost-in-the-attic thing, I’m looking for a new job. Lucky for me, it’s almost spring here on the island, so I’ll probably go kite flying while I wait. My uncle loves to tell me to “go fly a kite.” And I like making my uncle happy, so I’m off. ’Bye!
You can read more about Tina in Buried Under Clutter, the second book in the “Tina Tales” mystery series, published by Jan Christensen. The first book in the series is Organized to Death.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on September 3 for the chance to win a kindle version of BURIED UNDER CLUTTER. The giveaway is open to everyone.
About the author
Jan Christensen grew up in New Jersey and now resides in the Texas Coastal Bend. Published novels are: Sara’s Search, Revelations, Organized to Death, Perfect Victim, Blackout, and most recently, Buried Under Clutter. She’s had over sixty short stories appear in various places over the last dozen years. She also writes a series of short stories about Artie, a NY burglar who gets into some very strange situations while on the job. Visit Jan at her website, on Twitter or on Facebook.