My name is Colleen Caruso and since the day I went jogging in the woods near my house and tripped over the body of my daughter’s missing Algebra teacher, my life has been anything but ordinary. First off – I gave up jogging.
It’s not like we have a whole lot crime here in my sleepy little Jersey Shore town of Tranquil Harbor, so the dead teacher is a pretty big deal – at least for the police and our local newspaper, The Town Crier, where I work as a stringer.
My hunky boss, Ken Rhodes, has recently given me my own crime column. This came as a huge surprise since he has always considered my writing to be nothing more than fluff filler. He thinks because I found the body I might offer our readers an interesting, first-hand perspective of the murder investigation.
The fact that I had a major argument with the dead teacher recently and might be a suspect myself should give my columns quite a dramatic flair. And as a not-quite-divorced mother of two, I can always use the extra cash the columns will bring in to help pay the bills, not to mention buying my stingy, cheating ex a pair of cement boots if I ever decide to give into temptation and toss him into the ocean.
My son and daughter are my greatest accomplishments – even if my sullen teenager acts like she doesn’t know me most of the time and my son, six years younger than his sister, thinks a mother’s main purpose is to wash his baseball uniform and keep a steady supply of Twinkies in the cupboard.
I have an annoyingly gorgeous best friend who looks like a living, breathing Barbie doll, a flaky kid sister, a domineering mother and a dependable, docile father. They all live nearby and I have come to rely on them for moral support, babysitting, and comfort food.
They know I’m not a killer, and collectively we should be able to figure out who wanted the teacher dead and why.
The phone is ringing and I know it’s my editor calling to remind me to go to Harbor Regional High School to cover the memorial service for the dead teacher. I’ll bet there will be plenty of suspects in that bordello-red auditorium to throw suspicion away from me.
Wish me the best, though with my luck the next time you hear from me it will be from Rahway State Prison. Do inmates really wear orange jumpsuits? Does anyone know? God, I hope not. I look awful in orange!
You can read more about Colleen Caruso in New Math Is Murder, the first book in the “Jersey Girl” cozy mystery series, published by Cup of Tea books, an imprint of PageSpring Publishing. The second book in the series, Hide Nor Hair, is due to be released by the Spring of 2015.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on January 9 for the chance to win a copy of NEW MATH IS MURDER. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
About the author
Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa lives in New Jersey and draws on her experience as a freelance correspondent to create oddball characters and unusual scenarios. In addition to hundreds of published articles, her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies.
Her love of mystery comes from her first influence in the genre – Alfred Hitchcock movies. Shadow of a Doubt is her favorite Hitchcock film. She primarily reads mysteries and horror, though during the course of writing a novel, she prefers to read non-fiction.
Jo-Ann is an avid hockey fan and a New Jersey Devils disciple. She is also a non-gifted amateur photographer who is desperately trying to learn how not to cut off the heads of her photography subjects.
Visit Jo-Ann at www.joannlamonreccoppa.com.