With Baited BreathI knew my Grandma had a lot of health problems. I’m a high school English teacher, and during the school year it was difficult to drive the forty-plus miles to Lotus Bay (my favorite place on Earth) to visit my grandparents, especially with my relationship with Billy seeming to crumble by the day. I called at least once a week, but now I wish it had been more. I lost my grandma two days ago, and today is the funeral.

She had a massive stroke, so for her it was fast and painless. Not so much for me and my Gramps. Today is the third day in a row I’ve driven to the bay, but this time I brought an overnight bag. I think someone should stay with Gramps for a while, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be any other member of my family. You’d think Aunt Janet would step up to the plate. How does that old saying go? “A son is a son ’til he takes a wife; a daughter’s a daughter all her life.” From what Dad said, everyone (Ha! None of my cousins seems to making an effort to even attend) plans to vamoose the minute the funeral service is over. My Mom, ever the career-girl, has a big meeting scheduled tomorrow back at her job in Ohio, but you’d think Dad could make the effort to stay a day or so.

Of course, he grew up there and couldn’t wait to leave Lotus Bay, when I would give just about everything to be there on a permanent basis. Aunt Janet has no love for the place, either, but I do. I spent summers there with my grandparents. The best times of my life were spent catching minnows in the shallow water by Gramps’s dock. They ran a little motel, The Lotus Lodge, and I got to play with the children of all those families who came to stay. That was when Grandma was in good health. Gramps worked a day job in the city and Grandma ran the bait shop and the lodge all by herself. Where did she find the stamina? But somehow she always had time for me.

Then my parents moved to Ohio and that was the end of my happy summers. But I never lost my love for Lotus Bay.

The only bright part of my day will be seeing my BFF Kathy Grant. I’m glad she works nights, otherwise she’d have to take a day of vacation to come to Grandma’s funeral. We don’t see each other enough. It’s too bad Grandma had to die so we could so we could spend a few scant hours together other again.

It’s time to go. Time to say good-bye to my grandma.

You can read more about Tori in With Baited Breath, the first book in the new “Lotus Bay” mystery series.

With Baited Breath: Tori Cannon and her grandfather return from her grandma’s funeral to find a body jammed in one of their derelict motel units. The victim had no enemies except the rich woman who wants to level his eyesore of a home, a resentful daughter, and friends who were anything but. Tori’s BFF, Kathy, arrives to help spruce up the place and they are soon mixed up in the deadly consequences that murder entails. Can they save the business and find a murderer before they, too, sleep with the fishes?

About the author
The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett’s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series, the Tales of Telenia adventure-fantasy saga, and now the Lotus Bay Mysteries, and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the descriptions and links to all her works, and sign up for her emailed newsletter here: www.lorrainebartlett.com

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