A Day in the Life with Alanis MacLachlan by Steve Hockensmith

Fool Me OnceYou want to know about a day in my life? Well, this much I can tell you for sure: It’s going to start way too damn early, and it’s probably going to get weird before it’s over.

Up until a few months ago, I had a pretty normal routine. On weekdays, it looked like this: up at 9, at work by 10, annoy people till 7 (I was a telemarketer — don’t hate me), home by 8, in bed by midnight. On weekends, it was up whenever, hang around till whenever, ponder the meaninglessness of life till whenever, maybe go on a bad date whenever (and with whoever — it never ended up mattering), go to bed (alone) whenever.

Like I said: pretty normal. (That is pretty normal, right? I was raised by my sociopath con artist mother, so “normal” doesn’t always come easy to me.)

Then I moved to Berdache, Arizona, to take over the fortune-telling parlor my mom had left me, and the old routine went out the window. For one thing, along with the shop — the White Magic Five & Dime — I inherited a teenage half-sister, Clarice. Clarice is a good kid, but she’s still a kid. I can depend on her to get up for school every morning at 6:30. . .and I can also depend on her to wake me up when she starts banging around in the kitchen looking for a clean bowl for her Froot Loops.

If my sister doesn’t wake me up too early, a customer will. Clarice and I live in an apartment above the White Magic Five & Dime, so if someone knocks on the shop’s front door I’m going to hear it. And I’m going to come downstairs and see who it is, too, because I’ve made it my mission to find and help my mother’s old customers — a.k.a. her old victims.

Remember the “sociopath con artist” thing? Well, Mommy Dearest was still at it till the day she died. The only thing that changed was her con of choice. Her last few years, it was tarot reading.

So there I’ll be, up too early trying to help people my mother scammed by pretending to be a tarot reader myself. (I need an excuse to keep the shop open. And hey — I think I’m actually getting kind of good at it.) And if things are going just a little too smoothly that day, you know what’ll happen?

Someone will turn up murdered.

First it was my mother herself. (I probably shouldn’t admit it, but my first reaction upon hearing that someone had killed her was “What took so long?”) Then it was the abusive husband of one of my mom’s customer/victims. Next it could be me if I keep poking my nose into people’s business around Berdache.

Fortunately, being raised by a sociopath con artist has an upside. All that experience with lying and cheating and escaping and surviving comes in pretty handy when there’s a killer on the loose. So I’ve managed to con my way out of an early grave. . .so far. But who knows?

The day is young.


You can read more about Alanis in Fool Me Once, the second book in the “Tarot” mystery series written by Steve Hockensmith (with help from tarot expert Lisa Falco) and published by Midnight Ink. The first book in the series is The White Magic Five & Dime.

About Fool Me Once
Since taking over the White Magic Five & Dime, Alanis McLachlan has been tracking down old customers and making amends for her mother’s con jobs. So when Marsha — one of the shop’s most loyal clients — comes looking for a way out of her abusive marriage, Alanis does everything she can to help.

But lending a hand leads to unforeseen consequences, including the murder of Marsha’s husband. Now Alanis has to use her wiles to undo a mess of her own making. Her growing mastery of the tarot might help her find the truth…if the killer doesn’t get to her first.

Critics are calling Fool Me Once “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and “delightfully quirky” (Kirkus).

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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on August 28 for the chance to win a paperback edition of Fool Me Once. The giveaway is open to everyone. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.

About the author
Steve Hockensmith is the author of 14 novels and dozens of short stories in a variety of genres. His Hockensmithnovel Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the official prequel to the smash “mashup” Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, was a New York Times bestseller. His other books include the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies sequel Dreadfully Ever After, the Edgar Award-nominated mystery/Western Holmes on the Range and the science-adventure for kids Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab (written with frequent Jimmy Kimmel Live! guest “Science Bob” Pflugfelder).

Connect with him on www.stevehockensmith.com, on Facebook or on Twitter.

38 responses to “A Day in the Life with Alanis MacLachlan by Steve Hockensmith

  1. Working in a library provides me the opportunity to read a wide range of genres & authors. I’m going to see what the library partnership program has by Steve Hockensmith as my library doesn’t have any of his titles. If I win this book, I will definitely add it to the library’s collection so many patrons can be exposed to the Tarot Mystery series. Thanks, Dru for introducing me to another new author!

  2. Nancy Roessner

    This sounds like a fascinating series with an original theme and plot. I would love to read it!

  3. A really fun series; thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  4. This is a new series for me, but have to admit it sounds fun. Will be checking it out. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. Doward Wilson

    I really enjoyed the first book in this series and am happy to see it is continuing. Your postings and reviews are fun, informative and keep us hopping with out TBR list. Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. This is a new author for me and this series sounds like a fun read. Thank you for this giveaway.

  7. Debbie Carnes

    Love this series , can’t wait to read this one

  8. I put the first in this series on my library list.

  9. This should be fun. I want it.

  10. Thanks for this captivating giveaway. What an intriguing and great series.

  11. Brian Frauenknecht

    This sounds like a great series and definitely one that I am going to have to check out. I would love to win a copy of this book, and I am definitely going to have to see if I can get a copy of the first one in the series.

  12. Got my copy! My daughter hooked me on your Holmes on the Range series. Hope you get to Malice Domestic one day so we can get our books signed!

  13. Sounds interesting and a little quirky, but good, would love to tin, ty for the chance

  14. I love the idea of a con artist mother–will have to add my reading list.

  15. Barbara Hackel

    I enjoyed the first book in this series, and am delighted to learn about the second book. Thanks Dru! 🙂 Thank you also (Dru and Steve) for the opportunity to win a copy!

  16. Sylvia Vollmer

    The first book was great, I look forward to reading the second one.

  17. elainehroberson

    Another new-to-me series to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy. It sounds wonderful.

  18. Sounds like a great fun read! Adding this series to my tbr list!

  19. New to me but sounds great. On my TBR.

  20. A new-to-me author and series–yay!! Looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Fool Me Once.

  21. Looks like a good, quirky new book! Thanks for the chance to win!

  22. Okay, I was thinking that I don’t need to start another series until I catch up on a few, then I read the above about her mother and “what took so long”, well it made me laugh, so you hooked me, I need to start a new series. Thanks for the chance to win this one, now I have to go look for the first.

  23. Steve Williams

    I am currently reading, and enjoying, The White Magic Five and Dime. I read the entire (so far) Holmes on the Range series and am a big fan of the Amlingmeyer brothers. I like Longmire, too, but Amlingmeyers are more fun.

  24. Patricia Fester

    This sounds like a great book/series !!
    Thanks ..

  25. Celest Mattis

    This series sounds fantastic, can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  26. I’ve been looking at this book in a few places, it looks like fun. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  27. Barbara Landrum

    Sounds like an interesting series.

  28. This is a new author to me and sounds like a fascinating book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  29. Yet another winning sounding book, Dru.

  30. This sounds like an amazing series. I have started the first book and would love the second to read and review:) Thank you Dru

  31. Tarot readings and mysteries? Count me in?! It sounds like loads of fun 🙂

  32. I would like to give this series a try….
    Thank you for the giveaway…..

  33. Marilyn Watson

    Love the events this is built around…tarot cards how exciting…
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  34. OK, Steve, I am in. Sounds like lots of laughs.

  35. Looks like an interesting series.

  36. What a wonderful plot.

  37. Michelle Fidler

    A Tarot mystery sounds different.

  38. Contest is closed.