Murder of an Open BookNow that the wedding and the honeymoon are over, I’m hoping that my days will get back to their old routine. Although, I guess being both a psychologist for the Scumble River school district and a psychological consultant for the Scumble River police department, routine is not a word that ever truly prescribes my schedule.

Every day is different, but at least I try to start it the same way, with early morning laps in the high school pool. My swim used to be for exercise, but lately it’s to help ease the queasiness. In the past, before I started waking up sick, I’d have a perfectly toasted English muffin with marmalade and a cup of Earl Grey for breakfast, but now I’m lucky if I can keep down a few Saltines and a sip of ginger tea.

After my swim, I shower in the locker room, dress, and head for my desk. Like most school psychologists, my office is a retrofit. At least in the high school, I was able to claim the old guidance counselor’s space so that even if everything in it is secondhand, I have enough room to conduct groups without stacking the kids like building blocks. In the junior high, I’m stuck with what used to be the custodian’s closet, and in the elementary school, they’ve got me wedged in a spot that until I arrived held the milk cooler.

Don’t get me wrong, I love working in the schools. Assisting kids, parents, and teachers figure out the best way for the students to learn both intellectually and emotionally is amazing. Many folks don’t realize that helping the kids feel better about themselves and the world around them, is a long term investment on everyone’s future. A lot of the tragedies that are splashed across the news could have been prevented if someone had been there for the perpetrators when they were children.

I wasn’t aware of the impact of social media until recently, but now that it’s been explained to me, I worry even more about the harm that’s done to people’s psyches. Cyber bullying and online stalking is starting to become a threat. I know, most of you probably knew about this issue for a long time, but here in Scumble River it’s only March of 2007 so I’m a bit behind the curve.

Previously, after school I’d head home, feed Bingo my black cat, and do chores. But now that I’m married, that routine has changed. My husband Wally—I really love saying that—brought his housekeeper into our marriage, and Dorothy does a lot of what I used to do. She works for us three days a week and her cooking is almost as good as my mom’s.

Of course on the days that Wally and I are investigating a case, there is no routine. Let’s just hope that no dead bodies turn up until my morning sickness clears up. Oops! I wasn’t supposed to tell you about that. Wally wants to wait until I’m safely through the first trimester before we make an announcement so please don’t spill the beans.

You can read more about Skye in Murder of an Open Book, the eighteenth book in the “Scumble River” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book is Murder of a Small-Town Honey.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Thursday, September 10th for your chance to win a signed copy of Murder of an Open Book. (US entries only, please.)

About the author
Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of three bestselling series, the Scumble River Mysteries, the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries, and the Change of Heart Romances.

Denise lives in rural Illinois with her handsome husband and black cat.

Connect with Denise on her website—, Facebook, and Twitter

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