“Do you want a pastry with that, Miss?”
Now that the cashier had asked, Ruby couldn’t say no. It was like he was daring her. Of course she wanted a pastry. “A caramel roll. Heated up with butter. Extra butter.” With the requested pastry in one hand, she held her phone out in the other. Just her, the caramel roll, and a touch of cleavage. She was going for a sort of flirting with the camera slash taking a bite of the caramel roll look. It might be good for that new dating website she’d been considering, if the zoning commissioner never called back. After she snapped the photo, she heard someone behind her clear his throat. “Excuse me, miss.”
Ruby glanced behind her and her eyes widened in surprise. The line had gotten really long. “Oh, Sorry! I didn’t notice.”
More appropriately situated in the “Pick Cup” line, Ruby uploaded her new photo and started answering questions on the dating website.
Name: Ruby O’Deare.
Home: Emerald City, Kansas
Job: She frowned and typed private investigator, then erased. She didn’t mean to be an investigator. It just sort of happened. Lawyer. . . not if she could help it. She finally settled on lingerie sales associate/solves occasional murder. Weird as it sounded, it was the most accurate. Her office was above a lingerie store and she solved murders. Maybe it would be better to say she was unemployed. Less explaining required. Scrolling through the pages of questions, she noticed they didn’t get any easier.
With a sigh, she decided she didn’t want to date online anyway. Her wedding was already planned—Vera Wang gown, calla lilies, fireflies in a meadow. Ming would be her maid of honor. The local zoning commissioner, Noel West, would be her groom. He just didn’t know it yet. Instead of online dating, she’d text him and tell him her dishwasher broke. As her landlord, he’d have to help.
When her phone rang she picked up. “Hello, Client Advisors. This is Ruby O’Deare.” The person on the other end replied, “This is Joe from the medical examiner’s office. I’m calling back with regards to your question about the toxicology report.”
Ruby stood up a little straighter. Even though she loved hour-long legal dramas as much as the next girl, she never would have expected to become an investigator herself. With her nontraditional investigative persona and office location, Ruby might not have have flown as an investigator in Denver or Chicago. In Emerald, most anything flew.
After years of farm consolidation and economic slump, Emerald had been in danger of drying up and blowing away with its sunflower crop, that was, until local investor, Oz, stepped in and transformed it into a shopping metropolis. Now, Emerald had more Starbucks than the rest of Kansas and Nebraska combined. Ruby fit right in in Emerald because she didn’t fit in anywhere else.
With a frown, Ruby ended the call with the medical examiner. It had been a dead end, but she had a few other rocks to turn over still.
Just then, her BFF, Ming, texted, “Did you mean to change your Facebook profile to a picture of yourself licking a caramel roll?”
“Okay. Just asking.”
Ruby glanced at the photo again. If she didn’t say so herself, she looked pretty damn good licking that caramel roll. Latte in hand, she left the coffee shop. It was time to fight some crime on the Yellow Brick Road; a.k.a., the yellow tile walkway running through Oz’s biggest mall.
You can read more about Ruby in Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality, the first book in the NEW “Emerald City” mystery series, published by Entangled Select.
About Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality
She’s off to see the killer. . . Lawyer Ruby O’Deare might not be living the American dream, but it feels like it every time she visits her small town megamall. The shoes! The lighting! Prince Charming spotted in the food court! It’s a dream, right? But all dreams must come to an end. Ruby’s does when she wakes up after a one-night stand with the town’s sexy zoning commissioner, Noel West. Actually, that part is good. It’s the expired Dollar Store condoms she finds that feel too real. And then her favorite client Estelle turns up dead. Ruby is determined to find out the truth behind the curtains of Ozcorp, the company that owns the heavenly megamall and has the most to gain from her client’s death. She just hopes the zoning commissioner she might be falling for isn’t caught up in the danger.
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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on Friday, October 30 for your chance to win a digital copy of Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality. The e-book giveaway is open to everyone. Good luck everyone!
Meet the author
Shortly after graduating from law school, Samantha Bohrman had three children and began writing books. She never looked back, but she suspects her husband has. You can often find her wandering the aisles of Target buying ingredients for tacos (because her kids won’t eat anything else) and staging a murder scene in the produce section (in her head). Her first mystery, Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality, is out now. You can find her at www.sambohrman.com or follow her @sambohrman.