Last August I would have told you that my life would be perfect if I could find myself a nice, smart, hot, guy and enough money to get my car fixed. Well, bingo. As luck would have it, all I needed to do was show up at the bus stop across the street from Joe’s Super Market and wait. I didn’t even have to pay attention. While my fate was unfolding out on Lake Shore Boulevard, I was busy admiring my new red sneakers and wondering whether my credit card was going to self-destruct because I’d gone ahead and bought both of them instead of the one of them I could have almost afforded. “Shut up and enjoy your shoes, Allie Harper,” I was scolding myself, “It’s too late to take them back anyhow.”
Shoe-focused as I was, I was unaware of the blind man across the street, following his white cane off the curb and into the crosswalk. I thereby missed my first ever opportunity to appreciate the extreme hotness of Thomas Bennington III, handsome, blind PhD-in-English-literature.
It took the blast from a horn—relentlessly leaned on by a blonde in a Hummer—to jar me out of my reverie and right on into what turned out to be the best/worst/best/worse, etc. etc. etc. three weeks of my entire life up to that point. In a matter of seconds I had retrieved Tom Bennington and his grocery bag from the middle of the street where he’d been frozen by the cacophony of the honking Hummer and the honking drivers who were honking their disapproval at the honking blonde. Tough town, Cleveland.
I got Tom into my bus stop, exchanged lip-synched epithets with Ms. Outrageously Rude & Impatient, and started trying to make a favorable impression on this brilliant, gorgeous guy who was never going to be wowed by my awesome red shoes.
What happened after that was a three-week crash course in luck. Crazily, wonderfully, improbably good luck. Horribly, unpredictably, deadly bad. How deadly bad? Does “murder, murder, murder, murder, murder, murder, murder” give you an idea? Tom had picked lottery numbers to prove to a kid that gambling is a losing game. The ticket was in his grocery bag, and that very evening, right in the middle of the Allie/Tom Very First Kiss, it turned out to be the $550 million MondoMegaJackpot winner. And guess who found out all about Tom and his jackpot that very evening? Just about every evil, scheming, weasel in the City of Cleveland.
Lucky? Huh. It was as if my fairy godmother had offered me three wishes. Knowing what I know now, I’d definitely still wish for Tom. I might even wish for the money. But I’ll tell you what: I would be Mondo Mega Careful with my third wish.
Everything that happened in the last two weeks in August and the first week of September is over and done. If not even slightly forgotten. Now it’s March. Now Tom and I are living in a rented lakeside mansion in the ultra-exclusive, historically venerable, lakeside community of Bratenahl. This mansion, which we rented because of its kickass security system, among other things, is about a mile and a half—and $550 million ill-fated-yet-sometimes-handy dollars—away from the very tiny lakeside cottage where I’d been living quite happily until the blonde in the Hummer honked at Tom. We discovered early on that it takes a lot of money to protect you from the complications of winning a lot of money.
I’ve given up my job at the Memorial-Nottingham Branch of the Cleveland Public Library. Tom is still teaching English 203. But we’ve both embarked on a new endeavor: solving mysteries for people for free. Mysteries of the heart, I’d guess you’d call them. Answers for the kind of questions that leave cavernous holes in people’s lives if they never get answered.
We’re the T&A Detectives now. When I first suggested to Tom that he and I might become the T&A Detective Agency and use his money to help people solve their mysteries, he recommended we put my initial first, so as to prevent folks from thinking we only investigate in strip clubs. By now we’ve realized that we will never be a real detective agency with a logo and a business card, so I’ve decided we should leave it the way it is. It gives us something to chuckle about. Which is always an asset in your business name, as far as I’m concerned.
We know we’re still amateurs in the detective game, so we’ve got an actual, authentic, licensed P.I. on our team. Make no mistake, a mondo-mega-big jackpot always casts the shadow of murder and mayhem over your day. We never, ever stop looking over our shoulder (me) or using our uncanny sixth sense (Tom) to determine if the next moment is going to be a red, hot romantic one. Or the run for your life kind.
That’s just how it goes. You never know if somebody’s going to get lucky. Or wind up dead.
You can read more about Allie and Tom in Too Lucky to Live, the first book in the NEW “Somebody’s Bound To Wind Up Dead” mystery series.
Lonely and broke, Allie Harper has just rescued herself a hot blind guy who’s got a one-way ticket to 550 million dollars’ worth of murder and mayhem in his grocery bag.
What kind of luck is that? Really, really good. Really, really bad.
Allie’s a smart, sassy, part-time librarian. Tom is a handsome, sexy, blind PhD. Tom’s about to win the MondoMegaJackpot – by accident.
Gambling on the odds (175 million to one) that his ticket will be a big loser, Tom has played to show Rune, a kid from the projects, that there’s nothing special about a “special picked” number. Now Rune is missing and every evil, scheming weasel in the City of Cleveland is after Allie, Tom, and their MondoMegaJackpot millions.
On the run from one fancy hotel to another and from one threatening confrontation to the next—with only Allie’s landlady, Margo, and, maybe, a couple of Cleveland cops for back-up—Allie and Tom take charge. Allie, the feisty, impulsive, wildcard, and Tom, the self-contained professor, must evolve into a clever, capable crime-solving team, tough and resourceful enough to survive.
Until Tuesday night, Allie believed all her problems would be solved if she could find a nice, smart, hot guy and enough money to get her car fixed. Now she’s hoping they’ll live happily ever after—at least until the end of the week.
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Meet the author
Although Annie Hogsett has been writing for as long as she can remember and enjoyed a long career as an advertising copywriter, Too Lucky To Live, (Poisoned Pen Press) will be her first published novel. Ask her about the three others still sleeping unpublished in their digital files.
Annie’s finding the learning curve for new authors to be pretty darned steep. So much to know, do, think through, be terrified about, get over being terrified about . . . She has always promised herself that if she ever got published, she’d 1) be a booster-in-print of her City of Cleveland, OH and 2) be the friend and encourager of writers that writers have been for her along her (fairly lengthy) journey. You can learn more about Annie by checking out her blog. Look for Annie on Facebook and Twitter.
All comments are welcomed.
Too Lucky To Live is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.