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Saturday, March 27, 2021

#WeWriWa - The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé: Alex is a Referee

 Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors 

This past week has been pretty stressful. Hubs was back in the hospital, now in rehab getting his legs strengthened . . . again. So, it took me a while to get to your blogs. In the midst of all this, I got my 2nd covid shot. Hurray!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment. I love the way your various minds work. đŸ˜Š 

I'm sharing another snippet from the 2nd Alex O'Hara mystery novel, The Case of the Fabulous FiancĂ©. Alex is a P.I. in the small Lake Michigan resort town near Grand Rapids. I'm continuing from where we left off last week. Now that her phones are working, she received a voice mail threat.

Some changes were made to the original.

Snippet:  

I checked my jeans pocket. No phone. I patted all my pockets. Oh, for crying out loud. What was wrong with me? I must have left it upstairs in my apartment. No wait, I had it—

“Is this what you’re looking for?” Pete held out my phone with its gaudy pink protective cover. And my Swiss Army knife. “I found these under the desk.”


 Since that was so short, here’s the rest of the scene.

 

I shoved the knife into my back pocket. The Pops had drilled into my head to always carry the multi-tool gadget. You never know when it would come in handy. I’d used the mini-screwdriver to take off switch plates to check the wires. I could see misplacing the knife but not my phone. Maybe when I was scooting out from under the desk, it had slid out of my pocket.

When I swiped up, nothing happened. Somehow, I must have shut down the phone completely. I’m not usually so careless. I chalked it up to being discombobulated over the lack of internet and phone service . . . and, of course, the missing Nick Palzetti.

I turned on my phone and the screen showed repeated calls from RJ, who peppered me with questions.

“Why didn’t you wait for me?” His face, already red with anger, turned darker. Could a twenty-year-old have a stroke? “Who is this guy? And what’s he doing frogging around with my system?”

He didn’t say frogging, of course. But I hold the line at repeating the F word. I’d never seen him this angry.

Pete gave him a smug smile. “I’m the one who fixed your system so it works.”

“It worked fine before you came,” RJ shot back. His chin jutted forward, ready for a fight.

Pete wasn’t any better with his clenched jaw and fists.

“Guys, guys.” I should be wearing a referee’s striped shirt. “Pete, I appreciate your help. As I said before, I’m not interviewing for a receptionist until tomorrow. RJ, I’m sorry you had to leave your convention early, but I do appreciate you coming. The important thing is that my office phone is working and so are the computers.” Thank God.

“I’ll be the judge of that.” RJ’s lips thinned, and a muscle ticked along his jaw. RJ, the most laid-back, easy-going guy I knew, hostile? “The next time you decide to replace me, Alex, have the decency to let me know.”

He slammed the outside door behind him.

 

 Blurb:

She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti? 



Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ iBooks ~ B&N ~ Smashwords


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week!



  



Saturday, March 20, 2021

#WeWriWa - The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé: Alex Gets a Threat

Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors 

Happy Spring, everyone!

I'm sharing a snippet from the 2nd Alex O'Hara mystery novel, The Case of the Fabulous FiancĂ©. Alex is a P.I. in the small Lake Michigan resort town near Grand Rapids. I'm continuing from where we left off last week. Pete Cuddy, her self-proclaimed receptionist, had just fixed her phone.

Some changes were made to the original.

Snippet:  

Immediately, the message light started blinking. On Friday when I closed the agency, I transferred calls to my cell, as I always did. When I didn’t get any biz calls yesterday or today, I was grateful for a quiet weekend. But when I couldn’t access the internet yesterday, I knew something was wrong. That's when I called my tech buddy, RJ. 

Pete, who’d come out from under the desk hit the speaker button. I was about to chastise him—he shouldn’t hear my private messages—when the automated voice began with “Sunday, two oh six p.m.”

Then came a gruff, raspy voice. “Back off or you’ll regret it. Quit poking around in other people’s business.”

 And now a little more:  

“Holy shit,” Pete exclaimed. “That was a threat.”

I almost said, “No shit, Sherlock,” but refrained. Not to sound too blasĂ©, I’d had threats before. Most were just words. Unfortunately, others had some follow through.

“Do you get messages like that very often?” Pete asked in a tentative voice.

Oh, sh—shoot, he was still here and listening in on my messages.

“I’m not interviewing for a receptionist until tomorrow morning at nine.” I waved toward the front door. “Please see yourself out.”

I went into my office and turned on my computer. If the phone worked, I sure hoped I had internet service again. I glanced at the bottom of the computer screen. Ta da. I was connected to the internet. I went online to make sure. I don’t know what Pete Cuddy did, but I had internet service. Maybe I needed to rethink dismissing him.

Through the open door to the outer office, arguing male voices assaulted my ears. I had to see what was going on.

RJ, who only got angry when losing a computer game, stood with his hands fisted on his skinny hips. Under his open shearling jacket, he wore a Star Fleet Academy T-shirt. Pete sat in the receptionist’s chair, hands folded, as if he belonged there.

“Whoa, guys.” I walked out. “Take it down a notch. Pete, what are you doing here?”

They both turned to me.

Pete stood. “Ms. O’Hara, I told this gentleman his services weren’t needed.” His snide rendition of ‘gentleman’ made me wince.

RJ glared at him then turned that glare on me. “Alex, I told you I was going to the RPG convention in Chicago this weekend.”

Crap. I’d forgotten about the show for gamers and developers of computer role-playing games. Of course, he would go. He’d probably beta-tested the newest ones, especially those featuring starships. I was surprised he came back early. For me. Now that’s a great friend.

“I tried calling you,” RJ went on. “Isn’t your cell working, either?”

Whoa. He did snide almost as good as Pete. Lord save me from dueling roosters.


 Blurb:

She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti? 



Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ iBooks ~ B&N ~ Smashwords


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week!



  


Saturday, March 13, 2021

#WeWriWa - The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé:

 Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors 

Sorry for missing last week. Time management is not my forte. With so much sunshine lately, I feel like I can get more done. 

I'm sharing a snippet from the 2nd Alex O'Hara mystery novel, The Case of the Fabulous FiancĂ©. Alex is a P.I. in the small Lake Michigan resort town near Grand Rapids. I'm continuing from where we left off the week before last when the stranger announced that she needed a receptionist, and he was it.

Some changes were made to the original.

Snippet: 

“Have you called the telephone company?”

“Of course.” How dumb did he think I was? I didn’t ask. “They said there’s no problem on their end.”

After putting his hands on my shoulders and moving me aside, he knelt on one knee. “Oh, my. What a mess.” He looked up with a sheepish grin. “I didn’t mean your housekeeping—although you should talk to your cleaning service. I meant all the wires.”

 

And a little more:

I didn’t tell him I was the cleaning service. With the new year, I went into belt-tightening mode along with the rest of West Michigan—the adage about thrifty Dutch still holds true, even if I’m not Dutch—while we paid for holiday expenditures. Thank goodness for the windfall from the Feds for capturing an assassin last fall.

“Have you been having other problems with the phones?” The man was still under the desk lying on his back the way I had as he played with the wires connecting the phones and computers.

Along with no landline service, I still had no internet. And no RJ to fix either.

With his knees bent, his pant-legs had hiked up, grazing his long, gray socks. Not the athletic kind, either. Holy cow. Were they silk? Couldn’t be. Who wore silk socks?

“According to RJ, my tech guy, the phones are supposed to interface with my computers. I don’t understand all that. Anyway, please get up. RJ will be here shortly, and he can sort everything out.”

“Nonsense. Why pay for a service call when I’m here?”

“Listen, Mister Cuddy. I—”

“Pete.” He scooted around and wiggled the wire that went into the wall jack. Then he reached up between the desk and the wall and did something I couldn’t see.

“Okay. Pick up the phone and see if there’s a dial tone now.”

I did. “Dial tone.” I felt like an idiot. Never mind the jack was the first thing I’d checked. I’m not totally inept. When he’d reached up, he must have fixed whatever was wrong.

 

Blurb:

She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti? 



Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ iBooks ~ B&N ~ Smashwords


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week!



  

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

#IWSG: Marching in like a Lamb


 Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. We are rockin' the neurotic writing world!

The awesome co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are:  Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!

In Michigan, March came in like a lamb. I dread what's going to happen when it leaves. GRRROAR!

Last month, I was pretty jacked up over my January writing. My plan was to write a paragraph a day and I ended up writing over 6k words. I was thrilled with my progress. On February 1st, Hubs fell and broke the top bone in his neck (the C-1) in 2 places. Neck brace time and a huge setback. He'd been doing so well after the stroke at the end of December. Today, the physical therapist said he's finally back to where he was at the end of January. A whole month of going backwards. Initially, I had all I could do to take care of him. With the help of our kids and the home health care workers, he's more independent and improving bit by bit. Even though I lost a whole month of writing, my attitude was that I would do what I could do and not stress over what I couldn't.

While Hubs improves with baby steps, I'm writing in baby steps--a paragraph a day. My biggest goal is to improve my patience. To accept what is and be patient not just with Hubs but with myself.


March 3 question - Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

Reading has kept me sane through Hubs' continual health issues. I read to escape. I read just about anything fiction. Not horror or graphic violence, though. I'm not fond of nonfiction. I tend to read what I write--cozy mysteries, romantic suspense, and science fiction romance. I love adventure stories, which sort of encompasses everything I read . . . and write.

I belong to a local readers' group. Because of covid, we've been meeting via Zoom. This group has made me read out of my comfort zone. We've read biographies, historical fiction, literary fiction. Sometimes, I don't finish the book. But that's my choice. Life is too short to read something I'm not interested in, but I give the book a try. Our discussions can be very lively. Twelve to fifteen women with strong opinions love to share. LOL

Leaving this post on a good note, I got my 1st covid vaccine shot last week. I'm looking forward to mid-April when I can get real hugs from my grandkids.

I hope everyone has a great month. Stay safe.

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.