I thought I'd said goodbye to Sue Jan and Lovita, but it turns out, my characters in the "When The Fat Ladies Sing" mystery series (Publisher: Spyglass Lane Mysteries), weren't ready to say goodbye. They had more to say, more crimes to solve, and more pounds to shed. That's right, the girls are serious about getting in a shape other than round.
And that makes me happy. I want Sue Jan and Lovita to be around for a long, long time...
Here's a peek at the 4th book in the series. The first three are Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail. The latest one is called That Wasn't Chicken and I'm hovering near the finish line. This book was definitely more difficult to write. Why? Because the mystery is more complex and intense than the previous books. Still fun, and funny, and definitely character-driven, but tingling with edge-of-the-seat moments as well.
I've offered a sneak peek at the first chapter already, so here's a glance at the middle of the book:
Barbara Stone—was the name scrawled on the calendar. My client, showed up on the dot—right at one. A smallish woman, with pale skin creased like an old church bulletin, she smiled as she approached the front desk. My own mouth started to come unhinged when she smiled wide, revealing teeth like rows of corn nuts. But I held my lips together somehow, and her English accent easily diverted my attention the moment I got past looking at her not-so-pearly-whites.“Miz Stone?”“Why yes, are you Lovita?”“I am.”Talking to this woman should be interesting. We’d have a lot in common since my mother-in-law lived in England. I couldn’t wait to ask what part of the country she lived in.She tilted her head. “My, what an unusual name you have. Is that a true Texas moniker?”“A what?”The woman smiled again. “Is yours a traditional Texas name? Are you what they call a ‘redneck’ or ‘hillbilly’?”With those teeth, she had the nerve to ask me a question like that?“I’m not sure about my name,” I answered first. “I’ve never personally met anyone else with the name, but there probably are a few Lovita’s out there.” I cleared my throat. “And as for the redneck—I don’t know. Does my neck look red to you?” I laughed off what she said, figuring she was from a different country and didn’t understand.I gestured to an empty station near the picture window. “Have a seat and we’ll have a talk about what you want done.”“Thank you.” She sat down. I came up behind her and we both stared at each other from our reflections in the mirror.“So, I hear you want an updo. Are you going to a special event or something?”“Why yes, my husband and I happened to be in Texas for a special board meeting and happened to receive an impromptu invitation from an old friend of ours to attend an exclusive dinner party tonight.My heart jumped. “Is it—is it an invitation to a dinner party at a hunting lodge?”“Yes—you’ve no doubt heard that from other clients.”I smiled, “Not exactly. Actually, I’m going to that same dinner.”Her face fell. “Really?”So much for “exclusive.”“Uh huh. Me and my husband are invited and my business partner, Sue Jan and her husband, the Mayor of Wachita are going.” I put an emphasis on mayor, so the woman would stop eyeing me like she was waiting for my fairy godmother to show up or something. But she seemed unimpressed.She stared straight ahead, as if there was suddenly a lot on her mind. “Isn’t that serendipitous? Why, you and I will be like old friends when we converse later this evening. How-how wonderful.”Her words were pleasant enough, but I wasn’t feeling it. The woman was clearly ticked off that a lowly hairdresser was going to the same fancy dinner party. Hah!This woman’s nose was so high she’d drown in a rainstorm! Which is why I decided to play up the redneck/hillbilly angle to make the dinner all the more interesting.“Well swat my hind with a melon rind! If that ain’t a co-inky dink!”Jolene and Charla stopped what they were doing and stared my way.“Yes, I suppose it is.” Babs looked at me like I was crazy. “Could we proceed with the service, then?”“Sure thing.” I pointed my rat-tail comb at her. “When I’m finished with you, you’ll be purtier’n a mess of fried catfish.”Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jolene suppress a giggle.“You—you’re quite correct.” The loose skin on the woman’s neck quivered when she spoke. “I’m certain I’ll be quite fetching when you’re done with me.”Her posture stiffened. “As I said, I want an updo. Something simple and classic.” She glanced at her cell phone, texting something rapid-fire. “About how long might it take?”I winked. “Honey, I’ll be done faster ‘n a jackrabbit on moonshine.”
Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/eBook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/eBook, Creative Woman Mysteries). Her latest foray into indie publishing, produced Alligator Pear, (historical fiction) and her nonfiction anthology Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation, both released in 2013. She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild.
In addition to writing Linda is Lead Host of the Gate Beautiful Radio Show, part of the Red River Network on Blog Talk Radio—interviewing Christian authors from Debut to Bestselling, airing the 3rd Thursday of every month. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.
Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency
Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), NHRWA (North Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.