This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Susan will be awarding a $20 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
It’s Raining Books has asked me to share some fun, interesting, edifying, or embarrassing facts about myself. I’m not that interesting, and I don’t have anything edifying to share with you, so I better go with embarrassing. That should be easy, because you can’t take me anywhere that I can’t manage to embarrass myself.
I once sat next to a woman I didn’t know at a luncheon and we started talking about our kids. My son and his family had just moved into a new house and I told her how much they loved the house and the neighborhood, but they thought their next-door neighbor was with the Mafia. He claimed to be in investments, but he left the house each night around seven and didn’t come home till the wee hours. They had a full time nanny for their kids, but my son thought she was a bodyguard. She looked like an East German shot-putter and never did anything with the kids.
The lady next to me asked where they lived. It turned out that was her daughter’s family. Now, Houston has over four million people, and that’s not counting the suburbs, and I sit next to the mother of my son’s neighbor? She did admit she always thought the same thing about her son-in-law and the nanny.
I told you that you couldn’t take me anywhere. Once my husband came in from golf and wanted to go to our favorite Chinese restaurant for supper. Now, I’ll go anywhere, anytime, but I’d been volunteering at the hospital that day and still had on my uniform. I grabbed a sweatshirt, yanked off my white pants and pulled on yesterday’s jeans that had been draped over a stool in the bathroom. The restaurant was busy, so we had to stand in line, but it was worth the wait because the food was great. My husband got up to pay the bill at the front register while I took one last bite and wiped my mouth, Only I couldn’t find my napkin; I’d dropped it on the floor. I reached down and there were two napkins. One was burgundy cotton, like all the other napkins, the other was white. And nylon. My underwear from the day before, caught in the leg of my jeans!
There ought to be a law against my mouth. Every time I open it, I get in trouble. And there are plenty of chances to do that when you’ve volunteered at the hospital for almost thirty years. But the worst thing I ever did was help a mental patient escape.
How was I to know? She came to the front desk and asked me to call her a taxi. I know, you think I’m going to say I looked at her and said, “You’re a taxi.” No, I called the taxi and we chatted while she waited. I was very helpful—that’s supposed to be my job at the hospital, isn’t it?—and I cut her armband off when she asked me to. We discussed where the nearest bank was so she could stop at the ATM and get money to pay the driver. I still say she was one of the nicest, most level headed patients I’ve talked to in all those years.
The trouble started about fifteen minutes after she left when the head of the psychic unit came running out and wanted to know if I’d seen a woman with long blonde hair worn in cornrows. Yes, I just called her a taxi. Did she have on white shorts? Yes, she did. Was her hair pulled up on top of her head? Why yes, it was. Did she have beads in her hair? Now, I ask you, how many women wearing white shorts, and with waist-length blonde hair, worn in cornrows and pulled up on top of her head had they lost, one with beads and one without?
In my novel, The Witch on Twisted Oak, my hero, Ruben, can manage to get himself in trouble. He’s just ripped down Tessa’s shower curtain, looking for the intruder who trashed her house:
Ruben stood beside her shattered back door, a huge mountain of a man in his bulletproof vest. A gun as large as he was hung from his side. His gold detective’s badge clipped to his belt looked out of place with his jeans and t-shirt.What about you? What embarrassing thing have you done?
“I’ve phoned this in, but you can’t stay here.”
What did he mean, not stay here? This was her home. The only place she’d ever felt truly safe. “It’ll be okay. I’ll get someone out to fix the door.”
He took her arm and placed her in front of the back door. “Look at that door. You had it locked, but one good kick and he was inside.” He turned her toward him and stared into her eyes. “You can’t stay here. It’s not safe until we catch him.”
He wasn’t going to keep her from her own house. She twisted out of his grip and ran inside. Her eyes darted from side to side, seeing the destruction but not taking it in fully.
She sank to the floor in the middle of her bedroom when he caught up with her.
“Who would do a thing like this?” She held up pieces of a broken orange and gold necklace. “I made this myself. And the shower curtain he ripped down in the bathroom? I hand painted that.”
He made a strange sound and she looked up. His face was flushed. Maybe he wasn’t as cold as she thought.
About the Author:
Susan and her husband, Sid, live in Spring, Texas with their rescue dog, Buster, a 120 pound black lab of advanced age. They have two children and four grandchildren. They love to travel and have been fortunate to see much of the world. Her favorite places include Kenya, New Zealand, and the Galapagos Islands. When not writing, she can be found doing volunteer work at a local hospital. She loves to read, travel, snorkel and take long walks.
Detective Ruben Marquez is thrust back into his childhood memories when he investigates a gruesome murder that occurs only feet from his mother's home. Is the killer somehow connected to his own past? Is the beautiful, mysterious daughter of the victim, someone he can trust? Or is her revelation that she’s a witch a sign he should stay clear. But how can he, when it appears she’s next on the murderer’s to-do list.
In the ultimate test of courage, he uses himself as bait to protect all he holds dear . . . his career, his family, and the Witch on Twisted Oak.