This month, Fabulous Florida Writers is pleased to welcome guest blogger, Jean Harrington. Jean is the author of two cozy mystery series - Murders by Design and Listed and Lethal, as well as two historical romances. Jean was our featured writer on November 4, 2014.
My first series, Murders by Design, was set in Naples. Though it was great fun to write, going forward I wanted to challenge myself by creating stories in a brand new setting with a brand new cast of characters. For that, I turned to Middle America with a heroine from the heartland. The result, Murder on Pea Pike, Book #1 in the Listed and Lethal Series, was released on September 1, 2017. It’s the story of Honey Ingersoll, a girl who’s had a rocky beginning in life but is determined to remake herself. I’d tell you all about it, but Honey’s here and dying to tell her own story, so I’ll turn the mic over to her.
Except for missing Momma, I never regretted escaping from Daddy, but I sure did regret hooking up with Billy Tubbs. We weren’t together long, though. I moved out the day he gave me a black eye for no reason except he felt like it. A week later, while waitressing at Josie’s Diner, I met Saxby Winthrop. I was pouring him a cup of Josie’s left-over coffee when he asked if I’d like to work in his real estate office.
“That would be wonderful, Mr. Winthrop,” I said, as he stared into my eyes, “but I don’t know a blessed thing about real estate.”
‘Not a problem, Honey.’ He smiled and took my free hand, the one not holding the carafe. ‘I’ll teach you everything I know.”
No surprise there. Saxby was one of the two most successful real estate brokers in Eureka Falls, Arkansas. He owned a block of office buildings, half of Main Street, and an antebellum mansion on the edge of town he never once invited me to step foot in. When I found out he didn’t want his momma, Miss Eloise, to know about me, I realized I had to change into the kind of girl a man didn’t hide behind the barn like a pile of manure.
Out went my big hair, platform stilettos and cherry-flavored chewing gum. I used fewer “y’alls” and more “how are yous?” I even stopped having Cindy Mae color-streak my hair and tossed all my tube tops. Didn’t buy another one, not even when Belinda’s Boutique put them on sale. Instead I bought a navy blue suit, the kind where the skirt matches the jacket, and a white cotton shirt I kept buttoned at all times.
None of this was exactly a college education, like going to Emory or anything, but it helped. And when I left Saxby to run the real estate office of his arch rival, Sam Ridley, I was twenty-two and ready to take on the world. Or so I thought. But I hadn’t planned on finding a dead body in the first house I had up for sale. That’s another story, though, so if y’all don’t mind, I’ll give the mic back to Jean.
Thanks for listening. Enjoy!
For more information, visit Jean's website at www.jeanharrington.com