The Val & Kit Mystery Series

Monday, May 12, 2014

Val Attempts In-Depth Interview with Kit

Kit: Tell me again. Exactly why are we doing this?

Val: Because our readers get to see stuff only through my eyes—

Kit: No kidding.

Val: —and I thought it might be nice to get to know you a little; hence—

Kit: Hence?  Really? You’re going with hence?

Val: It’s a word.

Kit: Okay, Anne Boleyn, what do you want to know?

Val: Why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself?

Kit: Let’s see; many people compare me in looks to Catherine Zeta-Jones—

Val: I think you’re the only one who does that. Tell us something personal.

Kit: Like?

Val: Who’s your favorite aunt? What city were you born in? What was your first car?

Kit: Wait. Is this an interview, or am I choosing a new password?

Val: Let’s try this: what’s your favorite TV show?

Kit: Like I have time to watch TV.

Val: Okay, we’ll go with that. What do you do that prevents you from watching TV?

Kit: Ya know, in case you haven’t noticed, I spend a lot of time looking after you!

Val: Moving on. If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you pick?

Kit: Coco Chanel

Val: Why?

Kit: You have to ask? You do know who Coco Chanel was, right?

Val: Well, of course. Everyone knows her. She invented the little black dress, right?

Kit: Big deal. How hard was that?

Val: I thought you liked her.

Kit: I said I’d have lunch with her, but I don’t have to like her.

Val: Okay, forget Coco. Tell us about your husband and son. What’s your favorite thing about them?

Kit: Larry—that would be my husband, Val—plays a lot of golf and is a partner in a very successful accounting firm.

Val: Yes, Larry is very smart.

Kit: However, not smart enough to balance the checkbook or come in out of the rain when he’s golfing.

Val: Let’s move on to Sam—

Kit: Do you mean Sam, my son?

Val: Yes, that’s who I mean. Tell me three of your favorite things about him.

Kit: He got through college without being arrested. That’s two things. And he lives in Texas.

Val: Nothing else?

Kit: Geez, you asked for three things; now you want more?  What kind of an interviewer are you?

Val: The good kind. Give me something else about Sam.

Kit: Okay; he sent me a ham for Mother’s Day—

Val: A ham?

Kit: Right. He knows I love cooking, so a thirty-pound lump of cold pork seemed appropriate. What did Emily send you?

Val: A gift card to Heavenly Doings Day Spa.

Kit: Just be sure when you go that you keep your purse with you all the time. I think they steal. And make sure they use towels that were laundered that day. Oh, and don’t let Valentina anywhere near you, especially if you’re getting a wax job. She says she’s French, but I think she’s from the South Side. And likes to inflict pain.

Val: I’ll make a note.

Kit: Oh, Valley Girl, you’ll lose your wallet five minutes after you step in the door. I better go with you.

Val: Do you have a plan?

Kit: Don’t I always?

NEW RELEASE!! In paperback and on Kindle. Buy the former, get the latter for 99 cents with the Kindle MatchBook program!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Roz’s Retirement: All It’s Cracked Up to Be, and Then Some

It’s been a month since I retired, and I’m already wondering how I ever had time for a job in the first place.

To begin, a note about the actual departure from my office. I gave three months’ notice—which was required by my Human Resources Department. But on reflection, it might have been better to rip off the Band-Aid and depart sooner, once the decision had been made. It was heart-wrenching saying good-bye to the lovely people I’ve worked with for so long. Most of my coworkers seemed genuinely sad to see me go, although I’m sure there were a few thinking leave, already.  Regardless, there were farewell lunches, a lavish good-bye dinner, balloons, flowers, and precious gifts to treasure forever.

Roz with fellow retiree Marty Rainbird and their boss, David Dundas

On my first real day of retirement, I did not set my alarm clock and woke up lazily, feeling sure it was probably around noon already.  But no; It was only six thirty . . . turns out I probably never needed that annoying alarm clock all those years.

And so, on to my retirement activities list, which so far has gone as follows:

First thing I had to do was buy a new computer.  This had not been a planned expenditure, but it seems my ten-year-old PC decided to join me in retirement. And who can blame it? Some of the obvious clues, which any mystery writer should be able to follow while wearing a blindfold, were the scary zigzag lines running across the screen; the inability to connect to anything outside my kitchen door; and just in case I still didn’t get it, the BSOD, an acronym for Blue Screen of Death, which appeared every time I turned the darn thing on.  Okay, I gave up, packed the computer and its ten million cords and attachments, and stored them in my spare room (otherwise known as the black hole), where eventually I’ll figure out what to do with them.  It will probably always be with me, like a techy Miss Havisham decaying slowly in a room at the top of the house.  My new computer, by contrast, is sleeker and smarter, and it comes with all sorts of new gadgets that one of these days I’ll figure out. 

Next, I had to buy a new cell phone.  Choosing among Apple and all the rest of them was easy for me.  I just went with the one with the biggest text size—or, as I call it, The Retirement Package.  I was able to make the apps appear as big as Buicks on the screen (not totally sure what they are, but I’m pretty certain I must need them).

Next came reading.  Something I love but have not had much time for lately, and downloading several of my favorite authors to my Kindle has been a joy.  I’ve even managed to read one whole book.  The Racketeer by John Grisham was well worth my time.  John has never let me down so far.

Going to the movies in the daytime is great.  I’ve done it only once in retirement so far, but plan on doing it more.  My two pals who accompanied me, both retired for several years, knew the ropes and guided me through the process.  We had to get there early to be sure we got the optimum seats: the row that has a rail in front of it, where you can put your feet up, literally.  Like watching a show in your recliner at home.  Of course, since there were only three other patrons besides us in the theater for the one o’clock showing, finding the perfect seats was never really going to be a problem.

I haven’t had as much time to work on my yard as I hoped.  But I have at least kept the grass cut and doused the whole area with weed killer. If Melissa Tracy (brilliant author of Mel’s Green Garden) is reading this, then the weed killer consisted of nothing more organically dangerous than a package of lard and some baby oil.

So, what have I really been doing?  Well, a lot of writing.  As Patty puts the finishing touches on Lethal Property, which will be out this month, I’m working on our next non–Val and Kit novel, and once Patty and I are caught up, we’ll continue together with a new adventure for our two ladies.

Therefore, to sum up retirement: so far, so very, very good.

Coming to Kindle and
in paperback this month!