Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! I am so thrilled to have Sharon here today! Imagine my surprise when I opened Sketch a Falling Star and saw Dollycas’s Thoughts quoted on the Praise Page. It was a first for me and I am still riding high with joy.
Sharon is an awesome lady and she is the reason I now enjoy reading stories that feature ghostly apparitions. I can’t help it. I have fallen hard for Zeke as well as the living characters of this wonderful series. But it looks like Sharon may be having a little a little trouble with one of her characters. I’ll let her explain.
Welcome Back Sharon!!
Hi Lori, it’s good to be back!!
Rebel With a Cause
You have to be careful with characters. I should have those words tattooed on my forehead – backward, so I can read them every time I look in the mirror. As I recently discovered, even the mildest, most delightful of characters can turn on you. Not in a million years would I have expected Rory’s Aunt Helene of trying to organize a rebellion against me. Yet that’s exactly what she did.
“Okay,” I said in a ‘let’s get this over with’ tone of voice. “What are your demands?”
“Demands?” Helene repeated with the wide-eyed innocence of an ingénue. “It’s not a demand; it’s more like a suggestion.”
“Fine, we can call it whatever you like, but we both know what it is.”
“Extortion, a quid pro quo, a ransom – take your pick
“That’s horrible.” She sounded deeply wounded. “I don’t think I deserve that kind of accusation.”
“Aren’t you the one who tried to organize a mutiny against me when I didn’t agree to use the plot you proposed?”
“Helene – you were actively trying to get the other characters to boycott working in my next book.”
“You make me sound so awful.”
“If it looks like duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….”
“I can see how you might have gotten that impression,” she said, “but I was just trying to get your attention. You wouldn’t listen to me and you brushed me off without even giving me a chance to explain. Then you locked me up in that dark, little room in your brain and left me there forever.”
“It was an hour and a half, and I left the light on.”
“Well it seemed like forever.” Helene was clearly on the verge of crying.
I could feel my heart softening toward her and I struggled to keep it under control. Don’t forget she’s an actress, I warned myself. You made her a dandy, little actress. “You needed a timeout to think about what you were doing,” I told her with as much authority as I could muster.
“I thought you liked me,” she sniffled while changing the subject.
“Of course I do. But lately you’ve been making my job a lot harder that it ought to be.
“And you’ve been squandering my talent,” she said, pushing back.
“You’re not the main character in this series, Helene. That was never your role and you know it.”
“All I wanted you to do was read my proposal. Is that too much to ask?”
Suddenly she was sounding like the reasonable one, and I was coming off like an ogre for refusing such a simple request. “I told you,” I said, scrambling to defend myself, “that I have a great new plot for the next book.” In fact I’d already passed it onto the industrious, little elves in my subconscious for fleshing out.
My once happy-go-lucky, slightly off-kilter Helene was doing a fine job of looking miserable. And according to her, I had the power to change that. “Okay,” I conceded finally. “Okay, I’ll read your proposal.”
Her face lit up with such instantaneous joy that I felt twice as awful for having refused her request earlier. Of course she’d gone about getting my attention in the worst possible way. I challenge anyone to respond well to an attempted high-jacking or mutiny. She may have thought she was being cute or clever about it, but that wasn’t how it had seemed to me. I have a lot of personalities to juggle in a book, and one wormy Macintosh can upset my entire apple cart.
I sat down and read her proposal as promised, and although I was somewhat predisposed to dislike it, I found myself playing the “what if” game with the central idea – a sure sign that it had hooked me with its possibilities. I just might be able to make it work. Helene would have a larger part in it than she’d had in the other books, but she wouldn’t have to be the lead. If she was okay with that, we could probably work out a deal that satisfied both of us.
After some amicable negotiating, we found common ground. Helene apologized for having gone about things the wrong way, and after some hemming and hawing I admitted to having been short-sighted and maybe a bit dictatorial – hey, nobody’s perfect. What’s important is that we worked things out and we’re back to being one big, happy family again. But I’m still thinking of getting that tattoo.
Sharon, I am so glad you and Helene worked things out!!
To find out more about Sharon be sure to visit her beautiful Web Page.
Sketch a Falling Star
(A Portrait of Crime Mystery)
3rd in the Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Cliff Nielson
Cover Design by George Long
Preston Wright, one of the actors in the Way Off Broadway Players dies in a freak accident in Arizona. The whole group is caught in a flash flood. The others all escape with a couple of broken bones, cuts and bruises. Preston’s death is ruled as an accident, but his mother believes there may have been some foul play. She hires Rory McCain to do a little investigating.
Rory is also getting close to solving a very, very old cold case, the murder of her ghost partner Zeke. Rory is hunting down villains both in the present and the past. She may ruffle a few feathers but a good investigator always gets her man, or woman!
In this installment you get two mysteries! Love it!
We find out more of Zeke’s story and determine whether Preston Wright was murdered or just the victim of a crazy accident. Sharon keeps us guessing about both as the clues are figured out. If Wright’s death was an accident he sure had plenty of people around him that were not unhappy to see him go. Zeke’s past is very intriguing and this reader was very worried than when he learned the truth it would free him to stop haunting the present. You will have to read the book for yourself to find out what happens. No Spoilers Here!
The was a amazingly quick read as we slipped back and forth from the present to 1878. Rory is a strong woman on two missions with her sidekick Zeke there for moral support, a second opinion, and his hi-jinks that made me fall in love with this character. A new character, Eloise, is added to the mix and she is something else. Helene is not as active in this edition but after Sharon’s post above we know she will be back to her meddling self in future stories.
Saddle up your horse and hold on tight, you are in for a wild ride! This is mystery not to be missed!! You may even Sketch A Falling Star!
Thanks to the folks at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies of this book to give away!!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”