I’m very happy to have P.J. MacLayne here with me today, and hear the silver lining she found as her summer plans went to the pooper.
Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscape. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. She writes the Harmony Duprie Mysteries (not-quite-cozy) and the Free Wolves Adventures. (urban fantasy/paranormal).
by P.J. MacLayne
I had big plans for the summer. In a few days, we should have been hopping on a jet plane and flying across the country to visit my daughter and her family. The timing to visit Florida was perfect—before the hurricanes, before the heat of the summer, before the schools got out and the swarms of tourist arrived. We could spend our time walking on the beach or sitting by the pool at the house we rented, enjoying time with the grandkids.
Then the world as we know it changed thanks to the virus that shall not be named and so did our plans. I’ve had a couple of book signings canceled, and I’m keeping my eyes on a couple more that might be. My day job (that I can do from home) got hectic and planning a large block of time for vacation is difficult. I haven’t made new plans yet because I’m waiting to see how things go.
Chances are, we’ll take a few days off here and there and stay closer to home. Places that we can drive to, rather than getting on a plane. There are plenty of areas where we can be outside and have next to no one around for miles. Extreme social distancing—can we make it a new sport? My experience wouldn’t qualify me for the Olympics, but I’d place above average.
I keep telling myself I should be good at this. Changing plans at the last minute. It’s happened my whole life. I make my characters do it all the time. Or is this their revenge for all the times I’ve turned their lives upside-down?
There is a silver lining to all of this. Not having to drive to work gives me more time for writing. I’m finishing up the last book in one series and getting ready to start a new one. I also spent more time editing the book I’m releasing on June 1, not having to rush to get in done for an event in May. I still don’t know if the event I’m scheduled to attend in June will happen or not, so I’m debating how many physical copies of the book I need to order.
Maybe we’ll head to Florida this fall. Or wait until next year. See how things go. That’s the advice I’d give my characters. I guess I should live by my own words.
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Weekly at Vivi’s with P.J. MacLayne ~ #Summer Plans and #SilverLinings @pjmaclayne #books #BookLover #GreatReads #bookaddict #MustRead #WhatToRead #MFRAauthor #MFRAtogetherTweet
P.J. brought with her the first in her not quite cozy mystery series.
The Marquesa’s Necklace (Harmony Duprie Mysteries Book 1) by P.J. MacLayne released a few years back in the Cozy Mystery genre.
Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.
But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.
Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.
Because it might.
A couple of blocks from the station, Detective Thomason started talking again. “If the state lab confirms this was a bomb, you might want to make other living arrangements,” he said. “Go stay with a friend or relative. At least until we figure out who did this. The best we can do is increase patrols in your neighborhood—we can’t offer constant protection.”
The reality of what he was saying got through to me. “Whoever did this may try again?” I squeaked.
“Officially, I can’t say that.” Glancing in his mirror, he adjusted his grip on the steering wheel. “But at a minimum, I suggest you change your daily routine. Go to the library at different times. Switch the bar you and your friends hang out at instead of always going to the Pink Flamingo. And always check who’s at your door before you open it. Hang on.” He twisted the steering wheel sharply to the right making the turn at the last second. The tires squealed but the car took the corner without a problem. His lips tight, he studied the rearview mirror again. “I guess I was being paranoid. I thought we were being followed.”
I don’t know if I was more stunned by the fact that he knew my schedule or that he had just pulled a risky maneuver, endangering his obviously much-loved car, in order to protect me. Or maybe I found the idea he was worried about me overwhelming, but I couldn’t come up with a snappy comeback. When he suggested checking out the apartment before I went in, I was so shaken up I let him. I didn’t even insist he get a warrant as I had for his previous visits.
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