In my soon to be released suspense novel, ROCK BOTTOM, you will meet Isabella Luca, an aspiring opera singer living in New York. Isabella is still grieving over the death of her sister when she listens to a voicemail message from her former boyfriend. She hasn’t seen him in over four years, not since the day he walked out and moved thousands of miles away. Then, the phone call. But why and why now? Here is an excerpt from the book:

His out-of-the-blue phone call puzzled her. Did he want to get back together? All forgiven? If he thought she was like Madam Butterfly, waiting years in the wings for her lover to come back, he was wrong. The last lines of the aria from Act II: Io con sicura fede l’aspetto, translated into English meant, I with steadfast faith await him. Not this woman. No way. She moved on, and she’d tell him so. But she chose not to return his call, at least not now. She couldn’t bear a conversation about Brianna’s death. She’d wait until she could speak without bursting into tears.

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I know the following is unconventional, maybe even weird. It is an interview between a fictitious reporter and my character, Detective Colt Jessup. This is my way of introducing readers to this rugged, intriguing cop who will be featured in a new series I have started. Look for him in my upcoming book, ROCK BOTTOM.

Good morning, everyone! This is Jasmine Dubois reporting for WBTN. I am pleased to have with me Detective Colt Jessup with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. Due to his undercover work, we have disguised his appearance to hide his identity.

Jasmine: Detective Jessup, I’m sorry. Do you mind putting that gun away? It’s—it’s—well, it’s a little intimidating.

Colt: Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to make you nervous. I meant to leave it in my car.

Jasmine: That’s okay. Now tell us a little about your background with the police department.

Colt: Well, let’s see. Been a police officer for over twenty years, started out in patrol and then became a detective. I followed in my big brother’s footsteps. He was a vice cop, so that’s what I became.

Jasmine: I see. Your brother had quite the reputation. He didn’t always play by the rules. What about you? Do you play by the rules?

Colt: Ma’am, I don’t know where you got your information, but—well, okay, I’ll admit it. Sometimes policy and procedures get in the way, and I have to make it up on the fly. Saved my bacon a few times to be honest.

Jasmine: You take risk then. How does your family feel about that?

Colt: That’s why my wife and I aren’t together anymore. My job got a little too dicey for her. But I try to stay safe for the sake of our daughter. She’s young enough to think her daddy’s a hero. Or to hear her tell it—Superman. I’m not, of course.

Jasmine: On your last case, you helped a young woman—an opera singer from New York, I’m told…Excuse me, let me look at my notes. Ah, yes, you helped her find out what happened to her deceased sister. Is it true she was in a perilous situation and you saved her from meeting the same fate as her sister?

Colt: Ma’am, I can’t discuss that with you. The case is in the hands of the DA’s office. Let’s just say it all worked out. That young lady and I were total opposites, like night and day. We butted heads a few times, but we ended up friends. I’m going up to New York sometime to see her perform. Never seen an opera before.

Jasmine: Tell us about your undercover work.

Colt: (looks at his cell phone) Sorry, that’s all I have time for. Just got a text about a suspect I’ve been trying to track down. Nice to meet ya. Gotta go.

Jasmine: Detective, don’t run off. One more question, please.

Colt: No time. Sorry.

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Help me escape this nightmare! You feel the same way, don’t you? We’ve been stuck inside our homes for two months now and we can’t wait to get out. If you’re like me, one of the people at high risk for getting infected with Covid-19, your stay indoors may last longer.

A remedy for this situation is to take a trip into a Margaritaville state of mind. Once there, you can feel the ocean breeze on your skin, smell the salt air, gaze out at a turquoise sea, and listen to island music where steel drums reign supreme. No passport, flip flops, or leaving your living room is required.

Where is this idyllic place? According to my coaster from a Margaritaville restaurant in Myrtle Beach: It’s in the tropics somewhere between the Port of Indecision and Southwest of Paradise. You don’t even need a boat to get there. Just let your mind carry you.

So play Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, fix a margarita with or without salt, retreat outdoors, prop your feet up, close your eyes and imagine you’re on a beach somewhere without a care in the world.  

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We are in uncertain times. Most of us never expected to experience a global pandemic and witness its impact on lives all over the country and the world. Below are some quotes about the unexpected.

Positively dealing with the unexpected by looking for solutions, not excuses, is the choice you need to make.

Embrace the unexpected. The things we never saw coming often take us to the places we never imagined we could go.

Expect the unexpected, and whenever possible, be the unexpected.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. – Alan Watts, British writer

Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, have faith that everything will work out for the best.

You may not be able to control every situation and its outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.

Life is a series of unexplained events, unplanned laughter, unexpected tears, occasional sorrows and overwhelming joy. – Susan Gale, author and advocate for children

Sometimes the unexpected comes to us like a giant wave and knocks us down. When it happens, we must find the strength and fortitude to pick ourselves up and keep going. – Susan Mills Wilson, author


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