Good morning. I’m Rae Sanders, co-author of the mystery novel Final Sale, A Bittersweet Hollow Whodunit, and I’m excited to be part of Goodread’s Blogging Blitz and Kathryn’s guest blogger today. Writing our books is hard work, at least I’m sure it is for most of us, so it’s nice to switch gears and have a little fun blogging.
Secrets. We all have ‘em. And in Bittersweet Hollow there’s one person who wants to uncover every last one of them. That busybody is real estate agent Grace Potter. Her passion is rooting around in other people’s business like a truffle-sniffing pig with her snout downward in the muck, uncovering as much scandal as possible. The messier someone’s indiscretion the quicker she’ll grab a handful of mud and give it a fling, letting the gossip hit the fan just to watch her victims squirm.
Grace has just about tied up loose ends on her most recent real estate deal, selling The Bittersweet Inn. The Inn’s owner, elderly Olivia Waterford, is selling the stately old Victorian bed & breakfast for health reasons after slipping on the stairs and breaking her wrist. It’s been her home for sixty years and it’s taken the insistent urging of her two daughters, Harper Reed and Lonnie Carmichael, to get the Inn on the market. Olivia has acquired a peaceful, safe one-story townhome close to her girls, but she refuses to see the Inn stand empty and won’t move unless the sale of the B&B is finalized.
It’s October and after twenty years of local tradition, this will be the last Pumpkin Patch Festival Olivia will host on the grounds of the Bittersweet Inn. After the papers are signed the Inn and the popular annual Festival will transition to the new owners, Mead and Alice Hoover. A few days before the Festival, Grace’s prying around town uncovers enough dirty linen to completely ruin several not-so-innocent residents. If she broadcasts her knowledge, and she will, it will shatter the career as well as the marriage of young, handsome Pastor Hart who fell from grace with his pants down; she’ll wreck Mickey O’Connell, the businessman whose wife will rake him over the coals and take everything he owns once she learns how his cheating gives new meaning to the phrase ‘family affair’; and by dislodging a skeleton hidden long ago in Roy and Glennis Turnbuckle’s closet, she will certainly cause their modestly shy, painfully plain middle-aged daughter’s wedding plans to crash and burn before she can finally walk down the aisle with the only man who ever wanted to marry her.
Her victims know Grace won’t keep her mouth shut for long but before she can start her smear campaign and throw them all to the wolves, one of them refuses to pay Grace the pound of flesh her threats have demanded, instead taking advantage during the crowded Pumpkin Patch Festival to meet up with her alone after dark in a secluded garden shed. Literally being backed into a corner from which she won’t escape, Grace learns the hard way that the really calamitous thing about opening your big mouth is the way it provokes someone to come along and shut it.
Alice Mead, self-confessed psychic and impending buyer of the Bittersweet Inn, is convinced Grace’s angry spirit roams the property and won’t leave until her killer is apprehended. Overriding her husband, Alice refuses to sign the final papers until such time as the murderer is behind bars and Grace’s spirit has cooled her badass attitude. Harper and Lonnie aren’t about to let this sale go—it took Grace two years in a bad housing market to find the Meads in the first place. They are determined to get Olivia moved before the strain of running the Inn and the stress of a murder in the backyard take more of a toll on their mother’s health. With the local cops off and running in the wrong direction, Harper begins her own sleuthing, uncovering compelling evidence that the locals with ample motive had plenty of opportunity for murder. Harper lays her own plan to catch the killer. But well-laid plans can go awry, and Harper finds herself face-to-face with Grace’s murderer, someone who will gladly kill again.
…“You see anything out of the ordinary on Saturday as far as Grace was concerned? Maybe anything she did or said to someone in particular?”
“You mean like having an argument or something?”
Shoving his white cap to the back of his head, Jack scratched at his thinning hair.
“Don't think so. I’d say most people would try and avoid running into Grace face-to-face so they wouldn’t have to talk to her.”
Harper agreed most people would probably do just that. But someone did run into her and then bashed her in the head. Very face-to-face.
Except from Final Sale
I write the blog ‘Just Our Type’ with Annie Irvin. We also wrote our book, Final Sale, together. Annie is my sister and I just can’t seem to get away from her. We’d love for you to drop by and visit us at http://www.bittersweet-hollow.com/blog/. And I’d like to thank you, Kathryn, for this opportunity to contribute to your totally awesome polka dot blog.