by Heather Weidner
Business has been slow for Private Investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star, Johnny Velvet. Could the singer whose career purportedly ended in a fiery crash almost thirty years ago, still be alive?
And as though sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Chaz Wellington Smith, III, a loud-mouthed, strip club owner, also hires Delanie to uncover information about the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz, is the key suspect. Now Delanie must clear his name and figure out why landscaper Tripp Payne, keeps popping up in her other investigation. Can the private investigator find the connection between the two cases before another murder – possibly her own – takes place?
“Hey, do you want another drink?” slurred the man on the barstool next to Delanie Fitzgerald.
Delanie leaned in closer. “No, but I’d like to go somewhere and get to know you better. What do you think about that?” she asked, winking at the fifty-something sitting next to her. She tossed her long red curls to one side and tilted her head toward him. She hoped the black dress showed enough cleavage to do the trick.
He smiled. He looked like he was expecting her to kiss him. When she didn’t, he waved to the bartender for the tab.
The man placed two twenties on the bar next to his glass. Delanie slid off the barstool, careful not to cause her micro-dress to creep any higher. Flipping her shiny purse strap over her shoulder, she made her way out through the crowd. Delanie felt his ragged breaths on the back of her neck, huffing and puffing like he’d run three or four laps. He reached out and touched her shoulder, trying to steady himself.
When they arrived at the parking lot, she said, “I’m over there. I’ll follow you. Where to?
“I dunno. I’m not from this part of town.”
“We could go to your place,” she suggested.
“Uh, no. Too far. It wouldn’t be any fun.”
“Well, I’m all about fun. Okay, where then?” She shivered and wished she had brought a jacket, but it would have ruined the effect.
“Uh, I dunno,” he stammered. “I think they’re some places over near the interstate a couple of blocks from here.”
“Okay. I want somewhere nice with a Jacuzzi.”
“I didn’t bring a swimsuit.”
“Neither did I,” she said.
He leered at Delanie, taking in her long legs and short skirt, while fishing through his pockets for his keys.
“I’m in the beige Corolla down there,” he said.
She climbed in her black Mustang and watched him stagger to his car.
Delanie felt a tinge of guilt for letting him drive drunk, but she needed to get him at a motel. She started the engine. He still hadn’t made it to his car. After turning on the lights and the radio, she kicked off the four-inch heels that pinched her feet and made her calves burn. She threw them in the backseat and settled in to watch what he would do next.
He finally backed out, and Delanie followed behind him until he pulled into a small motel at the entrance ramp to I-95. The sign under the neon vacancy advertised Jacuzzis and free breakfast.
He parked and walked over to her car. Rolling down the window a crack, she waited. He leaned forward but didn’t say anything.
“Why don’t you get us a room?” she asked. “I’ll pull around back and wait for you to get everything ready.”
“Okay,” he smiled again and wandered off in the direction of the office. It was twelve thirty-five according to the radio display.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in Virginia is for Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II. Currently, she is President of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, and a member of Guppies and Lethal Ladies Write. Secret Lives and Private Eyes is her debut novel.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager.
Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com
Amazon Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ
I’m so happy to have a fellow mystery writer on the blog today! Welcome Heather, thanks for agreeing to answer some of my nosy questions 🙂
What do you think is the best way to publish these days?
I think the publishing world has changed, and it continues to evolve. Right now, I’m traditionally published, but I’m seeing more and more authors move to the hybrid model with more independent or self-published books. I think a hybrid offers authors more opportunities.
What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
I read lots of genres – mystery, suspense, biography, history, but my favorite is mystery. It has been since Nancy Drew.
Do your characters talk to you?
Of course! I define them on paper and start writing, and often they take on a life of their own. Sometimes, the story goes in a different direction than I first intended.
How do you approach starting a new book?
I like to plot it out in my head and on paper. I start writing with my outline and character descriptions, and then I become a pantser (one who writes by the seat of her pants). The story often goes somewhere other than I first intended.
What is your writing process?
I’m a binge writer. I try to write every day, but I work full-time. I write at lunch, in the evenings, and on my days off. To me, the writing and research parts are easier. I spend a lot of time revising and rewriting before my critique group and editors see the draft.
What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?
My favorite is Stephen King’s On Writing. He offers some really down-to-earth advice. There are a lot of good writing blogs out there.
What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?
I love taking pictures and hanging out with my husband and our two crazy Jack Russell terriers. We take a lot of day-trips. We are so fortunate to live in Virginia. We’re so close to the beach, mountains, and Washington, DC.
What was your best date ever?
My husband and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. When we were dating, he took me to a dinner theatre on New Year’s Eve. We watched Fiddler on the Roof and rang in the new year.
Navy SEAL or cowboy?
Navy SEAL – My husband is former Navy, and we’re die-hard Washington Redskins fans, so I’ll have to pass on the Cowboy.
Chocolate or chips?
Chocolate – Any kind – It’s a super writing food.
If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?
I would love to be able to fly. I hate having to use an airplane, and commercial flights have become so tedious.
Fancy restaurant or picnic?
Picnic – There are so many beautiful outdoor spots to enjoy.
Beer or wine?
Coca Cola or Dr. Pepper. I like wine, but I’m allergic to most anything with sulfites. I am really excited. My short story, “Par for the Course” is going to be a part of the wine-themed anthology, 50 Shades of Cabernet. It’s slated to be published in March of 2017.
I have way too many to list. Both my degrees are in American literature. I love Poe, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Dickinson, Twain, and London. I love Hitchcock, Christie, Chandler, and Hammett.
Smooth or hairy?
Smooth – Not interested in Bigfoot
Heather Weidner will be awarding one (1) Set of 4 Nancy Drew Wine Charms (US Only Addresses) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.