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Today's Jumble is . . .
People & Places in a Cozy Mystery
There's nothing quite like having a friend drop by. Lucky us, we have a visitor today! Poor dear, she really needs a friend today. Check out what she has to say.
I Preferred the Dream
By Emma Westlake
(from A PLUS ONE FOR MURDER by Laura Bradford)
My name is Emma Westlake, and if you’d asked me about myself even six months ago, I’d have said I was living my dream.
I was working as my own boss, doing what I’ve always wanted to do—connecting people and places via my very successful home-based travel agency…
I was continuing to make the house I inherited from my Great Aunt Annabelle a true home
I was learning everything I could about plants and flowers in my attempt to make my yard a show piece…
And I was falling in love with Scout, the golden retriever I adopted from the local animal shelter.
Of course, I may have been sugar coating the part about my agency being “very successful,” but it really was at one time. In the beginning… For the first few years… Before people and companies became more and more comfortable doing their own bookings online.
I’m sure you can sense where this is going, and you’re right. My last two corporate clients are moving all travel arrangements in-house.
Which means, in a nutshell, I’m out of a job.
Of course I could heed the wishes of my parents and move back to New York to head up one of their tutoring centers like my sister, Trina, does. But I don’t want to do that. The tutoring centers are my parents’ dream, not mine.
Or, Scout and I could stay in our perfect-for-us little home and see if we can make a go of the crazy idea my elderly friend, Dottie Adler, came up with other day. She thinks I can make a business of being a paid companion; a friend for hire. She’s even rustled me up two clients who show promise. One wants to hire me as a gym buddy. The other, as a plus one for a dance at the local senior center.
And I even found a client on my own. By pinning a virtual notice about my potential new business to the Sweet Falls community bulletin board. The guy wanted to hire me to accompany him to Open Mic Night at a local eatery and clap after he recited his poem.
Free food and a hundred bucks to clap? How could I say no, right?
Well, I should’ve. Said no, that is. Because after shoving a piece of paper at me with the faces of four people he said wanted him dead, Mr. Hill (said client) did in fact drop dead. In the middle of the stage. While reciting his poem. With all four of those same people sitting in the audience.
No, I’m not kidding. I wish I was.
So, without further adieux: My name is Emma Westlake and I’m officially living my worst nightmare.
Wow! Poor Emma. I'm so happy she could confide with in us today. I think the idea of being a friend for hire sounds great! My advice to Emma is to stick with it. I mean, it's not like she's always going to come across a body, right?
While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house as a child, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number-two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do or be anything else. Today, Laura is the USA Today bestselling author of several mystery series including; the Amish Mysteries, the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mysteries, the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey), and the new A Friend for Hire Mysteries. To learn more about Laura and/or her books, visit her website: laurabradford.com