Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Jacquie Rogers

What is the 777 meme? Is it a mystery to be unfolded one clue at a time? Nope, it's a game, sort of a promotion game for authors who want to trick readers into buying their books. No, wait, I didn't mean to say that. No, no, of course not. The 777 meme is a fun way for readers to find out more about books. Yeah, that's better.Sure.

Friend and author Jacquie Rogers (author of the hilariously clever MUCH ADO ABOUT MARSHALS and other linked books) tagged me in a 777 meme. Jacquie is a fellow western historical author who also writes craft books for writers.

Apologies to Jacquie, but instead of a western historical, I've chosen the 7th line on page 77 of my contemporary cozy mystery, DIGGING FOR DEATH, which is the first of the Heather Cameron series. I'm currently at work on DIGGING FOR BONES, the second Heather Cameron adventure, while I also am writing my western historical HIGH STAKES BRIDE, the second of the Men of Stone Mountain trilogy. I don't understand why I'm compelled to write two books at once, but a writer's mind is positively unfathomable.None of us claims to be totally sane.Of course, I don't have two computers at which I type simultaneously. No, it's a mood thing. In addition to being slightly nutty, writers are often moody and capricious. No, no, make that writers are flexible. Yeah, sounds better, doesn't it? Sigh. But I digress.

As with most of my books, the setting is Texas, this time north of Dallas about where Van Alstyne is located. My dad was born nearby in Pilot Grove, and Darling Daughter 1 lives not too far southeast of there. Hero and I lived in Richardson when each of our daughters was born. You can see why I feel an affinity for that area of North Texas.

Before I give you the 7th line of page 77, let me give you the blurb and set up:

Garden center manager Heather Cameron is DIGGING FOR DEATH to prove her old family friend, mentor, and employee, Walter Sims, is innocent of murdering the meanest man in town. Heather can’t trust the police to find the real killer when all clues point to poor Walter. The dead man was beaten to death with Walter’s shovel several hours after they were overheard arguing, and the two men had a long history of enmity. Walter definitely looks guilty, but Heather is sure—well, almost positive—okay, she certainly hopes her friend and mentor is innocent.
  Heather is compelled to scour the fictional North Central Texas town of Gamble Grove to exonerate her old friend. She’s encouraged when the new police detective in town, Kurt Steele, shows interest in helping her look for clues.
The deeper Heather digs into the dead man’s life, the more she justifies his ruthless reputation. Walter is indicted, but police begin to suspect the victim’s stepson as murderer. Heather is convinced the stepson couldn’t have murdered anyone either—although it’s clear no love was lost between the two men. The attempted murder of the victim’s real son creates a new twist. Can Heather solve the murder without becoming the killer’s next victim?

Heather Cameron
Heather attends the murdered man’s funeral with her grandparents and great-grandmother. But I can’t tell you more or I’d have to kill you. No, the truth is that I simply don’t want to spoil the plot. Here’s line 7 of page 77 plus a bit more:

This time the organist got busy. A portly man I didn’t recognize walked forward and sang “How Great Thou Art.” Then, the minister took the lectern. He was known locally for long, rambling sermons. I was glad my family went to the Presbyterian Church a block away. I hoped he wouldn’t drone on or spout false virtues about the deceased. I’d heard Bootsy attended church here, but I wondered if the minister had even met Vance Rockwell.
During the times I’d met her, Bootsy had seemed a delightful, good-natured scatterbrain with an unchecked lavish sense of style. Her quiet weeping now unsettled me. No matter how much I disliked Rockwell, I couldn’t help sympathizing with his family.
In record time for this long-winded minister, the service was over. We all stood as the casket was carried out of the sanctuary, followed by the bereaved family. We waited our turn and filed out behind the others. Kurt spoke to Winston, the officer who’d been at the murder scene questioning Miguel and Steve, then both men left the church.
On the portico, we saw Kurt and Winston watching the Rockwell family drive away in a stretched black limousine.
Gigi poked Kurt’s arm. “Hello there, young man. I’m thinking about your marriage proposal. I may take you up on it.”
People within hearing turned to stare, saw it was Gigi, and went on their way. Something to be said for getting old and being able to say whatever you wished.
Kurt Steele
Kurt grinned. “Glad to hear it, Gigi. Sad occasion this, but how are you?”
“Any day a person my age goes to a funeral and it isn’t mine is a great day. You remember my granddaughter, Heather?”
Grandpa said, “He ought to, out strolling the town with her half the night.”
Beside Kurt, Winston coughed, and I had a feeling he covered a chortle. Kurt actually blushed, but he smiled at me and winked.
“I couldn’t let her walk around on her own, sir, and there was no talking her out of it.”
Grandpa shot me a glare then shook hands with Kurt. “You don’t have to tell me about this girl’s stubborn streak. Her mother was just the same. Appreciate you keeping an eye on her.”
He sounded as if I were ten and needed someone to hold my hand crossing the street. But I knew better than to protest and open that can of worms in public. “We’d better hurry to the car if you plan on going to the cemetery.”
Kurt offered his arm to Gigi. “Allow me to help you down the steps.”
Darned if she didn’t reward him with a flirty smile. “Always ready to have a handsome man escort me.” She looped her arm with his. “I hope they hired an extra awning. I’m not standing, especially not with the sun blazing on my skin.”
  “Must be why your complexion has remained so lovely.”
On the other side of him, I said, “Steele, you are so full of it.”
He only grinned as he stopped at the bottom of the steps and handed her off to me. “See you at the cemetery.”

I hope that tidbit teased your interest and you can’t wait to purchase this cozy mystery from Amazon, so here’s the BUY LINK:

Now, I’m tagging Anna Kathryn Lanier, Vonnie Davis, Linda LaRoque, Linda Swift, Paisley Kirkpatrick, Susan Macatee, and Callie Hutton to either blog their 777 meme or post it on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Jacquie Rogers said...

I prefer the term "flexible" but I'm sure my husband would go with "moody and capricious."

Best of luck with Digging for Death! I just hope Digging for Bones doesn't interfere too much with High Stakes Bride, though. I was ready to read it the minute I finished Brazos Bride. Guess I'll read DOD to tide me over. :)

MK said...

Fun post Caroline!

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