It's First Friday! The day three talented authors give their take on a single photo in 150 words or less.
The shoes called me through the store window, whispering my sister’s party was tonight, reminding me of that cute guy who never noticed me. I didn’t stand out at parties, and he always looked over my head, not down at me. I wanted him to notice me. What did I have to lose if I bought the shoes? Just half a month’s paycheck and possibly my balance. It was worth it.
I looked amazing. My mirror told me so. So did the smile on the face of the cute guy as I entered my sister’s apartment. I smiled back and took a step onto her slippery white tile floor. My ankle went one way, the shoe another and my face met the floor. Was that my blood the shoe sat in? My nose was flowing freely. But the cute guy was picking me up.
I had been noticed.
His nickname was Detective Superman. There’d never been a case he couldn’t crack, until what the media dubbed The Stiletto Murders came along, six vicious slayings ago. The victims were johns, and the murderer’s signature was always the same: a different stiletto posed near the body, blood drizzled around the bottom of the shoe. Neat, clean, no prints, no hairs, no DNA. Nothing but the victim’s unadulterated semen. The shoe, sold in every chain store in the city, offered no clue to the buyer.
Except this time. This time, she’d left a calling card. For him.
His heart pounded. Sweat beaded at his hairline, trickled down his back.
“You all right, Detective?” the first cop on the scene asked. “You look pale.”
“Fine, fine,” Superman said, sloughing him off. But he wasn’t. Not by a long shot
He recognized the red stiletto. He’d bought the expensive shoes for her.
A cherry-red stiletto? Crimey. The blood is dandy. Marley steps in it often enough. But no way would my heroine squash her D-width tootsies in my cover artist’s tribute to foot surgery. What possessed Judy—my early twenties cover artist? Her arches won’t collapse for a few decades. I didn’t expect Judy to read my book, just hoped she’d peruse the synopsis. Sigh.
Okay, try diplomacy. As authors are pitifully aware, we’re less likely to sway book cover design than President Obama is to gain unanimous Congressional approval—of anything. Guess I could photograph one of my scruffy clodhoppers. While Marley and I are far from twins, we see bunion to bunion on footwear.
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Hmmm. Or I could edit. After losing a bet, Marley can be en route to a costume party wearing Madonna breast cones and shiny stilettos when she slips on some blood. Marley would you forgive me?
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Kathleen Delaney writes the Ellen McKenzie mystery series. Dying for a Change introduces Ellen, who’s returned to her career as a real estate agent. Finding a dead body in the closet of the first house you show is a hard way to start. Life doesn’t get any easier for Ellen in Give First Place to Murder, And Murder for Dessert, and Murder Half Baked.
Kathleen has just finished the fifth, Murder by Syllabub. She lives in Georgia with a dog and cat and often a couple of grandchildren who love to visit. Or is it the pumpkin/cranberry bread they like?
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Polly Iyer was born on the coast of Massachusetts. After studying at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, she traveled to Italy, lived in Atlanta, and now resides in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina in an empty nest house with her husband, a drooling mutt named Max, and Joey, the timid cat. She writes crime fiction that always has a murder or two…or three, characters who cross ethical lines, and a hint of romance.
Linda Lovely writes mysteries and romantic thrillers. Her Marley Clark series features a 52-year-old retired military intelligence officer. DEAR KILLER is set in the SC Lowcountry where Marley works as a security guard. NO WAKE ZONE moves to Lake Okoboji, Iowa. Marley will return to the Carolina Coast in book three. Lovely’s newest romantic thriller, FINAL ACCOUNTING, is a set in Atlanta and Jamaica.
The author is a member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the South Carolina Writers Workshop. Click on book covers on Lovely’s website—www.lindalovely.com—for ebook and paperback buy links.
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