Dear Reader…

Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder – Coming Soon!

Do you ever wish you could take a horrifying job experience and turn it into something positive? My latest fictional character, Andi Anna Jones, is my way of coming to terms with a short-lived career as a travel agent. Oh, yes, I was truly awful, and often wished I could disappear into the life of a fictional confident, efficient protagonist who could think on her feet. Unfortunately, my crowning achievement was pretending to be as invisible as possible when customers walked through the door.

When a long-time neighbor, Parker Graves, inexplicably wills Graves Travel to Andi, she soon discovers booking airline reservations, cruise packages, and tours, is not her bag. She is, however, smart enough to hire someone who fits that bill. Ellie Clanton, straight out of Tennessee with the twang to match, often stumps the Miami clientele with questions such as, “Wut kinda saaaeeets do you wont?” (aisle or window?), but her speed and efficiency makes up for any language barrier.

Andi’s inferiority complex, about her job performance, isn’t her only concern. She’s also super-sensitive about her single status; especially when her younger sister, Georgia, blathers on about her perfect family consisting of four kids and devoted husband. “When are you going to settle down, Andi? You’re pushing forty, ya know.”

Maybe the desire to find something more meaningful in her life allows her “inner sleuth” to emerge when forced to fly to Cancun after her dad’s widow is arrested for the murder of a has-been lounge singer. Fleshing out clues and solving mysteries far surpasses her ability to book vacations and handle complaints from unhappy clients. Andi finally feels alive. And, while her old fears and inadequacies continue to slip in, the excitement of a good mystery pushes her far beyond pre-conceived safe boundaries.   

One of the first bits of advice I received when I became serious about writing books and getting them published was, “Write what you know”. I followed that advice with Andi, her South Florida location, and even her sidekick, Ellie. Oh, yes, I worked with a gifted travel agent who made my Southern Indiana accent sound like I grew up in New Joisey.

Would I have continued writing my whole life without my dad, a career journalist, inspiring me? Or if all my teachers from third grade on hadn’t planted the words, “Mary, never stop writing” in my brain?  Or perhaps it was the satisfaction I got after my mother read my first family memoir and said, “This is good!” (I chose to ignore the surprise in her voice)

As Georgia author, Terry Kay says, (paraphrased) “I don’t care how your reading makes you feel. All that matters is how the reader feels.” So, if you enjoy reading Andi Anna Jones half as much as I enjoyed writing it, we’ll both be winners!

Synopsis: Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder – Andi Anna Jones Mystery # 1

Andi’s step-mother is a real piece of work! But is Ruby a murderer?

Andi Anna Jones, so-so travel agent/amateur sleuth, puts aside her resentment of her father’s widow and books a 60th birthday cruise to Cancun for Ruby and three friends. Never does Andi imagine the cruise will lead to the murder of a has-been lounge singer—or that Ruby will be the main suspect.

Flirting with more than danger after arriving in Mexico, Andi connects with the charming local sheriff, Manual Rodriquez. After an embarrassing night involving the sheriff, too many margaritas, and a Mariachi band, a chance to check out an eyewitness to the murder leads her to Las Vegas.

In Vegas, a mysterious meeting in the Bodies Exhibition, a body preserving in the prep-room, and an evasive owner of a dance studio, give Andi clues to help Ruby. But when Andi is mercilessly drugged and locked in a storage room, she realizes dear old step-mom isn’t the only one in jeopardy.

Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder, Book One – Andi Anna Jones Mysteries, will be released in 2021 by Wild Rose Press!

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