When a top Hollywood Agent is found poisoned in the bathtub of her home suspicion quickly turns to one of her two nieces. But Carol Childs, a reporter for a local talk radio station doesn’t believe it. The suspect is her neighbor and friend, and also her primary source for insider industry news. When a media frenzy pits one niece against the other—and the body count starts to rise—Carol knows she must save her friend from being tried in courts of public opinion.
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But even the most seasoned reporter can be surprised, and when a Hollywood psychic shows up in Carol’s studio one night and warns her there will be more deaths, things take an unexpected turn. Suddenly nobody is above suspicion. Carol must challenge both her friendship and the facts, and the only thing she knows for certain is the killer is still out there and the closer she gets to the truth, the more danger she’s in.
THE STORY CHOOSES THE WRITER
When I was girl my mother used to tell me, if you want make something happen you’ve got get out of the house and mix it up. She wasn’t a big believer that opportunity was going to suddenly show up on our doorstep and success and happiness would follow all your live-long life. And being that I grew up in Arizona, in the middle of a grapefruit orchard, on the outskirts of Phoenix in the sixties, I’m pretty certain she was right.
On the other hand, I’m not so sure that’s the way it works with stories.
I’m a big believer the story picks the writer. Not the other way around. I’ve no doubt that some of us are a little riper than others for the pickin’. Perhaps it’s because writers are more perceptive, or sensitive, or just plain better listeners. But whatever the cause, in my opinion, the story picks the writer.
My first book The Centaur’s Promise is a story about a woman who meets a centaur in her dreams after she nearly hits a runaway horse on a busy southern California freeway. This story came to me shortly after I founded The Equestrian News, a southern California equestrian newspaper. I was sitting in my office one day, when a nervous caller called in to report a near fatal accident. Fortunately, no one, horse or driver, was harmed, but the story did prompt me imagine; what if?
What if, it weren’t an accident and some driving (forgive the pun) force, wanted to grab this woman’s attention? Several days later, after I had just finished a training exercise with my horse and we were cooling down in the arena, a vision came to me. It was a centaur, a mighty half-horse, half-man creature, holding a spear in his hand above his head and saying, “We will leave this world, but we will take with us the hearts of your best women and through them, we will rule your world for eternity.”
Was I crazy? Or was I pulling from some force beyond a story inspired by the accident I’d just covered.
My second book, When in Doubt, Don’t! was inspired by a real life experience I had with a group of rightwing extremists that moved into a house I was renting and refused to either pay rent, or leave. Their response to my numerous eviction notices was that my home was no long part of the United States, but was now headquarters for their new nation.
Yes, this really happened. And it took me being part of a federal investigation and better than ten years before I was able to put it in perspective and write a book about it.
When in Doubt, Don’t! was the prequel for my new Carol Childs’ mystery series. I self-published it and then took it back when Henery Press offered me a chance to do a series with Carol Childs as the heroine. My first book with Henery Press, Shadow of Doubt, debuted December 2. I’m very excited about it. This new series just clicked for me and was easy to write. It was an opportunity for me to share my experiences from within a busy news/talk radio station via my character, Carol Childs, who is easily my alter ego. I’m already at work on book three in the series and anticipate - with reader enthusiasm – many more. And yes, When in Doubt, Don’t! will be available as a prequel sometime in the near future.
Meanwhile, in sticking with the idea that stories pick the author.
The other day I came home to find a FedEx package on my front door step. It was addressed to a Tod Silverman. Nobody I know. And no one my husband knows either. In fact, there is no, nor has there ever been, a Tod Silverman in residence at our home. I write that because it’s important you know. . . we don’t know Tod Silverman.
But somebody does.
And that somebody was trying to use FedEx to send Tod Silverman a substantial amount of money.
Of course I didn’t know this at the time. And when I picked up the box, I assumed it was something my husband was expecting from a client.
My husband, Bruce, does a lot of expert witness work and frequently packages arrive during the day containing copies of depositions, etc. Without thinking about it, I placed the box in his office in his office and left.
Moments later, I hear his call.
The tone in his voice was that of concern. Like that reserved for serious discussion.
“What?” I hollered back. I hadn’t ordered anything. I had no reason to think something in the package concerned me, or that he might be upset. But he continued.
“Nancy! Come here. Now!”
I returned to his office to find him standing across the room, arms folded across his chest, a look of distress on his face. He pointed at the box, now on his desk.
“Look inside,” he said.
“Why?” I didn’t like his tone. Was it something dead? Something poisonous? Why wasn’t he standing by the box?
Slowly I approached the box. There, sitting on top of stack of three manila envelopes, was a clear plastic bag containing hundreds of one hundred dollar bills!
“Oh, my God! What is it?”
He didn’t know. I didn’t know. But we both knew it was trouble.
I’ll close and tell you we called the police. The story? You’ll have to read the Carol Childs’ mysteries. I promised to include it. Very soon.
Until then, Stay Tuned,
Nancy Cole Silverman
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