Wondering what I’m working on? It’s a new who-dunnit that features the characters in “The Veranda”. Here’s an excerpt:
My name is Kristen Maroney, and I own a beachwear shop in Placencia, a Caribbean town in northern Costa del Oro. I’m thirty-seven years old, happily divorced and living alone in a rented house in the hills above town, except for Buster, my Labrador retriever. When I’m not with Conrad, I eat dinner on my deck, which has a decent ocean view, and enjoy Buster’s company. For his part, Buster’s in it for the handouts, but I don’t mind. It’s his nature.
I don’t have children and don’t anticipate any, though I sometimes wonder if I’m missing something. I like being around my friend Amelia’s kids but I’m probably too old to do it full time. Conrad is divorced and saddled with hefty alimony and child support payments, so no threat of pressure from there. My parents live far away in Las Vegas, and besides they gave up on me doing normal things like having babies a long time ago. They look to my sister for that.
I’m overweight with shoulder length black hair and brown eyes. Conrad says I’m voluptuous, so I don’t worry about the weight, but I do color my hair every six weeks while I catch up on gossip at Nina’s Beauty Salon. What few clothes I need I order from designer overstock, a well-kept industry secret, and one of the few things I value from my fashion stylist days.
When I was married I lived in San Francisco and neither the city nor the marriage was much fun. I worked endless hours dressing women at Bacca da Silva and rarely got to enjoy the city. I dressed models for shows and customers for profit, and didn’t like any of them that I can remember. In the fashion industry, drugs and booze constitute the basic food groups, and a sizable chunk of my salary went in that direction. I had trouble tolerating my clients’ vanities and insecurities unless I was high.