Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Excerpt and Giveaway Broken Strings by Nancy Means Wright

Release Date: May 7th, 2013


When puppeteer Marion collapses during a performance of Sleeping Beauty, her friend Fay Hubbard will carry on. But Fay already has her hands full with three demanding foster children—Apple and Beets, who have a fractious jailbird father, and sixteen-year-old Chance, who has a crush on an older guy in a band called Ghouls. And now Marion’s husband Cedric seems more interested in a drop-dead-gorgeous French teacher than with any string puppets. And who is the mysterious Skull-man who warns of death if the show goes on with one of Marion’s offbeat endings?

When an autopsy reveals that Marion had swallowed a dose of deadly crushed yew—and a friend finds her half-sister dangling from a rod like a marionette, a shocked Fay goes after the killers.


Fay loved Glenna, and she loved the puppet world.  Puppets were universal, they were therapeutic, they made people laugh – and cry.  They were bigger than life. They weren’t imitators of life, they were instruments for showing up human foibles, Marion had said that. And Fay had come to believe the puppet had qualities the actor didn’t have.  When she made a marionette move, or even a finger puppet to make Apple and Beets laugh, she could affect her onlooker differently than if she’d made the movements herself.  It was as if her hands were creating new life.
     Cedric was nodding.  “Fifty percent,” he said.  “You take half and I take half ’cause they’re my pubbets.”
     “You mean Marion’s puppets.”
     “Mine.  The will never got to the lawyer, Fay.  Is jus’ in her handwriting.”
     “But you’ll honor it.”  
     “Sure I will.  Pubbets are part of the estate.  Wha’s hers is mine.  And I wanna updated inventory.”
     She stared at him.  He was serious.  Drunk but serious. 
     “Then I should take a salary,” she said, staring back into the hard blue eyes.
     He sighed.  “Gotta think on it.  Jus’ get ’em outa here so’s I can get my damn house back. Wan’ my house back!  My libbing room. Then we can talk.”
     She was still holding the casserole.  She could smell cheese and onions, garlic and rosemary. She thought of her goat cheese.  When would she have time to make cheese, much less, marionettes?  “A salary,” she repeated, “and you can do the scheduling like you’ve always done. You don’t have to do the shows – none of the artistic part of it, I mean.  And I’ll do the bookkeeping.”  Not that she didn’t trust Cedric. 
     Not that she did trust him.  Why had Marion married him anyway?  She should find
that out.  She had a lot to find out.  She needed to read Marion’s correspondence, at least
what related to the theater.  Who killed Marion?  That was the number one question. 
     “Here,” she said.  She dropped the casserole in his lap.  I’ll check the inventory while I begin packing. I know Marion had one.  You’ll have to give me a few days.  Maybe a week.”
      “Friday,” he said.  “Wan’ my libbing room back by Friday.” He struggled up with the casserole and it fell on the floor, spilling the contents on his foot.  “Shee-it!”
     When she left him – on her way to find Willard to make him her partner, to share the packing up, some of the profits – Cedric was sprawled on the floor in a mess of baked beans, ham, ketchup, and onions. 
     “Enjoy,” she said

About the author:
Nancy Means Wright has published 17 books, including 6 contemporary mysteries from St Martin’s Press and two historical novels featuring 18th-century Mary Wollstonecraft (Perseverance Press). Her two most recent books are the mystery Broken Strings (GMTA publishing) and Walking into the Wild, an historical novel for tweens (LLDreamspell). Her children’s mysteries have received an Agatha Award and Agatha nomination. Nancy lives in Middlebury with her spouse and two Maine Coon cats.

1 comment:

Nancy Means Wright said...

June 22: At last I've found you, Cremona!Thanks for hosting me, Cremona. Grazie. Great website.