You usually match numbers to other numbers

“Uh, okay. You usually match numbers to other numbers.” It wasn’t like she didn’t know almost as much about bookkeeping as I do. She just liked the game of prime-and-pump and I’d learned to keep nudging her or she’d grind to a halt.

“There are numbers in the stories, silly. They should match the numbers in the spreadsheets. If so, you can bill me your hourly.”

“And if they don’t?”

Rosies-numbers

Silence wasn’t Rosie’s thing. She was usually starting her next sentence before you’d finished yours. After plenty of time for the ticking and clacking of gears, she answered.

“Then we’ll talk about a weekly rate.”

She should have sounded smug. She loved having the upper hand and made no secret about it when she had you in her palm.

She didn’t sound smug. She sounded scared.

This is an excerpt from That She is Made of Truth. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

I never meant to get you fired, Jesse

endless-officeShe’d made it clear that I was working on her stories now, taking food from her imaginary future children’s mouths. She’d also volunteered that she was seeing someone so I needn’t bother asking her out. If that was supposed to pique my interest, it hadn’t. We’d gotten off on all the wrong feet.

Before I could open my mouth she spun around in her swivel chair.

“I never meant to get you fired, Jesse. I just told Greg that stuff so he’d move you back to accounting. Not fired.” Her hands waved like she was washing them. How delightfully symbolic.

“Dunno what you’re talking about. Greg never mentioned whatever it was. It’s about money, and I’ve seen it coming since I made the switch. Accounting, remember? We know where the money is. And, uh, isn’t.”

She washed a little more. “Okay.” Her chair forced her around to face her computer. “Greg didn’t say anything?”

What a hatchet job she’d tried to pull, if she was this worried. Let her worry.

This is an excerpt from That She is Made of Truth To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

I’m from the library

it's in here somewhere“I’m from the library.”

“Here to strong-arm me about some overdue Dickens?”

Okay, she didn’t really say that. It was so stuck in my head I was almost willing her to say it just so we could get it over with.

What she said wasn’t much better.

“Prove it.”

This was already going well.

“Excuse me?”

She switched eyes. The door opened another eighth-inch and I caught a glimpse of a polyester floral print, and a cast-iron permanent. There were probably scratches on the inside of the door where her hair ravaged it.

“Anybody could say they’re from the library. How do I know? Got any ID?”

What was she looking for, a library card? I tried to keep my mouth shut, since looking like a landed carp wouldn’t help my professional appearance any.

“Um, no, nothing officially from the library. I’m here to ask about the, er—” I scrambled in my inside coat pocket for the list. “It says Marjorie Millhone, eight low-light cameras with DVR.”

“It’s mill hone.”

Pieces of my brain broke loose and floated off into space.

“Excuse me?” Now you’re repeating yourself, fool.

“The name is pronounced ‘MILL-hone,’ not ‘mull-OWN.’”

This is an excerpt from That She is Made of Truth To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

Coffee is a wonderfully emotional smell

That She is Made of TruthCoffee is a wonderfully emotional smell. It’s no wonder so many people won’t go a day without it. I love it, but I keep it in its place. A cup when I want the taste, not because I need the caffeine. An espresso when I’m doing something creative. Not that can’t-get-out-of-bed-without-it relationship most people have. Watching everyone I know acting like addicts hunting a fix in the morning concerned me. Maybe I like to be different.

Maybe I used to drink a pot a day and I’m trying not to go back there.

Spending time in coffee shops was my version of an alcoholic in a bar. Usually I met in a real restaurant or even the park. I’d been known to bring a spare sandwich in order to have a quiet conversation away from flapping ears in the next booth.

This is an excerpt from That She is Made of Truth. To read the whole story, get your copy here: That She is Made of Truth.


Barry, You’re Hurting Me

An excerpt from the first Jesse Donovan mystery That She Is Made of Truth which you really should read.

That She is Made of Truth

When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her though I know she lies
— William Shakespeare

I should have listened to the bard.
— Jesse Donovan

After their 5th anniversary, he smiled less and stopped laughing.

After their 6th anniversary, he started talking less.

After their 7th anniversary, he started drinking.

After their 8th anniversary, he started coming home with lipstick on his collar and perfume that wasn’t hers lingering as he stomped through the living room and up to bed.

On their 9th anniversary, at what had become an annual torture session, he swore at their server and stormed from the restaurant.

She threw a handful of $20 bills on the table and ran after him.

Continue reading “Barry, You’re Hurting Me”