Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

LITTLE GREY CELLS
Friday, January 8, 2021 by LEEANN BETTS

PLEASE WELCOME

LEEANN BETTS

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

 

Be sure to leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a free book!

AN EXCERPT FROM LITTLE GREY CELLS

Chapter 1

Margie Hanson sighed and sat back from the ream of papers scattered on her dining room table. So much work, and so little time. And money. Granted, sales of rare and vintage books had increased since she inherited the shop four months before, but the day-to-day grind of selling used mystery books for a couple of dollars apiece wouldn’t pay the rest of the bills.

Or for the much-needed electrical upgrade to the entire building, brought to light on a recent inspection by the friendly guys at the local fire department.

I wish Grandma Carly could visit. Again.

She sipped her coffee to settle her nerves. And her thoughts. She could run this small business. And spearhead the needed renovations. As a college graduate in library and information sciences, she might not have much life experience yet, but surely she had enough intelligence to figure out who to hire.

What had the pastor said this morning in his message? I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

She exhaled. “Lord, give me strength, please.”

Of course, Ted Bloom, her Great-Aunt Rosella’s former love interest—that relationship having been nipped in the bud because of the woman’s untimely death in May—had already offered to do the work for a reasonable price, but she wasn’t sure. His bid, certainly the lowest of the four she’d received to date, didn’t include some work the other companies had, including hauling off the trash and moving or covering furniture. And when she asked, he admitted not carrying liability insurance. Meaning that she couldn’t sue him if something went wrong on the job. Or after, with his workmanship.

All of which boiled down to saving money and doing that part of the project herself, or forking out the additional money and leaving everything in the competent hands of a professional team instead of a one-man-band.

Still. . . with his bid at less than the cost of a new laptop—plus materials, of course, as were the other three estimates—while the others started at around the price of a small she-shed, perhaps she should go with cheap and roll up her sleeves. Sweat equity, and all that.

Not that she was a big fan of sweat.

She picked up her cell and dialed Ted’s number before she talked herself out of her decision. “Hi, Ted. It’s Margie Hanson.”

“Hi there. Made a decision? I could start tomorrow. I’ll email a list of materials. You can call the order in and I’ll pick it up on the way.”

“Before I commit, what’s your expected schedule?”

“We’ll start in the binding room and work our way toward the store so we get there on Monday when you’re closed. I should be able to do the retail area in one day.”

“Sounds like a plan.” She sat back in her chair. His plan of action made perfect sense, which relieved a load of worries. “And you can work straight through? Except for Sundays, of course. No other jobs planned?”

“Nope. I’ve been putting some folks off until a little later, hoping you’d call.”

“Appreciate that, Ted. What do I need to do to be ready for you, besides the materials?”

“Choose your new paint colors, if you want to do that at the same time.”

“I’m going with dove grey on the walls, white trim and ceilings and doors.”

“Ah, traditional, I like it. Rosella wouldn’t, of course.” He chuckled. “Oh, I miss her so much.”

Margie believed him. A few months ago, she wouldn’t have. Not when she suspected him of killing her great-aunt. But now that she knew him better, she saw some of what Rosella did. “Next?”

“If you want to arrange a roll-off dumpster for tomorrow, that will be perfect. Shouldn’t fill it but the once for the project.”

She made a note. “Got it.”

“Cover or move anything you don’t want getting dusty, including anything flammable. And if you feel comfortable working on the ceiling, you could take down the light fixtures. Just make sure the switches are off. And no standing in a puddle of water.”

This time a guffaw filled her ear.

She forced a half-smile. Must be an old electrician’s joke. “I can probably manage that. See you at nine tomorrow, okay? That gives me time before the shop opens. In case you need something else.”

Another laugh. “A pot of coffee, and a box of pastries from the bakery, and I’m good to go. See you then.”

She finished her java and considered her next move. A call to the dumpster company for the roll-off. She left her name, number, address, and asked for a unit to be delivered the next morning. By that time, Ted’s list waited in her Inbox. She called the local home improvement big box store, then followed their directions on how to place her order online and pay with her credit card. Seemed little enough to do to keep the price down.

That much accomplished, she checked her list. Right. Demolition work. Well, not really. Fluorescent fixture removal. Shouldn’t be difficult. She’d watched her dad often enough while he worked on projects around the house when she was a kid.

She could do this.

 

Giveaway: Leave a comment to be entered into a random drawing for an ebook copy of Little Grey Cells. Answer the following question: If you could choose your dream job, would it be (a) a librarian in a public library, (b) a small independent bookstore owner, or (c) a publisher. And why?

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Little-Grey-Cells-Mysterious-Bookstore-ebook/dp/B08NZ3TL98

ABOUT LITTLE GREY CELLS

A missing woman, a suitcase buried in a ceiling, and a rare manuscript. Who hid them? And why? And who wants them now?

ABOUT LEEANNBETTS

Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. Together she and Donna have published more than 30 novellas and full-length novels. They ghostwrite, judge writing contests, edit, facilitate a critique group, and are members of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, CAN, and SinC.

Website: www.LeeannBetts.com Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Blog: www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

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What Can Be Online University: online courses on the craft of writing

 

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Comments

Leeann Betts From At 1/8/2021 8:51:10 AM

Thanks so much for hosting me today!

Reply by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Good to have you.

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