Please help me give a big welcome to WENDY ROBERTS special guest blogger here at Murder She Writes. In addition to launching a new mystery series this month with the fan-tab-u-lous REMAINS OF THE DEAD, which I reviewed over at Writers Are Readers, she is saving my butt since I’m neck-deep in copy edits for TEMPTING EVIL which absolutely, positively MUST be at Fed Ex today at 4 pm in order to be in NY early Friday morning.
Without further ado, heeeeeeeerrrrrrreeeee’s Wendy!
Thanks to Allison for inviting me to guest blog here at MSW! It’s a great escape from dealing with my holiday duties. There are many things I love about the holidays. Baking sugar cookies and building gingerbread houses with my kids. Decorating the house and receiving cards in the mail. But then there’s the awful thing that comes along with the holidays. Shopping. Shudder. I HATE to shop. Even though I did half of my shopping online, I knew I’d eventually be sucked into the mall vortex of doom. And not just any mall. Nope. A gargantuan hell hole boasting five hundred stores over multiple levels. Ugh. At least I only needed one gift from one store. How difficult could it be, right? My plan was to grab the item, pay cash to avoid delays and make my escape. Get in. Get out. I’d be the Green Beret of shoppers.
Things went to hell right around the time I parked in the only available stall which was at the opposite end of the shopping center from where I needed to be. Once inside, I became instantly lost. Apparently I can drive cross country without consulting a map but I can’t find B-1 on Level Three to save my life. I wondered about aimlessly afraid to stand still lest I be jostled and eventually trampled by the masses. After half an hour I was ready to scream but I finally located a mall directory that said my destination store was directly behind me *bliss*! I whirled around and grinned at the colossal sign for Lululemon Athletica. The last item on my Christmas list was inside those four walls. With determination I forced myself to walk inside and hunt down a potentially helpful employee. I pulled out my daughter’s Christmas list and told the clerk, “I want a black hoodie in a size four, please.”
“Great. Let me show you our selection!” she gushed.
“Oh yes, we have a variety of hoodies. I’ll show you the styles…”
Her mouth was moving but I heard no more sounds. She unfolded, described, fluffed and re-folded dozens of sweaters. My palms were sweating, my head was pounding and the pretty little clerk no longer looked pretty. I had no choice. I went to my happy place.
For me, my happy place is plotting murder. I’m sorry to advise you that the young, blonde Lululemon clerk with the perky breasts and helpful demeanor died a slow, agonizing death. I’m pretty sure it was a new advanced form of flesh eating disease but maybe it was the cyanide someone slipped into her designer water. Or it could’ve been a shot from the sniper I saw concealed behind a rack of tote bags. Regardless, I was at the point of choosing the fictional coroner to perform her autopsy when I was able to blurt out the words that would save me: “Gift card!”
I left the mall and found sanctuary a few blocks away at a Starbucks with my laptop. The Lululemon clerk will live to die in one form or another in the next book in my Ghost Dusters mystery series. By the way, book one, The Remains of the Dead, is in stores now. Allison gave me a fabulous cover quote and very generously gave this blog time to pimp my book so I hope you’re brave enough to enter a store to buy a copy! 🙂
So are you a mall maven or a store stud who loves to shop, or do have shopping center horror stories you’d like to share?
Allison here . . . I bought two copies of Wendy’s book (well, my name IS on the cover!) and I’m going to give one away to one lucky commenter below! I’ll let you know who tomorrow morning–just post by midnight PST today! And don’t forget our MSW contest that ends Friday!