Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Page from #Sleuth Caprice De Luca's Journal before Cozy #Mystery STAGED TO DEATH by Karen Rose Smith

My sleuth Caprice De Luca believes in keeping a journal as well as using affirmations to stay positive.  This would be her journal entry for the day before STAGED TO DEATH, Book 1 in my Caprice De Luca Home Staging series, opens.
I went to Secrets Of The Past this morning which is Kismet, Pennsylvania’s vintage dress and accessory shop. Maybe it’s my mom and Nana Celia’s influence, but I love retro fashion and design. My closet is full of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s styles. My younger sister Bella is appalled. But she’s very conservative, particular and usually organized. A stay-at-home mom with two kids, she never takes in stray animals like I do. In fact, she and four footed furry creatures don’t get along too well. On the other hand, my older sister Nikki is more like me. Good thing, too. Single and a caterer, Nikki and I work together on my elaborate open houses that I stage for high-end clients. We have one coming up soon for Roz Winslow, a high school friend. She and her powerful and arrogant husband—I love Roz but bristle at Ted’s know-it-all attitude—built a castle-like dream home. But now they’ve decided to sell it. It is perfect for a Camelot theme.
So this afternoon Nikki and I consulted on the food menu. Servers will be wearing buckskin and I called a musician who plays a lyre. Now if I could just influence Ted to empty his valuable and collectible-filled sword room, I’d be more certain about the security of the Winslows’ open house.
I took Dylan for a few walks today. He’s a stray dog I took in. I haven’t been able to find his owner even though I posted on my website and put flyers at Grocery Fresh. The ads in the Kismet Crier and the community ad paper didn’t produce results either. So my long-haired calico cat Sophia might have a permanent buddy. Sophia started hanging around my 50’s style Cape Cod house soon after I moved in. Her beautiful fur was matted and she was in need of a good home. Sophia and I bonded and I soon moved in a floor-to-ceiling turquoise cat tree which is one of her favorite places to perch. Nana Celia says I came from a large family so that’s why I like furry companions around me in my home as an adult. I accept advice from a Nana Celia more easily than the rest of my family. When we have tea in her little apartment attached to my childhood home, she shares stories from her past that give me direction now.
Beatles music is playing on my iPod while I type this in. I use She Loves You as the ringtone on my phone now. I’m considering which of their songs I want to use next. Although Dylan was named for Bob Dylan, the Beatles music is my favorite. Bella says my straight long hairdo with bangs is straight from that era and I should find a new style. But this is easy and I like it. After all, Bella has always had bouncy black curls that added to her beauty. My retro clothes and sense of style make me unique. I like being unique.
Except… I would like some romance in my life. I’d like to have someone special to take along to our monthly family dinners…to spend free time with. He’d have to be an animal lover, of course. And he’d have to understand that at 32, I’m an independent gal and I don’t take orders well. I want a partner. For some reason as I wrote that I thought of my brother Vince’s law partner, Grant Weatherford. But he’s definitely out of the question.
Sophia is stretched out on my desk. Dylan just woke up and is staring at Sophia like he’d like to have a chase with her. It’s time for a tablespoon of dairy cream for Sophia, treats for Dylan, and a home-made biscotti with chocolate macadamia nut decaf coffee for me.
Tomorrow… My to-do list is long already. Main errand—go to OLDER AND BETTER, Isaac Hobbs’ antique shop with Bella. Maybe we can find a birthday present for Mom while we’re there.

You can read more about Caprice, her family
 and her penchant for solving murders in 
the Caprice De Luca Mystery series.

Staged To Death
Deadly Decor
Gilt By Association
Drape Expectations
Silence of the Lamps
Shades of Wrath--December 2016


Karen and Paddy
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens.  And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 

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