Wednesday, November 30, 2011

EXCESS BAGGAGE by Sue Ann Jaffarian

The few days before Thanksgiving, I took off for Las Vegas for a combination vacation and book research trip.  I needed the R&R in a baaaaaad way – much more, it turned out, than I realized.
“Now this is more like it.”
The familiar voice rocked me out of my Zen-like moment. I was sitting naked, immersed up to my neck in the hot bubbly water of the hotel spa waiting for my massage appointment. Opening one eye, I looked across the pool to find Odelia Grey similarly dunked – the two of us floating in the water like large, seeping tea bags.
Before speaking, I cast a look over my shoulder, making sure we were alone. “I thought I left you at home,” I told my creation with a bit of a snarl. “I’m on vacation.”
She ignored my obvious annoyance and forged ahead. “No, you’re not. Not really. I happen to know you’re in Las Vegas to research a new book.“ She leaned forward in the water, her face lit with eagerness. “It’s about time you took Greg and me someplace interesting. Are Zee and Seth coming, too? That could be a lot of fun.”
Again, I looked over my shoulder, half expecting to see a spa attendant. “Go away, Odelia. People will think I’m crazy.”
“Trust me, Sue Ann, that ship has sailed. And it wasn’t a row boat, but more like the Titanic.”
“Hey, did either of you catch that Titanic exhibit upstairs? It was awesome! I was hoping to find a few fellow ghosts hanging about, but didn’t see any.”
It was another familiar voice.  I groaned and thought about slipping under the heated water until the voices went away or until I drew my last breath – whichever came first. Instead, I answered. “No, Granny, not yet. I’m checking that out tomorrow.”
“You gonna put that in my book?”  On the tile floor by my head, Granny danced with excitement.
“That’s not the plan at this time, Granny. But you never know.”
Her book?” Odelia was not pleased.  “You’re here in Vegas researching a Granny Apples book?”
“Book 4 to be exact,” the ghost answered with pride. “It’s called Ghost of a Gamble.” She turned to me for confirmation. “Isn’t that right, Sue Ann?”
Slowly, I nodded with resignation.
“What?!” Odelia glared at me.  “What about my seventh book? You’re in the middle of that right now, so I thought you were here to do research for that.”
“I am currently writing Odelia number 7,” I explained to both Odelia and Granny, “but I’m here to do research on Granny Apples number 4.  This week was the best time for me to get away and do it.”
Odelia slapped the water with a flat palm, sending a heavy spray my way. “Granny and Emma always get to travel. First it was to Julian, then Catalina, then Pennsylvania, and now to Las Vegas. I never get to go anywhere.”
“You went to Massachusetts,” Granny said, correcting her. “That corn maze seemed like a lot of fun.”
“Humpf.” Odelia crossed her arms across her large chest as she bobbed in the churning water like a buoy. “It’s hardly the same thing as Vegas, is it?”
Eyeing the wall clock, I started to get out of the water and prepare for my massage. “Don’t worry, Odelia. As soon as I get home, I’ll be burying myself in book 7.”
“See.” Odelia pointed a wet finger of accusation at me. “You don’t even have a title for my book yet and it’s due in a few weeks.
“Oh, quit your bellyaching,” Granny said to Odelia with a scowl. “It’ll get done. You know it will.”
With a sigh, I slipped into the spa robe and made my way to my massage appointment.  Once I was face down on the table in the dimly lit room with soft background music, the masseuse went to work, laying her capable hands on my shoulders. I winced in pain.
“Ms. Jaffarian, your neck and shoulder muscles are so stiff. You have to learn to relax.”
I sucked in the scent of lavender from the sheets beneath me. “Tell me about it.”
Sue Ann Jaffarian is the best-selling author of the Odelia Grey mystery series, the Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series, and the Madison Rose Vampire Mysteries. Gem of a Ghost, the third Granny Apples book will be released February 2012, with the 7th Odelia Grey adventure released in fall of 2012.  You can follow her at and on Twitter and Facebook.


Mark said...

I'm just jealous because the voices talk to you.

Shannon Baker said...

This happens to you, too? I'm in awe that you can have more than one series going at one time. Obviously, you are more skilled at managing those voices in your head than the average bear.

gregkshipman said...

Dexter fumes inwardly as his eyes follow the genius author sashaying out of the spa room.

Turning to his dead father, Harry, he says, “See. Do you now see? Everybody— and I mean ev-er-ry-body has a dark passenger these days.”

“Calm down, Dex,” replies Harry, “Deb doesn’t have a dark passenger… does she?”

The serial killer of serial killers ignores both the advice and the question. “That’s the
problem with this Showtime cable gig. Monkey see, monkey do… and in this country the monkeys love to do.”

“First of all, son, Ms. Jaffarian is much too creative and talented to be a ‘monkey-do’.

Secondly it appears her passengers are far from dark, and finally; you have someone else’s dark passenger to deal with— remember this is Season Six.”

“I guess you’re right, Harry, but it still irks me.”

“Eat a donut, son. That always helps.”

“So you don’t think this writer’s passengers are dark?”

“Award winning writer. But no, Dex, I don’t.”

“And her?”

“What about her, son?”

“Do you think she might be a serial killer?” A sinister smile crosses the dark Dexter’s face.

Harry returns his adopted son’s smile with a sad but understanding look. “No, Dexter. I think she’s talented and attractive— and on a working vacation.”

The serial killer gives a disappointed nod.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read 'em!!!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.