One of the coolest things ever is to know someone who writes books. And writes books that you like. To see them lined up on the shelf and know that you know them.
The Ghost Detective Series by R.W. Wallace is pretty darn cool. Love the ghosts. Love the French backdrop. Love the mystery surrounding the cemetery’s inhabitants.
Mostly, though, I love knowing that the escape these books provide is brought to me by someone I call a friend.
So, when she puts out a new Ghost Detective novel, I buy it.
Sometimes, I like ebooks to read on my iPad, synched with my phone. When I need an escape, I can read it anywhere, anytime.
However, when the Hubs wants to sample the paranormal pages written by someone he knows by proxy, one must purchase the paperbacks. No problem. I also intend to have her sign them one day, so, yeah. Paperbacks.
I enjoyed the first three books and passed them on to him.
As soon as he finished one, he’d start nagging me to nag her to get the next one out as soon as possible.
Just a public service announcement: Nagging your favorite author doesn’t make them produce words faster. If the author is relatively new, nagging causes stress-induced rage fits (at least that’s what it does to me and Little Miss Muse). If the author is well known… well. They won’t listen to you anyway.
So, when the fourth installment in the Ghost Detective Series came out, I ordered the paperback as soon as I could.
The Hubs got to it first. “I need it to read on my lunch break.” He flipped through the pages and glanced at the end.
Now, I have my own ritual I do when I pick up a new paperback. I examine the cover—all points of it. I check out the copyright page for the year (weird, I know). I read the dedication and the previously published works page. All a getting-to-know-you dance before the fun begins and the story wraps me in sweet escape.
But this flip-the-pages-to-the-end practice of his makes my toes curl. One should only flip through the pages of a novel to enjoy the aroma of the crisp, fine pages. Not to glance at the words and get a hint as to what may happen… ugg. But, to each his own.
“That’s fine,” I say. “Gives me time to finish the one I just started.” I’ve enjoyed discussing the books with him. I enjoy knowing he’s got something cool to do on his lunch breaks other than listening to some dumb sports scores.
Then he did it. “Since you’re not getting any of your own writing done, I mean.”
*Que the internal stress-induced rage fit and fake smile* He’s my biggest fan. He’s my biggest support. But man, oh man. That “why haven’t you gotten anything done” line, no matter how sweetly or innocently delivered, strikes a nerve.
Through clenched teeth, I replied, “It’s fine. I’ll finish reading the one I’ve already started.”
Fast forward weeks later, and I’d finished reading the one I’d started and several others to boot. A nonfiction guide, as well. But I digress.
He returns the paperback to me. “It’s a little rough. Tell her we need the next book.”
I won’t tell her any of that. At least not directly… *wink*
And I was confused. The Ghost Detective stories are not “rough.” Her writing is not “rough.” The woman is multilingual and writes in better English than any English teacher I ever had (Sorry, Mrs. Yeager).
I thought maybe she killed off a mainstay character or things took a dark turn. But that didn’t seem right. I shrugged it off and carried on.
I retired for the night. Book. Pajamas. Water bottle. Cat. Fuzzy blanket. Little Miss in a corner with a brand new box of glitter to occupy her while I sleep. I settled into bed. I start my getting-to-know-you dance.
And came to the Previously Published/Also By page.
I found writing. In ink.
In the Hub’s handwriting. Tiny, tiny little numbers that made no sense to me. But they sure look like they’d make sense in his workplace setting.
Fling the cat off the bed.
Untangle from the fuzzy blanket.
Knock over the glitter bottle. Dodge an empty grape soda bottle from an angry Muse.
Pad down the hall in my pajamas to where the Hubs is dozing in the recliner.
And let the confrontation begin.
“Did you do this?” I show him the page.
He shrinks into the recliner. “Yeah. I must’ve not had any paper. I was in my truck reading during my lunch break.”
“You have SKIN! Write it on your wrist or arm or big toe next time.”
He apologized and then said, “It’s gonna get worse.” I shrugged that comment off.
Back to the bedroom. Apologize to Little Miss. Apologize to the cat. Readjust the blankets. Skip the rest of the pre-reading dance.
Chapter One. Ready for my escape with a trusted author in a cool series: Here we go:
A tiny, tiny piece of a Cheeto or Dorito or cheese cracker falls onto my chest. Maybe all three. (Spoiler alert: I did find all three…)
“Are you KIDDING ME??!!”
A cat cries out in terror.
Another mishap from Little Miss Muse and a few choice words of her own. Not in English. Not in French. I didn’t ask for a translation.
But no reply from the living room.
Chapter Two: Cheese powder smudge highlighting an entire word.
Chapter Three: He had peanut butter and got interrupted because the page is dog-eared.
Chapter Fifteen: I don’t even know—sending to the crime lab for forensic analysis.
When the Hubs finally made his way down the hall to the bedroom, I was livid. Covered in crumbs. The bed looks like I’ve had a gorge fest. Many, many cheese-puff highlights throughout the pages. I’ve never experienced such a frustrating “escape.” Going along, wondering where the next turn will take the main characters. What new cemetery they may visit. Where the next twist may be.
And the next twist turns out to be a Cheese Curl!
He shrugs. “I told you it was going to be rough.”
Well, then it made sense.
I’ve read books from the library that have been through hundreds of people without this much STUFF crammed into the pages!
But hey, at least he’s enjoying his escape. Everyone deserves a few moments of peace with some perfectly paranormal dinner guests. Or lunch buddies, as the case may be.
I gave him another paperback that I’m not so attached to (I don’t personally know the author, and I read it FIRST!) to keep him occupied until she gets the next novel out. (That was not a nag for her to get the next novel out. Not a nag at all…)
So while you all go check out R.W. Wallace’s page, I’m off to source e-readers for the Hubs — complete with a bulk supply of screen wipes.
Then, I’ve got about ten more chapters to go. If my deductive skills are on point, tonight’s offerings will consist of one more murder, three new clues, a new ghost, ham grease, Twinkie fluff, and a hint of Cheeto dust.