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I tried not to look down the mouth of hell staring back at me from inside the glaringly pristine outer ceramic shell of the white throne, my throat catching, stomach doing half flips and a rather impressive rollover routine that would have gotten at least a 9.5 even from the Russian judges. Instead, I forced myself to smile and swallow and remind myself the elbow length yellow rubber gloves grasping the handle of the standard issue plunger were all that stood between me and Pooageddon.Suck it up, Fee. Big girl panties and adulting and all that.
“At what point,” I waved the dripping plunger, wincing as droplets of yuck flew, “did I think owning a bed and breakfast was going to be glamorous and romantic?”
Fiona Fleming hasn’t lived in Reading, Vermont in over a decade, her escape from small town living leading her to New York City and a life of adventure. An adventure that has left her with no career, an ex who cheated on her and zero plans for the future. Her grandmother’s death grants her a new chance–inheriting Petunia’s, Iris Fleming’s bed and breakfast, seems like the ideal fresh start. But when Fee finds out ownership of the property Iris willed her might be in question, she’s drawn into the seedy underbelly of the cutest town in America after being singled out as the main suspect in a murder.
Fiona Fleming, welcome to Island Confidential! Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something they might not guess?
FF: You like putting people on the spot, don’t you? Well, the red hair gives away my temper, so I can’t choose that. And wanting to be a cop my whole life despite my sheriff father’s disagreement, that’s hardly a secret. Neither is the fact my boyfriend of five years cheated on me, the jerk.
How about this: I was never a fan of dogs. Or pets in general for that matter. Too messy and busy and cluttered, you know? All that fur and snorting, farting, slobber. Footprints in mud in places they didn’t belong. Snoring.
Mind you, I always liked my Grandmother Iris’s previous pugs, to a point. But taking on Petunia’s, her B&B, while also adopting her latest pug of the same name? That took some getting used to. We’re still talking about who’s the boss in our relationship.
I think I’m losing.
Who’s the character you get along with the best?
FF: Hands down, my best friend, Daisy. Even though I was gone for ten years, never expected to move back home to Reading, the second I showed up again she was at my door, hugging me with that kind of genuine enthusiasm that means the person isn’t pretending, you know?
Daisy hasn’t changed one bit. Still gorgeous, still kind and overly excitable, still trying to find her way. I can’t believe how much I missed her and I’m just glad to have her in my life again.
Which other character do you have a conflict with?
FF: Well, if you must bring it up… I’m big girl panties enough to admit Vivian French hasn’t lost her ability to push me over the brink. She has that kind of small-town, big fish in a tiny pond attitude that drives me nuts—part of the reason I left Reading in the first place. She’s the embodiment of all the arrogance and disdain and jealous backbiting I can’t stand to deal with ever.
Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
FF: I’m a bit bossy, okay? You get that? I have this kind of control freak side to me that makes it a bit hard to tell me not to do something. I blame the red hair. And being raised by a school principal and a county sheriff. But Patti, she listens. Does what I tell her to do, the way I want it done. So we get along. And she laughs in the right places, cries when prompted. Gets bouncy excited when I tell her things that make the series tie together. So I guess I’ll keep her.
What’s next for you?
We launched book two, Chocolate Hearts and Murder, on Valentine’s Day. That was fun! But at the moment we’re working on book three, Fame and Fortune and Murder, so I’m pretty excited about that.
I originally told Patti there were twelve books in my cozy series, then upped it to thirteen because, well. Can’t tell you. But there’s a great reason. Anyway, now I’m thinking I’m kind of liking this whole thing a little too much. So we’ll see if I stop at thirteen after all…
About The Author
Patti Larsen is an award-winning author with a passion for the voices in her head. Now with over 80 titles in happy publication, she lives on the East coast with her patient husband and multitude of pets.
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