Hi, I’m Phillipena O’Brien. I know what you’re thinking: what type of a name is Phillipena? Well, thanks to my father, I’ve spent my whole life answering that question. You see, I’m the youngest of five girls born to Maureen and Phillip O’Brien. Instead of going for number six, my Dad gave up trying for a namesake gave me a feminized form of his name. Sure, it’s slightly different; but then again, so am I.
If you doubt that last statement, let me explain to you what I do for a living. I’m a resale merchandiser, which is just a fancy term for someone that takes other people’s junk, fixes it up and resells it for profit. Actually, profit is something I know about. I used to be a stock broker. Yep, you heard correctly; I was a stock broker. I had a to-die-for condo downtown, drove a Lexus, and wore nothing but designer suits. The job was lucrative but I could hardly stand the long hours, the constant pressure, the competition … well, you get it. I was stressed to the hilt! So much so that one day I flipped out and did something radical. I left. Yes, that’s right. I walked right out of the office, got in my car and drove until I ended up somewhere in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Ever been there? Let me tell you, if you’ve need to get away, that’s the place to do it—nothing but trees for miles and miles. Anyway, after a week or so of complete solitude, I came up with a new life plan. I decided to simplify. I shed my suits for jeans and T-shirts; traded in the Lexus on a vintage Volvo station wagon and started my resale business. And, I’ve never been happier.
What exactly do I do, you wonder? Mostly, I raid the racks at local consignment shops, clean up at estate sales, or bargain the pants off the local garage sale divas. In essence, I buy low and sell high. It’s the same concept that I used to broker stocks except for the fact that now instead of buying and selling at the Chicago Stock Exchange, I sell on-line or at my regular 10X10 flea market booth. Plus, finding bargains is fun. Why, I’ll even rummage through a garbage dumpster if I see that ‘something special’ that could be fixed up and resold. And, that’s exactly what I was doing when this whole mess started. I saw a curbside garbage can overflowing with cast-offs and dug right in for resale treasures. How would I have known that the garbage can was located outside a soon-to-be murder scene of one of Chicago’s wealthiest socialites or that I would become a suspect in her death? And, with my description plastered all over the news, who could blame me for wanting to see the case closed quickly?
So, being the go-getter than I am, I jumped right into the investigation. That’s when the real trouble began, but I won’t go into all that now. You’ll just have to read all about it in Murder for Bid. Just don’t think less of me when you find out that I’m not as good at detective work as I am at the resale business. Or, that I fall easily for a sexy smile from a good-looking guy. Or that I … well, you’ll have to read the book. Oh, and by the way, if you get a kick out of repurposing old things and turning them into useful items, you’ll enjoy following along with my trash-to-treasure projects. Don’t worry though, my projects aren’t the main focus of the book and won’t distract from the story-line, which consists of one adventurous twist after another.
I think you’ll like it.
Susan is giving away one (1) autographed copy of MURDER FOR BID. Contest open to everyone and ends March 31. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Book will be shipped directly from the author.
Meet the author
For the past eighteen years, her freelance work as a technical writer has allowed Susan to follow her real passion: staying home and spending time with her children. Now that all the kids are in school, she’s finding more time to pursue other writing goals. Her short stories have appeared both on-line and in publications such as Woman’s World. Murder for Bid is her first published novel. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. Visit Susan at her www.sfurlongbolliger.com.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.