Hello to y’all from Carol Andrews, waving from the Gulf Coast of Florida. I thought I’d share part of a recent adventure with you, as a way for us to get acquainted. Some days aren’t as exciting as this one, but since Jim retired a few years ago, life has provided us with many unexpected adventures. This one started. . .
On The Beach.
“That feels wonderful,” I said, snuggling closer into my husband’s arms. This move was immediately followed by an image of Sister Mary Evelyn, the freshman health teacher at Mount Saint Francis Academy, scowling at me, and intoning, “A proper young lady NEVER allows her hormones to get the better of her in a public place. Girls, you must keep your knees together at all times. And always allow room for the Holy Ghost when you are dancing with a boy.”
That killed the mood, all right. Good old Sister Evelyn. She was even haunting me from the grave. I pulled myself away from my husband’s amorous embrace. “Stop that. Somebody might see us.”
Jim rolled over on his side and gave me a look. “Carol, for heaven’s sake. We’re on our second honeymoon here in Florida. And we’re on Honeymoon Island. It’s paradise here.” He gestured around at the pristine beach and powdery white sand. “I hope you remember what we did on our first honeymoon. It was a lot more than what we’re doing now.”
He waggled his eyebrows for emphasis, in case I didn’t get his meaning. Which I definitely did. My education had progressed way beyond what I learned from Sister Evelyn.
I sat up and brushed the sand off my bathing suit. Truth to tell, it fit a little tighter than it did when I tried it on at Suits R Us in Fairport, Connecticut, last summer. But I hope you won’t tell anyone I admitted that. Fortunately, from the way he was acting, Jim hadn’t noticed there was a little more of me to love these days.
“Why don’t we go for a walk along the beach?” I suggested to my paramour of thirty plus years. “That way, we won’t feel guilty about ordering dessert back at the hotel.”
“I went to a Jesuit school, in case you’ve forgotten,” Jim said, rolling over and getting himself to his feet. With some difficulty, which I pretended I hadn’t noticed. “Jesuits don’t believe in guilt. At least, not where dessert is concerned.”
I laughed and took my husband’s hand. To help me up. I admit it.
“Why don’t we walk that way?” I suggested, indicating a route that we hadn’t tried before. “It looks pretty level, and it’s in the direction of the parking lot, so if one of us gets tired, we’re close to the car.”
I squinted, then said, “Wait a minute, Jim. Do you see something bright?” I sniffed. “It smells like something’s burning.”
The next thing I remember, there was a loud whoosh sound. I’d never heard anything like it before.
Jim grabbed my hand and pushed me into the sand. “Get down, Carol.”
“Our car’s on fire. If the flames hit the gas tank, it’s going to explode.”
There was a deafening noise, then silence. I was lying face down in the sand, Jim on top of me. I opened my mouth to scream, but all that did was fill my mouth with sand. Ugh.
I heard the sound of sirens in the distance, then several emergency vehicles careened into the parking lot at once. As Jim and I struggled to our feet, I heard someone scream, “There’s a person trapped in the car!”
I felt sick to my stomach, and it wasn’t from the sand, either. Trust me, having a near death experience can do that to a person.
Weeks later, when Jim and I were safely back home in Fairport, Connecticut, I still had trouble figuring out how our Florida adventure turned into such a nightmare. Except for the tiny fact (which I conveniently ignored) that it all began because of one of my very brilliant ideas.
Second Honeymoons Can Be Murder is the sixth book in the Carol and Jim Andrews Baby Boomer mystery series, published by Suspense Publishing, February 2016.
Carol Andrews can’t believe her luck when her husband, Jim, surprises her with a second honeymoon trip to Florida. But there’s a catch – it’s really a business trip, not the romantic getaway Carol expects. Jim’s been called out of retirement to create a marketing plan for a new television game show aimed at Baby Boomers, The Second Honeymoon Game, and the pilot episode will be shot in the Sunshine State. The honeymoon is really over when the show’s executive producer, none other than Carol’s grammar school boyfriend, winds up dead on Carol and Jim’s first night in Florida. And their son, Mike, is the police’s number one suspect.
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Meet the author
An early member of the Baby Boomer generation, Susan Santangelo is the author of the humorous Baby Boomer mystery series, featuring a typical Boomer couple, Carol and Jim Andrews, as they navigate their way along life’s rocky path toward their twilight years. Book 1 in the series, Retirement Can Be Murder, was suggested for a television series by several national critics. Book 6 in the series, Second Honeymoons Can Be Murder, was released by Suspense Publishing on February 16, 2016. Susan also reviews mysteries for Suspense Magazine.
Susan divides her time between Belleair Beach FL and Cape Cod MA. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and the Cape Cod Writers Center, and shares her life with her husband, Joe, and two very spoiled English cocker spaniels, Boomer and Lilly. Boomer also serves as the model for the books’ front covers.
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a kindle copy of Second Honeymoons Can Be Murder. The giveaway will end February 26, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!
All comments are welcomed.