Title: MURDER ON MUSIC ROW
Word Count: 82,000
Nan Macomb—a spunky thirty-five-year-old Nashville hair stylist—works her cut-and-color magic in her tiny home salon while gabby clients keep her up-to-date on the latest hair-raising gossip. Bombarded by one too many anecdotes about music exec Randy Soleman’s cheating heart (and other body parts), she barges into his Music Row office and finds her former lover bludgeoned to death with his own Grammy.
Strong evidence implicates Nan, so she recruits her two best friends—a depressed, stay-at-home mom and a country music singer wannabe—to help keep her well-toned butt out of jail. The trio comb the Music City, following clues and miscues to uncover theft, corruption, and deceit in pretty much every thing Randy touched. In their quest, they’re surprised to discover there are more kinds of addictions than there are shades of blonde. As Nan comes face to face with the magnitude of this disease, she must untangle own character defects to have the clarity she needs to prove her innocence.
The apparent suicide of Randy’s brother baffles the police, but Nan, a long-time puzzle enthusiast, discovers an encrypted message buried in the words of the note he left behind. The message could ensure her freedom … if she can get it to the police before the killer gets to her.
For networking and educational purposes, I’ve attended writing conferences and workshops, taken online classes, and participated in online forums. I am a member of MWA as well as two critique groups, and I post to my blog on "reading, writing or whatever," three times per week.
Nan Macomb daydreamed about trying on strappy sandals as she cut Mitsi Sowell's hair. Mitsi was a new client, so Nan had blocked out extra time, but the chick hadn't stopped talking since she walked through the front door and into Nan's cozy home salon. At least this was Nan's last appointment of the morning. She looked forward to an afternoon of shopping with her two best friends--a weekly ritual.
"Wait. What?" Nan stopped, scissors still planted in Mitsi's thick brown hair. "Who're you talking about again?"
"Amy. Amy Soleman. You know her, don't you? Married to that hotshot record producer, Randy Soleman. I met her at--"
"And, you were saying ... just then? Sorry, I zoned for a sec."
"Oh, that's okay. Happens all the time. I said. I saw Amy in the grocery store, and she said she was six weeks pregnant and--"
Nan's hand jolted and the scissors severed a chunk of her client's hair.
"Ow." Mitsi's fingers leapt to her head.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to pull. I'm ... I'm trying something a tad different. Okay?"
"With your reputation you can do whatever you want."
Thank goodness the chair was turned away from the oversized mirror so Mitsi couldn't see the shock that transformed Nan's face. Nor could she see the wad of hair Nan dropped into her smock pocket.
Her hands trembled, but Nan snipped and shaped and layered and feathered 'til the cut was presentable. Mitsi didn't seem to notice it lacked Nan's signature flair.