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A severed leg with no body? Check.
A disturbing lack of coffee? Check.
A murderer bent on revenge and a hot cop using her as bait? Double check.
Larklyn Davis moved to the small picturesque town of Barrow Bay, California, needing a new start on life. She found the perfect cottage house, almost the perfect distance from her ex-husband, and built the perfect stable for her dressage business. But when a severed leg suddenly appears on her front porch, her life takes a turn for the absurd.
As more clues pile up, and the killer not content to leave Lark alone, she’s forced to take things into her own hands. One problem: the hottest detective she has ever seen is convinced she is involved. Detective Brecken Wilson looks like he should be in a movie, not glued to Lark’s side, waiting for the other leg to drop.
There’s not enough coffee in the world for Lark to deal with this crime, the detective who stirs things she hasn’t felt in years, and a matchmaking town, intent help her find the happiness she doesn’t want.
Writing with Children
When people hear that I didn’t start writing seriously until after becoming a full-time mom, I usually hear the same comment. “Well, you have so much more time!”
Hold on, I need to get off the floor from laughing.
I have worked since I was fifteen and a half, in many jobs from painting to food safety to corporate sales, so when I say this, please know I am speaking from experience. I’ve had bad jobs, great jobs, ugly jobs, boring jobs. I’ve worked days that went over twenty-four hours and pushing me to the point where I’ve cried because I had nothing left to give. I’ve been recognized for my skills and ignored for my nagging. I’ve managed people. I’ve fired people. I’ve convinced over a thousand people to do things the way I want them to. I’ve taught hundreds of people successfully.
None of that prepared me for motherhood.
Nothing in my life has prepared me for this. Nothing.
Being a mother of two little girls, is hands down, the hardest, most time consuming thing I have ever done. There is no negotiating with a toddler. I’ve tried. And tried. And then, because there was no other option, I tried again.
There is no negotiating with a toddler.
There is only caving, most often from me, because the toddler has more energy than I do. And that is how we end up with a Happy Meal. Again.
Then just when you think you have convinced (and bribed) them into believing that they will get to see their blanket (that they’ve never cared about before) when they go back to school, they instead start crying again. Because they lost their blanket. That you just told them was at school, which is closed, because it’s the weekend.
So much fun.
I used to remember everything people told me without writing it down. I haven’t been able to do that since I got pregnant the second time. My youngest resembles a cat more than a child and my oldest acts out because she’s no longer the baby. They refuse to sleep at the same time, need my attention constantly, and love me as much as I love them, which translates to snuggling, hugging and kissing the day away. And it’s wonderful, and busy, and the days fly by as I rush from one activity to another.
So the logical question is, when do I write? Whenever I can. Wherever I can. On my phone at the gym. On my laptop during appointments. During the five minutes when they’re both napping. When they play with each other. When I’m not watching them play together because it’s so cute it melts my heart and I forget to write.
Every second I’m not actively watching the kids, I write.
Is it pretty? No. There is nothing pretty about it. Not my hair, not my first draft, not the circles under my eyes.
Does it make sense? Yes. Usually. About eighty percent of the time. Okay, seventy.
My poor editor deserves an award for making it comprehensible, not to mention my early beta readers who are the best. How do I know they’re the best? Because they laugh at my mistakes and then write me back jokes about incorrect word choice and why my phone won’t let me do contractions and switches tenses on me.
But I do it. I stay up past my bedtime, which was nine pm when I still held onto the hope of not being sleep deprived, and live on coffee and chocolate to keep me going.
But I’m going. And I’m fulfilled. My children are amazing. I love writing. I love my life. Even without mommy-time-off and short, rushed showers.
So, the next time a stay-at-home mother tells you she writes, do her dishes. Watch her kids. Let her sleep. Do anything but tell her about all the free time she has now that she lives with her tyrannically adorable bosses who occasionally try to kill themselves.
Okay, okay. Hourly try to kill themselves. They’re over achievers.
About the Author
Annabelle Hunter is a stay-at-home mom and an avid fan of classic mystery shows and dressage. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, and too many animals.
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