The septuagenarian women of the Summer Ridge Bridge Club have gathered in secret late one July night to check skinny dipping off their bucket list. But as Francine observes, the jittery members seem more obsessed with body issues and elaborate preparations than actually stripping down and getting in the pool. A pungent smell emanating from the pool shed provides a perfect distraction. When a dead body flops out, it’s an answered prayer for Charlotte, since the first item on her list is to solve a murder.
Unfortunately for Charlotte and Francine, before they can discover who really killed the man, they must negotiate neighborhood tours of the crime scene, press coverage of their skinny dipping, an angry Homeowner’s Association, a disastrous appearance on Good Morning America, media offers sought by a hungry publicist, and a clever killer.
Do you ever get tired of all the darkness in the world? I confess that MURDER ON THE BUCKET LIST started with this idea in mind.
While I greatly admire the creativity and talent of fellow authors and playwrights, I find I can’t watch certain programs or read certain books anymore. I had heard so many good things about a critically acclaimed program that one evening I sat down to watch the first episode. It changed my life, but not in the way I think the screenwriter intended. I turned it off after five minutes. I had heard the “f” bomb so many times I was already becoming numb to it, and the violence of the main characters left me thinking, “If I finish this program, will my life be any better off than when I started?”
What I wanted to feel was uplifted; what I actually felt was, I want those five minutes back.
This doesn’t mean that I’m a prude. It doesn’t mean I don’t read books or watch movies or television that have violence in them or the occasional foul language. What that moment meant was, I knew what I wanted to do: produce stories that left people feeling uplifted. When people came to the end of a story I wrote, I wanted them to feel better about the world, about their own lives, or at least about the characters’ lives.
I had already written a short story about Francine and Charlotte, “The Land Grab.” People told me to write more about them because they enjoyed being with the characters. If I was ever going to be true to this vision of producing works that made people feel uplifted, what better place to start than with this set of characters (by then populated in my head by their bridge-playing friends) whose lives were enriched as they pursued the items on their bucket list? I’m glad Liz came on board to help me fulfill this vision.
We look forward to hearing from you about this story. Did you feel uplifted at the end? Did you feel better about your own life? Is the experience helping you have a different view of your daily life, that though you may be going through difficulties, there is joy along the way? We hope so. And we hope that feeling will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Elizabeth Perona is the father/daughter writing team of Tony Perona and Liz Dombrosky. Tony is the author of the Nick Bertetto mystery series, the standalone thriller The Final Mayan Prophecy (with Paul Skorich), and co-editor and contributor to the anthologies Racing Can Be Murder and Hoosier Hoops & Hijinks. Tony is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served the organization as a member of the Board of Directors and as Treasurer. He is also a member of Sisters-in-Crime.
Liz Dombrosky graduated from Ball State University in the Honors College with a degree in teaching. She is currently a stay-at-home mom. Murder on the Bucket List is her first novel.
One lucky winner will receive a print copy of Murder on the Bucket List by Elizabeth Perona. This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+ and will run from 7/15/15 through 7/22/15. Winner will be randomly selected via Giveaway Tools widget and contacted via email with 48 hours to respond to email notification before a new winner is chosen. Enter using the Giveaway Tools widget below. Good luck!!