Excerpt from Mortal Coil by Julie Eberhart Painter:
There was nothing like physical activity to allay anxiety, so Friday afternoon, Ellen took off work early to tackle cleaning the kitchen and laundry room floors. She had only an hour left before Patti would come in and undo her efforts. She didn’t want her daughter skating around on the wet floor. Ellen had changed into old jeans and a loose-at-the-neck blue T-shirt. Her feet were bare.
Public radio was running a fundraiser, so she turned the living room stereo to the country western station—music to clean by. Ellen had used the garage door opener to open the garage doors to take advantage of the warm, dry breeze blowing from the west. She danced around the kitchen, pushing the mop in time with the music. About half of the kitchen corners were now free of dirt, a testimony to what Millie would call Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She’d moved the kitchen table into one corner and stacked the chairs on top. A rap on the screen door alerted her to a visitor.
She unhooked the screen and motioned Bill inside. “Watch the wet spots.”
“What are you doing?” he asked, raising his voice to be heard over the loud music.
“Cleaning the floor,” she said, raking the back of an arm over her wet forehead and wiping her hands on her jeans.
“Isn’t there an easier way?” Bill asked. “How about the old Irma Bombeck trick?”
“Any solution in a storm. What is it?”
“I’ll show you. Do you have any old towels?”
“You need to put old terrycloth towels on your feet and dance around the floor.”
“Well, I’ve got the music. Let’s see if I can get some towels.” She placed the mop back in the wheeled bucket she’d borrowed from maintenance and headed for the garage. All the old towels Patti used to wash the car had been washed and dried and left on top of Tom’s abandoned toolbox.
Grabbing a handful, she came back into the kitchen. “Demonstrate,” she said, handing the bunch to Bill.
He wrung out the mop and set it aside. Soaking and pulling the towels through the wringer, he handed them to her one by one. “Okay. Put a towel under each foot and dance like you were dancing, slide, two, three, four, slide…”
Ellen smiled. “Terrific.”
Just then the announcer went to a commercial. They stood there looking at each other waiting for more music. Ellen dropped two more wet towels and stepped on them. Bill shucked his shoes and socks and dropped his towels. The next tune was a bouncy number that set Ellen’s head bobbing.
“More like this,” he said, sliding and dipping in dance mode. “Ever do the Texas two-step?” Bill called over the twanging guitars.
“No. But I’ve seen the contests on TV.”
Title: Mortal Coil
Author: Julie Eberhart Painter
Published: May 2009
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Word Count: 79,000
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended Age: 14+
Synopsis: When two residents in Ellen Lange’s nursing home die, Special Investigator Bill Watts is called to the scene. With the murders linked to others, known as the Ponytail Crimes, it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again.
Bill is a Southerner; Ellen was raised in the Midwest. Despite her efforts to remain aloof, Ellen finds herself falling in love with more than the South…
About the Author:
Julie Eberhart Painter raised in Bucks Count, Pennsylvania, boyhood home of James A Michener, is the author of Mortal Coil, Tangled Web, and the 2011 Book of the Year, Kill Fee, and sequel, Medium Rare from http://www.champagnebooks.com. Daughters of the Sea, e-book and print. Julie’s first paranormal romance, and Morning After Midnight are available from MuseItUp Publishing.