Granny Hooks a Crook
A Fuschia Minnesota Mystery, Book 1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Cozy Cat Press
Date of Publication: July 10, 2013
Number of pages: 200
Granny leads a secret life in the small, unique community of Fuschia, Minnesota. It’s not just her all junk food diet, multiplying pets, or her shocking bedtime attire that makes Granny one in a million. No, Granny is an undercover cop, charged by “the Big Guy” (the town’s police chief) of preventing theft in local stores. Granny takes her job seriously and daily foils many shoplifters using her trusty spiked umbrella and amazing acting skills. When some startlingly brazen burglaries begin to occur that Granny can’t solve, along with mysteriously appearing bad guys, disappearing clerks, and misplaced Corvettes, Granny begins to wonder if she isn’t ready for the wrinkle farm. Maybe, it’s fortuitous when she accidentally-on-purpose falls in the lap of an attractive older gentleman who is soon roped into her wild adventures, as they try to figure out what’s happening in their little town.
Granny didn’t always like to get up in the morning. It seemed a waste of a good bed to get out of it so early in the morning. First, Granny would wallow in the warmth. She would squirm a little and enjoy the softness of the mattress. Granny would then open one eye to see if it was light yet. If it appeared that the sun was up, she would open the other eye very slowly, not wanting to get too excited. Getting up too fast always made her head spin.
Granny would then stick her big toe out of the blanket, trying to determine the weather. Her big toe was a good barometer. If it started turning blue, she knew it was cold and her toe was going to throb on and off for the day. If it stayed red, Granny knew that it would be a good day for her flip flops, even though she wasn’t supposed to be wearing them. Her kids harassed her about wearing her flip flops, something about not walking properly and being at risk of falling. She couldn’t make them understand that at her age she was always at risk for falling, so why not live dangerously in her flip flops.
Granny always looked around first before attempting the final lift out of her bed. She had to make sure there weren’t any kids or grandkids visiting before she threw off the covers. At her age it was easy to forget if her kids and grandkids had stayed over. Occasionally, she forgot they were there even before she climbed into bed. It didn’t bother her that her memory was a little foggy. It was a good excuse to use when she needed to get out of something she didn’t want to do, or if she got caught somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be.
Usually, if Granny remembered before she went to bed that her kids and grandkids stayed over, she would dress in her granny gown pajamas. It was what they expected of someone her age and she didn’t want to ruin their expectations. But when Granny was by herself, she occasionally slept in the nude and occasionally she wore her hot pink, silk shortie nightgown with red hearts on it. Or she might wear her purple leather PJ’s that stated Sexy Granny and I Know It.
Granny’s secret PJ’s always made her smile before she went to bed. It made the creaky body and the saggy skin feel better. She still felt like that sexy granny inside. Her mind never did keep up with her body.
There were times her kids would visit unexpectedly in the morning and have breakfast waiting for Granny when she stumbled into the kitchen from her warm bed. She could see the horror on their faces if they caught her in anything other than her granny pajamas. She would be sent to the wrinkle farm faster than she could lose her flip flops.
OUR WINTER CAN BE OUR SPRING
Today I woke up to a snowy winter morning. How could that be? Only last night the air was crisp, the leaves were golden crinkles gracing the grass that had started to turn to that colored mix of green, brown and tan. I had wallowed in the smell of the smoke of burning leaves. I had sighed with pleasure at all the treasures of fall.
I did listen to the news last night. In passing I thought I heard the weatherman use the word dusting when it was being applied to the little bit of snow that was supposed to brush our area. Had my vivid imagination conjured up the snow and the blowing that I could see out my window? Was it a figment of what I had been imagining as I was writing my next book in the Fuchsia, Minnesota series. After all Granny has to experience every season in the series of four books that are planned. I had been visualizing her antics in the snow as I lay in bed that morning trying to get enough energy to open my eyes to start the day. And now, my eyes were open and my visualizing a scene from a book to come had turned into a reality in my life.
Every year as I get older and spring summer and fall pass through, I make a promise to myself that I am going to love winter. I am going to like slipping and sliding on the ice as I make my way to the car in the garage. I vow I am going like bundling up in layers as I walk into the cold arctic air that blankets Minnesota in the winter time. And then at the first sign up snow and cold I want to wimp out and huddle in my house until spring.
Perhaps that is what happens to many of us as we get older. We feel that at the age we are we have reached the winter of our lives. Our bones creak, our world gets smaller, and our fears seem larger. We look back at the former season of our life and we wonder why and how it changed so fast. We look around ourselves and start telling ourselves that we can’t instead of we can and we use age as a reason.
I spent much of my life not wanting to be like my mother. My mother was a hard worker, never believed she couldn’t do anything and never believed she was old. The problem I had with that is my mother never listened to anything anyone said or any advice that was ever given to her. It made life a little rough for an only child who was left to help an aging mother that didn’t believe she was aging. You see, I had the stereotype in my mind of what getting older meant and my mother wasn’t conforming.
Sadly I didn’t recognize her strengths until after she was gone. I want the grit that she had. I want the “I can do anything attitude.” I now understand it.
I started writing my first young reader book for my grandchildren. Their silliness and their willingness to accept silliness in me made me want to leave them a book that said “This is who Grandma used to be when she was young.” I wanted them to know that I wasn’t hatched old. In the process my creativity came back and I started writing the tale of Granny in Fuchsia, Minnesota. Granny has the silliness, the grit, the toughness and the mischievousness that many of us that are older have lost. She is a character in a fantasy town that should take us outside of our real world and let us laugh and make fun of ourselves in our own lives. There are actually people like Granny in this world but we don’t appreciate them because they do not fit into our vision of how we all should act as we get older. And so, we label them crazy or weird. Yes, when we are older many times people describe our lives as the winter of our lives. Why can’t we turn it around and make it the spring? We can start again and bring back a little of the innocence we had. We can bring back the ability to find joy and to play again. We can bring back the ability to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes. Our attitudes can make a difference to how we age and how we face the difficulties of aging.
My mother’s memory was not good in the last years of her life. But it wasn’t the winter of her life. I like to look at it as the spring. Yes, occasionally I was the cleaning lady, the person that lived next door or whomever she chose I should be. She always enjoyed the visits, she always was cute and funny and she lived in a time when she was happier. A time before she let go of the person she was and became who she needed to be for what was expected of her. Many would view what happened to her memory with sadness but she was remembering the spring of her life. We need to go back to the spring and remember. Granny in Granny Hooks A Crook found her spring. In my writing, I hope to bring people back to the spring, back to joy, back to the silliness. Is it for everyone, probably not, but it is the right choice for the way I write, from the heart. I put the pen to paper and see where my heart takes me. This time it took me to Fuchsia, Minnesota.
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Julie Seedorf owns her own computer repair business, but her secret undercover job is writing. Her column “Something About Nothing” for a Minnesota newspaper is about nothing, which is what we talk about most of the time, always with something underneath the conversation. Julie has been a wife, mother, grandmother, housewife, barmaid, salesperson, activity director, full time volunteer and more. Her motto is, “If you dream it, you can do it.” Her Fuchsia Minnesota, published by Cozy Cat Press is her first journey in her undercover career. Having lived in small communities in Minnesota all her life, she knows the richness and uniqueness that only a small town can bring and with a little humor and imagination, she transforms those experiences into her imaginary Fuchsia community.
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