Yeah, I know...this year is flying by way too fast. I agree. Alas, the show must go on so without much further ado I'm pleased to welcome today's guest, Karen McCullough back to our blog with her novel, Wired for Murder....
Karen McCullough is the author of a dozen published novels and novellas in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres as well. She has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy, and has also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Daphne, Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She has three children, six grandchildren (plus one on the way) and lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.
The Business Technology Exposition at the Market Center is set to open with a major new product announcement from one of the biggest companies in the computer electronics business. Before that event, though, the president of industry-leader MegaComp has a very public argument with a man who accuses the company of stealing the concept for a technical process from him. The announcement goes off without a hitch. But when the accuser returns a phone call from Heather, she becomes an unwilling audience to his murder and later finds his body in a private section of an exhibitor’s booth.
Heather is more than happy to leave the investigation to the police, but she’s the person everyone talks to and she soon learns more than she wanted to know about the victim and all the people who really didn’t like him very much.
Ninety-nine days out of a hundred I love my job as assistant to the director of the Washington D.C. Commerce and Market Center. That particular Monday morning, however, I had a hard time remembering why. Setup day before the start of the Washington, D.C. BizTech Show had already staked its claim as the one in the current hundred that made me want to re-examine my career choice.
Whatever my title might indicate, I spend most of my time as liaison between the exhibitors and the director, being general troubleshooter and flak-catcher. That part of the job I usually don’t mind so much. I’m good at listening and staying calm and finding ways to make things better. I keep my head when everyone around me is losing theirs. In general, anyway. But dealing with a list of problems growing faster than I could possibly handle them set my nerves on edge.
On the plus side, the exhibition starting the next day meant I had to be down on the show floor rather than at my desk dealing with the mountain of paperwork that filled my inbox, the gazillion phone messages, and an email box that beeped and glared at me, sulking because I’d neglected it for so long. Of course that just delayed tackling the mess, which would only grow bigger and be even harder to face later.
On the down side, by ten-thirty in the morning I already had a full day’s worth of aggravations to deal with. Plus, setting up for a trade show creates a huge, headache-inducing racket. Several hundred booths being assembled at the same time in an echoing, cavernous space could make an aircraft carrier sound peaceful by comparison. Metal clanged against metal as structures were put together and pieces whacked into place, voices called back and forth, boxes were ripped open, hand trucks squealed on constant rushes back and forth from the loading dock, and footsteps tromped relentlessly.
The buzz of an electric screwdriver rasped my nerves again while my temples throbbed in time to the pounding of a hammer on steel joints. One of the rental bucketlifts chirped a grating counterpoint to the banging as it backed up.
My throbbing head demanded a couple of ibuprofens before I tackled the next item on the list. I headed for the elevator to go back upstairs, but no such luck. A pair of men approached at a run, their eyes focused on me. I sighed and waited. I didn’t recognize them, but their intent gaze said they knew who I was. Next crisis, I thought.
“Miss McNeill?” The man in the lead stopped and huffed in a sharp breath. “I think you might want to do something. A couple of guys are…”
“Fighting,” the second one, older and a bit pudgy, said. His face was red and pulled into a worried frown.
“Really more of an argument,” the first one elaborated. “A loud one.”
You can purchase Wired for Murder at Amazon.
Hope you enjoyed today's spotlight and that you'll return weekly for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and of course, Saturday Spotlight!
Until next time, take care and God Bless.