Today The FlipSide is featuring a guest post with Julie Eberhart Painter, the author of Mortal Coil. But before we get to Julie, let’s take a moment to get to know her…
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.
And without further ado, here’s Julie as she answers the question:
If you could change places with any of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?
Love me (Patti, age 11); love my dog
Much as I love most of the human characters in Mortal Coil, I’d adore being my DamnYankee dog, Sherman, living in Georgia with Ellen’s daughter, Patti, a feisty, independent and loving girl of 11.
As the author, my plan here was to lobby for Sherman. He’s important, but his mistress, Patti is the pivotal character in Mortal Coil’s mystery.
Patti is abducted by the perp. Patti’s father might have been the first murdered and Patti is still grieving his loss even though she doesn’t know his death might not have been an accident. One of my favorite scenes takes place between Patti and her mother, the main character and administrator of the nursing home under fire.
A few nights later, Ellen and Patti were putting supper together. Sherman was curled safely off in the corner, watching for the signal that his dinner was ready.
“Mom, do you ever get lonely?”
Ellen put the pot back on the stove and looked at Patti. “Sure. I miss your father terribly. You must miss him, too.”
Patti picked up the dog’s dish and began ladling dry dog food into it. She faced her mother, spoon in the air. “I think about him a lot, Mom. Sandy’s parents have been really nice to me. They include me in a lot of their family stuff, but sometimes I feel like a charity case. It’s not like when we used to get together–when Daddy was here and the weekends were… fun.”
“We can’t expect the Millers to include us the way they used to. Les is their dad and he sets the pace with his own family. I don’t think he wants the widow…” Ellen’s voice caught in her throat. “…the neighbor lady tagging along on their family outings.”
“We had so much fun when Daddy was here. He knew all about baseball.” Patti paused. “He was…”
“Yeah.” Patti put the spoon on the counter and walked into her mother’s arms. “I miss him, Mom. The KidzCamp counselor said I always would. Doesn’t it ever stop hurting?”
“It will hurt less someday, especially if they find the person who was driving the car that caused the accident. But for both of us, there will always be an empty space where your daddy was.”
“I get scared sometimes. I woke up this morning, and I couldn’t remember what he looked like.”
“You’ll remember him again, just the way he was when you were little. You have his pictures to remind you. We should get one laminated so you can carry it with you in your backpack.”
“You moved them downstairs, but I know where they are. I went to look for the pictures this morning. I just couldn’t go to school without seeing him. Is that okay? Is that normal?”
“Sit down a minute, honey. Let me explain something.”
“Everything you’re feeling is normal. It’s okay to remember your dad any way you want to. No one should talk you out of it.”
“Do you think about him… a lot… when you’re at work?”
“Sometimes. Mostly I think about him at home and on those long, empty weekends you mentioned.”
“When the kids have things they do with their families. That’s the worst.”
“Maybe you and I could go see Great-gramma some weekend soon–when the weather in Pennsylvania gets better, before your softball season begins.”
“I’d like that. She’s very old, Mom. Is she gonna die, too?”
“We all die. We just don’t know when. She’s quite the miracle at her age.”
“Daddy wasn’t old. He was only forty-five when… And you’re forty. Are you–? But his was an accident.”
“People die when it’s their time.” Ellen had never told Patti she thought Tom might have been deliberately hit. At her age, Patti shouldn’t know about that kind of meanness. “We just have to move along in our lives and trust that we have enough time left to do what we came for.”
“I hope you have a hundred years, Mom.”
Ellen hugged her daughter. A hundred years without Tom sounded like a life sentence.
Sherman conquered hearts and bad guys, but Patti captures hearts.
Thank you Julie! Now let’s take a quick look at Mortal Coil…
When two residents in Ellen Lange’s nursing home are murdered, 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. While Bill takes to Ellen’s daughter, Patti, Ellen resists, claiming that she and her daughter are a team with no room for the once divorced Bill. Despite her efforts to remain aloof, Ellen finds herself falling in love with more than the South as the investigation progresses.
And there’s a Giveaway!!
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- Five mystery eBooks from Champagne Book Group. Books will be selected at random from publisher.
- $20 gift card to either Amazon or B&N, courtesy of Joyce Proell
Giveaway is International.