Whole Lotta Trouble

Whole Lotta Trouble

4.3 16
by Stephanie Bond
     
 

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A laugh-out-loud romantic mystery!

"Deliciously frothy, and small comedic details abound." - Publishers Weekly

Sometimes the best laid plans go sideways . . .

Three single female mystery book editors in Manhattan have personal and professional problems galore-which seem to intersect with one bad-boy agent. When they set out to humiliate their problematic playboy

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Overview

A laugh-out-loud romantic mystery!

"Deliciously frothy, and small comedic details abound." - Publishers Weekly

Sometimes the best laid plans go sideways . . .

Three single female mystery book editors in Manhattan have personal and professional problems galore-which seem to intersect with one bad-boy agent. When they set out to humiliate their problematic playboy, their plans go horribly awry. The women suddenly realize that when it comes to friendship, flirtation and felony, they're in a WHOLE LOTTA TROUBLE!

"A fun plot, a great cast of characters and a small glimpse into the world of publishing."
-The Best Reviews

"Stephanie Bond seems to get so much enjoyment out of writing her stories that the joy spills over to the reader. If you like a dash of mystery, outlandish situations, great characters, and enjoy laughing, then this is the book for you." -AOL Romance Fiction Forum

"An author who has remained on my 'must-buy' list for years." -Romance Reviews Today

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Reviewers are anonymous
"As is typical of Bond's books (Party Crashers, etc.), the overall tone is deliciously frothy, and small comedic details abound. And though romance is not the book's main focus, there's enough love between the laughs to keep relationship-minded readers happy."
Romantic Times Book Reviews - Susan Mobley
"A wonderfully witty and fascinating romance. The intertwined mystery is absorbing and keeps the reader guessing."
Romance Reviews Today - Amy Cunningham
"A page-turning novel from an author who has remained on my 'must-buy' list for years."
AOL Romance Fiction Forum - Susan Lantz
"Bond seems to get so much enjoyment out of writing her stores that the joy spills over to the reader. If you like a dash of mystery, outlandish situations, great characters, and enjoy laughing, then this is the book for you."
TheBestReviews.com - Lory Martin
"Entertaining, with a fun plot, a great cast of characters and a small glimpse into the world of publishing. It will keep you guessing and rooting for Tallie to the very end."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780989912747
Publisher:
Stephanie Bond, Incorporated
Publication date:
02/14/2014
Pages:
266
Sales rank:
1,034,348
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Whole Lotta Trouble

Chapter One

Dear Mr. Blankenship,

My name is Richard Wannamaker. After retiring from the IRS, I decided to write a story about my roller-coaster life as a cost accountant. Enclosed please find my 500-page autobiography, a volume I have fondly entitled Journal Entry—get it?

Tallie winced. She got it, and about twenty others like it on her desk every week. Reams of paper containing stories utterly inappropriate for the mystery and romance fiction lines for which she acquired. It wasn't that she didn't admire the man for creating the tome, but if he'd researched Parkbench Publishing at all, he would have known they weren't looking for autobiographies. And that she wasn't a Mr., but a Miss. Miss— as in unmarried and unlikely to be in the near future. If only Richard Wannamaker had been on her mother's Christmas card mailing list, he'd have been privy to that tidbit, courtesy of her mother's annual Blankenship Bulletin, complete with pictures, favorite family recipes, and news. This year's headline:

Yes, our beautiful, successful daughter is still single!

It was almost February and she was still recovering from that one.

Tallie sighed and forced her attention back to the cover letter in her hand.

My brother-in-law is a tax attorney and will be handling the contract negotiation—

A rap sounded at her office door and Tallie glanced up to see her assistant, Norah, stick her fair head inside. "Is this a bad time?"

"No—please save me."

Norah gestured to the mound of curledmanuscripts on Tallie's desk. "Wading through the slush I flagged?"

Tallie nodded and rubbed her eyes. "And a few you didn't. Ron tripped over one of my floor stacks the other day, so I thought I'd better do some housecleaning. What's up?"

Norah looked apologetic. "Ron wants you in his office. He seems ... agitated."

Tallie's stomach convulsed. Executive Editor Ron Springer was always a handful for the editorial staff to deal with, but lately he'd been wound as tightly as his name implied, snapping at the least provocation. Tallie had secretly wondered if the health of the company was in jeopardy, or if Ron himself was experiencing personal problems, but she wasn't about to put her middle-of-the-road job on the line by asking. She had rent to pay, and a three-meals-a-day habit to support.

"Tell him I'll be right there."

Norah disappeared and Tallie pulled a mirror from her desk drawer, quickly checked her lipstick and her teeth, then smoothed a couple of dark strands back into her chin-length bob. Her hand stopped suddenly, and she yanked the mirror closer in disbelief.

Her first gray hair. She almost choked on the irony. While she was home during the holidays, her mother had accused her of letting her childbearing years slide by, and right on cue, here was an outward sign that her innards were aging. She knew that at thirty-four, she had no reason to complain, but it was still a blow ... and it would remain her best-kept secret lest she give her mother another headline for the holiday newsletter.

Our spinster daughter is going gray!

She replaced the mirror and slammed the desk drawer. Hoping that Ron wasn't about to deliver news to add more silver to her head, Tallie grabbed a pad of paper and a pen, then walked in the direction of her boss's office.

The bullpen was its usual beehive of activity, keyboards clicking and printers whirring, voices raised to be heard over cubicle walls. Although grateful for her ten-foot-by-ten-foot office with an actual door, she missed the camaraderie that she'd shared with her coworkers when they'd all been interns and assistants, still in awe of the publishing process and of the movers and shakers in the industry. All of the women she'd started with nine years ago had moved on to positions at other publishing houses or had left the industry altogether. She, on the other hand, had found a home at Parkbench and had managed to grow a stable of prolific and modestly successful writers. No New York Times best sellers yet, but she had high hopes for two books coming out in the spring.

The department walls were lined with framed covers of some of the company's best-selling authors—Dewey Diamond, Grace Sharp, Linda Addison. It still gave Tallie a thrill to see the faces and signatures of writers she'd grown up reading.

Parkbench had made its mark in the 1950s with film noir spin-offs, then they'd developed successful mystery series in the 1960s and '70s. In the '80s, the company had cashed in on the romance genre boom and continued to grow their line of thrillers. In the last twenty-plus years, Parkbench had become known as a boutique publisher, one of the few privately owned houses left after the merging madness of the '90s. They were small, but mighty, with a reputation for being author-friendly. Some of their writers had been around for longer than Tallie had been alive.

Kara Hatteras, aka Scary Kara—editor in the health and nutrition books section and Tallie's nemesis—came out of her office and arranged her Botox-puffy face into a smug expression. "Hello, Tallie."

Tallie was forced to stop, since the Nordic giant towered over her and was standing with her legs wide enough for a child to walk through. "Hi, Kara."

"Have you heard that my book The Soup to Nuts Diet is going to be featured on CNN?"

Tallie bit the inside of her cheek; Kara never gave credit to her authors and bragged endlessly about "her" accomplishments. "Um, no, I hadn't heard. That will be great coverage for the company."

Kara lifted her finger and wagged it precisely. "No. That will be great coverage for me." She dipped her chin ...

Whole Lotta Trouble. Copyright © by Stephanie Bond. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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