Whole Lotta Trouble

Whole Lotta Trouble

by Stephanie Bond


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780989912747
Publisher: Stephanie Bond, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/14/2014
Pages: 266
Sales rank: 1,293,650
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Stephanie Bond was five years deep into a corporate career in computer programming and pursuing an MBA at night when an instructor remarked she had a flair for writing and suggested she submit material to academic journals. But Stephanie was more interested in writing fiction-more specifically, romance and mystery novels. After writing in her spare time for two years, she sold her first manuscript, a romantic comedy, to Harlequin Books. After selling ten additional projects to two publishers, she left her corporate job to write fiction full-time. To-date, Stephanie has more than sixty published novels to her name, including the popular BODY MOVERS humorous mystery series. For more information, visit www.stephaniebond.com.

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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Whole Lotta Trouble 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just when I thought I might be figuring out the story there was another twist. I liked the way the story kept me guessing. Truly loving Stephanie Bond's books. Will continue to buy more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm usually a 5 or 10-page a night reader, but on this book I read over 100 pages a night and had to force myself to turn out the light. This is a very well crafted mystery with two likeable heroines, a satisfying love story, and lots of intrigue. I'll be reading Bond's IN DEEP VOO DOO next.
scoutlee on LibraryThing 3 days ago
This is my first Stephanie Bond book and I'm sure won't be my last. It's a cute mystery with some romance thrown in. Three women, a cute cop, and a missing manuscript... all make a good fun read.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing 3 months ago
There were a few laugh-out-loud moments and a few groan-out-loud moments in this romantic comedy with murder. Centered around a publishing house and featuring several women who are trying to survive in the cut-throat world of publishing. When a ruthless womanising agent turns up dead they're all suspects.It's light stuff and quite fun but not very memorable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
250+ pages. As always, Stephanie Bond delivers another great book that always leaves you guessing! Definitely recommend! One of my favorite authors!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1dachsmom More than 1 year ago
Another great mystery writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book! It was hard to put down. Great author!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have really enjoyed Stephanie Bond books! She has a great imagination. Keeps you involved in the story, had to put down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Manhattan, Parkbench Publishing Editor Tallie Blankenship has spent nine years at the company that releases romance and mystery novels. When her boss Ron Springer tells her he has to leave town, he also assigns her with handling their top selling writer Gaylord Cooper. At the same time her nutty domestic engineer extraordinaire mom asks her to meet her best friend¿s son Keith Wages, who turns out to be a cop living in a house in Brooklyn.--- Keith saves her life when a robber begins shooting at a restaurant where they meet for the first time. Keith likes Tallie and wants to see her, but she is reluctant because she is the polar opposite of her mother as undomesticated as they come. Still, as he investigates a murder of a cohort they fall in love, but will Tallie see he wants her just the way she is.--- This is a delightful police procedural romance with two wonderful tales of love (Tallie¿s best friend and mentor, a closet domesticate and a biking messenger besides the obvious lead couple). The story line focuses more on relationships especially between Tallie and Keith rather than the investigation though the latter enhances the fine warm tale of an odd couple falling in love.--- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cn p
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put this book down!!