Do you let stress derail you plans?
Um, yes. Today’s Wednesday. I always have a post ready ahead of time for the MFRW Book Hooks weekly blog hop – but not this morning. I wasn’t even aware I’d missed it until I started running into the BookHooks posts of other authors on social media this morning.
Stressors? On top of political turmoil and Covid fears, we lost a very dear friend Christmas day, and as so often also happens when I’m under stress, I didn’t pay enough attention to self-care and have developed a minor infection (short lived and easily cured, I hasten to add).
Stress doesn’t necessarily always stem from negative events – we’re thrilled our granddaughter is getting married this weekend. We can’t be there, and I put pressure on myself to get our gift to her in a timely manner. Which went out FedEx this morning.
I’m not writing all this on our blog to complain, but to talk about the impact of stressors on the best laid plans. Sometimes we have to simply step aside, accept what life has handed us, and change direction.
This is what Merry Delaney faces with the intrusion of Detective Jim Barnes into her life. Widowed for over a year, Merry is happily exploring all the dimensions of her new sexual liberation and has no plans to stop or slow down for anyone. Jim is investigating a mob funds-laundering scheme related to drug trafficking, and one of Merry’s accounting clients is under suspicion. She’s just discovered that some of her files have mysteriously disappeared from her home office computer…
Merry looked up from the computer screen to see the object of her concern stalk into her office. He didn’t look any more relaxed than earlier. He held out his hand to her. She saw three tiny objects.
She cringed away from his hard stare. “What are they? Where did you find them?”
“Each of your three phones was tapped.”
“Shit. You were right about the computer, too. I don’t know why the security programs didn’t block the hacker. Somebody knows what they’re doing. You didn’t find anything else?”
“I’m not an expert on that, so we’ll wait for the people I called.”
“So we don’t know if anyone is listening as we speak.”
Merry slammed a fist on her desk. “This is too much. Having you spy on me from bushes is one thing, but this guy or woman is lurking in my space.”
“As I said, Merry, I doubt they have the house bugged. We’ll know for sure in a couple hours.”
“Good. I don’t like this, Jim. Not one bit.” She chewed on her lower lip. “It’s scary.”
“I know it is. Come on,” he said, offering her a hand. “Let’s go outside. Just in case.”
She grabbed his hand and led the way out onto the patio. “Would you hold me, please?” She directed him to the chaise lounge and sat on his lap. “Put your arms around me, please. I’m chilled. I’ve never been this scared. I was just trying to help—to help those young girls stay off drugs.”
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