Saturday, June 19, 2010

Is it October yet?

Okay, I know it’s only June, and school has only been out for a week or two, but October isn’t that far away, not really. At least it isn't for those of us who are anxiously waiting for the calendar pictures to show red leaves and pumpkins. Why am I looking forward to October? Because that’s the month I get to appear in print. Yes, Beth Kennedy, absolutely not extraordinaire at anything, will be the main character in Laura Alden’s Murder at the PTA.

(Don’t tell my mother, okay? She’d be sure to find something wrong with the book every time I show up on the page. And since the book is in first person…um…let’s just say it’s better for everyone involved if she never finds out.)

What’s the book about? It all started when my best friend…you know Marina, don’t you? Everyone in Rynwood knows Marina. Light red hair, bigger than life, full of loud laughter and hugs and unsolicited advice. You don’t know Marina? Oh. Well, you probably know someone a lot like her.

Anyway, Marina convinced me it was in my best interest and the best interest of my children (Jenna, age 10 and Oliver, age 7) to run for secretary of the Tarver Elementary PTA. I’m still not sure how it was supposed to be good for the kids, but her arguments made sense at the time. You’d think I’d have enough to do with two offspring, a children’s bookstore to run, and an ex-husband to tolerate, but no, Marina said I needed to get out more.

Okay, maybe she was right, but don’t tell her. She’s smug enough as it is.

After I became PTA secretary, events in our little Wisconsin town started eventing at high speed. School addition proposals, near riots, and then the Tarver Elementary principal got murdered. Murder? Here in sleepy Rynwood? It didn’t make sense.

Of course a lot of things don’t make sense to me. Golf handicapping, for one. And the existence of daylight savings time. But the biggest mystery of all is this: Why is Evan Garrett taking an interest in me? Said Mr. Garrett is movie-star handsome, rich, and currently single. Why he would want to date me is one of those unfathomable questions that is probably best not to ask.

So I’ll just wonder about it. Silently. Right before I drift off to sleep. What better way to guarantee sweet dreams?

Uh-oh. Time for me to get going. There’s a PTA meeting coming up and I need to do some research on gluten-free bake sales. See you on July 19!


  1. Hi Beth, It's nice to meet you. Something tells me that Marina is going to around a lot and become in the adventures that you are sure to be involved with. So tell us more about Evan.

  2. Beth, It's wonderful to meet you and I am looking forward to reading all about you in October. Anf FYI, I just signed up to be my daughter's PTA President, so I really hope what happens to you does NOT happen to me! I'm barely treading water as it is! :) Best of luck to you.

  3. I promise not to say a word to your mother. Lips are sealed.

    Can't wait to read more about you, Beth. The PTA and murder go hand in hand in my eyes.

  4. Beth, you are a brave woman. Secretary of the PTA - wow. Something tells me that by the time you've braved your way through your first book, your first gluten-free bake sale, and your first murder, your self-confidence is going to be soaring, and Evan will be scrambling after you even more!

  5. Hi, Beth. Charlotte chiming in. {Avery is focusing on a new cheese recipe. Shhhh, don't tell her I've snagged her computer.} Anyway, just wanted to say welcome. If you ever need any help with the gluten-free thing, my niece Claire needs to eat gluten-free, so I've done quite a bit of research. Glad to help out with recipes or whatever. Drop me a line. And good luck finding out what happened to the principal!

    ~Charlotte (standing in for Avery)

  6. Dru - Marina does her best to make me more adventurous, but I keep resisting. I am such a coward!

    Kelley - I'd love to hear any of your PTA stories. My PTA has all sorts of project ideas for the next school year; sure hope we can get people to volunteer...

    Heather - the things Mom doesn't know could fill a book :)

    Thanks for the comments!
    Beth Kennedy

  7. Laineshots - I was doing okay with self-esteem at the end of the first book, but right now my author is starting the second book and I've done some serious back-sliding. Maybe by the end of this book there will be some permanent changes. At least I hope so. All this anxiety is exhausting.

    Charlotte - the whole gluten-free thing is still somewhat of a mystery to me. I just might take you up on that offer!


  8. Beth and Kelley, you are brave women. Parents have been known to aim some pretty murderous glowers - and comments - at each other (and at teachers) during PTA meetings. Scary!

  9. Nice to meet you Beth. I have got to read your story. Being on the PTA board was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. No one was murdered, but I felt like murdering a fellow board member or two. lol

  10. It's so nice to meet you, Beth. I've heard a lot about you. Watch out for Marina, honey. Nina Reid Norwood has gotten me into some uncomfortable situations. I love her anyway, but these best friends expect us to come right along like Ethel following Lucy!

    ~ Sophie
    Domestic Diva Mysteries

  11. Heya, Beth! I'm dying to find out what happened to your principal (ha - get it? Dying?). But I'm not so eager for fall. Even though our Octobers are dang near as hot as our Augusts, these folks in Dalliance stop coming for ice cream. Not good for business.

    But during my downtime this year, I'll know exactly what to do: read your book!

  12. Janet & Annette & Sophie; I'm starting to hear a lot of PTA stories and I'm *really* starting to wonder what Marina got me into. Okay, I did run for PTA secretary of my own free will, but still...

    Tally; I hope you enjoy the book. When Laura sent me the manuscript it sat on the dining table for three weeks before I had the courage to open it. Even then I only started reading because I convinced myself the story was about some other Beth Kennedy.

    Right now Marina is dragging me off to a car show. (Me? Go to a car show? What on earth for?) She says the kids will love it, so I'm packing a lunch and we're heading out for a few hours. I'll be back later!


  13. Hi Beth, nice to meet you. Looking forward to reading all about your adventures.

    Thoughts in Progress

  14. Hi Beth,
    Nice to meet you. I will definitely keep your secret from your mom. I wish I had been able to keep my mom, May out of my adventures.

    PS Please be nice to your school psychologist. The PTA put me through H E double hockey sticks last October.

  15. Hi Beth:

    Sounds like you have your hands full. I edited the PTA newsletter. I can't believe the pressure I got to run certain stories. But then you probably know all about PTA politics. Good luck! And a dead principal, hmmm.

  16. Thanks, Mason. I hope you enjoy the stories!

    Skye: I'm sorry to say I don't get along very well with the school psychologist. But there's a rumor that we're getting a new one, so maybe things will look up.

    Betty: I'm learning more about PTA politics than I realized there was to know. Maybe I should write a book! Oh, wait ... Laura's taking care of that for me. Just as well. I'm not sure when I'd have time. I bet writing a whole book takes hours and hours and hours :)