Saturday, September 9, 2017

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore.



Skye Denison Boyd from Denise Swanson’s New York Times bestselling Scumble River mystery series.

Hi! My name is Skye Denison-Boyd. Mrs. Denison-Boyd to my students. I’m a school psychologist and everyone is having a bit of trouble remembering that I changed my name in December when I married the love of my life, chief of police, Wally Boyd. I live and work in my hometown, Scumble River, Illinois. It’s 75 miles south of Chicago and 75 years behind the times.

Today is the first day of school for the staff and of course it is hotter than blazes and of course the air conditioning at the high school is broken. Normally, it would just be unpleasant to be stuck in a small office with the indoor temps climbing into the eighties, but being nearly thirty-four weeks pregnant ramps the discomfort into the miserable range.

Because my job includes working with students at all three schools in the district, I could move over to one of the other buildings. But it’s highly unlikely any of them will be much better. Before I claimed the space, my offices at the elementary and junior high both use to be storage closets. Even in the best of circumstances those rooms were usually hot as heck or colder than Antarctica.

Considering my feet are so swollen that I can barely stand to wear shoes, I should have just gone home. But since I’ll be going out on maternity leave soon, I want to get my schedule in order. I had hoped to use today to familiarize my new intern with her duties, but Piper had had car trouble and wouldn’t arrive until tomorrow. She really should have been better prepared and moved to town over the weekend. Her lack of planning makes me wonder if I hired the right applicant. Of course, there hadn’t been that may candidates to choose from. A ridiculously low stipend and the promise of a heavy case load hadn’t exactly been enticing to the new grads. Plus there was the fact that I’ll have at the most six weeks to help her get settled before going out on maternity leave.

In theory, during my absence, a school psychologist from the Stanley County Special Education Cooperative will supervise the woman. In practice, I’m afraid that even if it means that I have to guide the intern via telephone while giving birth, I’ll end up with the brunt of the responsibility.

Oh, well. The final bell is about to ring and there’s a hot shower and cold Diet Coke with my name on them at home. I am a little worried though, although it’ been hot and muggy all day, the radio weather reports are warning of a cold front headed our way. And any Midwesterner knows that that means there’s a good possibility of a tornado. Scumble River’s been really fortunate, with twisters hitting all around us, but never touching down in our town. Will our luck hold out or is tonight the night we find out just how sturdy how basement is built?

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If you’re interested in Skye’s next adventure, read all about it in Dead in the Water, which debuted September 5.

--New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson writes the Scumble River, the Devereaux’s Dime Store, and coming soon the Chef-to-Go mysteries. She also writes the Change of Heart and Delicious Love romance series.


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