Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Welcome to your new home!

By Sally-Jo Baker from the upcoming Mystery Book Club series by Erika Chase

Hi. I’m Sally-Jo Baker and I’m mighty happy to be here. I’m always thrilled to meet new people, which is part of the reason I eagerly got involved with the start-up of the Ashton Corners Mystery Book Club & Cheese Sticks Society. And it’s been a blast, except for the murder.

Lizzie Turner, the reading specialist at the elementary school I landed a job at, befriended me right away. She’s also the get-go for the book club. I moved to Ashton Corners last spring and although I love the small town community aspect, it takes a while to get used to it when you’re from a big city. Like, try keeping any deep and dark secrets. Not that I have any. But that balances out with the warmth and friendliness of the people.

My book club buddies have helped me adjust. There’s Lizzie, of course. And Molly Mathews. We meet at her house, a wonderful old mansion. She’s amazing, although she’s an Agatha Christie loyalist. Then there’s Jacob Smith, he’s a lawyer and also fairly new to the town. I felt that something when we first met, and although we’ve encountered some difficulties, I believe he’s a keeper.

Former police chief, Bob Miller comes across all huffy when we’re not reading a police procedural, but you know it’s all an act. I think he’s sweet on Molly. We’ll just have to see what unfolds. Stephanie Lowe, also new to town, is about twenty and works at the local diner. She’s very hush-hush about her past but it’s hard to hide the fact she’s pregnant. And Andrea Mason rounds out the group. A high school junior, she’s being tutored by Lizzie, who thought that joining the mystery book club would get her hooked on reading.

We’re quite a group but we’re fast becoming good friends. I guess a murder will do that.

I almost forgot, the added ingredient to this mix—cheese straws. Bob is nuts about them and it’s now imperative they’re served at each meeting.

It’s been a terrific way to blend into the community. What about you? What helps you adjust to living in a new place?


  1. When I move into a new place, I unpack some of my favorite books first. My old friends, who are you folks, the characters, are always with me.

  2. Walking the dog! There's something about a dog that makes people open up. The same people who would ignore you otherwise come right up to chat if a dog accompanies you!

    ~ Krista

  3. Janet, you're right. Books make a home.
    Krista, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly dog walkers become friends. They seldom know each others' names but they sure remember the dog's names.

  4. Cooking something makes me feel at home!

  5. Welcoming neighbors. As my husband and I stood in the drive way, neighbors greeted us with chips and beer. Though the faces have changed over the years, everyone is still caring.

  6. Hi Sally-Jo! I think you landed on your feet in Ashton Corners. I think books and friends who enjoy books are the secret to a happy life anywhere.

  7. I'm not the most enthusiastic cook around, Victoria but I keep my cupboards stocked with my favorites. That does help.
    And my neighbors are quite welcoming. I hope when I start my renos that will continue.
    You're right about the books, Mary Jane!

  8. books and food and dogs--perfect. Though I'm a cat person myself, but they don't take too well to walking... Love, Hayley