27 Jun 2014

Author Interview: Barbie Silkstone & Review of “Miami Mummies (Wendy Darling Series)”

11 Comments Book Reviews, News

I came across author Barbara Silkstone and her fabulous character Wendy Darling on the internet by pure chance really and when buying the book on impulse it turned out to be part 4 of a series. I still gave it a try anyway and I enjoyed it so much that I contacted the author to see if I could interview her here to showcase her work. Here is my review as a start:  21481617

“Miami Mummies: A Wendy Darlin Comedy Mystery” by Barbara Silkstone is truly great fun. I came in late into this series but immediately took a liking to Wendy Darlin, a charismatic lead character that has many strings to her bow. Real Estate Broker, assistant to her archaeologist husband and detective on the outside and a flamboyant character on the inside.

The beginning of the story drags you right into her chaos: Inconveniently she witnessess a murder in Miami, while on the way to the doctor – which in itself brings complications to her life – and being asked to leave the state to help a friend. Her inner dialogue has hilarious one liners and observations and the story keeps throwing complications and turns.

This is truly a fun read, but it is also a tribute to Hitchcock’s work. If you get it, it is hilarious and hugely entertaining.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your background as a writer?  576735

 My writing history is diverse. I started an underground newspaper in grade school and was threatened with excommunication by the nuns. I was fortunate enough to take part in writing workshops with Stephen King, Robert B. Parker, James Michener, and PD James. I enjoy doing playful things with language, blending two distinct words to create a new word.  If I’m laughing out loud when I’m writing, then I know I’ve hit the mark.

When you’re a freelance writer with a quirky sense of humor, being in the right place at the right time helps a lot. If I just stand still for five minutes… wham! Something funny and worth writing about will happen to me. I’ve accidentally sky dived, been elected president of the Japan American Society (I’m not Japanese), been stalked by crazies, and ran off with a real life White Rabbit.

For six years I traveled the United States listening to men reveal their darkest secrets for my book, The Adventures of a Love Investigator. When I was finished with my adventure, I realized the only man I should have interviewed was Lewis Carroll, unfortunately he was long gone. So I set out to pay homage to his brilliance by re-telling Alice in Wonderland in a contemporary setting. The result is The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters ~ a comedy mystery that takes place between Miami and London.

 Can you tell us about your books?  Who or what were your inspirations? How many have you written? Are they related to each other?

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Wendy and the Lost Boys, and Zo White and the Seven Morphs are each spun from classic fairy tales. They do not follow the original story lines. The books are about contemporary women who find themselves doing battle with thugs, swindlers, and email lotharios. Each heroine prevails in her own stumbling way. She grows through her tale and brings down the bad guys. The books are loaded with references to the original fairy tales.

As I riffed on these tales, Wendy Darlin from Peter Pan minus the “g” seemed to develop a separate storyline and broke loose from the pack. She’s a real estate broker for millionaires in Miami. The market for mansions is slow. To supplement her income, Wendy finds herself assisting Dr. Roger Jolley, a Johnny Depp-type archaeologist, as he returns stolen antiquities to tombs and museums. Wendy becomes a Tomb Hunter, starts her own series, becomes romantically involved with Roger Jolley. Her first three adventures are available in a box set: Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider.

The fourth adventure, Miami Mummies, has Wendy solving the theft of mummies by an international mummy thief. I had great fun using this tale as a way of paying homage to the great Sir Alfred Hitchcock who is probably turning over in his ashes.  12266683

In her first adventure, Wendy and the Lost Boys, she and Roger are kidnapped and held on a super yacht while in search of stolen Egyptian icons. Her second adventure, London Broil, finds our gal in London hunting the last missing Egyptian icon. The clock ticks as she slugs her way through an assortment of wacky villains, is held captive over a fish ‘n’ chips shop, and rescues Roger. On her third adventure she joins Roger in Cairo Caper. They are in search of Cleopatra’s tomb, one-step ahead of Russian black market antiquity thieves.

I like to think of Wendy Darlin as a combination Indiana Jones and Lucille Ball.

Are you working on a new book? How long does it usually take you to write a book?

I’m working on Wendy’s fifth adventure… Vulgarian Vamp. Wendy and Roger have decided to take the big plunge. They plan a destination wedding in Loutish, Vulgaria.

Note: It’s not on any map.

It usually takes me six months to write a book. Physical comedy is tough to script. It relies on timing, snappy one-liners, and hidden clues. Readers love finding the little jokes and references tucked away throughout my stories. I have to wait for inspiration to fly in the window and tickle me before I can convey it to the written page. I liken it to Harry Potter’s owl. The funny material comes flying in when I least expect it.

All of my books are available on both Amazon Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iTunes and on Audible books.

What is your favorite or least favorite part of writing?

My favorite part is once the characters take over. I think sometimes that I’ve stored every episode of I Love Lucy and Looney Tunes in the back of my brain. They come gushing out in amazing ways. The least favorite is editing. That’s why I have at least two or three editors comb through my manuscripts once they are done.

If you could meet any book character, who would it be, and what would you do with them?

There is a little known book called Ghost by Marsha Parker. I believe she only wrote the one book back in 1982. Toward the end of the book, the American heroine is living near a small country inn in France. During the night she meets with her lover from the fifteenth century. He walks her into a field, lays down a sheep skin, and makes love to her. Then he disappears. I would love to change places with her and experience that love scene. It is sooo beautiful.

What books or authors have most influenced you in your own writing?

I like the early Janet Evanovich, Carl Hiaasen,  the late, great Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler, Robert B. Parker. Cryptic, snarky dialogue is my chocolate.

Do you have a writing routine, a special place where you go to do your writing, or a certain time of day? Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind of music?

I think we all have our high-creative times. I’m great at five in the morning and late afternoon. I shirivel up at night. And I must have complete silence when I write. I wish I could write to music, but I’m easily distracted.

How do you get past writers’ block or distractions like the internet?

I’ve never had writer’s block…but that darn internet (said through clenched teeth) is one heck of a distraction. It’s like having a toddler tugging at your knee begging for attention. I’m still trying to break my addiction.

 Please keep strolling further down for an Excerpt

About the Author  576735

Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series that includes: Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, Cairo Caper, Miami Mummies, Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set. Her Romantic Suspense Fairy Tales series includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs. For a squirt of paranormal comedy try: Cold Case Morphs. True fiction fan? Try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator.

Coming Summer 2014:

Vulgarian Vamp – Wendy Darlin…Book 5

Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

All books are available on Audible.com

Blooper from Audio book: Wendy and the Lost Boys:

Narrator can’t stop giggling:

https://soundcloud.com/barbarasilkstone/dollop-of-cream

Barbara Silkstone’s Amazon Author’s page

http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Silkstone/e/B0047L8A8W

Blog:

http://barbswire-ebooksandmore.blogspot.com

Website:

http://secondactcafe.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barbara-Silkstone-Author/156097004489447

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/WendyDarlinTombRaider

https://www.facebook.com/barbara.silkstone

Twitter:

 http://www.twitter.com/barbsilkstone

Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/barbsilkstone/

Book links:

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland

http://viewbook.at/B003BIGFSE

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003BIGFSE

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003BIGFSE

DE – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B003BIGFSE

CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B003BIGFSE

Wendy and the Lost Boys

http://viewbook.at/B005FKHKTE

http://bookShow.me/B005FKHKTE

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005FKHKTE

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005FKHKTE

DE – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B005FKHKTE

CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B005FKHKTE

LondonBroil

http://viewbook.at/B006IH6LHA

http://bookShow.me/B006IH6LHA

US   http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006IH6LHA

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006IH6LHA

DE – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B006IH6LHA

CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B006IH6LHA

Cairo Caper

http://bookshow.me/B00EMJTUOC

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EMJTUOC

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EMJTUOC

DE – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00EMJTUOC

CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00EMJTUOC

Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set

http://bookShow.me/B00FM1TLMA

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FM1TLMA

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FM1TLMA

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FM1TLMA

DE – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00FM1TLMA

CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00FM1TLMA

Miami Mummies

http://bookshow.me/B00J0L6P40

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J0L6P40

UK –  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00J0L6P40

DE – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00J0L6P40

CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00J0L6P40

Zo White and the Seven Morphs

http://viewbook.at/B008U8NGBE

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008U8NGBE

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008U8NGBE

DE – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B008U8NGBE

CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B008U8NGBE

COLD CASE MORPHS   A Comedy Mystery

http://viewbook.at/B00AZ5PNNO

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AZ5PNNO

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AZ5PNNO

DE – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00AZ5PNNO

CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00AZ5PNNO

     Criminally Funny Fables

http://viewbook.at/B00A7095OA

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A7095OA

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00A7095OA

DE – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00A7095OA

CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00A7095OA

The Adventures of a Love Investigator

http://viewbook.at/B0040SXWBW

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0040SXWBW

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0040SXWBW

DE – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B0040SXWBW

CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0040SXWBW

YouTube links for book trailer videos:

Lost Boys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNmGHzFh0Is

London Broil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1KUjX-t5mE

Cairo Caper

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlWE4cnjmSw

Autumn  – most of Barbara Silkstone’s books

The Adventures of a Love Investigator

http://youtu.be/p-NFoQyzKm8

Miami Mummies

http://youtu.be/8xUvDkn7s3A

Blooper from Audio book: Wendy and the Lost Boys:

Narrator can’t stop giggling:

https://soundcloud.com/barbarasilkstone/dollop-of-cream

Audible links

Barbara Silkstone on Audible.com     http://bit.ly/18RVlUN

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Diary-Alice-Wonderland-Three-Quarters/dp/B00DOF4JQE

Wendy and the Lost Boys

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Lost-Boys-Darlin-Mystery/dp/B00BLPNGLI

London Broil

http://www.amazon.com/London-Broil-Darlin-Comedy-Mystery/dp/B00CBPSZTU

Zo White and the Seven Morphs

http://www.amazon.com/Zo-White-Seven-Morphs-Criminally/dp/B00COUJTR4

COLD CASE MORPHS

http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Case-Morphs-Comedy-Mystery/dp/B00FMPIITS

The Adventures of a Love Investigator

http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Love-Investigator-Naked-Woman/dp/B00CQUTLZM

Wendy and the Lost Boys

Copyright ©2011 Barbara Silkstone

ISBN: 978-0-9837502-2-2

Bonus excerpt from
Wendy and the Lost Boys

Pirates

Chapter One

Sometimes the journey you set out on is not the one you return from.

I lay on my stomach on Belgian cream-colored sheets in my suite on the 370-foot yacht rocking in the waters somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle. I had finished a pitcher of screwdrivers before the sun came up and was feeling woozy. As I dozed in my bikini, something jumped on my back. I tried to fight it off, rolled over, and found myself looking at a giant tongue and two beady eyes. It was like being married again.

All six feet of Hook’s bony body retreated when I brought my knee up catching him in his man-berries. He turned, rolling off the bed and abruptly slamming his johnson into the teak nightstand. His penis was huge, dark, and engorged. I was right about the blue pills in his master suite. They were erectile dysfunction drugs. Of course, with the name UpUGo, it didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure it out.

“I knew you were taking that junk. Don’t waste your time,” I said to the naked old man with the flabby butt as he held himself with a panicked look on his face. “And get out of my suite. The door was locked for a reason! How’d you get in here?”

“It’s been more than four hours, Wendy,” he whimpered. “I’m still hard and it hurts like hell. Help me!” His once chiseled features hung like melted wax from his cheekbones.

“My promise to Marni to care for you did not include sex… no way… under no circumstances. That’s what you get for messing with that stuff. Just get out of my way!”

I snatched the ten-pound white hairball called Tinkerbelle from the foot of the bed and made my way to the sun deck. Hook’s Predator was a yacht on steroids. It took ten minutes to get from my suite to the upper floor. Hook had spent over $200 million of Ponzied money on this floating erection. He recited the Predator’s talents daily, like a mantra he hoped would keep away the feds, investors, and victims who wanted nothing more than to see him keelhauled.

Once on the sun deck, I reclined on a cushioned lounge chair. Tink licked my face, her Maltese dog fur tickling my nose. I wrapped her leash around my left hand and whispered into her ear, “You poor little puppy. You don’t understand we buried your mama yesterday.” The tears came. There was no holding them back.

How did I let myself get into this situation? I regretted the day I first heard Hook’s name and regretted even more the day I introduced him to Marni.

***

It started almost two years ago as what had become a normal poison-ivy-like night for me. Standing at the window of our suite at The Plaza, I gazed out over the pink and white blossoms of June in Central Park wondering when I would learn to say “no.” It was a hellacious sacrifice to drop what I was doing, leave my clients in Miami and haul up to New York to be at my husband Croc’s side as he pursued investors for his hedge fund Privateer, LLC.

I thought I’d finally found a good man when I first met James Crocowski at a fundraiser for hurricane victims. We continued to bump into each other at a series of charity events over the next few weeks. After a few months of frantic dating, I woke up in the bridal suite at the Luxor Hotel in Vegas. I was Mrs. Crocowski, the thirty-nine year-old wife of a hedge fund manager. I was ready to admit I’d made a mistake.

“How do I look?” Croc did a spin in his tux.

I turned from the window to study him. The man was an optical illusion. He looked intelligent, hardly the picture of a guy who’d just lost triple-digit millions. And obviously to him he looked primo. I bit off a really nasty comment and settled for, “Stop panting. You sound like a dog.”

“Yeah, but how great do I look? We’re going to a Charlie Hook party. It’s important.”

The name meant nothing to me. This was not a charity event, despite the embossed wording on the invitations. Croc, aka the Crocodile, was set to snare a new pool of investors with his welcoming grin and promises of extraordinary returns. I was sick to my stomach with what I suspected were his less than honest guarantees. I regretted my last minute decision to join him, torn between wifely loyalty and rat-sniffing instincts.

Dressed in my size-six little black dress that screamed designer original, while I screamed inside my head, I grabbed my velvet coat and struggled into it. My highlighted hair swung loose on my shoulders. “You look fine.”

“Didn’t I buy you some bling to wear to these events?”

I shot him my dirtiest look, feeling unclean being in the same room with him.

The doorman helped us into the hired limo, and we headed to a private party in Montclair, a city in northern New Jersey. I settled back and watched the cars rat race along.

Somewhere on the Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge we were sideswiped by another vehicle. First there was a thump and then a shattering crunch.

“What was that?” I yelled to our driver. The limo bounced over rough pavement, hit gravel, and came to rest against the guardrail.

Crack! A gun shot and then another ricocheted off the front right fender in a splash of sparks.

Croc threw his weight against the limo door but it didn’t open. I yanked his sleeve. “Don’t leave me here, you chicken-shit!”

We were still struggling when a tall thin man reeking of cologne and cigars got into the front passenger seat. He aimed a large gun at my husband. “Don’t move or I’ll blow your head off.”

I pegged his accent as Russian.

My precious mate tried for the door again, knocking me in the ribs with his right elbow.

The Russian flashed me a quizzical look. “You married this coward?”

“I was drunk at the time.”

He smirked. “I could never get that drunk.”

“Nobody asked you,” Croc snapped. His smart mouth was about to get us both killed.

I put my hands in the air and slid into the far corner of the car trying to fold into the upholstery.

The limo driver sat stone still, almost blasé.

“We told you three weeks. You have until Monday. Ninety-three million dollars,” the Russian said.

“I promise 18% on your money if you wait until Thursday!”

Had my husband lost his mind? Facing a gun he negotiates interest rates?

The Russian cut his eyes to me and left the car.

Croc exhaled in a whoosh. “I guess they want their money back.”

“Give it to them.”

“I don’t have it. We had operating expenses.”

It dawned on me. “Are you involved in a Ponzi?”

“No, it’s a creative new-age investment opportunity and my tireless efforts are under appreciated.” He avoided eye contact and stepped out of the car.

“Doesn’t this shake you up?” I asked the driver as I dialed 911 on the car phone. “By the way, shut off the engine.”

“Lady, welcome to the new Wall Street. You get used to it after a while.” He yawned.

Outside the limo, Croc puffed on a cigarette. I’d never seen him smoke before. There was a lot I didn’t know about this man I married after I’d downed three bottles of champagne. Drink in haste. Repent in leisure. I put my head back and closed my eyes. It was time to see a lawyer.

The police arrived in less than ten minutes. By then Croc had disappeared. Maybe he walked off into the night or maybe the Russians decided not to wait until Monday. Either way, my wish had been granted. I was Croc-less.

Along with the details of the mugging, I filed a missing person’s report then went back to the Plaza and did a happy dance in our suite. My husband had abandoned me. Confirming my morning flight back to Miami, I changed rooms and for safety’s sake registered under my maiden name… Wendy Darlin.

Chapter Two

Five months later, Kit and I were pigging out on stone crabs and Bloody Marys at Joe’s Stone Crabs. A November day in Miami is perfect al fresco weather. Kit is my nail tech and consigliere. I tell him everything. Sometimes I listen to his advice. We were talking about my recent divorce.

“You’re well rid of him. Croc could have cost you your life.”

“I wasn’t cut out for marriage. Being financially responsible for his unpredictable actions was driving me crazy. It was only a matter of time before I was slaughtered or sued.”

Kit stretched his long legs and yawned. “I don’t know how you straight people do it… live in such close quarters.”

“Remember how crazy I was that first week after the final decree? I couldn’t wait to get away from him. I flew off shedding my possessions like feathers from a molting bird. I wanted to be free of everything that smelled, tasted, or felt like Croc.”

He laughed. “Not going to make that marriage mistake again, are you?”

“Nope. I live snug in my little condo on the beach. There’s no room in my life for a man. My closet’s too small.”

“Your teeny closet gives me the heebie-jeebies.”

I took a big swallow of my Bloody Mary before I spoke. “I wonder about Croc. It’s hard to imagine his huge ego would allow him to disappear into thin air. And I can’t help wonder how that idiot talked investors into parting with their money.”

Kit fiddled with the Tabasco, spicing his drink just this side of combustion. “He talked you into marrying him.”

I cracked a big claw and dipped it in the mustard sauce. “I had an excuse. I’ll never get that tipsy again.”

“Three of my salon clients went wonkers over their investment losses last week. They collapsed into crying fits while I was doing their nails. People aren’t coping well with the financial meltdown.”

He took a slow, easy swig from his glass and then asked, “What exactly is a Ponzi scheme?”

“A scam where a crook, a big kahuna, gets investment capital from Client A by promising him fat returns – like 20% – then gets Client B the same way, using his money to pay off Client A, making it look like he’s delivering on the investment promise. Then he needs Client C, D, and E to keep the circle of payoffs and influx of new cash going… you get the picture. It’s a ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ that never ends. At some point, that big kahuna gets caught, but not before he’s ruined the lives of many, many people.”

Kit thumped his forefinger on the table and drew 20% with the condensation from his glass. “You mean he’s using new money to pay the promised interest even though he’s not making anywhere near the 20%.”

I rubbed out his markings on the table. “Exactly, except that number’s only an example.”

“Is that what Croc was doing?”

“Croc wasn’t running a Ponzi. He was running a hedge fund, which is pretty shaky in its own right, but him being lazy, and stupid, and worthless… Sorry, I digress. I know Croc. I hope he wasn’t foolish enough to be a feeder for some big kahuna. I’ve been worried ever since that Russian stopped us.”

“Did Croc have a big kahuna?”

Skipping over his double-entendre, I said, “I don’t know and I don’t want to know. Let’s change the subject, please.”

He beamed a laser-white smile. “Well… my new show opens in two weeks.”

Kit’s career as the reigning drag queen of Miami Beach was his passion. It was unnerving to watch him prance around in full makeup. He actually made a fairly good-looking giantess.

“You definitely got my mind off finances. Let’s split one dessert. I have Treanna tonight. We’re ordering pizza and making ice cream sundaes. I’ll be a blimp before the weekend is over.

We topped off lunch with a gooey key lime pie. Satiated, I dropped Kit back at his salon.

***

My real estate company Darlin Realty was located in an old house I’d taken great pleasure in renovating. It was a deep shade of putty green, two-story with a wrap-around front porch. We never used the veranda, but it looked inviting with a white wicker loveseat and two big rocking chairs.

Linda, our receptionist, was out to lunch when I got back. I grabbed the phone on the second ring rather than letting the service get it.

“Darlin Realty. Wendy speaking.”

A raspy voice said, “This is Charlie Hook.”

I knew the name but feigned ignorance. We’d almost met the night Croc disappeared.

“How can I help you?”

The Charlie Hook.” He repeated with irritation and ego flooding out of the phone. “I’m in the market for a house on Miami Beach – private, walled, ocean view. I’ll go up to thirty-mil.”

We were talking big commission dollars whether I made the sale or one of my agents did. I thought it over for a few seconds and agreed to meet him at a private hanger at Miami International in two hours. The little hairs on the back of my neck were dancing the no-no dance, but I ignored them.

A few minutes later, Marni Kimble wandered into my office as I was packing my Louis Vuitton tote. She was one of my newly licensed agents and had yet to make a sale. She’d been clinging to me as though I could wave a magic wand and poof, she’d sell a beachfront mini-mansion. She settled her athletic body into a chair and flipped her long, dark hair over her shoulder. She was a hottie in search of the good life.

I smiled at her. “How’s it going?”

“I’m starting to feel like I’m not cut out to sell real estate. I can’t get a decent client. New money wants to work with an agent they can identify with. Money likes to hang with money.”

“No more of your limp excuses. Your mom did well when she worked for me, and she was going through chemo during most of that time. She’s smart and independent. You have her genes. We’re going to make you into Realtor of the Year.”

She shot me an angry look. “I’m nothing like my mother. Cripes, who retires to Mexico?” Pulling her hair into a ponytail, she knotted it at the back of her head. “I was born to be taken care of.”

Her complaining was wearing thin. There are millions of reasons why something can’t be done, but I never let them stop me. Stepping into my mentoring mode, I said, “Grab your things. I’m on my way to meet a buyer. If he’s for real, I’ll give him to you. That’s how much confidence I have.”

She was still thanking me as we buckled up in my Jag sedan and headed for our meeting with fate.

It was easy enough to find the private hangers in Miami… They were the buildings that tried hardest to be inconspicuous. Charlie Hook timed his entrance for our arrival. He strutted from his jet as if he’d just won Best In Show. He was about six-feet tall and weighed about one-sixty. Lean and lanky, he had a thick shock of gray hair, a George Hamilton tan, and perfect white teeth that had to cost a small fortune.

First words out of his thin lips grated on me. “Gotta trade in this Gulfstream. No damn leg room.” He eyed Marni and then put his arm around me like we were old friends.

I choked down a gag and introduced him. My young agent’s doe eyes doubled in size when he invited her into his plane for a drink. I got the crazy feeling the hotshot was trying to make me jealous.

“Marni’s on a tight schedule. She’s working with a number of clients,” I lied.

Hook clenched his jaw and the pupils of his gray eyes became the size of BBs. “I want her exclusive attention or not at all.”

I’d show him who was in control. I motioned Hook to follow us. “Marni’s laptop is in my car. She can give you a virtual tour of a couple of properties.”

“I don’t do virtual. That’s for lookers. I’m a buyer.” He followed us to my Jag.

Marni grabbed her computer and jacket from the front seat. “I’ll go with Mr. Hook in his limo if he doesn’t mind.” She twisted the corners of her mouth in a suck-up smile.

Pulling her aside, I whispered in her ear, “What are you doing? Call me if he gives you any trouble.” I had an uneasy feeling.

“What about you? ‘Hook said. “My money not good enough?”

Ignoring his remark, I waved them off. “Cheers!”

***

Ten days and twenty mansions later, there were no offers from Hook. Things were going circular, and he was taking gobs of Marni’s time. She was at the front desk setting up viewing appointments when Hook slithered into my office.

“So, why did you shuffle me off to an underling?” he asked.

“Marni’s a good agent. She needs this sale.”

“And you don’t? Did your ex leave you with a secret fortune?”

“Who told you I was divorced?” My skin felt crawly.

“You’re a workaholic with one ex in your closet and no kids.”

Marni-big-mouth must have given him the skinny on me. I needed to have a serious talk with that girl about discretion.

I was used to new-rich, high fliers who thought everything came with a price tag. Hook was shopping in the wrong store if he was looking at me. I couldn’t afford to tell him exactly what I thought of him. Besides it wouldn’t have made a dent in his brain. There are some things money can’t buy; one is class.

“Are you really in the market for a house, or are you just trolling?”

Hook stood up like he’d been zapped with a cattle prod. “I don’t need to troll. I can have any woman I want.” He narrowed his snake eyes at me. “I’m taking Marni to see my yacht this afternoon. Want to play chaperone?”

I was in no rush to complicate my life again, and certainly not with another wheeler-dealer. But now I knew what Hook’s little game was, I couldn’t resist baiting him. It would be fun to taunt this predator with my unavailability and goad him into buying a property from Marni – which would bring money into Darlin Realty.

Stepping over his crass remarks like a pile of warm dog poop, I said, “I’ll be there. Where are you moored?”

“At the Million Mile Marina near Key Biscayne. Just ask for the Predator.”

“That figures.”

He managed a half-sneer as he turned and walked away.

I called Kit. “Want to tour a super-yacht?” I wasn’t going without protection.

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

written by
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

11 Responses to “Author Interview: Barbie Silkstone & Review of “Miami Mummies (Wendy Darling Series)””

  1. Donna Fasano says:

    I am an avid Barbara Silkstone fan!

  2. Judy says:

    This was a great interview. I love every one of Barbara’s books. She is one of my very favorite writers. Thank you for taking the time to put this out for her.

  3. Barbara Tobey says:

    So happy to have discovered Barbara and her crazy cast of characters. She keeps me amused.

  4. barbara silkstone says:

    Christoph,
    Thank you so very much for letting me stop by for a mummy chat. I very much enjoyed it.
    Lovely blog!

  5. Christy Hayes says:

    Great interview! Barbara, your books sound hilarious!

  6. Gerry McCullough says:

    As always, Barbara Silkstone is both interesting and amusing. I’ve read all her Wendy Darlin books, and Alice before that, and I love her style. Her idea of basing stories on popular books like Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, originally promoted as Twisted Fairy Tales, works 100% well. Brilliant interview, Christoph!

  7. C. B. Blaha says:

    This is a very impressive interview. I truly enjoyed it.

  8. Linda McKinney says:

    Great interview! There is so much information. I have enjoyed all of your stories, Ms. Silkstone. I dearly love Wendy Darlin’ and look forward to more tomb-raider adventures with her.

  9. Pam says:

    I love Barbara Silkstone, her books are cleverly written and fun to read!!!!

  10. Melissa says:

    Thank you for this fabulous sneak peek into her writing!

  11. P. C. Zick says:

    I definitely will check this out. If she likes Carl HIassen, she can do no wrong!

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