Getting Nervous

I sent my Jazzi manuscript to my critique readers, and this is when I always get nervous. Did I get most of the book right? How many rewrites will I need to do? Did I do enough to keep readers turning pages?

I enjoyed this book because Jazzi and Ansel are expecting a baby. So far, pregnancy hasn’t felt very real for Jazzi, because she keeps feeling better and better as her body changes. Her waistline’s expanding, but so far, there’s no baby bump. It’s mid-March, and she, Ansel, and Jerod have bought a Greek Revival style house to flip. But this time, the men have strict rules for her. No caffeine, so everyone drinks caffeine free coffee to sympathize with her. No wine, and no heavy lifting. She’s not allowed to help patch the roof. She can still tear up ugly linoleum and refinish wood floors, but she can’t help hang drywall. It’s not until April, when she’s five months in, that she has to buy maternity clothes, and Ansel’s thrilled. Toby’s finally starting to take up space.

For this book, I saw a Greek Revival house in the Jan./Feb. 2021 Country Living magazine that I fell in love with. I tore out the pages to use as inspiration for my flippers. I included a bust of C.S. Boyack because he gave me the idea of using Pinterest to save ideas for my books. I looked for images for a nursery, too, to get ready for Toby’s arrival. Ansel’s good at building things, and reorganizes the entire closet to make it easy storage for baby things. He built a cradle and baby bed for his son, too.

Of course, getting ready for Toby is only a subplot for the The Body in the Wheelbarrow. The main plot involves someone killing a fellow Derby race car driver, Sparks Stiller. Whoever did it loaded Sparks’s body into his car and drove to Jazzi’s dad’s assistant’s house, put it in Doc’s wheelbarrow, and left it beside his garage. Doc and Sparks were going to small claims court, so Doc’s considered a suspect. When Jazzi’s dad asks her to talk to her friend, Detective Gaff, to help Doc, she learns that she and Gaff can’t work together anymore. Gaff’s been teamed up with Detective Caden as partners, and Caden doesn’t bend rules. No citizens are involved in his work.

I hope the new wrinkle for Jazzi works. She feels let down by Gaff, but poor Gaff’s caught between a rock and a hard place. He can’t share information with her. I won’t know if I pulled any of my twists off until I get my bloodied manuscripts back. But it was fun writing this book!