Necklaces & Nooses by Laina Turner
As she grew older she realized her talents lay in academics and business and for the last several years has been a business consultant and college professor where she uses the analytical side of her brain and not the side that makes up stories.
Through all her career choices she has continued to have a passion for writing. This stemmed from childhood whereas an only child she developed a vivid imagination spending most of her time making things up and thinking the Incredible Hulk lived in her closet.
Proud of her vast experiences in life from barrel racing to being on the dance team for a semi pro basketball team to being a mom of 2 amazing kids, she tells her family and friends that no one is safe from their escapades slipping in to her books.
Taking the plunge to write books (cozy mysteries and chick lit) that she actually let people read in 2010, she has worked her way up to being a real author, having 5 fans (maybe 6 now). Her blog, Writing is a Lifestyle, was launched to share the daily fun in the life of a Real Housewife of the Midwest along with the musing of other fabulous ladies.
“Read this!” Anna said. “This Sarah chick says she wants to get to know him better and is willing to try a long distance thing. I guess she lives in Iowa. How the hell did he meet a girl from Iowa?”
“Maybe she is just coming on to him?” I didn’t really like how Jeff treated Anna, but I didn’t want her hurt either. I was hoping to give him the benefit of the doubt.
“Oh no, this is his response.” She clicked on the message to open it and started reading. “I would like to get to know you better by talking to you.”
“That doesn’t necessarily mean anything besides friends.”
“Except he doesn’t mention anywhere in this email thread that he has a girlfriend, and she obviously is thinking he doesn’t or else she doesn’t care. Take this away from me. I just can’t stand to read anymore.”
I took the laptop from her, logged off, and shut it down. Setting it on the floor, I turned to Anna and refilled her wineglass. I could tell she was upset, and I had seen time and time again how much he hurt her. But I could also understand you weren’t done with a relationship until you were really done, and emotions weren’t always something you could force yourself to stop feeling. Even when intellectually you knew you should.
“Do you want to talk?” I said.
“Why, so you can just say I told you so again? I know I’m stupid.”
“Not stupid, Anna. I hate seeing you hurt like this all the time, which is why I say you need to kick him to the curb. But I also know what it’s like to love someone and hope they will change. While maybe not the smartest thing to do, when you look at the situation rationally you can’t help how you feel, and emotions don’t always make sense. Hell, they hardly ever make sense.”
“I need to realize he will never change, at least not with me. But, Presley, I know he loves me.”
“He does love you.” I actually had no doubts that he did love her. He just wasn’t ready to settle down and took her for granted. That was clear by his actions. Before Cooper, I was much more judgmental of Jeff, but I now had a better understanding of how difficult love was.
“Did Willie find out who broke into your condo?” Anna said attempting to change the subject.
“No. It’s disappointing, but whoever did it didn’t leave prints, and none of the doormen remember anyone who wasn’t a tenant. They found a door at the service area that had a busted lock. The maintenance guy said it wasn’t like that a week ago, so Willie is assuming that somehow someone cased the joint and found that was a weak spot.”
“That’s just weird they didn’t take anything.”
“No kidding. They obviously were looking for something. But neither Willie nor I have any idea what. I don’t have anything of value. Any criminal worth their salt should have noticed that right away.”
“Maybe that’s why they trashed the place. They were angry that you didn’t have anything for them.”
“It just doesn’t make sense. There are many people in my building that have a lot more than I do. Willie thinks whoever it was felt I had something they wanted, specifically. I think that Peter guy is involved somehow.”
“What does Willie think of him?”
“That there’s not enough proof to say.”
One thing that really had me confused was that I didn’t understand at all what the faux-German guy, Peter, wanted so badly with accessories from Silk. It didn’t make sense. After seeing him at the funeral, I had told Willie he had to be involved in this somehow. These were way too many coincidences. But Willie didn’t completely agree with me that the connection was necessarily bad. He hadn’t been able to find anything concrete connecting Peter with anyone from a sinister standpoint. Obviously Peter knew someone in the family or he wouldn’t keep showing up, but Willie said he couldn’t just assume it was for a bad reason without proof.
I told him that sometimes the connection wasn’t obvious, and he didn’t really like that. He had the audacity to say I shouldn’t be worrying myself about the investigation so much. We got into our first minor spat, if you could even call it that, about my involvement, and I basically told him he should have not asked my opinion if he didn’t want it. He muttered something under his breath I chose to ignore, and we hung up.
I didn’t think he was really angry, just annoyed. I seemed to have that effect, first with Cooper and now Willie. I had sat there since getting off the phone trying to figure out what the possible link could be. Willie had said this guy had a record for petty crime. James was a lawyer, so maybe that was a connection. Although James’s firm handled mostly white collar crime not smash and grab—Willie’s term not mine—it was plausible. Criminals and criminal lawyers seemed to run in the same circles. Or it could be completely unrelated, and I could be totally off base, and Willie right. Somehow I doubted it.
I often say writing is cheaper than therapy, so that’s why I write. If I didn’t have an outlet for all the stories rolling around in my head, there’s no telling what would happen.
As a little girl, I made up stories all the time. My imagination was always in overdrive, and I loved making things up and being able to have exactly the outcome I wanted. I mean who wouldn’t want that? As an adult, I put a lot of that imagination in an unused part of my brain while I used the more analytics (boring) part.
But then I couldn’t take it anymore, and the creative side had to come out. I decided I loved writing so much it would be silly not to see where I could take it, and I’ve never regretted it.
Writing stories, getting all those imaginary characters out of my head and onto paper in hopes that they can also bring others some temporary happiness is the greatest gift I feel I could give someone. If I didn’t write, I know I’d feel like something was missing. That I wasn’t completely fulfilling my life destiny, and somehow that’s not a good feeling.
I write because of the joy it brings me. I write because, well, I can’t not.
‘I hate funerals,’ Anna whispered to me as we walked into the church. Since I’d spent the night with her, I had decided to drag her with me to Solange’s funeral for moral support. Even though I knew Steph and Liliy would be coming, since I closed the store so we could all attend, I didn’t want to be all by myself until they got there. Normally, I wouldn’t mind being in a crowd by myself; I had a decent amount of extrovert in me, but a funeral was a whole different story.
Death by JEWELRY! Who would have ever guessed that someone would make something so beautiful cause someone to breathe their last breath of air. Turner is very inventive in her murder weapons, as well as the elaborate tales that she spins around her mysteries. With the second installment, Presley is dropped right back in to play the investigator when her boss is murdered. Presley is the one who finds the body shortly after the attack. After contacting the police, she is then brought into the station and questioned by Detective Willie Landon…only this is not just any cop. He is gorgeous, has tattoo sleeves, a wild past and he is right there in Chicago with her, unlike Cooper. What a BLAST from the past! She can’t possibly fall for another man sworn to uphold the law, can she? The gap between the first installment and the second installment does become clear…especially about her relationships issues, but is rather quick and not very detailed.
Turner does have a good support for her character development. As the series progresses, their personalities show a better judgement of character. Necklaces & Nooses does need a bit more editing because there are definite struggles throughout the read, but by no means is it uninteresting or lacking in creativity. The books interest level can actually be considered a little more catchy and attentive. This book differs from the first installment as far as the perspectives are concerned. The narration focuses on Presley, instead of between different characters throughout the read which may have caused difficulty reading the first book. This second installment can be read as a standalone; however, there are several references made within the story that revert back to Stilettos & Scoundrels. It is another fast paced novel and an entertaining story, so if you a reader of mystery with a bit of romance, this may interest you.
A free copy was exchanged for an honest review of this fictional piece.
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May 2 – Caroline Fardig – Q&A
May 2 – Kelly’s Nerdy Obsession – Review
May 3 – The Mystery Tavern – Excerpt
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