We’re excited to share the cover for You Can’t Get Blood Out of Shag Carpet by Juliette Harper! This is the first book in A Study Club Mystery series. It’s set to release in June 2015. Check out the excerpt and then the fabulous giveaway at the end!
About the Book:
Wanda Jean Milton discovers her husband, local exterminator Hilton Milton, dead on her new shag carpet with an Old Hickory carving knife sticking out of his chest. Beside herself over how she’ll remove the stain, and grief-stricken over Hilton’s demise, Wanda Jean finds herself the prime suspect in the case. But she is also a member of “the” local Study Club, a bastion of independent Texas feminism 1960s style. Club President Clara Wyler has no intention of allowing a member to be a murder suspect during her administration. Aided by her younger sister and County Clerk, Mae Ella Gormley; Sugar Watson, the proprietress of Sugar’s Style and Spray; and Wilma Schneider, Army MASH veteran and local RN, the Club women set out to clear Wanda Jean’s name — never guessing the local dirt they’ll uncover in the process.
Excerpt:Sugar Watson took a long drag on her Camel and critically appraised the height of Clara Wyler’s black bouffant. “You want me to go a little higher, honey?” she asked, punctuating the question with a well-developed smoker’s cough. “If I rat it up real good, I can get you another 2 or 3 inches on top.”
Clara squinted at herself in the mirror. “I think I’m good, Sugar,” she said. “What with Wanda Jean finding Hilton dead in the living room, I don’t want to look insincere at Study Club.”
Sugar leaned in conspiratorially. “I know we don’t ever throw anybody out of the Study Club, but my Lord, what in the world are we gonna do if she really did kill him?”
Clara glanced around to confirm that all the other women in Sugar’s Style and Spray were safely tucked under the dryers. “Well, she called me herself to assure me that she didn’t do it,” Clara said. “She owned up to wanting to, but she didn’t do it.”
“Well, hell,” Sugar said, “we’ve all thought about killing our husbands. That’s just part of being married. But nobody’s ever walked in my house and found Slim laying there with an Old Hickory carving knife sticking out of his chest. What did Wanda Jean say about finding him?”
“She told me the first thing she thought about was how hard it was gonna be to get the blood out of that new shag carpet they put in last month,” Clara said. “You know they went with the deep pile.”
“I know,” Sugar said. “I looked at it too when T.J. put the ad in the paper, but my vacuum cleaner just won’t suck up dirt good enough for that. Is it a light carpet?”
“I didn’t think to ask her,” Clara said, unclipping the plastic cape around her neck and handing it to Sugar. “Anyway, she said she just stood there thinking about how you can’t get blood out of shag carpet. Then it dawned on her maybe she ought to check him for a pulse.”
“I hope it wasn’t a light carpet,” Sugar said, rearranging cans of Aqua Net on the counter. “Those boys from the ambulance service never think to wipe their feet before they go in to get a body. You should have seen the mess they made when Blake Trinkle died. They just ruined Maybelline’s carpet. She spent as much getting it cleaned as she did on the funeral.”
“That’s so inconsiderate,” Clara agreed. “People just don’t think. Now you’re not gonna be late this afternoon, are you?”
“Of course not,” Sugar said. “Flowers knows not to book me on the third Thursday at three. Study Club day is sacred.”
“Good, I have to go by the bakery and . . . ”
The look on Sugar’s face stopped Clara mid-sentence. “Good Lord, Sugar,” she said. “You look like you swallowed one of your Camels.”
“I think we’re gonna be one short for Club,” Sugar croaked. “Look.”
Clara glanced out the front window in time to see Sheriff Lester Harper helping a handcuffed Wanda Jean Milton out of the backseat of his car. “What is that man thinking!” she exclaimed. “Parading her in front of God and everybody on the courthouse square!”
Juliette Harper is the pen name used by the writing team of Patricia Pauletti and Rana K. Williamson.
Like the characters of their debut series, The Lockwood Legacy, Juliette is a merging of their creative energies.
Pauletti, an Easterner of Italian descent, is an accomplished musician with an eye for art and design. Williamson, a Texan from a long line of hardheaded Scots, knows the world of the Lockwoods like the back of her hand.“We decided to write under a pen name because neither one of us by ourselves could have created Kate, Jenny, Mandy, and their world,” says Pauletti. “Juliette is a little bit of us both. We want to be her when we grow up.”