Rather than leaping in to tell y’all what happened last week, I thought it only fitting to introduce myself properly first. My name is Ella Mae, no, sorry, it’s Elizabeth Trout. It’s just that everyone around here keeps calling me by the nickname they made up when I was growing up here in Jenkins, Arkansas. By the time I was old enough to realize I didn’t like it, the whole town was already in the habit of calling me Ella Mae. And, now that I recently married Jonas Trout, I’m still trying to get used to the whole new-last-name thing.
I happen to like Elizabeth best, of course, and that’s what my husband, Jonas, calls me. But, people have always used different names for me. As a kid, it was everyone calling me Ella Mae, then my high school boyfriend came up with a pet name for me—Lizzie. I thought that was cute at first, until we broke up. Now, it’s been ten years since we dated and I rarely even returned to town during that time. Yet, he still can’t seem to break his annoying habit. On the other hand, I don’t get upset when my best friend from high school, Kelsey, still calls me Eliza sometimes. She tricked me into reading Pride and Prejudice during English Honors class in junior year just so she’d have a study partner for the test and then started calling me by the protagonist’s nickname. There are a few other nicknames for me out there but I’ll just save those for another time.
I sure hope those different names for li’l ole me haven’t made your head hurt. I can barely keep track, but at least it’s not like looking at spreadsheets. Boy, I get an immediate headache from looking at one of those. Don’t you?
Spreadsheets aren’t my thing. That’s fine with me because I’m an artist. Working as an independent graphics artist allows me to work whenever I want, never have to attend staff meetings, and not have a boss. A short disastrous stint working at an ad agency convinced me that working for someone else wasn’t for me. After all, having wild swings of emotion and overexaggerating things were all part of why we artists were given our very own license: artistic license.
I credit my artistic abilities to my Pawpaw. In addition to any genetic advantages he passed on, he taught me to draw and paint, plus plenty of other useful skills like sleight-of-hand tricks. I guess I’m good at picking up new skills. A boy in college once taught me to pick locks. That came in right handy to sneak back into my room when I locked myself out and didn’t want to bother the resident advisor—especially since he and I were dating at the time and he wouldn’t have liked learning that I’d been out super late with another guy . . . Anywaaay . . . you just never know when some skill, like lock-picking, will come in handy, like it did last week.
It’s too bad that my friend, Kelsey, didn’t learn anything useful when she was growing up. I mean she’s smart and everything—any English teacher would have to be intelligent. But that girl just struggles if she has to pull off even a basic sting operation. I’m not talking about some major scam, but you’d be shocked at how poorly that smart woman lies to others. She got her tongue twisted into such a knot I was worried we’d have to take her to the hospital. Fortunately, she didn’t mess anything up and hanging out with her was a real hoot, as always.
Moving on from Kelsey, last week was quite the shocker for me, on many fronts. At least I didn’t get arrested again. Jonas and I managed to figure everything out before things got too out of control. I’d explain all this further but I think Marc Jedel did a great job telling the whole story in HOOK, LINE AND SINKER. Y’all really should go read it today. It’s a fun clean read with lots of twists and surprises. Just thinking of everything that happened, I think I’ll go rest now.
HOOK, LINE AND SINKER is the third book in Marc Jedel’s Ozarks Lake Mystery series, available on Amazon at: getbook.at/HookLineSinker. The first book in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series, FISH OUT OF WATER is available at: getbook.at/Fish. Don’t you agree it’s pretty cool of him to tell stories about me and Jonas? Although I hope we don’t keeping having danger, dead bodies, or disasters in our future. Sure, it may make for a great story, but this is my life after all!
You should also try Marc’s Silicon Valley Mystery series at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PHNT7XM, or a discounted box set of the first three at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09MZHGD65/. I haven’t read those, but I hear they’re very funny. That doesn’t surprise me any as them Californians are strange folk, and none stranger than his main character, Marty. The first three in that series are also out on audiobook from Tantor Audio, available everywhere audiobooks are sold. All of Marc’s books are free for Kindle Unlimited members.