Don’t read that other post from Elizabeth Trout about what happened last week. I know I should start out this essay with a strong hook and then build this first paragraph into my thesis, but it’s the summer and I spend all school year teaching the high school students about proper English. So instead, I’ll keep this casual and just tell you a little about the shenanigans that Elizabeth Trout and I got ourselves into last week.

I love that friend of mine to death, but sometimes I think she will be the end of me. Just last week, she pulled two con jobs on me. At least two that I caught. Knowing her there may have been others that I haven’t sussed out yet. Not to mention her picking a lock and us finding illicit evidence that nearly got us arrested instead of the actual criminal.

Of course, one of those tricks wound up getting me a new dog. Luna is the sweetest, kindest dog you could ever meet—I don’t care what Elizabeth says about her Daisy. So, I guess not everything Elizabeth talks me into is dangerous, or crazy, or both.

But Eliza—that’s my occasional nickname for her. That was about the only time I managed to trick her. I convinced her to read Pride and Prejudice during English Honors class in junior year of high school. I can’t remember how I managed it, but it worked out great. Elizabeth helped me as a study partner. After we aced that test, I started calling her Eliza, after that book’s awesome protagonist. I could go on and on about that book’s themes and examples of symbolism. And don’t even get me started on metaphors versus similes. Remember, I do this for a living.

I suppose I’m only avoiding discussing the second con job that Elizabeth pulled on me. That experience was terrifying and I’m only glad that I have no permanent scars as a result. We were having a great time, as always, laughing in the car about all the ideas we were brainstorming. But I didn’t really believe she would make me actually follow through with it. I figured it was like a backstory—there to inform the characters’ development but not part of the actual plot. After those times in high school, she should have learned that I wasn’t any good at tricking people.

I have no idea how she ever talked me into trying to fool someone again that I was someone else. I’m a high school English teacher, not an artist like Elizabeth. It must be something in her personality that makes an artist like her capable of acting like a scam artist at the drop of a hat. That ain’t me. I apologize for the poor language, but that just shows you how discombobulated I still am over the whole thing. I think I’ll go play with Luna now to calm my nerves.

In the meantime, I’d recommend you read HOOK, LINE AND SINKER by Marc Jedel. He’s no Jane Austen, but I think he did a great job telling the whole story, even if the parts about me are a little embarrassing and exaggerated. It’s a fun clean read with lots of twists and surprises. Just remembering everything that happened, I think I’ll give Elizabeth a call and see how she’s feeling, especially now that the craziness of last week is over.

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. I do think it’s pretty cool of him to tell stories about my friends, Elizabeth and Jonas. Although I hope they don’t keep encountering danger, dead bodies, and disasters in the future. Sure, it may make for a great story, but this is our 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 yet, but I hear they’re very funny. That doesn’t surprise me any as Californians can be 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.