Introducing My Literary Twin
While imagining the protagonist of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, I realized she could be my literary twin. In fact, I like to tell people that Gilda is 70 percent of me. As to how I came up with that particular number, let’s just say my well-honed left brain did all the work while vivid images and plot twists floated through my right brain.
Here are some similarities:
1. Born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, Gilda and I lived in the Italian section of town.
2. We love to read and could spend hours curled up with our favorite books. We have a special fondness for cozy mysteries.
3. In school, we were high-achieving, happy nerds who majored in mathematics and then decided to pursue teaching careers.
4. In spite of our mathematical knowledge of probability, we buy lottery tickets. Gilda hit the jackpot and won $19 million in Lotto 649. As for me, I’m still buying tickets and hoping! BTW...the probability of winning Lotto 649 is 1 in 13,983,816.
5. We spent the early years of our teaching careers in Sudbury and later relocated to Guelph in Southern Ontario.
6. We practice Hatha Yoga and enjoy attending holistic fairs.
7. We completed the Career Development Practitioner program at Conestoga College. I had hoped to pursue a second career as a career counselor but personal and health circumstances intervened. Instead, I am living vicariously through Gilda who has set up her own ReCareering office in Sudbury.
8. We love our zebra colors. Black pantsuits are staples in our wardrobes.
9. We are non-foodies. That’s right, we don’t like to cook or bake. But we have an appreciation for all foodies who possess that special gift.
1 We have a special fondness for Greek food. But only Gilda has the financial resources to launch Xenia, the Greek restaurant featured in Too Many Women in the Room.
When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture— Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.
Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?
“I’m a nobody here,” David said, glancing down at his plate. “And with my credit rating, none of the banks would endorse a loan. I’m screwed.”
“What if I backed you?” I couldn’t believe I was speaking so casually, all the while my heart beat at an alarming rate.
David rubbed a hand over his chin and flashed a grin at me. “Gilda, darling, you’re sweet to offer, but I don’t think you know what’s involved here.”
Susan nodded in agreement.
Were they playing me, I wondered. Since winning nineteen million dollars in Lotto649, I had encountered many sharks who hoped to prey on my easy-going nature. A quick Google search would have revealed my three-year-old lottery win. Old news, but still there on the second and third pages.
“Would one hundred thousand dollars be enough?” I asked. “In case you don’t know, I won a major lottery several years ago.” Since winning, I had received many proposals from across the province and had backed three local ventures. In each case, I had chosen to remain a silent partner.
David’s right hand trembled as he poured himself another glass of wine. Susan’s mouth dropped open, and she gave a little gasp.
“I take it that’s a yes,” I said.
More mild protests followed, and another bottle of wine disappeared. We were all a bit tipsy when we shook on the agreement. And so Xenia was born.
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In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement from a 31-year teaching career and decided to launch a second act that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
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