Alibi in High Heels is out now! (Picture me happy dancing around the room with margarita in one hand and a copy of Alibi in the other.) This is the fourth adventure in the life of Maddie Springer, fashion designer turned crime fighter, and by far the most fun for me to write. In this one, Maddie is invited to show at Paris Fashion Week, but, when a top model is murdered, she suddenly finds herself the prime suspect, sending her on an international adventure across Europe to prove her innocence. And, of course, her usual cast of eclectic friends and family are there to help along the way, including her over-sexed best friend Dana, her fashion challenged mom, the overweight Jewish psychic Mrs. Rosenblatt, everyone’s favorite tabloid reporter, Felix, and her hot-tempered hot-tamale, Detective Ramirez. And, from the few reader’s that have already got their hands on a copy, I’ve heard this one ends with quite a bang. ;)
Here’s a sneak peak at the beginning:
Jean Luc Le Croix, the hottest new European fashion designer, asked me, little ‘ol me, to come show my shoes in his fall runway collection at Paris Fashion Week.
I had died and gone to heaven.
Not surprisingly, I first had a mild heart attack, then did an imitation of the six-year-old-Ritalin-addict.
What was surprising, however, was my boyfriend, Ramirez's, reaction to my news of the century.
“You’re going where?” he asked.
“Paris.” I sighed the word, visions of the Eiffel Tower dancing in my head.
Ramirez rolled over in bed to face me, his dark eyebrows drawn together. “What do you want to go to Paris for?”
“Are you kidding?” I sat up, covering my bare self with a sheet. Even though we’d been dating off and on for over a year now, I still had my modest moments around Ramirez. Probably due to the fact that I never quite knew what was going on behind those hooded eyes of his.
Detective Jack Ramirez was a homicide detective with a very big gun, a very big attitude, and a very big… well, let's just say that certain parts of his anatomy weren't entirely lacking in the size department either. He was tall, with a compact build that was all tight muscles and hard angles. Dark hair, dark brown eyes, and a dark intense look about him that made men wary and women drool. One white scar cut through his left eyebrow and he had a black panther tattooed on his bicep, the sleek, powerful lines of its back rippling along Ramirez's arm as he propped his head up on one hand, waiting for my answer.
“Why wouldn't I want to go to Paris? It's the fashion capital of the world! The home of haute couture, Chanel, Dior. The Eiffel Tower!”
“Where will you be staying?”
“Jean Luc has set up rooms for all of us involved with the show. We’ll be at the Plaza Atheneé. It’s all taken care of.”
“Do you even speak French?”
I waved him off. “I know how to ask where the bathroom is and, 'How much do those shoes cost?' I'll be fine."
"Hmph." Ramirez grunted, then shifted his weight, his half of the bed sheet slipping down his bare torso, exposing a six pack to make Budweiser jealous.
For a moment I completely forgot what we were talking about.
“What?” I snapped my eyes back up to meet his.
“How long will you be gone?”
“Oh. Uh, a couple of weeks. Three at the most. Jean Luc wants me there to help set up, and then of course I’ll be there for the full Fashion Week. Maybe a few days after to help him pack up.”
Ramirez shook his head. “I’m not thrilled about this.”
“Come on, Jack. Why not?” Had he not heard the Paris part?
“Maddie, I don’t like the idea of a woman being in a foreign country all by herself.”
If the statement hadn't been so blatantly chauvinistic, I might have been touched by his concern.
“I won’t be all by myself. There are tons of people involved with the show. Models, producers, designers. Besides, most of the time I’ll be with Jean Luc.”
“Jean Luc.” Ramirez mulled over the name. “I’m not sure that makes me feel any better.”
“Don’t tell me you’re jealous?” I asked coyly, reaching one finger out and tracing a line down Ramirez's granite chest.
He grinned. “Of a guy named Jean Luc? You’re kidding, right?”
I gave him a playful swat. “Well, don’t be. You have no idea what kind of work goes into Fashion Week. I’ll be lucky if I have time to sleep, let alone ogle the male models.”
Ramirez narrowed his eyes at me. “Male models? Now you are trying to make me jealous.”
I swatted him again. “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”
“And, what about me?” He gave my sheet a teasing tug.
“What about you?”
“I’m not sure I’ll be fine. Two weeks is a long time for a guy like me to be alone.”
“I’m sure you’ll manage.”
“I don't know." He traced a finger down my bare arm, leaving a trail of goosebumps. "I’m getting kind of lonely just thinking about it.”
"You're a big baby, you know that?"
His grin widened. "All right. I give in. I'll survive while you go make your shoes and visit the Eiffel Tower."
"Really?" I squeaked. Okay, fine, so I was totally going to go anyway. I mean, come on, it's Paris! But, it was nice to know he wasn't going to fight me on it.
"Really." He paused. "Under one condition."
I arched an eyebrow at him. "One condition?"
Ramirez let his gaze stray down to the thin, white sheet covering my barely B's. He gave it one of those long, X-ray vision stares. "Uh huh." He nodded. Then, broke into his patented Big Bad Wolf smile – all big teeth like he was going to eat me up any second. "Tonight, you're all mine."
A shiver hopped down my spine, ending somewhere south of my belly button. I did a dry gulp. Then nodded.
And dropped the sheet.
I hope you enjoy Alibi in High Heels!
As for me, I’m off to work already on Maddie’s next adventure…
~Trigger Happy Halliday
Friday, February 29, 2008
Posted by Gemma Halliday at 9:28 AM