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Steamed

STEAMED:
A Maid in LA Mystery

by Holly Jacobs

Available Summer 2013 for Kindle

Cleaning is Murder on the Manicure

Quincy Mac went to Hollywood with stars in her eyes.  Twenty years later, she's not a star, but she's built a good life.  She's got friends, three boys she loves and a thriving cleaning business. That's right, she's a co-owner of Mac'Cleaners, LA's premiere maid service.

Her ex and his newest wife take the boys on summer vacation and Quincy's imagining a quiet night with ice cream and a chick flick.  She just has one last cleaning job to finish first.  But there's a problem...a dead body in the bedroom.

Turns out, she's steamed and cleaned a murder scene.  Quincy's a suspect.  She sets out to find the real killer before she ends up in prison for a murder she didn't commit.





Book, Reviews, Excerpt 

Reviews:

Hey, at least it’s not a romance.” Holly’s son. 
 
“Dear God, not another cop character.  Any police procedural inaccuracies are all Holly’s.  They are not the fault of her personal police models.  Of course, the fact that she portrays cops as hunks is totally accurate.” Holly’s husband and two brothers (aka...the cops)
 
*“Holly is a fantastic writing talent…not that I’m biased.” 
~Holly’s favorite daughter*
 
*“Holly Jacobs is an auto-buy for me.  Not that I buy her books…she gives them to me.” 
~Holly’s favorite daughter*
 

*“Holly makes me laugh…so do her books.”  ~Holly’s favorite daughter*

*DISCLAIMER:
Holly has three daughters…she has no favorites.

Holly always had a vivid imagination... but I never thought it would lead her to think up innovative ways to kill people.  She sure knows how to make a mother proud!” ~Holly’s mom

"Quincy can clean my house anytime!" ~Holly's Hollywood friend (Another disclaimer, this friend is a working mom. Even if Quincy was the murderer, if she offered to clean my friend's house, I suspect she'd say yes! What working mom would turn down help?)

"After 35 years of friendship, so much of Holly is still a mystery to me, I'm excited to read how it plays out in a book." ~Holly's childhood** friend (**One more disclaimer, when I say childhood, I must mean conception...otherwise the math on our being friends for 35 years could never work out!)


Book, Reviews, Excerpt

EXCERPT

Steamed: A Maid in LA Mystery
by Holly Jacobs
Copyright 2013

Introducing Quincy Mac...
the least likely gumshoe on the planet!
 

Chapter One

When I moved to LA, I was an eighteen year old with stars in my eyes.  Well, not exactly in my eyes, but rather on my eyes.  My high school best friend bought me sunglasses with lenses shaped like stars for when I Made It. Lottie always said the words in such a way you just knew they were capitalized.
 
Made It.

Yes, I graduated from high school and moved to LA.  I planned to be a famous actress.  Lottie made me promise I’d wear my star-shaped glasses on my first Oscar red carpet walk.  My goal was to take Hollywood by storm.
           
These days, those glasses are in a drawer in my bedroom and I have two much smaller goals.  One is that I want to wear my jeans without a muffin-top.  After three kids, I’d developed a bit of a baby-pooch that wants to creep out above the waistband of my jeans.  I longed for the days when pants had waistbands that were higher.  Back then you could tuck your baby-pooch in.  These days your options are exercise, wear Spanx, or learn to suck it in.
          
I tend to suck it in…when I remember.
           
My second goal is an empty nest.
           
It’s not that I don’t love my boys.  I do.  I have three sons—Hunter, Miles and Eli.  They are eighteen, seventeen and sixteen.  I’ve been a parent practically my entire adult life.  I’m ready for a time when I simply have to worry about me and no one else. 
           
This summer is my trial empty-nest. 
           
The boys left last night to spend four weeks in the Bahamas with their father and his most recent wife, Peri. 
           
Now, my place isn’t exactly a dump, but compared to their dad’s house, my three bedroom bungalow in the out-of-the-way neighborhood of Van George is a cardboard box in some alley.
           
And while thirty-eight isn’t exactly over-the-hill, next to Peri, the twenty-year-old, I am ancient.
           
I miss my boys (and I realize the irony in longing for an empty next, but missing them when they’re on vacation).  I try not to mind when my ex takes the boys on fabulous vacations—and most of the time I don’t—but getting ready for work in a quiet house, I did.
           
My ex, movie producer Jerome Smith, is a nice guy...a nice guy with a taste for younger women.  Specifically women between the ages of twenty and twenty-five.  The exact ages I married, then divorced him.  Or rather, he divorced me.
           
Jerome had two marriages before me, and three marriages since, all within those same parameters.  His current wife’s my favorite.  I really like Peri despite the way her breasts perk and mine just sort of...well, hang loosely if they’re not strapped down.  I think Peri sort of appeals to my maternal instincts.  I don’t have a daughter.
           
Maybe I’ll adopt her when Jerome divorces her.
           
TGIF, I told myself.  I’m thirty-eight, and until the boys come home from their summer visit with their father, I’m footloose and fancy-free.
           
Maybe it isn’t exactly the life I’d dreamed of when I moved to LA, but it’s a good life.
           
Oh, sometimes I still wish that I was starring in some movie of the week instead of heading into Mac’Cleaners.
           
Yes, that’s right—I no longer have stars in or on my eyes.  Rather than achieving stardom, I have three sons and clean houses for a living.  It’s honest work, and it’s flexible enough that when I was younger I could take time off and go on auditions.  Now that I’m part owner and thirty-eight, I don’t go to many auditions. 
           
Okay, so I haven’t been on an audition in five years—I’ve discovered that I’m a size twelve girl in a size two world.
           
I missed the fame and fortune boat.
           
Okay, so I could live without fame or fortune if only I could figure out what I wanted to do with my life sometime before menopause hit.  Owning a business keeps the boys and me afloat financially but lately, I’d had a feeling that it was time for a change.  The kids weren’t such kids anymore. Hunter would start college in the fall.
           
That empty nest is just around the bend.  Soon I’ll be able to live my own life.
           
And I know I want something more.
           
I’d said I wanted to act since I was six.  I never gave any thought to doing something else.  But it’s clear that acting isn’t going to be my ultimate career.
           
So while I wait to figure out what I want to do, I clean houses.  I need to figure out soon because I’ll be turning forty in a couple years.  Forty sounds so very grown up, and grown-ups should have some idea about the direction they want their lives to take.
           
But I wasn’t going to think about direction today.
           
Today, I was going to get my work done and then go do something decadent.
           
I’d like to say I was planning to go to a bar and pick up guys—well at least pick up a guy—but I’ll probably end up going to the store and picking up Ben and Jerry’s, then head home and try and catch up on all the chick-flicks the boys make me miss.
           
Feeling a bit better, I walked into the small brick storefront that was only a mile from my house.  It proudly proclaimed Mac’Cleaners on the plate glass window with a tartan weaving through the letters.  I walked through the small reception room and back to my partner, Tiny’s office.
           
Big mistake.
           
There’s nothing worse than starting the day a single, directionless, mother of three and then walking into middle of the wonderful world of weddings.
           
Tiny’s marrying Salvador Mardones in September.  September 30th to be exact.  And she’s going slightly insane...a bit further over the brink each day.
           
“Tiny?” I called, hoping she was somewhere in the sea of tulle and satin.
           
“I’m here, Quincy,” she said from the back corner.
           
Tiny’s not very...tiny that is.  She’s five eight and looks like a model.  Skin the color of strong tea and dark hair with a tendency to curl.  She’s gorgeous and simply a beautiful soul.  We make an interesting pair, what with me having Irish fair skin, a light sprinkling of freckles that might have been cute when I was in my teens, but aren’t as much when at thirty-eight.  And my hair...well, it was blond when I moved to LA thanks to Lottie and Miss Clairol.  These days, it has gone back to its brownish roots...literally.
           
Tiny smiled as I walked in, and I couldn’t muster up true annoyance that her smile was messing with my grouchy mood because she radiated happiness.  The kind of happiness I knew she deserved.
           
“It’s getting worse, isn’t it?” she asked, gesturing at her office.
           
I surveyed the room.  “Yeah.”
           
“I just can’t help myself.  I want this wedding to be perfect because Sal’s perfect.”
           
Truth is, Sal is perfect.  He’s my five five height, balding and has a paunch that makes my small baby-pooched stomach look like washboard abs.
           
But he’s truly one of the nicest guys in the world.
           
Tiny had a history of dating losers.  But that was over because Sal...well, he’s a winner.
           
“The wedding will be perfect,” I promised. 
           
I’d see to it, even though I’d rather have wisdom teeth pulled than be a part of a wedding this elegant. 
           
Me, if I ever get married again, I’m eloping.  Something fast and simple.  Someone saying the official words, then me and my new husband back at some hotel having sex.  Lots and lots of sex.
           
It had been a while, which might explain why my mind skipped right over finding Mr. Right and a wedding and went right to the sex.
           
“Speaking of help,” Tiny said slowly, “we need some today.  Theresa’s out.”
           
Rats.
           
“It’s my turn, isn’t it?” I asked, though I knew the answer.
           
She nodded.
           
When one of our employees calls in sick, we take turns filling in.
           
Today it was my turn to fill in.
           
I should have just gone back to bed this morning.

Join Quincy in the summer of 2013 as she cleans a murder scene, becomes a suspect and maybe, just maybe, finds romance in this Maid in LA tale of murder, love and laughter!

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

From the book: Steamed:
A Maid in LA Mystery
By: Holly Jacobs
   
Publication Date: Summer 2013
   
Copyright © 2013
By: Holly Jacobs
 

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