Baby Girl Doe: Chalice #5
Plans have been made and the bags are packed but Detective Stephanie Chalice is having about as much fun as Michael Vick at an ASPCA fundraiser.
The new story finds Chalice and Lido on the East End of Long Island, vacationing with Max, their new arrival. Things go wrong from the very start. Their vacation rental burns to the ground, bodies pile up, and just to make things interesting Lido . . . Well, I’ll just leave it to you to find out.
Chalice may be out of her jurisdiction but she’s never out of questions or determination and soon connects two unsolved homicides. As always, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and her initial findings plunge her deeper and deeper into the most extraordinary investigation of her career.
“There’s nothing wrong with the Menuccis, but you know how Dina earns a living, don’t you?”
“She works evenings selling restaurant supplies. Are you crazy or something?”
“Ma, listen to yourself. Who sells restaurant supplies at night? She’s a call girl. My God, how gullible can a person be?”
“Madonna mia, sweet little Dina? Are you sure? She said Vesuvius is her biggest customer.”
“Vesuvius, the Italian restaurant on 49th Street?”
“Yeah, I’m sure there’s an eruption there every time she walks through the door.”
“How can that be? You know Mickey V, the owner; he’s a family man.”
“First of all he’s not Italian, even though he professes to be. He’s Greek. That’s why he never uses his full last name.”
“Yes for real. His last name is Vloganitis, or Vaginitis, or something you’d need antibiotics to clear up, and he’s the biggest sleazeball on two feet. Believe me when Dina visits him in the restaurant, his soufflé isn’t the only thing that rises.”
“So Mickey is Greek?”
I nodded with conviction. “Mickey is short for Mikolas. He got into a jam over unpaid traffic tickets several months back and asked me to help him out. That’s why I know his real name.”
“Were you able to help him?”
“I made a call over to my friend Tay at the DA’s office. She pulled some strings. They let him pay the fines, and he was able to avoid criminal charges.”
“And he’s Greek.”
“Like baklava, Mama.”
“Oh my? Does that mean . . .”
“That’s right, Ma, Dina’s probably multi-portal.”
She cringed. “Stephanie, that’s disgusting.”
“You brought it up. Do you prefer I use the term backdoor specialist?”
“Madonna, too much information.” Ma pretended to retch.
“Ma, you’re such a prude. You’ve never heard of ass play?”
“Isn’t that the group that sings about clocks?”
“Oh my God.” What am I going to do with this woman? “No, Ma, that’s Coldplay.”
“Stephanie, I’m confused.”
Evidently. “Ma, ass play . . . anal sex. Stop being such a Girl Scout.”
She shrugged. “You mean like for a gay man.”
“It’s not just for gay men, Ma. Straight couples do it too.”
“But why?” Ma was completely out of her comfort zone. Fine droplets of sweat broke out across her lip.
How can I put this delicately? “Sometimes a man prefers to squeeze his car into the garage instead of just leaving it to hang out in the nice wide driveway.”
“You’re losing me. What does this have to do with cars?”
Sometimes there’s just no beating around the bush. Yikes. I can’t believe I just said that. “Because, Ma, after a woman shoots two or three linebackers out of her vagina, it isn’t exactly a snug fit anymore.”
Ma smiled with revelation. “Ah. So you’re talking about a man’s pleasure.”
“What about the woman?”
I flashed my palm like a stop sign. “I’m not going there, Ma.” I wasn’t saying I don’t go there, but I wasn’t going there with my mother.
“I still don’t believe it. Dina told me flat out that she sells macaroni.”
I giggled. “A hooker whose cover story is that she sells macaroni? Does that make her a pasta-tute?”
It is my pleasure to feature Lawrence Kelter, author of Baby Girl Doe, on Room With Books.
Hi Patricia and thanks for taking the time for this interview. P.S. I go by Larry. Whenever someone calls me Lawrence I know that I’m in deep stuff.
Please tell me about Baby Girl Doe and what inspired you to write it.
A little bit about the book. Baby Girl Doe is the fifth book in the international best-selling Stephanie Chalice Mystery Series. In this installment Chalice tackles murder, arson, abduction, and government secrets held as closely to the vest as those related to the existence of UFOs at Area 51 in Roswell, New Mexico.
The new story finds Chalice and her eye candy husband, Lido on the East End of Long Island, vacationing with Max, their new arrival. Things go wrong from the very start. Their vacation rental burns to the ground, bodies pile up, and just to make things interesting, Lido . . . All I’ll say is that you’ll never believe it.
Chalice may be out of her jurisdiction but she’s never out of questions or determination and soon connects two unsolved homicides. As always, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and her initial findings plunge her deeper and deeper into the most extraordinary investigation of her career.
What inspired me to write it? I have several answers to that question but the top two are: That I enjoy it, and that in some odd way I feel as if I’m creating a legacy and memorializing myself with my books. I hope that my books will live on long after I’m gone.
When you start a new novel do you outline the story or do the characters dictate what will happen?
My writing process is a little weird. I’m not saying that I have a patent on the process but my mind is a little warped and so it happens like this: Once I have an initial premise I begin researching extensively, looking for real-life situations that in part share some similarity with the proposed storyline. If I find enough “meat” I quickly dash of fifty pages and decide if I like them enough to keep on going. After that, yes, I outline because I don’t want the story to meander.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who wins?
I’d be nuts to have a confrontation with Chalice—she’s much tougher than I am and besides, she carries a loaded Glock.
What is something our readers would be surprised to know?
In high school I was voted The Individual Least Likely to Visit a Library. If you don’t believe me I’ll scan my high my yearbook and post it on Facebook for the entire world to see. Just a painful heads-up—my yearbook picture is absolutely dreadful.
If you could write with any other author who would it be and why?
Janet Evanovich, because we share the same crazy sense of humor. My Stephanie (Chalice that is) like Plum has a nonstop sense of humor. I think a partnership of the two would make for some hilarious albeit suspenseful tales. Besides, with her name in bold print we’d sell a gazillion copies and who wouldn’t want that?
When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why?
Pretty standard stuff; I first wanted to be a major league baseball player but I was too clumsy. After that I wanted to be the next rock star. I wanted to play guitar like Eric Clapton, but … it sounded more like a cat scratching on a Stratocaster. I wanted to be a film star but can’t act, yada, yada, yada.
When you decided to write what prompted you to start?
I always wanted to write but could never find the time or inspiration. I finally completed a manuscript but then lacked the confidence to do anything with it. It was at that point that a miracle took place. I sent a letter to Nelson DeMille who was far and away my favorite novelist. He read the manuscript and actually picked up a pencil and edited portions of it. Way before he said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum,” he said, “Kid your work needs editing, but that’s a hell of a lot better than not having writing talent. Keep it up.” I’ll always be indebted to that man.
What music inspires you to write?
My musical brain is so firmly entrenched in 60’s and 70’s rock it’s pathetic. I listen to “Sunshine of Your Love”, “Stairway to Heaven,” The Beatles, The Who, Tom Petty … The same stuff over and over again. I guess I’m a dinosaur but well … You pretty much get the picture.
Favorite Breakfast: Carbs galore: chocolate chip pancakes, strawberry-stuffed French toast, bagels and cream cheese. Damn, I just got hungry.
Favorite Color: Blue. I have a closet filled with blue shirts, in a multitude of patterns and solids. When we’re on our way out to dinner my wife often asks, “What are you wearing? Oh that’s right … blue.”
Favorite Movie: My Cousin Vinny. Arguably the funniest movie ever made. I’ve seen it so many times I can recite almost all the lines by heart. Am I sure? Yeah. I’m positive!
Dream Car: I’ve always lusted for an Aston Martin. This goes way back to my youth and my love of James Bond movies. Aston Martin had me at Goldfinger, when that tricked out DB5 stole the show. I don’t think there’s another machine on the planet that’s as gorgeous and classy.
Larry it has truly been my pleasure to share you with our readers today! I hope everyone who reads this interview gets a better sense of who you are and it intrigues them, as it has me, to want to run out and buy all your novels!
Thank you, Larry. You are welcome to my Room With Books anytime!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Early in his writing career, he received support from best-selling novelist, Nelson DeMille, who reviewed his work and actually put pencil to paper to assist in the editing of the first novel. When completed, DeMille said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum.”
His novels are quickly paced and feature a twist ending.
Lawrence (that’s Larry unless he’s in trouble) will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour and 5 runners up with receive an autographed print copy of the book (US and Canada only).
I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking on the tour banner below.