Our next Crime Cafe guest blogger is C.L. Shore, who’s written a most intriguing mystery about the dangers lurking on the Internet. A highly relevant topic of our times. Not only that, but the book has an unusual narrative structure.
I think you’ll see what I mean when you read the guest post! And be sure to enter the giveaway contest to win a copy of TITANIA’S SUITOR. Click here for the entry form.
So, without further ado, here’s C.L. Shore!
The Internet. The World Wide Web. Most of us spend part of every day on it. We chat with old friends and make new ones. We conduct business, sometimes of a very confidential nature. We make purchases and complete coursework. We look up our medical records. If we have a keyboard, a screen, and an Internet connection – we have the (virtual) world at our fingertips.
Charlotte Stone is no different. She’s a nurse, a graduate student, and as the story opens – a newly single mom. She uses her email account to exchange daily accounts of her life with her friend Veronica, and also to maintain some form of communication with her ex, Pete. Her goal is to finish her graduate degree as soon as she can, and move on with her life.
As wonderful as the Web is, though, it can be exploited. We’ve all heard about identity theft and all kinds of hacking. When Charlotte starts receiving email with misogynist overtones, she knows someone is targeting her. But who is sending the messages, and why?
Here’s an excerpt from the opening of Titania’s Suitor:
Titania’s Suitor, Part One
To: Hansen, V
Date: Wednesday, November 26
From: Stone, Charlotte P
Subject: It’s finally here
Well, the deed is finally done. Pete moved out last night. And even though we both knew it was coming, it was very, very hard. Lauren cried and cried, before and after Pete left. I thought I would cry, too; but I couldn’t. I guess I’ve cried all the tears I’ve got. It will take a while for them to replenish themselves.
To top it all off, Lauren will go with Pete to his parents’ over Thanksgiving weekend. He’ll pick her up early tomorrow morning. It makes sense, since I’ll have her for every week during the school year and every other weekend. We’re determined to keep things amicable, for Lauren’s sake and for ours. It’s crazy, but we both feel like we still love each other. But this break-up seemed inevitable since I started back to school almost two years ago. We seemed to be arguing constantly once that change took place. Things kept going downhill. But somehow, I don’t think dropping out of grad school is right. For one thing, I have the government scholarship. If I quit now, I’d have to pay it back. Besides that, when I took that scholarship, I gave my word that I would try my best to complete this program and learn how to do research. I signed a contract of sorts. And I want to finish. Maybe I’ll put myself on the fast track and try to finish as quickly as possible.
Anyhow, fortunately (?) I do have an invitation to an “adults only” Thanksgiving with some of the other research assistants. They are almost all younger than me by at least seven years. But we know each other well, and there won’t be any kids around to make me miss Lauren. I’ll bring a salad, try to enjoy the company and/or watch football. Beats being alone on the holiday. I don’t have the money to fly home to Chicago, and I don’t want to drive by myself… too much time alone to think.
So here I am working on this set of data, trying to scan it for errors. I’m not in the best frame of mind to do that. I even did this intelligence test that popped up after checking my email. It turned out to be longer than I thought. After investing so much time in it, I wanted to know my score. I had to give my email address in order to get the results. And all it told me is that I did “very well.” I thought I at least deserved to know the items I got right!
Oh well, back to work. The office is almost deserted. Today is a holiday for students, but not staff. Still, very few people are here. You know how it is, everyone wants a jump-start on the holiday.
You are so lucky, you’ll have both of your kids and their kids around you on Thanksgiving! Be grateful!! By the way, thanks for the book on anger in relationships. It has been helpful already.
Have a good Turkey Day – Charlotte
To: Stone, Charlotte P
Date: Wednesday, November 26
From: Hansen, V
Subject: Re: It’s finally here
I am so proud of you. I’m not taking sides with the breakup – not at all. But I’m proud of you for getting through this event and keeping your head together. I know it is difficult, since I’ve been through it twice, with the same person. But, I didn’t love the guy at the times of the breakups and you do. It has got to be an awful experience.
I’m glad you have somewhere to go for the holiday. I would invite you over, but I will be at Allen’s with his kids. Allen is going to try this new turkey stuffing that he found in an Italian cookbook. He is quite the chef. I guess single fatherhood can force that role on you! Helen is playing the martyred ex-wife right now, but I’m sure she’ll snap out of it when she has the kids on Christmas. She is such a whiner!
Yes, the anger book really helped me out, too. I also started journaling when Stan and I broke up. I also saw a counsellor, who really helped me get my life in perspective. You may want to consider it at some point.
You are being true to yourself in this situation. You will not regret it, even though it’s hard for you now. Trust me on this one! I’ll be home late Thursday night, and I only have to work a half-day on Friday (in the morning). So call me if you need me.
C.L. Shore began reading mysteries in the second grade. In the last few years, she has authored two published novels, Seeker of Truth, and Titania’s Suitor. Maiden Murders is her third, recently completed novel. She has also published three short stories.
C. L. Shore is the current president of the Speed City chapter of Sisters in Crime and a member of Mystery Writers of America. She’s also a nurse practitioner and researcher, and has published numerous articles on family coping with epilepsy as Cheryl P. Shore. She lives in Indianapolis with her family and an ornery tabby. Her website is clshoreonline.com. You can also find her on Facebook.
And here’s the book trailer!
Be sure to come back next Wednesday for my Crime Cafe interview with the author!