About Sherry Harris

Sherry Harris started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series. Tagged for Death, first in the series, will be out in December 2014.

Back to School

By Sherry — I’m just back from spending time with the Wickeds in Massachusetts. We had so much fun doing a panel at the Milton Library with Hallie Ephron moderating.

For our Thankful for Our Readers giveaway I’m giving away a set of all four Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries to one commenter. Leave a comment for a chance to win!

Recently a Facebook friend asked me if I would talk via Skype to three classes of sixth graders in New Port Richey, Florida. They are taking a creative writing class. I said yes and then immediately regretted it because I was afraid I didn’t have anything interesting to say.

I gave myself a talking to (okay, many talking to’s). I told myself it would be fine, that I could handle a bunch of sixth graders. The morning of the event as it got closer to the time of the first class, I remembered the advice of author Linda Barnes at Crime Bake. She said pacing and twirling your arms around would disburse some of the adrenaline flowing through your body. I did that. Then I remembered something Julie said about voice exercises so I shook my jaw back and forth saying something like blub, blub, blub. It wasn’t pretty.

Minutes later, there I was, a big giant head via Skype and a classroom full of kids staring at me hopefully. I didn’t want to let them down. I introduced myself and the kids had a bunch of questions for me. So here are some of the things we talked about.

Who does the covers for your books? I told them that Kensington has an art department and that my editor asked me for input. I was the one who suggested having a tag on the cover. The art department did it beautifully.

How much money do you make? Enough to live comfortably in a cardboard box under an overpass. I explained that most authors either have a day job or a partner who supports them.

How did you get published? I explained that the usual process was to write a book, find an agent, and the agent would sell your book to the publishing company. However, in my case my editor at Kensington had the idea for the series. He went to an agent looking for someone to write the series. The agent went to Barbara Ross and asked her if she knew anyone who could write the series. Barb knew I loved garage sales. She knew I’d been writing and studying the craft for a long time. Barb asked me if I wanted to give it a whirl. I told her I’d think it over but when I woke up the next morning my first thought was: Are you nuts? Of course you have to try. Four days later I turned in a proposal for the series.

How long do you have to write your books? I had nine months for the first three and six months for the next four.

Who was my favorite writer and my favorite book? Oh, that one put me on the spot. But I went with Julia Spencer Fleming and her book In the Bleak Midwinter. I told them that her sleuth was a former helicopter pilot who was now an Episcopalian priest. We talked about how those two things created conflict. And then I paraphrased her first line to avoid swearing: It was a terrible night to throw out a baby. (The actual line is: It was one hell of a night to throw out a baby.) The kids gasped when they heard the line. The teacher planned to use the line as a writing prompt and promised to send me some of their stories.

We also talked about their favorite books and authors.

What advice do you have for us? Don’t give up. I have stacks of rejection letters and it took me a long time to get published. Read the kind of books you want to write. Study writing. I still take classes and read books on writing. When you are older join organizations like Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Do you get writers block? I don’t believe there is such a thing, It’s fear, fear you aren’t good enough, fear this book won’t be as good as the last book, fear you have nothing to say – you do. When I get stuck I do what author John Dufresne recommended – look around – what does your character see, hear, smell? Write it all down to get them moving again – most of this will be thrown out.

We did a writing exercise that turned out to be one of my favorite parts of our time together. Who is your main character? What are three things they love and three things they hate? What is their favorite smell? Where would they go on vacation? Where do they never want to go?  When the kids finished they took turns coming up to share their answers. Then we talked about how they could take all those things to create conflict. One girl’s sleuth wanted to vacation in the Grand Canyon, but was afraid of small spaces. We talked about how her sleuth could go to the Grand Canyon and get lost in a cave. We went on with other students and what they could do with their answers.

As usual with these things, I worried for nothing. And I’m pretty sure I learned more than they did! Let me just add, god bless the teachers. I was exhausted after three classes — I don’t know how they do it!

Readers: Is there something that makes you nervous that turns out okay? Or just say hi if you don’t have a story to share!

Cover Reveal — Guest Dianne Freeman

We are happy to welcome debut author Dianne Freeman to the Wicked Cozy Authors! Our Thankful For Our Readers giveaway is an ARC of I Know What You Bid Last Summer, a vintage postcard, and a Snowden Family Clambake tote bag from Barbara Ross! Dianne thank you for being with us to share your cover!

As a debut novelist, every step in the publishing process is new and exciting. Today I’m excited to share my cover for A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder, and I can’t thank the Wicked Cozy authors enough for hosting my big reveal.

Here it is:

It makes me smile every time I see it. Here’s a synopsis of the story:

Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, enjoys more freedom as a widow than she did as a wife. After an obligatory year spent mourning her philandering husband, Reggie, she puts aside her drab black gowns, leaving the countryside and her money-grubbing in-laws behind. With her young daughter in tow, Frances rents a home in Belgravia and prepares to welcome her sister, Lily, arriving from New York—for her first London season.

No sooner has Frances begun her new life than the ghosts of her old life make an unwelcome appearance. The Metropolitan police receive and anonymous letter implicating Frances in her husband’s death. Frances assures Inspector Delaney of her innocence, but she’s also keen to keep him from learning the scandalous circumstances of Reggie’s demise. As fate would have it, her dashing new neighbor, George Hazelton, is one of only two other people aware of the full story.

While busy with social engagements on Lily’s behalf, and worrying if Reggie really was murdered, Frances learns of mysterious burglaries plaguing London’s elite. The investigation brings death to her doorstep, and Frances rallies her wits, a circle of gossips, and the ever-chivalrous Mr. Hazelton to uncover the truth. A killer is in their midst, perhaps even among her sister’s suitors. And Frances must unmask the villain before Lily’s season—and their lives—come to a most unseemly end.

I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. My mom introduced me to the works of Edith Wharton and Agatha Christie when I was quite young and I read them over and over. Thus, my love of mysteries and the late Victorian era. Wharton’s world was full of elegance, and manners, and rules—lots of rules. Anytime a character stepped a toe out of line and broke a social code, they met with a tragic end. That seemed—harsh. Surely it was possible to bend a rule here and there. Maybe have some fun or solve a mystery?

I back-burnered that idea for 30 or so years until I retired from corporate America and took up writing. After co-authoring the non-fiction book, Haunted Highway, The Spirits of Route 66, I realized my true love was fiction. A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder is the first in the Countess of Harleigh mystery series and is the result of my lifelong desire to write a fun whodunit in Wharton’s world of the late 19th century. And, of course it had to include an independent main character, with a knack for solving crimes. Thanks for sharing my big day!

Readers: Frances enlists the aid of her best friend and her handsome neighbor to help solve a crime. If you were an amateur sleuth, who would you want as your partner (real or fictional)? Here is the prize package:

Dianne Freeman is a life-long book lover who left the world of corporate finance to pursue her passion for writing, and the endless summer. She and her husband split their time between Michigan and Arizona where you can find her indulging in a good read, or hard at work on the next Countess of Harleigh mystery.

Website: https://difreeman.com/ FB: Dianne Freeman Author Twitter: @difreeman001

Welcome Guest Carla Coupe of Black Cat Mystery Magazine

It’s always scary walking into a room full of strangers. But it’s a heck of a lot easier if one of those people is Carla Coupe! That’s exactly what happened to me the first time I attended a meeting of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Carla is funny, generous, and smart. I’m so glad to have her here with the Wickeds today!

As part of our Thankful for Our Readers month Carla is giving away an e-copy of Black Cat Mystery Magazine to one commenter.

So You’ve Always Wanted to Start a Mystery Magazine…

by Carla Coupe

Congratulations! Wonderful news! You’ve decided to start a magazine devoted to short stories with a mystery theme. Excellent!

Now what?

Ummm…

::crickets::

A name. A name would be good. Essential, even. But what name? Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen are already spoken for, and you might have legal problems if you tried to use Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers. So…

An animal! What animals are associated with mysteries? A raven? A dog that doesn’t bark in the night time? What about your company’s mascot: a black cat? Black Cat Mystery Magazine. Not bad. Plus it harkens back to a string of “Black Cat” magazines that started in the 1910s and were resurrected in the ’50s and again in the early ’80s.

Now the theme of ‘mysteries’ covers a lot of ground. What type should you focus on? Cozies? Noir? Police procedurals? Suspense? A little of everything? (Hint: choose a theme that you can cheerfully—or at least without rapidly descending into madness—read several hundred variations of over the course of your submission period.) And what don’t you want to read? Horror? Magic? Romance? Mindless action? Make sure you have these choices clearly in mind when you get around to writing your submission requirements. (True, some authors won’t follow the guidelines, but at least you can reject their stories outright and quickly clear them from your inbox.)

Then you need to decide what will set your magazine apart from all the others out there. Sure, you can blend into the crowd, but why? Established magazines have name recognition—somehow you need to grab attention for your new venture. Will you offer more stories for a lower cost? A higher per-word rate for authors? Only offer e-book versions? Faster turn-around for submissions? Maintaining a viable business is a balancing act, so choose something you can live with for at least a year or two.

Which leads to another important point: who will decide which stories to include? Will you, alone, read everything and make the decision? Or would two or three readers work better, spreading the load and allowing consultation and double-checking? You’ll need to put in place a process for checking in stories, distributing them to the readers, writing evaluation notes, making the accept/reject/rewrite-and-resubmit decisions, notifying the authors of your decision. And if their story has been accepted, you’ll need to send them a contract (N.B.: you’ll need to consult a lawyer!) and payment.

Oh, and you also have to decide on boring stuff, like format, size, page count, author payment rate, cover art, publication schedule, submission guidelines and schedule, printer, distributor, retail price, as well as creating the contract for stories you accept. But whatever.

So, name: check. Magazine theme: check. Stand-out item: check. Boring stuff: check. Now…

Money. You need enough to pay authors for the first 3 or 4 issues. By then, you (hopefully) will have enough single sales and subscriptions to repay your outlay and provide some profit. (Employees and bank balances will dance with joy.) You check your bank balance, flinch, and discuss loans/credit/lifetime servitude with your Helpful Bank Liaison. Once that is settled (or at least grimly tolerated), you can move on to the most interesting element:

The stories!

When your submission period opens, you’ll discover: It was the best of stories; it was the worst of stories.

And there will be a flood of stories. A deluge. Lots and lots and lots of submissions. Be prepared for brilliant, exceptional tales that you devour in huge gulps, sated and satisfied at the end, as well as painfully amateur efforts full of misspellings and bad grammar, that manage to include (and misuse) every trope and cliché the genre possesses, and everything in between.

Keep an open mind. You’ll discover professional cover letters with hackneyed stories; rambling cover letters with wonderful stories; and authors who obviously didn’t read, or chose to ignore, your carefully crafted submission guidelines, asking questions already answered in the guidelines and submitting stories that have nothing to do with your magazine’s theme. (You’ll start to recognize repeat offenders and reject their submissions unread. Hey, your time is valuable, too.)

You’ll love some stories and despise others, which is why it’s useful to have more than one reader. Maybe your knee-jerk reaction to one part prevents you from seeing a wonderful tale, or your love of a particular writer/plot/story element blinds you to the utter tedium experienced by other readers. But in less time than you expected, you have chosen enough great stories to fill several issues—and you’re only three weeks into your three-month submission period!

Yikes.

So now you need to contact all the people whose submissions you haven’t read and let them know that you’re closing the submission period early. Most will accept this graciously. A few will reply with snide comments. (Authors might want to refrain from this activity. It is not the way to endear oneself to one’s prospective employer, i.e., it’s a career-limiting move.)

All you have to do at this point is edit the stories, typeset them, share proofs with the authors, make corrections, arrange for cover and interior art, submit everything to the printer, update your website, and wait for the sales and money to roll in.

Now wasn’t that easy?

Readers: Do you have a favorite short story?

Carla Coupe has worked for Wildside Press in a variety of capacities, including editor of the recently launched Black Cat Mystery Magazine. (You can order a copy or subscribe to the magazine at http://www.wildsidepress.com.) Her own short stories have appeared in several of the Chesapeake Crimes series, and most recently in Malice Domestic’s Mystery Most Historical. Two of her short stories were nominated for Agatha Awards. She has written many Sherlock Holmes pastiches, which have appeared in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Sherlock’s Home: The Empty House, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part VI, and Irene’s Cabinet. Her story “The Book of Tobit” was included in The Best American Mystery Stories of 2012.

A Wicked Welcome to Guest Mary Ellen Hughes

Thankful for Our Readers Giveaway: Mary Ellen is giving away an ebook of The Pickled Piper, the first book in her Pickled and Preserved series, and an ebook of Wreath of Deception, the first of her Craft Corner series!

Welcome Mary Ellen Hughes! Her brand new Keepsake Cove mystery series debuts on November 8th from Midnight Ink. The first book in the series is A Fatal Collection!

Have you noticed that quite a few cozy mysteries center around a shop? I have, and in fact I’ve written several myself! Why shops? Well, there’s a reason.

Many cozies revolve around a particular theme. It might be food, gardening, crafts, or clothing that the main character earns a living from. But she/he can’t just be sitting in their workshop or kitchen all by themselves. Much as they’d like to do their weaving, cooking, or crafty projects in a solitary manner, we want them to also investigate murders. To do that, they need to be out and about, talking to lots of people. Investigating! How to do both? Set up a shop.

Shops have the advantage of bringing people to our protagonists. And there’s no limit to the types of people who might walk in. Customers who’ve stopped in to buy a piece of beaded jewelry can drop a few clues in the process, or a killer, who thinks he’s there only to purchase a book might give himself away with a careless remark.

In my Craft Corner mystery series, Jo McAllister offered various craft classes. This brought together a small group of women who began discussing the latest murder and sharing information as they worked at creating their wreaths or scrapbooks.

Piper Lamb made and sold pickles in my Pickled and Preserved series, and her customers quickly became co-investigators as they also bought home-made Gherkins, watermelon pickles, and brandied cherries.

My new series – the Keepsake Cove mysteries—takes advantage of similar opportunities. In A Fatal Collection, Callie Reed has inherited a music box shop that is set among dozens of other shops that sell collectible items: things like unique salt and pepper shakers, collectible glass figurines, and vintage sewing or cooking items. The other shop owners knew Callie’s Aunt Melodie well and help Callie get to the truth of her aunt’s unexpected death.

The same goes for her customers. Collectors tend to patronize their favorite shops often, and Callie’s Aunt Mel had many loyal customers who were shocked at her death. So Callie isn’t alone in refusing to accept the official ruling of accidental death. Gathering information, therefore, on an aunt who she hadn’t seen in years becomes much more possible.

Of course, Callie has to step out of the shop once in a while. Readers want to see and get to know the town she now lives in—and so does she! With an assistant to take charge of the place, Callie can do that, especially when most places are within walking distance. And of course, there’s her off-hours, when the shop is closed and she’s free to venture farther.

So you see, setting a cozy mystery in a shop, or sometimes a restaurant or gardening center has many advantages. I, in fact, have always felt comfortable writing about a shop setting since I’ve worked in a couple myself. In my teen years, I clerked at my dad’s small, independent drug store, and I once did a stint in a book store. I’ve met plenty of interesting people while dishing up a hot fudge sundae or ringing up a sale and have no doubt that some of them have appeared in my fictional shops.

Though I’m not aware that I ever waited on a murderer (scary thought!), I did pick up a several useful ideas that worked their way into my plots, or my subplots. Cozy mystery murders, you know, never involve serial killers or hit men. They center around the kind of people you could run into every day and who might be hiding secrets that lead to terrible actions.

The next time you step into a shop, you might think about that. Is that man, who’s looking so thoughtful as he waits in line to pay for his newspaper, planning something that you might read about in the paper’s crime section next week? Or is the woman handling the cash register going to make someone—who looks just like you—a victim in her future book? She might if you’re not very nice to her. Criminals and mystery authors aren’t always easy to spot. So… be careful.

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries, the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is the first in her new Keepsake Cove mystery series..

A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories, raised two children, and a few cats and vegetables. She credits her husband with being her greatest inspiration as well as top supporter. You can visit her at http://www.maryellenhughes.com

Readers: Do you have a favorite shop or restaurant where people gather?

A Wicked Welcome to Guest Clea Simon

I’m wicked excited to welcome Clea Simon to Wicked Cozy Authors. She is an amazing author and I was intrigued when I heard she was trying a new genre with a new book World Enough. I asked Clea if she’d be willing to talk about the change with us so here she is!

You should write romantic suspense.

That was how it started. A possibly offhand comment by my publisher over drinks at Crimefest that sent me off into a tizzy. After 22 mysteries ranging from cozy to paranormal, I was being directed to change things up. I’d written harder books, for sure (my Blackie and Care mysteries are positively dystopian), but all my mysteries had an essential sweetness to them. And cats – lots of cats – all based more or less on either my late, great Cyrus or my constant companion and muse, Musetta. Romantic suspense? I didn’t know where to start.

“Do you have any ideas?” My agent echoed the question my editor had voiced, when I’d next touched base. “Something you’ve always wanted to work on, perhaps?”

Well, yeah, I told them both. I did have a manuscript in the drawer – what writer didn’t – but I wasn’t sure if …

“Why not try it?” I don’t remember if my agent said that, or my husband, or some voice in the back of my head. All I know is I dug out that file – 100 pages I had worked and re-worked so many times I couldn’t remember – and I thought, “yeah, I could do this.” I read the opening scene, and I thought, “I want to do this.” A few pages later, and it hit me: “I’m ready to do this.” The book I had wanted to write for more than ten years was something I now could write. At some point, I broke it to my agent that the project I was diving into wasn’t anything at all like romantic suspense. By that point, I was already committed.

Those pages became the basis for my new World Enough, a rock and roll mystery that’s as close to a true noir as I’m ever likely to write. The setup is simple: A woman walks into a bar. It’s a bar filled with old friends, for sure, but also with history. The band that’s playing that night is one she’s followed for more than twenty years, as has the rest of the sparse crowd gathered there. The woman – Tara Winton – is a corporate PR drone, but back when the band was in its heyday, she’d been a rock critic, part of the garage-punk club scene. Back then, anything had seemed possible. Drugs and other dangers had taken their toll on the scene, but Tara is glad to be out. Glad to be among her surviving crew. Until, that is, she finds out that another of the old gang has died. Before long, she’s covering the scene again – asking questions that calls not only the present but her idyllic memories of the club days into doubt.

Yes, I was a rock critic, back in the day. I covered bands like the Aught Nines and the Whirled Shakers. But no, as I have now told several early readers from those days, I am not writing a thinly veiled exposé about any real bands. It’s funny, but none of them ask if I’m writing about myself. If Tara, with her illusions and faulty memory, is me. That would be a harder one to answer, and it would touch on why it took me so long to be able to write this book. Why it took me so long to get the club world right.

How did it feel it leave cozies behind for sex and drugs and rock and roll? In this case, liberating. In this new voice, I could depict the world I remember, without inhibitions. I could work through more complex, conflicting emotions than I’d felt capable of tackling before. Bigger issues – and, yes, I already have ideas for the next book. A rocker, getting on in years, who must re-visit the trauma that both made her and kept her stuck in place as the world moved on.

It also made me appreciate my cozies more. World Enough is rough, at least emotionally, and I missed the warmth and whimsy of magical cats and benevolent spirits. I confess, I found myself longing for a career like Catriona McPherson’s, alternating cozies with harder-edged books. Maybe that’s why I dove into another Pru Marlowe while waiting for World Enough to come out. And why I’m absolutely thrilled that Polis Books has now picked up my “Witch Cats of Cambridge” series (look for the first book, A Spell of Murder, probably in early 2019).  I got the news of the Polis offer during a particularly rough couple of weeks, which saw the decline and death of Musetta, so the idea of withdrawing into a magical world of friendly felines has been just the comfort I need. I like to think that this new series will offer readers that same kind of haven – playful and homely and sweet.

The first book is due in January, by which point I will have been talking about World Enough for several months, even pairing up with some of the rockers from those days here in Boston. Will I want to go dark again, after spending time with the warm and fuzzy? Maybe. We’ll see where the muse takes me – or the  spirit of Musetta, perhaps, inspiring my next move.

After three nonfiction books and 22 cozy/amateur sleuth mysteries, Clea Simon returns to her rock & roll past this fall with World Enough (Severn House), an edgy urban noir. She is also the author of four mystery series with cats in them, the most recent being the black cat-narrated As Dark As My Fur (Severn House) and the “pet noir,” When Bunnies Go Bad (Poisoned Pen Press). A recovering journalist, Clea lives in Massachusetts. She can be reached at www.cleasimon.com

Readers: Do you have a past career that would make a good protagonist for a book? Or is there a career you’d liked to see highlighted in a book?

The Skeleton Gives a Test

News: Robeader is the randomly selected winner of Marni Graff’s book! Please contact Marni at bluevirgin.graff@gmail.com.

I am happy to welcome back Leigh Perry aka Toni L.P. Kelner. She is giving away a copy of The Skeleton Paints a Picture to one of our commenters! See details below!

By Leigh Perry

It’s been many moons since I attended school, but with the October 10 release of The Skeleton Paints a Picture, I’ve been living in the head of a fictional academic for a number of years. It’s the fourth in my Family Skeleton series featuring adjunct English professor Georgia Thackery and her best friend, an ambulatory skeleton named Sid. Sid walks, he talks, and he tells bone jokes.

This latest adventure is set at an art school, which is a different kind of setting for Georgia and Sid, but it’s still academia, and I guess it’s finally rubbed in. I’m in the mood to toss a pop quiz in your direction. And naturally, I have bones on the brain!

So take a crack—not a bone crack, mind you—at these. Post your answers down below, and on Oct. 24, I’ll figure out who has the most answers write and send that person a signed copy or The Skeleton Paints a Picture. (Or an electronic edition or Audible download, if you prefer.) In case of a tie, I’ll draw a name from the contenders!

  1. Which character on the original series Star Trek went by the nickname, “Bones?”
  2. From what were dice originally made?
  3. The TV show Bones was based on the life and works of what forensic anthropologist and author?
  4. The Skull and Bones is a secret society at what Ivy League school?
  5. What is the longest bone in the human body?
  6. What are the three bones in the human ear?
  7. What is produced by the marrow in bones?
  8. Does the average woman have one more rib bone then a man?
  9. Who wrote and illustrated the epic comic book Bone?
  10. The appearance of sea dog Billy Bones begins what classic book?
  11. Are human bones considered an organ?
  12. An adult human has approximately how many bones in their bodies?  206; 228; or 270?
  13. What bone makes the kneecap?
  14. The tomb of what literary giant is inscribed, “Cursed be he that moves my bones?”
  15. What royal bones were found under a parking lot in England?
  16. What is the bone at the very bottom of the spine?
  17. What adversary did the British derisively refer to as “Old Boney?”
  18. Which Shakespearean character’s speech included the line, “The evil men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones?”
  19. Do giraffes have fewer, the same number, or more vertebrae in their neck than humans?
  20. Put on display for much of his early life, and then living in London Hospital, Joseph Merrick suffered from a variety of skin and bone abnormalities and is known to popular culture by what name?

Note: These questions were provided by the incredibly erudite pair of trivia mavens Merely Players, who provide trivia quizzes and character appearances at venues throughout the Charlotte, NC area. They are available for birthday parties, corporate events, and educational presentations. (And are some of the smartest people you will ever meet.) You can find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/wearemerelyplayers/

Leigh Perry writes the Family Skeleton mysteries featuring adjunct English professor Georgia Thackery and her best friend, an ambulatory skeleton named Sid. The Skeleton Paints a Picture is the fourth, and most recent. As Toni L.P. Kelner, she’s the co-editor of paranormal fiction anthologies with Charlaine Harris; the author of eleven mystery novels; and an Agatha Award winner and multiple award nominee for short fiction. No matter what you call her, she lives north of Boston with her husband, two daughters, one guinea pig, and an every-increasing number of books.

Opening Lines

Write an opening line for the picture below:

Edith: “Good Lord, this baby’s heavy. Whadda they got in it, a body?”

Barb: “I told these guys a thousand times, you rob the safe while it’s IN the bank.”

Sherry: (I’m still laughing at Barb’s line.) They said it was a safe job. I didn’t know they meant it literally.

Jessie: I thought the guy that hired me said it was a safe heist. It turns out he said a safe hoist.

Liz: We tried to be as casual as possible and look like we were supposed to be jacking the safe. I mean, would four guys in their right minds think they could get away with this in broad daylight otherwise?

Julie: When he said he wanted something to protect the family jewels, she took him literally.

Readers: Add yours!