In Here Comes Trouble, Stella and Quinn must overcome their pasts—and the meddling attentions of TROUBLE—to find true love.
Kathy gives an overview of the book:
"So, the Ayes have it. Stella Goody and Quinlan Gregory will be married by Mother's Day." Cait Boswell's tone brooked no argument on the subject. "We'll start with making sure Quin is Stella's escort to their ten-year Littlemouth High School class reunion."
"Oh, no!" Debby Gregory's bracelets ceased their incessant clanking. She grimaced then took a gulp of her high protein smoothie, rumored to be fortified with something stronger. Her bracelets returned to their normal clatter. "I really don't think my son…."
"That's right, Debby. Don't think," said Cait with all the determination of a woman who'd found her mission in life. As the unofficial Ring Leader and Sergeant at Arms of Trouble, she felt it was her sworn duty to keep them all in line. She steadily met the gaze of each of the five women cluttering her tidy living room. "Quin is the perfect answer."
The five ladies met weekly, ostensibly a reader's group, but more exactly as a cover for their true raison d'être: gossip. They referred to themselves as Trouble, composed from the initials of their group, The Readers Organization Uniting Book-loving Littlemouth Elites. Everyone in town agreed that the epithet, Trouble, suited them ideally.
None of the five women, Cait, Debby, Prissy, Irma or Janice, was younger than fifty-five and they felt they'd earned the right to cause as much trouble as they considered amusing. If given a choice, most people would steer clear of them. But, between them, they headed up almost every volunteer league or civic position in the city.
There was no avoiding the interfering Troublemakers.
"The reunion is a great idea," said Janice Smith, who resembled Mae West in not only looks but in outlook. She was always on the prowl.
"Isn't it romantic?" asked Miss Tipplemouse, clutching her bosom. Irma Tipplemouse, the only unmarried member of their group and their token spinster, had been somewhat scandalized, and then quietly delighted, when the denizens of their fair town began referring to them as the Troublemakers. "Imagine! Fate brought Quin home so he could be reunited with his one true love."
Cait snarfed out loud. "That's an interesting fantasy, Irma, but really. They were best friends in grade school, not exactly lovers."
"Well, I think it's romantic." Irma Tipplemouse turned to Prissy Goody. "Don't you think it's romantic?"
"I don't think they even like each other," replied Prissy with a furrowed brow. "My daughter said she hated his guts."
"You know what they say about the fine line between love and hate." Debby tossed her head, upset by the idea someone didn't adore her son. The fact Quin had been considered the town's bad boy had never changed her high opinion of him.
Now, however, things had changed.
Quin Gregory had returned to town as the bad boy made good. As an investigative reporter, he wrote for one of the largest, if not the largest, weekly news magazines in the country. He was very good at his job. Perhaps too good, considering how long it had been since he'd been home.
"Stella was six-years-old when she said that," intoned Cait. "Quin is the perfect man for her. The problem, as I see it, is whether she's interesting enough to get his attention."
Prissy gasped. "My daughter is a responsible young woman. Her job teaching biology at the high school—"
"Boorrring." Janice interrupted her.
"She owns her own home—"
"Boring." Again she was cut off, this time by Debby.
"Her column published in Good Gardens—"
"Not exactly titillating," drawled Cait. "Stella is full of spunk—but will Quin look below the surface? Men can be so superficial. She's a pretty little thing, but with his travels Quin is used to more glamorous women. Stella is perceptive, smart, and very amusing. But she's the girl he left at home."
"—you know, except for college, she's lived all her life in this town."
"For the most part, so have I," said Irma Tipplemouse.
That was enough to shut everyone up.
"Well," said Cait. "We'll just have to make her appear more interesting."
Prissy noticed the evil gleam in Cait's eye and asked cautiously, "What did you have in mind?"
By the time Debby called Quin and told him a wee fib about her Harley misfiring and her need of a ride home, the others had worked out a game plan. When Quin arrived, each knew exactly what to do.
Award-winning comedy author Kathy Carmichael resides on Florida's west coast, along with her Scottish husband, two not-so-wee-sons, and a bevy of cantankerous felines. A popular guest lecturer, she gives seminars to writers and readers.