Hello to all you Bookworms and welcome to the Author’s Corner.
Today we’ve got a real treat. Author Trish Hubschman, one of my writerly friends who just happens to be a Totally Talented Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing client is here to share with us a bit of her book: Stiff Competition
A Tracy Gayle Mystery
Miss America and she’s offered to answer a question or two as well.
Once you’ve enjoyed this post and shared it with all your magnificent mystery loving friends, please do read on to learn all about Trish, her wonderful work, and where to buy it.
Hello Trish. It’s so great of you to share part of your book with us. Can you tell us why you chose this part? Is there something special about it?
By the way? While I’ve got you, can you talk to us just a bit about what inspired you to write this book series?
Hi, thanks for having me on the Author’s Corner today. I’m happy to be here, to answer your question and share this part of my book.
The reason for my choosing this part, and the inspiration for the series is…
I want people to get to know my characters, rock musician Danny Tie and private eye Tracy Gayle. They met a few years earlier when Danny hired Tracy to discover who set his band’s summer tour bus on fire.
That’s where the series started. In 2014, a friend and myself went to a Styx concert in late June. A few days later, the band’s tour bus burst into flames in Philadelphia. vI tried to find out what happened but nothing conclusive arose, so I wove kmy own tale.
The chemistry was so good between them that I couldn’t just drop out after one book.
Tidalwave’s playing the Miss America pageant this year. Tidalwave’s my rock band, my creation, my baby. I was asked to be Master of Ceremonies for the big event. I accepted, of course. It’s an honor.
The band’s performed at the pageant a couple of times in the past. That was, let’s see, 1987 and ‘93. Dave Mattson, our first keyboard player was on the band those two times. Dave and I didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, so he left the band. Dave’s deceased now. Les Carson, who replaced Dave, never got a chance to play the pageant. Les is deceased too. His son, Mike, is our present keyboardist. Mike’s a fantastic keyboard player and singer. He’s great with the audience too and I’m happy to have him with us. I miss Mike’s Dad, Les was a great guy, but he trained his son well in the music business.
This year’s Miss America pageant is going to be a big splash, particularly for Tidalwave. I can feel it! Hey, we’re not getting any younger here! We still have a lot of life left in us though, even after thirty-plus years out there on the circuit. I’m happy to say we still record, make hits, tour and bring in the screaming crowds.
On the sad side, my beautiful wife, Laura, isn’t here with me in Atlantic City for this. We’re separated by her choice. I’m hoping it’s only temporary. She walked out on me seven weeks and four days ago. I admit, her departure didn’t come as a major shock to me, but it was depressing and the timing lousy. It was downright aggravating! I didn’t believe her, or want to believe her, when she said she needed a break from me and the band. I thought she was just being childish and her insecurities were acting up again. She knew who I was, what my life was like, nothing had changed there. Laura and I had taken plenty of time to get to know each other as friends before we became a couple, and then got married. She had been the band’s nurse on tour for a few years before she became my girlfriend, and then wife, so who were Danny Tide and Tidalwave was not unknown to Laura.
I think the break she needed was more from me exclusively, not the group scene. My wife loves me and I love her, but she has trouble dealing with the two sides of Danny Tide, the devoted husband and the public image, though I’m still a devoted husband even when I’m in rock star mode. Heck, I am a rock star! That’s my career and my life and I’m good at it.
So be it! As I said, hopefully, she’ll come to terms with this and return. Maybe she’ll be at the house in California when the guys and I break after the pageant is done. That would be nice! As it is, I haven’t heard from her, not a phone call, text or email, since she left. I know she’s in Fort Worth, Texas. That’s where she’s from, born and raised, where she was married to her first husband, Dr. Benjamin Wells, renowned psychiatrist. She was divorced from him before she and I met. I was a patient in the hospital where she worked. She was my floor nurse. I met Wells a few times while I was there. He’s deceased now too.
Fort Worth’s where we picked up our second keyboard player, Les Carson. This may sound hard to believe but Les had a working ranch in Fort Worth. Now, his widow, Brit, is the head of Carson Ranch again. She grew up on it. It was hers first. Frankly, she was better at running the place then Les had been. Hey, what else is new? Les was too busy with Tidalwave to be a good rancher. That was okay with us, but I don’t think it sat too well with his wife.
What I found out is that Laura is staying with her sisters-in-law from her first marriage. There are two of them, Alice and Marie. I met them. Both are lovely ladies. Alice is the oldest and matronly, Marie is the youngest, and she’s cool. That’s the only way I can think of to describe them. They adore Laura. I’m not worried about Laura being down there. I’m just annoyed at the reason for her being there in the first place. Alice called me and told me Laura was there. She knew I was worried about my wife. Until I heard from Alice, I didn’t know where Laura was hanging out. Alice wanted to put my mind at ease. I appreciated that very much. I would have liked to talk to Laura when I was on the phone with Alice, but I didn’t push it. At some point, Laura and I will have to touch base. Right now, I’ve got a pageant to oversee and I’m not going to lie and say I’m not enjoying it.
Well, that is, until some unexpected, unexplained things happened. At this point, after all that’s transpired over the past few years, with such things occurring, I should be used to it, but does anyone ever get used to it? I mean, really, what else is new, right?
“What’s going on?” Tracy asked from her end of the phone line.
“Miss New Jersey is missing!” I replied. .
“Run that by me again, will you?” my Long Island PI friend, Tracy Gayle, asked me. She began reeling off questions and ideas on the matter. “Are the police involved? What are they saying? Could this girl have just upped and left the pageant, gone home, ran off with her boyfriend, etc.”
I chuckled. I could see Tracy’s mind working, spinning out ideas as they popped into her head. I was in full admiration of Tracy Gayle. I liked her! We had become very good friends over the past few years. She was hired to find the jerk who set my band’s tour bus on fire and I hired her as the band’s security chief too. She was good! Anyway, I think my closeness with Tracy bothers Laura. Tracy’s a dear friend of Laura’s too, but the fact that Tracy’s a woman, attractive, successful and she and I are close friends, unsettles my wife. I understand from Tracy that Laura even went as far as to accuse her of having an affair with me. I was furious at Laura for saying that. Tracy took it in stride, which I’m thankful for. Laura’s jealousy seemed to blow over though, or so I thought. Tracy came with us on our summer tour last year. Everything was fine. For some reason though, Tracy didn’t come with us on tour this year. Why was that?
“That’s what the police are saying,” I told Tracy in response to her question. “That she went home to Mom and Dad or raced off with her beau.” I think my tone was cynical. That’s the way I felt.
“But,” Tracy prodded, “you don’t think either is the case, is that what you’re telling me?”
I shook my head, though she couldn’t see it. “For one thing, the girls aren’t allowed to bring boyfriends with them to the pageant. It’s against the rules. All I see running around here are a bunch of pretty girls.” We both laughed. “As far as her family, her folks’ live close, maybe an hour away, north of here, in Fairview, I think. The point is, we would know if she was there and she isn’t,” I rushed on. This was an even bigger point. “She made it to the semi-finals in the pageant, fifty girls down to ten. She had a good chance of being crowned Miss America. It wouldn’t make sense for her to dart off.”
“Agreed,” Tracy said. “I guess my next question is why is Danny Tide calling me with regards to, what will eventually be a Missing Person’s case for the police to handle?”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Okay, I admit it. I’ve got an ulterior motive here in calling you, two of them, in fact.”
“I’m listening,” she shot back.
“I know you’re going to tell me it’s procedure, but the police seem to be stalling on this, and, for many reasons, that’s not such a good idea.”
“Again, I agree with you,” she chimed in quickly. “Go on.”
My response was just as quick. “Come down here and ask some questions, Trace. You’re the best private eye I know.” Frankly, she was the only one I knew, but that was beside the point.
I heard a smile in her voice. “What’s your other ulterior motive for getting me down there, Tide? You did say you had two of them.”
I sighed. “I’m lonely and need my best buddy.”
Tracy’s laughter sounded nice. It went on and on. Abruptly, she grew serious. “What about Laura? Wouldn’t my being there put a damper on her time with you, amongst other things?” The words came out slow and were obviously carefully chosen.
I had to fight off an urge to snap my fingers. There it was! Tracy saw it too! “Laura’s not here,” I blurted out and told her the whole story. She was the first person I did that with. I’m sure the guys in the band and crew had already pretty much figured it out. I just hadn’t pulled any of them aside and given details about it.
Tracy sucked in her breath. “I’m sorry, Danny,” she said softly. “If Laura’s leaving you has anything to do with me, and I’m sure it does, I’m doubly sorry.”
“Hey, girl,” I cut in quickly, my tone brighter. “This is something Laura has to deal with herself.” I waited a beat, and then went on. “So are you coming down to Atlantic City? I’ll get you a room here at Caesar’s with the rest of the gang.” I was hopeful. She was hesitant. “Do I have to beg?” I shot out.
Tracy burst into laughter. “Let me see if I can square things away here,” she said, sighing, “Although, I can’t really say much is going on, professionally or personally, on my turf at the moment.” Her tone was cynical.
I started wondering what that was all about. It sounded like she needed a friend too, me, and I was more than happy to be there for her.
“It’s settled then! I’ll see you down here soon?” I prodded.
“You’re pushy, Tide, anyone ever tell you that?” she teased brightly.
“Yep,” I replied and disconnected the call.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND HER WORK…
By Trish Hubschman
About The Series
In 1997, Trish saw the rock band, Styx, for the first time at Radio City Music Hall in New York. She fell in love. The following year, she created the fictional character, musician, Danny Tide from the rock band Tidalwave. She wrote two romance novels with him as the main character. After that, he was put in the drawer for a decade. She continued seeing her favorite band in concert, Styx. Around 2010, her Long Island private investigator, Tracy Gayle, emerged for her own set of mystery stories. Never did it dawn on her that at some point she would bring Tracy and Danny together. In 2014, a few days after she saw Styx, their tour bus burst into flames. She tried to find out the cause, but was unsuccessful. She decided to weave her own tale about it. Tracy Gayle solves Tidalwave’s tour bus fire. That was Book One. The chemistry between the lady PI and the rock musician is incredible from the start.
About Stiff Competition
America’s favorite rock band, Tidalwave, is playing the Miss America pageant. Band leader, Danny Tide, is emceeing the event. All is going according to schedule. The judges have picked the 10 semi-finalists. Suddenly, everything comes to a halt. Miss New Jersey is missing. Nobody knows what happened to her or where she is. Danny calls his longtime PI friend, Tracy Gayle, and asks her to come down to Atlantic City to help figure things out. In need of her best friend for personal support and eager to get to another case, Tracy agrees. There’s an all-out search of the hotels on the boardwalk. They find Miss New Jersey, but it’s not good. Her kidnapping leads to another assault and murder. The big star and the lady PI work together on this one, so that the Miss America pageant can continue as usual.
To my wonderful husband, Kevin. He proofreads all my stories and tells me I’m a good writer.
To my mom, who also reads all my stories and enjoys them. She’s been behind me every step of the way in my life.
Trish has published three books under America Star Books, a short story Collection of time travel/romances called Through Time and the first two books in the Tracy Gayle/Danny Tide series, The Fire and Unlucky Break. She attended college at Long Island University’s-Southampton Campus with a Bachelor’s degree in English-Writing. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two dogs and can be contacted at palhub&optonline.net and found on Facebook as