Friday, December 28, 2018

Googling Old Boyfriends is Here!

The Seventh Camilla Randall Mystery is out in ebook. The paperback will launch in January. It's a stand-alone, so you can start with this one even if you haven't read the others.

We all do it, don’t we? We start thinking about “the old days” and wonder “what ever happened to…?”

So we start Googling our former significant others.

Somehow it’s kind of embarrassing to let people know. Maybe because it feels a little stalkerish.  But it’s so fascinating to find out how people’s lives are turning out.

  • “OMG, here’s his wedding announcement—to a man! Well, that explains a few things.”
  • “He became a stockbroker? That hippie?”
  • “Three arrests for DUI? I always wondered why his breath always smelled of Listerine and Altoids…”
  • “He’s still single? Hmmm…”

Then there are the tragic ones. The searches that bring up obituaries. And arrests.

One of my high school friends had died in Vietnam. Another had drowned in an ice fishing accident.

The saddest was the arrest report of one of my elementary school crushes…for possession of child pornography.

Light bulbs went off in my head. He had that awful “uncle” he always had to spend time with but hated. The older brother who used such filthy language he was regularly thrown off the school bus.

They had been strikingly beautiful boys, blond Italians. What horrors had my little friend been going through while I was carving his name in my wooden desk top, and chased after him at the skating rink when he’d stolen my hat? Who knowsthe images he was arrested for may have been photos of himself. 

When you get older, the obituaries come up more and more.

Last year, after I’d had my third search in a row come up with an obituary—the idea for a novel popped into my head:

What if a recent divorcee started Googling her old boyfriends and…every one of them turned up dead?

Then all I had to do was introduce the divorcee to Camilla Randall, my oh-so-polite sleuth who’s a magnet for murder, mayhem, and Mr. Wrong… and there was the story.  


I didn’t bring in the tragic real-life stuff when I wrote this one. That wouldn’t work in a Camilla book. Maybe I’ll do a serious piece on the subject sometime in the future.

Here’s an excerpt from the opening chapter.

“Okay, ’fess up.” Mickie McCormack’s eyes twinkled as she plunked a book on the counter. “If you’re that distracted by the Internet you’re either looking at porn or you’re Googling old boyfriends.”

I felt my cheeks heat up.

“Um, I’m guilty of the latter, I’m afraid. I’ve just run into an old boyfriend and he’s invited me to dinner, but…”

The bell on the door jingled.

There he was. Captain Maverick Jesus Zukowski, six foot, three inches of tall, dark, and the-one-who-got-away.

 The Camilla Randall Mysteries: 

A laugh-out-loud mashup of crime fiction, romantic comedy, and satire. Morro Bay bookshop owner Camilla Randall is a magnet for murder, mayhem, and Mr. Wrong. But she always defeats the bad guys in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

In this stand-alone 7th book in the series, Camilla befriends socialite Mickie McCormack—a sexy, mysterious older woman who’s going through a painful divorce. Mickie has been Googling her old boyfriends to reconnect and “remember who she used to be.”

Unfortunately every one of those boyfriends soon ends up dead.

Is the serial killer Camilla’s old boyfriend Dr. Bob? Or one of Mickie’s old boyfriends? And can Camilla’s old boyfriend Captain Rick protect her and her cat Buckingham from being fed to the sharks before she solves the mystery?


What about you? Have you Googled former lovers and significant others? Were any of the results tragic? Funny? 

A comment will enter you into a contest to win a copy of the ebook for Kindle or other ereading device. I'll announce the winner in two weeks, on January 11th.

Happy 2019, everybody!

Ta-DA!! The winner of the contest is Chick Lit Shop, aka Mary Smith! Thanks for entering, everybody!  


  1. Not so much Googled as Facebooked... He was my pen pal back in the 70s and someone to visit when I was stationed at Ft Lewis (he lived in Seattle), but then I got married, had kids, and lost touch. When I finally got a Facebook account (because of this writing thing), I tried to look him up, only to find his daughter had just recently posted about his death. Now I'm not so sure I want to search for anyone else. It's kind of depressing.

    1. Stacy--That mirrors my experience. I kept thinking that given the law of averages, some of these guys should still be alive, but 3 in a row turned up dead. Much better it should happen in fiction than real life! But another is the head a corporation that is doing lots of environmentally helpful things, so that helps even it out. Maybe the next one you search for will be living a happy and helpful life. Thanks much for commenting. You're entered in my contest!

  2. Sounds fascinating! Great unique premise! Happy Book Birthday! :)

    1. Chick Lit--Sounds is if you'll enjoy the book. Thanks for entering!

  3. Can't wait for the paperback! And of course, am now wondering...has anyone from my past googled me? Alas, they wouldn't find me under my maiden name. Or maybe not alas. There was a reason we parted ways...grin

    1. Melodie--I'm always honored when you visit this humble blog. Hmmm I don't know your maiden name myself. Is it something Italian? Maybe mob-related? Haha. Love your Goddaughter series. Your Canadian gangsters and gangsterettes are hilarious!

  4. I have Googled (and Facebooked) some of my old boyfriends, but haven't found any yet. What does this say about them? That they're already dead? That they never did anything noteworthy? That they're hermits and therefore not on social media? That they're on the witness protection program and had to change their identities? A myriad questions raised.

    1. Robin--How interesting. So your old flames have managed to stay under the radar. Witness protection might explain it. Or maybe they're undercover cops. Or working for drug cartels. A whole lot of great plots there, even if you never reconnect with your Mr. Wrongs....Thanks for commenting. You're on the list for the drawing!

  5. I googled only two-that-got-away. One is on Facebook with his happy family and twinkling eyes. Ah well...
    I've found not a sign of the other - Man of Mystery.
    When I retired I finally adopted my second husband's surname and reverted to my 'real' first name - not the one I'd been known as by classmates, work colleagues, first husband and in-laws, friends, second career colleagues - and met my second husband under. I moved away from London.
    My kids still found me... so maybe the Man of Mystery will too. Assuming he's still alive, that is.

    1. Catherine--It sounds as if you've become a "woman of mystery" of a sort too, by changing both your names. But I do hope your mystery man finds you one day. That might make a good plot for a novel...hmmm. Thanks for your comment. You're now entered in our contest!