Thursday, April 13, 2017

#AtoZChallenge K is for Kitty Padgett

K is for Kitty Padgett, of the Pismawallops PTA mysteries

In a nutshell: Kitty is JJ’s best friend (see yesterday's post), and she's as patient as JJ is hasty. Kitty actually seems to understand teens.
Biggest secret: She has far fewer answers than her kids think she does.
Favorite line: "If only she'd learn to say please and thank you." Because Kitty believes that a bit of courtesy will go a long way toward making the world a better place.

A favorite scene where Kitty yanks JJ's chain, just enough to prove she's no push-over.

From Death By Trombone, Chapter 4.

We ate and drank in silence for a few minutes, enjoying the sunshine, blue water, and bluer sky. June sunshine was rare enough on our island that we never took it for granted, and it had felt like a particularly long and wet spring. Or maybe that was my mood, my own struggles affecting the weather, or at least my perception of the weather.
At last, mellowed by a perfect latte and the exquisite brownie, which I ate in tiny pieces to make it last, I asked, “So what is Kat wearing to the dance tonight?”
Kitty pulled her gaze from the window, out of which we could see the harbor, the moorage, and the business end of the ferry dock. You couldn’t quite see where the dock reached the land because a giant madrona tree blocked the view. A ferry was coming around the corner of the island.
“You don’t want to know,” she said.
An idea had been tickling the back of my mind while I watched the ferry, but her answer pulled me back to the present. “What do you mean?”
“Since none of the underclassmen have time to get formal wear, they decided to make it a costume party.”
Distracted from the question of what our own kids would wear, I commented, “How do you think the Seniors will react to that? There they are, at the formal dance they’ve waited for all year, and a bunch of younger students are going to be there just having fun.”
We thought about what I’d said, and laughed. Probably the younger kids would have more fun than the ones taking it seriously. After all, most of those high school pairings were about to dissolve into the mists of separate lives, as the kids scattered to different colleges and jobs.
“So what is Kat wearing? And is Sarah going?”
“Sarah says such events are for the terminally immature. In other words, she doesn’t have a date.”
“Neither does Justin, and it’s not stopping him.”
“Sarah has a terrific crush on Tyrell Augustine, who plays a hot trumpet but, being a mere Soph, is completely off limits.” It was funny how those taboos lingered. There never was a problem with a boy dating a younger girl, but let a girl date a boy a few months younger and a grade behind, and the world would end.
“Poor girl. What is Kat wearing?”
Kitty gave in. “She wants to be a parody of all the teeny-bopper rocker chicks. I’m fighting to keep her within the bounds of decency, which isn’t easy, given the models she’s working from.”
I groaned. “This is going to be so hard on Brian.” She’d know what I meant. Then I had another thought. “What is Brian wearing?”
Kitty looked at me and chortled. “You’re his mother. Don’t you know?”
“Until now, I assumed he’d be wearing the slacks and dress shirt I bought him for the speech he gave to the VFW for his Civics class last winter.”
“I suspect he’s...not.”
“Kitty!” My voice took on a bit of a whine. “If you know something, you have to tell me!”
Now she really was laughing at me. “Stop freaking out, JJ. He refused to go along with the whole punk rock thing. He’s going to wear jeans and his favorite t-shirt.”
I groaned again. “Do you know what shirt that is?”
She shook her head.
“The one that says ‘Run until your ass falls off’ on the front, and ‘Runners do it faster’ on the back.”

Book One:

What do you serve when all you have in the freezer is an ice-cold corpse? 

JJ and her best friend Kitty struggle to hold the Pismawallops PTA together, and new volunteer Letitia LeMoine isn’t making it any easier.  But when Letitia’s strangled corpse turns up where the ice cream bars should have been, things get a whole lot worse.  JJ has to shoehorn in a search for the killer along with all her other problems: divorce, a 15-year-old son with his first girlfriend, a desperate race to complete the Yearbook on time, and her own tendency to get all wobbly-kneed around the Chief of Police.  JJ just can’t help asking a few questions.  But a loud mouth and insatiable curiosity can be a dangerous combination.  Especially when someone wants her stopped.

Amazon as Paperback or Kindle.
Smashwords (all ebook formats) 
Barnes and Noble for Nook or paper 
Kobo Store 
Paperbacks also in the Createspace Store!

Book Two: 
Nothing like a corpse to add a little je ne sais quoi to the Senior Prom.

JJ thought starting the day without coffee was a disaster, but now there's a dead musician behind the Pismawallops High School gym. His trombone is missing, and something about the scene is off key. JJ and Police Chief Ron Karlson are determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, but will they be able to work harmoniously or will discord ruin the investigation? With the music teacher as the prime suspect, JJ could be left to conduct the band, and then Graduation might truly end in a death by trombone, or at least the murder of Pomp and Circumstance!

Paperback and Nook from Barnes & Noble
Ebooks from Kobo
Find it at iBooks
Or purchase paperbacks from the Createspace store

 Following the suggestion of fellow blogger and amazing author Jemima Pett, I'm doing a very simple A to Z with characters from my writing and the books of my author friends! I'm just posting a brief profile, sometimes a quote, and the book cover with links. Though you may also see some of my typical reviews (when I feature other peoples’ books) and the usual Friday Flash Fiction.
  ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2017
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!


  1. Nice scene. I'm feeling the rapport between these two characters and their shared experience as the mothers of teens.

    1. True story: I first drafted this when my boys were still in grade school. I put it aside, and pulled it back out when they were in high school. Believe me, those teen characters required complete rewriting when I was actually living with some!

  2. Must go back and check out JJ's post!

    1. I don't think I gave JJ as much good stuff as Kitty. My approach is evolving as the month goes on.


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