Hi, I’m Nina Lapeer, and I’m pinching myself and counting the days to my first solo art show. All my life, I’ve drawn and painted. There’s nothing I enjoy more. And although I know it’s almost impossible to really make it in the art world, I needed to give up my previous, unsatisfying life, move somewhere entirely new, aim high, and follow my dreams.
Northern Wisconsin was far enough away to start a new life. I didn’t need much besides a roof over my head and somewhere to create the paintings I imagined.
I had never heard of Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, but I saw an ad for a fabulous, high-ceilinged loft a few blocks from the center of the village. I have to climb a long flight of stairs to my home above a kitchen store, but the climb is worth it. I have a screened-off cubby where I sleep, a bathroom, a kitchenette, and this huge, skylit space for painting. I love creating large paintings, and I recently bought a tall ladder to help me reach the tops of the biggest ones. The loft even has a small balcony where I can sit in a comfy Adirondack chair and look beyond the back alley to trees and hills. And sky.
I’ve sold a few paintings through our artisans’ co-op, The Craft Croft, but to make ends meet, I work full time in the cutest donut shop, Deputy Donut. It’s owned by Tom, Fallingbrook’s retired police chief, and Emily, the widow of Tom’s late son, Detective Alec Westhill. They are the nicest, most accepting people you’d ever want to meet. They don’t ask uncomfortable questions, and I love working with them. In fact, my lucky break was because they display artwork from The Craft Croft in their café. Shortly before last Halloween, one of the customers enjoying coffee and donuts in Deputy Donut saw one of my paintings, liked it, and told someone he knew.
That someone just happened to be Arthur C. Arthurs.
Yes, that Arthur C. Arthurs, known the world over for discovering and promoting artists. And my solo show is in his gallery. I can hardly wait for the opening. I even know what I’m going to wear. The dress and shoes I bought for the wedding of our friends Samantha and Hooligan (he won’t tell us his real name!) will be perfect.
But before the show, and even before Samantha and Hooligan’s wedding, we have August, Friday the thirteenth, and a Faker’s Dozen Carnival to be held at the Fallingbrook Fairgrounds. Jocelyn, who is home from college for the summer, will work with Tom at Deputy Donut, and Emily and I will make and sell corn fritters. In honor of the day’s pranks and jokes, we’re going to call them corny fritters. The festival will have the usual fair foods, rides, and games, and I hear there will be a tent where you can tempt bad luck, like walking under ladders, something I do all the time. And there will be lucky charms, also.
I don’t need those. I must be the luckiest person in the world. August and September are going to be fun!
What fun things have you done at carnivals and festivals? Let us know below in the comments.
About Beyond a Reasonable Donut
Selling her corn fritters at a carnival, Deputy Donut Café owner Emily Westhill faces off against a murderer who doesn’t play fair . . .
Emily and her assistant, Nina, are looking forward to manning the Deputy Donut tent at the Faker’s Dozen Carnival in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin—a festival held on Friday the thirteenth to celebrate good and bad luck. But Emily has barely dropped the corn fritters in oil when bad luck boils up. First, their bucket of confectioner’s sugar disappears—and then while a mime creates a distraction, a magician robs their cash register.
After the carnival, their misfortune continues. Emily discovers that someone has broken into artist Nina’s loft and vandalized a large painting in progress with the bucket of stolen sugar, which is now on the head of the mime, who seems to have been suffocated. Emily would bet Nina was the intended victim, but the cops think Nina silenced the mime. Now Emily must catch the killer white-handed—before someone else kicks the bucket . . .
About Ginger Bolton
Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series—coffee, donuts, cops, danger, and one curious cat. The first four books in the series are SURVIVAL OF THE FRITTERS, GOODBYE CRULLER WORLD, JEALOUSY FILLED DONUTS, and the latest, BOSTON SCREAM MURDER. JEALOUSY FILLED DONUTS was chosen as the Woman’s World Best New Cozy Mystery of the week and was named as one of Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2019. BEYOND A REASONABLE DONUT will be on store shelves May 25, 2021. When Ginger isn't writing or reading, she's crocheting, knitting, sewing, or generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts and coffee. As Janet Bolin, Ginger wrote the Threadville Mysteries—murder and mayhem in a village of crafty shops.