Mother’s Day: The Novella #SampleSunday

Mother’s Day

It’s the start of the semester, and Professor Molly is dealing with the joys of being department chair: The last-minute scramble to hire adjunct instructors, the confused students caught between payment deadlines and late financial aid checks, and the mountain of paperwork required by the administration’s latest half-baked “student success” initiatives. With her round-the-clock morning sickness (along with “helpful” pregnancy advice coming in from every direction), Molly can’t wait for the registration rush to be over so she can settle into teaching her classes.
But then Mahina State’s powerful fundraising office tasks her with a special assignment: she is to serve as the personal tutierge (that’s tutor-concierge) to Jeremy Brigham, whose mother happens to be fabulously wealthy and gravely ill.
But once inside the Brigham House, Molly realizes something is very wrong. And she has to decide whether to mind her own business and keep her job, or risk everything to prevent a murder.


Russian Road wasn’t far from campus, and I would have been happy to meet Victor Santiago there. But he clearly didn’t trust me to find my own way.
And he insisted on driving. I believe he would have preferred to commit seppuku rather than show up at a donor’s house in my turquoise-and-white 1959 Thunderbird.

I sat in the passenger seat of Victor’s Lexus and checked my email as he drove. Then I texted Donnie:

ME: With Victor from marketing. On my way to be a “tutierge.” That’s a combination of tutor and concierge.
DONNIE: I know you’ll do a great job. Darlene brought in a book for you.
ME: Who is Darlene?
DONNIE: the shift manager
ME: Is it what to expect etc.?
DONNIE: Yes how did you know?
ME: My mother sent me a copy already
DONNIE: I’ll keep this one then. If your mother recommends it must be good. BTW she called me, would like you to call her back. Have to go. Love you.

Then I texted my friend Emma Nakamura. Between her paddling practice, her teaching schedule, and some book project she was working on, I hadn’t seen much of her since the semester began.

ME: With Victor from marketing. On my way to be a tutierge. That’s a combination of tutor and concierge.


As much as I loved my husband, sometimes Emma understood me better.

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