Dear readers, tonight with us is a woman thrown into becoming a private detective. She is here to talk about opening her own agency, of murders, betrayals, and dysfunctional family relationships.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
Hey, I’m Emme Mayson, well now, I am. I used to be Emmaline Roberts, until my life got really twisted, like trying pull on spandex panties on a wet body. If you hear a voice in the background it’s my sister Jackie Dickson, just ignore her.
I was raised in a little town call Scrugg’s Corner, Alabama. It’s not too far from Huntsville. My dad raised me, as my mom died when I was two, at least that’s what I was told. Ms. Rose Dushae who babysat me became my ‘mom’, and I trust her on all things. She was widowed and had three sons, so I grew up a ‘tom-boy’. One my early loves was old buildings and I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Architecture. Go War Eagles! Go Tigers! Hehe, y’all we just do that to confuse Yankees.
Now, I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia with a twin sister I never knew existed. That little tidbit begins our Mayson-Dickson Investigations.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
Being raised by a single dad had it challenges. I mean, did you ever try to talk to you dad about ‘girl’ things, or sex, or, well, you get the idea. Bless his heart he did pretty good, but usually he just called Rosie and asked for help, and he always bought me jewelry and it was always a heart.
On the plus side, I can fish, clean it and eat it too. I’ve driven NASCAR race cars and he enrolled me in defensive driving programs. That could be why I terrify my sister when I drive.
“Ya, think?” Came a voice from the background.
I warned you about my sister.
Anyway, I’m a very outdoors girl, and even won the Junior Championship Skeet Shooting contest three years in a row.
While I didn’t know it at the time, the best thing my dad taught me was to be observant and always look for a way out. I did not know how handy that would become.
One thing I’ve always wanted though was to know my mom. I never got a chance, and dad didn’t talk about her much. I think it was just too painful for him.
What do you do now?
I am a partner in Mayson-Dickson Investigations. You might say I fell into the job. Shhh! My sister Jackie Dickson is laughing at me. Alright, I’ll tell the truth Jackie, you just hush. Jackie and I were thrown, yes thrown, into an ‘off-the-books’ Witness Protection program. That is how we ended up in Virginia Beach. “What? I am getting to the point! Yankees. She’s from BOOOSSTTON.” Anyway, as we were trying to figure out what was going on, we walked along the beach and a very dead body washed up, landing on me. Ewww! Ewww! I will never get over that stink.
As we tried to drown our uncertainly with margaritas, we decided we’d make good private investigators, and it would be a legitimate way to look for details as to why we are in this witness protection program.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
So far, we’ve solved a few cases, but as for the investigation into our parents we’ve just gotten more questions than answers. In our second caper YANKEE TENACITY, a murder victim literally falls into the bed of my brand new truck. I’m a pickup truck girl, and, hang on….”Jackie, do not be calling me a redneck. I’m surprised you can say the word since y’all from Boston have no letter “R” in your alphabet.” Sorry, where were we? Oh, ya, dead body in the bed of my truck dressed in a kilt no less.
“I’m getting to it.” Why are Yankees always in a rush? Just let me tell the story.” There are currently four books in the series, and I have a habit of attracting dead bodies. “What’s that?” Oh, that’s my sister’s maniacal laugh. She seems to think it’s funny that dead bodies have a way of, well, finding me.
Our author has a released coming out in late September — Battlemints of Blue — yes, I know it’s misspelled, but y’all will understand when you read it. It begins with the dead body of the director of our Witness Protection program dead…..and gulp……ME being kidnapped. Oh, and the introduction of a new cast member U.S. Marshall Dillon.
What did you first think when you first met Jackie?
When Jackie and I first met, it was in a law office in Washington, D.C. We couldn’t understand why we were summoned there. What we discovered was that we were not only sister’s, but twin sisters. Where I’d been raised by my dad, she’d been raised by her mom. We’d both been told the other parent was dead. That was a lie. “No, I am not channeling Maury.” Man, she is exasperating.
It seems our parents split up to keep us safe, each one taking one of us. That is why we started Mayson-Dickson Investigations. The only man who had all the answers was just about to tell us everything was assassinated right in front of us! Oh, it was awful.
Now, we just have so many more questions.
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
We thought this PI business would be fairly safe and give us an opportunity to investigate our parents backgrounds. You know, maybe a little; follow a cheating spouse, or find a lot relative, little did we know it would involve real murder victims, some East Coast gangs, a few Russian mobsters, and an FBI agent who was sent to investigate all those bad guys.
We’ve had some scary moments together. “Hey, remember when we were running from Eldon, the Russian guy and we crashed smack-dab into the Eight’s gang lodge? What? Yes, we did get a job from that, but still, it was scary.”
What is the worst thing about living in a safe-house?
Whoever set up our ‘safe-house’ knew what they were doing. The house is large, beautiful, expensive, and steps from the beach. On one side is a sunroom room that we converted into our PI office. To our right is beach house that is usually unoccupied — except by an older couple we think are spies. To the left, nothing but woods and government land nobody uses or so we thought. In SOUTHERN CHARM we find a secret tunnel leading to that base.
We took the master bedroom and made it our ‘margarita meditation’ room. We have solved a lot of cases in that room. “Yes, we created a lot of problems in there too. Stop interrupting, that’s rude.”
The issue if you haven’t found out already, is sitting behind me and interrupting. Living together has been less than….fun.
I love the color pink, and sparkles, and manicured nails, and getting up early to watch the sunrise. Boston over there, hates all those things, especially the early morning. You’d better enter her room in an iron cage carrying coffee. Lordy, she’s a mean morning person.
Jackie likes her designer clothes, her favorite color is dull gray, and she hates living here. She says it’s way to Southern.
Honestly, we just miss our hometowns.
What is the best thing about it?
The best thing?? I mean the beach…..and the McMansion are pretty awesome, but I’d sure hate to go through all the issues about my dad without my sister. She may be the opposite of everything I love, but we have each other and that’s saying a lot.
Tell us a little about your friends.
Well, our amazing beach house came with a few…..”He is not a freeloader!” My sister is referring to Zack Prentiss. He and Fender sort of came with the house.
First, there’s Zack. He is a world-class hacker. I mean he is wanted by every law enforcement agency, well, he’d be wanted if they knew who he was. We found him hiding in our basement. It wasn’t the government he was hiding from though, it was Eldon Rachinko a Russian gang member. Zack had slept with the man’s girlfriend Alicia, who also happened to be the Edwin Yustov’s daughter—he’s the head of the Russian mobsters. So, we keep him hidden in the basement and he helps us with, umm, manipulating cyber issues. Jackie doesn’t really like or trust him. Me? He’s like the brother I never had.
Fender. Oh, Fender. He also came with the house. He lives in a small cottage just off our deck and was apparently hired to the be the caretaker of the property. He is sexy and, (whispering) Jackie pretty much drools over him. She also fights, big o’fights with him. We both know there is WAY more to this man than he’s sayin’.
The person that shoved, yes shoved us into a car and sent us here is Agent Sydney McClure. If a jaguar ever took human form….it would look like her. She is bad-ass, and we are both rather scared of her. We’ve had to call her a time or two — when we were completely desperate.
Then there is Special Agent Chris Meechum. He’s on assignment to the Virginia Beach PD from the FBI as part of a Gang Taskforce to help stop the growth of gangs along the East Coast. We met him on our second or third day here when that nasty body washed up on the beach over me. Eww! He’s sexy, and tight T-shirted, and, (takes a breath) he’s pretty frustrated that our backgrounds have been erased.
I mean an FBI man that can’t find out anything about you? We’ve decided not to tell anyone about our ‘real’ lives because we don’t know who we can trust. The one man who knew everything was assassinated and his final words to us were ‘trust no one.” Meechum and Fender do help us sometimes, but neither one of them are happy about our PI business, and both have serious issues with our lack of backgrounds.
Any romantic involvement?
Um, well, I have to admit Agent Meechum sure does fill out those jeans. We both feel the attraction, but push away hard. He’s got a past. (Jackie yelling from the background, “His ex-girlfriend shows up in book three) I really don’t think any jury would convict me of smothering you!
As for romance, we may have kissed, but before I commit to anyone, I want to find out the truth about our parents.
It wasn’t long after we got here, that Fender and Jackie almost did the……(Jackie yells an obscenity). See what I put up with?
Well, anyway those two are pretty hot for each other, but neither Jackie or me can move forward with our lives move until we know the truth, and get our ‘real’ lives back.
So, romance is taking a backseat—for now.
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
Hate is a strong word. (Jackie in background shouting out a list of name) In this case, Jackie’s right, there is a list.
Eldon Rachinko – the right hand man of Edwin Yustov — leader of the entire East Coast Russian gang. They are both ruthless, and we’ve been up against them a few times. Eldon hates Zack and if he ever finds the man in our basement, we are all ‘fish-food’.
Edwin Yustov – his hands are into everything including art forgery, we tackled that one too. That’s where we met Meechum’s ex-girlfriend. She’s FBI too.
Cougar Banyon – he’s the head of the Eight’s gang and we’ve investigated the murder of one of his men. We know he’s a really bad guy, but he seems to like us, and kind of looks out for us. Of course, we know he doesn’t do anything without expectation of re-payment. So, we tread carefully.
Moe Sheridan – we’re very unsure about this guy. He is in fact, the twin brother of Max Sheridan, the man who originally called us to Washington, D.C. and was assassinated. Moe just happens to show up, and he just happens to know people, and he just happens to be in places where he’s least expected. We’re not sure if he is on the ‘good guy’ or the ‘bad guy’ list.
What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
On honey, that’s easy. I LOVE pink, all things pink. I even love pink umbrellas in my margaritas. As for relaxation, we haven’t done much of that since getting here. I do love to watch NASCAR, although my sister hides the remote on race day. My favorite drink hands-down is a margarita. The ones I make are the best, even Jackie agrees.
What does the future hold for you?
Our future is uncertain. Just when we think we’ve solved, no, that’s not the right word. Just when we think we’ve eliminated any threats, another one pops up. It’s like a never-ending game of ‘Whack-A-Mole”. In book four THE LINE IS DRAWN, we manage to get every one, including an unexpected cop, arrested. Even though we don’t find out everything about our parents, we are secure enough to try and go back to our ‘real’ lives. That is a mistake.
There are still forces out there that want us, want information on our parents, and they will kill anyone we love to get to us. So, in book five, a lot of pieces, though no all, will come together.
We think we will probably keep solving murders as we hunt for the truth about our lives.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
(Emme walks out onto the deck) I didn’t want my sister to hear, but there’s information I know about my dad that I haven’t shared with her.
He was an engineer for NASA at the Huntsville facility. There were days though when I knew he didn’t go to work. Every year for one month he left for a conference for his job. Always the same week, and he never called to check on me that month. He’d send a text to Rosie, but never to me. I mean the man called me to make sure I got home from school every-single-day, even when I was in college, and not one call that month???
I was well, suspicious so, I followed him to work one day. He went to Fort McClellan Army Base, not NASA. I asked about his day when he got home and he made up a story about work.
Someday, I’ll tell Jackie, but not yet.
Jocie worked at several jobs before landing her ideal one as a librarian, a perfect segue to becoming an author. With over fifteen novels to her credit, her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller – Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing romantic comedy and humorous cozy fiction, Jocie can find humor in most everything.
With a soft spot for U.S. Veterans, she chaired her local Veteran’s Oral History Project, and her work with the program lead to her speaking before the project committee at the U.S. Library of Congress. She has won several awards for her non-fiction writing on a multitude of subjects. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.
You can find Emme on the pages of the Mayson-Dickson Mysteries, starting with The Line is Drawn, and continuing to the latest #4, War Between The Stakes.
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