A former coworker once asked me to a female empowerment seminar at the home of a healer. I had recently ended a relationship, chanted “I Will Survive” to and from work, and was convinced I’d never find love again. I accepted her invite thinking a dose of girl-power could help cure my ailing heart.
The night of the meeting I parked in front of the stately Georgian residence. We walked up the pansy-lined brick path and I asked, “What kind of healer is she?”
My friend grinned as she rang the bell. “A tribal healer.”
Our elderly hostess, a lovely African-American clad in a turban and caftan, had us join the other participants in a circle. She proceeded to entertain us with a lecture on male vs. female energy, including an unforgettable piece of advice on ending relationships:
“Throw away everything your former lover gave you—each item contains his energy. Discard his gifts and his belongings. You won’t heal or fully move on to new love until you eliminate your old lover’s hold.” She smiled, adding, “Be forewarned—as soon as you clear out his things he will sense loss. He will inexplicably miss you. He will call.”
I went home that night and purged my house of the past. Gave the sweater he bought me for Christmas and his old sweatshirt (as much as I loved to watch TV wearing it) to Goodwill. Tossed out photos. As the healer predicted, within days my ex called. We didn’t get back together—once I cleared out his things I didn’t miss him as much as I thought. I never forgot the energy trick.
This month marked the release of my third Mind For Murder Mystery. I adapted the energy theory for the plot of HEX ON THE EX although my psychologist/amateur sleuth Liz Cooper would scoff at a connection between material belongings and emotional ties. “Object transference,” she’d theorize. “Unresolved feelings seeking an outlet.” HEX ON THE EX challenges Liz’s viewpoint.
Five years after leaving a bad marriage to egomaniac pro-baseball player Jarret Cooper, Liz finally moves out of her transitional townhouse into her own home. She decides to reclaim several cartons of books she left stored in Jarret’s garage. But the energy and remnants reintroduce old troubles back into Liz’s life. Her ex-rival Laycee Huber arrives in town without warning. Despite efforts to avoid the woman, their public confrontation at Dodger Stadium puts Liz at the top of the suspect list after Laycee is found murdered the next morning.
Liz enlists her family, friends, and a colorful defense attorney to clear to her name, but only her boyfriend—occult professor Nick Garfield—could hold the key to decipher the cryptic, devilish clue the murderer left behind. Liz and Nick’s investigation leads to a shocking and vengeful turn of events, begging the question: do we ever really escape the past?
Rochelle Staab writes witty murder mysteries with a supernatural twist, featuring Los Angeles psychologist Liz Cooper and occult expert Nick Garfield. Learn more about Rochelle’s bestselling Mind For Murder Mystery series at: www.rochellestaab.com