The Book

It’s 1979.  As Josie Capelli builds her hairdressing clientele, she’s shocked when people tell her their dirty little secrets.  The more emotionally involved she becomes with her clients, the more complicated her life becomes.  A client stalks her…a love interest leads to betrayal…her close-knit Italian family and overbearing mother push Josie to the edge of a total meltdown.

And now, today, can she rise to the greatest challenge her career can give her?  These are the thoughts that race through Josie’s head as she climbs the cold, stone steps to the funeral home to do the most important, scariest hairdo of all.  Join Josie through laughter and tears in this heartfelt story of truth, trust and love with a tangled web of characters.  Some you’ll love, some you’ll hate, and some will leave your jaw hanging open!

Book trailer

Chapter One

January 1984

It’s six degrees, and my tires crunch on ice and snow as I turn into the long, narrow driveway of the old Victorian that is Fredericks Funeral Home. I can’t say how many times I’ve been to a wake at Fredericks, but this is the first time I’m here to do hair on a dead person.

Who would think I—Josie Capelli—from an overprotective, strict, Italian-Catholic family, would have the nerve to take on such a task? Me? Touch a dead person? I don’t think so. I’ve heard too many stories about dead people sitting up or passing gas. If anything like that happens to me, I’ll be in the next visitation room laid out, too.

The cone-shaped roof peeks out above the tree-line as I draw near. It’s a great house—too bad it’s a funeral home. I skid to a stop in the empty parking lot and reach around to the back seat for the bag packed with teasing comb, clips, hairspray, towel, and cape.

The bitter-cold air touches my face as I walk up the stone steps, and I can see my breath. An eerie feeling comes over me. I’m a hairdresser, used to working on living and breathing clients, not the dead. Now I’m about to touch a corpse. I dry-heave all the way up the steps.

Standing on the wraparound porch, holding my purse and bag for dear life, I turn the doorknob of the old oak door and step in. The scent of flowers sweeps by my nose and gives me a wave of nausea. My insides jump when the funeral director greets me.

“You must be Miss Capelli.”

I nod—short, quick downs and ups.

“The dearly departed is all ready for you in the receiving room.” He points the way with a wave of his arm.

“Thank you, Mr. Frederick.”

Thank God, the receiving room. I had visions of going to an embalming room with ten other bodies on steel tables. I watch too much TV. As we approach the room, I take a deep breath and blow it out slowly. Beauty school never prepared me for this.

I enter the receiving room and walk slowly by the rows of chairs, with Mr. Frederick following closely behind. My eyes are immediately drawn to something as I approach the casket. I’m horrified, and I suck in air.

“Is something wrong?”

“Oh, yeah. Something is very wrong.”