#NewRelease- The Library by Carmen DeSousa

If you’ve read the Prequel to today’s new release, The Depot, then you are ready for:

cover

When Mark Waters decided to be a detective, he didn’t plan to investigate ghosts.

 But as he sifts through evidence of a supposed suicide by train, he learns a murder that took place eighty years ago may directly affect his case.

 Six months after the strange occurrences at The Depot, there’s another murder. This time, The Library holds secrets of several murders, and the dead won’t rest until the murderer checks out too.

 Amazon      5 Prince Publishing 

Excerpt: 

Wade inserted the key into the deadbolt the same time he did every night. Only this time, the door glided open as though some unseen force had invited him inside. The house was quiet. Too quiet. Usually he’d hear the sound of the TV, a kitchen timer alerting that dinner was ready, or the constant boom from the stereo upstairs. But this evening, tomblike silence greeted him.

She’d threatened to leave; he just hadn’t believed her. After all, she’d been grumbling that same nonsense for twenty-two years. A romantic getaway for two would straighten her out.

Their only child was going off to grad school in a few weeks. So for the first time in their marriage, they’d be childless. His life had changed the night she told him she was pregnant two weeks away from high school graduation, but it hadn’t stopped him from working his butt off to accomplish his dreams. Yeah, he had to work two jobs, go to night school, and function without sleep, but they’d made it. They had a beautiful house in Edenbury, Pennsylvania, two stylish vehicles in the driveway, and their daughter was heading off to Harvard.

And as soon as he finalized the contract he’d been working on for the last year, Wade could take Vanessa on as many getaways as she wanted. He’d cashed the first check on his way home. Just the first installment was more than they’d made their first ten years of marriage. That’d get her eyes twinkling again.

Burnt meatloaf singed his nostrils as he ventured into the kitchen in search of his wife. She killed their dinner again. His wife would get so busy typing she’d forget everything around her.

He turned off the oven, but left the charcoaled mess inside. Last thing he needed was the new smoke detector he’d installed to go off, once again alerting the neighbors how often his wife nearly burned down their house.

Wade emptied his pockets of his money clip, keys, and receipts onto the credenza by the stairway, as his wife had always requested, then started upstairs. “Vanessa honey,” he called as he trudged up the wooden steps, knowing she wouldn’t hear him, but he tried anyway. He gripped onto the banister, pulling himself forward. He was too tired to climb stairs before eating. But since she always wore her headphones when she worked, she wouldn’t hear if he screamed at the top of his range.

Tugging at his tie, he pushed open their bedroom door. Maybe they could have a quick romp before dinner, get a taste of what it’ll be like to be empty nesters.

Not believing his eyes, he launched headfirst toward his wife. “No!” he screamed.

Out of his peripherals, he saw the long black rod, but it was too late to react. The light extinguished the moment the object made contact with his skull, leaving him in a pit of blackness, a nightmare he’d never escape.

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Interview with Carmen DeSousa!

About the Author: 

A romantic-suspense writer, Carmen writes novels that overflow with romance, mystery, suspense, a hint of paranormal sometimes, and of course–tragedy. After all, what would a great story be without a heartrending event setting the stage? Her sensual and gripping stories have earned bestseller status on three continents because of her ability to make readers love, laugh, cry, gasp, and hope.

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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#CoverRevel: The Library by Carmen DeSousa

cover

When Mark Waters decided to be a detective, he didn’t plan to investigate ghosts.

But as he sifts through evidence of a supposed suicide by train, he learns a murder that took place eighty years ago may directly affect his case.

Six months after the strange occurrences at The Depot, there’s another murder. This time, The Library holds secrets of several murders, and the dead won’t rest until the murderer checks out too.

 Available December 12, 2013!

****Download a FREE COPY of the prequel,  THE DEPOT,  and register for a chance to win a copy of THE LIBRARY!****

Interview with Carmen DeSousa! About the Author: 

A romantic-suspense writer, Carmen writes novels that overflow with romance, mystery, suspense, a hint of paranormal sometimes, and of course–tragedy. After all, what would a great story be without a heartrending event setting the stage? Her sensual and gripping stories have earned bestseller status on three continents because of her ability to make readers love, laugh, cry, gasp, and hope.

 Website     Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest     Instagram  Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

#WriterWednesday- Interview with Stacy-Deanne!

Welcome back to another #WriterWednesday! Today I’d like to introduce you to Stacy-Deanne as she drops by today on her blog tour to share her reasons for writing. Read the sneak peak at an excerpt from her novel, The Wild Life, and be sure to check out the contest listed below!

Stacy_Hot_Like_Fire_Blog_Tour

Welcome, Stacy!

What inspired you to write?

I write simply because I enjoy it. I’ve always had an active imagination so making up stories and characters comes natural to me. I also write because it’s therapeutic for me mentally. It keeps me sane and grounded. It helps me not to be so stressed. I have anxiety disorder so anything that can relax me is a wonderful thing. When I’m writing I forget about the world around me and all the problems in it so that in itself is inspiration to write.

 

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

My primary genre is mystery and suspense with romantic elements (primarily interracial). I guess we found each other. I’m a true mystery buff and I grew up loving mysteries. I am a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan and he inspired me to become a mystery writer. I write interracial stories because I’ve always been interested in interracial relationships.

 

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I don’t put myself under pressure in terms of scheduling, etc. I just use my time wisely when it comes to writing. I write when the mood hits me. If that’s everyday then that’s every day, but if it’s not then it’s not. I take a more relaxing approach to my writing now. I’ve been in this business since 1997 and I used to write constantly and I had no room to do anything else. I realized through the years that I can get my work done without killing myself to do it. It’s not how often your write, but write what counts when you write. That’s what’s important. Writers should work at their own pace and at a “schedule” that works for them. We’re all different and that should be respected.

MJ: Great advice!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Well, I’ve always been one that kinda talked to myself. LOL! That’s only because I have a good imagination and I am an only child. When I was a kid I made up brothers and sisters and I talked to them. This translated into me even now talking to myself sometimes as if someone else is with me. Sometimes I imagine myself as one of my characters and I’ll talk to other characters in the book as if I’m right there in the scene. LOL!

MJ: Stacy-Deanne, you and I have that in common! Only child giving ‘life’ to others to keep entertained….lol!

 

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I like to jump into a story the minute I get my idea. I jot down ideas for scenes as I go, but I don’t outline an entire book or anything. No way. To me the fun part about writing is the surprising journey the story and characters take you. Plus I don’t think you can really plan everything in a mystery because the story relies on twists that come to you as things unfold. I also think you should not force a story to go a certain way. You might start out with an outline, but any writer knows that it’s the story and characters that dictates a story when it comes down to it. Eventually things will shift in a direction the author didn’t count on and to me that’s the fun part!

 

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

Nope my stories are not based on me, my experiences, or anyone I know. I write fiction that comes straight out of my head. I think that’s another thing that makes writing fun. I like to learn about new people (characters) and have new adventures. I wanna be taken on new journeys through my work.

 

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

The biggest thing I see these days is that some new writers are very impatient. I also see that for some reason new writers think they are entitled to publication without putting in the work. I am seeing a lot of coattail riders and shortcut chasers. As my publisher Elissa Gabrielle says, “Publication is a privilege, not a right.” This is true because being published is not something we are owed, but something we are supposed to work hard for. It’s not supposed to be easy. I always tell new writers to research the business before jumping into it. They won’t get anywhere if they don’t know how things work. They also should be patient because too many people out here are rushing to publish and the outcome only hurts the author if the work is not up to par. Newbies need to take time to actually learn how to write. Anyone can write a first draft, but not anyone can write a novel of publishable quality. That takes skill, patience, discipline, and years of learning. Anyone who says it doesn’t take time to be able to write well is mistaken.

MJ: Well said, very true, and amen! 

 

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I’m traded published. I was with Simon and Schuster and now I’m with Peace in the Storm Publishing, which is a traditional independent house.

 

What are your current projects?

I have a lot of things coming up. First off, I’ve started three new short story serials. The beginning installments of these serials will be released soon by my publisher, Peace in the Storm Publishing. I am very excited. I never wrote shorts before but now I got the hang of it and I really enjoy writing serials. I’m excited to embark on this new venture. I also have two novels coming up in 2014. One, The Ultimate Rush, is a standalone. The other, Harm a Fly, is the fourth installment of the Bree and Steven series. So you’ll be seeing a lot from me.

I’d like to thank you for having me and I want everyone to remember to answer the giveaway question below so they have a chance to win a copy of my current release, The Wild Life!

MJ: Your more than welcome! Thank you for stopping by! 

 

The Wild Life

When Albany Detective Brianna “Bree” Morris learns that Cuban crime lord Milan Varela wants her estranged father dead, she heads off to Miami to find out why. With Homicide Detective Jayce Matthews and her ex-lover Detective Steven Kemp she devises a plot to get close to the Varela organization.

Brianna finds herself attracted to the older Milan and falls deep into his web of seduction while fighting to keep her mind on her mission. Milan is equally drawn to Brianna and vows to win her trust and her heart.

Is Milan really the villain when it comes to Brianna’s father? Or is he the victim?

Is Brianna’s father really in danger or is there more to the story than anyone could ever imagine?

Brianna risks her life to save her father’s but will she end up losing her own?

The steamy, explosive, and super-hot new installment in the Bree and Steven Series!

Amazon     Barnes & Nobel   

Excerpt: 

“What do you expect me to say, Steve?” Brianna sat beside Jayce. “I don’t even know what’s going on.”

He bent over her. “Can’t anything go well for you, woman? Why do you keep getting yourself in these predicaments?”

“Oh excuse me for coming home and finding a man in my kitchen!”

Jersey tugged on her ears. “I have a huge headache and one of my officers has just been attacked. The last thing I need is for you two to argue.”

Steven and Brianna made faces at each other.

“We’re worried about you, Morris. Tell us what’s going on so we can help.”

“I don’t know if you can help.”

Davis slunk into the room and rested at Brianna’s feet. She scooped up the brown feline.

“The guy that tried to kill me…” She scratched Davis’ ear. “Well he worked for Milan Varela.”

Steven gaped. “What the f*** did you just say?”

Brianna shrugged.

“Are you f***** kidding me? A man who worked for the head of the Southern Cuban Mafia was here? Here?”

“I was telling Bree that a friend of mine in the FBI might be able to help her,” Jayce said. “It’s about her father. They’re looking for him.”

“George?” Jersey’s green eyes beamed from behind her glasses. “What the hell would the Cuban Mafia want with George?”

“No telling. You know the life my father lives. It’s full of risks and he makes no apologies for it.”

Jersey touched the back of her neck. “How the hell could he even get close to Milan Varela in the first place?”

“So this is the type of stuff your father’s always into?”

“Jayce my father has never been a father to me. He stays gone for decades at a time and pops up probably once every ten or fifteen years when he wants something. I wonder if he even remembers he has a

daughter half the time.” She kissed Davis’ head. “Right now what’s important is this mess he’s got going with Milan. Why would he want my dad dead?”

“I just can’t believe this. I mean your dad has been involved in some shady things during his life but nothing like this. What are you gonna do, Morris?”

“As much as I hate him, I can’t let anything happen to him. I gotta find out where he is.”

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****CONTEST****

Giveaway question:

What are THREE qualities the perfect main character must have?

Five people who provide the most interesting answer to this question will each win an ebook copy of The Wild Life.

Giveaway ends at 8 pm Central Time. Ebook copies will be emailed to participants by Stacy-Deanne. Commenters must leave email address with comment to be eligible.

 

About the Author: 

Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is an award-winning novelist of crime, mysteries, and interracial romantic suspense. She’s been writing professionally since 19-years-old, and her work includes Divas of the New Millennium, Everlasting, Melody, Giving up the Ghost, The Season of Sin, When the Mouse Chases the Cat, and The Wild Life. Stacy is profiled along with notable authors in the NAACP-nominated 2006 book, Literary Divas: The Top 100+ African-American Women in Writing. She is a 2011 and 2012 African-American Literary Award nominee. The Season of Sin and The Wild Life were both reviewed and highly recommended by USA Today. Stacy was born, raised, and resides in Houston, Texas.

 Website     Facebook    Twitter    Join the Mailing List

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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#GuestPost- A Closer Look at Miss Perfect by Nicole Dunlap

Missperfect

African American, Mystery, drama, suspense, romance.

Their desire for perfection will be shattered

Charlene Shaw embodies perfection as a highly-acclaimed actress. Within her gilded walls of beauty, she is scrambling to save her daughter, Raven, from sins she can’t even fathom. This is her self-imposed curse for abandoning Raven as a child.

 Raven Shaw is captivatingly gorgeous but burdened by a closet of skeletons. After a rough childhood, she is finally living life. Jon, her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved, has returned to her. A stalker looms just outside of reach, blackmailing her for Jon’s fortune. She’d do anything to keep this man–even if it means turning to another… Mysterious, handsome Tyriq may have the key to erase her deepest, darkest secrets forever. Yet, this savior might threaten her mind’s rationale of “happily ever after” with Jon.

 

 Excerpt:

Muscles warm, lungs hallow, Raven felt light as a feather, stepping onto the stairs at the shallow end. Slowly her lids dimmed, eyes narrowed. A pique in senses alerted her to the sound of a camera flash. She turned to the glass chairs in the back corner next to the submerged pool bar.

With his suit jacket draped over the chair next to him, Jon sat comfy-like, leaning back. He’d undone the top button of his vest, tie a shrew, peering through her camera.

At the snap of a photo, Raven’s lips bunched together. “Stop taking my picture!”

He clicked another one.

“Where have you been; to a club?” Heated, she reached over and tried to grab it.

“Uh-uh, Re-Re,” he said and she got a faint scent of alcohol from his breath.

She leaned back, looking at him through a different light. “Are you drunk?”

“Sexy,” he said, peering through the lens and took another shot.

“Shut up! You went off to work at the beginning of the week. Came back and left again. Then you had the nerve to leave a sappy message about coming home tonight. Then called to say you wouldn’t. Now you’re here! That’s bull.” Hands balled into fists, she itched to claw the half smile off his face. “Uh-huh, you had plans to come home then some slut called, and you decided to stay out. What happened, your little slut had to cancel? Your hoe couldn’t make up her mind!”

He chuckled, and she reached over to slap him. It stung her hand, but he didn’t flinch.

Jon took another picture. “Give me more ‘hood girl,’ I like that.”

“You bastard!” She tried to pummel his face. This time he grabbed her wrists and pulled her in his lap, tucking her hands behind her back. Jon dominated her with hard kisses, making her delirious. Rage momentarily forgotten.

“C’mon, Re-Re, no hitting, not just yet.” He leaned his head over, away from her untamed hand. Dominating her once more, he said, “Whoa, I haven’t had this much action since your ice skating. If I knew you’d be so stingy, I would’ve had you then and there–”

“Cheating bastard!” I’m working things out for us! Trying to make sure your image stays clean and you… Biting his shoulder, she contemplated her pending self-sacrifice.

“Do you honestly think I’ve been cheating on you?” Gone was the grin. “Look me in the eyes and tell me if you actually believe I was out with another woman?”

“No,” she whispered. I want to believe the best in you.

Hand to her chin, Jon pressed it back toward him until they were less than an inch away, and she clawed her fingers into his biceps still in limbo between adoration and anger.

“As I said, it’s been a while,” he said softly, licking his lips. “Months. I thought pregnancy was supposed to–”

So what? I’m still mad.” She let her fingernails deepen. Part of her was concerned, but most of her didn’t care–she just wanted to hurt him the way she hurt while he was away. “I cooked lamb. I waited for you.”

“Is there any way you’d ever forgive me?”

She hated the drunk Jon. So cocky. Slowly, he pulled her closer, kissing her feverously as he pulled at the strings of the bikini behind her neck. She dragged his bottom lip through her teeth again and let her legs wrap around him in the chair. She wished her thighs were stronger, wanted to hold him siege. Planting kisses on the side of his mouth and down his chin, she bit him as her hands dug into the back of his neck. The bastard, versed in six different languages, whispered Italian notes that made her blood boil. The way he grabbed her behind, wanting and needing every last inch, said he was angry too.

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Amazon     Barnes & Noble     YouTube

IMG_9924About the Author:

Nicole Dunlap holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Child Development, and a Masters Degree in Counseling from Azusa Pacific University. She works for social services. She has been self dubbed the “gumbo genre” novelist, because books shouldn’t be lightly seasoned… Her stories revolve around family and relationships, women’s issues, drizzled with drama, peppered with suspense, and finished off with aromatic notes of romance. The Shaw Family Saga pays homage to dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships, with well developed characters that readers can root for; love them, hate them, cry for, and most of all, yearn to flip through the pages to the end of that character’s journey.

If this teaser excerpt enticed you to read more about the suspense of the Shaw Fmaily Saga, please check out NicoleDunlap.com Feel free to email me at nicole@nicoledunlap.com, Tweet me, message me on Facebook, and friend me on Goodreads.

 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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Deciding what genre you write should not be this difficult!!!!

Finding the Correct Genre For Your ProseOkay, admit it, we’ve all been there. You get an idea; invest time, tears, aggravation, and determination to write it all down. Then you struggle with letting it go long enough for a friend or relative to read it. You gird yourself emotionally (or at least you try to) while you listen to their feedback, then cry when in private. Despite however many edits it takes to tell your tale, one of the first questions asked by your reader is, “What genre do you write?”

You would think it would be easy to say, (fill in the blank), but not these days. Genres no longer carry the simple tags of Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Drama, and Sci-Fi. There are sub-genres to these popular book categories that muddy the waters when it comes to deciding exactly where your manuscript fits in. Not to mention, new categories seem to pop up every day. Ever heard of Science Fiction/Alternative History? Me neither, but it is out there!

So, how do you find out if your manuscript fits into one, or more, of these sub-genres?

Well let’s start with defining what a fiction genre is. Visit this link, Exploring Different Types of Genre, which is found on the For Dummies website.

To summarize, here are the two main types of literal and commercial fiction:

Commercial fiction: Attracts a broad audience and may also fall into any sub-genre such as mystery, romance, legal thriller, western, science fiction, and more. (Example: The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. Popular authors in this genre include John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steele, and Jackie Collins.)

Literary fiction: Appeals to a smaller, more intellectual audience. Works in this genre can fall into the above listed genres. The difference is the qualities it contains: excellent writing, originality of thought and style. These qualities raise it above the level of ordinary written works. (Examples: Cold Mountain by Frazier. Popular authors in this genre include Toni Morrison, Barbara Kingsover, John LeCarre, and Saul Bellow. )

The article goes on to describe the main genres, as well as list the sub-genres and its most popular authors. Visiting this link provides valuable information to help you discover where you fit in, as well as where to best promote your work when it’s published.  The site also provides links to the Writers of America website for each genre for more detailed descriptions and the accepted rules.

For those of you on a time crunch who don’t have time to read the full article, but want to find our more information about your genre, here are the links:

Mystery Writers of America        Romance Writers of America

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America      Western Writers of America

So, where does my writing fit in? While I writer Romance, because I ‘break the rules’, the stories I tell fall into several categories.

The settings are modern day which puts me in Contemporary Romance.

Though I write from the female and male point of view, the stores are mostly about women’s issues and the ability to overcome, which places me in Women’s Fiction.

My characters are not all from one race. The heroines in the first three novels of The Butterfly Memoirs are an African-American, Caucasian-African-American, and Caucasian. The heroes are Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic. This puts me in the Interracial Romance category. Unfortunately, this is a relatively new category that is just now being acknowledged by the publishing industry. (Here’s a great blog post written by a fellow author on this topic: Interracial Romance: The Most Popular Genre No One’s Heard About.)

And last but not least, because I am an African-American author, anything I write, regardless of the topics, writing style, or genre, I am automatically placed in the African-American genre before anything else is considered.

So, where does YOUR story fit? Good luck with figuring it out!

MJ

Guest Post: How I Cracked the Mystery Novel by A.T. Hicks

 For all of you writers out there who have found mystery writing as your Muses calling, author A.T. Hicks is here to help you! Read today’s guest post and find out how she cracked the mystery novel formula!  Thanks for sharing A.T.!

Mystery writing to me was as complex as the Di Vinci Code and as befuddling as Egyptian Hieroglyphics. I didn’t understand how those clever writers did it. How they came up with their daring plots and sub-plots, their nefarious characters and the resolving of the crime at the end. In other words, becoming a mystery writer was as far from my goals as climbing Mount Everest. It just wasn’t gonna happen.

But alas, my own creativity told me, I was wrong…

Now, I’m a very curious person and I’m arrogant enough to believe that I can solve any puzzle I put my mind to work on. Last year–February 2012 in fact–I told myself I was going to learn to write cozy mysteries. You know–those stories where a woman in a small village or town digs out the pie thief and the murderer of that pretty girl next-door–all while knitting mittens and drinking hot toddies. Very cute, right? But I wanted to write my own mysteries; one that was a bit more risqué. A not so cozy mystery series, if you will.

The series would be penned A Peaches Donnelly Mystery.

But before all this fabulousness could start, I had to crack the Mystery Novel Code. After weeks of studying the structure of plot, development of character and general lay of the land of many mysteries, I had one of those illuminating moments where the mystery (no pun intended!) is finally solved. And it was oh, so simple. One can use this formula to write a mystery, suspense or thriller as complex as their mind, and research, can devise.

The Mystery Plot Rules:

1) Set from the very beginning who will be murdered and why. The murder can happen at any time, but you need to have a pretty good idea of who the victim, or victims, will be.  IE: Regina is found impaled with a spiked heel the day after her big promotion.

2) Decide who the murderer is. Now, this rule is a little flexible. I have had in mind one would-be murderer, then, after getting deep into the plot, found a better, less obvious murderer. This changes from writer to writer and in the end, you’ll figure out who the best murderer is for your stories plot.

3) Decide why the murderer has murdered this person and don’t give it away! The reason why someone killed someone else can again be as complex or rudimentary or hilarious as you want it to be.

4) Sprinkle subtle clues in from the very beginning and continue to consistently sprinkle clues in most chapters. The clues should always tie neatly–and sensibly!–into the storyline. Important: be sure different clues from the victim’s life or from the crime scene tie in with a word or a line or a theme about the murderer. IE: the deceased was immoral and slept with folk’s men. Show that the killer was a fiery Bible thumper or that the killer was a mousy woman with a gorgeous husband. But in no way should these people be at the forefront of the readers mind as a suspect. A light hand is required here.

5) Sprinkle in red herrings that throw the reader for a loop. These red herrings can be in the form of jealous spouses, angry co-workers or hateful neighbors. IE: Becky had always hated Regina and when she got the promotion she was after, a nasty argument ensued. Three days later, Regina was found murdered with Becky’s spiked heel. In the mind of the reader, this makes Becky a likely suspect. They can also be in the form of something that ties a particular person to the victim. IE: Regina’s ex-boyfriend was had a restraining order levied against him because he was stalking Regina. But remember, none of these obvious suspects should ever be the killer.

6) Don’t forget to summarize what the investigator has discovered throughout varying chapters where our heroine/hero interviews a suspect or discovers a clue(s). Now, this can be done in varying ways, either through a conversation with a sidekick or partner throughout the chapter, with a bit of a mental summery of clues discovered thus far, or a bit of both. This is stylistic and up to you. But it must be done. This way the reader doesn’t get lost in the book.

7) No matter what, move the plot forward! Everything you write should be moving the investigator, amateur sleuth or hard boiled detective inexorably to the killer. The clues should stack up, perhaps leading the reader astray at times, but always leading the reader forward. There’s nothing worse than a storyline that plods along!

8) The discovery of the murderer, no matter how ridiculous or hard-boiled, should always surprise the reader. This is the fun part where all your excellent writing comes together. It should be fast-paced, fun and exciting. It should take the reader on a roller coaster ride of ‘Ohhh–yeahhhh!’ They should be remembering your red herrings and clue summaries.

I view writing mysteries as a person who puts together a thousand piece puzzle would: piece by piece. Each piece should fit neatly into the other to give the reader a tight, seamless ending that makes sense and provides them with a feeling of satisfaction.

There you have it folk. I’ve cracked the Mystery Novel Code now you can, too!

Check out A.T. Hicks novel today!

Peaches and the Gambler Silhouette (1)What does a strip club, a dead man and a Dove ice cream bar all have in common? Peaches Donnelly.

Peaches Donnelly has a major problem: she’s just been fired. Unaccustomed to filling her days with nothingness, she embroils herself in the murder of a childhood friend. However, standing between her and the solving of this heinous
crime are two pesky daughters, a selfish opera singer sister, the diet from hell and two sexy men she can’t resist.

Add to this bubbling pot a hasty decision to go undercover as a stripper and you have a story rife with drama, laughs and a little dash of danger.

Follow Peaches and the always funny cast of characters in this first installment of a rollicking series of cozy mysteries.

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About the Author:

When A. T. Hicks isn’t penning outrageous fiction, she’s shooing a renegade tomcat out of her garden, trying to prevent her escape artist dog from slipping out under the fence once again and negotiating with her teenaged daughter to complete her chores.

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