mystery

Reading about a Cop’s Cop.

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within.                     ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together                                                              John Hickman’s Black Bear Killer. Reading about a cop’s cop. Nothing like being a cop and writing a mystery about a cop. You just feel that Sheriff Dell Hinton is the real thing. Author John Hickman, a 25 year veteran of law enforcement, told me, “Dell is basically my alter ego. If I had continued in law enforcement, my ideal retirement job would have been as a Sheriff in a small, rural community.” The crimes and investigations may have a ring of reality…

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Sweet Potato Pie in Julia’s Garden!

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within. ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together! Laura Wharton’s Julia’s Garden Landscape designer Lily McGuire not only has to take over a big landscaping job after her boss unexpectedly dies, but then has to follow the clues about a long ago disappearance, a buried brooch and an unusual collection of toxic plans! Author Laura Wharton told me, “As I plotted the storyline, I wanted the garden to mirror the characters, who are not at all what they seem, as Lily McGuire finds out.” A strange man shows up in Lily’s office and gives her a 1940’s garden journal, which he says killed her boss and best friend.  This connects Lily to Julie’s disappearance, her buried brooch and her unusual collection of toxic plants—a mystery perfect for a landscape architect to…

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Writing Crime and Mystery Novels!

The indieBRAG Crime and Mystery Series   I am pleased to introduce RAR Clouston author of The Covenant Within Bob, welcome and thank you for sharing with us- Stephanie:   When writing crime fiction, there are usually several characters involved. What is your advice in presenting each character so they stand out? Bob: At the risk of sounding like my social psych professor in what seems like an eternity ago during my undergraduate days as a psychology major, we are all the product of both nature and nurture. And this is never truer than with the villains who populate thrillers and mystery stories.  We are shaped by the multitude of forces, both genetic and social, that make us who we are. What drives someone to a life of crime, or even worse, to become a heartless killer? An obvious answer is that they were the offspring of truly evil parents who gave them tainted genes, or raised them in a cruel and heartless home, or both. But there are also exceptions to this as evidenced by the cases of cold blooded killers who came from a “normal’ home. My point is this: we are all different and as such a writer…

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A Victorian San Francisco Christmas

By M. Louisa Locke-Award Winning Author   Because the most recent book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, Pilfered Promises, is set during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 1880, I spent a good deal of time researching how residents of that city were celebrating the holidays that year, including looking for articles in the San Francisco Chronicle. What I found was that many of the traditions that we are familiar with today started in the Nineteenth century…including the importance of advertising special holiday sales! “The Arcade: We are offering this week SPECIAL and EXTRAORDINARY INDUCEMENTS to buyers of HOLIDAY PRESENTS, especially in our SILK DEPARTMENT” ––San Francisco Chronicle, December 19, 1880 However, these traditions were actually relatively new. Before the mid-1880s, most native-born Americans, particularly Protestants from the Northeast, saw Thanksgiving and not Christmas as the key national holiday. In fact, throughout the 1800s, a number of Protestant denominations were very resistant to the celebration of the birth of Christ in any fashion beyond religious observances. Not surprisingly, it was the Southern state of Louisiana, where there was a significant Catholic population, that first declared December 25th a holiday (in 1837), and Christmas wasn’t declared a national legal…

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An Interview with Miranda Moon!

Wunderwood A place where magic flows through all the trees and plants and even the creatures and people An Interview with Miranda Moon! What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name? My name is Miranda Moon. Significant? Well, it was partly because my last name–Moon—was recited in a curse that I ended up in Wunderwood. I suppose you could say that makes it significant. Do you have any special abilities? I’ve always had a pretty good imagination, so I like to tell stories… I guess you might not consider that a special ability, though. Actually, I’m not even sure if I came up with all my stories on my own or if they ended up in my head another way. But there is something else I can do, something that is pretty special. It has to do with… nevermind! (More about that in The Tree of Mindala! I don’t want to spoil it for you.) What is your fondest memory? Telling stories with my Grandmother Sunny in a glade near the old family cabin. She loved to hear my stories. She never said they were silly or crazy like a lot of people do. Sometimes she would…

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A walk deep into the woods

By Harmony Kent Have you ever walked deep into the woods while the ground mist swirled around your ankles and hid your feet? Or had the snapping of a twig raise the hairs on the back of your neck, as you realise you’re not quite as alone as you thought? All of these evoke the nostalgia of childhood Halloweens, where a chill of fear would run up my spine on a cold winter eve until I reached the warmth and sanctuary of the next brightly lit house. Trees have always held a special place for me. Mostly, they feel benign. Indeed, I remember with fondness one particular Willow that used to offer me shelter and a place to hide. I could spend hours beneath those floor-hanging bows. Some trees, however, have an altogether ‘other’ feel about them. On many an occasion, while out walking alone, I’ve stumbled across a deep, dark part of the woods that feels nothing other than menacing. An old gnarled Oak, in the right conditions, can take on the appearance of some ancient predator. One Halloween, as a young and impressionable child, I saw a horror movie—Watcher in the Woods, starring Bette Davis—that scared me silly…

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Christine’s Note of Life with a Mystery Writer

  I'm Christine and we've been married for forty years.  Malcolm Noble didn't write his first book until 2003 which means I've only been married to a writer for thirteen years.  It feels much longer! My main role is to explain to Malcolm that some of his ideas are bad ideas.  (He has a rude word for this which we needn't mention.)  When he gave up his proper job and began to write much more, I took charge of the address book.  Not because I wanted to help.  It was because Malcolm hasn't a clue about keeping things in order so it was easier for me to have the address book than to help sort out the mess when it went wrong.  This has led to me being more involved with press contacts and his regular readers. Another way that I help is by working out the exact word he is looking for.  This can be frustrating because his clues are often of little use.  (You should try solving one of his crossword puzzles.)  The example I always think of is - the word for walking slowly around a house.  (I'll give the answer later on.)  There are a couple…

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First Year as a Newborn and Newbie Published Author by M. Louisa Locke

Below is a reprint of a post I did January 1, 2011, just about a year after I self-published my first novel, Maids of Misfortune. I think it captures some of the wonder of that first year. It is now slightly over a year later, a have a second grandson who just turned one, who is already running, climbing, and giving his two year-old brother a run for his money, and I have become more successful than I could have ever imagined. I have a second book out, Uneasy Spirits, the sequel to Maids of Misfortune, and over 37,000 people have bought copies of my two books, and another 50,000 people have downloaded them in a series of free promotions I did on Kindle. But I will never forget the joy of that first year of firsts. I hope you enjoy reading about them as well. --M. Louisa Locke Last year I rang in the New Year with my daughter, who had just had her first baby. I was exhausted (she had had a difficult delivery) and elated at being a grandmother. This New Year’s day, as I look back at the wonderful year of watching that sweet grandson grow…

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My Initial Foray into the World of Self-publishing by Joe Perrone Jr.

                   Joe PerroneJr.         The first of my books to be published was Escaping Innocence (A Story of Awakening), which was begun as a memoir, way back in 1987, while I was working three jobs.  It did not take me long to realize that because mine was not a household name, it was unlikely that anyone would be interested in reading my memoirs.  So I did the only thing I could do, which was to morph my true story into a novel.  Using a ballpoint pen, I completed the initial manuscript over the course of the next three and a half years, filling six, spiral-bound notebooks in the process.  I truly believed that I was writing the definitive coming-of-age novel.  I wasn’t. Over the next twenty years, however, I edited, re-wrote, re-edited, and re-wrote Escaping Innocence at least three times, before I finally self-published it on October 5, 2008 through Lulu.com, a print-on-demand publisher (P.O.D.) that had been recommended to me by a relative.  By the time I published the book, I was so sick of examining and re-examining my early life that I was just happy to have…

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“Lessons Learned from Radio”

                      I recently heard my first play produced on the radio, an experience as nerve racking as the publication of my first book some twelve years ago.  The project taught me so many lessons which I will apply to my novel writing that I thought I could usefully share them here. Before I submitted my proposal, I was lucky that a retired professional theatre producer visited my bookshop and complained that he was asked to read so many well written plays that remained uncrafted.  He emphasised the distinction between a play-writer and a playwright, implying a craftsmanship comparable with cartwrights and wheelwrights. I began to think of a sculptor who starts with a fully shaped form and posture, be it angry or meek, overpowering or tear-jerking, and then works on every inch of the detail.  My visitor, who left without knowing that I had ever put pen to paper, reminded me that the audience has no second chances.  Readers may choose when,  where and  even the mood in which to open a book;  they may reread a section, take time to consider it, put it aside for later or even…

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