New Title – Whispers of Warning by Jessica Estevao

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Book Review – Young Adult Contemporary Romance, Melody’s Key By Dallas Coryell

 

51flunry2nlMelody’s Key

By Dallas Coryell

Asher Rain Publications

305 pages

e-book Kindle

June 24, 2016

Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Tegan Lockwood put aside her desire to go to college so that she could help her parents with the family business: Lockwood Holiday in Southern England. It always seemed there was so much to be done and her family needed everyone aboard to care for guests in their historic home. Summer was even more hectic with one group after another demanding their attention: singles, retired folks, the LGBT group and young families. Until the end of summer bonfire, this was their life. Then they would venture to their autumn part time jobs to help make ends meet.

When guests shared the stories of their lives, the stories often found their way into her music. A talented musician, she escapes the hectic lifestyle by reading the long-written words of Violet and the man she loved, Jonathan. Sadly, she learned that an arranged marriage to Gregory Lockwood will forever keep the lovers apart.

Those historic love letters were one welcome distraction in her life to help her forget things she didn’t want to remember. The second comes in the form of a celebrity guest. Tegan learns from her sister that Mason Keane, an American pop star, is coming to their manor house. Her parents feel it’s an amazing opportunity for them. David Crandle and his assistant, Vivian, arrange it. Tegan feels he is everything that was wrong with the music industry, but sometimes the heart feels differently. When she truly gets to know the real Mason, she’ll learn she’s wrong.

Several things here. One, way to go for a man to write a romance. His story captures the heart of a woman. Melody’s Key is really descriptive, which at times I liked, or didn’t mind, but sometimes felt a little too much as it slows the storyline down. Loved the real relationship Tegan’s family had. They never held back on what they had to say. Liked that Tegan’s best friend had her full support. She respected him for who he was and even stood up to those who would bully him. Wish there was more about Violet and Jonathan. The truth is, Violet’s baby wasn’t Lockwood’s, so that would make them not the heirs of the manor. Hope no one finds out. Lots of personality, in this book with all the characters. Liked the ending, as well.

Four keys out of five

Denise Fleischer

Gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

September 18, 2017

 

 

Blog Tour Stop: An Interview with Nathan Goyer About His First Novel

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Nathan Goyer is a new Christian author who is bringing the word of God to life in new ways. Fictional world building and fantastical settings are his way of tackling real issues and thoughts, as is seen in his first book series Bask. The Bask trilogy is about an alien world that has become dependent on a mysterious form of energy, and those in power have abused the population’s need for the precious resource and use it as a means of control.

Bask Cover-1Raised by author Tricia Goyer, Nathan has spent his life creating stories and building his writing skills. He took creative writing classes through high school, and was even recruited to be an intern at the writing center in University of Arkansas Little Rock.

GWN recently had the opportunity to speak with Nathan. Let’s welcome him into the world of authors.

GWN: What inspired you to write a book about one man being used by God in a world where God is unknown?

NG: It’s a thought I’ve had a few times before I started writing Bask: What would the world be like without God? What I imagined in my head was a world that was depressed. A world that no one found true happiness in. A world without hope. Then I kept those thoughts and wondered what would happen if someone who was being used by God was brought into it. What would he be able to change? How would the people of that world react to him? When I came up with the idea for the story of Bask, I decided that these thoughts should be the focal point of the story.

GWN: How did you transport your protagonist, who is a Marine, to another world?

NG: Eric was assigned to a special military research base due to his high performance as a marine. One of the projects they were working on there was a device that could send the user to a specific place in both space and time. After a potentially world ending calamity appeared, Eric, along with all the other staff at the base, tried to use this device to instantly travel all the way to Australia so they could have a chance at survival. It may seem convenient, but I assure you that the two events are not coincidental.

GWN: Why was he chosen and not a Reverend or a teacher of religions? Is he a believer in God?

NG: The world of Bask is a dangerous one that goes through constant wars and battles. Because of this, I felt that the main character should be someone who is already acquainted with combat. Throughout most of the first book Eric is not an active believer. He was raised as one as a child, but the troubles of life caused him to drift away. His journey back into a relationship with God is not an easy one, he fights it every step of the way. He feels confused, betrayed, and it takes a long time for him to realize that he was never as far away as he thought he was.

GWN: What does he encounter on this new strange world? Is he seen as a threat to those he encounters? Does he preach religion or compassion?

NG: Eric encounters a mess of politics and covert operations. He sees leaders that don’t care about their citizens, and common people that resort to violence at every given chance. At the start of this story, Eric is known only to a few. But as time progresses he leads by example and shows those around him that there are other methods than using evil to fight evil. These actions bring him both allies and enemies as his reputation grows.

GWN: Are there several races of beings there? Are they civilized? What climates, transportation, way of life can be found there? Are they more advanced than Earth? What are their basic beliefs? Is it government controlled? Or governed by powerful males?

NG: The people of Bask are for the most part human. The only difference from Eric is that they all have blue hair and glowing blue eyes. They are different from the people here on Earth, more advanced in some ways while less so in others. This is due to their utilization of the Bask stones for almost all forms of technology. Their government is a series of layers. There are your noblemen and women of varying importance, the archdukes and archduchesses who govern large provinces of the kingdom, and then the immortal and unstoppable King who has been controlling the known world with cruelty as far back as history goes.

GWN: Who provides him shelter, food, and protection?

NG: Immediately after arriving in this alien world, Eric encounters a group of influential people who are planning a rebellion in the shadows. The other main character, a girl native to the alien world and part of this group, gets a sense that Eric can be trusted. The rest of her group soon sees the potential in Eric, as he is a man who isn’t bound to the rules of their world.

GWN: Are there those that want him dead?

NG: If they knew he was there already, absolutely! In the first book, Eric stays mostly unknown due to circumstance, and doesn’t even know that there are those who would hunt him down endlessly should they find out he is in their world.

GWN: Is he ever in contact with God?

NG: Of course! God is an active character in this story, he is constantly pulling the strings of various character’s hearts. And in a time of need, Eric gets to have a conversation with him directly!

GWN: When does he learn what his mission is?

NG: On Earth, Eric felt he was without a true purpose. Once he travels to the alien world and is fully exposed to the darkness there, he sees the needs of that world and how little the individual lives of its people are cared for. He takes it as his duty to stop the cruelty of the world’s leadership.

GWN: What did you find to be the most difficult scene to write?

NG: Aeia, the other main character of the story, has a rare ability to transfer her own consciousness into the minds of others. It’s a complex power and the representation of the sub-conscious was very difficult to write in a way that was both easy to understand, and still fun to read. I had at least a dozen different ideas on what it would be like before I decided on its current representation.

GWN: Is this your debut novel?

NG:  It is! I had many partial books written before Bask, but none of them quite met my expectations. Even Bask itself had many rewrites before I was satisfied with the final draft. But I am happy to say that this is the novel I can call my first!

GWN: Who inspired you to become an author?

NG: I’ve been telling stories for a long time. Even as a child playing with my friends I would come up with elaborate stories to why our toys were doing what they were doing. In fact, one time I was staying at a friend’s house for a week and had an “episode” planned for each day with our toys. My friend woke me up early on the third day because he wanted to find out what happens next! I also had the perfect upbringing for writing between my mother who is an author and my father who took time out of his day each night to read us Christian novels. I knew early on what I wanted to do, and now I’m happy to be doing it!

GWN: When was the book published? What do you feel are the benefits of self-publishing?

NG: Bask was published on July 29th, so very recently. I chose to self-publish on Amazon because frankly I was ready to start working on other projects! Choosing to find a publishing house would be an entire process that could take years for anything to happen with a first-time author like myself. I felt that I could move a lot quicker if I wasn’t forced to wait such a long time to be published.

GWN: What do you have planned for promotion?

NG: There is another Q&A in the works with Christen Krumm, as well as a Kindle Countdown Sale from September 20th at 8:00 AM to September 22nd at 8:00 PM where “Bask: City of Shadows” will be available at half price!

GWN: Are you already working on your next book?

NG:  Yes! I am hard at work on the second Bask novel, as well as another book I will provide more details on when it gets closer to completion!

An Interview with Andrew Grossett, bodybuilder & author of ‘Love Lust Love’

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Andrew_Grossett_AuthorAndrew Grossett is an established natural bodybuilder, Personal Trainer and Coach based in South East London. As a boy he enjoyed getting lost in the adventures of “The Famous Five” and “Secret Seven” and dreamed of one day writing books that enabled imaginations to thrive. After finally plucking up the courage to put pen to paper he wrote his first novel, “Love, Lust, Love,” Austin Macauley Publishers, Ltd.

  • So, tell us a little about your book and what it means to you personally.

9781786296634_adult“Love, Lust, Love” is a love story, it tells the tale of Stephen and Tina as they leave the world of being single and attempt to merge their lives. The story isn’t fanatical its real life told through their eyes, the situations they face are real and the feelings they embrace are, too. The really interesting part for the reader is that you get to hear both sides of the coin as its happening.

The book means the world to me especially because of the time in my life that it has come about and the circumstances surrounding it. While I have always had aspirations of becoming a novelist, I didn’t sit there and think, “Let’s write a book today.” The story found me at a point where I needed it most.

I had just left my company with nothing after working away at it for the past six years after suffering from what turned out to be a series of panic attacks induced through stress. I had various issues going on through my private life which left me in a position where I felt lost and alone. Don’t get me wrong. I had people around me, however even in a room full of people, I didn’t feel that I could reach out to anyone. I had built up a persona online as being a life coach and posted several videos a week trying to give people hope, little did they know that at this point all the messages that went out were personal and at times the only thing keeping my smile alive.

It was a Thursday and so I was preparing for a video to which my point was that two people couldn’t be the same after a significant event had occurred and so I used the metaphor of a first kiss, I thought everyone could understand that. I then thought it would be fun to write a paragraph of how a woman might feel after a first kiss had occurred. When I sent it to a friend of mine she nearly broke my phone with messages stating that I must have been a woman in a previous life to have known that level of detail. But then she said the it would be interesting from a woman’s point of view to understand what a guy was thinking as sometimes it was difficult to work out. After that the principal for the book was set.

  • What motivated you to write this book, and the biggest inspiration behind it?

I wrote the book to prove to myself that I wasn’t a loser, I wrote the book to silence the voices in my head that said I was a failure. You see at that point my life was on the ropes, at that point I was hanging over the edge and the project of writing something that most people couldn’t was my restoration point. The biggest inspiration behind it was my obsession with the ways that humans communicate and it gave me a medium to express those thoughts and theories. I wanted to do something that was for me, something that meant no matter how bad things got in the future no one could ever take away the fact that I had written a novel.

  • As you’re a personal trainer and coach, an erotic romance book is not something we would expect – did your career help the process of this book in anyway, or are they completely separate entities?

Believe it or not the book made me realise for the first time why I became a Personal Trainer in the first place, it wasn’t for the physical changes you could impact on an individual it was the mental and emotional. As a Personal Trainer you get to really connect with people and help them past the various issues that they face. When you spend an hour with someone two – three times a week they tell you all sorts. The two worlds are separate, though, as in there are no clients’ secrets in the book I couldn’t do that to anyone, but I may write “The diary of a Personal Trainer” in the future.

  • How you finding the journey of being a published author? (highs/lows, best bits and any tips

Being a published author is still sinking in, I get messages from people on social media with the book in their hands and too think that people are getting enjoyment out of something you have created is surreal. There haven’t been any lows so far really, I have loved every minute of it. Raising the finance for the contract I suppose was a challenge. As for highs, nothing beats when you receive the initial box of books through and smell that new book smell coming from your own title!!

  • Tell us what the biggest challenge around writing an erotic fiction book, as well as why you loved it.

The biggest challenge I found was keeping it real. There is a massive pull to write something massively fanatical and therefore take the story down the whips, chains and shinning castle route, but from what I have read and heard from others while those stories have been successful in the past people are wanting something more down to earth now. I loved writing the story because everybody loves falling in love, regardless of who you are, where you come from and whether you are falling personally or hearing someone else’s story. “Love, Lust, Love” is there to give everyone hope that in a digital age where everything comes next day delivery and mostly disappointing, there are somethings that may take a little longer, but last a lifetime.

  • Do you have any last motivational words for readers?

The plan for this book wasn’t originally to publish it, it was simply to write it and now it’s being sold and shipped all over the country. Whatever your dream is, dream it big, shout it loud and make a start at making it come true. You may not complete the journey in one step, but each step will be closer than yesterday.

 

 

 

Guest Blog Post – A Conversation with Margaret Coel on the latest Wind River mystery, Winter’s Child

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Where do you get your ideas?  Every author hears that question a lot. Out of the blue, is my answer.  Writing a series means I am always waiting for an idea to drop out of the blue for the next Father John O’Malley/Vicky Holden adventure. The idea for Winter’s Child did just that a number of years ago when I stumbled across the photo of an Arapaho couple, taken about 1920.  They wore traditional Arapaho clothing, headdresses and beaded necklaces, and stared poker-faced into the camera as if a camera wasn’t the most curious thing they had ever encountered.

An Arapaho couple, except that the woman wasn’t Arapaho.  She was white.  Married to an Arapaho man named John Brokenhorn and living on the Wind River Reservation.

Whoa!  I said to myself. A white woman who had become Arapaho?  How did that come about? This was the idea that eventually led to Winter’s Child.

What I found out about the woman was that she had been born Elizabeth Fletcher, the youngest child of a white family, who called her Lizzie.  In 1865, the Fletcher family was crossing the plains when Cheyennes and Arapahos attacked their wagons and captured two-year-old Lizzie.  From that moment her life changed into one her family could not have imagined. She grew up Cheyenne, but she married an Arapaho and began living with the Arapahos, eventually going with them to the Wind River Reservation.  She became Arapaho.

The idea of a white-Arapaho never left me.  A couple years ago, I started thinking again about Lizzie Brokenhorn and wondering what it must have been like for her to assume a new identity, become someone else.  She may have been very young when she was captured, yet everyday she had to see the whiteness of her skin, the reddish blond color of her hair and know that she was different. She was someone else.

I started asking the what if questions:  What if a white child appeared on the reservation today and became Arapaho? Where did this child come from? Who had brought her to the reservation and why? Where was her white family?  Now that she identified as Arapaho, what would become of her?  And the last what if question was this:  what might two white girls who lived a century apart have in common?

The more I thought about the idea, the more I realized I had hit upon a mystery wrapped inside an enigma wrapped inside—well, another mystery.  There were mysteries all around for Father John and Vicky to untangle, and plenty of reasons someone might not want them to succeed.  In fact, might do whatever it took, including murder, to keep the secrets of the past hidden.

Not the least of the mysteries Father John and Vicky must confront is that of identity.  Are we more than who we think we are? Do we create our identities, or do our identities create us?  When we find ourselves in places or circumstances we had never planned, as is the case with both Father John and Vicky, how do we plot our way forward?

Big questions to ponder, but those are the kind of questions that draw Father John and Vicky into the story and keep them involved until they find the answers. The questions certainly kept me involved as I wrote the story—or rather, as the story seemed to unfold on its own—and I hope they will  keep you involved as you go along on this adventure.

 

Book Review – (Cozy Mystery #2) Dead Air & Double Dares by Janis Thornton

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Book Review –  Dead Air & Double Dares

Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery #2

By Janis Thornton

Cup of Tea Books

306 pages

Trade paperback, $11.99

June 19, 2017

A double dare leads Elmwood Gazette editor Crystal Crooper into a federally approved aircraft that resembles a flying dune buggy. The bad luck of a goose sends the craft in a barely controllable descent during a Memorial Day celebration in town. Thankfully no one is severely injured. But someone was hurt, wants to sue the pilot, and has a nasty reputation for destroying people’s lives.

Shortly after, Horace Q. Ogilvie, Elmwood radio station’s owner, announced during a broadcast that he, and other innocent people, were nearly plowed down by the craft. The next morning, Alicia Featherstone, his personal assistant, finds him dead sitting at his desk in his home office.

According to his nephew, Tom Marlow, and other local residents close to him, Horace wasn’t always the most hated man in town nor did he always have a heart that refused compassion. His life grew dismally dark with the death of his son, who he could have stopped from being shipped to Vietnam. His son’s death led to his wife leaving him and his life being turned upside down from there. He became a social recluse and a radio broadcaster, which ironically are opposites.

Being the town’s newspaper editor, Crystal is drawn to what she knows is the biggest story of the year and she’ll do what it takes to gather clues and figure out who the guilty party is. Knowing Verlin Wallace, Elmwood County’s Sheriff, she has a way in the back door for viewing a crime scene, even if it’s against the rules.

Now the list of suspects, or those that would benefit from his death, are a mile long. Old Horace didn’t appear to have many friends or people looking out for him. But Crystal does learn that there was more to this man’s story. There are those who feel that Chip, the auto mechanic was out to get him as he’s being blamed for nearly plowing him down during the Memorial Day Service. Horace’s nephew, Tom, would appear as the main benefactor during his uncle’s will reading. Perhaps he’s impatient for his inheritance. Anyone Horace tried to bury reputation wise could be a suspect. There’s also the neighbors that hated the radio tower Horace put up in their neighborhood. And the former mayor who went to prison. Even Crystal, considering that the majority of his broadcasts focused on subjects she already published in the Gazette.

Dead Air & Double Dares is a character-based, small town mystery with residents you gotta love. The storyline has you following behind Crystal to figure out who killed Horace. I think I was cheering for housekeeper/source/friend Gertie Tyroo as much as the protagonist. Liked the fact that there were two sides to Horace’s life. There’s always something experienced that makes us more humble or total haters.

I think Crystal shouldn’t have disturbed the crime scene even if she was trying to save evidence that could be deleted by the guilty party.  But amateur sleuths take chances to solve crimes. I also don’t know why Horace could get away with stealing her stories. Hope to read the next book in the series.

Four radio towers out of five

gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

Denise Fleischer

Sept. 4, 2017

 

Nathan Goyer

 

Guest Blog Post – The Many Joys of Pudding by Julia Buckley

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With the advent of my third UnderCover Dish mystery, PUDDING UP WITH MURDER, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about pudding, that comfort food thousands of years in the making.

According to Food Timeline, custard-like foods date back to the Middle Ages, but foods that were called “puddings” were initially sausage-like, contained within a skin. Eventually, sometime between the 17th and 19th centuries, pudding evolved until it was more like cake (as in the English puddings that we sing about in Christmas carols).

Somewhere in the 19th Century pudding was boiled, sometimes with chocolate added, and it came to have a new consistency and a new group of fans.  The original title of my book was THE RICE PUDDING PROBLEM because Lilah Drake, undercover chef, bakes a giant pan of rice pudding casserole for some children at a party. Rice pudding, like many puddings, is a comfort food, thick with rice and custard and sweetened with sugar and cinnamon.

According to this site (http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodpuddings.html), rice pudding was, in ancient days, a sort of medicine. “This ancient recipe was traditionally prescribed for the young and infirm. The formulae were inscribed in medical texts before they showed up in cookbooks. Tapioca, arrowroot, and cornstarch puddings (made from new world thickeners) were also recommended as restoratives.”

My own mother used to make rice pudding in a pot, with the “old fashioned” recipe of boiling the rice, then adding milk, sugar and salt until thick and creamy. It’s a simple recipe, but always seems to reach something in the soul, as do many foods that bring us gastronomical pleasure even while they connect us to some emotion—love, or nostalgia, or togetherness.

Thanks to my mother, I am a fan of many puddings; I love a nice bowl of chocolate pudding, or vanilla, or butterscotch (delicious!), but I also like the textual complexity of tapioca pudding, bread pudding, and rice pudding. She made them all when we were children, poured them from the pot into parfait cups, then stored them in the fridge so that they would gel and be the “fancy” dessert we ate after dinner. I used to open the fridge more than once to look at those gleaming vessels and anticipate the delicious dessert to come.

In PUDDING UP WITH MURDER, Lilah understands the connection between food and emotion; she is an alchemist in this sense, bringing more than flavor out of food, but finding ways to turn it into something deeper, richer, for her customers.

What’s your favorite pudding? And what emotion does it evoke in you?

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog Post: How People I Know Get Into My Books By Laurie Cass

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The short answer? They don’t.

The longer answer? They don’t. Well, not really.

The complete answer is a bit complicated, but here goes. Back in the day, lo these many years ago, before I was published, before I’d submitted a single query letter to an agent, before I’d started writing any book at all, I realized that I had no clue how to write.

I desperately wanted to be a writer, and made a solemn vow to become a published author, but I had absolutely no idea how to, you know, actually do it.

So I did what a lot of people do:  I started reading. Not the mystery that I longed to write—though I did that, too—but books about writing. Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, Robert Ray’s The Weekend Novelist, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, and numerous others that I could name if I got out of this comfortable chair and walked all the way over to the bookcase. I read all that advice—inhaled it—and when I sat down to put pencil to paper, I still had no clue what I was doing.

Thus started my pre-published era of writing. This was when I wrote the 6.3 books that are now languishing in the deep dark corners of my computer. This was when I joined the Guppies, an online chapter of Sisters in Crime. This was when I joined a local writers group. This was when I started hearing people say things like, “That guy who fired me, yeah, I put him in my first book as the murder victim. It was cathartic,” and “In one of my books I made the mean girl in high school into a waitress in a run-down diner. It felt great.”

I thought about all that, but when I finally got brave enough to start writing my own stuff, I never got around to thinking about inserting people I know into my books. My characters tend to develop first as a skeletal role—best friend, neighbor, aunt, coworker, whatever—and then I figure out what personality would best fit the story. Shoving someone I know into one of those roles isn’t likely to fit. If I dropped a friend into a book, she would walk and talk like my friend, and that could drive the entire thing in a direction I didn’t intend.

That said, there have been times when I’ve used bits of people, but not so much personalities as physical attributes. It works like this. I’ll be writing a scene and a new characters walks in. “Huh,” I’ll think, pausing in my typing and staring off into space. “What does he look like? Hmm…” (I need to have some idea, even if it doesn’t get on the page.) “Let’s see…how about that summer intern I worked with 15 years ago? Don’t remember his name, but I remember what he looked like. Sort of. That’ll work.” And I’m on my way.

So that teeshirt you might have seen; “Be nice to me or I’ll put you in my novel”? With me, you don’t have to worry about that happening.

Not really, anyway.

 

Nathan Goyer

Guest Blog Post: Why a Castle? By Victoria Hamilton, Merry Muffin Mysteries Author

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Muffin to Fear

Series: #5 Merry Muffin Mysteries

By Victoria Hamilton

Berkley Prime Crime

Pub. Date: July 25th, 2017

In the world of cozy or traditional mysteries the home of the protagonist is generally a cute cottage, or an antique Queen Anne. I realize that I’ve never really explained where the idea for placing the Merry Muffin Mystery series in an honest-to-goodness American castle came from.

A little background: it was a few years ago. I had successfully launched the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries (Book #6, Leave It To Cleaver has just been released, June 23rd – see my website for details!) and I thought I could handle a second series. (Within a year I would have a second and third series!) I love reading mystery series, myself; I like revisiting characters I enjoy spending time with. It’s like meeting old friends every time I go to Santa Theresa and visit with the indomitable Kinsey Millhone, her feisty landlord, Henry, and hilarious friend-slash-bully-in-chief Rosie. So, I wanted to create another series, another ‘place’ in space and time.

I had recently had an idea that just popped into my mind; what would I do if I inherited a castle? Seems obvious; move to the castle, right? But I realized there was much more to it than just moving there. A building like that would require a whole lot of money thrown at it routinely! And for a city girl (the idea was starting to take shape, and the protagonist, Merry Wynter, was born!) who had been involved in the fashion industry, living in a huge castle near a small town in western New York State was not a natural fit.

But I needed more of a reason she couldn’t just sell Wynter Castle and take the cash. There were problems at the castle that required her presence and her commitment to fixing it up, then. And thus was born Wynter Castle, the quirky, isolated town of Autumn Vale, and the cast of kooky characters, as well as the family mystery of why Merry didn’t know her great uncle. Added to that was the mystery of how and why great uncle Melvyn Wynter died and why someone kept digging huge holes on her property, making the castle unsellable! It was like all these little pieces of the puzzle – what makes up the Merry Muffin Mystery series  – were just floating in the ether, waiting for the series to cling to.

But I know much better than that. I think once the castle idea came to me, the rest began to take root and grow in the rich soil it gave me because it was the right idea at the right time. Trust me, I’ve had lots of ideas that came to nothing, and I think that was because they weren’t right for me, or they would have taken root.

And that’s how a series was born!

~::~

About Victoria Hamilton:

Victoria Hamilton is the national bestselling author of two bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.

Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!

Website: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton

Merry Muffin Mysteries Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MerrysMuffinsMysterySeries

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vintagekitchenm/merry-muffin-mysteries/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MysteryVictoria

 

Guest Blog Post: What I Like Best About Writing Mysteries By Glen Ebisch

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The Accident

There are several things that make writing mysteries particularly enjoyable.  The first is obviously that there is some sort of a puzzle involved.  So the writer must come up with a plot that presents a crime that the reader, along with the protagonist, tries to solve.  It must be a fair plot, which means that the reader is given all the relevant evidence to solve the crime right along with the main character.  There are no last minute surprises or introductions of new characters that make for an impossible-to-anticipate solution.  This aspect of the mystery tests the writer’s ability to think in a clear, rational way.

A second requirement for a good mystery is that the main character must be someone the reader cares about.  If the protagonist is dull, unapproachable, or dim, the reader will quickly stop caring about solving the puzzle.  The ability to develop a fully rounded character poses a new challenge to the writer because he must be able to develop a convincing backstory for the protagonist that makes it understandable why the person is acting as she is in the present.  It also requires the ability to emotionally connect with the character and your readers.  This can be challenging but also very rewarding to the writer.

Finally, the crime must be solved.  Most people who read mysteries want the satisfaction of having order restored in the world by having the criminal caught and punished.  In a world where, as we all know, crime all too often does pay, there is a satisfaction about reading about a universe where it does not.  I think this also gives a sense of living in an orderly universe to both the reader and the writer.

So I think writing mysteries is particularly satisfying because it challenges the writer intellectually to create a complex but fair plot.  It challenges him emotionally to get inside the mind of his protagonist and make her a true-to-life individual.  And finally, it is satisfying morally because it allows the writer to reestablish a sense of justice in the world.