Enigma Anthology out now!

Enigma: The Inner Circle Writers' Group Crime/Mystery/Thriller Anthology 2018

My story “Holy Habits” is in the British anthology Enigma  out now!

Even the best of intentions can turn out wrong, but sometimes ill intentions turn out right . . . in a way. Read for yourself and you be the judge!

Publication Announcement!

Recent cover image or website screenshot for Tough

I’m pleased to announce that my short story, “The Heat”, has been purchased by Tough: Crime Stories.

“The Heat” will appear on the ezine in February 2019, and in their published anthology in April!

This piece is a suspenseful mystery, part police procedural, part something more – I’ll let you decide what! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing – Crime Baked

New England Crime Bake

This past weekend I attended the 2018 New England Crime Bake, which was my first writing conference. For a while I’d been reading about how important it is to network with other writers for both support and to establish a writing community, so I decided to give it a try.

I met so many AMAZING people there that it was worth going for that experience alone!

scoreI also met the authors of these three fantastic books and got them signed, which was a major score because they are all wonderful, yet very different, stories, and I cherish the opportunity to let a writer know how much I enjoyed reading their book. The authors are absolutely awesome, too! How awesome? Let me count the ways. . .

Walter Mosley was the guest of honor of this year’s conference. The author of more than 40 book and a multiple award winner, he’s probably best known for his Easy Rawlins mysteries, yet he contributes to many genres and writes for TV and film as well (ever heard of the series Snowfall?).

Mosley is hilarious, but he’s also a very insightful, eloquent speaker who doesn’t mince words when sharing his experiences in the publishing industry. If you get a chance to hear him speak, don’t miss it – you won’t regret it!

As both an agent and a writer, Munier considers herself a “storyteller and storyseller”. She is a huge animal lover, which is all I need to know to turn into a super fan! She is also incredibly nice and friendly, a very genuine person.

Her latest release, “A Borrowing of Bones”, was inspired by the “hero working dogs she met through MissionK9Rescue”. I really enjoyed the mystery and recommend you give it a try!

 

Image result for hank phillippi ryanHank Phillippi Ryan is a firecracker! So much energy and enthusiasm and with personality for days, Ryan knows how to keep an entire room enthralled! I took a master class with her at the conference, and she was definitely one of the major highlights of the weekend!

She may be best known for her day job as an investigative reporter who has won over 34 EMMYs and dozens of other awards, but she hasn’t done too shabby in the writing department. “Ryan’s also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, three Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and for The Other Woman, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award.” Her schedule is PACKED full of events for her latest release, “Trust Me”. This is an author that you have got to see for yourself! #TrustMe

Was it perfect? No. #CrimeBake wasn’t everything I had imagined or hoped for. I don’t feel like I learned very much, but as an event for both readers and writers, it wasn’t as instructive as conferences that focus exclusively on writing and craft development. (I learned that at the conference!)

I did, however, have a truly memorable and enjoyable time. Talking with other writers, hearing about their experiences, the other conferences and events that they had attended, was truly priceless.

Was it worth it? Yes!

Would I do it again? Absolutely!

The bottom line is that I was there to meet other writers, and that’s exactly what I did. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and most authors don’t get an agent or a publishing contract overnight. (While #CrimeBake does have a pitch option, I did not partake. This time.) To me, the important thing is that I took some time for myself and spent it immersed in my passion. What more can I ask for?!?!

 

Upcoming Publication Announcement!

I’m thrilled to announce that my short story, “Dying Print”, has been purchased and will be appearing in an upcoming issue of Wild Musette Magazine next year!

Image result for detectiveThis is the sixth mystery featuring the character Detective Shaw to see publication. There are several other Shaw stories kicking around the slush piles out there – my plan is to eventually compile a FREE anthology collection of all the “Shades of Shaw”. If you’re interested in receiving a copy, sign up for my newsletter here so you don’t miss out!

(I promise I won’t spam you or flood your inbox – I know how annoying that is! My newsletter is never sent more often than quarterly, and only when there’s enough great new info to make it worthwhile.)

Poll: Which “Teaser Word” Makes You Want To Read A Book More?

For this week’s poll, I want to know about you as a reader. Specifically, when you read a blurb about a book, what “teaser word” is hardest to resist? If you respond most to a word not included in the poll, feel free to add it in the comments section below!

 

The results from the last poll are as follows:

Which Picture Creates the Best Sense of Atmosphere?
Empty and abandoned church nave. 37.5%    
Trail through the dark woods. 25%    
Abandoned amusement park. 25%    

Derelict house in the woods. 12.5%   

Poll: Which Picture Creates the Best Sense of Atmosphere?

For this week’s poll, I’d like to know which picture you feel creates the best sense of atmosphere. Does one of the pictures invoke a stronger feeling or response than the others?

The results of last week’s poll are as follows:

What Do You Find Scarier? 
Having the feeling that someone is watching you, when you believe you are alone. 33.33%    
Waking up in the middle of the night with the feeling that someone – or something – else is in the room with you when you should be alone. 33.33%   
Having an instinctual fear reaction, like the hair raise on the back of your neck, without knowing why. 16.67%    
Realizing that the sounds of nature around you have stopped when you’re walking in the woods by yourself. 16.67%   

Poll ~ What Do You Find Scarier??? 👻☠️🧛💀🦇               

👻 ☠️ 🧛 💀 🦇 👻 ☠️

In the spirit of Halloween, I want to know what you find scarier:

 

Thanks for your participation, and if you have an idea for a poll that you’d like to see posted, please let me know in the comments section below!

The results of last week’s poll are:

Who is the best female villain? 

  1. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates in Misery) 33.33%
  2. Other: View 33.33%
  3. Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl) 16.67%
  4. Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar – Cruel Intentions) 16.67%

👻 ☠️ 🧛 💀 🦇 👻 ☠️

Who is the Best Female Villain?

It’s my favorite time of year and I wanted to do something Halloweeny (it’s an actual word, an adjective-who knew!) for this week’s poll. Naturally, I started think of the best villains. Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Leatherface . . . notice a theme here?

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The most common villains are from horror movies. If you do a Google search, you’ll also get plenty of other villains, from gangsters to terrorists, but they’re almost all male. If you search specifically for female villains, they’re mostly from fairy tale, Disney, super hero and comics movies.

What’s going on here? I don’t think we as a culture shy away from portraying women as villains, but it does seem that they aren’t taken as seriously as their male counterparts. So this week I’m asking who you think is the best (realistic) female villain. Feel free to add your own if your pick isn’t represented!

 

The results of last week’s polls:

Which situation would you least like to find yourself in?
* On the side of an empty stretch of highway miles from anything with a broken down vehicle and no cell reception. 45.45%  (5 votes)  
* Any location where I was isolated and by myself with no way to communicate with others. 45.45%  (5 votes)  
* Spending a night in a derelict house believed to be haunted, all by yourself but with a working cell phone. 9.09%  (1 votes)  
* A ski lodge cut off from communicating with the outside world by a blizzard. 0%  (0 votes)  

* An Island resort cut off from communicating with the mainland due to unknown circumstances. 0%  (0 votes) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poll: Which Scenario Do You Find More Unsettling?

For this week’s poll, I’d like to know which of the following scenarios you’d find more unsettling – as in, which would you least like to find yourself in?

The results of last week’s poll were split 25% for each option. While I loved all the books, and found them all eerie and suspenseful, I chose Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. To me, the pages of that book ooze with sinister suspense. I’ve reread it several times, and have never been disappointed!

#Thriller in the Woods #Book Signing and #Author Event

thrillerinwoods1-e1539282021408.jpgI’m fortunate enough to live in an area with an incredible indie bookstore and some fantastic local authors who are kind enough to indulge the local readership with awesome events.

When I heard that White Birch Books was sponsoring “Thriller in the Woods: A Night of Conversation with Lisa Gardner and Lisa Unger,” I knew I couldn’t miss it.

Lisa Gardner launches her book tour in North Conway, NH each year. She’s a great speaker, super personable, and pens thrillers guaranteed to keep you on the edge thrillerinwoods.jpgof your seat! I try to attend any event where she’s featured, because it’s sure to be a blast! This time, the event was held at Theater in the Woods, and she brought a friend!!!

Lisa Gardner and Lisa Unger are both internationally best selling authors. They both write suspenseful thrillers. They’re both named Lisa. Put them in a room together and let the adventure begin!

thrillerinwoods2The event was in celebration of the release of Lisa Unger’s newest novel, Under My Skin, and the paperback release of Lisa Gardner’s novel, Look For Me.

The two authors had an incredibly interesting discussion touching on everything from their different writing processes, where they get their ideas, how they perform their research, how they got their start, and so much more!

Both women are wonderfully dynamic, and the conversation flowed with the natural ease of two old friends having a casual chat. I really enjoy attending book signings and author talks, and have met my fair share of bestselling authors in the process – I cannot stress how genuinely friendly and engaging these ladies are! If you get the chance to see either of them speak, do it! You won’t regret it! #TeamLisa