Monday, December 05, 2016

Guest Post: Judy Penz Sheluk on "What’s in a Name?"

Judy is back today mystery, SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC is on sale for less than a buck for two more days until the 7th. So, hit the link for Amazon below after you read her thoughts on book titles….


Judy Penz Sheluk: What’s in a Name?

If you read mysteries and find a book with the title F is for Fugitive, you’re likely to make an instant connection: this is one of Sue Grafton’s alphabet series. Ditto for Gathering Prey: has to be John’s Sandford’s Lucas Davenport series. Find a book with a pun-ny title, like Pillow Stalk, from Diane Vallere’s Doris Day-inspired Madison Night series, or Butter Off Dead by Leslie Budewitz, and even without reading the back cover, you know you’re looking at a cozy.

Of course, not all authors play by any particular rules. Consider Louise Penny. Her titles include Still Life, The Long Way Home and A Beautiful Mystery. No correlation there. Yet every author knows that a good title is important. Think In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, and you know this is going to be a dark tale of grisly murder.

When I started writing The Hanged Man’s Noose, the first book in my Glass Dolphin mystery series, the working title was The Blue Dolphin, the original name of the antiques shop that features prominently in the book. I changed the store’s name to the Glass Dolphin when a Google search led me to an actual antiques shop called The Blue Dolphin. But I also knew that a book called The Glass Dolphin (or The Blue Dolphin) wasn’t about to stand out in the crowd.

A few chapters into the book, Arabella Carpenter, owner of the Glass Dolphin, goes into The Hanged Man’s Noose for a drink and a sympathetic ear. Named for the town’s namesake, Samuel Lount, a real life nineteenth century politician who was hanged for treason, as soon as I came up with the name of the bar, I knew I had the name of my book.

My latest mystery, Skeletons in the Attic, started life as Calamity Barnstable, the name of my protagonist. Once again, I knew that was never going to work in the long term. And once again, inspiration came from the story itself. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 6:


“The attic was every bit as creepy as I expected, a windowless, claustrophobic space, the walls and ceiling filled with pink fiberglass insulation, the air smelling faintly of mothballs. Given the padlock, I had expected it to be stockpiled with valuables. It wasn’t. There was a large leather steamer trunk that looked like it might be vintage, a newer trunk, bright blue with brass trim, and what appeared to be a picture triple wrapped in bubble wrap.

There was also a coffin, full-sized from what I could gather. I took a deep breath, resisted the urge to bolt out the cubbyhole entry, and inched my way over.

Unlike the attic, there was no lock on the coffin. I almost wished there had been, if only to delay the inevitable. I took another deep breath, put on the yellow rubber kitchen gloves I’d brought with me—I’d watched enough episodes of CSI to know the importance of not leaving fingerprints—bent down, and gingerly lifted the lid. It was lighter than I expected, but that didn’t stop me from dropping it abruptly. The thump echoed in the room, scaring me more than I could have thought possible.

Because what I saw lying against the cream-colored satin wasn’t a dead, decaying body, but a skeleton. One that looked decidedly human.

I had been ready to uncover some skeletons in the closet. A skeleton in the attic was another matter entirely.”


A skeleton in the attic. As soon as I wrote the words, I knew that would be the title. Because I wanted to differentiate this work from my Glass Dolphin mysteries, I decided to go with “A Marketville Mystery,” Marketville being the name of the town where the story takes place.

So, what do you think? How important is a title in your decision to read a book?

Synopsis for Skeletons in the Attic

What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there…

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville—a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

Callie’s not keen on dredging up a thirty-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?



Judy Penz Sheluk ©2016

Amazon International bestselling author Judy Penz Sheluk’s crime fiction includes The Hanged Man’s Noose, Skeletons in the Attic, and several short stories. Find her at www.judypenzsheluk.com  and on Facebook: https://business.facebook.com/JudyPenzSheluk

Find Skeletons in the Attic in print at all the usual suspects, and on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited on Amazon: http://www.imajinbooks.com/skeletons-in-the-attic

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Beneath the Stains of Time: Crash Dive

Beneath the Stains of Time: Crash Dive: " Yes... it's a puzzle to know just where to begin ." - Major Williams (Lynton Blow's The "Moth" Murder , 193...

December 2016 issue of Gumshoe Review is now online

Gumshoe Review December 2016 now Online at:

Editorial License:
Just the Facts - December 2016 by Gayle Surrette

Original Fiction:
If it’s a Stiff, it Ships! (Trace Walker) by David Boop

Columns:
US Books
News
Conventions

Nonfiction Reviews:
Sherlock: Chronicles by Steve Tribe

Short Fiction Reviews:
Resume Speed by Lawrence Block

US Book Reviews:
Ash Island (Belltree) by Barry Maitland
Echoes of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes
    Canon edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger
Hell Bay (Barker & Llewelyn) by Will Thomas
In Hot Water (Triple-D Ranch, Vol. 1) by Terry Odell
The Inheritance by Jacqueline Seewald
Living Spectres (Chesterton Holte, Gentleman Haunt) by
    Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Lone Wolf (F.B.I. K-9l) by Sara Driscoll
No Pity For the Dead (Old San Francisco) by Nancy Herriman
Pushing Up Daisies (Agatha Raisin) by M.C. Beaton
The Reek of Red Herrings (Dandy Gilver) by Catriona McPherson
Time of Departure by Douglas Schofield

-- Gayle Surrette
Brandywine, MD 20613
Email: davinci@amperzen.com
Blog: http://amperzen.com/blog

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Shotgun Honey Flash Fiction: Chemo Demo by Patricia Abbott

Shotgun Honey Flash Fiction: Chemo Demo by Patricia Abbott

KRL This Week Update for December 3, 2016

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "We Wish You a Murderous Christmas" by Vicki Delany http://kingsriverlife.com/12/03/we-wish-you-a-murderous-christmas-by-vicki-delany/

And a review & giveaway "Champagne Conspiracy" by Ellen Crosby along with an interesting interview with Ellen http://kingsriverlife.com/12/03/champagne-conspiracy-by-ellen-crosby/

Also a review & giveaway of "British Manor Murder" by Leslie Meier http://kingsriverlife.com/12/03/british-manor-murder-by-leslie-meier/

And a review & giveaway of another Christmas mystery, "Better Off Thread" by Amanda M. Lee http://kingsriverlife.com/12/03/better-off-thread-by-amanda-lee/

We also have a review & giveaway of "Trigger Yappy" by Diana Orgain

And this week mystery fan Carolyn Tellers shares about a snowy white Christmas from her childhood & some wonderful Christmas recipes http://kingsriverlife.com/12/03/im-dreaming-of-a-white-christmas/

And we have a fun mystery short story by Earl Staggs

And a review & giveaway of "Burned to a Crisp" by Catherine Bruns, along with reviews of the other books in this series & an interesting interview with Catherine http://kingsriverlife.com/12/03/a-cookies-chance-mystery-series-by-catherine-bruns/

And over on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of a Christmas mystery novella by Terry Ambrose, "A Damsel For Santa"

Happy reading, Lorie


--
KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for
mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life http://KingsRiverLife.com
Check out my own blog at http://mysteryratscloset.blogspot.com/

Crafty Lady Sandi: Crafty Lady Sandi Christmas Angel

Crafty Lady Sandi: Crafty Lady Sandi Christmas Angel: Hi! Crafters! Since I now have delivered 31 angels for my doctor and sold everything except the angels on that I am selling on my i...

Friday, December 02, 2016

Frank Zafiro on the Process of Self-Editing at Down & Out Books

 Frank Zafiro on the Process of Self-Editing at Down & Out Books

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Baker Street Jurors by Michael Robertson

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Baker Street Jurors by Michael Robertson: Reviewed by Jeanne When Nigel Heath of 221 B Baker Street receives a jury summons addressed to “Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” he does ...

Small Press Storm Warnings: Torquere Press, Caliburn Press, Month9Books (Writer Beware Blog)

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The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers (11/30/16)

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers (11/30/16)

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: HOLIDAY RELEASES FROM CAROLINE CLEMMONS

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: HOLIDAY RELEASES FROM CAROLINE CLEMMONS: Between writing and decorating for Christmas, I’ve been hopping. Do you have your tree up and decorated yet—if you intend to have one? The ...

FFB Review: The House at Sea’s End: A Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths

Back late last December I reviewed the first book in this series, The Crossing Places. I’d found out about the series by way of a number of folks on the DorothyL list who had enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed it immensely and knew I wanted to read the next one. I had planned to get to the second book quicker than I had, but as usual, life intervened. It wasn’t until last month that I read and reviewed The Janus Stone

After taking last week off as a mental health break and to avoid running another repeat review, today for Friday’s Forgotten Books I review the third one in the series, The House At Sea’s End. This is a great series and one that absolutely has to be read in order. For more reading suggestions, check out Patti Abbott’s blog.


It is March when Detective Sergeant David Clough gets the call from his girlfriend, Trace. With her purple spiked hair and piercings, one might be surprised at their relationship. Marriage is not planned at this point, unlike the upcoming one for Detective Sergeant Judy Johnson, who is gaining martial practice in a way as she is forced to share a desk with the always-eating Clough. Trace called because, as one of several people who have found remains out at the Broughton Sea’s End, she is sure they need the police and she has that personal connection.

Between a local pub and the home known as Sea’s End House, along the cliff face and in an area that is swamped at regular intervals by the tides, there are bones. Obviously human the bones will need the professional evaluation by Dr. Ruth Galloway who has just returned from maternity leave. The survey for the university on the effects of coastal erosion that was being conducted by Trace and other folks from the archeology department is going to have to wait.
(audio)
The few initial bones lead to the eventual discovery of six bodies. The six show signs that they were bound at the time of their deaths as well as other clues that seem to indicate a case of foul play. Dr. Ruth Galloway is able to determine they date back to World War II. From their appearance and other related events, it becomes clear that DCI Harry Nelson, just back from vacation and Clough’s boss, has a major case to work. Whatever the reason for what happened then, someone is killing in the here and now to keep the truth buried even if the bones are not.

The House at Sea’s End: A Ruth Galloway Mystery is the third in the series that began with The Crossing Places. Author Elly Griffths has created a compelling mystery series that features plenty of history from an archeological perspective. Then she adds in the complex personalities of multiple characters to create a very real to the reader fictional world. These books pull you in quickly as the characters evolve and change over time.

This is a series that simply has to be read in order. There are ongoing repercussions from the first book as well as the second novel that reverberate here in obvious and not so obvious ways. These mysteries, including The House at Sea’s End: A Ruth Galloway Mystery, are mysteries of depth and complexity and very much worth your time.



The House at Sea’s End: A Ruth Galloway Mystery
Elly Griffiths
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
January 2012
ISBN# 978-0-547-50614-5
Hardback (also available in paperback, audio, and eBook formats)
384 Pages (includes 11 pages of the next book in the series)
$25.00


Material was obtained via the Plano Public Library System to read and review.


Kevin R. Tipple ©2016



Thursday, December 01, 2016

Sandi Yesterday at Infusion

Yesterday while we were at infusion Sandi asked me to take a picture of her. This was pretty rare, but I was more than willing to do so by way of her cell phone. She wasn't in the shape to make her phone do whatever it does to get a picture to me until this morning. As you can see below the sun was starting to stream into the room as the blinds could not be fully closed. This was about two hours in when the drugs had started hitting her system hard causing her to be cold and sleepy.




Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 42 Calls for Submissions: December 2016 - Paying M...

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Crime Time : MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL – John Ber...

Crime Time : MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL – John Ber...: Roger Ebert surprised and annoyed me with his review of the movie version, grumbling that it didn’t do justice to John Berendt’s book versi...

Speculative Chick: How to Shop for Geeks by Nicole Taft

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Mysterical-E Update: The Newest Issue Will Launch Soon

While we were gone yesterday the message below came in my email. For those who don't already have this bookmarked, go to http://mystericale.com/

The next issue of Mysterical-E is launching in a day or so and it's packed with lots of good things.

Interviews, columns, a book excerpt, and, of course, stories.

Be on the Lookout for the new issue.
 

New Books by MWA Members – December 2016

New Books by MWA Members – December 2016

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC @JudyPenzSheluk

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC @JudyPenzSheluk: SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC by Judy Penz Sheluk ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ GENRE :  Mystery The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a r...

Beneath the Stains of Time: Serpents in the Garden

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Bill Crider’s Favorite Christmas Mystery (Poisoned Pen Blog)

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The Rap Sheet: But Wait, There’s More!

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A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: SUSPENSE THRILLER WITH DARK HUMOR!

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Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Deadly Company, Poor People, In Countr...

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

IVIG Completed

We have just gotten home as Sandi had a multi hour infusion this morning of IVIG. This is the stuff that supports her immune system and keeps it from collapsing. Sandi did fairly well though there were concerns over her high blood pressure when we first got there. That seemed to resolve on its own so they went ahead with the infusion.

She does not have to be back at Texas Oncology until the 15th of December. At that time they will do blood work and she will have a visit with the doctor. At that time they will also schedule another IVIG deal for the end of the year between Christmas and New Years Day.

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Society Members' News: November 2016

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Society Members' News: November 2016: The members below reported their publishing successes this month:  Micki Browning, “Sleighed” in Mystery Weekly Magazine: December 201...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Rap Sheet: Bullet Points: This and That Edition (11/29/2016)

The Rap Sheet:  Bullet Points: This and That Edition (11/29/2016)

Susanne Adair's Relevant History: "Was Abraham Lincoln a Scrooge?" by Warren Bull

Susanne Adair's Relevant History: "Was Abraham Lincoln a Scrooge?" by Warren Bull

Guest Post: Dave Seaman on "Turning Short Stories Into A Computer Game, And Back Again"

Please welcome Dave Seaman to the blog today. I have known Dave for a few years now stretching back to when we both were writing various things at the late Epinions.Com. He has two books out now and this is one of them. 


Turning Short Stories Into A Computer Game, And Back Again


Let me tell you a story.  Back in the late 90s I was a teenager with a dream of becoming a published author.  Well to be honest I never really got very far with that, at least until self-publishing became ridiculously easy, but I did at least achieve a little success in the Indie Press, or the “Small Press” as we tended to call it then.  Slightly before the millennium I got a story published in a tiny magazine (photocopied and with a distribution of about 150 for the first issue I think) called “Visions”.  It was the first of quite a few short stories and poems I have published in the Small Press over the next few years – never coming anywhere close to hitting the big time unfortunately – but the very first story I ever had published was Captain Disaster Episode One – The Planet Eater of Acturus.  A further 5 episodes would be published in Visions before the magazine closed down.


In years to come I would try to create a point and click adventure game featuring the puzzle, I seem to remember getting a decent-ish prototype working in around 2003, but it all fizzled out.  I eventually got up to 11 episodes and tried self-publishing them to the total lack of interest of the rest of the world.  More recently I tried again to create a computer game featuring the character, and this time instead of going it alone assembled a small team   In 2012 we released a demo, which won the Best Demo Award at the AGS (Adventure Game Studio) awards that year, and after a few enforced team changes and a lot of difficulties to plough through, we are almost ready to release Captain Disaster in Death Has a Million Stomping Boots in 2017.  Originally I had planned to make small games based on the 11 existing episodes, but it quickly became apparent that this was not a plausible concept, so a new storyline had to be created from scratch.

Betwixt times I also designed another, shorter Captain Disaster game (The Dark Side of the Moon), which I made with the help of a different coder.  The graphics are pretty awful because I made them myself, but overall it’s a good little game and I’m proud of it, it’s really the first “proper” point and click adventure game the I designed all the way from concept to completion.  More recently I released a fully voiced version (I did all the voices myself, which was a lot of fun) – both the original and voiced versions can be downloaded at http://gamejolt.com/games/captain-disaster-in-the-dark-side-of-the-moon/16772

“But wait!” you might think, “what has this all got to do with writing?”  Well I’m just in the process of finishing the eBook of the game – it’s not really a “novelisation” as it’s far too short for that, but it’s a fun story in its own right and also (more or less) serves as a walkthrough / hint book for the game itself.   I’m 99% decided to release it as a free ebook to try to get more people introduced to the Captain Disaster universe.  So basically, as Obi-Wan might say... the circle is complete.  I have gone from writing stories about Captain Disaster to making games about him, to writing a story about a game I already made.  Groovy, huh?

Captain Disaster Collection: Amazon Kindle Edition is available for $2.99 (or $1.23 if you happen to catch it between 11th and 15th December 2016)! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3W1MNY


Dave Seaman ©2016

Dave Seaman has been spending the last few years mainly focusing on game design and play-testing  with a fair amount of sound effect editing and voice acting thrown in,  but more recently has been drawn back towards fiction writing and is currently working on his first novel.  His writing blog can be found at http://backtofictionwriting.blogspot.co.uk/