Posts in the Mystery, Suspense, & Thriller genre

Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Dreaded Cliffy…” by J.L. Berg

Forgetting August JL Berg

When I sat down to write my first novel, I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that it would be a standalone. Every detail of my hero and heroine’s journey would be tied up in a nice neat bow by the last page.

Who wanted the hassle of a cliffhanger?

Not me.

Too messy.

I continued with this philosophy well into my contemporary series, always wrapping up each book nicely as I sent the hero and heroine into their happily every after.

Right around the publication of my fifth book, I had an idea.

A horrible, brilliant idea. It nagged at me for days until finally I typed up a brief synopsis and sent it to my agent.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Gay 90s” by Kate McMurray

Ten Days In August Kate McMurray

Last time I was here, I talked a little about what it was like to be gay in the 1920s. My new novel, Ten Days in August, is set in 1896. So what kind of difference does going back in time thirty years make?

The 1890s were a rough time for LGBT people. There was new scholarship on homosexuality and an increased recognition of it in some medical circles, but in the U.S. and Europe, prosecution for sodomy was on the rise. “Gay” as we think of it now wasn’t really a thing yet; men who we’d call gay or bisexual now often married women but hooked up with men on the side. In New York, men could go to find other men in dance halls and clubs, particularly those in what is now the East Village, along the Bowery or tucked into Bleecker Street. Men of the 1890s had their own version of the hankie code, too—men seeking men could identify each other by certain markers: a red ascot, dyed blond hair, a certain way of dressing.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Katie Ruggle on Forensics, Nerdery, and HOLD YOUR BREATH

Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle

When I started working on a police Crime Scene Team, I discovered something: I’m a forensics nerd. On the first day of training, a whole world opened up, one overflowing with the possibility of evidence. No fingerprints? Then check for shoe prints. No? Let’s try DNA. Or maybe fibers or gun powder residue or bullet casings or anything else that could have been left behind at the scene.

The processes available fascinated me. At one burglary scene, we found a pair of used latex gloves. The burglar’s fingerprints could be on the inside of the gloves, but how could they be retrieved? After (very carefully) turning each finger inside out, we hung them in a Plexiglas container with a small amount of superglue and secured the airtight lid. When we heated the superglue, a fog-like vapor filled the space.

The superglue vapor attached to what the person wearing the gloves had left behind (amino acids, fatty acids and proteins), leaving a white residue that followed the lines of the latent prints. In this way, the invisible became visible and told us who’d been wearing the gloves (in this case, the home owner. It turned out that he’d faked the burglary to get insurance money).

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Giveaway, Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Heart of the Matter” by Anise Eden

All The Broken Places Anise Eden

With due apology to all of the writers who have labored over the books I’ve read, I have been known to flip past beautifully written passages about very important things just to find out what happens next in the romantic subplot. Even as a child, before I was reading about romantic love, what I cared about in stories were the relationships—between friends, siblings, parents and children, characters and their pets—anything that made a heart-to-heart connection.

When I wrote my first novel, All the Broken Places, I didn’t set out to write a romance, but I suppose it should come as no surprise that I did. The heart has always been where I live, and it is also where the wellspring of my inspiration lies.

One of the best things about writing romance is that the subject of love is so rich. It includes many of our most compelling human experiences—loyalty, sacrifice, intimacy, generosity, humor, forgiveness, persistence, empathy, and sympathy, among other things. Love is a dazzling kaleidoscope of our existence. Perhaps that is the reason why it has been the driving force behind so much of our behavior, including so many of our creative endeavors.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “What qualities must every member of the X-OPS team possess?” by Paige Tyler

Her Fierce Warrior Paige Tyler

Some qualities are obvious. For example, agents in the Department of Covert Operations have to be well-trained to handle the tense, dangerous situations the DCO is always getting itself into. It probably helps if they’re courageous, physically fit, and tactically proficient (i.e., they can shoot straight and make good decisions under stress).

But of course, there’s more to it than that. Typically, these agents work in a team of anywhere from two to five people, usually with at least one shifter. They have to be able to work and function in a team environment. That means they have to be able to trust each other with their lives. That takes a certain kind of person, and if you have an issue working with shifters (humans who possess certain animal DNA that allows them to exhibit some of that animal’s traits and capabilities) then maybe you need to move on and do another job. DCO teams are the ultimate example of diversity in action. They blend people based on their abilities without regard to how different the people are. Color, gender, breed…none of it matters. Can you work together and do the job?

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: ALL THE BROKEN PLACES by Anise Eden

All The Broken Places Anise Eden

We’re thrilled to bring you this little taste of Anise Eden’s
All The Broken Places! This brilliant blend of paranormal, psychological, and the romantic is available now.

All The Broken Places Excerpt—Tai Chi Class

The exercise studio was located in the church’s basement. Multicolored Indian tapestries with elaborate geometric designs hung on the walls. There was no furniture in the room, and the floor was lined with large, gray gymnasium pads. Four new faces—two men and two women—had joined Ben in the small, windowless room. They, too, wore navy-blue sweats and all appeared to know one another. After a moment of brief panic at finding myself in a group of strangers, I noticed with relief that I wasn’t getting slammed by anyone’s feelings. None of them must be in emotional distress, I concluded.

Ben waved me over to a back corner of the room. He switched on a stereo that began to play ambient music. The others spaced themselves out and stood up straight, facing the front of the room with their hands at their sides. Ben said, “Watch me and do your best to follow along. I’ll come help if you’re getting into trouble.”

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Cover Reveals

Cover Reveal: Donna Russo Morin’s PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY

Today we’re sharing the cover reveal of the newest release from award winner author, Donna Russo Morin, Portrait of a Conspiracy! This is a fabulous historical mystery with a romantic subplot, and will be out on May 10th! Who doesn’t love Italy, the arts, and strong female characters? We hope you enjoy and pre-order your copy today!

One murder ignites the powderkeg that threatens to consume the Medici’s Florence. Amidst the chaos, five women and one legendary artist weave together a plot that could bring peace, or get them all killed. Seeking to wrest power from the Medici family in 15th Century Florence, members of the Pazzi family drew their blades in a church and slew Giuliano. But Lorenzo de’ Medici survives, and seeks revenge on everyone involved, plunging the city into a murderous chaos that takes dozens of lives. Bodies are dragged through the streets, and no one is safe. Five women steal away to a church to ply their craft in secret. Viviana, Fiammetta, Isabetta, Natasia, and Mattea are painters, not allowed to be public with their skill, but freed from the restrictions in their lives by their art. When a sixth member of their group, Lapaccia, goes missing, and is rumored to have stolen a much sought after painting as she vanished, the women must venture out into the dangerous streets to find their friend and see her safe. They will have help from one of the most renowned painters of their era―the peaceful and kind Leonardo Da Vinci. It is under his tutelage that they will flourish as artists, and with his access that they will infiltrate some of the highest, most secretive places in Florence, unraveling one conspiracy as they build another in its place. Historical fiction at its finest, Donna Russo Morin begins a series of Da Vinci’s disciples with a novel both vibrant and absorbing, perfect for the readers of Sarah Dunant.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Why I Threw Away a Ph.D. to Write Romantic Mystery Novels” by Jennifer Kincheloe

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc Jennifer Kincheloe

I used to be a research scientist on the faculty at UCLA, and studied the healthcare system. I developed complex statistical models, wrote policy reports, and spoke at symposiums. Governors and members of congress read my work.

But, I quit to write romantic mystery novels. My sensible friends told me not to do it. Once you step out of academia, it’s nearly impossible to find your way back. It’s like throwing a PhD out the window.

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