KAREN C. WHALEN – Paralegal – Award Winning Author

Karen C. Whalen is the author of two mystery series for The Wild Rose Press: the Dinner Club Mysteries featuring Jane Marsh, an empty nester who hosts a gourmet dinner club, and the Tow Truck Mysteries starring Delaney Moran, a super feminine shoe-a-holic who drives a tow truck. Both are cozy mysteries about strong friendships and family ties set in Colorado. The first book in the Dinner Club series tied for First Place in the Suspense Novel category of the 2017 IDA Contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America.

Whalen worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado, and was a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. Whalen loves to host dinner clubs, entertain friends, ride bicycles, hike in the mountains, and read cozy murder mysteries.

Toes on the Dash – Shoe-a-holic Delaney Morran inherits a tow truck business from her absent dad. The dead body of her ex-boyfriend is discovered in the trunk of her first towed vehicle. She must solve the crime and toughen up to make the business a success and feel the father-daughter connection she seeks.

Many authors count among my favorites, but three stand out the most. Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and Erma Bombeck.

Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her life as a homesteader’s daughter and wife during the years 1870 through 1890. I started reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s A Gift from the Sea, published over fifty years ago. Then I read through her five volumes of diaries and letters covering 1922 through 1944. Erma Bombeck wrote a newspaper column and humorous books about her life between 1965 and 1996. There are four things these writers have in common, which are also the reasons they are my favorites: they wrote about a very specific time period, they wrote about their own lives, they wrote with a strong sense of place (Laura the prairie, Anne the ocean, and Erma the suburbs) and they were talented women writers.

Lucky for them, they lived in exciting times and places. Also, they had interesting lives and a whole bunch of talent.

Erma Bombeck is the only one of the three whose life span overlapped with mine. I sent her a letter right before she died and she wrote me back. I keep that letter on my desk and look at it every day.

These women writers inspired me to write. First, I wrote a column for a paralegal magazine (paralegal being my original career). Erma Bombeck also wrote a column, and I’m proud to be remembered as a columnist, too. When I progressed to writing novels, I set my books in Colorado, an evocative western setting. My books are not memoirs, however; they are murder mysteries. My tow truck mystery series is a mash up of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels and Gemma Halliday’s High Heel Mysteries. So, all right, Janet Evanovich and Gemma Halliday are my favorite authors, too.

I will be forever thankful to the woman writers who have gone before me and inspired me. Because of them, I was able to achieve my own dream of becoming a published author. As Laura Ingalls Wilder is quoted as saying, “No one has ever achieved anything from the smallest to the greatest unless the dream was dreamed first.”

Thank you, Laura, Anne, and Erma, for daring to dream first.

These are Karen’s social media links:

These are Karen’s buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09S5XH9KQ?ref_=dbs_m_mng_rwt_calw_tkin_0&storeType=ebooks&qid=1644676163&sr=8-1#detailBullets_feature_div

Barnes & Nobel: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/toes-on-the-dash-karen-c-whalen/1140989970?ean=2940160712291

Apple books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/toes-on-the-dash/id1609810860

 

 

 

9 Comments

  1. Alina K. Field

    I love Erma Bombeck! Best of luck on the new release!

    Reply
  2. Rhonda

    Great post, Karen! Can’t wait to read your book! It’s up next in my queue. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Robin Somers

    Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s A Gift from the Sea Continues to be so inspiring and relevant to me, and it’s a valuable read to reconnect to our true voice. Thank you Karen Whalen and George Cramer for this column! (My website below is in process of remodeling)

    Reply
    • Karen Whalen

      A Gift from the Sea was published over 50 years ago, and I probably read it 20 years ago, but it is timeless. I need to check out your website when it’s ready!

      Reply
  4. Donnell Ann Bell

    Oh my goodness. There’s a title for you, Daring to Dream First. What did Erma Bombeck say to you, Karen? I’m so excited to read your tow truck mystery. Your background is fabulous to ignite your dream. Expecting great things from you.

    Thanks, George!

    Reply
    • Karen Whalen

      I like that title. So, Erma sent me a note about the last book she was writing at the time and she signed it, “You are a good friend.” I think I had written to her that I felt as if I knew her well from her books, and that was her response. I treasure that note. I’m a fangirl!

      Reply
  5. Pam

    I’m here!! I love the book! Thank you for everything!

    Reply
  6. Michael A. Black

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. This was a very inspiring post. Best of luck to you.

    Reply
    • Karen Whalen

      Thanks. We all need a little inspiration sometimes!

      Reply

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DARLENE DZIOMBA –

I’m Darlene Dziomba. I’ve been working in Fiscal Operations and Financial Planning for the University of Pennsylvania for over thirty years. I’m an animal lover. My parents always joked that from the time I learned to walk, I could not pass a dog without wanting to pet it.

 

Pre COVID, I volunteered at the Animal Welfare Association, a local New Jersey animal shelter. I hope to return to it when the virus dissipates. I miss the staff and the dogs. I had an idea for a book where the amateur sleuth worked at an animal shelter, and the Lily Dreyfus series was born. I have one dog, Billie, an irresistible terrier mix I adopted from AWA.

I had an idea for a book where the amateur sleuth worked at an animal shelter, and the Lily Dreyfus series was born. I have one dog, Billie, an irresistible terrier mix I adopted from AWA.

Clues From The Canines – Lily, an Adoption Coordinator at Forever Friends animal shelter, learns her boyfriend is dead via a dog surrender. Her pack rallies to sniff out the killer.

What brought you to writing? I was in Toronto, attending Bouchercon, and listening to a panel of writers who all had protagonists in animal-related professions. I thought to myself, “I’ve never read a book with an animal shelter employee as the protagonist. I wonder if I could write that?”

I had never attempted to write a book and had a lot to learn. I joined a Writers Workshop, took numerous online classes, and found a coach to assist me. I’m proud of myself for having brought this idea to fruition.

What is the most challenging part of your writing process? I work a full-time job besides my writing job. It is challenging to manage writing, editing, revising, maintaining a blog, maintaining a social media presence, promotions, getting enough sleep, exercising, and long walks with Billie.

Has an association membership helped you or your writing? Yes. I am a member of Sisters in Crime, the Guppies, and two regional SinC groups, SinC Fl Gulf Coast and SinC Grand Canyon Writers.

I am extremely grateful for the internet and Zoom. I’ve attended informative talks, taken craft classes, built a network, and found professional service providers.

How long did it take you to write your first book? How long to get it published? It took two and half years to have a fully written, well-crafted book. I queried agents for two years without much success. I was reluctant to self-publish because I knew an agent would be able to advise me and help me achieve the most success.

The pandemic influenced my decision to self-publish. More than anything else, I wanted my parents to be able to hold a book in their hands with my name on the cover. They are in their eighties, so I didn’t feel I could wait however many years it would take to find the agent and publisher willing to accept my work and decided to self-publish.

From start to finish, it took four and a half years to bring Clues From the Canines to fruition.

Do you base any of your characters on real people? Most of my characters are based on real people. My protagonist is not. Friends ask if Lily represents me and seem surprised when I say no.

The character of Martin is based on the person who was my supervisor at the animal shelter. He was quite the character, and we engaged in a lot of pithy exchanges. Ironically, I had to tone down Martin’s personality. He offended every single beta reader.

I had one friend point blank ask for a character. She plays a major role in the sequel Up Close And Pawsonal.

Do you outline, or are you a pantser? I am not sure “outline” adequately describes what I do. There are psychologists who would love to study my need for the obsessive detail of my plotting template.

I took a course called “Plot Thickeners” with Simon Wood. He showed me a phenomenal plotting method. Then I added to it.

Looking to the future, what’s in store for you? Once the world has conquered COVID, I hope to travel again, and eventually, I will retire from my day job and write full time.

As far as writing, I will keep producing Lily Dreyfus books as long as I can continue to come up with creative plots. For now, getting the first book launched is so exciting. I am basking in being proud of this accomplishment.

Do you have any advice for new writers? Be open-minded. My coach likes to say that she enjoys working with me, “Because you’re smart enough to realize that you need help.” It was important for the process to have beta readers who would be critical and push me to make the book better. One doesn’t need to change their base story, but new writers should toy with the ideas that are offered to them and see if they would enhance the story.

How do our readers contact you?

www.ReadDarlene.com

@ReadDarlene1

facebook.com/read.darlene.7

ReadDarlene@hotmail.com

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=clues+from+the+canines

Thank you very much for hosting me today.

 

4 Comments

  1. Marina Teramond @ NMPL

    Honestly, I am inspired by such people as Darlene Dziomba because they are a real example of true dedication to the business and they make such a valuable contribution to the people’s lives. It is so wonderful that Darlene Dziomba volunteered at the Animal Welfare Association because, for me, volunteers are a real manifestation of altruism. This book has an absolutely unique original concept because before this moment I hadn’t seen a book with such a plot and idea. Of course, it is really difficult to cope with such different tasks simultaneously and perform everything perfectly, but I admire Darlene Dziomba because not every person can multitask. I think that it disciplines you and helps you avoid procrastination. It is incredible when you base your characters on real people because it makes them more realistic and helps many people to find similar personality traits in them.

    Reply
  2. Michael A. Black

    Having an animal in a book is always a plus for me. Bless you for caring about animals and doing so much for them. You sound like a wonderful person. Good luck with your writing.

    Reply
  3. Mary Hirsig Hagen

    I love animal stories and enjoyed your comments and your idea for your books. Best of luck.

    Reply
  4. Nancy Nau Sullivan

    Darlene, So good to see you here. Congrats on Clues from the Canines–and for using your background and love of animals to develop the book. Nancy Nau Sullivan

    Reply

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CINDY SAMPLE – CEO Leaves Corporate World to Write

Cindy Sample is a former corporate CEO who decided plotting murder was more entertaining than plodding through paperwork. She retired to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a mystery author. Her eight-book Laurel McKay Humorous Mystery series is primarily set in the California Gold Country unless Cindy feels like traveling. Then the characters tag along with her on trips to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Las Vegas.

Cindy is a five-time finalist for the LEFTY Award for Best Humorous Mystery, a two-time finalist for the SILVER FALCHION Award for best traditional mystery, and a two-time finalist for the Chanticleer MURDER & MAYHEM AWARD for best cozy mystery. BIRTHDAYS ARE MURDER, the first book in her new Spindrift Cove Mystery series set in Washington state, was just released.

BIRTHDAYS ARE MURDER – After Sierra Sullivan moves to Spindrift Cove, Washington, she soon discovers gigs for middle-aged entertainers are scarcer than good hair days. She reluctantly accepts a party-princess gig. Little does Sierra know she’ll soon be upstaged by a corpse and become the leading-lady suspect.

What brought you to writing? I discovered Nancy Drew in the first grade, and by the time I turned eight, I’d read all the books in the series. One night, I decided to use my spelling words and dashed off a sixteen-page sequel. It would have been longer, but my mother made me go to bed at 8:30. I received an A+ and was hooked. I knew I wanted to be a mystery author. Although it took a half-century for me to realize that dream.

What are you currently working on? I just released BIRTHDAYS ARE MURDER, the first book in my new Spindrift Cove Mystery series set on the Olympic Peninsula. I’m currently plotting the sequel while also writing DYING FOR A DECORATION, a holiday novella that will be the ninth book in my Laurel McKay Humorous Mystery series. Laurel manages to get in trouble without much prompting from me.

We hear of strong-willed characters. Do yours behave, or do they run the show? In the first two Laurel McKay Mysteries, my characters behaved and aligned with my original plot concept. When I began writing DYING FOR A DAIQUIRI, the third book in the series, the victim absolutely refused to let me knock her off. So she was upgraded to a suspect. At the time, I was vacationing in Hawaii, the book’s setting. The next day, while dining at my favorite oceanfront restaurant, I visualized the new victim, a hula dancer who worked at Laurel’s brother’s Daiquiri bar. More suspects than I could ever have imagined walked into that story. At first, I was frustrated because I couldn’t figure out who the killer was. But I also discovered how much fun it is to play detective while writing a book. The murderer was finally revealed to me around page 170. Since then, I have let my characters evolve on their own.

Do you have subplots? I have a very fertile imagination and so do my characters. I never experience writer’s block, but I dream up so many plots that sometimes it’s difficult to choose. I try to weave in subplots about my protagonist’s family that are relatable to readers. Domestic issues can range from her eight-year-old son and teenage daughter to her bossy mother and feisty octogenarian grandmother. I also added a 150-pound Bernese Mountain dog in book seven who provides plenty of humor all by himself.

What kind of research do you do? I love my research, whether riding an ATV, performing at a ballroom dance competition, sampling daiquiris in Hawaii, or donuts in the Gold Country. My Laurel McKay series is known for its comic chase scenes. I’ve ridden backhoes (slowest chase scene ever), snowmobiles, wave runners, gondolas, stagecoaches, and tandem bicycles to make sure the details were just right. And I watch a ton of YouTube videos, too as well. Since Laurel and I are equally klutzy, the humor comes naturally to both of us.

Where do you place your settings—real or fictional locations? I live in the California Gold Country, a beautiful area with historic gold mines, wineries, and apple orchards, close to the Sierra Nevada mountains. I wanted to profile the town and some of my favorite places. The series has become so popular locally that business owners frequently request that I “stuff a stiff” in their venue. The Spindrift Cove series is set in a fictional town which gives me more latitude in certain respects, such as the size of the local police force. But I also refer to real places on the Olympic Peninsula that people are familiar with. It’s an incredibly beautiful area, and I love showcasing it.

https://cindysamplebooks.com/

www.facebook.com/cindysampleauthor

Sign up for her newsletter at https://cindysamplebooks.com/newsletter/

 

25 Comments

  1. Madeline Gornell

    You continue to be inspirational, Cindy! great catching up on what you’re working on now, and continued success!

    Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Hi Madeline. How nice to see you here. It’s been so long! Thanks for reading the post.

      Reply
  2. Marilyn Meredith

    This was a great interview–and wow, you’ve come a long way since that festival in Elkgrove where I met you–and I think you just had your first book out. I’ve been following your career and congratulations on how far you’ve come. You books are such fun reads.

    Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Thanks, Marilyn. You were so helpful to me that day. You continue to inspire me with your wonderful books!

      Reply
  3. Linda Lovely

    I’m a long-time Cindy Sample fan. With all the current real-world mayhem, it’s a delight to have your mystery book mayhem mixed with mirth. And Cindy’s a master at it!

    Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Thanks so much, Linda. We can all use more humor these days!

      Reply
  4. Mary Hirsig Hagen

    Enjoyed getting to know about you and your writing. Thank you.

    Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Thanks, Mary. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Thanks for reading the post, JoAnn.

      Reply
  5. Glenda Carroll

    Love your comments about finding the killer on page 170. I never know who did it until somewhere late in the book. I’m so glad other people do that, too. Best of luck with Birthdays are Murder.

    Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Thanks, Glenda. It sure makes it exciting when you don’t know whodunit until the end!

      Reply
  6. CINDY SAMPLE

    Thanks, Jana. That’s the magic of writing. Just let the characters do it for you!! Although sometimes they are a little slow and I have to help them out.

    Reply
  7. Jana Rossi

    Love finding out all the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into writing a mystery. It sounds like research can be a lot of fun if you do it right! I never knew how you come up with all the plots and scenarios that your characters find themselves in and now I know… they come up with them themselves! Too funny! Love all your books, Cindy. Can’t wait for the new ones down the road.

    Reply
  8. Pamela S DuMond

    Nice interview! I’m glad you have a new series. Very fun.

    Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Thanks, Pamela. It’s been fun creating a whole new set of characters in a different environment.

      Reply
  9. Donnell Ann Bell

    Cindy and George, lovely interview! Don’t you hate it when your characters refuse to cooperate? And one that refuses to die as required? That’s beyond the pale if you ask me. Did you tie him/her up? Bribe him to come back as a spirit in the next series? Your problem is you don’t know how to negotiate with your characters. See me for valuable character tips when this happens next time! 🙂

    So fun seeing you shine!

    Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Donnell, you’re so funny. The character that refused to let me “off” her was smarter than me because it made for a much better plot. I now let my characters “guide” me for the most part. If they don’t behave, they could be the next victim!

      Reply
  10. Vicki Weisfeld

    Her joie de vivre really comes through! So glad she found her niche.

    Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Thanks so much, Vicki. I believe I have!

      Reply
  11. Michael A. Black

    It sounds like you’re having as much fun writing your books as the readers are reading them. Congratulations on your success and best of luck to you. I loved the “slowest chase scene ever.” Which book was that in?

    Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Thanks, Michael. The backhoe chase scene was in my first Laurel McKay mystery, DYING FOR A DATE. I was determined to have an original chase scene!

      Reply
  12. Karen Phillips

    Cindy Sample is as witty on the page as off. I love “I’ve ridden backhoes (slowest chase scene ever)”! She certainly does her homework when writing her books. The Laurel McKay series is a fun read and “Birthdays Are Murder,” Book One in the new series featuring Laurel’s slightly older cousin, Sierra, does not disappoint.

    Reply
    • CINDY SAMPLE

      Thanks so much, Karen. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying Laurel and Sierra’s adventures.

      Reply
  13. CINDY SAMPLE

    Thanks for hosting me on your blog, George.

    Reply

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JENNIFER J. CHOW -Lefty Award Nominated Author

Jennifer J. Chow is the Lefty Award-nominated author of the Sassy Cat Mysteries and the forthcoming L.A. Night Market Mysteries. The first in the Sassy Cat series, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue, was selected as an OverDrive Recommended Read, a PopSugar Best Summer Beach Read, and one of BuzzFeed’s Top 5 Books by AAPI authors. She currently serves as Vice President on the national board of Sisters in Crime. She is an active member of Crime Writers of Color and Mystery Writers of America.

One of BookRiot’s Best Upcoming Cozy Mysteries for the Second Half of 2021!

When murder follows Mimi Lee to her romantic island getaway, she puts on her best sleuthing hat with her sassy cat in tow in this adventurous cozy mystery by Jennifer J. Chow.

“Chow offers original characters, clever banter, and a laid-back California vibe. This is perfect for lovers of crime-solving animal cozies.”—Publishers Weekly

Mimi Lee Cracks the Code is the third book in the Sassy Cat Mystery series and just got nominated for a 2022 Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery!

Do you write in more than one genre? I’ve most recently written cozy mysteries but have also dabbled in multicultural women’s fiction and young adult. You can find out more about all my books on my author website listed below.

What brought you to writing? The love of the written word. I got transported by stories at an early age and always enjoyed living in my own imaginary world. It was beautiful when I realized that you could write for a living and share that joy and wonder with others.

 What are you currently working on? I’m working on a new cozy mystery series, the L.A. Night Market Mysteries, which feature opposite-personality cousins who run a food stall. When one of their customers dies at a local night market, they get served a side of murder and start investigating. The first in the series is called Death by Bubble Tea and is available for pre-order!

Has an association membership helped you or your writing? Yes, definitely! I’m biased because I now serve as Vice President on the national board of Sisters in Crime, but I really appreciate the camaraderie and community there. Writing is a solitary profession, and it’s so important to get support from those who understand what it’s like. The encouragement and cheering from other writers also helps you keep persevering when you go through rejections and low points in your writing journey.

How long to get it published? My first novel took me about five years to get published, if you include missteps and shelved manuscripts. Mimi Lee Cracks the Code was part of a three-book deal I got with Berkley/Penguin Random House. The first book in the series, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue, happened to be a quick acquisition because the imprint was already looking for a pet-themed cozy series with an Asian American female lead. It took only several months from providing them with sample chapters to getting the official contract!

How can our readers buy your book and contact you?

Mimi Lee Cracks the Code buy link: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/605898/mimi-lee-cracks-the-code-by-jennifer-j-chow/9781984805034/

Author website: www.jenniferjchow.com

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jenjchow/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenJChow

 

10 Comments

  1. DONNARAE MENARD

    Sounding good Jennifer. And having 17 cats in my last book, I can’t wait for yours!

    Reply
  2. Mary Hirsig Hagen

    Thanks for the interesting blog I love stories with animals and will check out your book.

    Reply
  3. Donnell Ann Bell

    Very interesting! Your books sound so fun. Will check them out. Thanks George for cheering on your fellow writers!

    Reply
    • Jennifer J. Chow

      Thanks for stopping by, Donnell! Agree that George is so supportive!

      Reply
  4. Michael A. Black

    A cozy mystery and a cat–Sounds like a great combination. My own cat mystery story, “Six Toed Ollie,” is set to be republished in an upcoming anthology. I’ll have to check your books out. Best of luck to you, Ms. Chow.

    Reply
    • Jennifer J. Chow

      Thanks, Michael! Congrats on your story getting republished in a new anthology!

      Reply

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VICKI BATMAN – This Author is Suffering a Case of the FITS

Hi, everyone! George invited me to return to his blog and write about… I was clueless. My most recent mystery came out last February. Since then, I’ve been working on three short stories that give me fits. I’ve written a lot of shorts; however, I’ve never had the troubles I’m having now. George said, “Write about the fits.”

 

I like to write romantic comedy; in fact, most everything I’ve done has been in the romantic comedy genre. Short ones. Long ones. Mysteries. Now, I’m working on three shorts to combine into my Sommerville days 2 collection. I don’t remember the other stories giving me fits like these.

Pixie Trixie-Is a twist on the Cinderella story trope. When our heroine’s best friend gifts her a beauty package with stylist Pixie Trixie, our heroine is extremely wary about trying something new but is persuaded. “Everyone raves about this place.”

Our heroine is moving forward, trying new things, and even falling in love. So, what’s the problem, the fit?

What does one do when the story isn’t funny like the others I’ve written? My romantic comedy reputation is at stake. OR is it? Can I let one story not be as funny? Or find a way to punch it up?

What are your thoughts?

Blogger Intrusion: Use the comment box to share your thoughts!!!

Kissing School-There’s no problem here with funny. The story’s first line is “Skip told me I’m a terrible kisser.” What kind of guy says that to his sweetie? (BTW, an untold fact: a date did say that to me. In my defense, I’d only been kissed twice. LOL.) This despicable boyfriend isn’t popular with the heroine’s BFF. He regifts his girlfriend a twinset, the color of smashed moldy peas, one his mother wore. Goes to Paris with his mother.

The solution? The BFF suggests Kissing School with online lessons and a meet-up with the “facilitator,” the BFF’s hunky cousin. Oh boy.

My fit with this story is just the other day; I thought everything was perfect, and then, I found a timeline error. Easily fixed, but my head is saying, “what else is back there?”

What are your thoughts?

Remember Me? I need to hit the ending so I can get this story finished. But so far, nothing spectacular is coming in.

Our heroine overhears her boyfriend’s phone conversation with his buddy, saying he wants to “hook up” with her before dumping her. She is pissed and is prepared to bolt four miles in cowboy boots at midnight. As she slips on her boots, she sees his BMW car keys and “appropriates” his treasured ride.

With the help of her old friend contractor, she arms herself with a “toolbox” to deal with the jerk. Naturally, our heroine will utilize her “toolbox” after confronting the ex and ride off into the sunset with the contractor.

I’m a pantser, meaning I write from the seat of my pants. Usually, divine inspiration explodes in my brain, and voila! The ending. Only this time, yeah, I have nothing.

My fit? This is my toughest story. I might have to write anything and revise, revise, and revise more to shape it into something worthwhile.

What are your thoughts?

 About Vicki Batman: Funny, sweet, and quirky, Vicki Batman’s stories are filled with hallmark humor, fun, and possibilities. She has sold many award-winning and bestselling romantic comedy works to magazines and, most recently, three humorous romantic mysteries. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Cat fancier. Best Mom Ever. And adores Handsome Hubby.

About Temporarily Out of Luck: Great job. What man? And murder. Newly employed at Wedding Wonderland, Hattie Cooks is learning the industry from a woman she greatly admires. When her former brother-in-law is found dead in his luxury SUV, all fingers point to Hattie’s sister, who is planning her own I Dos.

Detective Allan Wellborn is caught between a rock and a hard place—Hattie’s family and investigating the murder of a well-connected Sommerville resident. The same loser was once married to Hattie’s sister. Determining who’s the bad guy—or gal—isn’t going to be easy and sure to piss off someone.

Can Hattie beat the clock to find out who murdered Tracey’s ex before she is charged with the crime and her wedding is ruined?

Excerpt:

In my Book of Debts, I didn’t owe him one iota. However, I could hear my mother in my ear, trotting out a page from the “Right Thing to Do” lecture. What Stuart’s mom did broke all wedding protocol, and Allan doing his saintly thing, told her he would help, which translated meant he desperately needed somebody else’s help.

“Fine. I’m in, but you owe me more, like a date to the”—I grasped on the first thing that popped in my head—“opera.”

“Opera? Since when do you like opera?”

I held back a giggle. “Since yesterday.”

Allan blew a huge sigh. “Done.” He paused. “Opera?”

Find books by Vicki Batman at: https://www.amazon.com/author/vickibatman/

And: https://www.vickibatman.blogspot.com

5 Comments

  1. Michael A. Black

    It sounds like you’ve got three winners there, Vicki. Just take some time to figure them out. (Every pantser’s dilemma.) I’ll offer my two cents, since you asked.
    Pixie Trixie– I’d have the place actually be terrible. Everybody raves about it because, like the Emperor’s New Clothes, they’re afraid to admit what they really think for fear of being labeled dumb or having someone say, “You just don’t get it.”
    Kissing School– Any guy who’d say that to a girl has to be an idiot, and a cruel idiot at that. She should present him with a gift that has a mirror on one side and a picture of someone’s posterior on the other and say, “Take your choice.”
    Remember Me?–How about having your heroine take the car only to subsequently find out that the BMW is about to be repossessed and she arranges to “return” the car just as her ex shows up so he can be confronted by a big bruiser of a repossessor?
    Anyway, best of luck to you.

    Reply
    • Vicki Batman

      Hi, Michael. Your “three winners” comment is much appreciated. I am considering your advice for Pixie Trixie. Kissing School lessons force the heroine to stop thinking of the jerk as her beloved and look at someone knew. I just worried I’d overlooked something. And it is sooo funny. As for Remember me? I will look at the repossessor idea. Thanks so much for your insight! VB

      Reply
  2. Marsha R. West

    Hey, Vicki. Yikes! You seem to be writing all three shorts at the same time. That would make me nuts. You are a clever writer and while you are known for romantic comedy, your fans will forgive you one that’s not as hysterical as your others.

    Reply
    • Vicki Batman

      Thx so much Marsha for the advice. Im using read aloud feature in word and thats helping. Hugs. Vb

      Reply
  3. Vicki Batman

    Thank you for hosting me today, George. I hope I find some answers for my fits!

    Reply

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