Archive for the ‘mystery’ Tag

What’s on My Kindle?   6 comments

Do You Have A Reading List For The Year? What is it and why?


Let’s start with the fact that I don’t have a Kindle. I still prefer to read books that have that paper and ink aroma to them. Amazon might make more ebook sales if they attached an aroma therapy app to the books. But I do read some non-fiction and ebooks that lack physical copies on my laptop.

But I do read some non-fiction and ebooks that lack physical copies on my laptop.

So, what’s on my reading list for 2017? I will dispense with the bits and pieces I read as research for novels and blog posts. You have other things to do today than read about my reading list and that’s just too big of a library.


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In 2017, I’ve already read North to Alaska, a history of Alaska Statehood by my former editor, Dermot Cole, and Ravi Zacharias’ Jesus Among Other Gods (this is a re-read).

I’m currently finishing Mockingjay, third book in the Hunger Games trilogy.

If George RR Martin comes out with another book in the Song of Fire & Ice series, I’ll read that. It’s not that I love Martin, but having come so far in the series, I want to know how the stupid story ends.

Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer“, third book in the Stormlight Saga, comes out in November. I’ll pick it up as soon as it’s available, because I love this series, but November is kind of late in 2017 to make the list.

Image resultI am having another go at Terry Brooks’ Shanara Chronicles. I couldn’t get into them in the past, but the television series has made me think I’m being unfair, so I bought The Elfstones of Shanara because that was available at Barnes & Noble, not realizing that The Sword of Shanara comes first. (Could it be that I couldn’t get into this series because I tried to read them out of order? Distinct possibility). I will read that before I read Elfstones. I just picked it up at the bookstore a few days ago. That’s a huge series, so that could easily overlap into 2018 … assuming I can even get into the first book because I’ve failed to connect with his story in the past.

I’m also trying to read Kate Elliott’s “Black Wolves” series, but might not get to it until 2018. Kate Elliott is a favorite author, though not all of her series get my attention.

Over on the non-fiction side, I’m planning to read Frederic Bastiat’s Economic Sophisms and Henry Hazlitt’s The Foundations of Morality, but I am currently reading Lawrence W. Reed’s Great Myths of the Great Depression. Expect to see some blog posts on that in the near future. I also pulled out On Walden Pond the other day and am thinking it would be a great time to renew my acquaintance with Thoreau.

I also found a couple of Agatha Christie books at the used book store a while back. I’ve been trying to write a mystery and it might help to really get into the mindset.

And then there are all the books my writer friends ask me to read and sometimes review.

My reading list is not set in stone. I revise my goals depending on all sorts of variables. For now, though, these are what I hope to read this year.

REVISION: I should also add that I get a lot of indie requests and I belong to an author’s cooperative publisher, so I will definitely be reading some indie books this year, including folks from this blog hop. I am notoriously glacial at reviewing, so I don’t like to list people who covet my reviews on their toes so to speak while I take months to post a review. I owe too many authors reviews now without making promises for 2017.


Interview with Claire Stibbe   1 comment

Claire Stibbe Author PhotoLELA: The 9th Hour is the first in a seven-part mystery series set in Albuquerque. Published by Crooked Cat Publishers, UK. It released yesterday, November 17, 2015

Claire has published short stories and once ran a newspaper for two local businesses in Albuquerque. She is currently working on the second and third books in the Detective Temeke series in which she explores how even in the darkness of criminal depravity, the light of faith is never entirely extinguished.

So, Claire, I loved your historical fiction. What prompted the change in genre?


Claire Stibbe 9th HourCLAIRE:

After completing two historical fiction books I felt it was time for a change. I read an article about a child who was snatched from a tent on a camping trip. Needless to say, it left an indelible mark and I decided to write a story dedicating the book to her in my own way. Most of us will never understand the pain a parent goes through at the loss of a child — a child snatched by a stranger, whose last moments must have been terrifying, a life cruelly and violently cut short.


The best stories are based on reality, especially detective novels, I think. Tell us about it.

Detective David Temeke, half Ethiopian, half British, lives in New Mexico, a vast state with cornflower blue skies, rolling hills of gray-green sage and rose colored mesas. All these are only part of the charm; not forgetting the great aroma of roasted green Chile.

Temeke ‒ brash and pigheaded ‒ is ousted from Homicide on account of a falling-out with the Chief of Police. He is sent to Northwest Area Command to lead a case nobody else wants. There he meets his new partner, Malin Santiago, an East Coast transfer with a nose for the truth. Not only must he steer a course around the higher ranking officers, he must fight his way through the dense forests of Cimarron State Park to find the killer before it’s too late,

That sounds existing! I can’t wait to read it.

Book Blurb: When the ninth young girl falls into the clutches of a serial killer, maverick detective, David Temeke faces a race against time to save her life.

The Duke City Police Department in Albuquerque, New Mexico is no stranger to gruesome murders but the new serial killer on their block keeps the body parts of his eight young victims as trophies and has a worrying obsession with the number nine. The suspect is incarcerated in the state’s high security penitentiary but Police Chief Hackett is faced with a dilemma when another teenage girl vanishes.

Detective Temeke and his new partner, Malin Santiago, are sent to solve a baffling crime in the dense forests of New Mexico’s Cimarron State Park. Time is running out. Can they unravel the mysteries of Norse legends and thwart the 9th Hour killer before he dismembers his ninth victim?

Stay tuned to Claire’s Facebook page for more updates and book links.

To find out more about Claire Stibbe’s books, take a look on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

To learn more about Claire, visit

About the author: Originally from England, Claire is a world traveler and makes her home in New Mexico, USA.  She began writing as a child and received school awards for English literature. A former medical and executive assistant, she has helped lead workshops and has spoken at various literary events across the Southwest. Her interest in archaeology has inspired and informed all her writing from historical fiction to thrillers, and she is the author of two ancient Egyptian novels, Chasing Pharaohs and The Fowler’s Snare.


Why not sign up for her occasional newsletter here


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Available Today   1 comment

Claire Stibbe 9th Hour

The 9th Hour on Amazon

Claire Stibbe Launches “9th Hour”   Leave a comment

My friend Claire Stibbe is launching a new book this week.

The 9th Hour is the first in a seven-part mystery series set in Albuquerque. Published by Crooked Cat Publishers, UK, it releases on November 17, 2015.

I have interviewed Claire before on the blog, but I wanted to catch up with her for the new book, so she’ll be here Wednesday for that.

Her book comes out tomorrow and it is a murder mystery, so definitely go check it out on Amazon – The 9th Hour

Claire Stibbe 9th hour woods

Who Killed Prince Maryn?   3 comments

71rYAYxfZsL._SL1500_I kill off my main character up to that point at the end of the first scene and the mystery of why Prince Maryn died drives much of the rest of the story in The Willow Branch.

No, I’m not going to tell you why or who killed Maryn. You have to buy the book to find out, but it’s one of the things that I hope is different about my epic fantasy from other epic fantasies. I mixed a little mystery in with the magic and sentient animals.

Who killed Prince Maryn? And why?

If a reader comes up with a good guess, they could win a free copy of the sequel Mirklin Wood when it publishes.

For now, The Willow Branch is available on Amazon or through Smashwords at several retailers.

Interview with Valerie Tate   Leave a comment

This week’s interview is with Valerie Tate, author of the Dunbarton Mysteries.


Tell me something about yourself , Valerie

I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario where I went to Victoria College at the University of Toronto. I did a degree in English Lit and then my teaching degree. An avid reader, I started writing in my early teens. After having had a short story published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine I decided to try my hand at longer pieces. I wrote one novel (which sits in a drawer somewhere) and then began another. Teaching and horses took up much of my time, though, and while I wrote some children’s stories in both English and French, it wasn’t until after I retired from full-time teaching that I decided to finish that novel I’d begun many years before and look for a publisher.

I recently bought a heritage house in Thornhill, just north of Toronto. I have a horse named Devon and a Jack Russell puppy.


When did you start writing?

The first story I wrote just for myself (not a school assignment) was when I was 12 years old. It was about a ghost pirate ship. I continued to write short stories until I tried my hand at a novel in university.


What is your favorite genre — reading or writing?

While I have read just about every genre at one time or another, my preferred genre to read and write is mystery.


Catnip and Horse Sense are mysteries. There’s an iconic house described and a cat with a personality equal to my husky’s. Any correlation to the “real” world?

Dunbarton, the town in Catnip and the name of the series, is based on the lovely, lakeside town of Kincardine, Ontario. We had family living there when I was growing up and so I have spent a lot of time there. We still go up every summer for a couple of weeks. Dunbar House is based on a couple of Victorian era mansions in the town, one of which was a bed and breakfast for a few years and so I was able to stay in it. The descriptions of the interior of the house are based on that.

I have never had cats, but my sister and her family had two – Bob and Simon – and their youthful misdemeanors are reflected in Marmalade’s antics.


Horse Sense is set in the world of dressage and horse breeding. How did that come about?

Horses have been my passion since I was a child. Like Alicia, I read all of the classic horse novels and dreamed of one day having a horse of my own. Once I was working, I started taking riding lessons and then bought Equatra, a lovely bay Thoroughbred. A few years later, I bred her and Gem (aka Legendary Magic) was born. I raised and rode him for many years. I lost him in 2013. My mom and I bought my nephew a pony for his eighth birthday and we had Copper Penny for thirteen years. I bought Devon as a yearling.

While I started out in Hunter, Dressage became my sport. It is beautiful when done well, rather like ballet on horseback. I showed only at the lower levels but have had coaches who rode at the advanced levels and one who went to the Olympics and World Equestrian Games.


How do you go about developing a mystery?

Usually I get an idea either from a location or sometimes from something I’ve heard on the news. From that themes develop. All of the Dunbarton Mysteries have an animal abuse/rescue or environmental theme. After that it’s a matter of creating characters, developing interpersonal issues that lead to crimes and murder. Who did what to whom? The trick is revealing just enough for the reader to have the necessary clues but not so much that it is too easy to discern ‘Who done it?’.


What are your plans for this series? Will there be more stories along the same line?

I’m currently working on a new book, Frog Legs. It is set at a Dunbarton golf resort and when there is a murder the only witnesses have – frog legs.


That sounds really fun — a refreshing take on the mystery genre. How do we find your books?

My wesbsite is

Both books are available on and .ca as well as the Apple Istore and Kobo.

Interview with CL Chase of The MacKenzie Murphy Series   Leave a comment

Writer Wednesday got off to a late start today because sometimes life happens while we’re making other plans! Lela
Today, I am interviewing CL Chase, the writer of the Detective MacKenzie Murphy series. These are a little different from the interviews I’ve done before, because Chantelle lives here in Fairbanks, where I make my home. Her books, focused on a young Fairbanks school teacher who solves crimes for a hobby, are filled with references that I recognize — the rigors of sled dog racing, the cold, the need for a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Chantelle, tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I come from New Plymouth, Idaho. where I was born and raised, growing up on a dairy farm. I came up to Alaska at the end of August 2011 to work for room and board as a dog sled handler. How the idea came about to do something like that was a passion that I had to come up to Alaska and run dogs since I was around three years old. I had been working for conservation corps at the time and I emailed a musher who had an ad on a mushing website about a possibility to come work with them. They replied to my email saying that the position was filled; however, they had a few friends if I wanted them to pass my information along. I had nothing to lose so I responded back to go ahead and pass my information along. That got me in contact with the mushers that I ended up coming to Alaska to work for.  I worked until the end of April when I went back down to the Lower 48 to acquire some more job skills and work once more for the conservation corps.

I returned to Alaska early February of 2013 after being called up by the mushers that I had worked for the winter of 2011-2012. I have been up here ever since then. A person most often times can’t make a living just by running dogs unless they are really well known and have lots of sponsors. Even then, usually they have some other field of expertise. I started working at a bakery in Fairbanks around the start of June of 2013 based on some connections that I had between the mushers I worked for and their friends who owned the bakery.  I started out working there as a dishwasher and farm help, but I had been asked if I would be interested in baking at some point. I am open to trying something to see if I like it or not which was why I got my shot at baking in September at some point after the store relocated from one location back to its previous location. I became a baker and have been one ever since.


When did you start writing? What was the first thing you ever wrote?

Speaking of writing books, I really started writing in one of the summers while I was in middle school or junior high as it is sometimes referred to. I have been a voracious reader growing up and I had been reading a lot of historical fiction at the time. The setting for when I started to write was a truck ride with no radio and no one talking to fill the void of monotonous motor and motion. I got bored from the lack of distractions other than a notebook and ball point pen that I had in my possession so I started to write historical fiction. For anyone who knows this genre, it requires a considerable amount of research so my writings ended up being more fiction than historical. Although interesting, I ended up scrapping that project due to the fact that I felt as though I was doing the work an injustice.


I think we all do our first writing an injustice. It takes time to develop our skills.

 I then began writing fantasy which was interesting once again, however, I did end up dropping that project because I was working on it during a darker period of my life where my brother and parents were fighting (the rebellious teenager years) and I couldn’t get involved. Needless to say, that writing was not my forte, however, it did lead me to realize that I need to write what I’m passionate about and interested in. My first project that I really ended up keeping and thoroughly liking was a short little story about a mother and a daughter going for a weekend dog sledding trip together. When the mother got hurt, it is up to the daughter to get them safely home through the storm that raged on. This short story will be in another one of my projects that consist of a series of short stories and poems that I have accumulated since around 9th grade when that first short story came about.

Detective Mackenzie Murphy Series Cases: 1-16The MacKenzie series is short stories for about middle-school readers, revolving around the fictional detective MacKenzie Murphy, a Fairbanks teacher and recreational dog musher. How did you end up developing the series?
I honestly don’t know how my detective series came about, but I started writing that genre when I was still in high school and ended up typing it all up then giving it to a friend to read. That friend ended up reading it aloud to her boys and decided that it should become a book. Although the detective genre is what I have out there, I don’t really have a favorite genre per say because I tend to focus more upon the things that I love or am interested in rather than a set subject. I am hoping that readers will learn something from my Detective Mackenzie Murphy Series and any other books that I have out in the future. It is important to keep learning things to keep things interesting otherwise life is a monotony of the mundane with no hope of pursuing purposeful passions or of any further progression.
So the first book in the series was published under the Valley Walker imprint. The second book in the series is self-published through Create a Space. For the writers who follow my blog, can you talk a little bit about the two different experiences and your reason for going to Create A Space? And will Cases 17-32 be available on Amazon?

Detective Mackenzie Murphy Series Cases 17-32I mentioned that I had showed the detective series to a friend who determined that I should pursue the publishing into a book. This friend has been a great support system for me and she was the person to help publish my first book, which is why it initially started out as Valley Walker Press as the publisher. This publisher is also a fellow author and I asked permission to mention her name. It is because of JoEllen Claypool that I ended up becoming a self-publisher and setting up my own publishing name and business: Chase Dreams Publishing. I then set up the Kindle versions and put both of my books: Detective Mackenzie Murphy Series Cases 1-16 and Detective Mackenzie Murphy Series Cases 17-32 on Amazon for that.

There are a couple ways to publish and it is important to review any contract you sign for the publishing. My initial publishing was through Valley Walker Press so that I could get the work out there, having neither the confidence nor the experience to do such a task. In the contract that I signed, it stated that I would be allowed to go to another publisher or self-publish after a certain quota was met. I was then able to publish under my own business following a set of rough guidelines that had been given to me by JoEllen, whose sole purpose with this process was to help me publish. Now, I didn’t have to set up my own business, I could have just published through CreateSpace and have them be the publisher, however, I knew where I wanted to go and that I was going to have other works in the future to publish so that is the reason that I actually set up my own business.

The two books (Detective Mackenzie Murphy Series Cases 1-16 and Detective Mackenzie Murphy Series Cases 17-32) that I have out are available in Amazon for both Kindle and print versions.  They can be purchased there, through createspace or through me personally. If it is purchased through me personally then I will also be able to personalize them and autograph them for whoever is purchasing them or for whoever they are being purchased for.

What are your plans for the future? Will the Mack make a third entry into the literary world? Or are you working on something else?
At the moment, my goals for the Detective Mackenzie Murphy Series consist of having these two books about Mack and then two more that consist of a relative after Detective Mack Murphy and then there will be two more that are prequels and that will be all that the series consists of. At least, that is where I see it going. Other than that series, I have a collection of short stories and poems that I am working on as well as a story that is 256 handwritten pages about a fictional Mystery Musher. The short stories and poems is probably the next closest thing to being done seeing as I still have to type up cases 1-16 of the continuation of the Detective Mackenzie Murphy Series. I handwrite all my stories, or at least the majority of them due to the active lifestyle I lead where I am not often in front of a computer, with the exception of working on a few projects here or there.

I hope that this answers all the questions that you had and I greatly appreciate you presenting the interview. I also hope that this can help you decide on your own publishing ventures. The thing about writing and publishing is that you ultimately have to believe in yourself and just go out and do it. There will always be critics out there and if you look in the mirror, you might even see one staring back at you. The important thing is that you strive to make your dreams a reality. Even if getting a book published is not your goal, it is important to set goals to achieve and write for yourself if not for others. Feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback that you might have.

MacKenzie Murphy Cases

Mackenzie Murphy never meant to be a detective, but when there was no one else to call. . . there is only one Detective Mackenzie Murphy. From Alaska to Idaho to London and everywhere in between: Solving every mystery, making it history; All criminals beware, because this detective will stand up to any dare. Call it madness or even something like sadness, but the truth behold, the crimes untold. No matter the case or crime, just give the detective a little time. From now on, all criminals beware, because Detective Mack Murphy will take your dare. Don’t give a dime about crime, and you’ll pay the time. Detective Mackenzie Murphy is her name and solving crime is her game. This book is for the young and old alike and brings the added fun of creative activities at the end of each chapter for younger readers.

I love the quirky jingle quality to the pitch. Lela
Cases 1-16
Cases 17-32
Chantelle (CL Chase) can be found on Facebook

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