Category Archives: Annoucements

Writing Cozy Mysteries

The Hazards of Writing a Cozy

by G G Collins          (Copyright 2017)

Available at Amazon September 15, 2017

Mystery cozies were originally just called mysteries. Even before Agatha Christie, there was Mary Roberts Rinehart. She introduced the “had I but known” device. I devoured  Rinehart’s books but soon attacked Christie’s as well. But I owe it all to a book by Shirley Jackson entitled We Have Always Lived in the Castle. The ending blew me away and it was my introduction to mysteries.

Cozies, a term introduced during the 1980s, have a few things in common. The murder happens “off screen” and is usually poison, a simple wallop to the head with say a candlestick or a clean shot without a lot of blood. Please no hollow R.I.P bullets, a .22 will do nicely.

These murders happened to people and in places where, well, these things just don’t happen: a mansion, bookstore or in my case a book publisher who specializes in mysteries. Did you see that coming? Often the sleuth is an amateur, although they can be a promising amateur.

In the early days, the emphasis was on the puzzle and the suspects. And everyone was and is suspect. The cats, recipes and delving into characters backgrounds and careers is a more modern concept. And if there is romance, it’s discreet. Like those kisses from the early movies that only allowed a 3-second kiss. And please, no bedroom scene unless you only see the lights go off from outside.

But here’s where I got into trouble; swearing! I admit it. I curse. And frankly, I don’t see how a someone who kills people would not use profanity. “Excuse me,” the killer said. “I’m going to cut your blankety-blank throat now.” Really?

Okay, I get it. Cozies are about having fun with murder. Someone gets the axe and we spend the rest of the book drinking tea, petting cats and maybe do a little baking until the perp is identified and all’s well with the world again.

My first cozy is due out in October 2017. I’m having a ball writing the Dead Editor File. But I’ve had a really difficult time, er, not cussing. I’ve even got my protagonist trying not to, you know; swear.

However, there is nothing I can do about her Abyssinian cat, Oscar. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life with an Aby, and believe me he could let loose with the four letter words; in Cat of course. He lives on in Oscar. Oscar is known to leave “surprises” for Taylor when he isn’t fed on time or in the way he’s grown accustom to dining.

So I’ll be washing my mouth out with soap and tossing quarters in the “swear jar” before the book is complete as I try to think of clever ways to not write well, you know.

And when I use the term “dang it,” well I think you’ll know what I was thinking. It’s the cozy way.

I hope you enjoy mystery editor Taylor Browning in her first outing in the Dead Editor File. Available on Amazon October 15, 2017.

 

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Coming Soon: G G Collins New Book Series

Teen Fiction & Cozy Mystery Series

New Teen Fiction debuts with “Flying Change” in July 2017.

 

Available Amazon Pre-Order

 

Fourteen-year-old Molly O’Connor aspires to become an Olympic equestrian. Despite her father’s disapproval, she lands a job at the Reintree Stables. It doesn’t hurt that the owner’s son is her age. Her work pays for riding lessons, but just when she sees her objective on the way to fruition two incidents occur that frighten her. Now she sees herself as a coward. Even the horse she loves can’t help her. The big riding career seems over before it began. Little does she know another test of her courage is coming, one where life hangs in the balance.

 

New Cozy Mystery Series begins with “Dead Editor File,” The Taylor Browning Mysteries. Coming in October 2017.

 

Preston Endicott, Jr. was hated by most of his staff at Endicott Publishing, at least until he turned up dead in his locked executive office. Taylor Browning, a new mystery editor at the book publishing house, sees plenty of possible perps right in the office suite, but his employees are hardly the only people to count as suspects. His ex-wife wasn’t a fan either. Dominique Boucher, their bestselling author, has just submitted her latest manuscript. It’s a locked room mystery with a story line similar to the real life puzzle. About the only non-suspect is Tayor’s cat, Oscar. Soon Taylor doesn’t know who to trust and discovers her own life in jeopardy. She can’t edit her way out of this one!

 

 

 

#MysteryWeek @Goodreads May 1-7, 2017

Mystery & Thriller Week at Goodreads

Goodreads asked G.G. Collins:

What mystery in your own life could be a plot for a book?

G.G. Collins You’d think after I wrote a book (Reluctant Medium) about the pitfalls of trying rituals you know nothing about, I would pass on performing one in real life. Oh noooo. Grief does strange things to us and when a dear friend died I, with no experience at all, enacted a “transitional blessing” for her. During the blessing, I asked if she could let me know she was okay, never expecting anything would come of it–but you know they do this in movies, and it works in that concept.

Short Story
Available at Amazon.
Click on Cover

 

The following morning I was mundanely applying toothpaste to my brush when suddenly a small clock flew off a shelf, hit the wall on the other side of the room and fell into the bathtub. I was shaken and confused at this occurrence, but the clock was intact so I replaced it on the shelf.

All day I puzzled over this. The shelf was secure and level. How could this have happened? I even measured the distance from the shelf to the wall: eight feet. The clock had not fallen off, but streaked across the room like a UFO!

The following day as I prepared once again to brush my teeth, I touched the clock. It was stable. Reassured and about to believe I’d dreamed it all, I squeezed the toothpaste tube.

And then, the clock rattled on the shelf! At that point, I was actually a little afraid.

That’s when I ran for my laptop and began writing what would become a Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery short story. The title is “Presence” and it’s available at Amazon. Read it and discover what the message meant.

–G G Collins, author of the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery series.

 

#MysteryWeek is Coming

Mystery & Thriller Week at Goodreads May 1-7, 2017

Stayed tuned to Goodreads for Mystery & Thriller Week (#MysteryWeek on Twitter) for clues and thrills.

Check out my page at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6427518.G_G_Collins

 

 

Cover Reveal

Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Re-Covered

Lemurian Medium

Rachel travels to an ancient doomed land to rescue Stella Dallas, High Desert Country magazine’s beloved receptionist. It will take her special skill-set to pull it off in a hostile environment.

Cover design by Tatiana Vila of Vila Design. Check out all her designs at https://www.viladesign.net

Cover Reveal

Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Re-Covered!

First: Reluctant Medium.

Rachel will need help from her spirit wolf to solve her first scrape with the supernatural.

Cover Reveal for Reluctant Medium

Cover design by Tatiana Vila of Vila Design. Check out all her designs at https://www.viladesign.net

Book Bargain: Mystery 5-Day Sale Begins 11-28-16

Reluctant Medium: Amazon Countdown Deal $0.99

First Adventure in the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Series

$0.99 for 5 days only

Only at Amazon.

Only at Amazon.

Get it here:   http://amzn.to/1bKKVKP

Reporter Rachel Blackstone bungles a Native American ritual to return the dead. Instead of the father she believes was murdered, an evil spirit returns. Worse yet, Rachel is seeing ghosts, some are helpful but others lead her astray. Problem? She can’t always tell them apart. Where does the spirit wolf fit in? She turns to a Hopi shaman and her best friend Chloe to help her solve the mystery. One thing is certain; this badass spirit has got to go back!

 

Sale Ends December 2, 2016.

 

Ghost Story: “Presence”

Ghost Story Based on Real Events

Presence: A Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Short Story by G G Collins

“If you receive a sign it will be something quite unusual.”

book-cover-presence-short-story-10-16-final

Available at Amazon

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to brush your teeth. Not when you’re Rachel Blackstone, the Reluctant Medium. She can’t explain why a simple clock on her bathroom shelf flew across the room. The death of a friend weighs more heavily. Her friend Chloe, into all things New Age, once told her about a transition blessing for the dead. Although Rachel wants to do it, she is gun-shy about attempting another ritual after the disaster she created the first time. Chloe convinces her it will be okay and offers a Hopi prayer. But when another unexplained event occurs, Rachel is afraid they may have unwittingly invited another evil entity into their lives. Were they foolhardy to attempt communication with the afterlife or will the new spirit reach out in a way Rachel understands?

Only $0.99 on Amazon.

Kindle Short Reads, 30 minutes (12-21 pages), Literature & Fiction, Ghosts

 

REVIEW

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Believe it or not.

Rachel and Chloe have done it again!

This is a wonderful tribute to those we love who have passed. To others, try it and you will most likely have a memory that will always stay with you.

Thanks Tonya for blessing Rachel’s life. Thanks GG for sharing your blessing.

Reviewed by Mojo. Thank you!

 

Copyright Laws Apply to All Countries

Copyright Infringement is Against the Law Worldwide!

I can’t believe I’m having to do this. Take time away from writing to attend to someone who is stealing content from my blogs (Reluctant Medium at Large and Parallel Universe at Large) and posting them in another country. Copyright Infringement is against the law worldwide. Please respect all the time and hard work that goes into anyone’s blog and DO NOT STEAL! 

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.” Wikipedia.org

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations.

WIPO was created in 1967 “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.” Wikipedia.org

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Organization

For more information on copyright infringement please refer to my COPYRIGHT/CONTENT/PRIVACY POLICY page on both blogs.

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Interview: Kristen Elise, PhD, Writer, Editor & Now Publisher

Cancer Fighter by Day; Murder Mistress by Night

Interviewed by G G Collins     (Copyright 2016)

Kristen had an idea: Invite crime fiction writers from all over the U.S. to take part in an anthology. Big undertaking—and perhaps a bit bigger than she expected. It’s not like she doesn’t have enough to do; important day job, writing books, two websites and her family. But she gently herded 31 writers from every region, slaved over uncooperative technology and voilà, Murder, USA: A Crime Fiction Tour of the Nation is a reality. Here’s how she did it.

  1. What possessed you to put together the mystery anthology Murder, U.S.A.?

Book Murder USA FinalI got the idea for Murder, U.S.A. from a few anthologies that I have seen recently. Typically, anthologies are short story collections, and they do a great job of offering a sampling of the work from multiple authors to readers. However, I’m not a short story writer. Never have been, and doubt I ever will be. So it got me to thinking: what if, instead of a short story collection, we created an anthology of sorts that is just snippets from the novels of novelists? It might be a great way to offer that same sampling of work without asking novelists to come up with short stories to tell. And it might be more representative of what those authors really write.

  1. Tell us something about yourself. Was there anything in your experience that prepared you for this undertaking? Also mention Murder Lab. It’s a terrific website.

Thank you for the compliment! Hmmm… well, I’m a “drug hunter” by day. I work for a biotech company, and my job is to look for molecules that will eventually become cancer medicines. It was in this work that I got the idea for The Death Row Complex, which is featured in Murder, U.S.A. Murder Lab is a website (http://www.murderlab.com/) that I put together a few years ago with the goal of uniting authors, readers, and basically anyone with an interest in crime fiction. You can see my experience from my day job in the website as both are basically a series of “experiments” — except that in my day job, I’m running experiments to identify the right molecules, whereas on Murder Lab, I and the Murder Lab community are constantly experimenting in what makes good crime fiction, how to sell crime fiction, and other such questions. Murder, U.S.A. was another experiment, by the way!

  1.  How did you reach out to other writers to participate?

I posted the idea on Murder Lab, reached out to my mailing list, and reached out via Facebook, Twitter, and whatever social networks I’m a part of. There was quite an amazing response! I’m so pleased with the finished product because it’s exactly what I had in mind—a very diverse collection from a wonderful group of authors. There is something in there for everyone. If you like to read mysteries, thrillers, or suspense novels of any breed, please download your free copy! http://amzn.to/1TBcjir  (Also available wherever eBooks are sold.)

  1.  What are some of the issues you experienced in compiling the excerpts and publishing the book?

    Author Kristen Elise, PhD

    Author Kristen Elise, PhD

Haha! Well, I’m not gonna lie—it was much more work than I thought it would be. I had pictured that since the excerpts were all from published works, there would be no editing and it would just be a matter of putting them together and publishing. Not so much. There were actually a lot of technical difficulties I had to overcome, mostly based on the fact that everyone’s excerpts came in a different format, and I’m not skilled enough with software to just make them all magically become uniform. There were also some publishing difficulties since this was the first work I ever offered perma-free. And the first anthology with multiple authors. And the first book that was filled with links throughout the text. Etc. etc. etc. Having said that, it was a labor of love and I’m SO glad I did it! And the authors are all super cool, and I made a lot of new friends. So… worth every minute of effort.

  1.  Why is the book always free?

I wanted this book to be perma-free across all channels so that it can be available to anyone. The real goal of Murder, U.S.A. was never to sell it as an entity of its own, but rather, to expose the authors and their works to as many readers as possible. It’s a marketing tool, not a product in and of itself. It is my hope that the authors will help to get the book out there, and that readers will buy the books they like based on the excerpts. It is for this reason that there are easy buy links for every book featured in Murder, U.S.A., right there at the end of the excerpt.

  1.  Explain how the book cover came to be. Why did you choose Damon Freeman’s cover company Damonza.com?

I have now used Damonza for four books—both of my full-length novels, Murder, U.S.A., and a fourth book I’m doing as a fee-for-service for another author. I keep going back to them because they do excellent work for a reasonable price and they are highly professional. For this cover, we asked them to come up with a few concepts, which they did, and then I basically took a vote among the authors in the anthology. The cover with the most votes won. Simple as that.

  1.  What would you want readers to know?

Blog Murder Lab ButtonI’d like readers to know that if they sign up on my Murder Lab mailing list (just click the icon in the upper left corner of the page), I’ll send them a free copy of a spreadsheet I put together which a lot of authors are finding very useful. In short, I once spent a giant sum of money on just about every paid advertising site I could find, and then I kept track of which sites really led to sales and which didn’t. Readers can just click that link for further details. I’d also like readers to know about my personal author site, www.kristenelisephd.com. This site is a bit different from Murder Lab in that while Murder Lab is geared toward readers and authors of all crime fiction, my author site is dedicated to topics featured in my own novels—which, by the way, are historical and medical mysteries and thrillers. AND, last, I’d like your readers to know that if they sign up on THAT website’s mailing list, which is separate from Murder Lab since they have different focuses, I will send them a free copy of The Vesuvius Isotope.

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