Category Archives: Books

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 horrible person 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 September 2017. I’m having a ball writing it. 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. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life with one, and believe me he could let loose with the four letter words; in Cat of course. He lives on in Oscar.

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 what I’m thinking.

I hope you enjoy mystery editor Taylor Browning in her first outing in the Dead Editor File. Oscar often leaves “surprises” when he isn’t fed on time or in the way he’s grown accustom to dining. The staff at the publishing house has their quirks as you might expect.

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

 

New Release: Teen Equestrian Fiction

Flying Change Debuts July 14, 2017

“Every horse should be loved at least once in its life by a little girl.” — Unknown

At 14, Molly goes against her father’s wishes and gets a job at a local stable. Doing so will reveal a family secret kept for decades. But disappointing her dad isn’t the only challenge Molly will face. Her sister, the perfect one, isn’t so perfect. Any maybe riding is dangerous. Only time will tell if Molly has the courage she will need.

$2.99 at Amazon.

 

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 September 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

 

 

Re-Covered: Atomic Medium

Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Get New Look!

How can an old man in a wheelchair be so frightening? But Rachel is even more terrified by what his assistant does inside the building that once housed the Manhattan Project, the secret government project to build the first atomic bomb. What he does makes the old man young again and may change history forever.

 

 

 

To get your copy, just click on the cover above.

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

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.

 

Worldbuilding in Writing Fiction

Builder of Worlds

By G G Collins          (Copyright 2016)

I never expected to be a builder of worlds and yet I’ve written two books where I needed to do just that.

Available at Amazon

Available at Amazon

Time travel is always tricky, but it’s also fun. In “Lemurian Medium” I sent protagonist Rachel Blackstone back in time via astral travel to the mythical (?) continent of Lemuria. I began reading about the continent that reportedly sunk into the ocean when a cataclysmic series of earthquakes and volcanoes broke up the island country and the sea claimed it.

When you ask people to buy into a paranormal or fantasy storyline, it’s important to include as much fact as possible, to lend integrity to the story. I began reading the works of Colonel James Churchward, who called Lemuria by another name; Mu. He studied monastery sources in India while serving in the British army.

After getting a basic idea of Churchward’s theories I read Frank Joseph’s book “The Lost Civilization of Lemuria: The Rise and Fall of the World’s Oldest Culture.” There are many creation stories and Lemuria is one for that part of the world. There is a museum in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan called the Mu Museum and is a tribute to the Motherland. In the Hawaiian Ethnic Art Museum in Oahu, there are carvings that seem to verify the existence of a golden race who survived the onrush of the sea.

Frank Joseph's Book on Lemuria

Frank Joseph’s Book on Lemuria

Book The Camino MacLaine

Review of “The Camino.” Click on the book.

To make the city realistic I researched the Romans from their garments to their communal toilets. In addition I read Shirley MacLaine’s dreams of Lemuria as she related them in her excellent book “The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit.” Her description of the Lemurians—some golden, some violet, and hermaphroditic—let imagination fill in the blanks. For homes I went with crystal construction with private areas being opaque. Rachel was surprised to learn she could communicate either from her mind or with the use of Lemurian seed crystals and crystal balls.

Reputed to contain the history of the ancients.

Lemurian Seed Crystal Reputed to contain the history of the ancients.

I needed a villain in spirit and chose Quetzalcoatl, a Mayan god who liked to dine on humans. It is thought that Lemurians who survived the end of their homeland took to the vast water and made their way to what is known today as Central America and to the southwestern part of the US.

When my research was complete I was no longer certain that Lemuria was a myth. I hope readers of the book can entertain that possibility as well.

Next Post: We’ll take a look at “Atomic Medium,” worldbuilding in a much closer era.

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