Thursday, November 6, 2014

Getting ready for book 4!

Hi readers! It's been a while, but Cora is itching to get out there and solve a new mystery, so I am gearing up for another adventure to come out this spring!

In the mean time, I wanted to share a new service I have just discovered called eBookArrow.com. They send you an email with free and bargain kindle books every day. I have used it to promote Cora Flash and have discovered lots of great new reads there myself.

So while you're waiting for the new Cora Flash to come out, give eBookArrow a try and get reading!

Monday, December 10, 2012

'Cora Flash and the Treasure of Beggar's Bluff' now available!

Cora Flash and the Treasure of Beggar's Bluff is now available on Amazon.com! If you don't have a Kindle, don't worry, you can download a free Kindle app for your iPad/tablet/phone or read it on your computer with the Kindle Cloud Reader. Just in time for the holidays!


 After a busy and mysterious summer, Cora is back at school and stumbles onto another mystery on her first day back! While researching a school project, Cora discovers a treasure map tucked inside a book at the library. Cora is thrilled, and with the help of her dog Calvin, she can't wait to find what the map will lead to. But someone else wants her map, and will stop at nothing to get to the treasure first. What is the treasure, and will Cora get to it first? Cora's friends Shelby and Tricia join in, and with Calvin leading the way, the treasure hunt is on!

Click here for more!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Work has begun on book 3!

I wanted to let everyone know that I have started working on Cora Flash Book 3!  No details just yet on the plot (or title!) but I am hard at work and plan to have this in your waiting hands in time for the holidays. I'll keep everyone posted when there is a development, but expect to see the title and cover art sometime next month!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Movies that Inspired Cora

The setting of a train for my first mystery seemed like a natural fit; I have always been fascinated by mystery-on-a-train movies.  I remember an episode of Laverne & Shirley (yes, that’s right) called Murder on the Moosejaw Express where the girls were on a train and were naturally involved in some sort of mystery caper.  I don’t remember the exact details of the episode, but I do remember who the murder was (neither Laverne nor Shirley, naturally!)  That episode always stuck with me as being a favorite for some reason, there was something fascinating about a mystery on a train.

Sometime later, I would stumble upon a Saturday afternoon movie matinee on television, Strangers on a Train. This easily became one of my all-time favorite Hitchcock films. Two strangers meet on a train and decide to “swap murders” – one killing the others wife in exchange for killing his father. Much of the action did not actually take place on a train, mind you, but the setup did, and it was brilliantly executed. Hitchcock had earlier roots on the rails in another favorite, The Lady Vanishes. From the title, you can guess the plot fairly easily – a woman who was travelling on a train mysteriously vanishes. Not only does the lady vanish, but all traces of her having been on the train in the first place also seem to vanish, much to the frustration of the movie’s heroine, who spends the rest of the movie sorting things out.

A few years ago, I stumbled up on another train mystery, The Narrow Margin (from 1952, not to be confused with the 1990 Gene Hackman remake – which is not as good) . The Narrow Margin is a fairly short, “B” film clocking in at only 71 minutes but delivers a solid punch. It is classic film noir, perfectly utilizing its small cast and tight plot.

Of course, no train movie list would be complete without mentioning Murder on the Orient Express. Although I am an avid Agatha Christie fan, I have to admit I am somewhat underwhelmed by her most famous story. I find the pace a little slow, the resolution mostly unbelievable and have often fallen asleep trying to make it through several of the film adaptations.  The book and films are not among my favorites, by any means, but thought they at least deserved a mention. As a side note, you may not know the Orient Express is still in full operation and I encourage you to look at their site, the pictures of the train interiors will leave you breathless – they are unlike any other form of transportation you have ever seen.

When I was within spitting distance of finishing the Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar, I took a train to a city about two hours away from me to amp-up my inspiration.  I wrote the entire way on the train, and holed myself up in a hotel overnight to continue writing, and finished the first draft on the train ride home… with a little time left over to enjoy the ride!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

'Cora Flash and the Mystery of the Haunted Hotel' now available in Print!

The print edition of the second book in the series, Cora Flash and the Mystery of the Haunted Hotel is now available for purchase at Amazon!  If you haven't had a chance, take a look at the fantastic cover art that my talented cover artist Katerina did for this book - you'll love it!  The second book will look fantastic on your bookshelf next to Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar - they're even numbered on the spine so you can keep the series in order!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why I write mysteries

I have written, or started writing, many different pieces of work over the years - novels, screenplays, stage plays and short stories. More often than not, I abandoned the pieces and started working on something else. The few pieces I did manage to finish and even got to a polished state were always mystery stories.  The first story I finished, at around age 12, was called The Man with Two Faces. I do not actually remember much about the plot of this story, but remember quite vividly that I typed it on a massive electric typewriter that was a casualty of my Mother’s office PC conversion and that I scrambled to finish it while my sister was having a party in our basement. Her friends were four years older than I was and all seemed to take a keen interest in the kid in the basement typing a mystery story. They sat and waited for me to finish a page so I could pass it to them to continue the story until I finished it later that night. Perhaps because of the early validation in this genre, I have stuck with it and found I am most comfortable writing in this space. Not that I don’t intend to write other things for other audiences, but I naturally seem to gravitate to this category, and feel quite comfortable hanging out there. There is something about the mechanics of a mystery that interests me, the possibility of the reader figuring it out, even though you have withheld key information that only your protagonist knows.  In life, I am a creature of habit, and fairly well structured in my everyday life and I think this also explains why I like mysteries. Structure is a key component to a good mystery story and I find comfort in lining everything up “just-so”. As I continue writing my Cora series, I hope to find stories and plot elements that stump readers just enough without frustrating them, while at the same time satisfying my desire to tie things up with a nice big bow.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cora Flash and the Mystery of the Haunted Hotel is now available!

I'm happy to announce that book 2 in the Cora Flash series, Cora Flash and the Mystery of the Haunted Hotel is now available for Kindle and Kobo!  Be sure to check it out and tell your friends and family about the mysterious adventures of Cora Flash!