The writing bug is a powerful little critter. It usually infects the young, but has been known to attack people of all ages. In spite of major advances in medicine, there is still no prevention and no cure. The only effective treatment is to apply one's bottom to a chair and spend hours writing. For me the problem started insidiously enough with my parents reading to me. Although there isn't sufficient data to support the theory, I suspect the bug may actually have been passed to me in utero, since my mother has always been an avid reader, an addiction that's often a risk factor for the disease. My condition worsened when I started reading on my own, but it didn't become a full blown case of writing bug until I first put words together to form sentences. So it was that in the first grade I penned, or more accurately penciled, my first story, complete with title ("Wild Horse Valley") and illustrated cover, blissfully unaware that I was nourishing the bug.
Side effects plagued me as a child. If I didn't visit the library or bookstore on a regular basis I became restless and cranky. I tended to make friends with others who were similarly afflicted. Play dates often turned into reading dates, during which my friends and I would spend hours in the same room, reading our own books, lost in our own worlds. As it turned out, my friends' conditions stabilized at the reading stage. I was the only one among them who's addiction quickly progressed to a full-fledged case of writing bug. I wrote poetry, stories, even little plays. In the summer, I gathered the kids in the neighborhood to perform my plays for parents, siblings and anyone else we could lure into my backyard. In junior high I wrote my first novel (about kids in a junior high of course). Friends became enablers, following me through the halls between classes and taking notes as I thought out the plot. The writing bug has a voracious appetite.
In recent years the bug has developed a taste for cozy mysteries, resulting in my "A Portrait of Crime" series for Berkley Prime Crime. In fact, Sketch a Falling Star, the third book in the series, was recently released. If you've been following the series, you already know that Rory McCain and federal marshal Zeke Drummond are partners in a private investigating firm. Rory started out as a sketch artist for the county police department, and Zeke started out as a lawman back in the nineteenth century. In other words, he's been dead for well over a hundred years. As you might imagine, they've had their problems learning to live and work together. Zeke is old school when it comes to a woman's place in society -- old, old school, and Rory's a risk taker, an independent woman of the twenty-first century.
In each book of the series, there's a new murder case for the duo to solve, as well as more glimpses into Zeke's mysterious past and the dark secret that still burdens him. In Sketch a Falling Star, the team is hired to investigate a death that occurs during a flash flood. Rory's high-spirited, wacky aunt Helene and her amateur acting troupe are vacationing together in Arizona when the sudden flood catches them in a slot canyon. When the water recedes one of the actors is dead. Although the medical examiner labels the death accidental, Rory and Zeke soon have reason to believe it was murder.
As for me, I've grown so attached to the writing bug over the years that I'm sure I'd be devastated if it were ever to up and leave me. Now if you'll excuse me, the little monster is clamoring for more pages of my new mystery series.
Portrait of Crime Mysteries
Sketch a Falling StarA Portrait of Crime Mystery 3
Berkley (Prime Crime), March 6, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
When the “Way Off Broadway Players” get swept up in a flash flood while sightseeing in Arizona, Rory McCain’s aunt Helene and her fellow amateur thespians survive—with the exception of Preston Wright.
The victim was actually a womanizing scam-artist who duped nearly everyone in the troupe, as well as an ex-con who operated under various aliases. While Preston’s death was deemed to be an “act of nature,” Rory can’t discount the possibility that human nature may have contributed to his drowning.
But even as she investigates the cast of characters to find out which one played the villain, Rory is finally on the verge of solving a cold case—the murder of her ghost partner, Zeke.
To Sketch a ThiefA Portrait of Crime Mystery 2
Berkley (Prime Crime), June 7, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
After a stray dog named Hobo leads former police sketch artist-turned-paranormal private eye Rory McCain back to his owner’s corpse, she finds herself involved in another homicide case—not to mention the new owner of a lovable pooch, which makes Rory’s ghostly partner, Zeke, more than a little spooked.
Sketch Me if You CanA Portrait of Crime Mystery 1
Berkley (Prime Crime), August 3, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
She’s a police sketch artist. He’s a dead lawman. Together, they put a face on murder.
When her uncle dies, police sketch artist Rory McCain gets a list of clients from his private detective business and a beautiful, old house with a ghostly inhabitant: Federal Marshal Ezekiel Drummond, aka Zeke.
Having a ghost as a housemate is bad enough, but as Rory’s drawn into one of her uncle’s unsolved cases and faces a cold-blooded killer, she may need the marshal’s supernatural help to stay alive.
There is a giveaway of Sketch a Falling Star (A Portrait of Crime Mystery 3) with this guest blog. You can also enter to win the Grand Prize by using the Rafflecopter. The comment you leave to enter to win Sketch a Falling Star may also be used to enter to win the Grand Prize. Both Giveaways are open internationally.
To Enter to Win a Copy of Sketch a Falling Star
What: One commenter will win a copy of Sketch a Falling Star (A Portrait of Crime Mystery 3) by Sharon Pape. The novel is generously provided by Penguin.
How: Leave a comment.
Please remember - if you don't leave a comment your entry will not be counted. You must also leave a way to contact you. Entries without contact information will not be counted.
Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, August 4, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
To Enter to Win the Grand Prize
How: Fill out the Rafflecopter
Terms and Conditions:
1) There will be one winner of the Grand Prize.
2) The Grand Prize is separate from any giveaway associated with individual author visits during Paranormal Cozy Mystery Month.
3) You must leave a way to contact you with your comment. If you do not leave a way to contact you, your entry will not be counted.
4) The Grand Prize Giveaway is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address.
5) Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
6) Giveaway Terms and Condition are subject to change at any time.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The writing bug sounds like it's hard work but fun! And why are all the good lawmen dead...? :-)ReplyDelete
Hmmm- maybe the distance makes them seem better.Delete
Cute guest blog. Sounds like a particularly virulent form of the bug you have there, Sharon. ;-)ReplyDelete
Probably because in my case it's somewhat hereditary.Delete
A feisty modern day heroine and an old, old, old school lawman sounds like a combustible combo! Glad the writing bug hit!ReplyDelete
I'm having such a good time working with these two, I'm also glad it hit.Delete
I love going to the library.ReplyDelete
Me too! Always have!Delete
Thank you for the chance to win!ReplyDelete
Twitted about your giveaway at: https://twitter.com/cherrymischivus/status/229628021529792513
GFC follower name is Cherry.
cherrymischif-spamme [at] yahoo [dot] com
Nice post and book titles.ReplyDelete
The book sounds fun thanks for the chance to win!ReplyDelete
malibu311 at gmail dot com
Well I for one am so glad you caught that writing bug ;=) because I certainly get to benefit from this! I can't wait to meet Rory and Zeke and am really looking forward to the fun. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share with us today.ReplyDelete
You're very welcome.I suspect Rory and Zeke would be pleased to meet you as well.Delete
Oh what an interesting series will check it out. The duo sounds interesting and kind of funny.ReplyDelete
I've been having a lot of fun working with these characters, and the comments of readers tell me they are enjoying them too.Delete
I have to admit that the blurb on the cover mentioning an interesting sidekick is the spur for me to be interested. I am very fond of interesting sidekicks, sometimes overly fond, but what can I do?ReplyDelete
april dot vrugtman at gmail dot com
I like the idea of a lawman ghost from the past helping a current day sleuth---should be a fun series to read.ReplyDelete
It's certainly been fun to write!Delete
I am looking forward to reading SKETCH A FALLING STAR.ReplyDelete
Another new to me author!! Love finding them and their books. These look like awesome reads and I adore the covers. Thanks for the chance.ReplyDelete
mlawson17 at hotmail dot com
I love the covers too.Delete
Thanks to introduce new authors for us! Looking forward to read thisReplyDelete
sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com
What a unique idea for a book.ReplyDelete
Sounds like my kind of book.
great giveaway and interview too.
dayleb at telus dot net
Love the concept of a ghost helping slove mysteries. Love cozy-mysteriesReplyDelete
First time I've heard of this series. It does sound interesting so I will be checking it out.ReplyDelete