Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?
It came out in the middle of May. It is available on most sites; some such as Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes &Noble, and iTunes.
Is there anything which prompted Snifter of Death? Something that inspired you?
The hero of the book is my favorite character to write. I imagine the fact that I am a retired detective and he’s a detective plays into my enjoyment when writing him. I love the setting of Victorian London for murders. It has such an interesting atmosphere, both elegant and dark and forbidding at the same time.
For this story, I wanted to have a female murderer. The way I thought of how the investigation would initially proceed, Detective Bloodstone, my hero, and his partner, Archie Holbrook, wouldn’t consider a female as a suspect. Men had a pretty chauvinistic view of women in the 1800s and a woman as a killer isn’t the likely choice they gravitate to at first.
I am also inspired by this book and the previous one to solve the crimes along with Detective Bloodstone using old fashioned detective work. The first book is set in 1888 and this one in 1889. That’s before they even began using fingerprints. There was no science for the detectives then to help them. Bloodstone and his partner must work through the crime scene and take what evidence they can from what they see, touch, smell, and witnesses, et cetera. As a detective myself, I step back in time and walk through the scene with them and must try to solve the crime the way they would.
I always enjoyed writing, since high school anyway, but I didn’t have the courage to pursue it in college. I was afraid I couldn’t make a living at it so I got my degree in business. Once I retired and had time to write, I decided to follow up on my long-buried desire. I began to go to conferences and took courses from professionals like Don Maass, Steve Berry, and Alicia Rasley.
I have several I thoroughly enjoy. I love Bernard Cornwell and am a huge fan of his Saxon Tales series, love Julie Anne Long, who writes brilliant love scenes, love Julia Quinn, and I am a big fan of Michael Connelly. Amazon Prime has done a super job of recreating his Bosch character for television. BBC has done a fab job of Cornwell’s The Saxon Tales with two seasons now called The Last Kingdom.
My desk is a niche area between the living room and the dining area, and that’s where I sit. I use a desktop computer. It’s old school but I prefer it. I write in the afternoons. I am not a morning person. I try to do all my errands in the morning and write most of the afternoon. Then the evening is free to relax with my husband. and watch television.
Develop a thick skin, especially if you plan to submit your manuscript to the big NY houses or NY agents. It’s probably going to be rejected. Stephen King’s Carrie got rejected so many times, he threw it in the trash. His wife dug it out and made him keep submitting. Steve Berry said his first book was rejected 98 times.
Join a critique group if you can. You need fresh eyes and not just your friends and family to see what you’ve written. Honest opinions. If you live in an area where you can’t meet up with other authors, get a magazine like Writer’s Digest or find a blog oriented to writers and see if there are groups online that you can join.
Be willing, as we say, to “kill your darlings.” That is, be brutal when editing. You must edit. Your first, second and third draft is never the one for submission. Make sure your grammar is clean.
If you are self-publishing, I strongly urge you to choose a really good cover. If you have to pay more, then so be it. Your book is first judged by its cover. You need a good one.
The summer of 1889 was proving to be a strange one for Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner.
They had a sexual pervert loose. The man didn’t actually harm women but threatened them at knife point, fondling them, and ultimately stealing their stockings.
Far more serious were the murders of influential men, which appeared random other than they were all killed by arsenic poison. Never had he and his partner had cases with so little workable evidence.
Also, the rivalry between him and his detective nemesis at London’s other police department was intensifying. That
nemesis was the boxing champion of their department and looking to challenge Rudyard, who never trained as a
Besides Rudyard’s pride being at stake, and the pride of his station, his nemesis also had in his possession a scandalous photograph of the woman Rudyard cares very much for. The new lady in Rudyard’s life had captured his heart and he’d fight the devil himself to save her reputation.
“What address do you show for the Cross family?” the Vicar asked.
Her mind went completely blank. Finally, she blurted the only one that came to her, which was no doubt wrong. “Park Lane.”
The Vicar smirked. Not smiled. Smirked. That meant it had to be wrong.
“I suggest you start there. In the meantime, I will have my housekeeper escort you out. I don’t know what you’re playing at, but I don’t care for mischief. You’ll do your soul a good turn to drop a coin in the poor box on your way to the street.” He rang a small bell on his desk and the housekeeper came. “See this lady out.”
Graciela stood on the top stair of the chapel, cursing her luck when a man’s disturbingly familiar laugh interrupted her thoughts. She took a quick step to the left and flattened herself against one of the portico pillars. The horrible laugh rippled over from close by. It sounded like Detective Bloodstone’s from the morning she’d bailed out Addy. He’d said something that sent the shine boy scampering away and had all the detectives snickering, including Bloodstone.
Taking a deep breath, she peered around the edge of the pillar expecting to see the detective. His presence would’ve been the perfect end to this entire St. Jude’s Chapel mission-turned-catastrophe. To her great relief, it came from a carriage driver. She hadn’t noticed a group of them gathered at the corner waiting to be hired. Graciela, you had no reason to be frightened. You’d done nothing wrong. Stop being such a ninny.
She left the church and headed home. Zachary would be getting up from her nap soon. The whole way home she questioned her luck. A dozen people are murdered every day in London.
How hard can it be to kill someone?
Universal Amazon: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06ZZ262S7
I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.
My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.
I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream.
I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series. Each series has a different setting and some cross time periods, which I find fun to write.
I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and five wild and crazy rescue dogs.