February 28 -
The second stop on the Survive Or Die blog tour is with PJ Nunn at bookbrowsing. This article is geared toward writers, and other creative people. I discuss how to learn your writing rhythm, and how to use times of creative drought and deluge to your advantage.
You can read my article here.
February 27 -
My first stop on the Survive Or Die blog tour is with The Musings of a Book Addict. I talk about my journey to becoming an author.You can read my article here.
You may know Mike Befeler as the author of the hilarious Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit amateur sleuth mystery series. Mike is a versatile writer, with several other stand-alone novels and series under his belt. His newest release is Unstuff Your Stuff, a professional organizer mystery.
With the current interest in organizing and decluttering, this story offers both entertainment and insight.
In Unstuff Your Stuff, 68-year-old Millicent Hargrove must deal with the murder of her husband as she begins her new life as a widow and professional organizer. She escapes attempts on her own life and figures out the mystery of the cryptic messages left by her husband. She discovers how to organize people’s stuff while sorting through the clutter from the secret life her husband led.
Mike Befeler http://www.mikebefeler.com
Available on Amazon
My newest novel is now available for pre-order! I imagined what would happen if a small company held a team-building exercise at a former reality TV show camp where everyone had an agenda. The result is a humorous murder mystery.
You think you’re gonna Survive, but you’re gonna Die. Die. Die.
The owner of a dysfunctional company arranges a mandatory team-building exercise at the Survive or Die survivalist camp, once the setting for a defunct reality TV show. When he receives a death threat, what surprises employees is not that someone wants their lecherous, hard-drinking boss dead. The surprise is that he’s not the first casualty.
The unexpected demise of a coworker’s husband barely causes a ripple. The annoying photographer’s death is attributed to natural causes. The excitement comes when the boss announces the winner of the week-long game will receive a raise, and the loser will be fired. Most employees dig in with grim determination. A few have other agendas.
Timid junior accountant and dedicated eco-warrior Sotheara Sok searches for evidence that toxic waste is being dumped illegally on the ranch. Aubrey Sommers plans to rekindle romance with her husband, despite her resentment at being stuck in the shabby camp. Factory laborer Jeremiah Jones stalks his coworkers in search of a woman with wide child-bearing hips to share his mountain man dream.
Their plans become derailed when unlikely accidents plague the camp. Tours of Going Batty Days and the Cannibal of Carver Pass Museum in nearby Lodgepole provide pieces to a disturbing puzzle. The three join forces with an old lady version of Chuck Norris, and a city-girl computer geek, as the week deteriorates from mock survival games to a fight for survival in the Colorado wilderness.
Barnes & Noble (online)
The Woman in Apartment 615 by Devon Shepherd
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine January/February 2019
I enjoy a skillfully presented unreliable narrator. The character typically reveals much more about him or herself than the reader might learn otherwise. Even better is a tale that slowly unfolds the unreliable nature of the viewpoint character. The reader's starting point is believing the narrator, but gradually must question the character's view of the situation.
This is the case with The Woman in Apartment 615. Ruth hosts the monthly book club meeting. She is drawn into the mystery of a new tenant in her apartment building. Is the woman old money fallen on hard times?
Ruth seems like a slightly catty middle aged woman who enjoys her wine quite a bit. When she delves into the mystery of the new tenant, she exhibits an obsession that readers of murder mysteries don't find particularly disturbing. Until Ruth goes too far.
A subplot runs through the story of Ruth's difficult relationship with her son. Both threads collide at the end of the story, in a very satisfactory manner. If you enjoy unreliable narrator stories, check this one out.
Justice by Pamela Blackwood
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine January/February 2019
The story jumps right in to William's travails as a widowed farmer. I like historical fiction that is devoid of info dumps - those chunks of detail a clumsy writer uses to let the reader know where they are and who they are with. The historical setting in Justice is developed with subtle lines like "made his way to the door without even lighting a candle." I also do not care for historical fiction that is anachronistically tuned to modern sensitivities. Thus, the murder victim in the story is described harshly as "an idiot boy."
Yet William takes a special interest in the case of Johnny Grant's murder, even when the local sheriff seems spectacularly uninterested. "The boy didn't have no family, and hardly any friends," one acquaintance notes. Interest turns to obsession, as William becomes determined to ensure Johnny receives justice.
Meanwhile, William is crushed with grief over his wife's recent death during childbirth. He struggles to deal with his two young daughters, accepting precious little help from Aunt Lottie. Another subplot is his loss of faith. He fears blaspheming the Lord, but he can't understand a God that would let his wife die. Chasing after clues to Johnny's murder distracts him from his nearly unbearable situation.
William finds resolution in the end. I enjoyed reading this wonderful story.
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