Friday, November 30, 2012

Mystery We Write Tour ~ Evelyn Cullet

The setting for my romantic suspense novel, Masterpiece of Murder, is the beautiful resort city of Bariloche, Argentina

Inspiration for a story can come from anywhere, and mine came when I first heard of Bariloche. I had once fancied myself an artist and took a year of art classes. It was there that I met an artist who had gone to Barioche to take a Master art class. I was unaware of the city, until I saw the photos of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, dense woods, and crystalline lakes that were brought in to class by the artist upon his return. The writer in me immediately thought that the solitude and scenic beauty of the area would be a unique setting for a romantic suspense novel. 

As I did more research and began to write, I discovered many lovely, and even a few perilous, locations to keep the reader interested in the story as the romance and the suspense unfolded. While the area surrounding Bariloche was breathtakingly beautiful, it also made the worst possible setting for my protagonist to be in when she realizes that she's the only suspect in a murder case. Finding herself in a foreign country where the nearest American Embassy is 837 miles away, unfamiliar with the customs and the laws, with a limited command of the language, and knowing only a few people; all strangers except for her fiancé whom she immediately has a falling out with, who can she trust? Finding the real murderer rests on her shoulders alone. She must draw on her limited experiences and every idea her mind can conger up to use the limited resources available to her to prove herself innocent of a crime she didn't commit. And to add to her problems, a military police officer is dogging her every step. A most unique and intimidating setting for a novel, don't you agree? To learn more about Bariloche, and to see pictures of the locations mentioned in Masterpiece of Murder, I invite everyone to visit the Photos Page on my website at:

I would love to know what you think, so please leave a comment and you'll automatically be entered in my book giveaway. You could win a signed print copy of Masterpiece of Murder. One lucky winner will be chosen at random and announced on my blog, on December 11th. Don't forget to leave your email address so I'll know how to contact you.

Masterpiece of Murder,  is a fast-paced romantic suspense novel about a broken-hearted American art student, Charlotte Ross, who is so intent on locating her errant fiancé that she submits someone else’s painting as her own in order to gain access to a Master art class being held in Bariloche, Argentina—the place her lost love was last seen. When the painting gets her accepted into the class given by a world-famous artist and womanizer, being a novice makes keeping up with the others nearly impossible as she struggles to fake her way though, while trying to win back the man she loves. But her fiancé has his own reasons for being in Bariloche--he's after a stolen art masterpiece--that threaten Charlotte’s very existence and cause her to stumble into a downward spiral of deceit, art forgery, and murder. After accidently finding the murder victim. circumstantial evidence begins to mount up against her and the local police suspect she is the killer. Now she must use whatever skills she has, along with the help of two fellow art students, to discover who is really behind the murder before she's arrested. Not an easy task with a military police officer dogging her every step.

Evelyn Cullet has been an aspiring author since high school when she wrote short stories, but she didn't begin her first novel until college, later in life. Afterward, she continued to take writing classes and work on her novels while employed by a major soft drink company. Now, after early retirement, she finally has the chance to write full-time. Evelyn enjoys playing the piano, being an organic gardener, and an amateur Lapidary. She's a former long-time member of the Agatha Christie Society, and is currently a member of Sisters in Crime. Evelyn and her husband live in a suburb of Chicago.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mystery We Write Tour ~ W.S. Gager

My Mitch Malone Mysteries are typically set in Grand River, Michigan, which is just a parody of words and really is Grand Rapids, Michigan. This was my first mystery series and they say you need to write what you know so I used the city I patrolled as a teenager looking for trouble. However in book three, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, Mitch leaves his beloved city and returns to the small town where he grew up.

For this setting, I melded a couple of small towns. I took the physical layout from a small city I worked at when I was first out of college. I needed a city with a New England Village Square and this fit the bill. All the government buildings like the city hall, police station and jail were placed around one side of the square. For the layout of the downtown, I took the city I had lived in for more than fifteen years.
It was ironic that HOMETOWN BLUES was about going back home again and while I was writing it, I was moving away from a small town I’d lived in for twenty years. I used some of the angst I felt leaving the small town security and moving to a larger city with more crime and less character. It was the exact opposite of what happens to Mitch Malone in the book.

In another twist, all the things I was going to miss about the town were all the things Mitch hated. He didn’t want to be called by name when he entered a store or restaurant. He didn’t want people to know where he was because they recognized his vehicle. He didn’t want to face the only family he had left. He liked being a loaner. In a small town, you can’t be alone. Everyone knows your name, especially if you are a regional celebrity who has come home.

As the town of Flatville starts to become more of a setting and turns into a character –a demon he has to either turn and fight or follow his previous method and running back to the anonymity of the big city. To find out what choices Mitch makes, read A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES.
Have you ever left a small town or lived in the anonymity of a big city? Which to you prefer and why?

W.S. Gager
Author of Humorous Whodunits
A Case of Infatuation, A Case of Accidental Intersection, A Case of Hometown Blues-Now Available
A Case of Volatile Deeds - Coming Fall 2012 

Mitch finally scores a weekend dinner with a cute receptionist, but true to his reporter instincts an explosion in a high rise office building makes him stand up his date as he runs for an exclusive.  When he investigates, he learns his date is the only casualty in a botched robbery at a real estate office. When femme fatale Patrenka Petersen returns, Mitch learns that much of what he knows about his date and her work aren’t what they seem. His world continues to twist when the police captain asks for his help and a city hall informant is found floating in the river. Mitch must keep his head down or a cute dog with a knack for finding dead bodies will be sniffing out his corpse.  

Author Bio
Award winning mystery author W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won't let anyone stop him. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS, her fourth in the Mitch series will be out this February.

W.S. Gager
Author of Humorous Whodunits
A Case of Infatuation, A Case of Accidental Intersection, A Case of Hometown Blues-Now Available
A Case of Volatile Deeds - Coming February 2013 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mystery We Write Tour ~ Patricia Gligor

What makes my main character unique?

People are like snowflakes; no two of us are exactly alike. Each of us is unique. What makes the main character in my Malone mystery series, Ann Malone (her maiden name) Kern, the person she is? Like all of us, it’s a combination of genetics and environment.

At the beginning of the series, Ann is a housewife, which is rare in today’s world. She’s married to David, an alcoholic, and they have two children, eight-year-old, Danielle, and six-year-old, Davey. Ann is a wonderful mother and a very talented seamstress and decorator. With very little money, she’s made their apartment on the first floor of an old Victorian a warm and comforting place for her family to live.

As you probably guessed from her name, Ann is of Irish descent. Nana, Ann’s grandmother, now deceased, raised Ann and her older sister, Marnie, from the time Ann was nine years old and she played a prominent role in who Ann became as an adult. Nana was a strong but nurturing woman who taught Ann how to sew, cook, bake and how to make a house a home. She also taught her that family is the most important thing in life, which, coupled by the fact that Ann’s parents were killed in an automobile accident when she was a child, is why Ann is willing to do whatever it takes to preserve her family.

Even though David is now working hard to maintain his sobriety, they’ve been through a lot. Ann has always been rather shy and unassuming and she’s put the needs of everyone else before her own needs. Here’s an excerpt from Unfinished Business, which shows how she’s changed and grown in the first two books of the series.

“Alanon is really helping you, isn’t it?” Marnie asked. “I see a major change in you. You used to be so timid and shy but now you say what’s on your mind.” She smiled. “I think that’s a good thing. I’ve always believed in speaking my mind and, if I disagree with someone, I’ll voice my opinion.
“I don’t think it helps anyone if you pretend to agree with them when you really don’t. After all, we’re people, not sheep. We’re going to have our differences from time to time and I think that’s healthy. So many people are afraid of rocking the boat; they’ll do or say anything just to keep peace. I think that’s wrong.”

“I’ve always admired you for that,” Ann said, “and I totally agree with you. I think it is best to be honest. You always seemed so self-confident, so strong. I, on the other hand . . . . I always wished I could be more like you.”

“Well, be careful what you wish for,” Marnie cautioned her, “and watch out that you don’t become so outspoken that people take offense at what you say. It seems like most people don’t really want total honesty; they want someone to agree with them and confirm their belief that they’re right. Believe me, I’ve learned that the hard way. I’m trying really hard to temper what I want to say with what I do say.”


Patricia Gligor is a Cincinnati native. She enjoys reading mystery/suspense novels, touring and photographing old houses and traveling, especially to the ocean. Mixed Messages, the first novel in her Malone Mystery Series, was published in April 2012 by Post Mortem Press. Unfinished Business is the second novel in the series.


The Westwood Strangler is dead. Or so everyone believes.

Ann Kern is busy preparing for her favorite holiday. She’s especially looking forward to her sister’s annual Christmas visit. But, several things threaten to ruin her festive mood.

The National Weather Service issues a severe winter storm warning for the Cincinnati area, predicting blizzard conditions, and Ann worries that her sister and her new boyfriend won’t be able to make the drive from South Carolina.

Then, a woman is found strangled in Ann’s neighborhood and everyone, including the police, assumes it’s the work of a copycat killer. However, when two more women are murdered in their homes, the police announce their conviction that the Westwood Strangler is responsible.

When Ann hears the news, the sense of safety and security she’s worked so hard to recapture since her attack on Halloween night, shatters. If the intruder who died in her apartment wasn’t the Westwood Strangler, who is? And, who will be the next victim?


Patricia Gligor’s Amazon page:


At the end of the blog tour, I will be giving away one copy of Unfinished Business, the second novel in my Malone mystery series. Leave a comment and you’re automatically entered to win. Please include your email address with your comment so that, if your name is selected, I may contact you to get your mailing address. The winner will be announced on my blog: on December 11. Best of luck!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mystery We Write Blog Tour ~ M.M. Gornell

Thanks, Madison, for hosting me today—the first day of our tour. I’m certainly excited to be on tour again, and I’m especially enjoying meeting and visiting with you. One of the items I really like about Anne’s tours is meeting new authors and readers!

And starting off our tour with “setting” as the topic, certainly gets me in the talking-about-writing mode. It’s not news that many authors consider setting so very important. I’m one of those. And the key, I think, is not only including setting in your tale, but most importantly, taking your reader “there.” And that’s so much writing-fun for me—tantalizing the reader’s senses with my narrative, and verbally painting the location through my character reactions/interactions with their environment.

You’ve asked in particular, what makes the setting in my most recent book unique?

To start with, a key to my story ideas and plots is a particular location that has appealed to me. Indeed, called out to me. Lies of Convenience encompasses several such places that were the inspiration for this particular tale. The foremost being the view from a wonderful cousin’s high-rise apartment on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. They have the most wonderful view of a section of Lake Michigan’s waterfront. Then there’s a Quonset hut in my area, and then there’s Route 66 itself, and then there’s the Mojave Desert and its challenges… My book’s Preface tries to bring all those elements together:

The world of this author’s mind is populated with a multitude of places and characters—many composites, and many imaginary. Occasionally, some of these people and places escape—intermingle with reality—and become backdrops and inspiration for tales of mystery.
Situated on Route 66 as it crosses California’s Mojave Desert, NewTown is a fictional place, but its inspiration is drawn from the many “small dots” spreading themselves along The Mother Road. This particular NewTown tale—even though populated with imaginary characters involved in fictional events—is nonetheless, triggered by the realities of High Desert terrain, weather, and the fortitude of its very real inhabitants.

CHICAGO, on the other hand, more than halfway across the country from NewTown, and at the start of Route 66, is on a capital-letters-scale, a world-renowned, sophisticated, and larger-than-life city. Indeed, to experience Lake Michigan’s unparalleled waterfront, especially under the magical shroud of night, with city lights a-sparkling—is to be bedazzled, awed, and visually imprinted for life.
Besides their shared Route 66 heritage, how do these places and people—real and imaginary—intersect? Therein lies the story…

Thank you, Madison for hosting me on my first tour stop. It’s been lovely spouting off about setting!

Bio for Madeline

Madeline (M.M.) Gornell has four published mystery novels—PSWA awarding winning Uncle Si’s Secret (2008); Death of a Perfect Man (2009); Eric Hoffer Fiction finalist and Honorary Mention winner, the da Vinci Eye finalist, and Montaigne Medalist finalist Reticence of Ravens (2011); and PSWA award winner and Hollywood Book Festival Honorary Mention Lies of Convenience (2012). Both Reticence of Ravens and Lies of Convenience are Route 66 mysteries.

Madeline is also a potter with a fondness for stoneware and reduction firing. She lives with her husband and assorted canines in the Mojave Desert in a town on internationally revered Route 66.

Contact and Buy Info from Madeline (M.M.) Gornell:
Madeline’s books are available at, Barnes &, and Smashwords, in paper and e-book formats. You can visit her online at her website , or her BLOG or email her directly at

Book Giveaway:
Buster, Dobie, and Mugs (the latest) are each drawing a name from comments for free copies of Lies of Convenience (or a M.M. Gornell title of your choosing)

Buy link for Lies of Convenience: