M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Wallowing in a Cozy Rut -- Mysteries, That Is

Product Details  Thought I was going to move away from reading cozy mysteries. Have almost finished the Anne Bishop trilogy and started Lee Child's latest Jack mass paperback, Never Go Back. Then, I picked up J. K. Rowlings' A Casual Vacancy. Can't seem to escape the genre...even though Rowlings did a snarky cozy.

  The above sequence tells how I relaxed over the Thanksgiving week. The week before I had picked up Carol J. Perry's Caught Dead Handed somewhere. The book won my reading derby, taking me cover to cover without interruptions. Need I say the book is a well-crafted, many threaded mystery with interesting characters?

  More important, Perry twists the cozy cliches and comes up with a fresh take on a paranormal mystery. Yeah, there's a murder, two in fact. Yeah, there's the psychic who doesn't know she possesses an unusual talent ... and a hunky love interest [light] ... and a Salem, MA setting where the town's witchiness is downplayed ... and an intriguing antagonist who doesn't come out of the woodwork at the end like a deus ex machina. The clues are there, right out in the open for all to see. Caught Dead Handed is the promising beginning of a new series, but I don't quite understand where the title came from.

  Plot summary. Lee shows up at a Salem, MA, TV station for a news job interview ... only to find that it's been given to someone else. Then, the station's psychic, late-night movie presenter is murdered. Lee not only finds the body [& meets the hunky cop] but is offered the psychic's show -- which pitches her into the middle of the efforts to solve the murder. Only Perry keeps coming up with interesting plot twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.


A well recommended light paranormal mystery story that appeals on many levels.

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A Writer How-To
  Read a blog by  K. M. Weiland -- Three Secrets of Three-Dimensional Antagonists. It's really stuck in my mind, maybe after spending a couple days with Perry's antagonist. If you are a writer, you might find some good ideas. If you're a reader, you might enjoy looking at the inside mechanics of characterization as discussed by a master.

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  Think -- maybe -- I'm done dinking with my new stories. Both The Ghostcrow and Hear That Damn Owl are scheduled for the next round of edits. Actually, Owl is at the content editor's as I speak and space for Ghostcrow has been reserved. Almost time to reserve slots with my formatter. Looking to self-publish Owl in January and Ghostcrow in February.

  For Owl, I ended up adding about 1500 words to a flash fiction piece which almost sold to publishers a couple times. Had some recommendations on enhancing the main character I didn't quite agree with, this time around. I did expand on the protagonist's anger and motivate the nemesis to do what it does. Yeah, "it". The story is set in Andor so strange, unnatural things happen. 

  So, I'm now beating my head against the promotional wall again. Ugh. The piece is going to be another free short read. Hopefully, I'll get it up on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble, iTunes and KOBO.

  If anyone wants an review copy in late December, early January, email me at mkkaytheod-at-yahoo. I should have both a PDF and epub version to offer.  Someone also gave me the link to turn the manuscript into mobi, but I haven't tried it yet.

Here's my current draft of my blurb: 
  Crayton’s foul mood builds as he travels home at his mother’s command until he crosses with a spirit owl seeking revenge.

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