Mystery Author: Strong Women, Great Stories

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I write three series: The Loser Mysteries, The Dead Detective Mysteries & the Simon & Elizabeth (Tudor) Mysteries as well as stand-alones that offer readers "Strong Women, Great Stories."
These days I also answer to Maggie Pill, who writes a cozy sleuth series. Maggie is a lot like Peg, just younger, cooler, and funnier.

Soon-to-Be Book--Not What You Expect

Many years ago, my first book came out. Macbeth's Niece is a romance set in--well, the time of Macbeth, around 1053. Here is what Five Star Publishing did for its cover.

And here's what I did when the rights reverted back to me and I re-released it as an e-book. Theirs is prettier, but mine shows more of Tessa's fiery personality.



Why did a mystery writer start with a romance?
Well, they say to write what you know, and as a long-time English teacher, Macbeth is very familiar to me.  I always loved the story and felt sorry for Macbeth, who didn't comprehend that things seldom turn out the way you imagine they will until it was much too late.

The story of a girl living at his castle who has her own adventures and comes to the same conclusion (though with a happier ending) seemed to form itself in my head without much effort (though writing it down was a little more difficult.)

I was shopping two books at the time, and two different agents tried to find a publisher. The thriller was never picked up. The romance was. So I became a published romance writer with no intention of ever writing another romance.

But the story of the macFindlaech family wasn't finished. Tessa had several sisters, and their stories kept showing up in my head. I tried writing two of them but was never happy with either one.
Some time ago I came across the files in my computer and realized that the two girls' stories had to be told together. They are twins, and their adventures are more exciting when told as the sisters are separated, struggle against terrible odds, and then are eventually reunited.

It came together well, I think, and Double Toil & Trouble will be released early in 2016. While it isn't my usual fare nowadays, those who liked Macbeth's Niece will enjoy the adventures of Jenna and Jessie, two more nieces of Scotland's former king.

(Cover art here as soon as I get it!)

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