A NEW BEGINNING

When I finished my last book, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, I promised myself I’d take six months off before I started a new novel. The publishing process is grueling. Because I still work a government job full-time, my opportunities to write are limited.  It usually takes me a year-and-a-half to bring a novel to fruition. Frankly, I get tired and I wanted to spend time enjoying life instead of occupying my lounge chair pounding away on my laptop. I actually wore out most of the keys and had to have the keyboard replaced! It’s only been four months and already my fingers are itching, and I know it’s  time to start my next book.typewriter pexels-photo-481672

I vacillated between two plots. I joined an online dating service some time ago and thought there was ample fodder for murder and mayhem dating strangers. Seattle had a horrific case just last year. A women went out on a date arranged on an online site and ended up in pieces in several dumpsters around the city.  It spooked me and upon reflection, I dis-enrolled from the dating site.

My stories have always included romance and murder, but dead bodies and the grind of police investigations dominated the story line. I thought it was time to inject more romance into my next novel. My new tale involves a powerful love between a priest and a parishioner. Nothing like forbidden love to spark a murder! I decided my new novel will be dubbed Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned.

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Just a note about my recently published novel, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die. My book recently won first place in the  East Texas Writer Guild’s book cover contest. Real congratulations go to the designer, Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art. If you’re a fellow author looking for a stunning book cover to grab attention, I whole-heartedly recommend Jay Aheer. Here’s how to find her. https://www.simplydefinedart.com/

I invite you to visit my website KellyMarshallBooks.com

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FREE

We all love the word free. I do. Whenever I see it, my eyes race across the page to see if this free product is something I am willing to jump through hoops for. There’s usually a catch. Not here. I am giving away three copies of Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die.

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You can sign up June 10th through the 24th. Just click the link and it will take you to the right place. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/236973-kiss-the-girls-and-make-them-die

No worries, I’m not going to keep your email address. If you trust me and want to connect through email, here’s a simple contact form:  http://www.kellymarshallbooks.com/

In KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE, Seattle homicide detectives, Nick Winston and Pat Strom, search out crime in the underbelly of the Emerald City. This time, a serial killer is murdering lesbians in the Northwest’s most gay-friendly city. They are called to the apartment of a University of Washington student, Kylee Harris. The provocative young woman is slaughtered in her bed and the killer leaves behind a grisly clue that shocks even the most cynical detectives.

In Bellevue, an upscale community east of Seattle, Winston and Strom discover an exclusive club for lesbians where decadent parties are a monthly event. The revelries are catered affairs with soft chamber music, gourmet food, hot tubs, and many bedrooms. The elite meet to hook up, confident their dalliances will not end up in the society section of the Seattle Times. But when the assistant to Seattle Mayor Brody is brutally mutilated, Police Chief Irwin turns up the heat to find the murderer and to quiet whispers of a serial killer.

Two more ghastly murders in the gay community throw the Seattle Police and surrounding jurisdictions into chaos as they frantically search for the person responsible for the deaths. Memories of the protracted search for the Green River Killer haunt law enforcement. Winston and Strom are at the epicenter of the investigation when, suddenly, the case becomes terrifyingly real for Detective Pat Strom.

If the story intrigues you, enter here to win your free copy.  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/236973-kiss-the-girls-and-make-them-die

 

The plot of my next book is already bubbling in my brain. From Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned.

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 Huddled in a pew outside the confessional, Cecilia Armstrong fingered her blue rosary beads as her lips whispered the well-known words, “Hail Mary, full of grace…” She completed the rosary and looked up. Whatever was taking Father Patrick so long with the last penitent? She tried not to judge, but surely someone had confessed mortal sins. Otherwise, why would the priest have to counsel them for almost an hour? Had the penitent left through the door on the other side of the confessional? She looked up to see the light still glowing red indicating Father was still in the room. She reached down to gather her purse from the floor and noticed a creeping stream of red flowing from beneath the confessional door.

 

 

A Plea for Publicists

I’ve been seriously writing for ten years and have published five books within that time frame. I still report to a full-time job everyday and am raising a teen-age grandson. Writing gets done in the wee hours before sunrise on the weekend. My journey has not always been a smooth ride. I partnered with an online publisher for three years who went bankrupt and folded owing me royalties. Unavailable for sale for almost a year, my books languished while I decided whether to self-publish or find a new publisher.

On the recommendation of a fellow author, Caleb Pirtle III, I chose White Bird Publications of Austin, TX. I like the no BS persona of it’s owner, Evelyn Byrne-Kusch. We are simpatico and I was glad I waited to find a good publisher that I could communicate with.

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A missing piece of the puzzle for me was effective marketing. I’m a writer, not a specialist in advertising or marketing. Book coach and an independent publishing expert Kristen Eckstein recommends spending 50% of your time on writing and 50% on marketing your published and pending books. Whoa! With so little time to write, where was I going to find that kind of time? What I needed, what I wanted was a savvy publicist who could plow the way through the machinations of publishing. I wanted someone who could lift the heavy load for me. Trying to do it all, I felt I was doing none of it well. In addition, I had maxed out more than one credit card buying marketing programs offered by “experts” who guaranteed me success.  Yeah, right.

 

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Once again, my writing buddy, Caleb Pirtle III, gave me a referral. This time to Y&R PR, also of Texas. The company and I had a misunderstanding early on when I bought into a program that Y&R PR decided to close. I was relieved and pleased when the marketing firm assured me they would honor their commitment. They offered a personal publicity program that I had been looking for. From the Y&R PR website: “Let us do the tedious and time-consuming job of getting your name and brand to the public. We work on your behalf, proudly representing your name and acting as an advocate for your talents and goals.”

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I’m not writing this blog as an advertisement for Y&R PR, but rather to point out that there is a huge black hole in publishing, a crying need for right-brained authors who need a publicist who can help writers get their toe in the door of success.

Marketing companies may not be for everyone, but for writers like me whose time is more precious than gold, they offer a chance to get noticed in a country where it’s estimated that up to 1,000,000 books are published every year. On average, writers sell less than 250 copies each. Pretty depressing, huh? 

To my fellow writers, I salute you and understand the difficult journey you’re on.  Whether you slog though the demands of self-publishing and go it alone or like me, you enlist the help of a publicist, it’s a tough path. I liken it to walking on hot coals hoping I’ll get to the other side without third-degree burns.  I’d like to set the world in fire, but not quite like that.  For those of you looking for a publicist, here’s a few links:

https://janefriedman.com/find-book-publicist/

https://reedsy.com/publicity/book-publicist

https://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/browse/?q=book-publicist

http://www.prbythebook.com/services/

http://yandrpr.com/

 

 

 

JUST A TASTE

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I am excited, anxious, as nervous as an expectant mother about to give birth. My new book Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die debuts March 28th. I love my two main characters, Seattle homicide detectives Nick Winston and Pat Strom. They’re as comfortable with each other as a long-married couple, but just like in marriage, tension can get tight. Here’s a taste of Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die.

Driving to Kylee Harris’s autopsy, Nick’s stomach roiled and gurgled audibly. Strom turned to him and smiled bigger than Julia Roberts. “Bring your Phenergan suppositories? I hear they help with nausea.” Continue reading

No More “Happy Ever After”

How many times have you heard people say, “I’m going to write a book one day?” I muttered that phrase to myself many times. I’d sit down with a legal pad in hand and start writing about love gone wrong because as a teenager that’s usually the case. Later in my thirties when I  was a bit more serious about actually finishing a project, I took a seminar sponsored by Harlequin Books and wrote copious notes about “the formula.” All romance books have guidelines about when the lovers meet, how quickly they fall in love, what obstacles they face in their relationship, and how the book should end. I tried. I really did.  Continue reading

KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE

A writer spends many lonely hours hunched over a computer weaving dark tales of murder and mystery. For the past year-and-a-half, I have been writing another story about my two favorite characters, Nick Winston and Pat Strom. The Seattle homicide detectives search out crime in the underbelly of the Emerald City. This time, a serial killer is murdering lesbians in the Northwest’s most gay-friendly city. They are called to the apartment of a University of Washington student, Kylee Harris. The provocative young woman is slaughtered in her bed and the killer leaves behind a grisly clue that shocks even the most cynical detectives.

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In Bellevue, an upscale community east of Seattle, Winston and Strom discover an exclusive club for lesbians where decadent parties are a monthly event. The revelries are catered affairs with soft chamber music, gourmet food,  hot tubs, and many bedrooms. The elite meet to hook up, confident their dalliances will not end up in the society section of the Seattle Times. But when the assistant to Seattle Mayor Brody is brutally mutilated, Police Chief Irwin turns up the heat to find the murderer and to quiet whispers of a serial killer.

Two more ghastly murders in the gay community throw the Seattle Police Department and surrounding jurisdictions into chaos as they frantically search for the person responsible for the deaths. Memories of the protracted search for the Green River Killer haunt law enforcement. Winston and Strom are at the epicenter of the investigation when, suddenly, the case becomes terrifyingly real for Detective Pat Strom.

Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die coming soon from WhiteBird Publications.


 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Christians are coming out of the closet and finally uttering “Merry Christmas” again. For a number of years, the politically correct demigods have demanded that we be all-inclusive and use the generic “Happy Holidays” so we don’t offend anyone. I’ll admit I bought into the nonsense for some time too. But the reality is, Christmas belongs to Christians. It’s our Holy Day and while we are willing to share it with the world, we shouldn’t have to bow down to those who insist we do our day their way.

I love Christmas for the happy feelings that bubble out of me as I race madly towards December 25th. True, it’s easy to get stressed looking for the perfect gift for my grandson, but it’s pure magic when I spot just the right item and swoop it into the basket. It’s also true, I spend more than I should. I dread the consequences of my excess, but I’m willing to face the music in January just to see his sparkling eyes and the giggle that erupts when he rips open the package and finds that I found exactly what he wanted.

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And there’s a deeper magic that happens at Midnight Mass when the congregation join voices and sing the old carols. I shed the chaos that has consumed my life for the last month and spirit finds its way into a heart that is willing to listen to a message of love. Besides the gentle voice of love, sometimes there is pain. Both my parents died at Christmas and I am flooded with memories of Christmases past and those I have lost. Tears are shed for Bea and Bob and my younger brother Rob who died way too soon. I miss you all.

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For all my friends who are Buddhists, Wiccans, Taoists, Muslims, atheists, those who celebrate Kwanza, and my fellow Christians, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.