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.


 

 

My Favorite Things

My favorite things are books. When I glance at the new Oprah Magazine, I see a lot of wonderful gifts that could become my favorite things, but I always come back to books. When I’m stuck in a TSA line at the airport I just whip out my small version of the Kindle and start reading. I’m pacified until they ask for my boarding pass and ID. If the plane is late, no worries, my trusty Kindle will keep me occupied.

I have favorite books that I cherish more than gems in my jewelry box. I go back to them years later and delight in them once more. Now that I’m older and an author, I read them with a deeper understanding of the writing process and I savor the rich words and imagery. I’d like to share a couple of those that I cherish.

I am a super fan of author Ann Rice. I once stood five hours IN HEELS just to meet her and have her autograph a book. My feet were swollen to the point of bursting through my shoes.ann-rice-and-kelly-scan

No matter. I met the Queen of the Damned and was thrilled. Rice was gracious to her readers and sat in that chair for hours scribbling her autograph.

Here’s a passage from Rice’s  Interview With A Vampire: “They were all dressed in black, which was their at-home custom, and in the dark the black shapes of their dresses, massed together with their raven hair, so that in the glow of the candles their faces appeared as five soft shimmering apparitions, each uniquely sad, each uniquely courageous.”

One more paragraph from Interview with a Vampire: “She gasped as I broke the flesh, the warm current coming into me, her breasts crushed against me, her body arching up, helpless, from the couch. And I could see her eyes, even as I shut my own, see that taunting, provocative mouth. I was drawing on her, hard, lifting her,and I could feel her weakening, her hands dropping limp at her sides. ‘Tight, tight,’ I whispered over the hot stream of her blood, her heart thundering in my ears, her blood swelling my satiated veins.” Oh, my! Give me more of that.

Another classic book imprinted indelibly in my brain is The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough. The scandalous book is about a life-long love between Father Ralph de Bricassart and Meggie Cleary. Here’s a sample. “The priest smiled wryly and clasped his thin, very beautiful hands together so they made a pointed church roof. ‘I’ve known Meggie since she was ten years old, only days off the boat from New Zealand. You might in all truth say that I’ve known Meggie through flood and fire and emotional famine, and through death, and life. All that we have to bear. Meggie is the mirror in which I’m forced to view my mortality.'” Poor Meggie. She’d fallen for a truly unavailable man. I can only imagine what Dr. Phil would say to her!

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Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward from the TV miniseries The Thornbirds.

These are two of my favorite books. What are yours? Are there books you go back to again and again over the years and relish them just as much as you did the first time? I’d be interested in hearing about your faves. Add your comments below.

I had a wonderful time at the Enumclaw Wine Walk on 11/12/16. It’s always a treat to meet readers. A number of them bought my books and I want to say a big thank you. Congratulations to Maria Wilke of Lake Tapps WA who won a copy of  Black Phoenix.

 

I was recently notified I am a finalist in the AUTHORSHOW.COM contest 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading. Earlier, I had asked you to vote for me to get me to the finals. Now, I am asking for you to vote for me to win the grand prize. It includes some very nice things like a marketing package. I’d be ever so grateful if you voted just one more time for me. Here’s the link:http://www.questionpro.com/a/TakeSurvey?id=5429436. I appreciate your help.

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A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

My life is overflowing with busy-ness. I work full time for a government agency and give them forty hours a week. In addition, I am raising my teenage grandson who just started high school. While I admit, my daily duties with him have diminished, I still rise early weekday mornings, roust him out of a deep slumber, get him breakfast, find him an elusive pair of matching socks, and finally get him out the door before the school bus comes rumbling up the street. In my SPARE moments, I write. It’s my favorite thing to do, but as you can see, I have little time to spend on my avocation. Continue reading