WRITER’S RETREAT

I’ve been on four writer’s retreats and am amazed at the considerable amount of work I’ve accomplished each time I’ve taken the opportunity to get away from my lounge chair and compose while enjoying the beauty of the Northwest.

My most recent adventure included a trip to Port Townsend, WA, a lovely coastal town on the northernmost end of the Olympic Peninsula. It’s famous for its graceful Victorian homes, whale-watching tours, delicious seafood, and Fort Worden State Park where An Officer and a Gentleman with Richard Gere was filmed.

It’s also home to Manresa Castle, a unique hotel boasting rooms with turrets, an antique closed-in elevator, and haunted rooms. Continue reading

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SECOND WIND

The dictionary describes second wind as: a new strength or energy to continue something that is an effort. I’ve needed that for some time now and just couldn’t find the heart to carry on.

I’ve been writing seriously now for close to eleven years. In that time, I’ve completed five books. I pounded out those stories with a fevered pitch and crossed my fingers for success. It’s been a mixed bag. I’ve had years of decent sales and some that could be described as anemic. The last three years have been complicated by changes in publishers, a marketing campaign with a company that failed to deliver on promises made, and a year where my books were off the market as I transitioned between publishers. During that time, I sank thousands of dollars into marketing schemes that didn’t seem to affect the bottom line. Eventually, it took a toll on my drive to finish the next book.  Continue reading

LIFE INTRUDES

Wow! I had to look back in the archives to find out how long it’s been since I wrote a blog post. Almost three months! That’s forever in the land of blogs. I once read that if you don’t communicate weekly, you’ll lose your audience and they won’t come back. I hope not. I raise my finger in protest and sputter, “But I had to get my grandson ready for the new school year! And then there was the house appraisal!” The prep work to spruce up my home for the appraisal was a heavy lift. I ended up painting most of my house’s interior and increasing my Home Depot credit card balance as high as the national debt.

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Whew! Now that it’s done and my leg muscles have recovered from running up and down a ladder, I’m ready for life to return to normal. Which means, talking with you, reading, and writing on my new book, Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned.  Continue reading

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.

 

 

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