THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF February Mystery Loving Event!
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Murder is a Dirty Business
by Tricia L. Sanders
When Cece Cavanaugh’s husband empties their joint bank account, steals her designer luggage, and runs off with a younger woman, Cece must decide whether to ask her manipulative mother-in-law for a handout or get a job. Choosing the easier path, Cece lands a job cleaning a crime scene where a high school coach was murdered. When his wife is implicated—a young woman Cece practically raised—Cece finds herself mopping floors, balancing an empty checkbook, and ferreting out a killer.
Amid all this messy business, Cece bumps heads with a handsome detective. She tries to ignore her growing attraction to the detective, but he gives new meaning to the term “hot flash.”
After she stumbles onto a clue that could vindicate her friend, her elation turns to panic when she haphazardly confronts the killer. Through the danger and romance, Cece discovers self-reliance and inner strength.
And that crime—at least, someone else’s—does pay the bills.
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing? I’ve had the itch since fourth grade when my story “Christmas in July” placed first in a contest and was published in the local newspaper. I did the requisite stints on my school newspaper and eventually wound up writing curriculum (boring) for the company where I worked. My creative juices were drying up writing bullet points and slide shows. When I saw an ad in the newspaper for a local writing group, I went to the first meeting and meet such a wonderful group of people. I was hooked by their generosity and joined on the spot.
What genres do you write in? Cozy Mysteries and Women’s Fiction.
What drew you to writing these specific genres? I’ve loved mysteries since I was a little girl. In fact, I would read a book, then I would re-write the ending, so it ended the way I wanted it to end. With Women’s Fiction, I always been drawn to stories about the journeys women take through life.
How did you break into the field? I started submitting essays to a woman’s lifestyle magazine on the east coast and sold several. That fueled my ego and started me thinking about writing a novel which I did during NaNoWriMo several years ago. I queried it relentlessly and finally, on the advice of a critique partner, submitted it to her publisher who immediately requested a full manuscript and subsequently published it.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works? My stories are about women who have class, sass, and a touch of kickass. I want my readers to see the challenges my characters endure and survive. I want them to see that all things are possible with perseverance.
What do you find most rewarding about writing? Having a reader be able to identify with one of my characters. I want them so immersed in the story they feel they are part of it.
What do you find most challenging about writing? Trying to keep my mind from wandering to other stories. I tend to have several projects on the go at one time, so keeping my mind on the story at hand, has always been difficult.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field? Don’t wait. Do it now. If you have a story in you, tell it. Find a good writers group, listen, participate, but most of all write, write, write. Do not get hung up on reading all about “how” to write. Do not stifle your creativity. Write your story, then go back and polish it.
What type of books do you enjoy reading? I will read almost anything. But my favorites are mysteries, suspense, and lately dystopian. A good women’s fiction will always get my attention.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you? I love photography and travel. This year I visited 12 different countries and rode in a hot air balloon over the Maasai Mara in Kenya, Africa. Amazing photo opportunities.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Tricia L. Sanders writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass. A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.
When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign interests. She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.
Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction.
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