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About the Book
CLOCKWORK GENIE: A PARANORMAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY
Cecilia Orchard lives alone.
She writes fantasy and mystery stories to escape a humdrum data entry job that barely pays for her apartment, food, and bus fare. Then a handsome police detective arrives with news that she is the prime suspect in the murder of her grandfather whom she never knew existed. If inheriting a fortune from a man she doesn’t know isn’t madness enough, Cecilia finds herself the owner of a powerful genie that could make all her dreams come true, but what are her dreams and is she willing to make the wish? And can she uncover who really killed her grandfather? Find out in this paranormal romantic mystery that is part of the CLOCKWORK GENIE MYSTERIES.
Find out more about “The Cop that Wouldn’t Die,” a sequel short story to CLOCKWORK GENIE: A PARANORMAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY.
Guest Post from the Author
– You didn’t originally market CLOCKWORK GENIE as a mystery, even though it features a murder as central to its plot. How did you uncover that this should be marketed as a mystery novel?
When the first idea of CLOCKWORK GENIE struck me I was in the midst of writing a science fiction story and I was on a very short deadline. My focus was entirely on that story, but suddenly I had an idea of a fantasy tale about a girl that discovers she has inherited a magical pocket watch. That’s all I knew about the story, I wrote about a page worth of notes and put it away. Once I had the sci-fi story complete I pulled my fantasy take out of the drawer to see what I had. Over the next few years I wrote the novel, rewrote a lot of it, and made it more than what. Along with a fantasy tale about a girl and her genie I soon found a romantic element in the story. That fantasy romance was the heart of what I was writing, and at the time I was also reading a lot of ‘paranormal romance’ and I thought that was where this tale belonged. That’s how I promoted it.
However, though it may have had a heart of fantasy romance, the skeleton of the entire story was that of a murder mystery and I had all but missed that in marketing CLOCKWORK GENIE. Two of my main characters are Police Detectives and yet I hadn’t realized that with or without the genie’s magic what I had here was a murder mystery.
So now I would like you to know about my murder mystery CLOCKWORK GENIE.
– What elements did you add when redesigning the CLOCKWORK GENIE cover to better identify it as a mystery story as well as the paranormal romance you originally marketed it as?
It is said that an artist has to learn to put the art away when you declare it finished, because if you don’t then it will never be finished and there will always be one more brush stroke. In the artist eye it is never complete, never perfect.
Well, went I first painted the cover art for CLOCKWORK GENIE, I saw it as a fantasy romance and so painted the beautiful woman on the cover with the magic in hand and the setting in the background. Now that I have given myself further time to contemplate my work, I have what might be considered unforgivable and did some repainting of the cover. The figure wasn’t repainted extensively because she provides such a strong visual continuity between covers. So, instead, I focused on the background, creating a more real environment and placing a police car upon the cobblestone driveway that plays an important part of the tale.
– What did you enjoy most about writing CLOCKWORK GENIE?
After the first pass on the story, the different characters began to talk to me. It was more like following them through their lives and writing down what I saw them do instead of having to think up something that I wanted them to do. That rarely happens, but at the time the story just flows out from the events I witness in my characters.
– What are your plans for telling future stories with the CLOCKWORK GENIE characters?
Police Detective Whitney Manning has already told her story in “The Cop Who Wouldn’t Die” and the consequences of having a genie as a friend. Further stories are in the works to tell the tales of the other members of the genie’s family. The current one I’m working on is about Cecilia’s husband Police Detective Marcus Lambert.
Excerpt from CLOCKWORK GENIE: A PARANORMAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY
Cecilia Orchard surprised herself.
Detective Manning was past surprised and moving into shock. She still looked at her empty hand. The gun had been there, she could feel the weight, and then it wasn’t. No sensation of it being taken away; it was just gone.
“Maybe we could get away to Maui,” the Orchard woman was saying something and it drew Manning’s attention back to her. “Always wanted to go to Maui.”
The detective looked at Cecilia, who now sat on the couch. She was oddly leaning to one side and putting her arms out as if hugging someone sitting next to her. But there was no one there, and she was talking to no one.
Then Cecilia looked up at Manning, who still stood there stunned.
“Well, we’ve come this far. Might as well go the whole way. Let her see you, Genevieve.”
Just like that, someone else was sitting on the couch. Cecilia had her arms around the form of another young woman who had obviously been crying.
“You going to be okay?” Cecilia asked.
“I am sorry, Cecilia, I have failed you.”
“Nonsense! What did I say before; it’s okay to cry, you love him.”
Manning’s legs could no longer hold her and she sank to the floor.
“What’s going on here?” she asked after regaining her voice, “I’m hallucinating. You drugged me.”
“Oh, that’s so original. I’ve cut that idea out of three stories I’ve written recently. Drugs are a cheap out.”
Manning was trying to rationalize what she had seen.
“You read fantasy, figure it out,” she heard Cecilia remind her.
When Manning thought she was drugged, it allowed her to not think about what was going on as real. If her mind wasn’t in control then she couldn’t believe anything she saw and she’d wake up someplace and deal with the consequences later. But if that wasn’t the case…
She loved her fantasy novels. Had finished the latest one this morning. She knew every trope of the genre.
The two women were looking at her; Cecilia had a devilish smile.
“No, it’s not possible.”
She gasped out the words. The answer was coming to her but she refused to believe it.
“Everything is possible,” said Cecilia encouragingly, “just not probable.”
The word finally fell from Manning’s lips.
“Score one for the detective.”
About the Author
Kevin Paul Shaw Broden first fell in with the masks as a child while listening to old time radio and the adventures of Green Hornet, The Shadow, The Lone Ranger and many others. They were soon followed by the four-color heroes of comic books, not the heroes of the modern age, but those of the Golden Age. Roy Thomas’ run on All-Star Squadron introduced Kevin to heroes long past. It would be those heroes he would dream of and want to write about; all that led to his pursuit of a career in comic books. He took art courses throughout his education – and his first professional job was as a background artist in the early issues of SUPREME for Image Comics – only to discover that no matter the media, he was a storyteller at heart.
He would never be far from his first love, the masked heroes. For over fifteen years Kevin has been illustrating and co-writing (with Shannon Muir) the online comic book FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY which can be found at http://www.flying-glory.com about the granddaughter of a golden age heroine known as Flying Glory. He has also written for television animation, including the Japanese series MIDNIGHT HORROR SCHOOL. He is a member of the Animation Writers Caucus of the Writers Guild of America. Kevin also digitally paints book covers, not only for his own books, but for other authors, including the cover art for Pro Se Productions’ NEWSHOUNDS. In 2015, he also contributed artwork for LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION for Airship 27.
Kevin’s first novel, CLOCKWORK GENIE, was released in 2011 (later released with a subtitle and new cover in 2018), followed in 2012 by REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST, his homage to the golden age pulp heroes that got him started. In 2013, his work appeared in two anthologies from Pro Se Productions. In BLACK FEDORA, he wrote about the villainous Maestro Mechanic in “The Man Who Stole Manhattan”, and in NEWSHOUNDS printer’s ink mixes with blood in the tale “Stop The Presses!” He’s since followed this up releasing several short stories on his own, including “The Cop Who Wouldn’t Die” from the CLOCKWORK GENIE universe, “A Scarlet Spirit Tale: In the Clutches of Convicts” which expands the world of the MASKED GHOST, and the stand-alone stories “No Easy Way to Die” and “Murder on the Cosplay Express”.
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