I’ve been creating stories since my first set of paper dolls. Poor dolls. They often suffered sad fates like car accidents and fatal diseases. Guess I had an instinctive knowledge that torturing characters is a good thing. Then I attended school and learned to be nice. Sometimes I wonder how many stories I lost due to my grade school teachers.
The idea for Death Stretch came from my friend and critique partner, Robin Weaver. She was describing her first yoga lesson, which reminded me of my many failed experiments with the exercise. We brainstormed about whether the class should be killed off or just one person. Sweet, huh? I truly hope no one taped our phone conversation.
I love that your story was based on a yoga class discussion! How did you get the call for Death Stretch?
Three full-length manuscripts are hiding among the dust bunnies under my bed, along with a few short stories. Death Stretch was my first attempt at writing a mystery/suspense, but I’ve been reading the genre since my first Nancy Drew. Luckily, The Wild Rose Press offered a contract after I pitched Rhonda Penders at a Carolina Romance Writers meeting. If you aren’t in a writer’s group – find one and join. The support is invaluable.
What other advice do you have for us not-yet published authors?
Besides reading and using the book Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, have fun with your craft. Death Stretch came about because I hadn’t succeeded with contemporary romance. Switching genres with no expectation other than having fun helped me find my voice. So above all, enjoy what you write.
What’s next? Is this a series? Tell us what your new readers can expect.
Death Stretch will be free on Amazon September 10-14. I hope you download and enjoy the read! I also have a shorter Christmas story releasing this year – Death Under the Mistletoe. The next book in what I’ve mentally dubbed the Granville Falls Mysteries is Death Rub, featuring a massage therapist. That’s in the final first draft stages.
As this is a tearoom, what kind of tea do you prefer?
Herbal! I love Egyptian Licorice and Peach Detox – both Yogi brands. Oh, and Twining’s Lady Grey. Bergamot – yum.
Finally, we ask this of all our guests: what five books are your all time favorite or what books would you grab if the house were on fire.
Seriously? Only five? Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility for sure. Jane Austen rocks! After that, I’d grab my laptop, put my I-Mac under my arm and head for the door/window.
Here’s an excerpt from Death Stretch:
I watched him inhale, like he held in a rant. Shame on me, but pissing off the man held a certain appeal.
He inhaled through his nose, his gaze lifted for divine inspiration, or perhaps patience. “Break-ins are common these days, so maybe you should use the lock.
“How do you know I don’t?”
“The lock didn’t tumble before you opened your door.”
“Oh.” It’s hard to be sarcastic to a guy whose job is to “protect and serve.” Speaking of serve, those lips could offer… no, I wouldn’t go there.
“So, Detective Johnson, what does bring you by?”
“I have a few more questions. Mind if I come in?”
My brain stopped at the word come. Silly, but have I mentioned it’s been awhile since I’ve dated?
He grabbed my arm. “Ms. Sheridan? Katie?”
The sizzle of his touch jolted me back to life. “Um, sure. Sorry, I haven’t cleaned yet today.” Or last week, but who’s keeping count? And why apologize?
I closed the woman’s magazine I’d left open to an article on Giving Good Head and shoved it under a pile of papers, hoping Detective Johnson hadn’t noticed my reading preference. His smirk suggested he probably had.
My attention shifted into hostess mode. I might be a slut wanna-be, but my Mama raised me right.
“Something to drink? I have iced tea, bottled water, Pepsi.” I stopped before adding “wine and beer.”
The smirk disappeared and his jaw tightened. “All I want are answers.”
She’s leery of overprotective men—he’s sworn to protect and serve.
When Katie Sheridan’s best friend is blackmailed over an affair with a yoga instructor, Katie stuffs herself into workout togs to help identify suspects. Instead of getting fit, she learns yoga can be a killer when the instructor winds up dead. Worse, Katie is a suspect, and finds herself tangling with the sexy, commanding cop investigating the case.
Detective Dirk Johnson knows getting involved with a material witness—especially one as reckless as Katie—means trouble, but his heart and protective instincts aren’t logical. More than once, she rescues herself just before he arrives to save the day. Dirk’s not sure he can keep up with her, but he’ll go down trying.
Blackmail, murder, and adultery teach Katie and Dirk that love obeys its own laws. With passion as the final reward, they find fighting temptation is highly overrated.