Mystery Subgenre: the Gothics by Amy Reade

20131548           A friend asked me to write a post recently on the definition of “gothic” mysteries. When I tell people I write gothics, often their initial expectation is vampires and fangs. But that’s not what I write.

This subgenre of mystery has indeed encompassed monsters, vampires, ghouls, and crones in its storied history, but it has evolved to have a more nuanced meaning.

“Gothic” fiction began in the 1700s with Horace Walpole’s novel The Castle of Otranto. And in that title lies one of the most recognizable elements of the gothic novel: the castle, often crumbling and decrepit, always spooky, always evoking a feeling of terror. And the castle, or its modern counterpart, the decaying mansion, is often present in more contemporary gothic novels.


Today gothics tend to have several, or all, of the following elements:

  • Female protagonist (with mid-twentieth century gothics, you can almost always tell you’re looking at a gothic book by the wispy, gauzy-clad woman on the front cover, running in fear from the forbidding mansion behind her)
  • Hero (almost always a male)
  • Villain, either male or female
  • Aristocratic characters
  • Dark family secrets, often something that happened in the distant past that haunts the minds of the characters in the present
  • Remote and desolate landscapes
  • An overall sense of fear and foreboding, or even evil
  • A brooding setting as important as any character
  • Love, whether powerful, unrequited, forbidden, or broken

The gothic mysteries I like to read and write also have components in common with today’s cozy mysteries; notably, the absence of gore, the absence of foul language, and the absence of explicit sexual passages.

How is the gothic different from the traditional mystery, you might ask? It’s a hard question to answer, but I believe it’s generally true that a traditional mystery tends to move a little faster while a gothic tends to take its time building suspense and fear in the reader. A gothic might also tend to have subject matter that is a bit darker than a traditional mystery, though that isn’t always the case.

houseofthehangingjadecoverwithusatoday2          So if you’re interested in reading gothics, where do you begin? I have some suggestions, but I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe

            The Monk by Matthew Lewis

            Tales of Terror and Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Dracula by Bram Stoker

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Black Amber by Phyllis Whitneysecretsofhallsteadhouseebook

The Shivering Sands by Victoria Holt

Stolen Memories by Mary Miley Theobald

My favorite thing about the gothics? So many of them allow me to travel to exotic and fascinating locales without leaving my home. I’ve learned about history, other cultures, and other faiths. And through all my armchair trips, these books keep me guessing until the last delightful, suspense-filled page.

Here’s the rub for authors who write gothics: it’s not a huge market when compared with romance or thrillers or fantasy, so sometimes it can be hard to find readers who don’t even realize they’d love gothic books.

So what’s an author to do? Here are a few ideas that have worked for me:

I follow bloggers who write about and review gothic books, and I leave comments on those blogs. This has the advantage of getting my name out there to people who are interested in gothic-style books and it keeps me engaged with communities of readers who have interests similar to mine.

I join social media groups devoted to reading the gothics.

I write posts like this, to introduce readers to a genre they might not have known about.

I cross-market my books in gothic, horror, and suspense categories.

I started my own Facebook group devoted to gothics. My plan is to transition my author page fans to the gothic page and that way the group members will see all my posts. This is still in the planning stages, but if you’re interested in being one of the inaugural members, please visit

When I’m at a book signing and meet readers who don’t know me, I discuss the gothics with them. Often they’re familiar with the more recent gothic theghostsofpeppernellmanor_ebookcovernovelists (Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt), but they don’t realize there are others out there right now (like me!) writing the type of books they love to read.

If you’re a readers, I hope you’ll give the gothics a look—and if you do, don’t forget to leave a review! If you’re a writer of gothic mystery, don’t give up! Try some of the tips above and let me know how they work for you. And if you have ideas of your own, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments.

Thanks for having me on Bookbrowsing. It’s been an honor and a privilege.


Author Bio:

Amy M. Reade, a recovering lawyer, lives in southern New Jersey. She is the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of Hanging Jade. She is currently working on Book Three of The Malice Novels, a series set in the United Kingdom. The first book in the series, The House on Candlewick Lane, will be released in February, 2017. She loves cooking, reading, and traveling.

Amy can be found online here: (website) (blog)

And finally, here’s the publisher’s copy from her next release, The House on Candlewick Lane:housecandlewicklane_final1

It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped—and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets—including some she’d rather not face.

Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt. When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up, a desperate Neill abducts the girl and flees to his native Scotland. Though the trail seems cold, Greer refuses to give up and embarks on a frantic search through the medieval alleys of Edinburgh—a city as beguiling as it is dangerous. But as the nightmare thickens with cryptic messages and a mysterious attack, Greer herself will become a target, along with everyone she holds dear.

Sleuthing Duos by C. T. Collier

ct-collier-authorAs I wrote the fourth and final book of my romance series (pen name Katie O’Boyle), I prepared for my next series, murder mysteries set in Tompkins Falls, NY, the same location as Lakeside Porches, and revolving around troubled Tompkins College. The mysteries would be whodunits and they would fall into the subgenre of academic mysteries. I wanted a pair of sleuths, complementary equals, not a detective and sidekick, to work in tandem to solve the murders. Neither would be a professional crime solver (PI, police detective, for example), and they’d be a married couple.


Having articulated that for myself, I went back to work on the last romance, Waking Up To Love, and found the plot had changed in an important way. It always had a villain, whom I imagined to be a likable character. But now, the more I got to know him, the more devious be became. He turned Kyle and Lyssa’s journey toward true love into a roller coaster ride, a dangerous one. His tricks ultimately inspired Kyle and Lyssa to set aside their squabbles and act as a team, in order to look more closely at what the villain and his buddies were up to. While it wasn’t murder, it was an infraction that negatively impacted the college and destroyed one faculty member’s academic career.


Wait. Two smart people, Kyle and Lyssa, acting as a team, doing what? I’d found my crime-solving duo!


Fresh from Waking Up To Love, Kyle and Lyssa stepped into the role of investigative partners in The Penningtons Investigate. It was clear as I drafted the first book in the series, Planted, that neither Kyle nor Lyssa ever would become a detective. Lyssa thrives on her career as an economics professor at the college, and Kyle embraces his role as CEO of his own computer security business, Pennington Secure Networks. However, circumstances arise that require them to work as a team to solve a murder, because the killing affects them personally and impacts the college in some way.


When I told my loyal beta readers about my concept, they came back with big smiles. “Are they going to be like Nick and Nora? Tommy and Tuppence? Hart to Hart? MacMillan and Wife?” I loved the question! Why not learn from and play off sleuthing duos from series I’d loved and maybe a few I’d never heard of?


I watched old movies, TV series (anyone remember Mr. and Mrs. North?), and updated versions of classics like Partners in Crime. My research took a big step forward when a librarian friend handed me a June 20, 2015, article published in The Guardian: “Perfect partners in crime: Tommy and Tuppence,” which gave me a taste of still more crime-solving duos.


Unlike many couples in crime fiction, Kyle and Lyssa Pennington are equal partners in solving any murder they tackle. Lyssa, the economics professor, is a natural for “following the money story,” which proves to be essential in unraveling each mystery. Similarly, Kyle’s expertise with technology gives them a leg-up with manipulating all available data as they search for patterns and discrepancies. They are different but equal personalities as well. Where Lyssa is sensitive and intuitive, Kyle is logical and capable of intense concentration.  They are united in their goals but divergent in their paths to the answers. Neither can determine “whodunit?” without the other’s input.


How do they see themselves? Here’s an abbreviated exchange from an early chapter of Planted, the first book in The Penningtons Investigate. On their lawyer’s advice, Kyle and Lyssa have undertaken a door-to-door canvass of their new neighborhood, apologizing for a shooting in their backyard. Oh, and sleuthing while they’re at it:


“Ready, Mr. Pennington?”

“Ready, Mrs. Pennington.”

“I like being on your team,” Lyssa said with a wink. Script and clipboard at the ready, they crossed Seneca Street to the first house on their block.

. . . after a difficult encounter with their first crotchety neighbor . . .

She put a plus sign in the final column for 50 Seneca Street.

“Ah, a secret code. What does the plus sign mean? Clearly not ‘warm and fuzzy.’”

“Hah. It stands for successful damage repair.”

“Meaning, he doesn’t hate us as new neighbors?”

“Exactly.” She had penned ‘Mr. Jonas’ in the Name column, and ‘Tuttle 20 years?’ in the Notes column.

“Good work, Watson,” Kyle teased.

“What Watson?” Lyssa elbowed him playfully. “Miss Marple, I’d say. Oh, I should add a comment that we’ve invited him for iced tea.”

“But Jane Marple was solo. We’re more like Nick and Nora, don’t you think?”

“Weren’t they sloshed a lot?” Lyssa said with a laugh. “I’m sober, don’t forget.”

“Right. Tommy and Tuppence perhaps?”

“Not sure. I’ll have to reread those.”


The lively banter between Kyle and Lyssa is a device for processing clues and brainstorming next steps and talking through possible murder scenarios, and it’s also a vital source of humor in a series that deals with murder. Readers have picked up on it as a hallmark of the series, and a few have likened the Penningtons to Nick and Nora, which compelled me to reread Dashiell Hammett’s classic The Thin Man. The experience was different as an author, and truly fascinating. Having savored Hammett’s extraordinary whodunit, I can’t imagine Kyle and Lyssa putting away gin the way Nick and Nora do. And I can only aspire to write a plot as clever and baffling as Hammett’s.


With five semesters left in Lyssa’s contract as a Visiting Professor at Tompkins College, there are more murders to come in the Finger Lakes village of Tompkins Falls. Each of the murders will affect both Kyle and Lyssa enough for them to unite as a team to figure out “whodunit?” Solve it they will, using their diverse talents and their trademark humor.


planted-book-coverBOOK BLURB:


It’s Monday of spring break when Professor Lyssa Pennington’s backyard garden project unearths a loaded revolver. With no record of violence at their address and no related cold case, the Tompkins Falls police have no interest. But the Penningtons and a friend with the State Police believe there’s a body somewhere. Whose? Where? And who pulled the trigger?


Planted is book one in the mystery series, The Penningtons Investigate.





C.T. Collier was born to solve logic puzzles, wear tweed, and drink Earl Grey tea. Her professional experience in cutthroat high tech and backstabbing higher education gave her endless opportunity to study intrigue. Add to that her longtime love of mysteries, and it’s no wonder she writes academic mysteries that draw inspiration from traditional whodunits. Her setting, Tompkins Falls, is a blend of several Finger Lakes towns, including her hometown, Seneca Falls, NY. Entirely fictional, Tompkins College is no college and every college.





Facebook: kate.collier.315

Twitter: @TompkinsFalls


What’s Good About A Bad Review?—by Nancy LiPetri

9851187It had to happen sooner or later. A real stinker of a review got posted for my novel. After all, I had made countless reminders to the online community, book clubs with whom I’d discussed the story, and anyone else I knew read it, about the value of reviews no matter how long, short or critical (honesty is the best feedback, right? And any boosts Amazon promo). So, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.


My first beneficial realization came, ironically, from the fact that the low number of stars hurt my feelings. Don’t readers study the Amazon key that tells what each rating means? Didn’t my reviewer think my novel was at least well written, regardless of content she didn’t appreciate? No and no. How self-absorbed I was to think the non-author reader cares enough about Amazon’s definition of each star’s significance. Considering how that person felt about my story, I was lucky to get any star at all. We authors, experts in empathy, understand that, don’t we? So after my emotional response cooled, I realized a low star rating doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad book as much as it can mean it just wasn’t for that reader. I now keep that in mind when checking ratings to decide what I myself want to read.


The next good thing came from admitting to my author network that I had received the dreaded stinger. The outpouring of support was touching. I received congratulations for getting my number of reviews up to the point where statistically it had to happen. Was repeatedly reminded you just can’t please everyone. And my favorite congrats: for eliciting any strong reaction in a reader, for writing well enough to accomplish that.


What else was good about a bad review? It reminded me not to take myself too seriously, to keep perspective and remember why I got published in the first place. I didn’t seek a publisher for the purpose of getting rich or famous or collecting reviews. No. I was driven to submit my manuscript because I wanted to prove to myself that my fiction writing was worthy. And every review has simply been icing on the cake. I entered the book business wondering if anyone would even take time to read what I wrote, remembering the words of an old advertising copywriting mentor who said, “Nobody has to read a single word you write; it’s your job to pull them through every sentence.”  If someone leaves a review, at least I know I pulled them through.


Have I adjusted my content to avoid angering/offending another reader like that one? Beyond assuring my audience that I am someone who values my marriage (after 30 years, and yes, I was married at five😉, and who does not condone everything my characters say or do…the answer is nope, not a bit. In my writing, I embrace controversial ideas and enjoy the what-if’s in all sorts of relationships and other aspects of life that might lead us to struggle with being honest with others and with ourselves. As a reader, I enjoy discovering new perspectives and quirky characters (it’s no wonder one of my favorite writers is John Irving). The advice that you shouldn’t write to please other people holds true, in my opinion, even for those writing with sales in mind. Maybe try to please readers who like your genre. But if you’re not writing with a passion that drives yourself, where will the reader find the spark to keep engaged?


Another advantage of the bad review was that it showed me how different readers are from each other, not only due to tastes in genres but also due to their life experiences. As my friend Judith says, a book can mean something different at different stages of your life, different moods in which you read it. I have been absolutely thrilled to have reached readers who tell me they relate to my characters and were moved by the story especially because of what they have been through personally.


While I strive to share true-to-life dilemmas and feelings within a tale that entertains, that doesn’t mean I take my subjects of infidelity, death, family and friendship frustrations lightly. On the contrary, the significance of those topics is exactly what makes them worth writing about. I actually expected more than one complaint about edgy/provocative content, and now that I’ve weathered one, bring ‘em on, because good or stinker, they’re all good in one way or another.



About The Wooded Path512t2rluv6l


The disappearance of a woman on Lake Norman, NC, shakes her neighborhood, leading friends to reevaluate their own lives, bringing about dangerous temptations and surprising confessions. One woman finds herself risking her seemingly perfect life and marriage… and afraid of what really happened to their friend.



About Nancy LiPetri and the sequel


Nancy lives with her family on Lake Norman, North Carolina, the setting for her first novel, The Wooded Path, and the sequel in progress, working title Across the Lake in which the character you least expect to return is back, taking you to the other side of the lake, pushing boundaries to experience life a whole new way. Again readers will find facts about the area, its natural aspects and culture, woven into a tale of varied characters for entertaining, thought-provoking contemporary fiction.


Where can readers connect with you?




Where can readers find your books?, anywhere they can order with an ISBN number, and Amazon:

New release: Shares the Darkness by John Lindermuth

jrlindermuthThere’s something comfortable about writing a crime series. You get to know your characters, their location and other aspects necessary to plotting the story. Still, sometimes those characters surprise you and demand a bigger role.

Such was the case in Shares The Darkness, seventh in the Hetrick series. Officer Flora Vastine, one of Hetrick’s proteges, wanted the lead in this book. What’s a writer to do? I just let her have her way. And I’m rather pleased with the results (of course that’s the author speaking and not a reader).

My original idea for the book’s title was The Accidental, a birding term for a species found outside its normal range. Then I realized it was inaccurate, because the victim had told her mother she planned to go birding in the area where she’s murdered. Deciding on titles is sometimes more difficult than writing a book. Anyway, here’s the book blurb:

Jan Kepler and Swatara Creek Police Officer Flora Vastine were neighbors and schoolmates, but never close.

When Jan, a school teacher, avid birder and niece of a fellow officer, goes missing and is found dead in a nearby tract of woods Flora finds herself thrust into the middle of an examination of the other woman’s life, as she searches for clues.

As usual, the police have more than one crime to deal with. There’s illegal timbering and a series of vehicle thefts taking up their time. And there are other issues to deal with. Flora is concerned there’s some shakiness in her relationship with Cpl. Harry Minnich who seems to be making a lot of secretive phone calls.

Still Flora maintains focus on the murder. Despite evidence implicating other suspects, the odd behavior of another former classmate rouses Flora’s suspicion. Flora’s probing opens personal wounds as she observes the cost of obsessive love and tracks down the killer.

Shares The Darkness will be published on Sept. 16 by Torrid, a subsidiary of Whiskey Creek Press/Start Publishing. Here’s a short excerpt:sharesthedarkness2

There were a number of well-defined trails criss-crossing the expanse of woodland. Convinced it was unlikely Jan Kepler would be found on these trails, Brubaker ordered his searchers to fan out. Broken into two teams, comprised of police, Finkbine’s men and Flora’s father and his friends, the searchers made repeated passes across the expanse of the woodland, shouting the missing woman’s name and blowing whistles in hope of getting her attention in the event she was lying injured somewhere in the vicinity. Despite some grumbling about the mud and clothing being snagged on brush, they moved slowly and carefully, trying to cover as much ground as possible. Corporal Harry Minnich and Officer Brent Taylor, both of whom had worked the night shift, had been called back for town duty and Minnich conferred with Brubaker periodically to let the chief know all was well in the community. Harry, who was Flora’s boyfriend, called her twice, too, for updates on the search.

Near noon, after a call from his son, Elmer Finkbine sent out a truck with lunch for the search team.

“That was nice of him,” Brubaker commented, accepting a bag lunch from the younger Finkbine.

Jimmy grinned and nodded. “I know what you think about him, but the old man haint all bad.”

Brubaker reddened. “Now, Jim I never…”

Finkbine raised a hand and grinned again. “Don’t go gettin’ flustered on my account, Aaron. I know he can be a bastard as a boss. I’m just sayin’ there are times when you least expect it that he does surprise you.”

The two sat side by side on a convenient log and gave attention to their sandwiches. Fred Drumheiser, a sandwich in one hand and a styrofoam container of steaming coffee in the other, squatted opposite them. “I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t a waste of time,” he said.

“Whadya mean?”

Fred swung his sandwich in a circle around him. “I’m just sayin’, how many times we traipsed around this bush and we haint seen a sign of Jan?”

“There’s a lot of woods we haint hit yet,” Jimmy told him. “I hunt out here, so I know how big the place really is. Haven’t even been on the state lands yet.”

“Jim’s right. Your niece is a tiny thing. She could be down in a gully unconscious and we could walk right by without seeing her.”

Fred scowled. “If she’s even out here in the first place.”

“Whadya mean by that?”

Fred sighed. “Look, I hate to say it but since Ken died my sister has got real clingy with Jan.  She always was over-protective of the girl, but it got worse these last couple years. Jan complained to me about it. When I broached the subject to Sylvia she got pissed. Hasn’t talked to me since–and that’s been months.” He exhaled again. “That’s probably why she went to Flora instead of me this morning.”

“So what do you think happened, Fred?”

“I’m just sayin’, maybe we’re wasting our time. Maybe Jan just got tired of her mom’s naggin’ and took off on her own for a while.”


For more about my writing, visit my website:


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Using an Event to Trigger a Tale by Helen Dunn Frame

dsc09287What does a mother do when she outlives her son and her elderly Greek friend senses his widow may have a played a role in his death? Whether true or not if you are a writer, you write a novel. Using a tragedy to create a book is cathartic, helps one to deal with grief, and to come to terms with the loss.

My son died in 2000 after a “minor” operation during which he developed Swiss cheese-like gangrene in his stomach and infection in his entire body. Months later, work began on Wetumpka Widow with the same sleuths from Greek Ghosts because it would be the second book in the series. At the time, I was working two jobs, grieving, and dealing with other losses. For example, one friend ended our 10-year relationship because she was uncomfortable with my feelings that she failed to understand. When my son’s widow invited  another man into their house three months after my son’s death, and married him six months later, my Greek friend felt she had to know her third husband before becoming a widow. She had waited five years after her first husband was murdered to marry my son.

In 2005 I moved to Costa Rica on my own. After settling into my new adventure, writing books and articles and editing others’ creations became my modus operandi. As the complicated story evolved from several viewpoints it provided the added benefit of keeping my brain active to avoid dementia. The result was an epic story fired by greed, manipulation, murder, romance, and sex.

As part of my brand the titles of all the books in the series would be alliterative. During a visit to  Montgomery, my friends took me to Wetumpka, a nearby town discovered online. Seeing the rapids clinched my belief that it was the place to start the novel. Its title became Wetumpka Widow, Murder for Wealth. As the cover is the first point of sale, the designer created a new cover for Greek Ghosts similar to that of Wetumpka Widow to link the books.

Events in all my books feel real because descriptions are based on actual locations. Over the years I have created many albums about trips and events with photos and saved menus from a variety of restaurants. Because I picture the places in my mind’s eye, scenes pop for the reader.

Beyond researching Wetumpka and incorporating perceived circumstances surrounding my son’s death I investigated the death of my daughter-in-law’s first husband. Information garnered from newspaper clippings became the basis for one of the other husbands in the book. The third husband comes from a family from Greece that opened a branch of its business in San Diego.

Readers called Greek Ghosts a page turner. How is it possible to compel people to keep reading? First hook them within the first chapter, or in a prologue even though some editors frown upon writing one. Keep the chapters short to enhance the feeling:  “I can read one more chapter before I turn out the light.” Without forecasting future events, end each chapter with a hint of a future situation. In Wetumpka Widow after a reader learns about one character, I switched to another’s viewpoint for a chapter or three before resuming the first’s story.

To prepare for the next book in the series leave a way to start the next story. In Greek Ghosts, a sleuth’s lover disappeared. He returns in Wetumpka Widow. Jennifer and Jason leave for London at the end of the novel which sets the scene for the next one in Great Britain. I lived in Gerrards Cross outside London for two years which will add reality in the third book in the series.

Was it Hemmingway that quipped, writing a book is five percent inspiration and 95 percent perspiration? To that  add 100 percent marketing. So think of logical situations to include in a novel that fit seamlessly into the tale and provide possible pegs for promotion.

For example, in both books, Greek Orthodox weddings are celebrated. This justifies a book signing in June. In Wetumpka Widow, one minor character owns one of the first Mustangs. When an anniversary is touted, maybe Ford would be willing to tie an event to the book. If a restaurant still exists, perhaps the owner would sell copies. In other words, think out of the box for ways to promote your books.

Having read about my inspiration, what memorable event in your life inspired an idea for your book?


Books Written by Helen Dunn Frame:

Retiring in Costa Rica or Doctors, Dogs and Pura Vida (Second Edition). (Look for the third edition in the next few months.)9407aa2c-2b83-46ed-a76e-ffc4f8d389b8-jpgentirewwcover

Greek Ghosts; Book One in the Series

Wetumpka Widow, Murder for Wealth; Book Two in the Greek Ghosts Series

Secrets Behind the Big Pencil, Inspired by an Actual Scandal.


Author’s Page:


Helen Dunn Frame, whom I had the benefit of having on my writing team at Inkwell Newswatch, and for whom I have consequently had the privilege of proofreading her work, is an enormously talented writer. She’s flexible, professional, and very thorough in every writing assignment; whether it was from other sources, her own books, or me. She’s definitely a top notch writer with the desire to perform beyond the call of a “normal” writer. Rowdy Rhodes

Review: Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

trynottobreatheTry Not to Breathe -5 Stars

Holly Seddon

Ballantine Books, 2016, 368  Pages

ISBN No.   978-1101885864holly-seddon-bw-300x300

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid



Alex Dale and Amy Stevenson might be referred to as two lost souls.  Alex Dale’s problem is alcohol.  Alcohol is the main factor that destroyed Alex’s marriage and destroyed Alex’s career as a journalist.  Alex fights her addiction but so far, it is a losing battle.  Alex’s ex-husband is remarried and has a child.  Alex is surviving as a freelance writer but just barely getting by.


Amy Stevenson was attacked 15 years ago.  She is in a coma and has been silent the entire 15 years.  Her only visitor is Jacob, her boy friend from 15 years ago.  Jacob is married and his wife is pregnant but she is unaware of Jacob’s visits to Amy.


Alex is writing a freelance article about patients that are in a coma and the doctor who is trying to communicate with patients that he feels are functioning on some level.  She visits the hospital and recognizes Amy from the story of her abduction fifteen years ago.   Alex makes a decision to try to find out the true story behind what happened to Amy.  Part of that decision is to make a stronger attempt to curb her desire for alcohol.


Amy as well as Jacob and Alex speak to the reader from the various chapters of Try Not to Breathe.  Alex feels that she is reaching Amy and notices little changes in her.


The book is well written and an exciting read.  I look forward to more books by Holly Seddon.


Me and others at Book BArn.This observation is strictly from my perspective—others may have had a totally different experience. Plus the fact that I’m getting older, has changed some of the things I do.

When my first book came out there was no Internet to help with promotion. The only promotion I had a clue about (and not a very big one at that) was that I should have a book signing. I planned one at the only bookstore anywhere near. The bookstore owner advertised in the newspaper and we had a great turnout. And yes, that’s all I did.

Since that time I’ve had many bookstore signings in many different places—some turned out great with lots of people attending, and others not so much. I learned that the signings were better attended if I gave a talk of some sort.

Though many still do lots of bookstore signings, I seldom do any. There are other things that seem to work better for me.

I love appearing at libraries, because I’m fond of libraries. If it’s just me, I like to make a presentation of some sort. Sometimes book sales are great, and sometimes not.

Though you never know how they’ll turn out, I like to do book launches in all different places. I’ve had them in art galleries, a local inn, recreation spots, used book stores, and gift shops.

Book fairs are fun and I enjoy doing them because the people who attend are usually book lovers. I’ve done many over the years. I used to do craft fairs where you set up your own table and tent and I’ve done well at them, but nowadays I only do fairs of any kind where the set-up is done for you.

I’ve attended and been a participant at many writing conferences and mystery conventions and loved every minute of them. Sometimes they’re like going to a friends’ reunion and they are great places to meet readers. I’m no longer traveling around the country as I used to, now only going places that are driveable.

Years ago I sent out postcards with information about my latest book. Now I have an email newsletter that goes out once a month to let everyone know what I’m doing and about any new book that I might have. Let me know if you’d like to be on my newsletter mailing list.

I’ve been doing blog book tours like the one I’m on now for a long, long time—and I still love doing them. And yes, I do think they sell books.

And of course this brings the subject of promotion around to the Internet—one of the greatest boons to promotion. I have my own blog where I promote other authors and once in a while write something on my own—especially when I have a new book out. I love Facebook, to me it’s like chatting with friends. I use Twitter minimally, usually to promote a new blog or book.

Nothing stays the same, so I expect much will change over the next few years.

If you’re an author, let me know what works best for you—one of the older methods, or something more modern.

If you’re a reader, let me know what kind of promotion attracts you the most (or the other way around.)



Seldom Traveled Blurb:

The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a raging forest fire. Deputy Seldom Traveled Front CoverTempe Crabtree is threatened by all three.

Marilyn Meredith’s Bio:

Marilyn has had so many books published, she’s lost track of the count, but it’s getting near 40. She lives in a community similar to the fictional mountain town of Bear Creek, the big difference being that Bear Creek is a thousand feet higher in the mountains. She is a member of Mystery Writers of American, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, and is a board member of Public Safety Writers of America.


New Contest:

Winners will be randomly picked from those leaving the most comments on the blog posts. Each winner can choose one of the earlier books in the series as either a print book or e-book.

Tomorrow I’m headed to M. M. Gornell’s blog

Buy links: