TWO RISING STARS

Judy Penz Sheluk and Kristina Stanley have both been featured in my series How I Got Published when they were both starting out – before they established themselves as the respectful mystery writers they have become.

Both are Canadian. Judy Penz Sheluk writing about a small town community outside of Toronto and Kristina Stanley writing about the mountain resorts of British Columbia.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime – Guppies, Sisters in Crime – Toronto, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers, Inc. and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. She lives in a small town northwest of Toronto, Ontario. Read more here.

Skeletons in the Attic

 

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house  she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

 

 

Skeleton’s in the Attic is the first of Judy’s series but not her first mystery.

I found myself immediately drawn into Skeleton’s in the Attic not only because of the suspense but because of the wonderfully quirky characters inhabiting this novel. The author does a fantastic job managing her characters and making them all come alive with their own distinct personalities and secrets, adding layers to the novel’s core suspense.

As Callie moves into her father’s house and gets to know her eccentric neigbours, clues to her mother’s disappearance begin to emerge. The problem is that the more clues appear the more nothing is what it appears to be and Callie can’t quite trust those providing these clues.

Although warned that the truth can break your heart, Callie can’t stop her relentless quest to discover the truth behind her mother’s disappearance. I particularly enjoyed the protagonist’s search for a mother who abandoned her when she was six and in trying to put together the pieces of her mother’s past she dips into memories of her own childhood.

Skeleton’s in the Attic is a cozy, enjoyable read.

 

Kristina is the author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series.

Her books have garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated her first novel for the Unhanged Arthur award. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated her second novel for the Debut Dagger. She is published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. click here for more.

Avalanche

 

On a cold winter morning, the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed, and Kalin Thompson’s brother, Roy, suspiciously disappears. As Director of Security, Kalin would normally lead the investigation, but when her brother becomes the prime suspect, she is ordered to stay clear.

 

 

 

In her third installment of The Stone Mountain Mystery Series, Kristina Stanley begins the novel with her signature nail-biting tension. She immediately plunges the reader into the middle of an avalanche and we find out very quickly that “…Roy’s headlamp burst to life, eerily illuminating his surrounding snow coffin.”

Lovely sentence.

Kristina Stanley maintains tension and suspense throughout the novel, whether it has to do with the protagonist’s decision to take an appealing job offer that might tear apart her newly married relationship with Ben, or, this being a mystery, on solving a murder.

I’ve had Avalanche on my Kindle since last June. When the weather started to turn cold and snow covered the ground I pulled up the novel. Avalanche is perfect to take on a ski holiday or to sit by a fireplace, sipping hot cocoa or tea and getting lost in the tangles of relationships.

In the category of Women’s Sleuth Mysteries, Avalanche was an Amazon Hot New Release.

I’ve now read all three of the Stone Mountain Mysteries and this is my favourite.

How I Got Published: Katherine Prairie

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Katherine, a geologist and IT specialist, graduated from the University of Alberta and then went on to work in the oil and gas industry. Add a passion for computer programming and a M.Sc. in engineering hydrology from the University of British Columbia and you might call her the ultimate science nerd!

She stepped away from the international petroleum industry to fulfill a life-long dream of writing mysteries. And so Alex Graham, the intrepid mining geologist with a penchant for trouble, was born.

Katherine is an avid traveller with an insatiable curiosity, you never know where you’ll find her next! But most days, she’s in Vancouver, Canada quietly plotting murder and mayhem under the watchful eye of a cat. She is an award-winning presenter and the author of the thriller THIRST.

HOW I GOT PUBLISHED

Like every debut author, I queried and pitched agents, searching for someone who believed in my story as much as I did. And like every author who’s gone down this path, I faced a mound of rejection letters. But I also received more than a dozen requests for the full manuscript, so I knew Thirst showed promise.

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How I Got Published: Sam Wiebe

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Sam Wiebe’s debut novel Last of the Independents was published by Dundurn Press this fall. A crime novel set in Vancouver, Last of the Independents, won the  2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished First Novel. Sam’s short fiction has been published in American and Canadian magazines, including Subterrain and Criminal Element. He’s currently at work on his follow-up novel.

 You can read more about Sam Wiebe on his website.

How I Got Published

 My path to publication was a bit unorthodox. I’d had short stories published, and one had placed second in the ‘Scene of the Crime” writing contest. My ‘break’ came when I entered the manuscript for my novel Last of the Independents in the Crime Writers of Canada’s Best Unpublished First Novel competition. It was short-listed, and went on to win. Soon after, Dundurn Press contacted me and offered to publish the book.

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How I Got Published: Melodie Campbell

Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy” by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014), Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.

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Winner of nine awards, including the 2014 Derringer (US) and the 2014 Arthur Ellis (Canada) for The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books), Melodie has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and seven novels.

Melodie got her start writing stand-up.  In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. These days, she is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.

 

HOW I GOT PUBLISHED

The Start Short and Build method

By Melodie Campbell

I got my start writing short stuff.  Specifically, I wrote comedy (standup and a syndicated humour column.)  From there I had some short stories published in small magazines.  That led to short stories in bigger magazines that paid more (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and Star Magazine – yes, the supermarket tabloid!)  I had 100 comedy credits and 30 short stories published before I wrote and sold my first novel.

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