Thank you, Delilah, for inviting me to guest post on your blog today. I’m happy to be here.
When I began writing, romance seemed to be the most logical genre choice. I’m a sucker for happy endings, even if it’s rough going for the characters while getting there. And, as love can happen in any century, I tried my hand at both historical and contemporary, creating two full series and a collection of short stories in the romantic realm before deciding I needed a change. Or, more like, my writing was begging for one.
To this day, I’m not sure what caused me to land on cozy mysteries as a genre choice. I’d never read one; had never viewed an episode of Murder, She Wrote, either, but as with everything else I do in my life, I dove headfirst into the story, making the appropriate adjustments along the way to stay true to the trope. Now, other authors may not find this to be true, but I’ll admit it was difficult for me to alter my writing style, especially when it came to the romantic aspects of the tale. Not that cozies can’t have a little romance; the challenge was learning to keep it simmering in the background while bringing the mystery front and center — a lesson I aced (don’t you love my confidence?) in Finn-agled, my very first cozy.
As a huge proponent of writing “authentically” — letting the story flow with little regard to the rules, aside from good grammar, accurate spelling, and precise punctuation. (Excuse me for a moment while I collect myself . I’m laughing because no matter how thoroughly I comb through my manuscript after a dozen different pairs of eyes have read it, mistakes still slip through. Okay; I’m better now. Back to my point) Writing from your soul should be the goal of every author. The thing to remember is that readers have certain expectations when it comes to their favorite genres, and while it’s our job to meet them, we shouldn’t let that hold us back from taking the opportunity to write something different; something new and exciting.
Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can!
(A Finn’s Finds Mystery)
A secret message hidden inside of an antique wooden box, an unidentified dead body, and a mother determined to marry her off to the high school crush whom she hasn’t seen since…well…high school. There’s no doubt about it; Finn Bartusiak’s life in the seaside town of Port New is about to get interesting.
Coming into possession of a 19th-century, bronze and mahogany writing box under somewhat suspicious circumstances, Finn’s accidental discovery of a coded note leads her and Spencer Dane, bestselling novelist and love of her life (though he doesn’t know it yet), on a quest to unravel the mystery behind the jumble of letters. But they’re not the only ones interested in the cryptic message. There’s a con man on their trail, and he’ll stop at nothing, including murder, to claim the ‘treasure’ for himself.
Buy link – https://books2read.com/finnagled
Excerpt from Finn-agled (A Finn’s Finds Mystery)
A slip of paper slightly larger than an index card fell from between the seams and floated ever so gently to the floor. Almost dropping the case in my elation (wouldn’t that just be my luck?), I set it gingerly on the table and retrieved the note.
Xlw k Wrlm no
Huh? What kind of crazy language is this?
I attempted to sound it out, tripping over my tongue because – let’s face it – it’s impossible to pronounce words that have no vowels. Thinking I’d stumbled onto either an ancient, and possibly forgotten, language, or a secret military code, I hopped back on the computer for some serious research. It wasn’t until the Gothic cathedral mantel clock perched on the shelf above a row of whiskey barrels chimed twelve that I realized I’d been staring at the screen for the better part of three hours. That would explain my grainy eyeballs.
“Time to call it a night. Come on, Garfunkel. Let’s go home.”
Shutting off the computer, I slipped the note into my pocket, leaving the writing case in my office for the time being. Who knew what other mysterious messages might be hidden inside? Turning off the light, plunging the room into darkness, I walked out front to collect my sleepy hound, dim lumens from the streetlamp outside filtering in through the plate-glass window, illuminating my way and casting shadows along the floor and walls. Headlights from a passing car briefly lit up the interior of the shop, glinting off the wind chimes that hung over the front door.
If only I’d had the forethought to hang a set of chimes over the back door as well. Then, perhaps, they would’ve warned me about the person who jimmied the lock, crept up behind me, and wrapped his fingers around my neck, squeezing until everything went black.
About the Author
Kristine Raymond didn’t figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up until later in life. Since writing and publishing her first book in 2013, she’s gone on to complete two romance series – one historical western and one contemporary; a humorous non-fiction story; a collection of seasonally-themed short stories; a contemporary erotic drama; and a cozy mystery. She also hosts a podcast called Word Play with Kristine Raymond.
When not writing, she’s navigating the publishing and promotional side of the business. When not doing that, she enjoys spending time with her husband and furry family, reading, gardening, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.