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Well, I’ve done it again. I’ve given birth to another literary baby. This one is called “A Penny For Her Heart.” She’s the third book in my standalone Detective Rachel Storme series. She’ll be coming into the world July 2017. And I am her proud mother. For those of you who have actually conceived and given birth to flesh and blood babies, please know that I’m aware that giving birth to literature pales in comparison to giving birth to a human being. However, there are many similarities. Like a child, a novel starts as a little seed. For me, it’s a thought, an idea, a hunch. It starts deep within. That’s how the idea for “A Penny For Her Heart,” began. It’s the story about Penny and Vanessa, two best friends on the same career trajectory. They both want to be chief of staff for the POTUS, and they’re both working in City Hall in a small town, working their way up the political ladder. Unfortunately, Vanessa finds her best friend, Penny, murdered at work. Their dreams suddenly become nightmares.
Like a child, the story slowly developed over several months. Once it was solid in my mind, I introduced and developed additional characters—Vanessa’s family, Penny’s family, the Mayor and his staff. And of course, all your favorites from the Detective Rachel Storme series are back: Rachel, Herb, Victor, Carlos, Burt, Barbara, Cassie, and Clarice. After completing my character list and developing each person, I constructed an outline that included all the red herrings and plot twists. This is the fun part. As I revealed in a previous blog, I vacillate throughout the novel as to who will be the culprit. Sometimes, I don’t make a final decision until I’m more than halfway through the book. This time, I decided early on and it’s definitely going to be a surprise.
Once the outline was completed, I began writing—labor! And like a woman giving birth to a child, I pushed and pushed sometimes into the wee hours of the morning, writing nonstop, getting this book out of me. I couldn’t rest until every last word, sentence, paragraph, scene, page, and chapter was put on paper. I was antsy, restless and sometimes irritated when I couldn’t write. The story was forcing its way out. It had to be born. Once I got the first draft completed, I felt fifty pounds lighter, and I was on cloud nine. I had given birth to my baby. And of course, she had to be cleaned up. That’s when the editing began. Once I got through more drafts than I care to mention, I let my beta readers at it. Then finally my development editor took over. After making note of her corrections and suggestions, I got busy getting my baby in tiptop shape. We’re just about there! She’ll be ready for her introduction into the world in July 2017!
As for her name, I believe you’ll appreciate it after the first four chapters or so. There are a few surprises involving Rachel and Cassie that I’m sure will raise brows. And like all the other books in the series, this one will keep you guessing until the very end. I can’t wait for you to read it. Please check back in early July for the exact release date.
Please know that I appreciate your longtime support!