Three cheers for Patty Allen and Morgen Bailey! You’re the lucky winners of our most recent giveaway. Marja McGraw (hello@marjamcgraw dot com) is waiting to hear from you so she can deliver your audiobook to your inbox.
I’m a big fan of Marja’s books, and hope you enjoy them too!
Earlier this year, I featured the talented writer Marja McGraw on this website. You might remember that Marja and I have both written novels that include the tangled web of family, friends, treasure, and (of course!) murder.
Read our work and you’ll see we’ve taken a different approach to our tales. My series is set in the Ozarks, for example, while Marja’s work is rooted in Arizona, California, and other points west. I have an amateur sleuth who runs a boarding kennel and dog training business, while Marja’s Sandi Webster mysteries features a private investigator.
That brings us to this week’s guest post, written by my colleague, Marja McGraw. To celebrate the recent release of the audio edition of A Well-Kept Family Secret we’re giving away copies to two lucky winners! All you have to do is leave a comment for a chance to win.
There are two ways to leave a comment here. The easiest way is to click on the title of this post and then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page that opens. You’ll see the comments already posted, and below that you can add your own. The second way is to click on “Comments” in the line below the “Posted in” section at the very end of the post. If you run into difficulty posting a comment here, please drop by my Facebook Author page or Marja’s Facebook Author page and leave a comment. We’ll keep track of all the entries–wherever they’re posted–and draw the winners on November 24th. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back!
If You Were a Private Investigator, Would You Take This Case?
For just a few minutes, let your imagination run away with you. What type of case might pique your interest if you were a private investigator? Imagine it involved a situation that occurred a very long time ago. I mean so long ago that there are no survivors from that era.
What if someone came to you and asked you to solve a mystery that took place over one hundred years ago? Let’s say it’s a crime that took place in the late 1800s and you have no idea how to solve it.
Now I want you to add a degree of difficulty. What if the person who wanted you to solve the crime was your menopausal mother? Let’s say your mother could be unrelenting because the incident involved an ancestor. Would you take the case? Don’t forget, you’ve got other clients to take care of no matter how much your mother pushes you.
I grew up hearing stories about a great-great-grandfather, who along with another man, ran the Red Light District in Old Los Angeles and who was notorious throughout the Southwest. These weren’t your typical Grandpa stories. He wasn’t a nice man.
Curiosity made me do a little research about him and Old Los Angeles. I found some interesting information which made me dig a little deeper. Then I read an article in the newspaper about the old District being dug up when a new parking lot was to be installed at Union Station in Los Angeles in the 1990s.
Aha! I contacted Adrian Praetzellis of Sonoma College, the lead archaeologist involved in the research of this area. He turned out to be a fountain of information and sent me a CD that included both information about the Red Light District and Old Los Angeles in general.
Things fell into place for me and I knew I had to write a mystery about the past and include a man with little conscience. A Well-Kept Family Secret found its way into my imagination.
There were so many possibilities, and I was able to include little snippets of history. In 1903 the infamous Carrie Nation led a march of reformers into the Red Light District. She lectured women in the area, and several even seemed to listen to her. She’d been arrested a few days earlier during one of her marches for “parading without a license”, and left shortly after her visit to the Red Light District. Who knew? My image of her was one of her holding an axe and marching on saloons. The District was located in the old Chinatown area. Little things help set the scene.
Back to using your imagination, how could you possibly solve a murder that took place so many years ago? Could you positively prove your relative didn’t commit the murder? You never know where research might lead you.
Oh, and there’s the added element of hidden riches in the story, which was loosely based on a family legend. Word has it that my great-great-grandfather hid gold and silver coins worth a lot of money somewhere in Los Angeles. I found a newspaper article about people still searching for it as late as the 1940s.
Have I piqued your interest or imagination yet? Read about it in A Well-Kept Family Secret, or better yet, listen to the story in audio book format. With people’s busy lives today, an audio book can be a treasure.
Leave a comment for a chance to win an audio book!
I had so much fun with the first giveaway that I’ve decided to run another one! Here’s your chance to win a copy of the audio edition of Deadly Ties, narrated by the exceptionally talented Robin Rowan. You can keep it for yourself or give it as a gift to somebody who enjoys mysteries as much as you do. The rules are simple–all you have to do is post a comment and complete this sentence: “I love mysteries because …” Just click on the title of this post and scroll down to leave your comment. How easy is that?
To increase your chances to win, share this post through Twitter, Facebook, or your own blog; each verified “share” is worth another entry in the giveaway. Include your own links in the comments section of this post. The contest runs through Sunday, November 2nd, and one winner will be drawn at random on Monday, November 3rd.
If you’re an ebook fan, there’s an edition for you, too! Read Deadly Tiestoday on your favorite device. And if you’re a fan of both ebooks and audiobooks, be sure to check out Amazon’s special “Whispersync for Voice” offer.
If you’re in the UK, follow this link to find current prices and ordering options. Canadian? There’s a link for you, too!
Now, let the giveaway begin! Remember, to be eligible to win the audiobook you MUST post a comment and tell us why you’re a fan of mystery fiction. Finish this sentence: “I love mysteries because …”
Here are the three winners of the audiobook giveaway:
Congratulations! Winners, please email me at dogmysteries [at] gmail.com with your name and verify the email address to receive your gift. I’ll need to hear from you by Wednesday, October 8th. (After that date, I’ll draw another winner.)
I’ve just signed the contract for an audio edition of my book, Deadly Ties! The narrator will be Robin Rowan, one of the best in the business. She’s narrated more than thirty novels, including the mystery fiction of bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell. I’m thrilled to have Robin on this project!
What I look for in a book is something meaty, something substantive that I can really get excited about. If you’re not excited about the book, you won’t do a good job. As a voice for commercials and also a former ad agency copywriter, I always followed the great ad man David Ogilvy’s advice: You have to believe that the product you’re selling (or the book you’re narrating) is the absolute greatest product (book) in the world. I think mystery/thrillers are my very favorite type of book, since that’s the type I would pick up and read myself.
The audio edition of Deadly Ties will be available this fall on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. While you’re waiting, be sure to browse the wonderful selection and varied membership plans for each retailer. If you’re an AudibleListener™ member, for example, you can enjoy some great savings!