Cover Artist: Alicia Stuckey
As a writer, I'm constantly coming up stories to write about, and when a body was found in our area along a stretch of river two years ago, the title for a new story jumped right out at me. Since that time, I've been muddling over how to make this my own story. And now, all the planning, research, writing, revising, the long process with beta readers and editors, and more revising has finally come to an end. The ducks are all aligned and I can now make my announcement.
Book one of the new Sassy O'Brien cozy mysteries is now available on pre-order!!!
This is my first venture into a non-romance genre, and I can tell you, it's been challenging, but also extremely fun. I love writing challenges, and this one certainly was that.
But it's also been an interesting learning experience. With this story, I was fortunate enough to have the council of a senior Garda/police inspector about the ins and outs of Irish police procedure. I'd love to shadow him one day through an investigation. His advise and suggestions were invaluable.
And I've discovered a budding cover designer named Alicia Stuckey. We've both really enjoyed getting to know each other while working on this cover. And it's been a monumental task for both of us keeping quiet about this project until we were ready to announce. You see, I know her mother, and she doesn't know about this yet :-) Well, she does now that we're both making the big announcement. I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall when she found out what her daughter has been up to the last couple months. This is officially Alicia's first ever book cover! I'm so happy with it, and can't wait to see the other five in the series.
So, a little about the story. Firstly, I live in Mornington so I walk along this river and the nearby sea fairly regularly. All of the stories in this series are based on the area where I live. Mornington is a bedroom community on lands once belonging to the Earl of Mornington, near Drogheda, Co Meath, Ireland. Bettystown and Laytown are the only villages along the sea here, the strand of which is about 3 miles long between the Nanny River at Laytown and the River Boyne at Mornington. Bettystown in the center, and the central location where my protagonist, Sassy O'Brien, lives and works.
Sassy is a local hair stylist in Bettystown. She's a young woman who lives with her Irish Wolfhound, Bracken, upstairs from her salon which is located beside Bettystown Strand. Sassy and Bracken do a five mile jog up the beach and back every morning before work, which is when my story opens.
Sassy is a fan of crime television programs, and as a single woman, she spends her time off relaxing by catching up on her favorite shows -- Bones, Criminal Minds, Elementary, etc, and of course, Castle.
When Sassy finds a body on the riverbank during her morning run, and after she stops freaking out, she thinks, "What would Beckett do?" So she rings 999 (Ireland's 911) before taking several crime scene photos on her mobile phone. As you do! She feels a little silly doing this, but of course, ends up taking several more. Who knows? Maybe the state forensic people will miss something, as if! She makes note of the clues too, and plans to follow the investigation through the media. But when the detective who interviews her starts coming into her salon with regularity, the chins on the locals start wagging, and suddenly, Sassy's life is turned upside down.
The last thing hair stylist Sassy O’Brien expects to find on her morning run on her local beach is a dead body. An addict of TV crime programs, she thinks, “What would Beckett do?” After ringing the police, she takes several crime scene photos on her mobile phone, as you do.
Much to Detective Donnelly’s consternation, Sassy’s involvement becomes instrumental in his investigation, especially as clues are overlooked by his team.
How will Sassy cope when all the clues point to her?
Murder in Mornington publishes Monday, 23 November, but you can get it NOW on pre-order on the main ebook vendor sites. Pre-order on Kindle for just 99c/99p/99eucent!
I'd love to hear what you think of this story when you get a chance to read it. If you like cozy mysteries, if you like Ireland, if you like quirky stories, and if you like goofy Irish Wolfhounds, then this is the story for you. :-)
For more information, visit the series page.