Ladies and gentlemen,
I’ve got five audible copies of my best-selling novel, Collectors, narrated by award-winning narrator Patrick Conn, to give away!!
Click the link, add Collectors to your wish list, let me know when you’re done, and the first five people get a free audible copy of my best-selling novel. That’s it!! If you enjoy the novel, consider leaving a review at some point 🙂
Perched above the light radiating anger he stalks, clenching fists and grinding his jaw muscles fiercely. A man in blue wearing a star, oblivious to the ticking time bomb, coasts to a stop preoccupied by time slipping by.
The tormented man hears a voice, “Yes, do it!”
Another of his voices says, “You can’t, you mustn’t!”
Zombie-like, he slowly grabs the luke-warm handle of his safety blanket, and cooler than the other side of a pillow, marches on to entertain the war that rages.
The traffic light remains red longer than normal, causing the unsuspecting man to curse and examine his surroundings. He peers left, and then right, noting nothing spectacular.
Again the voices scream, “Do it!”
“Do it you coward!”
The volley of pain finally consumes him. He lifts borrowed steel, aims, and fires. The crackle erupts, scattering feet drowned only by screams. The waiting cop never had a clue. At the foot of his cruiser, weathered life escapes the victim, while a mixture of gunpowder and smoke become one. Slowly they ascend to salvation seeking refuge for his soul.
Can We Successfully Combine Drama and Humor in a Mystery?
The simple answer? Yes. I write two mystery series, and they’re both lighter with a little humor. There’s a great big “however” here. However, murder isn’t funny, by any stretch of the imagination. Therefore, the books contain some drama, too. I’ll never make light of a killing.
Back to humor, you can find some in the characters solving the mystery, and in some of the situations in which they find themselves. There’s so much drama in today’s world that I believe we need something to lighten our moods sometimes. Hopefully, that’s a need I’m addressing.
In my Sandi Webster series, she’s a female P.I., has a menopausal mother, employs a klutzy guy, and has a partner who always wants to watch her back — although he usually ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She frequently finds herself dealing with quirky or eccentric people. These traits often equal humor, and they’re traits I’ve found in people in my own life over the years.
I’ve worked in law enforcement (in a clerical capacity), part-time in a shoe store and a lingerie store, and for a state transportation department, among other jobs. Like Chris, I could sit down with you for hours and hours and tell funny stories. Of course, some are only humorous after the fact – like the time I had to search a Ladies Room for a bomb, with no training. There was, after all, a time when you wouldn’t expect to find a bomb in a john. Then there was the time a woman was turned down for a clerical job in law enforcement because she didn’t have the qualifications. Death threats followed, even though I’d only given her the typing test. Ah, those were the days.
My Bogey Man series features Chris Cross, who’s a dead ringer for Humphrey Bogart, and who manages to walk the walk and talk the talk. Bogart is his muse, his hero and his idea of how a man should act. That is, the Bogey he saw in the movies. He’s very good at rolling his lip under like Mr. Bogart did. Chris is married and has a step-son, and they sometimes remind me just a little of a modern Thin Man family.
Humor keeps most of the characters going. We need a good laugh in our own lives once in a while, and so do fictional characters.
In both series the characters and their lives grow and change over time. So do we. Time seems to pass slowly in a series. Occasionally that would be preferable in real life, although there are other times when we wish we could speed things along.
One new book in each series was released in March of 2014.
Death Comes in Threes is the latest Sandi Webster mystery. She has to face a longtime foe, although things seem to happen on his terms rather than hers. He wants to kill her, and of course, she’s saying, “Nope. Not gonna happen.”
Awkward Moments features the Bogey Man. Someone sent me a joke that said, “Awkward Moments: When you’re digging a hole to bury a body, and you find another body already buried there.” This short joke inspired a whole book. Imagine trying to bury the small body of a bird and finding bones from someone who was buried there many years ago. You just never know what you’ll find. Right?
So now you know a tiny bit about me and my books. If you need a little entertainment, I hope you’ll look for it with either Sandi or Chris.
Needless to say, I hope you’ll try Grey Ghost by Chris Swinney first, but don’t forget me.
Thank you for inviting me in as a guest today, Chris. I’ve really enjoyed speaking out a little.
**NOTE FROM ME (CHRIS). THANKS for coming on my blog and sharing your wonderful work. I wish you tremendous success and I’m here for you if you ever need anything.
Check this monster of a home out! This is an overhead view of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA. At the time of Sarah Winchester’s death, this property stretched over six acres, and contained 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 10,000 windows, 47 stairways, 47 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms, and 6 kitchens. When the carpenters (which were hired to work shifts so building never stopped) learned of her death, they left nails half driven and walked away. Many people drive by it everyday and have no idea the story behind it. So, I decided to check it out.
I was blown away to learn Sarah Winchester’s story as most of it seems surreal. Born sometime around 1840 and into money, Sarah Pardee was considered the “Belle of New Haven.” She met and married William Wirt Winchester and lived a wonderful and happy life. Unfortunately, their daughter passed away by a mysterious illness known as marasmus, which put Mrs. Winchester into a serious bought of depression. Eventually her husband also passed away leaving a void in her life that I think she always looked to fill but couldn’t.
Finally, she met with a Boston Medium who told her the family and she were haunted by all of the spirits that her late husband’s guns (and Winchester Family) had killed. The medium told her to move west and build a great home to appease the spirits. The medium said if the building never ceased, Mrs. Winchester would be left alone. So, she packed up and headed to Menlo Park, CA until finally picking a spot in the Santa Clara Valley (once a prolific orchard area now completely commercialized).
Once settled, Mrs. Winchester began to develop into somewhat of a folklore hero. People didn’t know what to think of her. She paid twice the normal wages (back then it was a dollar and a half a day!), made considerable contributions to orphanages, and spent countless hours with children. However, she also allegedly wore a black veil across her face while inside her home and would fire workers if they saw her face by accident.
Then there was the weird stuff. Neighbors would hear a bell ring at midnight and 2 a.m., which according to ghost lore are the times for the arrival and departure of spirits. Mrs. Winchester never slept in the same bedroom two nights in a row, in order to confuse any evil spirits that might be waiting for her. The Blue Room, where Mrs. Winchester supposedly would go every night to commune with the spirits, consisted of a cabinet, a table with pen and papers, a closet, and a planchette board – used for transmitting messages from the beyond. It was rumored she would wear one of 13 special colored robes and receive guidance from various spirits for her construction plans.
I had the opportunity to visit the house and take a tour. It’s quite a bizarre place. Stairs lead to nowhere, windows are inside, not to the outside, and there’s definitely a creepy vibe. However, it was totally worth it. It’s a piece of California history that few get to experience, but it’s something you learn from and can appreciate. If you get a chance to visit the Winchester Mystery House you really should do it.
Well, my best selling novel just came out in audio. It’s truly amazing to hear your novel come alive through narration. I am speechless. I added 6000 words and had an award winning narrator for the project! It’s way cool. 50 five star reviews already.
Please check it out!!
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