Archive for July, 2015

Guest Blogger Judy Penz Sheluk: The Power of “What If?”

Posted on: July 18th, 2015 by Carrick Publishing 6 Comments

Judy Penz Sheluk As a mystery writer, I’m often asked where I get my ideas. The answer to that varies by the story, although I’ll admit that there’s always some impetus that drives me to want to develop the fictional characters and inhabit their world for a while.

Let’s take, for example, my short story “Live Free or Die,” which appears in World Enough and Crime (Carrick Publishing, Nov. 2014). Although the story takes place in Toronto, as the title suggests, New Hampshire is most definitely represented. Without giving too much away, the plot involves a naïve twenty-one-year-old, Emerald (Emmy) and her love affair with Jack, a thirty-year-old man from New Hampshire who’s not all that he seems. Am I Emmy? Of course not. But, like Emmy, I did once work in the credit department of a Toronto-based insurance company, and I did have the misfortune of falling head over heels with a cad I met while working there. I merely took those circumstances and said, “What if?”

Judy Penz Sheluk - Hang Man's NooseBGWriting a novel takes even more of those “What if?” moments. In my debut mystery, The Hanged Man’s Noose (Barking Rain Press, July 2015), freelance writer Emily Garland is cash-strapped, newly single, and tired of reporting on the same old Toronto condo stats. When she’s offered a lucrative assignment in the village of Lount’s Landing, she decides to take a chance. All she has to do is relocate and uncover the real story behind a proposed redevelopment plan. And that’s where “What if?” comes in—along with a greedy developer and a feisty antiques shop owner who will do anything to preserve the integrity of the town’s Main Street.

Once again, I’m not Emily Garland. I have, however, been a fulltime freelance writer, specializing in art, antiques and the residential housing industry, since 2003. (I’m still waiting for a lucrative assignment to come my way!) I’ve also seen firsthand how irate people can get when unwanted development comes to their neighborhood. What if???

Getting ideas is as simple as paying attention to the world around me. The “what if’s” are what help me turn those ideas into fiction.

Judy Penz Sheluk is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Guppies, and Toronto, as well as Crime Writers of Canada. Find Judy at judypenzsheluk.com, where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.

Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut mystery novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose, is scheduled for publication July 21, 2015. Click on the Barking Rain Press logo to sign up to receive the first 4 chapters FREE and get a 35% off coupon to buy the book!

New Release! The Color of LIfe, by Claudette Carrida Jeffrey

Posted on: July 1st, 2015 by Carrick Publishing 1 Comment

Hot off the Carrick Publishing presses!

We’re thrilled to bring you this exceptional literary novel by Claudette C. Jeffrey: The Color of Life.

Now available:

Kindle Edition
e-Pub Edition (Smashwords and their Premium Distributors)
Print Paperback Edition

The Color of Life is ‘coming-of-age’ at its finest. This second book in the Claire Soublet series gathers the thread of recent American history to spin the tale of Sera, a woman of color who ‘passes for white’ in New Orleans.

When 23 year-old Claire Soublet arrives in New York City to begin her new life, she has no idea that after only four days a situation will arise forcing her to return to New Orleans. Growing up mired in years of hardship and being abandoned by family through death and disinterest, she manages to scratch and claw her way out of that life. And, in the process, she earns a college education.

Back in New Orleans and not ready to succumb to her old way of life, she enlists the help of her high school friend. They devise a plan to, once again, get Claire out of her hometown. With their new-found relationship, they return to New York together.

Claudette Jeffrey - author photo
Claudette Carrida Jeffrey, a native New Orleanian, is a retired teacher who lives in Northern California. The Color of Life is her second installment in a four-book series.

Book one, A Brown Paper Bag and A Fine Tooth Comb (2012), begins the coming of age story of Claire Soublet, a young Creole of Color growing up in 1940s and 50s New Orleans.