Coded For Murder, Winner of the Colorado Gold Mystery Award — Edited and ready to go soon!

I’ve been working very hard on my manuscript, changing POVs, adding and deleting scenes. It’s set in Montreal in what feels like the dead of winter (April in Montreal). The new MS has several new action sequences, and it explores my protagonist’s inner life more than in the earlier draft. We now know him better, and more importantly, he’s less perfect. Because who wants a perfect man anyway?

I’m taking a couple of weeks off from looking at it. Will do a final read through with fresh eyes, and then I’ll make the plunge….

Looking forward to putting it out there! Wish me luck!


Coded for Murder Wins Colorado Gold Award in Mystery (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers)

I’m so excited to announce that Coded for Murder was chosen as the winner at the RMFC Colorado Gold Awards this past weekend.

The RMFW conference was packed with useful workshops and social events. I met great people and had the time of my life.

Thanks, RMFW, judges, volunteers, and fellow authors. It is a privilege to be among you.

Coded for Murder a FINALIST in Colorado Gold Award (mystery)

So happy that my first mystery, Coded for Murder, has just been announced as a finalist for the Colorado Gold Award, Mystery/Suspense category. I recently got back from the Daphne awards. I’m having a great time learning about the writing industry from a finalist point of view. It makes the journey (which is riddled with rejections and speed bumps) more exciting and encouraging.

Thank you, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers for hosting the Colorado Gold Awards and giving me this opportunity. The announcement is in September in Denver.

Meanwhile…working on the next Chief Inspector James novel.

Query Kombat Contest-Round 1 done!

When I rewrote my query and submitted it with the first page for Query Kombat, I didn’t expect to be chosen. Out of 364 entries, 64 moved on to actual Kombat. I tweeted and added images of Neo from Matrix ready for action. I nicknamed my CODED FOR MURDER (this contest requires nicknames) CROISSANTS KILL! And tweeted the reason for this choice: Because my murder mystery is set in Montreal where the pain au chocolat is to die for.

Round 1 took four days! The refresh button wasn’t lonely. Every time another judge chose between my opponent’s entry and mine, I felt my heart flutter. This surprised me because I hadn’t expected to get this far. So why was I so nervous?  After four long days, I took Round 1  with a score of 4:2 and am moving on to Round 2 in a week. The fact that I’m in the agent round tomorrow is a complete bonus.

Here’s the link to the agent round with my query and first page for CODED FOR MURDER :

But Round 1 was tough. Judges and fellow contestants post suggestions on improving the query and first page. Feedback is vital, but not always easy. Half the critiques loved my opening line; the other half hated it. Everyone thought I was telling too many stories in the query. And they’re right. I couldn’t choose which of my babies to show off, so I put them all in. After revision, it’s looking better. There were ten; now there are five. Probably, still too many stories.

Now the question is, will I make it out of Round 2 standing, or bleeding? If you want to know what happens, follow my blog.


Coded For Murder a Finalist in Daphne du Maurier Mystery/Suspense Award

I got a call last week — my first call from a writing contest saying I’d been chosen as a finalist. Exciting! As an unpublished author, this means some exposure and tons of fun since the only way is up. The winners are announced during a ceremony in San Diego during the RWA Annual Conference in July.

I’m trying to decide if I should go. Chances are one in five of winning…and 100% of having a blast. But all those long hours on the plane are discouraging. Then there’s the expense, but who cares about that?

Time will tell!