Thursday, August 25, 2016


Author, Judy Penz Sheluk, is celebrating her new release, SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC. This first book in her Marketville Mystery Series may make us all a little edgy....

Tell us more, Judy.


I’d been sitting in the reception area of Hampton & Associates for the better part of an hour when Leith Hampton finally charged in through the main door, his face flushed, a faint scent of sandalwood cologne wafting into the room. He held an overstuffed black briefcase in each hand and muttered an apology about a tough morning in court before barking out a flurry of instructions to a harried-looking associate. A tail-wagging goldendoodle appeared out of nowhere, and I realized the dog had been sleeping under the receptionist’s desk.

That’s the opening scene of my latest mystery novel, SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC. The idea came to me when I was sitting in the reception area of my lawyer’s office. I was waiting with my husband, Mike, and we were there to update our very outdated wills.

Like my opening scene, our lawyer had been delayed in court, and judging from all appearances, the case had not gone well. And like my opening scene, his goldendoodle hung out in the office.

It amused me that my lawyer, who is the very definition of shrewd, would have a goldendoodle in his office. So much so that I wrote this scene:

Atticus took up residence in a chair by the corner. Going by the blanket that covered the fabric, this was his regular seating arrangement. It amused me to think that Leith Hampton, a criminal defense attorney known for his blistering cross-examinations and ruthless antics, both in and out of court, owned a goldendoodle, let alone one that was allowed on the furniture. 

Of course, my lawyer doesn’t specialize in criminal law (hey, I write about crimes, I don’t commit them), but the point here is this: Writers get inspiration from everywhere. While Mike was reading back issues of Bicycling Magazine (from which I deduced that our lawyer is also an avid cyclist), I was scribbling notes into my teeny tiny paper notebook I carry everywhere. Before long I was thinking: What if my protagonist inherits a house with strings attached. Major strings? What if those strings include trying to solve a thirty-year-old murder? And Skeletons in the Attic was born.

I’d like to credit my lawyer for the inspiration, but I’m afraid he’ll bill me for it…

About the book:
What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there…

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville—a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder. 

Callie’s not keen on dredging up a thirty-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. 

Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?

About the author:

Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut mystery novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose, was published in July 2015. Skeletons in the Attic, the first book in her Marketville Mystery Series, was published in August 2016. 

Judy’s short crime fiction appears in World Enough and Crime, The Whole She-Bang 2, Flash and Bang and Live Free or Tri.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers and the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Find Judy on her website/blog where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.

Find Skeletons in the Attic here:


Sounds a tad spooky, Judy. Thanks for including Magic of the Muses in the celebration of your new release!

Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Perseid Meteor Showers of Love

Katrina Buckhold

 Katrina Buckhold, the young heroine in my BackTracker Series will never forget the 2003 Perseid meteor shower.

[Excerpt from FIREWALLS Book 3]

Katrina stepped away, interest lighting her face. “We’re going to sit on the beach and watch the shooting stars?”
“First we’ll sit on the beach. Then we will lay down and the whole sky will be ours. Let’s go. The show is starting now and will only get better.” He took her hand and they walked through the summer night.
“The stars are so bright! There’s so many of them, one behind the other behind the other,” Katrina said. “Impressive! You can almost understand why the ancients were so fascinated with the night sky. I always thought it must have been a rather boring pastime to look at the stars and make up stories about them. Cassiopeia, Orion. Ursa Major. But maybe not so boring.”
“Have you ever seen the stars so bright?” Chad asked, pulling her down into the sand with him.
“Yes. When I was little and my dad was posted up north. In wintertime in the Arctic, if it wasn’t cloudy, you could look out your window any time of the day or night, and the stars would be looking back at you.”
“What else do you remember about the Arctic?”

“Did you see that?” Katrina asked excitedly. “The falling star?”
“I missed it. I was looking at you.”
“There’ll be more.” She nestled against him. “I remember the Arctic being very cold.”
“Were those good times?”
“I don’t think so,” she answered slowly. “Mom didn’t like it up there.” She paused for a brief second. “There’s one!”
“I saw it,” Chad said. “And another!” He lay in the sand and pulled Katrina to him. She was warm against his side, her head cradled on his shoulder. Together they scanned the vastness of space. “It’s a weird feeling lying down looking at the stars. It feels like we’re levitating to the heavens or that the sky is pressing down on us. One way or another, it feels like we and the sky are meeting.”
“I know what you mean. In the warehouse, that day with Holeman and Shrug, it felt like the darkness was pushing so hard against me that I was going to become a part of it. This is a bit like that, only not frightening. How can it be scary to merge with the stars and become one with the universe?”

Small waves lapped softly against the lake shore a few metres beyond their feet. Once in awhile, they heard a loon call through the darkness followed by the quick splash of the water bird. In the distance, coming easily and quickly across the openness of the lake, were the coyotes’ howls. One call at first, then an answer. Then a whole orchestra of wails, ending with a round of short, insistent yips.
“Do you like the sound of coyotes?” Katrina asked, sitting up.
“Um,” Chad answered indecisively. “If they stay on the other side of the lake, it’s okay.”
“They have an eerie, primordial howl, but they’re not very big critters, you know.”
“You’re sure?” Chad said, sitting.
“Positive.” Katrina giggled. “They’re much smaller than wolves.”
The coyotes again ended their vocals with a series of yips, and the night fell silent. The meteors began slashing down through the sky all around them. Most, split second slivers of silver but some held their glow longer and a few were bright enough to cast weak shadows on the sand.
Chad turned on the flashlight, and ran the beam along the water’s edge. “I have a question for you,” he said.
He shone the flashlight into her face. “Will you marry me?”

* * *

FOR A news article on the Perseid meteor shower that happens every August: Perseid meteor shower set to be extra-spectacular this year. 2016 'outburst' may double the usual number of meteors during Aug. 11-12 peak"[Schuh] is raw, she's real, and she packs one hell of a punch." 

"action packed with emotional lies, love, hate & survival"

“Intense & sensual”

  "FIREWALLS is intense, compelling and filled with excitement from beginning to end..."