Thursday, July 30, 2015

DESCENT: "My stomach knotted..."

Welcome to Kristina Stanley, author of the brand new thriller DECENT. 

Let's find out if  doing the final edit on a novel is as terrifying as murder on the slopes...

Welcome to Magic of the Muses, Kristina.
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DESCENT was launched on July 25, 2015.  After years of writing, taking courses, trying to get a publisher, going through the editing process, asking for reviews on advanced reader copies and getting feedback, the most stressful part of the whole process was the final proofread.
Imajin Books  sent me the galley proof with the instructions to scour the manuscript for any error, any typo. My eyes chose that moment to see everything and panic hit. This would be the final time I got to make changes, ever, to DESCENT. My stomach knotted, my throat tightened.

I read a printed copy. I read a copy on the computer. I had the computer read a copy back to me, so I could listen to the words. And I corrected a few typos. Surely, I’d found everything. But had I?

The moment to hit send arrived, sweat dripped down my spine and I thought I might faint. My fingers trembled and slowly, ever so slowly I pressed the return key.

Zip! Just like that it was gone. A strange feeling of awe overcame me.

So what is DESCENT about?
When Kalin Thompson is promoted to Director of Security at Stone Mountain Resort, she soon becomes entangled in the high-profile murder investigation of an up-and-coming Olympic-caliber skier. There are more suspects with motives than there are gates on the super-G course, and danger mounts with every turn.

Kalin’s boss orders her to investigate. Her boyfriend wants her to stay safe and let the cops do their job. Torn between loyalty to friends and professional duty, Kalin must look within her isolated community to unearth the killer’s identity.

What does an author do when a novel is off to the publisher?
Well, on to the next novel of course. BLAZE, the second in the Stone Mountain Mystery Series, is scheduled for publication by Imajin Books later this year.  BLAZE is a mystery and arson is the crime, but this time it looks like Kalin Thompson is the target. Moments before writing this blog, I sent my final changes to the editor. I still have to go through the proofreading process on BLAZE but maybe the second time will be easier.

The third in the series, AVALANCHE, has Kalin Thompson searching for a thief, struggling to prove her brother is innocent of a major theft. Unfortunately for Kalin, her brother disappears hours after the theft and is the prime suspect.

REQUEST FOR READER ASSISTANCE: I’m writing the fourth in the Stone Mountain Mystery series. A business partner of Kalin’s is murdered while driving his ATV on a mountain trail. He’s forced into a frothing river… My problem with the fourth novel is I have to stop calling it “the fourth.” I need a title. If you have any suggestions for a title that fits with DESCENT, BLAZE and AVALANCHE, please leave a comment below.

Kristina’s Bio:

Kristina Stanley is the author of the StoneMountain Mystery Series. Her books have garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated DESCENT for the Unhanged Arthur award. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated BLAZE for the Debut Dagger. She is published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Before writing her series, Kristina was the director of security, human resources and guest services at a resort in the depths of the British Columbia mountains. The job and lifestyle captured her heart, and she decided to write mysteries about life in an isolated resort. While writing the first four novels, she spent five years living aboard a sailboat in the US and the Bahamas.

Find out more about her at

You can purchase DESCENT on or on

Connect with me on Twitter @StanleyKMS or on Facebook.  I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you, Eileen, for hosting me.
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You're very welcome, Kristina. Congratulations on your new release and good luck with that series!

"DESCENT: My stomach knotted..." has been brought to you by DISPASSIONATE LIES
 "...will surprise, titillate & fascinate you"

"A highly recommended read to all fans of futuristic fiction."

“...kidnaps the reader and compels them to read more.”

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Oh, baby...Let's KISS & TELL

Today I welcome author Luke Murphy to Magic of the Muses, in celebration of his brand new release KISS AND TELL. This is Luke's second guest appearance. He first visited here in June 2012 to introduce us to his debut novel DEAD MAN'S HAND. Apparently, a lot has happened since then. Take it away, Luke!

My “Baby” 

This novel took me 15 years to write. Well, not exactly, but...

Even though Dead Man’s Hand was my first published novel, it’s not the first book I wrote. Kiss & Tell is. It's my “baby”.  I started the novel in the winter of 2000, while playing hockey down in Oklahoma. lot of circumstances surround this novel, and it’s the reason I started writing. This novel, and all of my writing, happened by “chance”. I was playing professional hockey in Oklahoma, and was struck in the eye with a stick in a preseason game. That injury ended my season before it began.

My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, was attending a French college in Montreal, and her English professor assigned the class the task of writing a short story.

My girlfriend knew that I was an avid reader, so she asked me if I would help her develop the story, which I did. I had so much fun with the project, that when we had finished, I took one of the characters we had created and started writing my own story.

I wrote Kiss & Tell in six months, but it was nowhere even close to being publishable. Actually, it stunk. It was a practice story for me, so I left it sitting in my computer, and started writing a second book.

After I published Dead Man’s Hand in 2012, I decided to reopen Kiss & Tell and take another look. My first reaction…it was bad, written by a first-time, newbie, amateur author. But I loved the plot, cast of characters, and the potential. I didn’t want to give up on this story.

So I took everything I’d learned about the craft of writing and the industry and put it into editing Kiss & Tell. The revisions completely changed the entire book.

After I’d finished it in 2001, Kiss & Tell was written from the point of view of Jessica Philips, the primary murder suspect in the Ken Anderson investigation, and the story was told from Jessica’s first person POV. 

The Kiss & Tell that came out in 2015 is told from Detective Charlene Taylor’s point of view, written in third person. Although the plot never changed, some of the characters and scenes did.

A major scene/twist change that occurred? In the original Kiss & Tell, the identity of the Celebrity Slayer was never revealed. I was planning on turning this CS plot into a series, extending the investigation through a number of books. But, taking into consideration a suggestion from one of my editors, I decided to change that. But don’t think I don’t have more plans for the Celebrity Slayer, in upcoming Charlene Taylor books.

But that’s for another time, and another place.

Buy the book here:  

With the death of her father… Charlene Taylor has received her dream promotion—working Homicide with the LAPD. Her first case is the high-profile murder of Ken Anderson, a playboy UCLA professor with a haunted past. A mafia kingpin, billionaire tycoon, cheated wife and jaded lover are only a few on a long list of suspects, all with motive and opportunity. 

…all hope of reconciliation is lost.
Not only does she feel the pressure from media and her boss to solve her first case, but Charlene must also deal with her father’s murderer, the “Celebrity Slayer,” a serial killer who enjoys baiting her with his knowledge of her life and routines. 

Can a rookie detective work two high-profile cases and still keep her sanity?

Author, Luke Murphy
Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of DeadMan’s Hand (Imajin Books, 2012). 

Murphy played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. His sports column, “Overtime” (Pontiac Equity), was nominated for the 2007 Best Sports Page in Quebec, and won the award in 2009. He has also worked as a radio journalist (CHIPFM 101.7).

Murphy lives in Shawville, QC with his wife, three daughters and pug. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude).

Kiss & Tell is Murphy’s second novel. He is represented by The Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.

For more information on Luke’ books:
visit his website 
‘like’ his Facebook page  
follow him on Twitter

Review Blurbs for Kiss & Tell
“Luke Murphy scores big with this deep psychological thriller. Just when you think you've got things pegged, Murphy serves up another twist. Fast paced and fun, you won't want to put this book down.”  —Tim Green, New York Times bestselling author of Unstoppable 

“An intricately detailed and clever mystery featuring a tough minded but vulnerable protagonist with more than a few demons of her own. The twists and turns kept me guessing to the very end.”                 —Christy Reece, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing To Lose

“Luke Murphy’s novel, Kiss & Tell, has lots of twists and turns, and police procedures where the good guy, in this case, Charlene Taylor, is not always good. The characters come to life with suspense, drama, explosive action, and an ending you never see coming.” —John Foxjohn, USA Today Best-selling author of Killer Nurse

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Thank you, Luke. All the best with your new release!

"Oh, baby...Let's KISS & TELL" has been brought to you by THE TRAZ, Book 1 in the BackTracker Series

“…takes the reader on a whirlwind of emotion”

“I recommend this dark and compelling story…”

“No shirking the grim reality of stepping to the wrong side of the law”

 “This is a hard-hitting novel…”

“Raw and emotional with fast-paced, gripping tension”