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Sunday, July 17, 2022

An excerpt to critique

 cj Sez:  Because it’s rare, pretty, and son Jeff took the picture:

Painted Bunting


A Tidbit for Readers and Writers

  In my untitled work-in-progress, Janneka (Jake) Konnor is a Yankee-bred woman struggling to make a living as a private investigator in a small town somewhere in the Deep South. When an innocuous and boring case spirals into a murder investigation, she also becomes a target of the unknown killer. 

  The following excerpt is from the beginning of Chapter Three.  

    Heart racing and with no expectation that he’d answer, Jake grabbed her cellphone and called Etienne Beaudette. She didn’t leave a message when she reached his voice mail. The Beaudette house was sure to be an off-limits crime scene, but on the odd chance that one of the officers at the scene might be chatty, she was out of the house in the time it took to grab her purse and keys.

   Bathed in the blue and red strobe lights of the city’s emergency responders, the Beaudette’s columned, French colonial home was cordoned off by yellow crime-scene tape pulled taut, from the one of the columns to the mailbox where the gray brick circular drive met the tar-black asphalt of the street. It looked like every light in the house was on. Strobing light bars atop police cars and the ambulance, blinking red taillights, flashing headlights, and the sparkling of the crystal chandelier on the wide veranda gave the otherwise miserable scene a festive appearance. The number of police cars and officers milling about made her wonder if there was anyone left at the cop shop to answer the phone. Neighbors clotted in intimate groups. Curiosity seekers from around town swelled the numbers.

   Jake shouldered her way through a cluster of onlookers conjecturing about the possible whys, hows, and who. She overheard someone say they’d heard a shot. She moved close to the shoulder of a young patrolman intent on watching the activity around the house while he kept gawkers at bay behind the tape.

“Evening, officer. That was a terrible thing that happened.”

** **

  Okay, readers and writers, what do you think? 


Coming Attractions

Be sure to stop back by on Wednesday, July 20, as we welcome National best-selling and Agatha-nominated mystery author Kaye George as our guest.  
Her latest book, DEATH IN THE NEW LAND (A People of the Wind Mystery Book 3), releases July 19 and is available for pre-order.



  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Sending up prayers for your health and safety.


  Just in time for your vacation/staycation reading pleasure . . . fast-paced, exciting thrillers with a smidgen of romance (ala Jane Bond). The ebooks of DEATH ON THE YAMPA and THE DAWGSTAR are now $2.99. 

P.S.  The Haunted Bookshop has signed paperback copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER my author-graphed books or any book of your choice on-line, contact The Haunted Bookshop here:  
P.P.S. Pre-signed copies of THE BIG FANG are not available at The Haunted Bookshop

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  1. Vivid and well done, cj! There was a yard in TX that was always full of painted buntings. They loved that woman's bird feeders. Love them!

    1. cj Sez: Thank you, Kaye. I very much appreciate your comment. That particular painted bunting was outside my bedroom window when Jeff got the photo. I think he must've been migrating because we don't see them here in Mobile all that often.


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