Just a short note to say one of my unsolved mystery novels, ‘Till Death Do Us Part, is free from the 21st-25th of July. Please do leave a review or rating, if you download a copy from Amazon and give it a read.
I do hope where you are in the world you and your family are well. Summer is in full swing here in Europe for me, and I am loving it. The only not so great thing is the wildfires that have been happening due to the extreme heat, not something we see a lot of in this neck of the woods.
Me myself, I have taken what feels like a long and well needed pause, and gathered my thoughts and feelings. A lot has happened in 2021-2022. January, I went back to writing #4 of my unsolved mysteries, I got to around 45,000 words last week and decided to switch gears. Sometimes as a writer you have wonderful ideas, but when you write them it just does not feel like ‘this is the one’ to pen at that time. I reflected, it took me six months to knock out just 45,000 words that’s long, and slow for me! So, I knew in my heart I was forcing applying my time, focus, and passion in the wrong direction.
Between last Wednesday and today I conjured up five short story ideas in the crime, thriller, and mystery genre. Two I have finished writing and submitted for publishing and a few short story competitions, (don’t make that face), that’s really how it is sometimes. You either have an abundance of words, or it trickles through like thick honey. The latter is not the best place to be in for most writers. I am much more motivated, focused, and have an abundance of words and stories to make people think, apply their own detective skills, and in some stories see a crime solved from a very unusual angle in the first story I wrote I called, In Another Life.
I hope to be in contact soon and be able to share something with you from the projects, until then you can dive into Till Death Do Us Part. (Please do leave a review or rating if you read it.)
A convicted murderer confessed to the kidnapping of a depressed housewife, Mariya Crosby, twenty years ago. But in the present day, the evidence clears him of the crime. Detective Dominic Ruiz is under pressure to close in on the truth and fast. The problem, Ruiz has one confession, one witness, and one devoted husband with a different version of events that lead up to Mariya Crosby’s disappearance twenty years ago in Florida. The more Detective Ruiz follows up on the leads, the more things don’t add up. He has one of the biggest mysteries of his career to solve. A single question has lingered unanswered for twenty years, what really happened to Mariya Crosby the day she never made it home from work?
Evening all, I do hope you’re well, and that you had a wonderful weekend and Valentine’s? I turned thirty-eight! I had a nice ‘socially distant’ birthday. It’s finally half-term break yeah! A break from homeschooling. If you’re on ‘vacation’ like me have a wonderful week. This week book #2 and #3 of the Unsolved Mysteries Series are on pre-order. Check out the next installments below. I hope readers are enjoying book #1 The Note. As always thank you for reading!
Book #2 The Red Light Girls…Amsterdam, Europe.
The Red Light Girls is book two of the Unsolved Mysteries series of stand-alone, mystery, and thriller stories. Set in different locations around the world.
Amsterdam a fun and exciting city is set on edge, when women linked to the Red Light District turn up dead on Amsterdamse Bos woodland area, or reported missing. Madeline Sloane a ballsy journalist for one of London’s tabloid papers is bored with her job and surroundings, she finds herself in Amsterdam working for the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. Her new job becomes her obsession and determination to help Detective Janssen close in on the person responsible for fates of the Red Light Girls. She reports on the city’s events, and forms a plan of action of her own once her intuition guides her to a suspect. There’s only one person standing in her way of finding Amsterdam’s serial killer, not everything is as it seems in Madeline’s world.
Awww let’s meet our female sleuth character, shall we? Enjoy the excerpt (Note: these are real places in Europe and the spelling of the locations have not been changed to English spellings.)
DAMSEL IN DISTRESS
One Afternoon, in Amsterdam…
“Shit, I can’t believe this.” Madeline pounded the steering wheel with her fist, then rolled her eyes. Her car came to stand still on a deserted road. “Arggh, I really don’t need this today,” she whined. She narrowed her eyes to try to see through the heavy sheet of rain, that pounded against the windows. Her view was blurred, the open woodland and trees were all she could see, this was not good news. She closed them then rested her head back, to block out the nightmare she had just entered. “Could this day get any worse,” she asked herself. “I should’ve stayed put in London, this move better be worth it.” Come on, get it together. Madeline leaned over to the passenger seat, reached into her bag, and fished her mobile phone. With hesitation she stepped out of the car and slammed the door. To shield herself from the rain she pulled her thin jacket around her. The bullets of rain drummed against her with a heavy thud. “Arggh!” she cried out. “Give me a break will you, I’ve just had my hair done!” With a shaky hand she pushed away a few loose strands plastered to her face. As she rubbed her eyes to free them from the rain, her mascara smudged in the process. She noticed the make-up stains transfer to her fingers, as she attempted to unlock her phone. “Jesus. Great, just great,” she muttered. The only sound she heard was the rain beating against the body of her car, and the wind as it rustled the trees. There was not a soul in sight. After three months life was no easier for her, her decision to up and leave London was not an easy one but a necessity. Her job as a journalist in the UK’s capital no longer excited her. She accepted a sabbatical placement with the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, as a last resort to revive her love for the profession. Her employer back home, The Sun newspaper, offered a number of placements to exchange with international papers around the world. At the time it sounded ideal to her, however which destination to apply for baffled her. One night she opened an atlas after one too many glasses of wine. She stuck her finger on the map and it landed on Amsterdam. The decision was made, that’s where she’d try her luck with falling back in love with being a journalist. Lucky for her, a Dutch newspaper was included in the list of media sources taking part in the exchange program. Madeline walked around the car then bent down to the wheel. She ran her hand over the visible damage. She shook her head at it. “Great, punctured.” Pulling herself up she glanced up and down the quiet road in search of help. There was no one around. She gave up on anyone passing by that could help her. Instead she dialled the number on the windscreen sticker, for the car breakdown service. “Hello, my name’s sorry excuse me. Hallo, mijn naam is Madeline,” she said to the call handler. There was a silence. “Hello, hello,” she yelled. Madeline tutted at the blank screen, her battery died. She groaned loudly and shoved the device into in her pocket. The bitter wind whipped around her, while the rain assaulted the thin material of her coat. She started to shiver and cursed even more. She leaned on the side of the car, and tears welled up in her eyes then spilt over onto her cheeks. She noticed a dog bark somewhere in the distance. Her eyes darted toward the woodland area. “Hey, hello is anyone there?” she called out into the darkness. Her voice echoed back as it bounced around the open space. Overcome with fear she hurried away and jumped into the driver’s seat. She locked the doors, and prayed someone would pass by and help her. With the weather as bad as it was, she wasn’t optimistic about it. Why would anyone be out on foot in this? She wondered. She could only hope a car would drive by. She heard the dog bark again, her heart pounded against her rib cage. She narrowed her eyes and could just about make out in the distance, a man jog from out of the woods with a dog behind him. Madeline lowered the window then called out through the rain, “hey, excuse me.” The dog barked again in her direction. From what she could see through the heavy rain and hail stones, it looked as if the man glanced toward her. “Excuse me,” she yelled out again. “I have a flat tire can you help me?” What the hell, he probably speaks no English, God help me. Madeline stepped out of the car, then waved her arms to beckon the man to come over. Once she had his attention she pointed to the tire. Through the rain Madeline noticed the man jog in her direction. She let out a breath and counted her blessings he appeared. “Are you okay, what’s up?” he asked. He removed his ear phones and doubled over to catch his breath. Madeline’s heart fluttered, she was happy he spoke English. “My tire’s flat,” she said. “I don’t have any juice on my phone, can I borrow yours?” Impatiently she waited as the stranger moved he’s gaze over her car, then he pulled out his phone. “Sure.” He handed her his phone. “Do you have break down cover?” “Yes, thank God that’s one thing I do have.” Madeline took his iPhone then quickly redialled the breakdown service. “Yes, hello it’s, oh I’m sorry,” she said then paused. Madeline tried to recall what Dutch she could given the situation. “Here allow me,” the man said. “I speak fluent Dutch.” Madeline’s attention moved back to the stranger. Through the rain from under his hood he looked down at her, his face was partly obscured. He held his hand out for the phone and she passed it to him. He nodded toward the car and said, “get in, it’s pouring out here.” “Thank you, my name’s Madeline Sloane. I just need someone to change the tire that’s all.” “Do you have a spare?” “I don’t know. I guess so, probably.” The man laughed at her then placed the phone to his ear under his hood. He spoke in rapid Dutch to the call handler. Madeline hopped into the car to shield herself from the storm, and the dog that yapped at her feet. Damn dog, move. She kicked at the mut as she took a seat, then slammed the door. The man tapped on the window, she rolled it down. “Okay let’s take a look in the boot,” he said. “The boot?” “Yeah, for the spare.” “When will they get here to—” “Don’t worry,” he cut her off, “I’ll handle it, it’s just a puncture.” “Oh okay, but it’s raining.” Madeline looked up at the dark grey sky. “It’s just water, I’m Chris by the way.” The man chuckled at her again. Slightly pissed off at his sarcasm, Madeline pressed the release button to open the boot. Yeah right, just water, she thought. Then smoothed a hand over what was her sleek, bone straight hair now back to its natural curly state. Thirty minutes later with a fresh tire change Madeline started the engine, then turned to Chris. “I really don’t know how to thank you,” she told him. “You could’ve allowed the breakdown service to handle it, and be home by now, you’re soaked.” “No problem, you’d still be waiting if I did that.” Shyly, Madeline looked away from Chris’ gaze, she focused on the road ahead. She glanced back to him. He was stood in the rain with is hoodie up shivering. “Let me give you a lift home, it’s the least I can do,” she called out through the window. She watched Chris’ expression, it was as if he mulled over her offer while he glanced up and down the road. “Okay thanks. Which way are you heading?” he asked. “To Amsterdam Centraal, what about you?” “Same.” “Hop in, let’s go.” Chris rounded the car to the passenger side, he moved the chair back, then whistled for his dog to jump in. “I’m sorry if he leaves mud on the seat, I’ll clean it off,” he said. Madeline cringed at the thought of dog hair and mud all over the chair, then forced a lazy smile across her lips. Once Chris and his dog were on board, she placed the car in gear and slowly took off. She navigated her way through the storm toward the city centre.
When a convicted murderer confesses to kidnapping a depressed wife Mariya Crosby twenty years ago, but in the present day the evidence clears him of the crime, who would you believe–the evidence or a convicted murderer on his death bed?
Detective Dominic Ruiz is under pressure to close in on the truth, and fast. The problem is Ruiz has one confession, one witness, and one devoted husband with a different version of events in the lead up to Mariya Crosby’s disappearance twenty years ago in Florida. The more Detective Ruiz follows up with leads the more things don’t add up. He has one of the biggest mysteries of his career to solve. The question has been unanswered for twenty years, what really happened to Mariya Crosby the day she never made it home from work?