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August 2022 Writing Prompt Challenge!

Saffron Amatti, author of the Lucas Rathbone Mysteries, threw down the gauntlet with a monthly writing prompt challenge. August’s challenge is “Send Your Characters to a Theme Park.”

Writing Challenge August
Writing Prompt Challenge

While this may not come as a surprise, my crew were none to happy with me for agreeing to another #writingchallenge. They were downright cranky—so they changed the rules.


Marnie, Tom and Danny Break the Rules—Again!

“Well, Shari has done it to us again,” Marnie said with a roll of her eyes. “We have to choose a theme park for one of @saffron.amatti’s writing challenges.”

“Tchah! Not another one! Theme park? Boring!” Danny flopped into an Adirondack chair and ran a hand through his hair.

Tom scrunched up his face and scratched his forehead. “Does it have to be a theme park?”

With her bottom lip out and a quick shrug, Marnie read the post again. “That’s what it says, but since when do we follow the rules?” She raised an eyebrow and quirked up one corner of her mouth.

Tom sent a wink and a slow nod her way.

Danny rubbed his hands together. “Whitewater rafting it is!”


Later that day—Hudson River Gorge, Adirondack Mountains

Danny took a seat at the front of the raft, with Marnie in the middle and Tom at the back. The water at the top of Hudson Gorge rippled around small boulders jutting up from the bottom of the river.

“Okay, guys, Hudson River Gorge is 17 miles long. If we end up in Tapan Zee, we’ve gone too far.” Marnie giggled. “Say thanks to the Iroquoian and their predecessors for safe passage through the gorge.” She glanced up at the blue sky and gave thanks to the Native Americans who inhabited the region over 4,000 years ago.

Tom pushed them off the shore and jumped into the raft, settling into his seat. Danny expertly guided them around granite boulders to calm waters in the middle of the river.

“Everybody ready? Life vests secure?” Danny glanced back.

“Let’s go!” Marnie and Tom shouted in unison.


As they approached a fast-moving and rocky section of the river called The Narrows, a familiar uneasiness sparked goosebumps to rise on the back of Marnie’s neck and she turned to see a lone figure in a green kayak gaining on them. Tom followed her gaze and cursed. She nudged Danny in the back with her paddle, and then she turned to me with a scowl. The detective’s steely blue stare made me marginally uncomfortable, so I averted his eyes to their stalker.

“Geez! Can we have just one outing that doesn’t include an antagonist who wants us dead?!” Marnie shouted, her face contorted with anger.

I flashed her a wicked grin and said, “Hmm… No.”

Mwahaha!


As Marnie and the detectives recover from their daunting experience, I will drop them into another drama. That’s right! Fatal Vow, Marnie Reilly Mysteries #3, is in progress. I better get back to writing. Enjoy the rest of your week.

Cheers,

Shari

Christmas in July Giveaway! Only on Instagram!

🎄

It’s a Christmas in July Book Giveaway! Five fabulous #IndieAuthors have created one awesome prize!

The Authors:

@BrasingtonBooks
@BrookPetersonAuthor
@Saffron.Amatti
@ShariTMitchell
@WriterTracyBrown

The Prize: Author-Signed Books (SWIPE through the photos in this post) – all take place during the Christmas holiday season:

Festively Fatal, by Saffron Amatti (Saffron will mail a signed bookplate to the winner)

Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the manor…

Laughter echoed, and a rather harassed local newspaper editor is pretending he’s not at the party he’s been hired to report on.

But reluctant psychic Lucas Rathbone gets through the evening somehow.

Which is more than can be said for another guest…

As he investigates, Lucas uncovers family secrets best forgotten, betrayals, and scandal.

But which was motive for murder?

And can he solve the mystery before there’s another Christmas tragedy?

Cayman Island, by Jennnifer Brasington-Crowley

Jay Nightingale doesn’t know he’s being possessed by Jonathan Sharpe.

The bad thing is, Jonathan’s lover does know.

After three years of mourning the loss of her beloved, Cayman Stillwater finds him again.

The bad thing is, he’s inside another man. A man so unlike her Jonathan, she cannot fathom how she will get him back.

But she’s willing to try.

With the help (or hindrance) of her sarcastic, psychic brother, Cayman is determined to make Jay fall in love with her. But will she fall for this unassuming recovering addict with the bright red anime hair, or only the man she wants him to be?

Sometimes grief makes us do nothing at all, but sometimes it makes us do the unthinkable.

Cayman Island is a contemporary romance that’s as heart-wrenching as it is heartwarming. It is a story of remorse and recovery, of risks and redemption, and ultimately, of love.

Door to Door, by T.L. Brown

Two worlds collide when Emily Swift turns thirty and her late father’s journal lands on her doorstep… Seventeen years after Emily Swift’s father died, a door is opened to a new world, an Empire led by peculiar men and women called Salesmen – transporters of magical items. These Salesmen have the unique ability to travel from place-to-place, and even world-to-world, simply by stepping through the “right” door.

Now that Emily is thirty, it turns out that she can “door travel” too, stumbling unplanned into kitchens, bathrooms, and alleyways as her connection to the Salesman Empire is revealed. Fueled by the cryptic notes and sketches in her father’s journal, Emily discovers the real reason behind his death: he was targeted and assassinated by the Fringe, a terrorist group of rogue Salesmen.

After an attack that leaves an innocent woman dead, a rare book containing clues to the whereabouts of the Crimson Stone is missing. Emily is charged with getting it back. As she races through the Empire, she pursues John Templeton, the mysterious Salesman with extraordinary abilities, who seems to both help and undermine Emily at whim.

With new friends Anne Lace and the boyish Rabbit, she tracks Templeton, but the Fringe is not far behind – as two new murders prove. Along the way, Emily struggles to balance her desire to find out who killed her father against the task of recovering the legendary stone. The internal journey of reconciling the father she hardly knew, with the great leader she’ll never know, forms the foundation for a fast-paced race to keep powerful magic out of violent, fanatical hands.

The Present Predicament, by Brook Peterson

It’s Christmastime and Jericho House’s halls are decked to such an extent it resembles a mansion in the North Pole, not the mountains of Nevada. There’s only one problem, Elliot the tuxedo cat keeps climbing the behemoth Christmas tree in the parlour and breaking priceless, antique ornaments.
When Grandma Lily and Chloe decide the solution is to divert him with lots of presents around the tree, it sets off a domino effect of predicaments, culminating in the complete loss of Grandma’s Christmas spirit.

Will Chloe be able to revive Grandma’s holiday cheer despite being somewhat of a grinch herself? And what about handsome Police Chief Garner? Will he come to Chloe’s aid?

Join Chloe, Grandma Lily, their furry friends, and the rest of the Jericho Falls cast for a small-town Christmas caper.

Torn Veil, by Shari T. Mitchell

Christmas is coming, and so is a killer. Will the psychic psychologist save Christmas and herself? Marnie Reilly is back in Torn Veil, the sequel to Divine Guidance. Marnie Reilly’s sixth sense is working overtime this holiday season. A haunting sense of evil sweeping through the little town of Creekwood is disturbing her dreams and her waking hours. The ghosts of her past are trying to help, but the messages from beyond the veil are muddled and vague.

When Marnie’s childhood friend turns up dead on the wrong side of the tracks, police detectives discover her business card in the dead man’s pocket. Is it an overdose or murder? As tensions rise in the race to solve the case, so does the body count. Detectives Tom Keller and Danny Gregg are on the scene to protect Marnie from the evil lurking in Creekwood, or is it Marnie who is protecting them? Torn Veil, a murder mystery with a paranormal twist…

But wait, there’s more!

The gift basket* includes:

  • A sturdy, braided basket to hold your TBR pile
  • Cute Christmas ornaments from Brook and Tracy
  • An adorable “doggie paw print” metal bookmark from Shari
  • A beautiful, frameable print of Cayman Island’s cover from Jennifer
  • Christmas stickers, bumper sticker
  • Paper bookmarks
  • Milk chocolate, hot cocoa bombs
  • Tiny chocolate chip cookies to nibble on
  • Small, festive wreath
  • Pack of Jelly Bellys
  • Holiday Christmas hard candy (no sugar added candy included)
  • Silver & gold LED lights to set the mood

*fake poinsettia flowers pictured not included

Christmas in July Giveaway RULES + HOW TO ENTER for a chance to win:

✔Open to Instagram users 18+ years old

✔Winner MUST have a USA mailing address that the prize can be shipped to – winner will be contacted for address by @WriterTracyBrown

✔Comments from spam accounts NOT eligible (e.g., promote it on, hard DM)

✔One entry per person

✔Enter by commenting on this post (tag your friends!)

✔Enter between July 7 – 21, 2022

✔Winner will be picked at random via wheelofnames.com (or similar online name-picking resource) on July 22, 2022

✔Winner announced on July 22, 2022 & contacted via DM by @WriterTracyBrown (if you are contacted by someone OTHER than Tracy & told you are a winner – DO NOT RESPOND, it’s a scam)

✔Winner MUST be following authors @BrasingtonBooks, @BrookPetersonAuthor, @Saffron.Amatti, @ShariTMitchell, & @WriterTracyBrown on Instagram at time of drawing to be eligible

This giveaway NOT affiliated with Instagram, Meta/Facebook, or any of their affiliates.

Good luck! #BookGiveaway #Giveaway

Check out the authors on the links below:

https://www.saffron-amatti.co.uk/

https://www.brookpetersonauthor.com/

https://sharitmitchell.com/

We’re at it again! #TurvyTruthOrDare! 3/27/22

#TurvyTruthOrDare Writing Challenge

Starting Friday, April 1st, authors T.L. Brown, Saffron Amatti and Nimmi Sheikh and I will co-host the 7-day writing challenge, #TurvyTruthOrDare. The challenge will run from April 1st though April 7th, inclusive.

What’s #TurvyTruthOrDare About

#TurvyTruthOrDare
#TurvyTruthOrDare — The Challenge

Details

  1. Every day we’ll give you a scene prompt. (Swipe for prompts!)
  2. Your character(s) will choose: Truth or Dare?
  3. Then write out a scene using the Truth or Dare prompt.
  4.  Tag your posts with #TurvyTruthOrDare so we can find YOUR creative scenes! 

Questions

? Can I do both a Dare and a Truth for each day? Absolutely! If that works for you, do it!

? How many words should I write? Long or short, that’s up to you!

? More questions? Ask!

Do the Marnie Reilly Mysteries Characters Love a Good Challenge?

No! My characters and I have been arguing non-stop since this challenge was announced. They still haven’t recovered (or forgiven me for) from the February #RockTheTurvy Challenge. Marnie, Danny, Tom, Tater and Dickens are spending the next week and a bit at my house, a spring break of sorts. I figured they would enjoy some time away from cold and snowy Creekwood. They have assured me that they would rather be at home.

I have assured them that their fate lies in their behavior during the #TurvyTruthOrDare Writing Challenge.

I will post daily to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Follow the Authors on Instagram

@nimmisheikhauthor –Writing a New Adult, sci-fi murder mystery trilogy planned for 2023 release: #Frostieverse

@saffron.amatti –Writes the spooky, ghosty, and oh-so-twisty #LucasRathboneMysteries

@writertracybrown –Writes the quirky #DoorToDoorMysteries + #BelleroseWitchline fantasy series

@sharitmitchell –Writes the thrilling #MarnieReillyMysteries with canine companions and haunting spirits

Attention Writers and Authors

#Authors and #Writers, whether your characters are in a published book or percolating in your WIP, this challenge is for YOU! This challenge is all about building relationships and getting to get to know more members of the IG #WritingCommunity – and their characters! 

You’re invited to follow challenge hosts @nimmisheikhauthor @saffron.amatti @sharitmitchell & @writertracybrown but it’s NOT required.

Doors Wide Open

Dive Into the Pages of the Door Wide Open

Doors Wide Open

If you have a busy weekend ahead, cancel your plans. Instead, snuggle down with Doors Wide Open, T.L. Brown’s rousing finale in the action-packed, paranormal mystery series, Door to Door Mystery Series

Brown’s quirky characters, Emily Swift, John Templeton, Rabbit, Lucie Bellerose, and the rest of her crew, are funny, flawed, intriguing, and highly engaging. I love these characters so much that if I could have a dinner party with fictional characters, they would be at the top of my guest list. 

T.L. Brown has woven together a rich story with descriptive settings, so much so that you will be right there with her characters. The twists and turns and “Uh-oh!” moments will keep you reading well past bedtime.

Here’s a bit of advice from a book lover: Buy these books! The whole series! Right now! Throw open the pages of the Door to Door Mystery Series and get lost in the magic, mayhem, and mystery of T.L. Brown’s world. 

Buy the Books on Amazon

Coming Soon from T.L. Brown

Bellerose Witchline Series

About T.L. Brown

Writer Tracy Brown lives in the beautiful Finger Lakes of New York State dreaming up stories and quirky characters that make life all the more interesting. She believes magic still exists, you just need to look in the right places.

Tracy is the author of the Door to Door Paranormal Mystery Series, three books penned under the name T.L. Brown. She is currently writing the first book in the Bellerose Witchline series, due out in early 2022.

She’s married to one damn amazing man. Together they garden, cook, and raise chickens.

Read more about T.L. Brown’s books here: https://writertracybrown.com/door-to-door/

Divine Guidance Second Edition

Divine Guidance Second Edition Coming Soon

Divine Guidance

Divine Guidance Second Edition for Kindle Unlimited is on the way!

Way back in 2014, I released the first Marnie Reilly Mystery. When Divine Guidance was first published, there was a high degree of upheaval and stress in my world. Reading through Divine Guidance now, I see the stress of that time in my writing.

Why am I releasing a second edition? It’s simple. Divine Guidance is a wonderful story that needed a bit of love. Working with my editor and a dear friend who is an author and mystery bookstore owner, Divine Guidance has received the love and attention it deserves. If there is one thing that I have learned in this crazy thing called life, it is that second chances are important.

Release Date

The Divine Guidance second edition for Kindle will be released on March 27th, with the second edition of the paperback releasing in conjunction with Fatal Vow, Marnie Reilly Mysteries Book 3, later this year.

I will drop the link to my Amazon page as soon as the Divine Guidance second edition for Kindle is ready to go.

Fatal Vow Update

Yes, I am making progress on Marnie Reilly Mysteries Book #3. I’ve got new characters to introduce, including Kate Parish’s parents. When you meet Lawrence and Kitty Parish, you will understand why Kate is Kate. You will also meet Ransom Elliot, Marnie’s ex-boyfriend from her D.C. days. There is a lot happening in Fatal Vow. Your patience is most appreciated.

Cheers,

Shari

It’s been a long time since a book kept me up and reading past midnight. I just could not put down Shari T. Mitchell’s “Divine Guidance.”

T.L. Brown, author

If you haven’t yet started the Marnie Reilly Mystery Series, don’t wait a second longer. This is the perfect season to get familiar with Mitchell’s bunch! “Fatal Vow,” the third book in the Marnie Reilly Mysteries, is due out in 2022. I’m on pins and needles waiting for it. I know I’ll definitely be ordering the book as soon as it’s available for pre-sale. I. Can’t. Wait!”

T.L. Brown, Author

https://www.amazon.com/author/sharitmitchell

Marnie Reilly Mysteries – Meet My Unruly Characters

Marnie Reilly Mysteries’ characters are fun to write. Their personalities have developed from Divine Guidance (Book 1) to Torn Veil (Book 2), but my unruly crew wants more. As I write Fatal Vow (Marnie Reilly Mysteries Book #3), I am focused on giving them what they want. Marnie Reilly, Detective Danny Gregg, Detective Tom Keller and Tater are all quite pushy. They have all been through a lot the last few years. I owe them. It makes sense that they would want change – for the better or worse.

When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.

Ernest Hemingway, Death in the afternoon

My characters are very much alive to me. I have conversations with them – they speak to me. Marnie has been worried that she is a bit selfish and scattered. Danny believes that he should be more supportive of Marnie. Tater thinks that people don’t take him seriously. What about Tom? Well, he has been asking me to give him more depth. I have told them all that it is a process and that we are only on book 3, but they still want more. They disrupt my sleep and many awake hours with demands to be noticed.

Fatal Vow is a chance to let them off of their leads – so to speak. I am going to take the advice of William Faulkner and let all of them speak to me a bit more. My first draft is messy by design so that my characters can tell me where they want to go. I can always fix things up in the first or second round of edits. Does that sound funny? My characters telling me where they want to go. Perhaps, but that’s the path we’re taking.

It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.

William Faulkner

A few weeks ago, I spent most of my weekend “finding” my characters. I sifted through thousands of stock images. I waited for the images to speak to me. Once they did, I invested in images of Marnie, Tom, Danny and Tater. How did I do? I know! Danny’s hair should be a bit lighter – but the sun will take care of that come summer. Have I mentioned that Fatal Vow opens on the first day of summer?


Here they are in full-color – Marnie Reilly, Tom Keller, Danny Gregg and Tater Tot!

Marnie Reilly

Height: 5’ 10’”
Build: Athletic
Hair Color: Strawberry Blonde
Eye Color: Aquamarine
Marital Status: Single
Age: 30-something
Distinguishing Features: haunted eyes, scar around her neck
Career: Psychologist
Nicknames: Marn, Madame Séance and Good Witch of the North
Best friend: Detective Tom Keller
Love interest: Detective Daniel Gregg

Marnie Reilly is a compassionate, ethical, sassy, quirky and loyal psychic. She is a force of nature for sure. Tall and athletically built, Marnie’s style is casual – she opts for jeans and boots over skirts and heels. Her job calls for skirts and heels – her home life the former. Her straight, strawberry blonde hair falls just below her shoulders.

Marnie is fiercely independent and guarded. People who know her well attribute this to the tragic and untimely death of her mother and, just a few years later, her father. She hates asking for help, and she doesn’t let people in easily, but when she does, she expects them to be kind, considerate and honest. She’s had her fair share of bad relationships. The worst was Ken Wilder; he was a cruel and abusive cheater with a penchant for pain – other people’s pain, that is.

The first thing that most people notice about Marnie is her eyes – aquamarine and haunted. Aquamarine is the color; haunted is her gift of clairvoyance revealing itself. The second thing that people notice about her is her undying devotion to her Border Collie Tater. They are a package deal.

Marnie is on a road to self-discovery. Working through why she rescues people is a big part of that process. Who should she trust? Who should she save? Who can she count on when everything turns upside down?

Tom Keller from Marnie Reilly Mysteries
Detective Tom Keller

Height: 6’2½”
Build: Lanky
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Violet
Marital Status: Single
Age: 30-something
Things to know about Tom: Marnie Reilly’s best friend; dry wit; terrified of ghosts
Career: Police Detective, Sergeant
Nicknames: Tom, Tommy

Tom Keller is the comic relief in the Marnie Reilly Mysteries series. His comedic timing is terrible – but his humor is rarely malicious.

He is tall and lanky with a distance runner’s build. He has short black hair and his eyes are a deep violet. Many women swoon over the charming detective, but he is quite happy being single. He does not like being set up on dates and is quick to remind his best friend, Marnie Reilly, of this fact.

He is kind, compassionate and hates injustice of any kind. Tom is a lover of animals, history and the investigative process of being a detective. He does not leave any stone unturned when searching for answers.

The mention of anything paranormal makes him jittery. He is not a coward with things that he can see – but hint at the possibility of a ghost being present, and Tom will pull his feet up onto the couch and shiver in response.

There are many layers yet to peel back where Tom is concerned. Fatal Vow will reveal A LOT about Detective Tom Keller – and just how far he will go to protect Marnie Reilly!

Danny Gregg from Marnie Reilly Mysteries
Detective Danny Gregg

Height: 6’2”
Build: Athletic
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Steely Blue
Marital Status: Widower
Age: 30-something
Distinguishing Features: dimples, scar on back from a stabbing
Career: Police Detective, Lieutenant
Nicknames: Danny
Love interest: Marnie Reilly

Danny’s dimpled smile doesn’t quite go with his grumpy demeanor. His thick, sandy brown hair is often messy from running his fingers through it when thinking or stressed. He is a tall man, solidly built and some would say a force to be reckoned with when angered or protecting the innocent. He has a sharp wit and an astute sixth sense about people.

A steely blue gaze is the second thing that most people notice about Danny. The first is his badge; he wears his gold shield with great pride.

Danny is a widower. He lost his late wife Sarah several years back to suicide. No matter how Danny has tried to forgive himself, just under the surface looms guilt for not saving Sarah from her deep dive into depression. He lost his mother Carol to depression and suicide, too. He still carries a great deal of guilt because he couldn’t save the two women whom he loved dearly. Danny typically steers clear of relationships. Investing emotionally in love is low on his list of priorities – until now.

Danny met Marnie while investigating the murder of her ex-lover, Ken Wilder. She annoys the hell out of him, and he finds her to be the most irritating woman whom he has ever met. Her kindness, independent nature, warmth, wisdom, sassiness and beauty have won him over. But will he cross legal lines to keep her safe? You will find out in Fatal Vow – coming in 2022.

Tater Border Collie from Marnie Reilly Mysteries
Tater
(photo by Tadeusz Lakota)

Height: 22’
Build: Athletic
Hair Color: Black and white
Eye Color: Gold/brown
Age: he doesn’t like to talk about it
Distinguishing Features: intense and intelligent eyes
Career: Service dog
Nicknames: Tater Tot

Tater is Marnie Reilly’s rough-coat, black and white Border Collie. He is an athletic dog with sharp, intelligent eyes and a cheeky disposition.

Marnie found Tater as a puppy at the side of a road in a burlap bag. He was the size of an Idaho potato – hence his name.

Tater knows a number of on-command tricks including how to play dead, how to crawl on his tummy like a snake, how to shake and how to open the fridge.

Tater has learned by watching Marnie – how to open doors; how to open his kennel; how to train humans. Adding to his impressive bag of tricks, he instinctively herds people, other dogs, sheep and bad guys. He’s a clever boy.

Chasing squirrels and eating tuna are two of his favorite pastimes.

He quickly responds to commands from Marnie and Tom, but Danny can be too gruff with him at times. It’s not because Danny is mean – it’s because he has never experienced a dog quite like Tater. He is fiercely loyal to Marnie. Readers will see the full force of his loyalty in Fatal Vow – Marnie Reilly Mysteries Book #3.


Carl, Gram and even Kate will soon have their faces on the website too. For now, I need to focus on writing. In the meantime, let me entertain you with a glimpse at Marnie’s new home. What’s that? You thought that she would be living with Danny? That was presumptuous!

Marnie Reilly's Home
Marnie Reilly’s New Home

Marnie's Red Barn at Wild Creek Ranch
Red Barn at Wild Creek Ranch

Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them ― in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

Kurt Vonnegut, Bagombo Snuff Box

For now, I will be taking Kurt Vonnegut’s advice. I’m not sure that any of them would be described as sweet, but most of them are good people. At least I think that they are.

#ROCKTHETURVY Writing Challenge!

There is a group of wonderful writers on Instagram who put together a writing challenge every few months. The February 2022 #RockTheTurvy challenge was too good to pass up. I am in!

#RockTheTurvy Writing Challenge Details

Here are the details as presented by writer T.L. Brown:

“🎵 *flicking through radio stations* Writers, have we got a new #WritingChallenge for you! We’re twisting the Turvy in February and bringing you: #RockTheTurvy!

The #RockTheTurvy runs Feb. 1–28 & is hosted by:
🎸 @brasingtonbooks –Writes the 2 unconventional romance series, Raven Song Series & Stillwaters Series
🏫 @jodimay15 –Writes the gripping Hillside Academy Young Adult Series
👻 @saffron.amatti –Writes the spooky Lucas Rathbone Mysteries Series
🎩 @writertracybrown –Writes the quirky Door to Door Paranormal Mystery Series + upcoming Bellerose Witchline Series

Many of you use music for inspiration. Many even develop fantasy soundtracks to go with your WIPs / books. This challenge is DEFINITELY for YOU!”

#RockTheTurvy Details
#RockTheTurvy Details
#RockTheTurvy Writing Prompts 1
Writing Prompts Part 1
#RockTheTurvy Writing Prompts 2
Writing Prompts Part 2
#RockTheTurvy Writing Prompts 3
Writing Prompts Part 3

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you can follow me here: https://www.instagram.com/sharitmitchell/

The past weekend found me immersed in writing up to 2200 character (not words) short stories for each of the prompts. Music has been assigned to each story to bring it all together.

Marnie Reilly, Detective Danny Gregg, Detective Tom Keller and Tater Border Collie are all participating – whether they wanted to join or not. Follow me on Instagram and join us for this crazy ride!

If you are an Instagram author/writer and want to get it in on the fun, just follow hosts as listed above and use the hashtags to join the #RockTheTurvey #writingchallenge. Don’t forget to the tag the hosts (listed above) in your posts.

#RockTheTurvy starts tomorrow. See you there!

Divine Guidance and Torn Veil – Reviews from the Writing Community

Divine Guidance and Torn Veil have recently received some lovely plugs from the writing community. A good book review is always a wonderful acknowledgement of the hard work that has gone into writing a book.

I am grateful to have connected with a strong network of writers who don’t view one another as competition – but view one another as a sounding board, a source for valuable information and a support network of empathetic individuals who cheer one another on each and every day.

Divine Guidance

Divine Guidance

“This mystery had me guessing right up to the twisty end. If you like strong female leads, smart and protective pooches, and stories with a paranormal influence, give this series a try.”

-Brook Peterson, Author of History of Murder


“In Divine Guidance, psychic psychologist Marnie Reilly finds herself the target of a shady group known as “The Collective.” With the help of Detective Daniel Gregg and her faithful Border Collie, Tater, Marnie must uncover the mysterious forces at work in Creekwood before it’s too late.

Marnie is a straight-talking sleuth in the grand tradition of a classic mystery series. Fans of Lisa Gardener’s D.D. Warren will appreciate Marnie’s ‘no bull’ attitude. Tater steals every scene he’s in and is worthy of his own spin-off series.

Author Shari T. Mitchell fills Creekwood with characters who are themselves characters, and gives this murder mystery a fun paranormal, holiday twist.”

Joanna Monahan, Author


“When a body shows up in Marni’s backyard shed, her world is turned upside down! A quick-paced thriller with threats around every corner, plus psychics and charlatans and family secrets and secrets exposed, and don’t forget furry sleuth Tater, Marni’s ever-faithful border collie. Spirits abound and things aren’t always what they seem in this great book by Shari Mitchell!”

– Jennifer Brasington-Crowley, Author


“This is the type of book that tells so much more than a story. It tells of a character that has a great soul and personality that a reader can’t help but think of someone who the protagonist reminds them of. From personality traits to behaviours, Marnie Reilly is a wonderful character. Honest, bold, compassionate, intuitive and someone who wants to nurture others. Her love for her dog, Tater, her baking and her psychic abilities drew me in almost immediately. The other characters had endearing qualities that helped knit the story together nicely, with an injection of deviance and danger from a serial killer on the loose.
With a back story of loss, buried emotions and clairvoyance abilities, Marnie is protected by a police team, and becomes part of a hunt for a killer at large. As relationships develop and the plot thickens, we are taken on a journey of excitement, risk, suspense, humour and friendship. Tater the dog is a beautiful touch to a book written with skill, knowledge and heart. Brilliant! I’m looking forward to the second instalment and more from this amazing writer. Highly recommended.[Divine Guidance]This is the type of book that tells so much more than a story. It tells of a character that has a great soul and personality that a reader can’t help but think of someone who the protagonist reminds them of. From personality traits to behaviours, Marnie Reilly is a wonderful character. Honest, bold, compassionate, intuitive and someone who wants to nurture others. Her love for her dog, Tater, her baking and her psychic abilities drew me in almost immediately. The other characters had endearing qualities that helped knit the story together nicely, with an injection of deviance and danger from a serial killer on the loose.
With a back story of loss, buried emotions and clairvoyance abilities, Marnie is protected by a police team, and becomes part of a hunt for a killer at large. As relationships develop and the plot thickens, we are taken on a journey of excitement, risk, suspense, humour and friendship. Tater the dog is a beautiful touch to a book written with skill, knowledge and heart. Brilliant! I’m looking forward to the second instalment and more from this amazing writer. Highly recommended.”

-Helen Aitchison, Author


“Divine Guidance grabs you and does not let go!

It’s been a long time since a book kept me up and reading past midnight. I just could not put down Shari T. Mitchell’s “Divine Guidance.”

Let me be frank: Mitchell crafted a story that scared the bejesus out of me – and it wasn’t the paranormal aspects of the story making my heart race! The murders and attempted murders happening around main character Marnie Reilly made me jittery. With ingredients like an abusive ex-boyfriend, a wild ice storm closing the roads, and a stalker-murderer running loose, you certainly have a recipe for a solid creep fest!

But the author doesn’t rely on bumps in the night to create a compelling tale. She’s also written a sound mystery-thriller with a flawed main character, who despite her rough edges, is good and kind at heart. She’s also believable.

We meet Marnie in an off-beat setting right before she tips the apple cart – angering her “peers” while taking the high road. From the get-go we understand that Marnie is not only tough, but also willing to do the hard things. And yet, she’s not this larger-than-life superwoman we can’t imagine as being real. She’s experienced significant loss and struggled with a frightening past (abusive relationship revealed in memories / current discussions). She’s human.

While the paranormal is present in this story, the mundane is what takes center stage. Imagine this: You are trapped at home with a maniac running rampant – but the ice storm prevents help from coming to you. At first the reader thinks: thank goodness police officers are stuck at Marnie’s house, too.

Then more attacks come. When the police are with you and you’re still in danger, how can it get any worse? The level of suspense the author creates during several scenes when you know the killer is watching them – and the characters know too! – is through the roof. I do not know how the author managed to sustain a level of constant unease, but she nailed it. I had to keep reading.

The author moves the drama from one place to another while keeping the tension high. There was literally one scene at Detective Gregg’s house that scared me because the buildup to the scene was so well done that when it came, I was wishing it wasn’t dark outside. (I was also glad I didn’t have an attic!)

Author Mitchell also brought in some complex relationships. Early on Marnie calls another character a charlatan – a “soul-sucking trickster” and the reader would agree. And yet this character displays a completely different side, helping Marnie when she’s in danger. This “relationship” of sorts has many layers, and it was intriguing to sort out what the current status between Marnie and this other really meant. There is a scene in Marnie’s home that involves a pipe (tobacco pipe). These little touches keep the reader wondering who was who and who was friend or foe.

As a reader, I want to know more about The Collective. Marnie has clearly angered this group of psychics and they have some power – but how much of it is real and how much of it depends on the fragility of the mind of their target? This could be why Marnie is wary but not openly fearful of this group. I hope to learn more in the follow-up to “Divine Guidance.”

With all the “normal” drama, there is a paranormal element, of course. For me it wasn’t the biggest part of the plotline but added to it. And a reminder: while it might be useful to learn from the dead (ghosts), it’s not always a happy experience.

Lastly, the supportive cast of characters around Marnie – her lovable dog Tater, the police, the detective, and her friends – certainly round out the story. There are a couple of big surprises at the end that beg the questions: In the circle of family and friends, who can you trust? Who is lying and who is dangerous?”

-Tracy Brown, Author


Torn Veil

Torn Veil (sequel to Divine Guidance)

“A sequel every bit as good as the first book – possibly even better!

It’s difficult to write a sequel worthy of a great first book, but Shari T. Mitchell did just that with the latest installment of the Marnie Reilly Mysteries, “Torn Veil.”

In this book, the reader is treated to so many layers building a strong plot. How did the author keep track of them all? Luckily for readers Mitchell manages this well, creating an intricate storyline with many moving parts while not losing the reader for a minute.

This time around we join a main character (Marnie Reilly) who is more willing to accept help as her life is turned upside down once again with the discovery of a dead body. She’s still tough, she’s still smart, and she’s definitely confident – but we’re diving into a complex character. Marnie’s not superwoman and she has fears, too. There’s also the matter of a blockage of sorts with her sixth sense. This limitation puts her at risk even more. We also find a Marnie who must work out which players are her friends, and who is the fraud. Author Mitchell does an EXCELLENT job of keeping the reader guessing.

Mitchell is a master of bringing in the bits: Here’s a character – let’s allow her to brush by – this will be important later. Or, here’s a snippet of conversation that will eventually point to a big piece of the puzzle. (Did you catch it, reader?) That’s part of the magic happening when you read a book by Shari T. Mitchell: you develop a habit of noting everything because it just might be important later and you are rewarded with an “aha!” moment. And again, the author delivers it in such a way that you are not lost.

It seems that author Mitchell is building a family for Marnie in “Torn Veil” – which really feels good. Marnie has been through so much already. This eclectic family-building isn’t just a safe haven for Marnie’s mental well-being, it’s a comfort for the reader as we become further invested in her story. We’re scared for Marnie more than once, and we hold onto the belief that the love surrounding her will provide the much-needed safety net when the time comes.

Returning readers to this series will recognize a favorite cast of supporting characters: the lovable and loyal Detective Tom Keller, and of course, the sexy, strong, and supportive Detective Danny Gregg. It may be getting colder outside, but it’s heating up between Marnie and Danny. This developing relationship is such a nice side story that does not overwhelm the drama and mystery. Other familiar – and new faces – fill in the population of Creekwood. We’re also glad to see Tater, Marnie’s beloved border collie, playing with some new pals.

The paranormal is definitely present in this latest installment, and we get some peeks into a darker side of people who operate in this world. And yet, Mitchell uses her characters to remind us that some evil only has power if you give up yours. How the paranormal is related to the events in the book – or not – is quite clever. There are some solid twists that make so much sense when all is revealed!

“Torn Veil” is crafted in such a way that you want to try and figure out who is who, and what is really at play. How did I do? I had my ideas, but ultimately Mitchell dished out some big surprises. There were a few things I did not see coming but worked perfectly with the storyline. That’s so much fun for a mystery reader!

If you haven’t yet started the Marnie Reilly Mystery Series, don’t wait a second longer. This is the perfect season to get familiar with Mitchell’s bunch! “Fatal Vow,” the third book in the Marnie Reilly Mysteries, is due out in 2022. I’m on pins and needles waiting for it. I know I’ll definitely be ordering the book as soon as it’s available for pre-sale. I. Can’t. Wait!”

-T.L. Brown, Author


“It’s Christmas time in Creekwood, and psychic psychologist Marnie Reilly is being stalked by shadows from her past. After a near-death experience, she is unable to reach across the veil to ask her departed loved ones for guidance.

In Torn Veil, everyone has secrets, and no one is who they seem. Luckily, Marnie, Tater, and Detective Daniel Gregg are more than equal to the task of uncovering the evil that has come to Creekwood.

Shari T. Mitchell has written a twisty paranormal murder mystery that keeps the reader in suspense to the very last page.”

-Joanna Monahan, Author


Divine Guidance and Torn Veil are available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon and other book resellers.

Divine Guidance Review

Divine Guidance Book Review 12/27/21

The following book review of Divine Guidance was written by the talented Helen Aitchison, author of the The Dinner Club – which will be released in March 2022 by Cahill Davis Publishing, Berkshire, UK. This review was published on goodreads on December 27, 2021.


…a book written with skill, knowledge and heart.

Helen Aitchison, author of The Dinner Club

This is the type of book that tells so much more than a story. It tells of a character that has a great soul and personality that a reader can’t help but think of someone who the protagonist reminds them of.

From personality traits to behaviours, Marnie Reilly is a wonderful character. Honest, bold, compassionate, intuitive and someone who wants to nurture others. Her love for her dog, Tater, her baking and her psychic abilities drew me in almost immediately.

The other characters had endearing qualities that helped knit the story together nicely, with an injection of deviance and danger from a serial killer on the loose.

With a back story of loss, buried emotions and clairvoyance abilities, Marnie is protected by a police team, and becomes part of a hunt for a killer at large. As relationships develop and the plot thickens, we are taken on a journey of excitement, risk, suspense, humour and friendship.

Tater the dog is a beautiful touch to a book written with skill, knowledge and heart. Brilliant! I’m looking forward to the second instalment and more from this amazing writer. Highly recommended.

Helen Aitchison, Author of The Dinner Club