Create, Pitch, Sell

Coffee Break


I'm making progress on my new novel, ASHES [working title], part three of the Hellfire mystery series.

My next story is one I've blogged about. NOTCH, a standalone mystery.

I plan to write one more novel this year [SERIAL QUILLER 2] then take a much-needed break. When I'm not writing, I'm promoting. When I'm not promoting, I'm exploring new places with our RV. When I'm not exploring, I'm researching material for a new novel. When I'm not researching, I'm writing.

Plans are in the works for six exciting new projects coming in 2012. That's all I can say.

Fire Featured On Spalding's Racket

My mystery novel, FIRE FLICKS, the intense sequel to SMOKE ON THE WATER, is today's feature on Spalding's Racket.

Nick Spalding does an outstanding job of promoting independent authors through his blog. Stop in and have a look. Discover a new writer [like me!] or revisit an old favorite.

Check out Nick's books: LIFE WITH NO BREAKS, LIFE ON A HIGH



Interesting Group Of Writers

MURDERATI Mysteries, Murder and Marketing
JUNGLE RED Writing well is the best revenge
THE COZY CHICKS Cozy Up To Our Killer Books

CRIMINAL BRIEF: The Mystery Short Story Weblog Project http://criminalbrief.com/
FEMMES FATALES Ferociously talented women http://femmesfatales.typepad.com/my_weblog/
THE OUTFIT: A Collective of Chicago Crime Writers http://www.theoutfitcollective.blogspot.com/
HEY, THERE'S A DEAD GUY IN THE LIVING ROOM http://heydeadguy.typepad.com/heydeadguy/
THE BIG THRILL The monthly webzine of the International Thriller Writers http://www.thebigthrill.org/
POE'S DEADLY DAUGHTERS A blog for mystery lovers http://poesdeadlydaughters.blogspot.com/index.html
THE LITTLE BLOG OF MURDER The Mystery Genre: an Ohio Perspective http://www.thelittleblogofmurder.com/
KILL ZONE Perspectives from today's hottest thriller and mystery writers http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/
THE LADYKILLERS For readers and writers of crime fiction http://theladykillers.typepad.com/the_lady_killers/
THE LIPSTICK CHRONICLES Just keep reading and nobody gets hurt. http://thelipstickchronicles.typepad.com/the_lipstick_chronicles/

Special Announcement

All of my novels are on sale for only 99 cents. Beat the heat with three cool stories on Amazon Kindle. [linked in right column]

SERIAL QUILLER – Moved by the success of her debut novel, twenty-six-year-old BJ Donovan of New Orleans, Louisiana, can't handle the thoughts of being a one-hit wonder and never feeling special ever again. Using her position as the executive chef and owner of a popular restaurant in the French Quarter to blend in with the community, she embarks on a killing spree, with the aid of voodoo magic, and uses details of the murders to help sustain her best-seller status with a planned thriller series.

While the body count rises - from her brother's girlfriend, found mutilated at an abandoned farmhouse, to an undercover cop murdered in a dark alley on the riverside - BJ tries to remain above suspicion as she continues to write the wrongs in her world.

SMOKE ON THE WATER – The gruesome discovery of a woman's corpse in the small tourist resort of Point Jove, Missouri draws Sheriff Josh Wolfe, a widower who enjoys tinkering with his award winning hot rod, into the most perilous case of his career. Hounded by the townsfolk and media, Wolfe exhausts every conventional method for solving the crime. The investigation comes to a standstill. Then, four more residents disappear. Everyone is convinced Rhone County is harboring a serial kidnapper who chooses his victims by chance. Wolfe believes the people are not only related to one another but are somehow tied to the last surviving member of the county's namesake. Time is not only running out for Sheriff Wolfe but for his lover, dissatisfied wife of a homebuilder, held against her will at the Rhone family's abandoned sawmill where spilled gasoline awaits a lighted match.

FIRE FLICKS [Sequel to SMOKE] – Determined to protect the natural beauty of Eagle Rock Lake from homebuilders, while also protecting his lucrative meth lab and pot farm, Stan Barstow sets fire to newly built lakeview homes to scare away prospective buyers. To gain fortune and fame, he films the wanton destruction with the intention of making a docudrama to sell to Hollywood.

Kyle Barstow very much wants to relocate to Chicago, and become a part of a forensics task force as a crime scene photographer. He offers to make a recording of the burning buildings in order to hone his skills in film and digital photography. To finance the expensive move to Illinois, he becomes involved in Stan's drug business, without his knowledge or consent.

When one of the brothers is shot and killed, the other moves quickly to think up a new get-rich-quick scheme, unaware that someone knows his secrets.

Copyright 2011 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved

New Book Releases For May

THE FUND by H.T. Narea
TRADER OF SECRETS by Steve Martini
THE DEVIL SHE KNOWS by Bill Loehfelm

HOTBED by Bill James http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8591502-hotbed
SECRET OF THE WHITE ROSE by Stefanie Pintoff http://www.stefaniepintoff.com/
PROPHECY by S.J. Parris http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4780234.S_J_Parris
HARDCASTLE'S OBSESSION by Graham Ison http://www.grahamison.co.uk/Welcome.html
THE DEVIL'S LIGHT by Richard North Patterson http://www.richardnorthpattersonbooks.com/
FELICITY'S GATE by Julian Cole http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2127327.Julian_Cole
FROZEN CHARLOTTE by Priscilla Masters http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/priscilla-masters/
BLOOD TRUST by Eric Van Lustbader http://www.ericvanlustbader.com/thriller/content/index.asp
DUE DILIGENCE by Jonathan Rush http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2939907.Jonathan_Rush
THE DURHAM DECEPTION by Philip Gooden http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/37775.Philip_Gooden

New Novel

This is a preview of the cover for ASHES [working title], part three of my Hellfire mystery series.

I hope to have the novel available on Amazon Kindle by July.

I've stopped frequenting writers forums and Twitter in order to stay focused on my work-in-progress.

Still spending the same amount of time outdoors, though.

I'll post an excerpt later.

What Lies Beneath

Yesterday, we learned a severe thunderstorm was headed our way. Moving out of San Antonio, Texas at 40 mph where golf ball-sized hail littered the city. On the other end of the jagged line of thunderstorms, lightning strikes caused power outages in Dallas. The track of the storms was ESE. We were directly in the path. We thought about packing up the RV and heading…? East? Nothing there but the ocean. North? That's the path of the top end of the storm. West? The tail end of the storm hadn't cleared the area yet. South? Mexico. Hmm….

We decided to take a stroll on the pier. Why not? The storm was at least two hours away. Something cool might be happening out on the water. The sky had grown considerably darker. White caps smacked the small boulders lining the shore, sloshing sea green foam onto the narrow sandy strip between the rocks and the beach road. On the far end of the pier two fishermen cast their lines into the water. The bait shop near the entrance of the pier was open for business and making money. No one seemed the least bit concerned a tornado-producing storm was bearing down on us. Before we put one foot on the walkway we saw two dark fins break the surface of the water. Sharks? We hurried across the damp wooden planks swinging our heads shoulder to shoulder, not sure which direction to focus our attention. Three others went under the pier and came out on the opposite side. We were finally close enough to see them. Dolphins! No more than forty feet from the shore. What a magnificent sight. I'd never seen them in the wild. I couldn't stop smiling for the longest time.

The storm arrived minutes after we returned home. It's times like these when you find out if there's anything wrong with your recreational vehicle. We found out ours has a leaky window above the built-in dinette table. Raindrops had made a thin sopping wet trail down the backside of one of the cushioned seats before we noticed. Sheesh.

Today is sunny and clear. The storm continued on a southeasterly path and moved out over the ocean. We opened all the windows. Set the cushion on a lounge chair under a shade tree to dry. Then we went to the store to buy caulk. Later on, we were ready to get out and have fun after being cooped up indoors for the rest of the day, yesterday. We returned to the pier. Mostly to see how different the ocean looked compared to yesterday. The water was fairly calm. I say fairly because there's a marina here, and boats, mainly commercial fishing boats, come and go all day long, so waves are common. We saw the first jellyfish since we've been here. It wasn't the huge Portuguese Man-O-War. This one was small, hemispherical in shape, white or milky in color. The short tentacles are fused in a tight bundle and contain a poison that'll cause a stinging sensation.

I found out what else lies beneath the pier: Sea lice, stingrays, gafftop and hardhead catfish, and sharks. And I know what that ole blue heron would say about it. "Stay out of the water, and you'll be fine. Either that, or get a bigger boat."

Smoke Featured On TBucketPlans.com

I'm thrilled to announce that my hot rod related mystery novel, SMOKE ON THE WATER, is today's feature on TBucketPlans.com.

A crime novel with some cool T-Bucket intrigue woven in — sounds just like the kind of reading material to load on the Kindle to take to the beach this summer. --John Morehead, TbucketPlans.com




Today's one of those lazy, hazy days where you might find yourself whistling Linda Ronstadt's Blue Bayou while walking barefoot in the sand.

We attended an event simply called May Festival. Festivities included a sack race, three-legged race, pie-eating contest, decorated hat parade, cake walk, and beanbag toss. Music provided by a local country western band. Only thing missing was Andy, Barney and Aunt Bea. [grin]

Just kiddin'. We had a lot of fun. Until we toured the gardens there. The first thing I noticed was four dirty birdbaths; each filled to the brim with dark green water. The second thing I noticed was the mosquito on my arm. Then the one on my leg. Then the one on my other arm. Jeezelpete! They were the biggest frickin' skeeters I've ever seen. I managed to maintain a semblance of calm, cool, collectiveness until I was out of earshot of the crowd. Soon as I was, I…. Never mind. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

We fast-peddled our Schwinns back to the RV hoping to outrun them. I happened to look at the side of the road in time to see a baby tarantula emerging from under a pile of leaves. [shudder] It was the size of a quarter, shiny black legs partially covered with gray fur. And it was on the move. Tarantulas are carnivores, y'know. Our RV was directly in its path. It's bad mojo to kill creatures just for the sake of killing them. I steered around it, rushed home to shut all of the windows. I didn't just shut them I locked them, as well.

I'm sure it's still out there. Close by. Lurking in the shadow of a fallen leaf or limb. Just waiting for me to kick off my sneakers before I go walking in the sand. Will I hear his little toes scratch the canvas when he climbs inside one of my shoes? Will he just fly in on the wings of two big ole hulkin' skeeters, and bombard me with the carcasses of bugs, toads, and frogs? If I peer over my shoulder will I find him burrowing underground like the Graboid in the movie, Tremors? Do I holler "stampede!"? Send out a distress signal? Or kick back and enjoy a cocktail called The Blue Bayou, and let the spider go wherever it wants to find a new home?


Upcoming Writers Conferences

CrimeFest http://www.crimefest.com/ May 19-22 / Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel / Bristol UK
Bloody Words http://www.bloodywords2011.com/ June 3-5 / Hotel Grand Pacific / Victoria B.C.
American Library Association http://www.alaannual.org/ June 23-28 / Ernest N. Morial Convention Center / New Orleans LA
Poisoned Pen http://poisonedfiction.blogspot.com/p/pen-con-2011.html June 24-26 / The Biltmore / Phoenix AZ
ThrillerFest http://www.thrillerfest.com/ July 6-9 / Grand Hyatt / New York NY
Harrogate Crime Festival http://www.harrogate-festival.org.uk/crime/ July 21-24 / Old Swan Hotel / Harrogate North Yorkshire
Book Passage http://bookpassage.com/mystery-writers-conference July 21-24 / 51 Tamal Vista Boulevard / Corte Madera CA
PulpFest http://www.pulpfest.com/ July 29-31 / Ramada Plaza Hotel / Columbus Ohio
Deadly Ink http://www.deadlyink.com conference.html August 5-7 / The Sheraton Parsippany Hotel / Parsippany NJ
Scene Of The Crime http://sceneofthecrime.ca/festival/ August 13 / Wolfe Island ON
Edinburgh International Book Festival http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/ August 13-29 / Charlotte Square Gardens / Edinburgh Scotland
Killer Nashville http://www.killernashville.com/index.html August 26-28 / Hutton Hotel / Nashville TN
Bouchercon http://www.bouchercon2011.com/ September 15-18 / The Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel / St. Louis MO
Agatha Christie Festival http://www.agathachristie.com/christie-week/ September 11-18 / Torquay England
Writer's Police Academy http://www.writerspoliceacademy.com/ September 23-25 / Embassy Suites / Greensboro NC
National Book Festival http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/ September 24-25 / National Mall / Washington D.C.
International Festival Of Authors http://www.readings.org/?q=ifoa October 19-29 / Harbourfront Centre / Ontario Canada
Magna cum Murder http://www.magnacummurder.com/ October 28-30 / Horizon Convention Center / Muncie IN
Reading Festival Of Crime Writing http://www.readingfestivalofcrimewriting.org.uk/ November 10-13 / Reading Museum and Town Hall / Berkshire England
New England Crime Bake http://www.crimebake.org/index.htm November 11-13 / Hilton Hotel / Dedham MA
The Wolfe Pack http://www.nerowolfe.org/htm/events/bookdisc.htm December 2-4 / Black Orchid Weekend / Manhattan NY

Serial Quiller

Chapter 1

Virgil awoke late at night to find his wife gone. He kicked off cold and clammy bedcovers, box springs screeched when he got up. A steady breeze, weighed down with humidity, carried the vanilla-like fragrance of Joe-Pye weed and the barely audible sound of laughter through an open window.

He stood behind fluttering white sheers and watched Marie trot across the back yard, her long black curls bouncing with each footfall. The opaque security light above the barn doors cast an eerie pallor through the limbs of an old elm draped with Spanish moss. He noticed her belly, in the narrow space between her shirt and shorts, seemed rounder than normal. He lazily scratched his ass, wondered what the hell she's doing. A man stepped out of the shadows, and drew her into an embrace. They kissed for a moment, then entered the barn.

Copyright 2011 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved [linked in right column]

Tagged: writer, chef, mystery, murder, psychological suspense, voodoo, new orleans, swampland

Coming this fall: Serial Quiller 2 - set in Corpus Christi, Texas

BJ Donovan, Louisiana serial killer.
She'll Put A Spell On You