It’s LAUNCH DAY! Malice, Matrimony, and Murder Anthology is Here!

Are you a savvy sleuth?

Do you enjoy collecting clues, identifying villains, and solving crimes? Are you drawn to shorter mysteries that are light on gore and language, and high on humor, entertainment, and happy endings? Then don’t miss out on Malice, Matrimony, and Murder, a limited-edition cozy mystery and cozy crime fiction anthology!

My short story, The Bride Wore Death is included along with so many others.

Twenty-six cozy mystery and cozy crime fiction authors have teamed up to create Malice, Matrimony, and Murder, a collection of brand-new, wedding-themed short stories that will keep you wondering whodunit and what’s next from the first page to the last. Between bad bridesmaids, conniving caterers, greedy guests, ill-mannered in-laws, savvy sleuths, and vengeful villains, this anthology has it all!

Our authors include Derringer and Daphne Award finalists, Agatha and Anthony Award nominees, Gold Seal of Excellence recipients, and members of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Crime Writers’ Association, Crime Writers of Color, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. There’s no shortage of talent here!

Malice, Matrimony, and Murder Anthology Launch Day is here!

How Can I Use Humor Effectively In My Writing?

Humor has a unique power to draw readers in and give your work a charming touch. When utilized properly, it may increase engagement, reflect your personality, and create memorable content. So how can you use comedy effectively in your writing?

First, know your audience and adjust your comedy as necessary. People respond differently to different kinds of comedy, therefore it’s important to take into account their preferences, hobbies, and cultural backgrounds. A humorous tone can be quite effective in a blog post or social media update, but it might not be appropriate for a professional report or academic paper. Remember the context and topic matter of your work as well. While humor may be a great way to relieve tension, avoid utilizing it under delicate or dangerous circumstances. Second, employ humor sparingly and deliberately. A few well-placed jokes or creative wordplays can provide a touch of comedy, but too much humor might distract from your point and lessen your writing’s overall effect. The trick is to find a balance that keeps your readers interested without sacrificing the precision or potency of your writing. Keep in mind that humor should enhance your work rather than detract from it.

Tips To Help You Find Comps For Your Novel

Book comps, sometimes known as “comparative titles,” are frequently requested of authors in order to assist publishers, agents, and readers evaluate the commercial viability of their writing. Book comps are publications that, whether in terms of genre, tone, subject matter, or writing style, have some resemblance to the author’s own work. Authors may help pitch their books to agents and publishers by finding strong book comps, and they can also assist readers by letting them know what to expect from the book.

  1. Identify your target audience: Who do you envision reading your book? Is it young adult, adult, or middle-grade? Is it a specific genre, like romance, thriller, or historical fiction? Knowing your target audience and genre will help you identify books that are similar and can serve as effective comps.
  2. Research popular books in your genre: Look for books that are currently trending or have recently been published in your genre. These books may be similar in tone, subject matter, or style to your own work, and can be used as comps to help market your book to agents, publishers, and readers.
  3. Use online resources: There are several online resources that can help you find book comps, including Goodreads, Amazon, and BookBub. Search for books in your genre, read their descriptions and reviews, and look for books that share similar themes or writing styles.
  4. Ask beta readers or critique partners for recommendations: If you have a group of beta readers or critique partners, ask them if they can suggest works that are comparable to yours. They could have knowledge of your work that will aid in your search for strong book comparisons.
  5. Keep in mind that book comps should be novels that, whether in genre, tone, subject matter, or style, are in some way comparable to your own writing. To explain the distinctive attraction of your book to agents, publishers, and readers, use book comparisons as a marketing tool.

Effective book comparisons may assist an author show that their work has a specific target demographic and can appeal to people who like novels like their own. Agents and publishers may find it simpler as a result to promote the book and draw in readers who will likely appreciate it. Additionally, authors may learn more about their own writing style and the distinctive attractiveness of their work by locating book comparisons. Finding book comps is a crucial step in the publication process that may aid authors in successfully marketing their writing and drawing readers.

EVENT: New Book Release – The Taste Of Rain

The Taste of Rain by Barbara Howard

Release Date: June 6, 2023




College student and part-time health aide, Amira Connors, wants nothing more than to graduate and successfully launch a non-profit with her latest crush, Attorney Darius Browne. But when a nursing home patient (Claire Stewart) shares shocking details surrounding her husband’s death, Amira pieces together the fractured memories and helps law enforcement identify the actual killer. But is he? Or have Claire’s ramblings entangled Amira into becoming the next target?


In “The Taste of Rain”, we follow the story of Amira, a college student who works part-time as a health aide at a local nursing home. One day, she meets an elderly resident, Claire Stewart, who confides in her that her husband was killed years ago, but nobody believed her.

Amira is hesitant to believe Claire at first, but as she gets to know her better, she realizes that there might be some truth to her story. Amira decides to investigate the case and help Claire find the killer.

She must navigate through the complexities of the past and present to find the truth and bring justice for Claire.

Along the way, Amira faces challenges both personally and professionally. She must balance her college studies with her part-time job and her investigation. She also learns to confront her own biases and assumptions about aging and the elderly.

“The Taste of Rain” is a mystery that explores the themes of trust, aging, and justice. It is a heartwarming tale of the unlikely friendship between a young college student and an elderly resident, as they work together to uncover the truth, and solve a decades-old murder.


How Can I Improve My Fiction Writing Style?

For authors of all skill levels, improving one’s fiction writing style is a common objective. There are a number of techniques that might aid authors in honing their craft and creating a distinctive voice and style that connects with readers. Reading broadly and critically while studying the works of successful authors and examining their methods and approaches is one efficient strategy. This can assist authors in seeing patterns and trends in their own writing and incorporating ideas from successful pieces into their own.

Regular writing practice is another key tactic. Try out several approaches and styles to see which feels most comfortable and efficient. This might entail experimenting with multiple points of view, voice and tone, sentence structure, and word choice. Obtaining input from others—whether through critique groups, beta readers, or professional editors—allows authors to gain perspective and spot places where their work may be improved. Writers may create a compelling and unique style that distinguishes them from other authors that stands out and draws readers in.

How Can I Effectively Use Symbolism In My Writing?

Symbolism is a potent tool that authors may employ to give their writing depth and complexity. Symbols, or things, activities, or pictures that stand in for abstract ideas or concepts are a powerful and nuanced means for authors to express meaning.

It’s crucial to pick symbols that have significance and are pertinent to your tale if you want to employ symbolism successfully. These symbols should be integrated into the story naturally and tied to the ideas and messages of your work. Avoid using symbolism in an overt or heavy-handed manner; instead, use it to set the mood or heighten the intensity of a scene’s emotional impact. Effective use of symbolism may add layers of significance to your writing and interest readers on a deeper level.

Remember that symbolism can be an effective tool, but it should never take away from the story you are trying to tell. The symbols you use should always serve the narrative and should never be used just for the sake of using them. Use symbolism with a thoughtful and deliberate approach. Symbolism may bring richness and depth to your work, making the experience richer and more satisfying for both you and your readers.

How Do I Write Effective Descriptions Of Emotions?

Create a vivid image of the emotional experience by first using precise sensory elements. Describe the bodily symptoms of a character’s emotions rather than just saying they are unhappy. Consider describing the character’s sobs, their weak breathing, or the weight on their chest. You may let the reader experience the feeling alongside the character by providing real information.

Second, demonstrate how the emotion impacts the character’s ideas and deeds. Since they frequently trigger certain acts or ways of thinking, emotions are not only passive sensations. A furious character could tighten their fists, shout loudly, or have violent thoughts, for instance. You may make a more realistic story by demonstrating how the emotion affects the character’s actions.

Overall, effective descriptions of emotions require a combination of sensory details and behavioral cues to create a vivid and compelling portrayal of the character’s inner experience.

How Do I Handle Time Jumps In My Writing?

Time jumps can be a useful tool in storytelling, allowing writers to advance the plot or reveal important information in a non-linear fashion. However, they can also be confusing for readers if not handled properly. One way to manage time jumps is to provide clear markers to indicate the change in time. This can be done through the use of chapter breaks, section headers, or even just a clear indication in the text, such as “three years later.” Additionally, it can be helpful to provide some context for the time jump, such as a brief summary of what has happened in the intervening time period, to help readers understand how the story has progressed.

Another way to handle time jumps is to use them sparingly and purposefully. While time jumps can be an effective storytelling tool, overusing them can be jarring for readers and disrupt the flow of the narrative. It is important to consider whether a time jump is truly necessary for the story or if there are other ways to convey the information or advance the plot in a more linear fashion. By being intentional and deliberate in the use of time jumps, writers can ensure that they enhance the story rather than detracting from it.