I’m not sure why I scheduled so many projects for the end of the year…Oh yeah, that’s right. I didn’t. Instead, I decided to make this mad dash toward 2021 by publishing three books between now and December 31st. My fingers are moving as fast as they can across thee keyboard, and I’m sure that I will make my deadlines. The first one is tomorrow. I need to finish up Frozen Cowboy, the first book in my sweet romance series by midnight October 31st. After that, it’s on to writing at least 50,000 words of Road to Nowhere.
National Novel Writing Month begins Sunday. I am super excited to get going!
With the deadlines looming in the near distance, I’m going to make this short. Here is the cover for Frozen Cowboy. I’m running a pre-order sale so get your copy now!
Autumn was here, but the past few days things have warmed up. We are working hard to wind down the garden before the secondary water is cut off for the winter. There are SO many green tomatoes! I froze a few, made a green tomato pie, and a number of other green things. It’s all great, but I’ll be happy when we get a handle on the green tomato bounty.
Taking on three projects at the end of the year wasn’t the best idea, but it is definitely keeping me on my toes. I’m editing my literary fiction novel, Lives Lived , writing a romance, Frozen Cowboy, and waiting on edits for the fourth book in the Sylvia Wilcox series. I’m having a good, but slightly hectic time.
A Sylvia Wilcox Christmas is with the editor. I had a great time writing this book and I think everyone will enjoy it. The wheels of this story started turning while my husband and I were renting a place in Ogden Canyon. We were in the midst of a rather tumultuous remodeling project that ended up included both of our bathrooms. I won’t bore you with the details. Although…I’d doubt you’d be bored with the story, it is far too long to get into over email. Anyhow, we spent a month in the canyon, not far from Powder Mountain Ski Resort. Since it was a change of scenery, I tried to think of it as a vacation. Unfortunately, my fantasy world was frequently interrupted by my job and pressing needs at the house. But, in the end, nothing terrible happened, and I reminded myself that I should be thankful for that fact. That was when the “what-ifs” started. What if something more dramatic happened while you were tucked away in this mountain paradise? That spawned a bunch of other “what-if” questions that ultimately turned into A Sylvia Wilcox Christmas.
A few things…Who She Was, the first book in the series is free. If you haven’t read it yet and you’d like to pick up A Sylvia Wilcox Christmas, you will enjoy it much more if you read the first book. The Sylvia Wilcox series is not episodic. That means, the books don’t standalone very well. So, read Who She Was. It’s rated 4.5 on Amazon, 4.4 on Apple, and 4.2 on Goodreads. Why not dive into a free mystery?
Before you take off to retrieve that free book, here’s the description for A Sylvia Wilcox Christmas:
Sylvia Wilcox closes her private detective agency for the holidays and heads to Utah for a long, relaxing vacation in the Ogden River Valley’s snow-covered mountains. After enjoying a few days on the slopes, her assistant calls and tells her about a mysterious note delivered to the office that accuses Sylvia of fraud. Disturbed and curious about this note, Sylvia finds it hard to concentrate on vacation and ends up chasing down leads that take her on a painful trip down memory lane. Will Sylvia’s determination to always seek the truth backfire? Or will she end up having a surprisingly pleasant holiday season?
What do you think of the description? I’d love to hear your opinion!
Apple: A Sylvia Wilcox Christmas
Amazon: A Sylvia Wilcox Christmas
Barnes & Noble: A Sylvia Wilcox Christmas
Sylvia Wilcox takes a much-needed vacation for the holidays. While she’s relaxing and enjoy time away from the office, a mysterious note shows up accusing her of fraud. Disturbed by this accusation, Sylvia begins to investigate. Save 50% on this page-turner by preordering now! https://books2read.com/u/31qL0l
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When crimes don’t get solved within a single book, readers often get mad. This is an interesting conundrum that I think comes from watching television. I don’t really watch television, but I am well acquainted with the police procedurals where a crime occurs and is solved within an hour. While this model works well for television, it is quite far from what actually happens in an investigation. While I don’t watch much television, I am a fan of true crime podcasts and vlogs. My favorites are the ones that don’t sensationalize crime, but work to try to help law enforcement and family members get answers. Sometimes cases are showcased that took place ten or twenty years ago. Occasionally, there is a case that happened fifty or more years ago, and descendants are still searching for answers.
The Sylvia Wilcox Mystery series is about a former cop turned private investigator. Private investigators have limited resources when it comes to solving crimes, and they must follow rules to avoid being in a position where they can be sued or fined. That means solving every single case is just unrealistic. This is also true of police forces. According to the FBI stats for homicide solve rates for 2017was 61.4%. This lines up with Statista.com’s figures for 2019, which show that the rate remained steady at 61.4%. So, if this is the case, close to 40% of homicides are not solved. The crazy thing about that is homicides are solved at a higher rate than other crimes. Likely because police departments want to tackle the worst crimes and get closure for families, but that also means that a lot of other crimes go unsolved. The chart from the FBI website is below:
So, when we take this information into account, it seems that the television shows we watch are making a few adjustments for entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with that method. I love Criminal Minds just as much as the next person, but I also spend far too much time listening to true story to allow the “every case gets solved in an hour” ideology to inform my stories.
Sylvia Wilcox has a few unresolved issues in her past. To be honest, so do I, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say, so do most of us. This is life. Everything is not so cut and dry and easy. There are times when situations become complicated and we find ourselves unable to resolve a serious issue and we have to move on. Later on, we may come back to the situation and bring some closure to what haunts us. Other times, that is not possible. This is the paradigm from which I write and live my life. Realistically, there are some crimes and situations that will not be resolved.
Here are some great true crime podcasts and vlogs that I listen to on a regular basis:
Extensive examination of missing person and cold case murders. He interviews law enforcement and family members to help piece together the mysteries surrounding the cases.
An in-depth look into missing person cases. Marissa does a fantastic job pulling together experts, family members, friends and law enforcement officers to provide and overview of the person who has vanished.
Jerri Williams is a retired FBI agent who is trying to get the word out about what the FBI actually does. She interviews other retired agents and provides a wealth of knowledge about what this often misunderstood agency does on a day-to-day basis.
Why True Crime?
I started listening to more true crime shows once I discovered that there were over 40,000 unidentified deceased persons in the United States. The fact of the matter is that we can’t expect law enforcement to take care of everything that happens in society. We must help them as much as we can. That staggering number of unidentified persons left me feeling cold and helpless, but it turns out there are things an average, everyday citizen can do. Here are a few suggestions:
Share true crime links on your social media.
When Amber Alerts pop up, verify that they are still active and spread the word.
Pay attention to your surroundings-If something looks wrong alert authorities.
If you hear a strange story, and a body shows up later, tell the police the story. Maybe it’s true, maybe not, but without a proper investigation, we’ll never know.
I occasionally try to help identify Jane and John Does on the Namus website. This is not a task for the faint of heart, and I only do that once or twice a year-if I get a hunch. So, these are the reasons why I listen to true crime shows, and it’s also why I try to add a small element of reality to my crime fiction.