Mystery Readers Only Writer's Notes

Article of Interest

Last week, I sent out what I thought was a newsletter from my publisher, Rough Edges Press. It featured my article about why writing With Malice Aforethought was so creepy. However, the link didn’t actually go to the site. The correct link is below. If you click on it, you’ll see the three releases from last Tuesday (this includes two other authors’ works) and links to my first book, By Force or Fear. My article is below the three featured new releases in the Author’s Corner section.

Mystery Readers Only Writer's Notes

News from Rough Edges Press

By Thonie Hevron

I feel fortunate to have landed such a pro-active publisher. Jake Bray at Rough Edges Press makes all the years of “backyard publishers” worth it. I thought I’d share the promotional email they sent out for With Malice Aforethought (published 5/16/2023) that includes an author article from me about how creepy it was to write this novel. Be sure to scroll down the newsleter for the two other just published Rough Edges Press mysteries as well as blurbs about my first two books. You can sign up for the weekly newsletter and/or sign up to be an advance reader and read new books free!

Writer's Notes

With Malice Aforethought Now Available

Rough Edges Press has re-published the third Meredith Ryan Mystery with a snappy new cover. Today is the release date meaning it is available on Amazon in eBook format or print copy. $3.49 on Kindle and $14.99 for paperback.

With Malice Aforethought follows Meredith Ryan and her partner Nick Reyes into the remote Sonoma County Hill to investigate a homicide. While on scene, they discover a nefarious militia intent on creating havoc. Join them in their quest to stop the disaster and neutralize the evil army.

Remember to leave an Amazon review after the last exciting page.

Writer's Notes

Felony Murder Rule news!

Following its timely release schedule, Rough Edges Press has announced that pre-ordering is available through Amazon. The novel, book 4 in the Meredith Ryan Mystery series, will be re-published on June 6th, 2023.

Here are the links and release schedules for the last three novels:

May 16, 2023 With Malice Aforethought

June 6, 2023 Felony Murder Rule

June 27, 2023 Without Due Caution (link will be posted when available)

Writer's Notes

5 Things to Know About Publishing Your Book

5 Things to Know about Publishing Your Book: True or False?

By G.P. Gottlieb

One: After writing and rewriting your manuscript thirty-seven times, you submit your final draft to 150 agents and/or publishers. You finally got a publishing contract, congrats! Now you can relax, scroll the internet looking for new boots, and read a juicy mystery set in Door County. True or false? False. Don’t be ridiculous – now you must start a list of followers, begin sending out a monthly newsletter, make sure your blog is up to date, and come up with a marketing plan!

Two: You start engaging with other authors, reaching out to bloggers about writing a guest post, seeking book groups and bookstores interested in a presentation, attending conferences, and sending out requests to be on podcasts and radio shows. You spend a couple weeks doing all that and scheduled 15 events, so you’re done! Now you can lie in bed after dinner and read a delicious historical mystery set in 1870’s England. True or false? False. It’ll take you two or three months, not just two weeks to reach out to at least thirty blogs and podcasts, and then you might have to wait weeks for responses.

Three: You’ve arranged to write 17 guest blogs and do 4 interviews on other writers’ blogs, so you list your characters and write about 500 words about what kind of pet each one has, how they like their coffee, and what their favorite kind of cookie is. Then you answer the interview questions for each blog, trying to sound cute and fun to be with. And that’s it. Now you can sit outside on the first warm day of spring, reading about a clever maid who solves mysteries in New York City. True or false? False. What makes you think that every one of those blogs gets thousands of viewers or that those viewers will whip out their credit cards to buy your book just because you wrote a cute blog post about how much your cats enjoy hearing you read out loud?

Four: You’re invited to participate in a panel discussion about music and literature because your latest book is about a psychopath who murders anyone who sings under-pitch. You can’t tell when the singing isn’t perfect, but your best friend takes it seriously and criticizes nearly every performance she’s ever attended. She loved all three of your books and has no idea that the murderer is based on her because you cleverly turned her into a man. When interviewers ask for the origin of your story, you tell them all about your friend and how her constant patter about “poor intonation,” and “scooping” inspired you to write the series. True or false? False. Absolutely not. Take that secret to your grave. Make up something about how your mom always said certain performers should be dragged through the mud, and you extrapolated from that.

Five: Your cousin introduces you to her author friend who self-published eight books in a cozy mystery series set in Skokie. You agree to read each other’s latest books, and hers turns out to be about a jittery Brittany Spaniel who solves murders in and around Oakton Park. Still, you agreed, so you write a brief review about how fun it was to walk down memory lane and give it 3 stars on Amazon even though it wasn’t worth more than 1. She gives you 3 stars even though your novel is complex, nuanced, and on a completely different level than hers, but at least it’s another review. True or false? True, but don’t worry about it, because Amazon will remove both reviews – they hate author swaps.

G. P. Gottlieb
Author of the Whipped and Sipped Mystery Series
Host, New Books in Literature, New Books Network
Mystery Readers Only Writer's Notes

Big News!

By Thonie Hevron

Last spring, I sent out word that I would be contracting with Indies United (IU) to publish my books. In May, I put out a post to that effect. Indies United is a fabulous resource for indie authors to publish their own work. Lisa Orban heads up a small cadre of professional help to facilitate that. She and IU have instrumental in getting many superlative indie authors into the market.

However less than a month after signing a contract with IU, I was offered a deal with Rough Edges Press (REP), an imprint of Wolfpack Publishing. I’d pitched my work to them before but got no result (hence signing up with IU). I really thought this house was the perfect home for my work. Turns out they thought so, too. The contract with IU was cancelled (IU includes a lovely escape clause for this type of circumstance) and I signed with Wolfpack Press.

My first assignment was a contract job for three novels written under their Christian Imprint, CKN Christian Publishing. In July, after the first manuscript was submitted, I signed a contract to have Rough Edges Press re-edit, re-cover, and re-publish my four previous novels, the Nick and Meredith Mysteries. They will all be re-branded as the Meredith Ryan Mysteries with a fifth book to follow.

I believe the timeline will take us through 2023. REP does rapid releases to keep the audience interested so stay tuned for updates here and on Facebook ThonieHevronAuthorPage!

Writer's Notes

To Serve, Protect and Write!

To Serve, Protect, and Write

Wow! I’m so honored to be included in this anthology. Authors from international law enforcement communities tell great stories on these pages. My short story, Johnny Walker, is included. Available on Amazon in print and ebook.

I also have a few copies. Contact me if you’re interested in a signed copy (signed by me only).👮🏻‍♀️

Mystery Readers Only

Location, Location, Location

Nancy is a wonderful author. Even this post about about her new book is fun to read. All about Bushwhacked in the Outback is right here. Enjoy!


By Nancy Raven Smith

If you’re buying a house or opening a new business, you’ll hear location, location, location constantly. For me, it’s an important choice to consider when I write a cozy mystery. I love finding unusual, interesting sites as the stage for my characters to explore. It’s my hope that those places will make the stories more interesting for the reader.

I chose Lexi Winslow as the protagonist for my Land Sharks series. She’s a bank fraud investigator for a small private bank in Beverly Hills. When the bank’s wealthy and international traveling customers have money problems, it’s often her job to fix things. That lets me send her all over the world.

My newest book in the series, Bushwhacked in the Outback, takes Lexi to Coober Pedy in the Australian outback.

I learned about the area from my husband who’s an international jewelry design instructor and some of his friends who live and work there.

Here are some of the things that drew me to choose Coober Pedy and are included in my book. World wide, it’s considered the opal mining capital of the world. Opals can be worth more than diamonds per carat. You can even find opals on the surface of the ground. Large deposits of both gold and oil have also been discovered there recently.

The town has a population of approximately 1,762. Not a big number, but because it is a rich mining area, it includes people from over forty-four different countries.

Coober Pedy sounds like a great place to make your fortune. The only problem is that most people wouldn’t want to live there. It’s located in the middle of the continent of Australia and in the middle of the desert. It’s mid-February as I write this and the temperature is 105 degrees. Temperatures there range from 122 F to sub zero. Because of the extremes, most people choose live underground in homes called dugouts. Dugouts are literally old mines converted into homes because the median temperature underground is a steady 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit. There are even stories about people enlarging the rooms in their homes and discovering rich veins of opals.

Another problem with living in Coober Pedy are the critters. Australia is famous for its venomous animals. Many of them live in the outback. One of the biggest dangers of the Outback is venomoussnakes. Multiple snakes lurk in the desert bushes and rocky areas, including the inland taipans, Stimson’s pythons, orange-naped snakes, mulga snakes, curl snakes, desert death adders, and speckled brown snakes. Then there are the venomous spiders, etc.  

All of these things, even the snakes, made Coober Pedy a fascinating place to use as the setting for my book. If you read Bushwhacked in the Outback, I hope you’ll enjoy the location, too. 

 Bushwhacked in the Outback 

“If you can’t follow the money, follow the body.”

Lexi loves her job as a Beverly Hills bank fraud investigator. It lets her pursue scam artists and con men – known in the business as land sharks.

Sadly, one crook left her with a broken heart and a destroyed reputation. And the bank’s president is looking for any excuse to fire her.

Yet she risks everything when she follows a dead embezzler’s casket to Coober Pedy in the Australian outback. She knows it’s a gamble, but it’s her last hope to recover the bank’s stolen money. Unfortunately, she’s persona non grata in that country. She needs to get in, find the money, and get out before the Australian police discover her presence. But will the unexpected appearance of an ex-lover make her linger too long?

If you like cozy mysteries in exotic locations with deadly secrets and touches of humor, then you’ll enjoy the multi award winning Land Sharks Cozy Mystery series.

Available on at

About the Author

Nancy Raven Smith

Nancy Raven Smith grew up in Virginia, where she ran and participated in horse sport events. On their farm, she rescued horses, dogs, and cats and is an advocate for animal rescue. Later in California, she traded her event experience for film work. Her screenplays and novels have won numerous major awards. When not writing, Raven Smith enjoys her family and friends, travel, art, movies, and white water rafting. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Women in Film.

Visit her at:




Buy links for

Bushwhacked in the Outback available on at

Swindle in Sumatra available on at

Mystery Readers Only

New-Stories from the Badge

To Serve, Protect, and Write

This just dropped on Kindle! I’m honored to be in such illustrious company. My Australian cop-writing colleague, Andrew Patterson’s long-awaited short fiction anthology is finally out!

If you like crime stories written by the good guys, this book is right up your alley. Thanks for suggesting me, fellow Public Safety Writers Association member Michael O’Keefe!

To Serve, Protect, and Write

Gritty and unflinching morsels of crime fiction rage across these pages. There’s nothing warm and cosy here, but then that’s not the reality of policing: cops deal with the darkest aspects of humanity and then have to live with that exposure. Some of those cops become writers.

When crime fiction is penned by authors who have worked and risked their lives as cops at the coalface, the stories that emerge deliver exquisite realism and brutally honest emotions.

The fifteen authors featured in this first-of-its-kind anthology have variously worn their uniforms and carried their badges across law enforcement in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, as they have served and protected their communities.

These short stories are as varied and vivid as the hard-earned experiences of their creators. The settings include the past, the present, and the future. The plots have murder aplenty, corruption, drugs, paedophilia, mental health, and suicide. The line-up of protagonists includes uniformed officers, detectives, and criminals, amongst others. The actions, the observations, the reminiscing, and the self-reflection of these fictional characters bring the reality of the police experience alive on the page. It is those brushstrokes of daily police life that bring a special and unique flavour to this assortment of crime fiction.

Writer's Notes

Guest Post

Guest Thonie Hevron

Today I’m a guest on the “Ladies of Mystery” blog with thoughts about ‘Be Careful What You Ask For.’ It’s not the cautionary tale you might imagine. Take a look: The Ladies of Mystery. Spend a few minutes looking around. Revisit old author friends and discover new writers at