Kirkus Review Says…

A CLASS ON MURDER
Author: Gibson, K.B.

Publisher: Five Star, Pages: 250
Price ( Hardcover ): $25.95
Publication Date: June 15, 2012
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-4328-2593-5
Category: Fiction
Classification: Mystery

 

An academic cozy about murder.

Oklahoma’s Pursley University, a quiet school in a small town, may not be all that behavioral psychology professor Ronnie Raven once dreamed of for herself, but it’s perfectly good for now—until she finds a Harley-Davidson taking up the whole bike rack. Raven is more annoyed than surprised. Her boorish colleague Dr. Weldon Crutchfield acts as though his status as tenured professor entitles him to a lot of things. But when Raven finds Crutchfield’s body in his office, she’s more surprised than annoyed. The situation is especially delicate because Detective Melvin suspects that Raven’s responsible for the professor’s early demise. Melvin’s assistant, Lt. LeGrand, who’s fairly sure that one of Crutchfield’s many sworn enemies is the murderer, tries to help Raven clear her name. Raven has her doubts about LeGrand, whom she quickly dubs Lt. Kiddie Cop, even though he may be her biggest ally. That is, apart from her closest friend and amateur lothario Terry, who encourages Raven to stay on the good side of LeGrand in more ways than one.

Gibson creates a mystery as laid-back and mellow as her heroine.

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Mother’s Day in the Wichita Mountains

We have a tradition in my house. We actually have several traditions. Some I would like to get rid of, like depositing dirty socks at the front door. But I have to admit, I love our Mother’s Day tradition of hiking in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. When people ask my husband our plans for Mother’s Day and he tells them hiking, they look horrified. Looks of pity enter they’re eyes. I’m sure that one of these days, a well-meaning person will send me their condolences.

But hiking is what I really want to do. I look forward to it, even. Why? Well, I’m so glad you asked.

  • I have sons. Two of them are teenage sons, so they have eye-rolling down to an art. But they enjoy these trips. They get to boulder hop and compete against each other.  And they smile!
  • Buffalo. Technically, they’re bison. But the 59,020-acre wildlife refuge is home to many and other critters too—deer, longhorns (not the orange football playing type), and supposedly elk, although I’ve never seen one. And it’s free-range, so you might find buffalo in the road as well. Sometimes they bring traffic to a standstill. Oddly enough, no one seems to mind. 
  • Sense of history and power. The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge was established in 1901 by Theodore Roosevelt. Before that, its history included camps for various Plains tribes and possibly a location for Jesse James’ treasure. The Wichita Mountains are very, very old…one of the oldest ranges in the U.S. That means they’re no longer very big. Time has worn them down, but if you listen to the wind, you can hear stories.

  • Mother’s Day falls in the spring, and the refuge includes prairie lands. In the spring, wildflowers pop up, providing a colorful accompaniment to any hike.

 

 

 

 

  • Tradition also says that after exhausting ourselves, we head over to Meers and stand in line for at least an hour. Meers is a former gold rush town/outpost. Now it’s a quaint and quirky burger joint serving humongous burgers from a private herd of longhorns and delivering a fat content less than turkey or dark meat chicken. Did I say it was delicious? It is.

For me, being outdoors in nature is a truly spiritual experience.  Just like motherhood.

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The Excitement BUILDS

My first novel, A Class on Murder: A Ronnie Raven Mystery, will be released in slightly over a month, and already exciting things are happening:

  • DearReader.com has requested permission to advertised A Class on Murder to advertise for its online book clubs (yes, yes, a thousand times yes).
  •  I had my first public speaking request from a Friends of the Library event. In between quaking in my boots…well, bare feet, actually…I’m quite excited and honored at the invitation.
  • Publisher’s Weekly reviewed my book, calling it “ . . . entertaining mystery debut. . . cozy fans will appreciate the charm and humor.”

I still have a thousand and one things I want to do, including create a Facebook page for Ronnie Raven. She’s been clamoring for one for awhile, and once she starts, she doesn’t shut up until I do what she wants!

If you haven’t visited Five Star Publishing on Facebook, you’re in for a treat. Please go “Like” Five Star Cengage page and you’ll be notified of contests, new releases, reviews, etc by authors like Me! Thanks for your support and please share this post with your friends too! https://www.facebook.com/FiveStarCengage

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Is It Sexism If Your Favorite Authors are the Same Gender?

I have a friend whose favorite author is James Lee Burke. He also likes Michael Connelly and James Patterson. My favorites include Marcia Muller, Sue Grafton, and Janet Evanovich. What’s the difference? The obvious difference, at least on the surface, is that my friend prefers male authors while I prefer female authors.

Does that make us sexist? Perhaps, but is it really that simple? If I examine why I like mystery fiction, not as a writer, but as a reader, it’s because I like to escape. I want to step into someone else’s life and figure out who did it.

Burke is an outstanding author, but somehow my imagination isn’t strong enough to channel Cajun male detective Dave Robicheaux. I can do Sharon McCone, however. She’s a protagonist who draws me in, even when she’s in a coma. Give me Tess Monaghan, Kinsey Millhone, Stephanie Plum, Arly Hanks, or Sunny Randall any day.

Did you catch the irony? Sunny Randall was written by the late Robert B. Parker, a male author. Sunny Randall may not be as well known as his other series protagonists, Jesse Stone and Spenser, but I like her. I like strong female protagonists, whether they’re written by a male or a female. The fictional women I named are sometimes hilarious, often kick ass, and are always intelligent.

My favorite mystery fiction has strong female protagonists, and while I can enjoy any well-written mystery, I lean towards those where a woman saves the day. Is it any wonder that my first mystery features psychology professor amateur detective Veronica Raven? After all, we women have to stick together.

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Organize My Writing, Organize My Life

Resolutions are dropping like flies as they usually doing by mid-January. According to Psychology Today, the most popular New Year’s resolutions are health related: losing weight, exercising, and quitting smoking. I haven’t smoked in too many years to count, but the others regularly make my list.

However, I beg to differ with Psychology Today. I think the most common resolutions have to do with getting organized. Take writing for instance. I juggle a number of single writing projects at any one time. Currently, I’m working on a travel feature on Colorado in summer and two children’s books—one on women aviators and the other will be a tour guide look at Nigeria. I recently signed a contract to work on a financial literacy curriculum project as well. It’s also National Travel Writing Month , and I made a commitment to send out a query, pitch, or letter of introduction to a travel-related site or publication daily during the month of January (more on my progress later) . Continue reading

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