Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Karen C. Whalen & Stiletto to the Pedal

Posted May 24, 2024 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Karen C Whalen, mystery/suspense / 2 Comments

Karen C. Whalen guest post

Please join me in welcoming author Karen C. Whalen to the blog today to talk about her new Tow Truck Murder Mystery, Stiletto to the Pedal!

Stiletto to the Pedal by Karen C WhalenSTILETTO TO THE PEDAL by Karen C Whalen
Tow Truck Murder Mysteries #5
GENRE: Cozy Mystery (Clean)
PUBLISHER: The Wild Rose Press
RELEASE DATE: May 15, 2024
PAGES: 224

When the IRS claims Delaney Morran, the high-heeled tow truck driver and amateur sleuth, owes back taxes, she hires an accountant to fight Uncle Sam. Before Delaney can resolve the issue, a tax collector shows up in Spruce Ridge, Colorado demanding an amount Delaney can’t afford. It gets worse when Delaney’s accountant becomes the town’s next murder victim and Delaney’s tax records are locked inside the crime scene. The quickest way to get the Internal Revenue off her case is to catch the killer and get her files back, so she speeds around town questioning suspects while keeping one step ahead of the tax man.
Will Delaney be able to solve yet another murder and secure her records before the IRS shuts her down?


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Writing Lessons from a Home Reno 

by Karen C. Whalen, author of Stiletto to the Pedal

The fifth in the Tow Truck Murder Mysteries series, Stiletto to the Pedal, released on May 15, and I plan to have two more books out this year (book six, Booty in the Backseat, by fall, and an indie-published cozy beach read, Murder at Sea Oats Beach, in June). Three books this quickly is ambitious for me. And while I’d been feeling the pinch of a schedule crammed too full, life threw me another punch…

Our son asked for our help with the renovation of a rental house he owns. Since he is going to school full time, we volunteered to paint the interior and perform some repairs. After working on the project six weeks, using 19 gallons of paint (the renters had painted the walls and ceilings a dark blue and unfortunately left the place in bad shape), and setting out so much trash for pick up the garbage company complained, we finally finished the reno.

As authors attest everywhere, there are lessons to be learned that can be applied to writing. Here is my takeaway:

Pay professionals when necessary. The house needed a new roof and other repairs that required skilled professionals. We knew when the work was beyond our capabilities. Same with writing. Writers benefit greatly from the help of paid editors and proofreaders. I’ve read books that fell short because of the number of typos or inconsistencies that could have been corrected by experienced copy editors. We’ve all encountered typos in our published works—it happens—but we need to aim for a perfect manuscript, if possible.

Plan on some demolition. Several fixtures in the house needed to be taken to the trash. They couldn’t be saved. Writers also need to eliminate scenes that don’t work. This is called “killing your darlings,” in other words, cutting out scenes you might love but which don’t advance the plot. During the revision stage when you’re reading that first draft, you will find unnecessary scenes that can be crossed out with no effect on the story. Extraneous? Eliminate.

Don’t lose steam at the end. We were very tempted to slap together the last few projects at the house and be done with it, but the ending is as important as the beginning. Most writers work hardest on the beginning, some worry about soggy middles, but none of us should neglect the ending. That’s where the reader’s pay-off is for reading 200 to 300 words or more. If the ending disappoints, the reader will feel cheated. Plus, a great ending compels the reader to click the “buy” button for your next book.

Feeling wiped out, my husband and I poured over the pictures of the house for sale on an internet site. We were gratified at how sparkling clean and inviting everything appeared, making it worth the effort. In the same way, there is nothing so gratifying and exciting as receiving the author copies of your latest release, also sparkling and inviting with fresh, crisp pages to be read. At times backbreaking work, but rewarding.

Karen C. Whalen

Karen C. Whalen is the author of two mystery series for The Wild Rose Press, the Dinner Club Mysteries featuring Jane Marsh, an empty nester who hosts a gourmet dinner club, and the Tow Truck Mysteries starring Delaney Morran, a super feminine shoe-a-holic who drives a tow truck. Both are cozy mysteries about strong friendships and family ties set in Colorado.

The first book in the Dinner Club series tied for First Place in the Suspense Novel category of the 2017 IDA Contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America. In the Tow Truck series, Eyes on the Road was a Second Place winner of the 2023 Firebird Book Awards in the Cozy Mystery category. Whalen worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado and was a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine.

Whalen loves to host dinner parties, entertain friends, ride bicycles, hike in the mountains, walk on the beach, and read cozy murder mysteries. Connect with Karen at her website.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Stiletto to the Pedal by Karen C Whalen?

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