Wednesday, September 12, 2012

School Rules with Guest Blogger: C.L. Shore

Welcome our newest featured author 
and win a copy of Seeker of Truth 
today at the Book Boost!

C.L. Shore is here to chat about school memories and writing her first novel and here's what she had to say...

The air is turning cooler, and the humidity is dropping in the Midwest. The air is beginning to feel a little crisper. Autumn is just around the corner. Time to head back to school. Time to buy school supplies, especially the new crayons with their never-used, perfect points.

In a few years, or less, the connection between autumn and the return to the classroom may fade considerably. Year-round classrooms are becoming the norm in some areas. But the cooler nights of the changing season will always carry memories of a fresh start, a new beginning, for me.

I’ve been a student for much of my life, and now – I’m a teacher. I guess you could say that the classroom is my home away from home. I’ve always liked the challenge of discovery, the treasures held within books, and the rhythm of the academic year.  I hope to ignite that spark in my students, and keep the flame alive.

If it wasn’t for my long stint as a student, I doubt I’d be an author today. My graduate program of study required me to write long articles of a scientific nature. The writing was technical and dense. I needed to say as much as possible in few words. I spent hours in a chair and turned out draft after draft. (My husband took up running at about the same time. I told him his butt was getting skinnier and mine was getting wider!) While I experienced a sense of challenge, the writing wasn’t exactly fun. I felt creative a few times, but I often felt that any creativity was squelched.

When (finally) my degree was granted, I was in the habit of spending hours in a chair with my fingers on the keyboard. Because I’d always wanted to write fiction, I decided to begin my first mystery novel. I found a critique group.  I started putting chapters together. My first critique was traumatic: I remember someone asking me “What point of view are you writing from?” I had no idea what they were talking about!

I took that feedback, though and wrote and rewrote. I had limited time, but I awoke early (before school) to write. Eventually, Seeker of Truth was a full length novel. I sought more critique, and the book was edited several times. Finally, several autumns ago – it was ready to send out. Most importantly, I felt that I had created something.

As you might expect, there are academic themes in Seeker of Truth. My protagonist (a young, widowed nun) is also a teacher. Suspects include those in the collegiate world. A college president is leading a double life, which figures into the plot.

My daughter asked me “Why do you always write about schools?” I guess it is because academic settings are ones I know intimately.

The beginning of each school year is a fresh start. Less time at the swimming pool or the beach, more time to curl up in a comfortable chair and read a good book.  Happy September, and happy reading.

A Note from the Book Boost:  First of all, WELCOME to the Book Boost Family!  I didn't realize you were also in my Eternal Press family.  I have 3 various novellas with them as well.  And I should have known that cover was by my own fave cover artist, Dawne.  Love your cover.  But let's see...back to school is my fave time of year (as a mom) and fall is my fave season because now the heat in the deep south is tolerable.  School brings forth the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, unopened packs of notebook paper and school photos (which never come out quite right).  LOL  Glad you're here and tell us more about your book.


Detective Jed McCracken is tempted to dismiss his first phone call of the week as a prank, until he realizes he's talking to his late partner's widow, Sarah. Jed hasn’t spoken to her since her husband’s death and is shocked to discover that Sarah is now Sister Lucie. She’s distraught over breaking news about the murder of a former fellow nun and intent on finding her killer.

Together, they rekindle their lost friendship while untangling a network of deception, lust and greed. Although they appear to be closing in, the killer proves elusive, prompting Jed to persuade Sister Lucie to bait a trap.

Will Sister Lucie outwit the murderer…or become his next victim?


“Hey, Jed! Take a look.” Matt Larimore, one of the best crime scene photographers in the department, was downloading digital images onto his computer screen.  A blonde, wearing a Coventry complimentary bathrobe, was centered on the screen. She was lying on her back across a bed with an opulent gold and red coverlet. Her legs were off the bed, with both feet touching the floor. The robe gaped slightly showing part of her left leg, but the tie was knotted securely around her waist. She appeared to be looking up at the ceiling with an expression of surprise. One dark red splotch appeared just above the robe’s tie. The body looked pale, the exposed leg only slightly discolored. Although it was difficult to tell from one photograph, she looked to be tall, maybe five-ten. Her pale-yellow hair was parted to the side and partially covered one eye. Even though it was early in the day, she wore bright red lipstick. She was quite a looker, Jed thought. Nobody would take her for a nun.

“Did they take the body to the morgue before you left?” Jed asked.

“Affirmative,” Matt replied, his eyes on the screen. “Rigor mortis hadn’t completely set in. This crime didn’t happen that long before we arrived.”

Pictures of other areas of the room appeared. The curtains at both windows were almost fully drawn, and a brass vase of yellow carnations and deep-red roses appeared on the room’s dark wood accent table in one shot. “Are the flowers real?”

“The flowers? Hmmmm. Good question. I assumed they were. I really didn’t check them out, though.” Matt smirked a little. “I guess I broke your number-one rule: Challenge all assumptions.”

“Just curious. They coordinate with the room, obviously.” All other aspects of the room appeared neat and tidy in the photographs. “Who discovered the body?”

“One of the maids and the night manager, around seven this morning. The occupant of the neighboring room heard a scream, and then the radio at an extremely loud volume. They called down to the front desk to complain. There was also a noise complaint suggesting a gunshot or a loudly-slamming door. The door to the room wasn’t locked when the two employees arrived.”

“Murder weapon recovered?” Jed asked.

“We think so. A .22 was found on the bed. Possibly the victim’s own gun. We’ll check that out, along with fingerprints, of course.”

“Any thought that this could be a suicide?”

“Anything is possible, of course. But it doesn’t sound likely, given the scenario described by the hotel personnel. Also, women don’t tend to be shooters. An overdose of pills seems more likely, especially if a person goes out of her way to make herself look glamorous.”

“We have anyone still at the hotel?”

“Affirmative. Mike is still there, he’s waiting for the evidence team.”

Jed reached Mike on his cell phone. “Hey, Mike! I’m going to come down and have a look.”

“Are you assigned to this case?” Mike asked.

“I will be.” Jed left the last of his latte on the desk and almost sprinted back to his car. The Coventry was only ten blocks away.

Want More C.L.?

Visit her on the web here:

Pick up a copy of her book today!  Click here.

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for C.L. and tell her about one of your back-to-school memories and be entered to win your choice of a print or e-book of Seeker of Truth.

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this opportunity, Kerri. I agree with your assessment of the cover for Seeker of Truth - when I first saw it, I was amazed at how well Dawne captured the many elements of the story in one image.

C. L. Shore