Category Archives: Books
The irreverent detective is back, and this time she’s on vacation.
God help us all.
St. Paul, Minnesota Homicide Detective Catherine O’Brien and her loving husband Gavin are vacationing on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. When a local is murdered Catherine is tapped to help the small town Sheriff until the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrives to take over the investigation.
Catherine is surprised when her partner Louise and Diggs the forensic pathologist, whose crush on Louise is only dwarfed by his own genius, show up to assist instead of the BCA.
Before long Catherine and Louise discover this sleepy little town has a dark side hidden beneath its placid lake charms. Somewhere in the tangle of cheating and deception is a motive for murder.
A Luring Murder, the second book in the Catherine O’Brien series is available now wherever books are sold.
When I went to bed last night, I was spooned against my husband on my first vacation in ten years. Never mind that the vacation, fishing at a Minnesota resort, is at the top of my personal list of hells.
By morning I was damp, shivering and alone under the covers. My husband, and two other men I’d never seen before stood next to the bed and stared at me like I was the prize winning pig at a State Fair.
Gavin, my loving husband, leaned into my ear and whispered, “There’s been a murder, Catherine.”
If there’s one word in the English language that could take you from zero to awake in less than a second the word is murder. I was on my feet and out the door in seconds.
Now I stood sentinel – playing gatekeeper to the crime scene and oracle to the sheriff and deputy of this podunk little town.
Thankfully, my duty would end as soon as the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrived. Then I could get back to my God forsaken vacation.
I turned on my heels to face the middle-aged man puffing his way up the hill toward me.
“You can call me Catherine you know, Sheriff. I’m not here in an official capacity. I’m a tourist in this town. Remember?”
His lips twisted up into a blushing, no-I-don’t-think-I-could-do-that, grin. At least he’d stopped calling me ma’am – the moniker he’d been using since my early morning verbal ice bath.
Sheriff Anderson held his baseball cap, with the local Sheriff’s department logo ironed on the front like a cheap truckers hat, in both hands and twisted the bill in a reflexive gesture. Anderson stared at me as if he’d forgotten why he’d come to see me.
“Have you come to release me from my guard duties?” I said.
“Ah, sorry but no.”
I doubted very much if he were sorry. While I played goalie to the fiendish gawkers who just wanted a peek at the body, he campaigned for his next run at sheriff. Every local who approached with concern, and a smidge of morbid curiosity, left with the assurance that the case was well in hand and a suspect would soon be in custody.
Apparently, (since we hadn’t yet found any evidence that would help us track down a killer) the truth had no place in Sheriff Anderson’s reelection campaign. Anderson seemed to make up the details as he went along. He doled out lies to the locals as easy as a traveling carnival barker who claimed their midway games weren’t fixed.
“I was wondering,” he said. “If you know how much longer before the BCA arrives? The resort owners are upset about us locking up their fish house.”
The fish house was situated near the beach surrounded by trees on all sides, and Mrs. Peterman had haunted the trees since early morning. Not wanting me to see her, Mrs. Peterman wove through the trees like a timber wolf hunting prey.
“Mr. and Mrs. Peterman will just have to get over it,” I said. “Even when the BCA arrives the fish house will be locked up for as long as it takes to gather all the evidence.”
Anderson screwed his hat onto his head then stuffed his hands into the front pockets of his jeans like a pouty child.
“Well, maybe I’ll just have Mrs. Peterman come talk to you about the fish house then.”
A cowardly answer, though not completely unexpected.
“You do that, Sheriff,” I said. “Was there anything else you needed?”
I hadn’t had coffee yet today, because my host for the next two weeks believes that tea is the preferred way to open your eyes in the morning. To me, it was what you drank when you had diarrhea.
My level of patience was directly tied to the amount of coffee coursing through my veins. My tank was dangerously low, and I was in no mood for Mrs. Peterman.
Happy Audiobook Month everyone! I am so happy to announce that Bookended by Beauty Queens is now available as an audiobook download.
Click the above link for a preview. I hope you enjoy!
Download you copy today from:
Ever get a feeling that something’s wrong with your writing, but you can’t quite put your finger on it and neither can your critique partner? Ever get a rejection that says something like: “This story didn’t grab me the way I thought it would?” My critique partner told me recently: “Hey, you really made big difference in that opening scene. Wow! It really sings now. The scene is so alive. You must have made a lot of changes.” Me: “No, I only changed a few words and re-wrote a couple of sentences.”
It’s true. My partner was blown away by a few simple changes. Most of them were either word choice changes or grammatical changes. How did I do it? For a long time, I didn’t really know. Maybe I’m just instinctively good at grammar (don’t hate me). But that wasn’t good enough for me. I had to try to understand what makes writing bad versus good and good versus great. Luckily, I’m a tutor by trade so I have lots of opportunities to read what people write and try to help them understand what they want to say and how to say it better. I haven’t gotten all the answers (yet!) but for the last few years I’ve been pulling my ideas together into grammar workshops. Now, I’ve taken all my grammar lessons and put them together in an ebook, Telling Grammar. This grammar book contains practical, useful solutions that you can start using in your writing the moment you learn about them. No short lists of “do this, but never do that”, no drawn out lectures about subjects, predicates and complex clauses. And I promise you won’t ever make you diagram sentences!
What you’ll get instead is a sensible explanation of what works grammatically and why it works. Not the kind of scholarly details you’d find in a textbook (although I do provide the correct grammar terms for the die-hards out there). You’ll get real, practical applications and examples geared mostly to romance writing because that’s what I’m most familiar with. For those of you who are really old-school, there are practice exercises that you can try on your own (answers provided).
This ebook is for writers who don’t “get” grammar and for those who think they don’t want to get it. Proper use of grammar makes a story flow smoothly, page after page. Poorly constructed sentences and paragraphs ruin the pace of your novel and make editors and agents pass up your manuscript. This book makes it easy for you to try out techniques that work and it explains why they work so you don’t go back to making the same old mistakes. In this book are techniques that show you how to blend different grammar constructions to make action, emotion, and tension come through.
At only $2.99 it’s a good investment in your writing skills. Telling Grammar is available at:
I’d love to give away two copies of this ebook today. Just comment to be entered into the random drawing. Looking forward to sharing grammar ideas with you!
About Kat Duncan!
Kat Duncan is a creation extremist who is doing her best to identify human creativity and free it from captivity, one student at a time. As a young child, Kat once tried to confess the telling of her stories to her parish priest because she thought they fit the definition the nuns gave for telling a lie. With her lies fully sanctioned and blessed by church authorities, Kat writes stories to entertain and enlighten. She is a Fulbright Scholar who spent a year in West Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Kat has a master’s degree in education and over a dozen years of experience teaching students from elementary through college and beyond. Her stories span a range from realistic historicals to quirky suspense. Visit her at: http://www.katduncan.net
Good news! I finally have permission to release the first chapter of Bookended By Beauty Queens as a free sample. If you’ve been curious about Bookended by Beauty Queens, but weren’t sure you wanted to take a chance on a new author, just click one of the hyper links in this post to be taken to the PDF of chapter one.
Please drop by Babs Book Bistro to read her interview with me. She asked some tough questions. I was especially stumped by, what character from you book would you be? Click HERE to find out my answer!
Thank you Babs Book Bistro for hosting me today!!!!
I’m happy to say Bookended By Beauty Queens will be part of Read An E-Book Week starting today! There is a 50% discount off of Bookended By Beauty Queens, so if you wanted a copy but you are on a budget (and who isn’t these days – am I right) now is the time!
Just click on any of the hyperlinks in this post to be taken to the home page of Smashwords (or click here). Get Bookended By Beauty Queens and other fine books at deep discounts!
Here are the details for the promotion:
I’m so honored to be part of Keena Kincade’s blog Typos and All today. I got to run through the Friday Five, which I’m excited to say is my first interview!
Thank you to Keen for letting me be part of her blog today and if you have a chance, please CLICK HERE to drop by for a visit!
Today is the official launch day of Bookended by Beauty Queens! I’m so excited to have a book to hold in my hands (every writers dream right?). This story was a long time coming and it will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but no book can be all things to all people.
Thank you to everyone who supported me though this entire process. All my Queens and Honorary Queens. You know who you are and you are the best!