Sunday, March 19, 2017

50 Shades of Cabernet: Mysteries with a Glass of Wine
50 Shades of Cabernet is an anthology of wine-themed mysteries created by 18 authors. The stories range from light-hearted puzzles to darker, heavier tales of deceit and murder.

“Wine, Women, and Wrong” is my contribution to this stellar collection:

Tommy Bradshaw has two items on his bucket list: to solve a murder mystery and to marry Camille Pettit. Fat chance of either happening. Then, when Camille attends a wine-tasting fundraiser and the wine merchant is found in the parking lot, impaled by a hunting knife, Tommy gets his chance to play one of the Hardy Boys. In the process of finding the stabber, Tommy is besieged by women: the glamorous and sexy oenophile who’s hell-bent on seducing him; and the cop who would love to woo him away from Camille. In addition, Tommy finds that detecting isn’t as easy as it is in books.

Authors, do you write short stories? If so, you know how satisfying and enjoyable they can be. But for the past three or four decades many writers and readers have turned their backs on these literary gems, considering them mere writing class exercises. Not any more—shorts are back with a vengeance, due in large part to the e-book. Author and blogger Anne R. Allen says we’re in a new golden age of short fiction. See her complete post here.  

Here are just a few reasons to try this time-honored medium:
  • After struggling with your novel, writing short can give you a feeling of accomplishment
  • It helps you to hone your writing skills
  • It keeps you fresh material to promote while you’re working on your novel, keeping your readers engaged
  • In a short piece, you can resurrect scenes and characters that got edited out of your novel
  • You can further develop a minor character from your novel in a short piece
  • You can experiment with new genres

Ready to get started on this exciting and rewarding writing medium? Read and study the works of the greats in the mystery genre: Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ruth Rendell. Many Sisters in Crime chapters publish anthologies. Learn more about this organization that support crimes writers (despite the name, both sisters and “misters” are represented) here

Circling back to 50 Shades of Cabernet: these 17 authors join me in this stellar anthology: Betsy Ashton, Lyn Brittan, Barb Goffman, Debbiann Holmes, Maria Hudgins, Teresa Inge, Jim Jackson, Kristin Kisska, Douglas Lutz, Nancy Naigle, Alan Orloff, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Jenny Sparks, Heather Weidner, Tina Whittle, Ken Wingate.

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Joyce Brown said...

I love to read and to write short stories. It's very satisfying to know the characters, the plot, the climax, and the resolution all within five thousand words, more or less. I think they are hard to write, because every word has to count so much more so than in a long novel and more so than in an hour-long television show that can use images and action to tell much of the story. Hooray for the new anthology. I recently submitted a story for inclusion in one and hope to hear soon.

Liane Spicer said...

Although my first two published works are novels, I've been writing mainly short stories and novellas over the past few years. This has allowed me to experiment with different genres and I'm loving the experience.

Congratulations on the new anthology! Wine and mystery--how much better can it get?

Linda Thorne said...

Boy, do I get your reasons for writing short stories. When I started writing my first book, I was awful. Just terrible at writing. Learning to do it right was a long and agonizing effort. Short stories helped save me because they gave me a break from the long novel writing. I found I could publish some, win a little prize here and there. It was a break from my long project. They also taught me so much that helped in finishing and polishing my book. I don't write them now because I have a heavy day-job and I'm lucky to spend time on my 2nd book. When I retire, I have a feeling I'll get back to short stories.

Maggie King said...

Thanks for your kind comments and for sharing about your writing experiences. Forgive me for being so long in responding. It's been a whirlwind!