Book Review: Wings of Mayhem by Sue Coletta

Crime writer Sue Coletta has an informative Murder Blog where she talks all things crime from forensics and case studies, to the craft of creating a premium crime novel, researching her material through some of the best sources in the business. Although I write soft-core crime, unlike the hardcore, gritty crime we see in Wings of Mayhem, I feel privileged to have run across her blog and always learn something useful with every post. She operates the Crime Lovers Lounge on Facebook and  helps moderate  on on Twitter where you can post questions for the experts anytime that will be answered on Wednesday evenings. She also offers a couple of free books on her website, Crime Writer’s Research and 60 ways to Murder Your Character. You couldn’t meet anyone more professional or better prepared to introduce you to the crime genre. She also has a crime novel out called Marred. I give Wings of Mayhem five stars and can’t wait to move on to Marred.


Shawnee Daniels – computer forensics specialist/hacker for RPD by day, cat burglar by night – always believed her “fearlessness rules” mantra would keep her on top and out of jail. When she hacks a confiscated hard drive at the Revere P.D., she focuses on a white-collar criminal accused of embezzlement. To teach him a lesson and recoup the funds she breaks into his massive contemporary in Bear Clave Estates. Jack has even more secrets, deadly secrets, secrets worth killing over.


Shawnee thinks she made it out clean until a deadly package arrives at her door soon after. He’s found her. As a glowing eagle taunts her Skype screen, Jack tells her she stole his precious trophy box — and he wants it back!


When her “helpful” best friend convinces her to date charismatic Detective Levaughn Samuels, her two worlds threaten to implode. Ordinarily Shawnee keeps a firm line between her professions, but dating Levaughn might help her get this psycho off her tail.


In this lightning-fast-paced psychological thriller of secrets and lies, Shawnee juggles being stalked by a serial killer, dating the lead detective on the case, and tap dancing around her librarian best friend.

If she doesn’t find the trophy box, the killer’s coming for her. If she doesn’t expose her secrets and lies, more will die. And if she does, she could lose her freedom and everyone she holds dear.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Jackson, Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter thrillers, crime fiction with an edge, or psychological thrillers, mystery, and suspense, then Wings of Mayhem is for you.

Click pic to buy the book

Click pic to buy the book

Book Review:

Wings of Mayhem is a book you will not let go of until the last page is read. Gripping, lightning paced action leads you through a storm of murder upon murder. Silence of the Lambs came to mind after a short jaunt into the first few pages. Not quite as cerebral, but filled with the same terrorizing suspense at the turn of nearly every page.

Police Department computer hacker by day, cat burglar by night, Shawnee Daniels leads a double life and pulls a heist she soon regrets when she ends up with a serial killer’s trophy box. Her life and habits closely parallel that of this most artistically sadistic serial killer who also leads a double life. They both love animals, him dogs, her cats. They challenge and tease each other in an emotional game of wit and courage where the stakes rise at every turn. Bone chilling descriptions of the serial killer’s MO resound, framing a most formidable foe.

There are twists and turns throughout, leaving Shawnee clueless who to trust and forced to make some tough decisions. She’s a young woman with issues and, at times, I wanted to yank her by the hair and ask, “Are you crazy?” And truth is, yes, she is, a little bit so, in a way you can’t help but love. Jack Delsin is a serial killer Shawnee understands so well but, in the end, you’ll wonder who really wins the game.

Sue Coletta has carefully crafted characters with agency, an ability to make decisions, affect the story and drive the plot. Wings of Mayhem is a multi-dimensional psychological crime thriller that will curdle your blood. Gruesome and graphic. Not to be read with the lights off.

Sleuth Fest 2016: Do I dare?


Sleuth Fest 2016 is being held in February here in Deerfield Beach, Florida. This is Mystery Writers of America’s premier conference. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet other authors in the crime fiction/mystery writer league. Seminars are held to provide attendants ways to hone craft skills. There is also time given to pitch your completed, unpublished manuscript to agents. The list of offerings:

* Agent Appointments to pitch your finished work

* Critiques of your 10 page manuscript submission

* Forensic track with current forensic techniques and hands-on forensic workshops

* Social events to mingle with agents, editors and your favorite authors

* Auction to purchase critiques of your work by bestselling authors

* Sessions on the craft of writing

* Sessions on marketing and promoting your work
* Practice your Pitch sessions with experienced authors


You’re not promised a one:one with an agent as the 10 minute time slots fill up fast and I’d be coming in kind of late to the party. Yet, the introverted part of me that cringes at the thought of physically putting myself into a social situation like this also feels it would be grand experience. Do I dare?

Anybody want to meet me there and hold my hand? I’ll pay your plane fair. I’m serious.

I want to go and give it a try, but my social anxiety cripples me.

I need a fan club!

Detoxing a Writer’s Brain and Opening Up New Worlds

I am feeling better than I have in a very long time. No cigarettes. Minimal caffeine. Sparkling water all day. Delicious fresh salads for lunch. Minimal carbs. Feel as if I have detoxed my system.

Most significantly, my head has really opened up. My writing has taken off. I may not get thousands of words a day, but what I am writing is really, really good. Yes, I’m impressed with myself.

Clearing the fog and the crashes has allowed my creativity to blossom. My thoughts are better organized. I have focus, clarity, alertness that simply didn’t exist before.

I’m giving my attention to a suspenseful psycho thriller. My main character, Jillian, has clairvoyant nightmares. There’s a serial killer in her past and another in her present. The dreams from the past are in the victims’ POV. I know, I know, it can be hard to be inside a victim’s head, but it’s working…at least for me, now. I may rethink that later.

It’s limited omniscient POV. There’s a therapist and a Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) liaison. Jillian has an eighteen year old son and a twelve year old daughter. My psych and forensics background makes this writing relatively easy once things gel in my mind.

The dream sequences are written in first person, but the storyline is third. A bit unconventional, but it’s working out so much better than when I had it in all third person. I had to rewrite two chapters.

It’s fast paced and much happens to her that brings everything close to home. I’m excited about how things are coming along.

I still don’t have a title for this new book and it’s killing me!!!

I owe a great big “Thank You” to Sue Coletta, who has posted some very helpful info in the past couple of months. I find myself bookmarking her pages frequently. Pay her a visit, especially if you are looking at mystery/thriller/crime fiction. She’s an awesome thinker and has some really cool contacts who contribute.

I don’t have an outline yet, beyond a fish bones skeleton. I tend to get about half way through, and then need the outline fleshed out to proceed.

I’m also reading and researching much material. So, I’ve had little time online beyond my e-cig forum support group and a bit of FB.

Just thought I should pop in and let you know I am alive and well. I do skim blogs but honestly haven’t done much commenting. I wish I had more time. Don’t know how you folk who work eight hours a day do it. My hat is off to you!

Hoping you all are doing well.

Do you get as excited as I do when you get deep into a new project?

What do you think about first person victims?

Book review: My GRL by John Howell

I am a serious boat person and love crime fiction so this book had me intrigued from the start. John J. Cannon is an average Joe, an attorney, trying to escape the stress of the Courtroom and office, when he heads to the Texas coast and buys a yacht from a broker who is not entirely on the up and up with him. She ends up dead. Poor John, absorbed with minutia and afflicted with OCD, gets sucked into the middle of a criminal catastrophe. There is one dilemma after another placed in front of him.

This is only the second book I have read that is written in present tense, so it took some adjustment. It is also written in first person, which I felt allowed me to get really close to the protagonist. He’s an endearing fellow who tries to make all that’s going wrong right, trying to save both his boat and innocent people from a group of terrorists.  There is subtle humor tucked into every chapter. The story takes us through some crazy situations that John never expected he would have to face and is ill equipped to handle alone.

Enter Ned, the Chief of Police, and Jason, who incidentally becomes a sailing companion. Teased by action throughout the book, the intensity at the climax had me biting my nails. Howell does an excellent job creating characters and scenarios we can care about. You can’t help but become invested in the outcomes. The suspense is also as thrilling as one would expect. I would be remiss not to mention both the line and copy editing could have been tighter before publication. That issue aside, it is a most enjoyable debut crime novel. I look forward to future works by this author.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!