Adventures in the Book Trade

Adventures in the Book Trade

How to Find the Agent, Wow the Agent, Sign with the Agent.

Agent hunting got you down?  Bewildered in the wilds of publishing?  Get the scoop from winners in our chosen trade with the Citrus Crime Writers (CCW) event on February 12.  Scheduled for this Zoom session are some of CCW’s traditionally published authors who know all too wall about the travails of getting an agent—and how to deal with them.

Listen to their stories and how they learned the hard way.  Join Martha Geaney (Star O’Brien Mystery Series), Nancy Cohen (Bad Hair Day Mysteries), Ruth Owen (Romance Writers of America), Charlotte Hunter and S. K. Golden as they inform and entertain us about their agent experiences.

About the Authors 

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won the RONE and Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, placed first in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third in the Arizona Literary Awards.

Ruth Owen has published ten novels in the contemporary and historical romance field with Random House. The Romance Writers of America (RWA) selected her novel, Taming the Pirate, for its prestigious Maggie Award, and her novel, Someone to Watch Over Me as one of the RWA’s Top Ten Books of the Year. In addition, she received ten (10) Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards for her works.

S.K. Golden is the author of the Pinnacle Hotel cozy mystery series.

Secrets From the Medical Examiner’s Office

Secrets From the Medical Examiner’s Office

For all you hard-boiled and horror readers!  Shannon Lawrence and the Colorado chapter of Horror Writers of American sponsor an up-close- and- personal tour guided by with Colorado’s El Paso County Coroner and Medical Examiner, Dr. Leon Kelly.  Tour scheduled for TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2023 AT 7 PM. 

Voters selected Dr. Kelly in 2022 to serve once again as coroner of El Paso County. El Paso County has the only on-site Forensic Toxicology lab in Colorado. Two on-site forensic toxicologists routinely perform toxicology studies for many other Colorado Counties. Six full time deputy coroners, a histologist and one office administrator also staff the office.  

Dr. Kelly is a nationally respected board-certified forensic pathologist. He’s served as coroner the last four years and as deputy coroner for years before that. Beyond his involvement in suspicious deaths, Dr. Kelly has led efforts to combat teen and veteran suicide, the opioid crisis, and now a fentanyl epidemic. 

He has generously agreed to do a Q&A and a tour of the Coroner’s Office. No charge to attend. Bring your writing implements to take notes and plenty of questions!  Now’s your chance!  Sign up now.

A MUST ATTEND for Police Procedural Fans

A MUST ATTEND for Police Procedural Fans

Mark your calendars! San Diego Partners in Crime will be welcoming David Putnam on Saturday, January 14 at 5:00 pm ET. David will talk about how his career in law enforcement influenced his writing. His latest is A Fearsome Midnight Black. The new “Dave Beckett” book joins a laudatory body of 16 preceding works in the Crime Thriller, Police Procedural categories!


Dave Beckett is a wide-eyed young man when he joins the police department in a small town in Southern California. His naivete allows him to believe in his world, a vision where the cops are the good guys championing the rights of the wronged. He learns quickly that crime is not black and white, and the bad guys aren’t always the ones committing the crimes. This is the story of a victim turned predator, a young man who grows up too fast and becomes an apt pupil in the pursuit of criminals on both sides of the fence.


“A cop’s life, whether a rookie or a seasoned detective, is jammed with encounters that are often routine, sometimes disturbing, and all too often life-threateningly dangerous, a grind that takes its toll on personal relationships. A FEARSOME MIDNIGHT BLACK pulls back the curtain and takes the reader into that world with in-your-face clarity.”

Award-winning author of the Jake Longly and Cain/Harper Thriller Series

“When writing about police procedures and cases, Putnam knows his stuff. Based on his own true experiences, he brings his characters to life. Real and raw, there’s no way the reader can’t be drawn in quickly and held tightly until the very end.”

Member of Amazon’s Vine Voice (Vine Voice is an invitation only program that gives Amazon reviewers advance access to not-yet-released products for the purpose of writing reviews.)


During his career in law enforcement, author David Putnam has done it all: from narcotics, violent crimes and hostage rescue to SWAT, criminal intel and internal affairs. A real-life Five-O! David was recruited to Hawaii’s “Five-O” – like task force as a Special Agent for their Attorney General’s investigation of smuggling and white-collar crimes.

His Bruno Johnson Crime Series launched in 2014 and consists of 7 books up to 2020. Johnson is modeled after a real-life friend of the author who worked with him in a Los Angeles patrol unit. The Sinister is the ninth novel in this best-selling series.

David is also notable for his multiple police awards and commendations for heroism. Putnam lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Mary.

David Putnam is the author you’ll want to hear from. Ask questions. Don’t miss your chance – Register for David’s Presentation.

Review: Three Pines the Series

Review: Three Pines the Series

A favorite of my mine – now an Amazon Original.  How could you not love an inspector whose name is just a consonant away from ganache!  Author, bestseller and multiple award-winner, Louise Penny, brings her village of Three Pines and the insightful Armande Gamache to the streaming screen.  And what a gift!

Gamache has observed his fellow villagers and probed what doesn’t reveal itself in the everyday business of life.   But give Gamache time and connection to the player. He will, like the soul explorer he is, recognize the odd turn of phrase, the oh-so-slight incongruity.  His openness to every possibility and his vision into the human psyche are his remarkable gifts.

In Episode One of Amazon’s series, a woman named CC de Poitiers is having an affair with her photographer.  Just published, CC is a bitter woman who never says anything positive to anyone. At a curling match with the entire town watching, she is electrocuted. Inspector Gamache (Alfred Molina) is sent to investigate the case, along with Inspector Beauvoir and Sergeant Lacoste.  It’s clear to Gamache and team the theme of this murder is not just to take someone’s life but to punish them as much as possible and to make a spectacle of it. 

You won’t be able to turn away.

When Do Episodes Air: Three Pines was available on Friday, December 2, with 2 new episodes airing each week.

How Many Episodes: There will be 8 episodes in Season One of Three Pines.

Where to Watch Three Pines: Three Pines is available to stream on Prime Video (free trial)

Book Review: The Woman He Used to Know

Book Review: The Woman He Used to Know

Denver homicide detective Nick Ryan and homicide suspect Elizabeth Harper have a history.   Theirs was a passionate attraction that bound them, but a break in faith extinguished the flame.   Years later In a chance assignment, Nick encounters his past lover.  Her husband is dead and Elizabeth is the chief suspect.  The Woman He Used To Know is a page turning experience you won’t put down. 

There are 90 reviews on Amazon and more than 70 on Goodreads.  A strong mix of five- and four-star ratings.  Here are the samples that say it best.

This was a non-stop thriller. Loved the characters and the twists which kept you guessing until the end as to who was the murderer! Definitely plan to read more from this author.

Kerry O., goodreads

Helen charms us into thinking we’ll know the plot by giving us frequent glimpses not only into the mind of Nick Ryan, but also into the primary suspect’s mind as well. It is infrequent that I read a mystery book that puts us into the minds of both characters, this was a treat for the book.

Janine Bolon, Amazon

You think you have sussed out who did it but to find that you were wrong as the plot thickens.  A constant page turner that has you hooked right from the start to finish.

Fiona Pope-Bulling, goodreads

A good murder mystery with an added side of romance that had me hooked from the very first chapter. I liked the underlying spark of chemistry between Nick and Elizabeth and found myself rooting for their second-chance HEA. I found this hard to put down because I just couldn’t guess who the murderer was until it was finally revealed in the last chapters. The author does a good job keeping the reader on the edge right to the very end.

Di O’Brien, Amazon

Colorado native and former OR nurse, Helen Starbuck is an award-winning author of The Annie Collins Mystery Series and standalone contemporary romantic suspense. When she’s not writing, you can find her dressing up like a princess and ballroom dancing with her friends or reading books about strong women and interesting men who find themselves in suspense-filled situations. 

You can find more about Helen on these pages: Facebook (, Instagram (, and her web site (