Welcome Marji Laine!
Marji Laine writes about hope and redemption. Her characters, tangled in desperate situations, rely on authentic faith in God to carry them through treachery, betrayal, and impossible circumstances. She’s collaborated in five novellas over the last two and a half years with Write Integrity Press. The first, The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt, rose to best-seller status, catapulting all the authors to Amazon’s top 100 list. She’s begun her solo publishing career with the Grime Fighter series, five novellas following mysteries encountered by a crime scene cleaner. Currently available in ebook. She’s also had short stories published in a magazine as well as in two different published collections. As a Suspense Sister and senior reviewer for the blog, she enjoys getting to know some of the best authors in Christian suspense, as well as getting to read cutting edge examples of excellence in Christian writing.
Shop Talk in Odd Places
Talking “shop” is just part of life. Especially when I’m around others who “get” me. Usually, that’s other authors, but my girls know me even better than they do. And chatting with them about murder is second nature. For the last several years, they’ve watched me notice something so normal, routine, but my eyes will open wide and I’ll proclaim, “What if…”
Settings tend to spark story ideas faster than anything else for me. In fact, my girls and I often have conversations about the environment in which we find ourselves; grocery stores, random business buildings, parks and touristy places. I can’t help but view them with that same “what if” thought in mind. Although there are times when talking shop gets me into trouble.
Not so long ago, one of my dinky twinks (the nickname for my twin girls) and I were discussing a scenario in which someone found a body stuffed into a donation box. We’d actually seen a pair of boots, toes up, stuffed into a large, green receptacle for used goods. No, they weren’t connected to a body—thankfully, and yes, we checked—but the situation did stimulate a story idea.
If there had been a body, where had the man died? Why and how had he been moved to the green box? What evidence had the murderer left behind at the murder scene, and how would the sleuth make the connection? As dink and I loaded our groceries onto the checkout conveyor belt, we chatted about the possibilities.
“I’m thinking a stabbing instead of a shooting. Stabbing is more personal.” And the victim would have to look the killer in the eye. “Maybe while the guy is out on a run?”
“Wearing boots?” My daughter misses nothing. “Besides, we can’t kill the guy off out in the open. It would be too hard to cover up the murder.”
I had to agree, though the difficulty in connecting an easily changed, outdoor scene with evidence was my biggest reason. “But if we kill him in his office or his house, there’s no good reason to move him.”
“So knife the guy somewhere close by.” At that point, I noticed the store clerk, who had just shot us a sidelong look, gave us a double-take with wide eyes.
Oops. The poor woman looked terrified, but my dink was used to covering for me. “My mom is a mystery author.”
The expression on the lady’s faced eased. “I thought it had to be something like that.”
I used my broadest, most innocent smile for the rest of the checkout process. Who knows? Maybe that experience will make it into one of my books someday?
Someone is determined to finish a murdered hitman’s final assignment.
Cat McPherson felt she’d lost everything when her father died, but as the target of a madman bent on revenge, she still has much to lose. Her former boyfriend, Ray Alexander, returns as a hero from his foreign mission, bringing back souvenirs in the form of death-threats. When several attempts are made on Cat’s life, she must find a way to trust Ray, the man who broke her heart.
Keeping Cat safe from a fallen cartel leader might prove impossible for Ray, but after seeing his mission destroyed and several godly people killed, he knows better than to ignore the man’s threats. Cat’s resistance to his protection and the stirring of his long-denied feelings for her complicate his intentions, placing them both in a fight for survival.
Learn more about a special giveaway with every pre-order of COUNTER POINT on my website: MarjiLaine.com