Follow by Email

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


by Sunny Frazier

Writing short stories for the Dead Bird started my career. Nearly every one of the stories I've written have gone on to publication in a variety of magazines, ezines and anthologies. However, I have kept several in my coffers waiting for the right opportunity to send them out to the public.

This last month an anthology called “Justice Shall Be Served,” came out in both Kindle version and paperback. This is a collection on stories from law enforcement and military writers. The proceeds go to families of fallen members of both groups.

I submitted a story called “Baby Blue.” It's based on a real case out of Hanford, CA, close to where I live. I'd heard about the Booker T. Hillary case when I was 10. He murdered a young woman in the country who was making her prom dress while her family was at the movies. Her body was found in an irrigation ditch.

Years later, at a San Joaquin Sisters-in-Crime meeting, a detective gave a speech telling how, years later, the case came up for review and what forensic knowledge kept the man behind bars. The case has also been on Forensic Files.

I decided to use that case for the basis of a short story. I made the viewpoint character a woman, based on my friend in the police department, Kate Anderson. While I stuck to the facts (changing the name of the killer), my subtext was age and gender discrimination still rampant in law enforcement.

Another big surprise this month was the Kindle publication of “Valley Fever: Where Murder Is Contagious.” This was an anthology that came out a dozen years ago. Cora Ramos, JoAnne Lucas and I, all members of the San Joaquin Chapter of Sisters-in-Crimes, decided to take our Dead Bird stories and compile them into a book. Now Cora has put the stories on Kindle and given them a new life.       

Sunny Frazier is a long-standing membmer of the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the author of the Christy Bristol mysery series, The lastest is A Snitch in Time.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Cantua Crossing by Mary Martin Benton

The year is 1871. Stagecoaches are being held up in alarming numbers. A woman passenger is reported missing after the Visalia Overland Stage is robbed above the Elkhorn Station by the notorious outlaw, Tiburcio Vasquez. 

Harry Caldwell runs a small spread east of Visalia in California’s Central Valley. The woman’s nephew pressures Harry to join the posse that is being formed in Visalia to pursue the bandit and aid in the search for the missing passenger. Harry allows that the missing woman, Cora Belle Skinner, could most likely make Salt Water Taffy out of the bandit’s hide, but that doesn’t mitigate the fact that she’s missing. 

Taking into account that he had enjoyed a short dalliance with her when she first arrived in the area, he feels obliged to help with the search. But finding Cora Belle, and unraveling the mystery surrounding her disappearance, proves to be as difficult as capturing the elusive outlaw, Vasquez.

This fictional story is woven around historical facts and established landmarks in the region known as the Arroyo de Cantua located on the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley.


Mary Martin Benton has been engaged in farming her entire life. She is a native of Visalia and resides in the rural area. She is the author of five novels. One is a traditional Western, “Winds of Time,” two are Historical, “Dulsey and Plain Molly,” a Mystery, “Bernetta, the not-so-good Witch,” and her latest, “Cantua Crossing,” Western/Mystery.
Two of her award-winning short stories appear in the anthology, “Leaves from the Valley Oak,” and were featured on PBS Valley Read, and one in, “The Best of SLO Nightwriters in Tolusa Press.” She is a member of the Visalia/Exeter Writers, San Joaquin Sisters in Crime, Central Coast Sisters in Crime, and SLO Nightwriters. Her books are available on Amazon, and Kindle.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Report on My Free EBook Offer

Today and tomorrow are the last days to get Final Respects free for Kindle.

Link in case you want to try it:

Why would anyone do this? You ask.

The main reason is tht hope that if someone likes this one they'll try one or more of the others in the Rcoky Blugg P.D. series.

As of this writing this is what has happened so far:

The first day it was #70 in the100 free mysteries--the lower the number the better. It has since moved ot #90, though this number keeps changing up and down.

It was also #2 in free mysteries, police procedurals, but when I last looked it was #3.

The report from my publisher today was that there were 4,937 downloads so far, and 10 other books in the series have been purchased.

We had some blips along the way trying to get this all set up--but it seems to be working fine now.
The secret, of course is to do one heck of a lot of promoting--the secret to selling any book these days. I used some paid sites--those who promote free ebooks--and some free sites. There are lots of both.

This is the second time I've done this and it paid off the first time in royalties and lots of reviews. I"m hoping the same will happen this time.