Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on June 23, 2016

sharpe shooter cover

Sharpe Shooter (Cozy Suburbs Mystery Series Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
Self Published (March 19, 2015)
Paperback: 202 pages


Burned-out high school teacher Deena Sharpe is ready for a change. She has no idea a fifty-year-old murder case is about to turn her life upside down.

The Perry County Sheriff’s office has found a skeleton in the closet…literally. When they identify the man’s body fifty years after his disappearance, his family turns to Deena to uncover the truth about his murder. The clock begins ticking when she discovers a mysterious writer is about to implicate the victim in his latest conspiracy theory book. She must channel her inner super-sleuth to solve the puzzle and protect her family name. With the help of her off-beat brother and others from the cozy town of Maycroft, Texas, Deena takes on a quest that leads to more questions than answers.

Sharpe Shooter is the first book in the Cozy Suburbs Mystery Series. With antique shopping, car chases, and ghosts in the night, the story will keep you guessing as you follow Deena on her quest for the truth.


amazon buy

Guest Post

I’m giving a big ol’ Texas Hello to fellow resident, Lisa, to StoreyBook Reviews!  This is a fascinating read about how this book, and its characters, came to be.


The Story behind the Story

I never planned to write a novel, but something kept niggling at me. It was an event that would change my life. It was the story of my mother’s cousin, Kenneth, who had disappeared in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1963, and whose body was discovered in a sheriff’s department evidence closet where it had been laying forgotten and unidentified for forty years. He had been murdered.

Sharpe Shooter is based on that true story.

The main reason the body was never identified by his parents was that the original coroner misidentified the body as being that of a woman. No one was looking for this “Jane Doe.” So the remains were labeled and stored, gathering dust and leaving a family devastated by unanswered questions.

After the re-discovery of the body, the sheriff’s department sent the skeletal remains to a forensic anthropologist to recreate a model of the victim’s face. One of my aunt’s friends saw the picture in the newspaper, which led to Kenneth’s identification. We then buried him next to his parents forty years after his death.

I had been obsessed with the case since childhood. Many nights I would lay in bed wondering what on earth had led to his disappearance. I also became obsessed with dead people. When riding in a car down the highway, I would stare out the window looking for bodies on the side of the road. Weird, I know.

After Kenneth’s body was found, my curiosity grew stronger. One day when I was searching online for information for my family tree, I found an article written by a conspiracy theorist linking Kenneth’s 1963 death to Lee Harvey Oswald. Rubbish, of course. I was angry but relieved that my aunt and uncle weren’t around to read it.

About ten years later, when I retired from teaching, I decided to write a collection of essays called My Dead Relatives. I included Kenneth’s story as part of it.

After putting his story down on record, I was ready to close the chapter on Kenneth’s life. But to do so, I wanted to come up with a plausible explanation for his death—one that I could live with. That is when I came up with the story that is now the novel. I wanted the story to honor the person he was but bring resolution to the mystery.

I’m a big fan of non-fiction, mostly biography. But I’ve always loved a good mystery. I grew up reading my mother’s Agatha Christie books along with Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. One of the biggest challenges was making the story contemporary, but having the timeframe fit the events of 1963 and the Kennedy assassination. It meant that Cora, the main character’s mother, would be in her late nineties. Kenneth, who is named Matthew in the story, would have been almost eighty. So, too, would be all the people who would have known him when he was alive.

If I had written the story ten years earlier when his body was actually found, it would have been much easier. Instead, I set the story fifty years after his disappearance rather than forty and did the best I could.

In the process, I fell in love with fiction writing. I turned the book into a series and am working on the fourth installment now. You can find Sharpe Shooter and the Cozy Suburbs Mystery Series on Amazon in paperback and ebook.


About the Author

LBThomas picBorn and raised in Texas, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. Finally, after thirty-three years as a high school Journalism and English teacher, I dusted off the laptop and released my first novel. Having grown up reading Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Agatha Christie, I was drawn to the mystery genre.

With two grown children out of the nest, I live a quiet life with my husband and Peekapoo puppy. Besides writing, I enjoy my grandchildren, photography, traveling, and antiquing (aka. buying and selling used junk). Like my main character, Deena, I have an antique booth and enjoy treasure hunting and reselling vintage finds.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * GoodReads




a Rafflecopter giveaway

great escape button160