Tour Stop and Guest Post: The Swan Cover Murders by Donna Shields

Check it out folks… More on the great murder mystery by Donna Shields. I have some more deets on the author and book along with an amazing look into the research that goes into her work.

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As if the violent murder of Lena Dixon’s fiancé hadn’t been bad enough, now his brother, Nicholas Hunter, is court ordered to live with her for the next thirty days. And to top it off, the murderer’s ghost is asserting his innocence and refuses to leave until Lena and Nicholas prove it.

The skeptic in Nicholas believes Lena has lost her mind until he witnesses some unexplainable events and is forced to believe in her psychic abilities and his heart’s desire.

As their sexual chemistry heats up, so do their guilt levels. Can they make their newfound relationship work, or will it be too late when the real killer comes calling for her?

Guest Post

The Research That Goes Into Writing A Murder Mystery

I absolutely love writing romantic fiction. It’s like being a kid again when I’d play pretend. Not with the romance part, of course. You know cowboys and Indians, being a rock star, a famous roller skater, a race car driver (with my bicycle) and the list goes on and on. Except now, I get to take my imagination, put it on paper and weave an interesting love story. Some of my stories are contemporary and others are paranormal. However, both have something in common inside my writing world. And that commonality is suspense. I like a good murder mystery as much as any other suspense fan. In order to give my fans a good dose of suspense, there is more research to do.

Yes, researching until my eyes are crossed, and my forehead is practically hitting the desk. But, it needs to be done in order for my stories to be believable. Especially since I’m not a police officer or a medical examiner or a forensic pathologist or … well you give the picture. I don’t have first hand knowledge of how crimes, crime scenes, et cetera work. So, it’s off to the big internet world. And if that’s too broad for me, I do have some research books on forensics and police procedures and such.

The extra research I need to do for my suspense can be overwhelming. But, if you only look for what you need and not get wrapped up into information overload, it isn’t as time consuming as one thinks.

One of my main protagonists in my books is a detective with the local police force. So, I have to look up police procedures, lingo, and what a detective’s daily life might consist of. I also need to talk to experts in the field to see if what I’m writing is plausible. And there’s always small town versus big city police departments.

Then there is crime scene analysis and how the forensic teams secure and sort through clues and evidence at a crime scene.  I have to research my weapon of choice, even if I don’t use every detail. I certainly wouldn’t want to be called out on the caliber of a bullet that isn’t used in a particular gun. Big boo boo. Again, if I can talk to an expert, I get the information correct and can even get some pointers.

Another big part of the research goes into my villain. I have to get into his/her head, know their personality, their reasoning behind the murder(s). I do a good amount of profiling research. One of my WIPs I’m currently working on has a serial killer. Serial killers have different motives, use different weapons, and choose different victims. However, they all have patterns. I have to research serial killers of the past to see how their minds worked in order to get into my villain’s character and write him realistically.

Will I need all the information I find? No, but I do need enough of what pertains to my story to keep it real. You wouldn’t want to read how the coroner removes the body from a crime scene before any forensics is collected and photos have been taken. It would definitely jar me completely out of the story. However, doing the foot work to ensure my story is realistic and giving everyone a riveting and suspenseful story makes the research work well worth my time.


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Author Bio

I live in the beautiful upstate of South Carolina with my husband, our children, and some great haunts. Besides being a busy bee with my writing, I’m a Mom, a Grandmom, a co-owner of a motorcycle shop and an avid reader. And we love traveling to Mexico and Jamaica.

I have two books published with Soul Mate Publishing: The Swan Cove Murders, a paranormal romantic suspense, and Secrets of Jenkins Bridge, a romantic suspense. I like writing about things that go bump in the night and finding a new twist to include in my stories.


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