Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More Presents!

A late Christmas gift -- or a Boxing Day gift, if you prefer -- from me to you, one last time 

An Error In Judgment
The third Thea Campbell Mystery
Free on 12/26/2012 & 12/27/2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

An Error In Judgment -- NOT!

Nope, no mistake here. Just letting all of you know that the e-book version An Error in Judgment will be FREE for 3 days beginning 12/2/12 through 12/4/12 on Amazon!

You don't have to own a Kindle to take advantage of this promo. Kindle software is free for you computer, tablet and smart phone. To be honest, I've read a bunch of books on my phone and find it very convenient -- and an excellent use of technology!

Go ahead, tell your mystery-loving friends to get their copy, too. You don't have to have read the first two books in the Thea Campbell series to find yourself pulled head first into this mystery/thriller/romance! 

Here's the link:

Or, click on the book cover below

The suspense winds tight, pitting Thea against a killer and embattling her at every turn. Her sleuthing could clear her long time friend of a murder charge – or backfire. Her romance with rugged paleontology professor Paul Hudson teeters on the edge disaster. An old nemesis returns to the scene threatening to expose Thea’s closest held secret.  This time she’s alone in a fight to save everyone she holds dear – and herself. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

New Book Covers

While I've been preoccupied with a number of tasks, chores and drama (including working on the newest Thea Campbell mystery) my talented friend Tracy Hayes has been creating brand new covers for the print version covers of Death By A Dark Horse, Levels Of Deception and An Error In Judgment. Yes, the photographs are mine, but without Tracy's ability to take raw material and make magic happen, they would have been just ordinary photographs. So, as they say .... Ladies and Gentlemen, I present ---

The horse in this picture is not my Eddie -- who is white (gray, if you're being absolutely correct), and therefore unsuitable -- but Stacey Sikorski's very excellent dressage horse High Spirrits. The photograph was taken at a clinic with Henrik Johansen, and Spirrit was exhibiting the exuberance that earned him his name. Stacey, ever the tactful rider, was simply sitting quietly and waiting for him to settle down. I think his energy comes through in the picture and particularly the book cover! 

This photograph is actually a "negative" of the original. Fossilized Trilobites are not white, as you may know, but black. With the exception of the trilobite in the center, all the images are fossils my husband and I dug at a little place in Eastern Washington called Stonerose Interpretive Center (go ahead and follow the link if you are intrigued). I do own the trilobite, but bought it so many years ago that I can't remember where now.

This is a photograph of my daughter -- and yes, she is this beautiful, but she's not blue. And no, guys, you don't get a link to her. We staged the photograph specifically for the book cover. Bless her heart, she was very patient with me. Of course, she could simply be used to her quirky mother by now!

I hope you all enjoy these new covers even half as much as I do. The images above are for the print covers. The ebook covers will follow suit, if they haven't already. Many thanks to everyone who has aided and abetted my wild schemes and nutty ideas!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blog Tag!

My work-in-progress has been tagged by author Judy Alter --visit her at Judy’s Stew and read about her work in progress tentatively titled "Innocents in Danger" (although we all know how titles change). It sounds like fun, and I certainly enjoyed her first book Skeleton In A Dead Space, a Kelly O’Connell Mystery. 

Now it's my turn to answer the same ten questions. Here’s your first look at my fifth Thea Campbell Mystery!

What is the title of your book?

The working title is “Other People’s Money” but it will change, of course.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

Several places. Since I work part time in a veterinarian’s office, and know the drama that can go on in barns, as well as the dangers inherent in many of the medications I felt it was a perfect set up for a crime. Then I read an article about a totally different type of crime that intrigued me. I can’t tell you about the it because it would give away my story. Also, all the publicity lately about Super Pacs made me think something along those lines would make an interesting twist to the plot. Yes, I can make it all fit together!

When genre does your book fall under?

Mystery. But there’s also a good bit of romance in it. The main characters, Thea Campbell and Paul Hudson, are rather intensely involved. They verbally spar in a manner that reminds some readers of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Hugh Jackman as Paul and Audrey Hepburn as Thea. Obviously a little time travel will be required.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of the book:

Thea and Paul are blackmailed into investigating the murder of her horse’s vet for the purpose of clearing the person they know is guilty.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?

Self published. After 4 books I’ve become very comfortable with this avenue for getting my mysteries to readers and have worked out my resources and team members.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Still working on it. I outline first, and that can take a while. The first draft can take me up to two months to complete.

What other books would you compare this to within your genre?

Some of my favorite authors who write mysteries with family, close friends, humor and romance are; Evelyn David, Kate George, Nancy Martin, Ann Charles, Janet Evanovich to name a few. 

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

There’s lots of credits to go out. The characters themselves often suggest the next book, and the readers of the earlier books are always nudging me along to the next adventure.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Thea’s horse Blackie plays a bigger role in this latest adventure. Some believe he’s psychic. He certainly has an expansive personality. Also, many favorite characters will return in this book – some just to stir up trouble! And wait! Could I be hearing wedding bells? And if I am, who are they for?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

An Error In Judgment -- redressed

Book covers are important. They entice -- and tell the browser a bit about the book, the tone, and information they will need to make the all important decision:

To read or not to read.

In my never-ending quest to come up with just the right cover ... here's the newest one for AN ERROR IN JUDGMENT.

This is the e-book version. The print will be similar. What do you think?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Free Again! Woo-Hoo!

This is the last time!
BushWhacked is 
For 2 days ONLY -- August 31 and Sept 1

The ebook version is available on Amazon for FREE. You can get yours from August 31 through September 1 even if you don't have a Kindle, or if you are one of those who thought you'd get a Kindle Fire over the long weekend and just found out they are sold out. Download Kindle for PC (it's FREE, too) and all your books will be there for you when you want.

BushWhacked is the fourth in the Thea Campbell Mystery Series. 

So, come on, you know you want to! Cuddle up with Thea and Paul while they try to find out who that skeleton is they dug up in their backyard. 

There's the fun with all your favorite characters, quintessential Thea and Paul banter, and some hot lovin'

And a ghost. 

Did I mention the ghost? 

Some think it's the pirate guarding The Lost Treasure Of Snohomish. But is it? Or could it be more sinister?

Get your copy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On the Cyber-Road, Again

Today I'm over at Mysteristas -- an almost brand new blog by some really wonderful writers! Trust them to ask me some questions I've never been asked before. They've made me think hard about my characters and my books. Click on over, say hi, and support a great blog just by showing up! See you there!

Yes, this picture of an adorable kitten is a blatant attempt to gain your attention and cooperation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

BushWhacked -- FREE!

Yup, that's right! Today, Tuesday, July 10, 2012 through Thursday, July 12 the e-version of BushWhacked is FREE on Amazon! Here is your chance to get distracted from your daily life, laugh at someone else's problems, gasp in surprise, cuddle up to a sexy man  book, stay up past your bedtime all for FREE! Enjoy yourself on me. It's my pleasure!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time To Go Visiting!

I'm over at HH@R Novel Thoughts and Book Talk today, talking about how I grew wings and learned to fly. Come on over, leave a comment, and be instantly entered to win books! Grand prize will be a set of the first three Thea Campbell Mysteries, and three runners up can choose a Thea Campbell Mystery of their choice (except for the newest, BushWhacked -- because Amazon's got a corner on that market).

Here's the link
-- just in case the above link doesn't work for you.

Looking forward to seeing you there and chatting!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"BushWhacked" is Live!

The fourth Thea Campbell Mystery is now Live on Amazon in e-book format. For those of you who prefer the paper variety, never fear. The trade paperback will be out in about a week.

Thea and Paul's lives take a bit of a turn into the paranormal in this latest adventure when they dig up a human bones in their own backyard. Excitement in the town of Snohomish, WA abounds and friends and relatives lose what good sense they possessed over rumors of a buried treasure the skeleton was supposedly guarding. Some convene a seance to seek help from the hereafter, and others take a more direct approach and go right for the digging.

Here's an excerpt from Chapter One of  BushWhacked

Even as loud as it was, the diesel tractor's grumbling did not drown out my sister Juliet's scream. I whirled and spotted her across the yard, by my house, partially concealed by the big rhododendron. Her second scream, a prolonged howl, set my pulse into a panicked lick in a single beat. The shovel I'd been using, to improve a temporary home at the back of the garden for the big old rhody, flew from my hands with the force of a home-run swing.
Blood, and a lot of it, was my first thought.
I booked it, straining to see as I ran from the end of my yard toward the house. Unfortunately for me, the half-uprooted rhododendron hid most of Juliet. From sixty feet away all I could see was the flashing of pink parka and red Wellies in a frantic, blurry motion that took her nowhere. No way could I determine what had gone so wrong -- and with my twenty-three-year-old younger sister, assuming the worst was always the safest bet.
However, the jerky, marionette-gone-berserk leaps accompanying her continual high-pitched shrieking had me reconsidering after a few frantic strides. I cut my pace to a walk.
Mice, and a lot of them, was my second thought.
No doubt we'd uncovered a nest of the little critters (previously) sleeping through the cold, wet December, doubly protected in their cozy burrow by the dense evergreen branches of the rhody and the foundation of my house.
Without warning, Juliet's panic found a forward gear. Unfortunately Paul, my fiancé, was also by the house -- and standing directly in her path. With the speed of a fat man on a zip line, she slammed him onto his back in the sodden grass and kept going. The shovel he'd held arced gracefully through the air and pierced the center of the kitchen window, shattering the glass with Hollywood drama.
Juliet's fiancé, Eric, driving the borrowed tractor and finessing the heavy lifting of the rhody, took a slow minute to notice her hysteria -- understandable, since he was practically sitting on the noisy engine. He made up for the oversight with the speed in which he abandoned the machine and rushed after her. They both disappeared around the corner of the house without a backward glance.
I hot-footed it to Paul, although he'd regained his feet before I was half-way there.
"Are you okay?" I asked, ignoring my sister's still audible, though incoherent, babbling.
"Yeah." He snagged his knit cap off the ground and pulled it back on over his dark hair, then brushed plant debris and dirt-on-the-verge-of-mud off his butt. I helped. "Looks like we've got another window to replace. What the hell was that all about?"
"Probably a family of mice who thought they were hibernating. She was practically standing on the rhody while Eric lifted it out of the ground. The poor, groggy little things probably ran laps around her feet."
"Mice don't hibernate, Thea," he said, striding the few paces toward the rhody before I was done brushing him off. I trotted after him and took another couple of swipes. "In Western Washington, the winters are so mild they probably don't even --" He breathed an oath with religious overtones -- a new habit I noticed a few days ago when he'd returned from his Christmas visit with his family in Minneapolis. Crouching by the base of the plant, he pushed the leafy branches aside.
With my line of sight cleared, there was no need to ask what had grabbed his attention. Dangling from a root was a dirt-colored human skull.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What a Character!

BushWhacked is coming out soon. Really soon. For months I’ve been occupied with the mechanics of putting the story together – the structure and scaffolding, if you will – those invisible craft items that should never be obvious to the reader, but contribute so much to the enjoyment of the tale. They are pieces a writer has control over – and purposely manipulates in order to tell the story the way she wants it told.

However (there’s always one of those, right?), writers will often say the story takes on a life of its own. It’s quite true, and it’s one of the things that is so compelling about writing. No matter how much you plan, you’re going to be surprised by turns of events and characters who simply don’t do or say what you outlined for them.

An idea
Speaking of characters, I can tell you the different ways I create them, how I create the shell 

Getting better ...
and then little by little, how they evolve on their own, leaving the woodenness behind, creating characteristics ...

...and better

with personality

making friends......
...and having fun

.........doing interesting things I'd never thought of. 

They often simply take the job away from me. That might be interesting to chat about. 

But what I want to know is what appeals to you, the reader? What qualities do those characters have that cause you to come back time and time again to see how they’re doing, and make you sad to leave them when the book is over?

Let’s hear it, people! Tell me who you like between the covers – of the book!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Time To Go Visiting

Hey, everyone! Join me over at author Clare Austin's place on Monday, April 30. Clare is a wonderful writer of romance and she's letting me in the driver's seat to talk about .... oh, shoot. I'm not going to give it away. Just come by and see what a mystery writer is doing on a romance blog and you might get a little, itty bitty hint of some fun to come! By the way, I'll be giving away an e-copy of Death By A Dark Horse! Stop by and say hi!

Friday, April 13, 2012

BushWhacked -- The Cover!

There's nothing like seeing the cover of your book to make you believe it's going to be a reality. It's that getting-ready-for-the-party, butterflies-in-the-tummy kind of a feeling you had when you were a kid.

Once again, I am ever so grateful to the multi-talented Tracy Hayes of Pastiche Studios. She has the patience of a saint and is the easiest person on the planet to work with. So, without further ado, here it is!

BushWhacked, the fourth Thea Campbell Mystery, will be available in May. 

This time, Thea is caught by surprise closer to home. 
Can it be her neighbors are keeping a secret?

Friday, April 6, 2012

A New Look For DBADH

Death By A Dark Horse has a new look!

Is that Blackie on the cover?

The cover model is High Spirrits, a pure Polish Arab dressage horse owned and operated by Stacey Sikorski. Somewhat contrary to this image I chose for the first Thea Campbell Mystery cover, Spirrit is a happy, friendly horse if a bit of the equine version of the Energizer Bunny -- and NOT the equine version of a fire-breathing dragon!

What do you think?

Friday, March 2, 2012


March 4th through the 10th is ...


What does that mean for you? 

All Thea Campbell Mysteries -- 

               AN ERROR IN JUDGMENT 

-- are  on sale for $1.50 at! 

Hey, you can't even get a cup of coffee for that price, and heaven help you if you set it down for a few minutes. It'll go stone cold -- unlike a good story, that will remain HOT no matter how long it takes you to read it.

Smashwords offers all the books in a variety of formats. Choose the one that will work for your e-reader, download it and you're good to go.

Do you have to go to Smashwords to get the great price? Yes. The deal is only available there.

How do you get the great price? 

Click on any book cover below and use the codes next to it any time from March 4 through March 10 when you click the buy button at

(Thea Campbell mystery #1)

(Thea Campbell mystery #2)

(Thea Campbell myster #3)

Enjoy the adventure!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Title Contest Winner!

We have a winner!

Thea Campbell Mystery #4 is now officially known as ... 


Thanks a million to Sally Matteson who (once again -- An Error In Judgment was her suggestion, as well) provided the punny title. It captures the humorous mood of this particular adventure perfectly.

Now my cover artist Tracy Hayes at Pastiche Studios can proceed. As soon as she's done I'll post her creation. 

Thanks to everyone who submitted entries on the blog and privately. You are a clever bunch with wonderful ideas!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Name That Book!

The first draft of Thea Campbell #4 is done and taking a nap. I've been doing my best to leave it alone, and perhaps I'd be more successful if I didn't feel something was terribly lacking -- even at this stage. If I just had a title ...

Remember This Name-The-Book Contest?
Hey, I know! I'll hold (another) contest!

The last one was so successful that I believe I'll go down that road again. Here's the rules; 

Read the synopsis below and give me your suggestions for titles -- as many as you'd like, and I don't care if you duplicate someone else's -- either in the comment section of this blog or via email to susan @ susanschreyer dot com. 

That's it.

Everybody wins -- Yay! Like last time. Yay! -- a free e-book, and the person who submits the winning title gets their name in the book's acknowledgments. Think of it as immortality :)

Thea Campbell Mystery #4

A Rhododendron - see why Thea wants to save it?

A slippery slope of unpleasant incidents begin the New Year for Thea Campbell and fiancé Paul Hudson. The last thing they expect to find when digging up a big rhododendron next to their fire-damaged house are human bones. Word gets out and speculation runs rampant in the small town of Snohomish, Washington. Thea's aunt is among those who believe the skeleton belongs to the ghost she claims haunts the home. Others say it's a pirate from long ago killed by his captain and left to guard a buried treasure with his spirit.

Unfortunately, the county forensic team finds it difficult to make any headway in the investigation when the bones vanish almost as soon as they're uncovered.

The New Year's Eve party should take their minds off what will surely delay their home's reconstruction, but generates more commotion than celebration -- and not just between Thea and Paul. No one seems to be able to keep from being drawn into conflicts they'd normally avoid.

The problems don't stop there. Much to Paul's annoyance, the contractor hired to do work on the house seems to have the hots for Thea. Unfortunately, the contractor's leads for upgraded new appliances and fixtures provides seem suspiciously hot as well.
The Kitchen Centre
Wouldn't you be suspicious getting this for cheap, too?

On returning home from the party they find holes have mysteriously appeared in the backyard. No sooner are they repaired than they appear again.

Could the rumors be right? Could the bones really have been cursed?

An annoyed Thea finds herself hosting a séance Paul suggested as a joke, and stumbles onto a scam to feed the silliness of ghosts and buried treasure. There is surely no curse, but why go to so much trouble over a fictional legend? Then someone breaks into Paul and Thea’s temporary apartment and steals an old diary that could have provided clues to the skeleton's identity. Sure, the thief tidied up, but that only verifies, to a furious Thea, the culprit’s identity.

Then there's the issue of those vaguely threatening, digitized-voice phone calls. Thea, although mildly rattled at first, refuses to respond. But instead of being discouraged, the caller becomes more desperate and demanding. Paul, nearly frantic with worry since the messages are for Thea, is determined something be done.

There's no doubt every bizarre and unpleasant event since the discovery of the skeleton is connected. Thea and Paul need to solve the mystery and put all the madness to rest once and for all, but are they headed for a trap that will be their final rest?

Monday, January 16, 2012


I spent the entire day, yesterday, in my pajamas. I think I brushed my teeth, and I'm fairly certain I ate. I know I drank a lot of coffee.


Because I was on the home stretch.

By the time evening rolled around I'd finished the first draft of my fourth book.


Yup, pretty satisfying stuff, if I do say so myself. I'm looking forward to editing. Seriously. It's a happy, if intense, time where you mold and coax the story into its potential. I can't wait. But wait I must. In the meantime I get to do the other things I've neglected over the past few months like … clean my house.

It struck me this morning, while I was drying my hair (yes, it really needed washing, but I haven't totally neglected personal hygiene -- I swear. My husband would have moved out), that writing a novel is not unlike conquering one's hair.

Stick with me a moment on this. I promise I haven't burned out so many brain cells that I've mistaken my Kindle for a flat iron.

You start out -- if you're me -- with a long, unruly mane. It goes where it wants, tangles into knots that are painful to undo, and generally makes you look like you've just spent the last five years in the jungles of Borneo without a mirror.

So, you wash out the residue from your last go-round, take out your trusty tools -- blow dryer, round brush, flat iron, conditioner, clips -- and go to work. After a certain amount of time doing the best you can and being fairly satisfied with your results you begin to notice -- especially when you compare yourself to the "professional hair" in the magazines -- something is just not working.

If you're me, this is when you admit that trimming your own bangs really isn't getting the job done anymore. You need professional help. That's when you pick up the phone and make an appointment with your editor,  hair stylist.

You go in for your appointment turn your hair over to the pro of your choice and -- because she's done wonders with your book hair before -- relax and let her do her thing. A little cut, a little color, a new product to fix the overworking and other problems that have been sneaking up on you and you're ready for your public.

About now, you're feeling so good you decide to go out and buy a new pair of shoes to go with your improved hair.

See? Didn't I tell you? Novels, hair … not that different. You gotta work to make it look good, and in the end it may all be fiction but it still gives you a thrill.