Tag Archives: new book

The Story of a Cover

Despite my hesitation about writing a murder mystery starring my dance class (killing friends is a good way to lose friends) I wanted a cover for the as yet unwritten book to help ease me into the project. Grace, the woman who’d volunteered to be the victim, agreed to be the cover girl.

On Tuesdays, ballet comes first, then Arabic. One Tuesday, we were just finished practicing our final combination of ballet steps—glissade, arabesque, pas de bourrrée, assemblé—when Grace arrived, already dressed in her green and beige silk belly dance skirt.

I waved at the older woman. “I brought my camera. I need a photo of your corpse. Will you play dead for me?”

Grace laughed. “Sure. Where do you want me? Over there by the barre?”

I glanced at the corner of the studio she indicated, and shrugged. “Sure. Anywhere is fine.”

I’d expected to have to take several shots to get the pose I wanted, but Grace sank to the wooden floor as gracefully as she did everything else, and lay in the ideal pose.

Right then I knew I could kill Grace. She was just too damn perfect.

And now, Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, my sometimes amusing, always riveting novel about fun and murder at an adult dance class is available on Amazon.

Click here to buy: Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare

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Pat Bertram is the author of four other suspense novels: Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

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Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare

I didn’t want to kill Grace—it was her idea. I’ve literarily massacred hundreds of thousands of people, so it shouldn’t have been difficult to do away with one petite older woman, but the truth is I couldn’t think of a single reason why I—or anyone—would want Grace Worthington dead. Though most of us humans frown on murder, we do grudgingly admit some folks are so villainous they need to be eliminated, but no one would consider Grace a villain. She is charming, kind, with a smile for everyone, and the ghost of her youthful beauty is still apparent on her lovely face.

Besides, killing a friend is a good way to lose that friend, and dance class would not be the same without Grace.

I was still trying to make up my mind about killing Grace when several of us dancing classmates met for lunch. After nibbling on salads and sandwiches, we rose and gathered our belongings. I’d hung my dance bag on the back of my chair, and I yanked the bag with more force than I intended. The bag swung out and narrowly missed hitting Buffy Cooper, a tanned, elegant blonde a couple of years older and a couple of inches shorter than me.

Buffy deadpanned, “I’m not the one who volunteered to be the murder victim.”

That cracked me up, and right then I decided I had to follow through with the project. I mean, really—how could I not use such a perfect line?

I turned to Grace. “How do you want me to do the deed?” Since she’d initiated this lethal game, I thought it only right that she got to choose the means of her demise. So much fairer than the way life works, wouldn’t you say? I mean, few among us get to choose our own end. Life, the greatest murderer of all time, chooses how we expire, whether we will it or not.

Grace laughed at my question and said she didn’t care how she died.

But I cared.

Death is often messy—and smelly—with blood and body wastes polluting the scene, and I did not feel like dealing with such realities, especially not at Madame ZeeZee’s Dance Academy.

So begins the story of Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, my sometimes amusing, always suspenseful novel about fun and murder at an adult dance class.

Now available on Amazon.

Click here to buy: Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare

***

Pat Bertram is the author of four other suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”  Like Pat on Facebook.

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“Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare” is Now Available!

Killing friends is a good way to lose friends, even if the murder is for play. When Pat’s adult dance classmates discover she is a published author, the women suggest she write a mystery featuring the studio and its aging students. One sweet older lady laughingly volunteers to be the victim, and the others offer suggestions to jazz up the story. Then the murders begin. Tapped by the cops as the star suspect, author Pat sets out to discover the truth curtained behind the benign faces of her fellow dancers. Does one of them have a secret she would kill to protect? Or is the writer’s investigation a danse macabre with Pat herself as the bringer of death?

Pat Bertram’s sometimes amusing, always riveting novel about fun and murder at an adult dance class is now available on Amazon.

Click here to buy: Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare

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“False World” Story Contest!

http://www.jacketblind.com/contest.html

I’m hosting a 50-word story contest on my site, for the debut of “False World,” the second book in the Joe Daniel’s trilogy.

Contest starts on November 22, 2009, and ends on December 28, 2009.

How to enter: Email contest@jacketblind.com your name (or your alias), your age (or the age you wish you were), and a 50-word count mystery, thriller, or suspense story. OR you can post it as a comment on this blog. Enter here or there.

Rules: Write a tight 50-word count story around an everyday object in the mystery, thriller, or suspense genre. 50 words, no more, no less. Has to be exactly 50 words. Did I mention the story needs to be 50 words, and only 50 words?

More rules: Entries are unlimited, just like your creativity. Must be 18 years or older. Prizes will be shipped within 6 weeks of contest’s end.

Even more rules: All authors agree to have their stories showcased in a special section on my website UNLESS story is picked up for publication elsewhere. If it is, I’ll celebrate with you.

Judging: Make us go, “Did I lock the door behind me?” Look at the examples at the end to get an idea of what we like.

Prizes: The winner will receive a signed copy of False World and a surprise gift.

Email your entry to contest@jacketblind.com, visit my website (listed at the beginning), OR post in comments here.


EXAMPLES:


Air Freshener

One night, I decided to get on with my life.

I had been sad for decades.

I wanted to be happy again.

A week after my decision, I ran out of air freshener.

My neighbor complained about the stench.

She joined my husband’s cheating corpse.

I need more air freshener.


Garden Hose

Turning on the hose, water hit the flower bed with full force.

Fresh dirt went everywhere.

She plucked a pale stick from the upturned earth.

It was smooth.

It looked odd and disturbing.

This isn’t a stick, she thought a second before

a shovel hit the back of her head.


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FALSE WORLD
Published by Second Wind Publishing http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/FalseWorld.html

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