When Ideas Have Ideas of Their Own
While Linda Rodriguez continues her Stiletto Sabbatical, look for guest authors on the first Friday of each month. Today’s guest is a special treat – former Stiletto member Judy Penz Sheluk.
When Ideas Have Ideas of Their Own by Judy Penz Sheluk
People often ask where my ideas come from. Sometimes they
come from stories I’ve read in the local paper:
The building of a megabox store, possibly
threatening the independent shops in a small town, and the vocal opposition
from residents and local businesses (The
Hanged Man’s Noose).
A young man who left home fifteen years earlier
to “find himself.” No one, not friends or family, had seen or heard from him
since (A Fool’s Journey).
But sometimes, ideas come from watching television. Such is
the case with my latest novel, Where
There’s A Will, the third and final book in my Glass Dolphin cozy mystery
series. I was watching an episode of Antiques
Roadshow and I thought: That’s it! I’ll have an Appraisal Day at the Glass
Dolphin antiques shop. Maybe someone will bring an object (to be determined)
and later on it turns out to be a murder weapon. That could work.
But here’s the thing about ideas. They often start off one
way and, because I’m a complete pantser, they
end up going in an entirely
different direction. That was the case with Where
There’s A Will. The book starts off with shop owner Arabella Carpenter hosting
an Appraisal Day, but instead of a murder or a murder weapon, there’s a
mysterious young woman who has been watching the appraisals all day from the
Who is she and what
could she want? I wonder, happily pantsing away.
It turns out the woman’s name is Faye Everett, she’s
inherited the old Hadley house, and she wants to hire Arabella to appraise the
There has to be a
catch, I muse, still pantsing away. What if Arabella’s ex, Levon
Larroquette, has also been hired for the appraisal, meaning the pair will have
to work side-by-side? It’s always fun to write about those two and their
on-again, off-again relationship.
What if Arabella’s business partner, Emily Garland, is
getting married? That’s it. She’s been house hunting with her fiancé and, after
dozens of “not quite rights,” she falls hard and fast for the Hadley house. Could
the Glass Dolphin’s appraisal involvement pose a conflict of interest?
And what’s this about Miles Pemberton wanting the house for
his reality TV show, Pemberton on
Property? Can Emily compete in a bidding war?
It’s not much yet, but
it’s a start. And then I remember this whole thing started with an
inheritance. Where There’s A Will, I
think, and keep on pantsing my way to The End.
About the Book:
Emily Garland is getting married and looking for the perfect forever home. When
the old, and some say haunted, Hadley house comes up for sale, she’s convinced
it’s “the one.” The house is also perfect for reality TV star Miles Pemberton
and his new series, House Haunters.
Emily will fight for her dream home, but Pemberton’s pockets are deeper than
Emily’s, and he’ll stretch the rules to get what he wants.
While Pemberton racks up enemies all around Lount’s Landing,
Arabella Carpenter, Emily’s partner at the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, has
been hired to appraise the contents of the estate, along with her ex-husband,
Levon. Could the feuding beneficiaries decide there’s a conflict of interest?
Things get even more complicated when Arabella and Levon
discover another will hidden inside the house, and with it, a decades-old
secret. Can the property stay on the market? And if so, who will make the
winning offer: Emily or Miles Pemberton?
Find the book
About the author: A
former journalist and magazine editor (including Senior Editor for New England Antiques Journal), Judy Penz
Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the
Marketville Mysteries. Her short crime fiction appears in several collections,
including The Best Laid Plans and Heartbreaks & Half-truths, which she
Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller
Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where
she serves as Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at