Tag Archive for: Skeletons in the Attic

Guest Blogger Judy Penz Sheluk: Ruts, Shoes and Imagination

Today, I’m excited to bring you a guest blog from my Canadian friend, Judy Penz Sheluk, whose new book, Skeletons in the Attic, was just released.  See you in September…..Debra

Ruts, Shoes and Imagination by Judy Penz Sheluk

I used to teach an online creative writing course. While a
large part of the 20-part course curriculum was structured, there was also the
opportunity to create personalized assignments. One of my favorite assignments
was meant to spark the imagination of the less-than-imaginative student. Here
it is:
Read one
book you wouldn’t normally read.

Go to
one movie you would never go to see.

one popular TV show that you’ve never watched because you didn’t think you’d enjoy

Read one
magazine you’ve never read before.

Go into
one store you’ve always avoided (too expensive, too cheap, whatever) and buy

Try to
make (or bake) one new recipe you’ve never made and always wanted to try.

Go to somewhere
different (a different park, a different shopping mall, a different coffee
shop…it doesn’t have to be exotic).

Try one
new activity.

Sit down
and really listen to the conversations around you (at a family function, at a
coffee shop, wherever). Take notes.

10.  Strike up a conversation with a stranger in a
grocery store (without coming across like a stalker).

The students who
embraced the assignment inevitably found plenty of inspiration to include in

writings. But until very recently, I’d never actually done the
assignment myself. That changed when Debra H. Goldstein invited me to guest on The Stiletto Gang. “You can write about shoes if you want,” she said,
and I knew I was in trouble. Stilettos? Haven’t worn them since my twenties…and
that’s a long way behind me in the rearview mirror (although I fondly remember
a pair of two-tone pink and mauve stilettos with a slight platform, and dancing
in them to John Mellencamp’s Authority

Today, however, my favorite
shoes are my Asics runners. They start life as a running shoe, and at the
300-mile mark, they become my walking shoes. Even my protagonists (Emily
Garland in The Hanged Man’s Noose,
and Callie Barnstable in Skeletons in the
) are runners, and they both dress for comfort vs. style.

Of course, I do have
other shoes, though they tend to be low-heeled and sensible: a pair of black patent
leather ballerina-style flats is about as fancy as I get these days. As for
sandals, my pretty white ones with the bling-y rhinestones tend to get
overlooked for my much more comfy Birkenstocks. Simply put, I was in a

But was I also in
another rut? I thought about the books I’d been reading, the movies I’d been
watching, and determined that maybe I was. I haven’t done all ten parts of the
assignment yet (well, I always do #9, so I’ll take a pass on that one) but I’ve
added The Book Thief to my to-read
pile, and just the other day I watched an episode of America’s Got Talent—and found myself enjoying it. Who knew?

Does this mean I’ll
be wearing stilettos any time soon? Doubtful. But you can bet your bottom
dollar that one of my characters will be. They’ll probably be two-tone pink and
mauve with a bit of a platform…
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

in the Attic

What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there…

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s
the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited
a house in the town of Marketville—a house she didn’t know existed. However,
there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to
Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

Callie’s not keen on dredging up a thirty-year-old mystery,
but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is
more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart
Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she
ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?

Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut mystery novel, The Hanged
Man’s Noose
, was published in July 2015. Skeletons in the Attic, the first book
in her Marketville Mystery Series, was published in August 2016.

Judy’s short crime fiction appears in World Enough and
, The Whole She-Bang 2, Flash and Bang and Live Free or Tri.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of
Canada, International Thriller Writers and the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Find Judy on her website/blog at www.judypenzsheluk.com,
where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.

Find Skeletons in the Attic:http://getBook.at/SkeletonsintheAttic