Friday, May 13, 2016

Pluff Mud Murders by Ann Carpenter Virtual Book Tour Stop, Guest Post and Giveaway

New Release: Pluff Mud Murders
by Ann Carpenter

Atlanta, Georgia: Local author releases brand new suspenseful read, Pluff Mud Murders now available at


Riley Jordan has come home to Charleston to begin a new life—a life interrupted when she was a young child, and still haunted by vague memories of danger and mystery. After years of living the fast-paced life of New York’s publishing world, Riley will be the editor-in-chief of Charleston’s Premier Health Magazine

It should be the perfect life. But things are not what they seem. Soon, Riley, who has suffered amnesia since a traumatic event in her childhood, finds herself embroiled in the past history and current events of the powerful Radisson family, a family whose evil deeds have evaded the long arm of the law, and whose influence reaches far beyond the city limits. 

When Riley is confronted with three tiny coffins upon a visit to the former Radisson Estate, she begins a journey into the past that will bring her into contact with Summer Radisson and her sister Hayden. Forced by current events to return to her tortured past, Riley is confronted with long-buried secrets that have an impact not only on her life, but on the lives of Alex Keys, a detective who is trying to find out who she really is, and his former partner, Phil Leatherman, who was forced from his position in the department because he knew too much. 

Under suspicion herself, Riley vacillates between wanting to remember whatever may have happened, and a desire to put the past—whatever it might reveal—behind her, and start life over. But the past is imposing itself upon her very life. As she learns through a series of revelations, 

“Death is the key that opens the door to the past.” This epitaph from Jefferson Radisson’s grave may indeed provide answers to the secret that has been buried too long—and that will finally set Riley free.


Ann Carpenter is the author of three novels, Pluff Mud Murders, Circle of Player, and The Mystical Doll House. She is the founder of Kidz By Dezign, and lives in Atlanta, Ga with her husband and granddaughter.



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"Building Suspense from the First Sentence"
Author Guest Post by Ann Carpenter

"I can't sleep," she whispered, crawling into bed with me. I woke up cold, clutching the dress she was buried in. — Vaultkid321

Catch your attention?  Want to read on?  Want to know what happens? The first sentence, first paragraph and even first chapter is what will capture the attention of both your reader and prospective publishers.  Here are some tricks of the trade:

  1. No back story in opening paragraph or at all if possible in the first chapter.
  2. Keep your reader on the edge of their seat asking “What Happens Next?”  If you don’t catch them in the first paragraphs, you will likely lose them.
  3. Take off your scholar’s hat and write in the vernacular of the reader.  Readers don’t want to use dictionaries.
  4. The opening paragraph and especially the opening line will set the tone and feel of the book.

Opening paragraph techniques:

Start in the middle of the action.  Watch a Steven Segal movie or any action adventure and there is sure to be a car chase, gun battle or some other “James Bond” beginning to bring you screeching into the scene.

ContradictionIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. —Charles Dickens, a Tale of Two Cities (1859)

Unexpected Happenings: In the film The Sixth Sense, Bruce Willis’ character believes he is alive, helping a boy to communicate with dead people, then discovers that he is also a dead person also

“Ask the reader a question”  “Have You Ever Wondered What Might have been?”
“If time travel were possible, where would you go?”

Sustaining the Suspense:

Complete pass. Again. Clock's ticking. Again. Down the field they go. The kid can't miss. The Panthers are nearing the end zone....The whole place is on its feet. Ball's on the 5-yard line. Marve takes the snap. Drops back. Throws. (excerpt from Ben Montgomery).

All those periods are stop signs slow the reader down. Way down. Leaving the reader in suspense. Until the very last moment when you spring it on them.

In conclusion, don’t forget to build the suspense for your next book in the series with an open ending.


  1. Thank you for hosting.
    Great post ☕

    1. You're so very welcome! As always, it's my pleasure!