This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI, Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O. Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel).
Blurb from Book 1 Ties That Bind:
When an isolated incident turns into a hunt for a serial killer, Detective Madison Knight is not going to back down—even if it pits her against her superiors.
The hunt for a serial killer begins…
Detective Madison Knight concluded the case of a strangled woman an isolated incident. But when another woman’s body is found in a park killed with the same brand of neckties, she realizes they’re dealing with something more serious.
Despite mounting pressure from the sergeant and the chief to close the case even if it means putting an innocent man behind bars, and a partner who is more interested in saving his marriage than stopping a potential serial killer, Madison may have to go it alone if the murderer is going to be stopped.
Excerpt from Ties That Bind:
SOMEONE DIED EVERY DAY. Detective Madison Knight was left to make sense of it.
She ducked under the yellow tape and surveyed the scene. The white, two-story house would be deemed average any other day, but today the dead body inside made it a place of interest to the Stiles PD and the curious onlookers who gathered in small clusters on the sidewalk.
She’d never before seen the officer who was securing the perimeter, but she knew his type. The way he stood there—his back straight, one hand resting on his holster, the other gripping a clipboard—he was an eager recruit.
He held up a hand as she approached. “This is a closed crime scene.”
She unclipped her badge from the waist of her pants and held it up in front of him. He studied it as if it were counterfeit. She usually respected those who took their jobs seriously but not when she was functioning on little sleep and the humidity level topped ninety-five percent at ten thirty in the morning.
Her name died on her lips as Sergeant Winston stepped out of the house. She would have groaned audibly if he weren’t closing the distance between them so quickly. She preferred her boss behind his desk.
Winston gestured toward the young officer to let him know she was permitted to be on the scene. The officer glared at her before leaving his post. She envied the fact that he could walk away while she was left to speak with the sarge.
“It’s about time you got here.” Winston fished a handkerchief out of a pocket and wiped at his receding hairline. The extra few inches of exposed forehead could have served as a solar panel. “I was just about to assign the lead to Grant.”
Terry Grant was her on-the-job partner of five years and three years younger than her thirty-four. She’d be damned if Terry was put in charge of this case.
“Where have you been?” Winston asked.
She jacked a thumb in the rookie’s direction. “Who’s the new guy?”
“Don’t change the subject, Knight.”
She needed to offer some sort of explanation for being late. “Well, boss, you know me. Up all night slinging back shooters.”
“Don’t get smart with me.”
She flashed him a cocky smile and pulled out a Hershey’s bar from one of her front pants pocket. The chocolate had already softened from the heat. Not that it mattered. She took a bite.
“What are you doing here, anyway?” she asked with her mouth partially full.
“The call came in, I was nearby, and thought someone should respond.” His leg caught the tape as he tried to step over it to the sidewalk and he hopped on the other leg to adjust his balance. He continued speaking as if he hadn’t noticed. “The body’s upstairs, main bedroom. She was strangled.” He pointed the tip of a key toward her. “Keep me updated.” He pressed a button on his key fob and the department-issued SUV’s lights flashed. “I’ll be waiting for your call.”
As if he needed to say that. Sometimes she wondered if he valued talking more than taking action.
She took a deep breath. She could feel the young officer watching her, and she flicked a glance at him, now that the sergeant was gone. What was his problem? She took another bite of her candy bar.
“Too bad you showed. I think I was about to get the lead.”
Madison turned toward her partner’s voice. Terry was padding across the lawn toward her.
“I’d have to be the one dead for that to happen.” She smiled as she brushed past him.
“You look like crap.”
Her smile faded. She stopped walking and turned around. Every one of his blond hairs were in place, making her self-conscious of her short, wake-up-and-wear-it cut. His cheeks held a healthy glow, too, no doubt from his two-mile morning run. She hated people who could do mornings.
“What did you get? Two hours of sleep?” Terry asked.
“Three, but who’s counting?” She took another large bite of the chocolate. It was almost a slurp with how fast the bar was melting.
“You were up reviewing evidence from the last case again, weren’t you?”
She wasn’t inclined to answer.
“You can’t change the past.”
She wasn’t hungry anymore and wrapped up what was left of the chocolate. “Let’s focus on this case.”
“Fine, if that’s how it’s going be. Victim’s name is Laura Saunders. She’s thirty-two. Single. Officer Higgins was the first on scene.”
Higgins? She hadn’t seen him since she arrived, but had been her training officer. He still worked in that capacity for new recruits. Advancing in the ranks wasn’t important to him. He was happy making a difference where he was stationed.
Terry continued. “Call came in from the vic’s employer, Southwest Welding Products, where she worked as the receptionist.”
“What would make the employer call?”
“She didn’t show for her shift at eight. They tried reaching her first, but when they didn’t get an answer, they sent a security officer over to her house. He found the door ajar and called downtown. Higgins was here by eight forty-five.”
“The security officer?”
“Yeah.” Apparently they finished each other’s sentences now.
“Terrence Owens. And don’t worry. We took a formal statement and let him go. Background showed nothing, not even a speeding ticket. We can function when you’re not here.”
She cocked her head to the side.
“He also testifies to the fact that he never stepped one foot in the place.” Terry laughed. “He said he’s watched enough cop dramas to know that it would contaminate the crime scene. You get all these people watching those stupid TV shows, and they think they can solve a murder.”
“So is Owens the one who made the formal call downtown, then?” Madison asked.
“Actually, procedure for them is to route everything through the company administration. A Sandra Butler made the call. She’s the office manager.”
“So an employee is even half an hour late for work and they send someone to your house?”
“She said it’s part of their safety policy.”
“At least they’re a group of people inclined to think positively.” She rolled her eyes. Sweat droplets ran down her back. Gross. She moved toward the house.
The young officer scurried over. He shoved his clipboard under his arm and tucked his pen behind his ear. He pointed toward the chocolate bar still in her hand. “You can’t take that in there.”
She glanced down. Chocolate oozed from a corner of the wrapper. He was right. She handed the package to him, and he took it with two pinched fingers.
She patted his shoulder. “Good job.”
He walked away with the bar dangling from his hand, mumbling something indiscernible.
“You can be so wicked sometimes,” Terry said.
“Why, thank you.” She was tempted to take a mini bow but resisted the urge.
“It wasn’t a compliment. And since when do you eat chocolate for breakfast?”
“Oh shut up.” She punched him in the shoulder. He smirked and rubbed his arm. Same old sideshow. She headed into the house with him on her heels.
“The stairs are to the right,” Terry said.
“Holy crap, it’s freezing in here.” The sweat on her skin chilled her. It was a refreshing welcome.
“Yep, a hundred and one outside, sixty inside.”
When she was two steps from the top of the staircase, Terry said, “And just a heads-up—this is not your typical strangulation.”
“Come on, Terry. You’ve seen one, you’ve—” She stopped abruptly when she reached the bedroom doorway. Terry was right.
5 Tips to Writing Strong Supporting Characters
A book would be nothing without characters, and with such an important role, it’s vital that we create ones that are strong and rememberable. These include our supporting characters.
When creating your main characters no doubt you put much time and effort into crafting their personality, their history, their relationships with others, their personal tastes in all areas of life, their physical appearance, their desires and needs, their background, education, occuption, and the list goes on. To sum this up, you know your main characters intimiately. The same should be said of your supporting characters.
You might be wondering why as they don’t have the same on-the-page time as do main characters, but here’s the reason: characters can make or break your book just as a bad actor or actress can kill a movie.
Consider for a minute how boring it would be if all your characters were black shadows walking through a cardboard city. That’s essentially how flat a story can be if the characters haven’t been finetuned. So how can you create strong supporting characters? The same way you create main characters.
Maybe the thought of creating strong characters makes you feel overwhelmed or you don’t know how to get started with this. Here are a few suggestions.
1) Interview the character with intimate questions that really tap into their psyche. Don’t just ask them, for example, why they chose a certain profession; ask them what emotions or external factors led to their choice? Don’t just scrape the surface, pry beneath it. By taking our character analysis to this deeper level, you will not only know who your character is, but why they are who they are. And by talking to your characters, no, you’re not going crazy. Your characters should be as real to you any flesh and blood person would be. If you don’t buy them as such, neither will your reader.
2) Go deeper. Once you know their background, how does this factor into their life choices and reactions to certain situations now? Maybe they had a hard childhood and were not allowed to express their emotions. They may not even be aware of their need to overcome this. Maybe they never saw their parents cry and, in turn, don’t show emotion themselves. They could bury it and possibly explode to a seemingly unrelated situation or breakdown in private. These are all things you need to know to deepen your characters and assign them believability. By knowing your character’s emotional make-up you, as the author, will be able to convey them even stronger on the page. They will take on a breath of life through their words, thoughts, and actions.
3) Write a scene (or more than one) in first person point of view with the character you’re endeavoring to know better. Doing so really puts you in their mind and lets you see things, people, and situations through their eyes.
4) Closely related to number two, characters grow and develop the more you write them, so when they encounter a situation they never have before, how do they react? Really dig deep to answer that and you will get to know them more.
5) Keep writing. There’s no doubt we know our characters intimately by the end of a book. Most times we don’t want to let them go. Use this deeper knowledge when you go back through to edit and re-write.
Now, get writing. : )
About the Author:
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
Website - http://carolynarnold.net/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold
TIES THAT BIND
Ties that Bind, the first book in the series, is FREE
In the Line of Duty (Release date: September 29, 2016)
Carolyn will be awarding $25.00 USD via PayPal International to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter, as well as 1 hardcover of Ties That Bind to another randomly drawn winner and 1 paperback copy of Ties That Bind to one more randomly drawn winner - all via rafflecopter. These are available to the US, Canada, and the UK during the tour. Follow the tour and comment for more chances to win.
August 24: Fabulous and Brunette
August 31: Louise Lyndon
September 7: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin' - review only
September 14: BooksChatter
September 21: Jane Reads
October 5: T's Stuff
October 12: Kissing Bandits
October 19: Two Ends of the Pen
October 26: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
November 2: Sharing Links and Wisdom
November 9: EskieMama Reads
November 16: Long and Short Reviews
November 23: Straight from the Library
November 30: Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews