Pains and Penalties
A Geeks and Things Cozy Mysteries Novella #1
by Sarah Biglow Genre: Cozy Mystery
A new amateur sleuth is on the case in the first book of this Cozy Mystery novella series.
When Kalina Greystone returns home to the small town of Ellesworth, MA in the wake of her father's passing to take over the family's comic book shop, she never expects to reconnect with her old flame, Detective Christian Harper. But when elderly Mrs. Davies winds up murdered at the annual Solstice Fair, Kalina can't help but get swept up in his investigation and solving the case. While Detective Harper runs his investigation, she cozies up to the dead woman’s best friend, Mrs. Grant, and learns that she and a third woman, Ms. Ellicott, might be targets. Someone has sent them notes with the cryptic warning ‘Lying is a mortal sin’. As Kalina digs deeper into the women’s shared past, she unearths the perjury that sentenced an innocent man to prison. After discovering Ms. Ellicott dead in her home, Kalina and Detective Harper must race to unmask the killer before vengeance can be sated.
Forgive and Forget
A Geeks and Things Cozy Mysteries Novella #2
Your favorite amateur sleuth is back on the case in the second installment of the Geeks and Things Cozy series.
Life is looking good for Kalina Greystone. Geeks and Things is thriving and she’s even rekindled her high-school romance with Detective Christian Harper. But her world spins off-kilter when she finds her high school best friend, Nadine Larrabee, huddled over her father’s dead body.
Nadine fears she’s responsible for her father’s death but doesn’t remember details. As Kalina keeps close to the investigation--certain her friend is no killer--a horrifying family history unfolds, providing motive for the girl Kalina once knew. Refusing to believe Nadine is capable of such an act, Kalina peels back the layers of family drama to find the truth.
Debts and Debtors
A Geeks and Things Cozy Mysteries Novella #3
Kalina Greystone is back for another small town, amateur mystery in the third installment of the Geeks and Things Mystery series.
It’s Thanksgiving in the small town of Ellesworth, MA and Kalina and her family have gathered to celebrate the holiday—their first since her father’s passing—but all is not well when Savannah Chase, Jillian’s college roommate appears on their doorstep. She’s distraught over her missing husband. She just knows something’s happened to him. Despite knowing Chris wouldn’t approve, Kalina keeps tabs on the investigation. After all, Savannah is like family.
The investigation takes a turn for the curious when Mr. Chase’s body is found in a foreclosed house in a area ripe for commercial development. Kalina and Chris soon discover that Thomas had recently changed jobs, giving up real estate for debt collection. But who would want him dead? The more Kalina digs, the more she finds herself in the cross-hairs of a dangerous man. She and Chris must solve the case before she becomes the next victim.
Have and Hold
A Geeks and Things Cozy Mysteries Novella #4
Your favorite amateur sleuth is on the case in a new Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery.
The small town of Ellesworth, MA is abuzz with the upcoming wedding of Kalina Greystone and newly promoted Police Captain Christian Harper. But not everyone is thrilled for the happy couple. On the morning of Chris’s promotional ceremony, they receive a shocking package—a severed finger wearing an engagement ring! Under the guise of last-minute wedding preparations, Kalina questions a local jeweler who may have sold the ring adorning the finger. In fact, he’d sold three such rings recently. When a second finger is sent to a local reporter and the bodies of the victims are discovered near the beach, Kalina knows there is little time left to find the third victim. But why target these brides-to-be? After digging deeper, she uncovers a startling connection between the players and must race to save the woman who is the true target of the killer’s rage.
Saints and Sinners
A Geeks and Things Cozy Mysteries Novella #5
Your favorite amateur sleuth is back for one last case in the final installment of the Geeks and Things Cozy Mystery series.
Kalina Greystone’s life has finally fallen into place. Now happily married and eight months pregnant, she is ready to step away from sleuthing and give all of her time to her family and Geeks and Things. Unfortunately, sleuthing isn’t quite done with her. On a trip to the cemetery to visit her father’s grave, she happens upon a dead woman’s body. Video footage reveals the killer but the case takes one bizarre turn after the next. The woman, Verona Maxwell, shares fingerprints with Paige Fischer, a little girl who died over fifteen years ago in a boating accident with her twin brother, Patrick. Or did they? The killer looks an awful lot like Patrick. Having briefly known the twins in her youth, Kalina searches their past in the hopes of making sense of the present. But the more she digs, the darker the reality becomes. Systemic abuse by Paige and parental neglect rise to the surface, making her wonder if the past isn’t as buried as everyone was led to believe.
Sarah lives in Massachusetts with her fiancé. She is a licensed attorney and spends her days combating employment discrimination as an Investigator with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
She is a self-professed TV junkie and in her spare time (what’s that?), she runs a TV recap blog with her best friend (and sorority sister), Jen. Sarah currently enjoys an array of TV shows including (but definitely not limited to) Once Upon a Time, Blindspot, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, Grimm, The Flash and Arrow. She is always on the hunt for new shows to binge!
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
A couple years ago, I was asked to be the keynote speaker at a disability technology conference. I was born premature and I have Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). I only have vision in one eye but that was pretty cool to share my experience with a room full of people and hey, I even got to drop that I’m a published author!
Where were you born/grew up at?
I grew up in Rocky Hill, CT (just outside of Hartford). I’m an only child so it was just me, my parents and our dog from the time I was about 9. It’s your typical suburb and while it’s nice to go home, I’m happy to have moved to a city where I can get around on my own.
What are you passionate about these days?
I am a licensed attorney and I work for the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination as an investigator so you could say I’m pretty passionate about eradicating discrimination. I love my job and it’s not without its craziness with people’s complaints. I’m still trying to find a way to put the whacky things I’ve seen at work into entertainment form.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I’m a HUGE TV fan. Like, I watch way more TV in a week than is healthy probably. I absolutely adore This Is Us and I love getting to watch and chat about it with my family and friends. I also enjoy reading, though since working I haven’t had as much chance to read. I’m hoping to read at least 35 books this year!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I wrote my first story in first grade (it was about 100 squirrels. It was illustrated and my dad bound it and everything). But I wouldn’t say I considered myself a writer until freshman year of high school when w e had to do bi-weekly creative writing assignments in my honors English class. I really got into writing fiction in early college and I haven’t looked back since!
Do you have a favorite movie? which of your novels can you imagine made into
I love all things Harry Potter so all eight of those movies are pretty high up there. I also love Love, Actually. It just has such a stellar cast and is a lot of fun! I could see most of work as movies, although the Geeks and Things series would probably work better as a short-run TV series.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wasn’t having a lot of exposure with my backlist so I decided to get in on the cozy mystery craze. They weren’t hard to write and I’d had the character of Kalina bouncing around in my head for a long time and these seemed like the right place for her to land.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I write a lot of genres but on the horizon, I have a new 3-book cozy mystery novella series coming out either later this year or early next year that I plan to connect to the Geeks and Things series. I also have the first book in an adult urban fantasy series coming around the same time.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Not a whole lot. There is a prequel short story (Toil and Trouble) that is available to purchase or you can get a free copy by subscribing to my mailing list. I do plan to write another side-story connecting the Geeks and Things world to my new series in the near future.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Geeks and Things?
Kalina Greystone is the main protagonist of the series. She’s recently returned home to her small town to take over the family business when she gets caught up in a murder mystery. The first case doesn’t necessarily tie into her too closely but the cases in books 2-5 all tie into her life more directly.
Christian Harper is the police detective that Kalina works with and he’s also her former high school flame. Over the course of the series they work together and rekindle their high school romance.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I liked to see Kalina and Chris solve cases together and rebuild their relationship. I also enjoyed piecing the cases together. They were just fun characters and the fact that she owned a comic book shop just allowed me to put some of my own nerdiness into the mix.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
My very first published novel UNPLANNED is about 4 women who are unexpectedly pregnant and it follows their journeys over the span of the pregnancy. For the Geeks and Things series, the first book deals with the idea of perjury and therefore Pains and Penalties seemed perfect. After that, I was determined to find alliterative titles that were actual phrases and I was pretty pleased with myself for coming up with all of them.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I’d love to hang with Kalina in her shop and play nerdy board games and chat about genre TV.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I’ve only had that happen with one project where the characters took over. But no, that wasn’t the case with Geeks and Things. I knew what needed to happen and the characters let me lead them where they needed to go.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I’m a yearly participant of National Novel Writing Month and have done so since 2005. I have many novels that are not going to be published because they just aren’t good enough. Some have evolved into projects that have been published but a lot of the early novels just weren’t good.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
As I said before, I love Harry Potter so JK Rowling is the top of the list (I didn’t like The Casual Vacancy but I did like the Cormoran Stirke novels too). I enjoy the Greek/Norse/Roman centric series by Rick Riordan and I’ll read pretty much anything by Seanan McGuire. I like Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series and Jim C. Hines’ Magic Ex Libris series (which was far too short). I also love Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone international thrillers. Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
Well, I’ve always loved Severus Snape. His story was tragic but I loved it. My husband wholeheartedly disagrees with me but I find the sacrifices he made based on his love for Lily to be beautiful.
Advice they would give new authors? Know that your first draft is probably going to suck. Don’t be afraid to accept criticism and know that editing is just as important to the writing process as the actual story creation. But know what your story should be enough to know when to take advice and when to stick to your guns.
What are they currently reading?
I’m in the middle of reading THE END OF MAGIC by Amber Benson. I think next up will be SCYTHE by Neal Shusterman.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing fairly consistently since high school, so about 2001. Hard to believe its been seventeen years! I’ve definitely improved both my skill as a writer and my ability to take criticism and edit. There was a time I loathed editing my own work. It’s still not my favorite thing to do but I’m getting much better at it!
Do you see writing as a career?
I think a lot of people would love to write as a career but given that I self-publish I know there is so much work that goes into it that I don’t think it’s viable. You have to put a lot of time, energy and funds into promoting your work to make sufficient income to support yourself. Plus, I love my day job and don’t want to give that up.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I’m mostly into urban fantasy and international thrillers. In addition to committing to read 35 books this year, I’m also checking out 3 or 4 new authors to add to my repertoire.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I usually always have music on when I’m writing o r editing. It helps me think. I also have a lot of playlists on my phone and there are definitely times where a certain one gets me in the right headspace to work on a particular project. And sometimes, a project can be motivated by more than one playlist.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
When I was younger, I could do multiple projects at once but as I’ve gotten older, I find I need to concentrate on one project at a time so that’s what I do. I give the characters and story my full attention before moving on to the next one. For instance, while I have work out to betas, I’ll work on a different project and then put that one down when it’s time to go back to the first one.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer all the way. For one thing, my handwriting isn’t that great and given my vision problems, being able to read what I’ve written is kind of crucial. Plus, I type very quickly so I’m able to get more down typing in a shorter amount of time. And I can make thing as big as I need them to be.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!