Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Assuming that we're talking about the first 'real' book, with chapters and no pictures . . . I don't remember the title or much about the plot, but I vividly remember that I was seven years old at the time and my immediate reaction was to beg my mother to take me back to the library so I could get another one. There has never been a time, for the rest of my life, that I haven't been reading a book. All this reading is surely a big factor in why I so much wanted to become a writer.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Once I became determined to write a novel, I had a lot of false starts. I'd get a few pages done and then couldn't figure out where it should go next. I read one book on writing craft and then jumped in, and over the course of two years I finished a 500 page manuscript. My opening scene must have been pretty good--it won third place in a writing competition--but the whole book never got picked up by a publisher, and later advice from a writer friend was that I get back to basics and come up with a better plot.
This nearly-cozy mystery series by USA Today bestselling author Connie Shelton introduces Albuquerque CPA Charlotte "Charlie" Parker. Charlie and her trusty sidekick dog are supposed to handle the business side of RJP Investigations while her brother, Ron, does the detecting. However, somehow Charlie always manages to get more involved than she wants to be.
Bad guys sometimes win. But these five spunky females are determined not to let them get away with their crimes. It's vigilante justice with a woman's touch when the Heist Ladies jump in to steal it back--jewels, money, dignity, reputation. They'll get it every time!
A cryptic message in a fortune cookie sends Charlie again to England, to visit her favorite aunt. She’s having lunch in a local café when construction workers come upon a human skeleton behind a wall. Charlie begins sleuthing around on a cold-case crime website, only to discover Aunt Louisa was one of the last to see the victim alive.
Samantha Sweet’s life is a little crazy right now, beginning with her daughter’s wedding, which coincides with Sam’s receiving a huge new contract for her chocolate factory. The day after the wedding someone takes a shot at Sam and she discovers her life is about to change forever.
Charlie and Drake are working a helicopter job in rural Maine when a man asks for their help. At first glance, it seems he’s just an old man needing a ride to his son’s remote cabin. But the cabin holds more secrets than Fergus McNab will admit, and it isn’t until Charlie returns to Albuquerque that she discovers they may have just aided and abetted a criminal who has escaped the law back home.
Women are flocking to invest in film producer Robert Williams’ latest project, and Gracie Nelson’s mother is no exception. She has sunk her life savings into his latest movie investment scheme. Big returns were promised, along with the chance to hobnob with famous actors. Now, the money’s gone and the Heist Ladies hatch a plan to get it back.
Breaking into another house, creating chocolates worth $200 a box, and helping her sheriff husband solve a traffic accident-turned-murder … Samantha Sweet has her hands more than a little full as the new year begins. USA Today bestselling author Connie Shelton has nearly 2 million books sold and downloaded in more than 60 countries. Find out what the fuss is all about!
Mary Holbrook worked alongside her husband to build a successful business, but when she wasn’t looking, all their money vanished and Clint found himself a cute new wife. Mary might be homeless now but she certainly isn’t helpless. She teams up with the Heist Ladies whose mission is to see justice done, and Clint Holbrook is the perfect guy to do it to. "Such an awesome book!"--Goodreads review
It’s Halloween, crazy busy for Samantha's pastry shop, Sweet’s Sweets. After baking a zillion pumpkin cookies, ghostly cupcakes, and an all-black cake for a young witch’s wedding, the gang is looking forward to a gala costume party at the neighborhood bookshop. But when one of the guests is murdered and a rare book vanishes, Sam is in the midst of another mystery. 10 dessert recipes included!
A missing million-dollar necklace, a nearly flawless museum robbery, a stalled police investigation. Caught in the middle, successful novelist Penelope Fitzpatrick stands to lose her family treasure. But Pen doesn’t give up that easily. When no one else is willing to act, she and a group of friends band together. They’ll simply catch the crooks and steal back the priceless legacy.
Cheating spouses, a pawned Super Bowl ring, a hundred-thousand-dollar scam. That's only one of Charlotte "Charlie" Parker's new cases. The second has Charlie tracking teenage twin girls who practically live on social media. One case turns into a comedy of errors, while the other has dark and potentially deadly implications, and Charlie is right in the middle.
Samantha Sweet has a contract to provide her special handmade chocolates for the wealthy jet-set clients of Book It Travel, and her bakery is taking on a whole new dimension. Only problem, Sam isn’t ready. It’s almost Halloween, her pastry shop is bursting at the seams and she needs more employees. A spooky old Victorian house might provide just the right space--or it might be haunted.
It's Ron Parker's wedding day but when his sister Charlie stops by to pick up the bride, the house is in disarray and the bride is missing. Ron's dilemma--a terrible argument with his fiancee the night before and no alibi. It gets worse when the media jumps on the story and the police treat Ron as a suspect. Charlie has her hands full solving this one. "Charlie is just what readers want." Booklist
When a woman walks into Samantha Sweet’s pastry shop, claiming to have amnesia, it’s a puzzle that seems unrelated to Sam’s new commission for a fantastic one-of-a-kind order of chocolates, although "Jane Doe" seems to know a lot about chocolate. Sam calls Sheriff Beau and the clues get tricky before this dynamic pair figure out the solution.
"I'm addicted to this series!" --5 star online review
For John Carver, a 12th century Celtic woodworker, life is a struggle. Then one summer day, as he walks past a near-dead alder tree, lightning strikes. Carver recovers and takes the usable pieces of the tree to his workshop. From the shards John creates three boxes. Then the unexplained happens—shortly after handling one of them, John’s touch brings his young son back from the brink of death.
Charlie and Drake take a job with Gold Trail Adventures in Skagway, Alaska, flying visitors by helicopter to remote cabin sites to try the outdoor lifestyle and look for gold. Before long, one guest finds a set of bones in an old mine, remains that date back decades. Swamped with present-day cases, the police chief tells Charlie she is free to investigate, but someone is determined to stop her.
Come visit New Mexico at Christmas! Four books by USA Today and international bestselling author, Connie Shelton. Featuring the characters from both of her popular cozy mystery series, each of these stories features a holiday setting that is sure to whet your appetite for the season!
Set includes: Sweet Holidays, Honeymoons Can Be Murder, Buried Secrets Can Be Murder and Holidays Can Be Murder
Two things are on Samantha Sweet’s mind this summer—organizing a chocolate festival and finding information on the mystical carved wooden box that came into her life two years ago. At last, she believes she has located the person who can give the answers. But death comes to the festival and as new facts come to light, Sam's own life is in danger. Here is book #9 in this bestselling mystery series!
Revenge is often a cold dish, but in the tiny northern New Mexico town of Sembramos emotions are running decidedly hot. When two men convicted of murdering a
local girl are released from prison after serving only a few years, their convictions overturned, the town’s old pain rises and tempers flare. Samantha Sweet and Sheriff Beau Cardwell get right in the thick of it, with three deaths to solve.
Investigator Charlie Parker and family are ready for a quiet Christmas at home but along comes a new case which made national headlines. Five years earlier, Tali Donovan was acquitted of killing her two children and then she vanished. Now, at the anniversary of the children’s disappearance, their father wants answers, knowing he will not find peace until he knows what really happened.
In this seventh book in Connie Shelton’s bestselling mystery series, Samantha Sweet learns that an Irish great-uncle left her an inheritance. Will the gift be something lavish and wonderful, or is there no pot of gold for Sam?
Meanwhile a local charter boat is found adrift near the rocky Irish coast, its occupants missing, and Sam and Beau find themselves on the trail of another mystery.
Samantha and Beau are ready for their autumn wedding. Dealing with the family may turn out to be the least of Sam’s problems when an unwelcome visitor walks into her shop—Sam’s old heart-throb, the charmer, Jake Calendar. Jake wants money for a Hollywood get-rich-quick scheme and he wants Sam to finance it. Can Sam convince him that the answer is ‘no’ or will he sabotage the plans for her wedding?
Charlie returns from her Hawaiian vacation to discover that her brother Ron is in love. But the younger woman, Vicky, seems manipulative and full of secrets. Meanwhile, Charlie offers to help a friend whose business partner apparently committed suicide. But did he? The questions get tricky as Charlie starts to investigate financial fraud and finds her own life on the line.
It’s the wedding season at Sweet’s Sweets and Sam scrambles to stay ahead of the rush of bakery orders. Her side job—breaking into houses—isn’t allowing much time off either. Not to mention that her mother is pressuring Sam and Beau to set their wedding date.
When two older women suddenly die and Sam and Beau begin to investigate, they suddenly realize Beau's mother may have been a victim too.
An enigmatic letter from her namesake aunt, a trip to England, and Charlie is seeing ghosts in the medieval Suffolk town of Bury St. Edmunds. But it isn’t only slightly-eccentric Aunt Louisa’s beliefs in the occult or her spooky “haunted sites” tours that pique Charlie’s interest. Something sinister is brewing and Charlie finds herself drawn into an investigation of crimes that are far too real.
Samantha Sweet is planning her wedding to Beau Cardwell, coping with record Valentine sales at her bakery, and she takes on a new mystery when a dying woman begs Sam to find her missing son before it's too late. And if life weren't complicated enough, an ex-girlfriend of Beau's shows up to announce that she plans to win him back. Midwest Book Review: "Connie Shelton gets better with every book."
In this third installment in the Samantha Sweet mystery series, it's Christmas and a chocolatier shows up at Sweet's Sweets, offering to create a special line of hand-dipped chocolates for Sam's customers. But she learns that he has connections to the wooden box that seems to give Sam her mystical powers, and discovers that certain evil people will do just about anything to take it away from her.
It’s a terrible case of mistaken identity when a gang of bank robbers think that Charlie is a famous movie star. Disappointed with their take from the bank, they decide that a hefty ransom will be their ticket to riches. But what will happen when the real star steps forward? Charlie knows that only her wits will save her from this band of desperate men.
Samantha Sweet is realizing her dream of opening her pastry shop, Sweet's Sweets. But she still has the obligations of her other job, breaking into houses. When a blood-soaked garment shows up among the discards at one of Samantha's properties, and when a friend makes a shocking confession, Sam finds herself in the midst of a complex mystery.
"Connie Shelton has another winner." The Book Report
New from USA Today bestselling author Connie Shelton! Samantha Sweet breaks into houses for a living. When she finds an unmarked grave, Sam calls the authorities. A small mural in the abandoned house provides clues--add a fortune in artwork, a bogus will, and a wooden box that gives Sam powers she never dreamed she possessed and it's a dynamic paranormal mystery.
"Another winner!" The Book Report
Charlie is invited to a plush Santa Fe spa by her friend Linda Casper. The massages and spa treatments sound great, until she realizes that there is something darker going on at the mountain resort. Meanwhile, Drake has his own concerns as an expert witness in a helicopter crash case. The two cases overlap and dangers abound, from all sides.
"Charlie is just what readers want."--Booklist
Charlie & Drake just want a getaway, a weekend in a lakeside cabin. But within hours Charlie has found a new mystery. A showplace home near the small town of Watson's Lake blew sky high a few years ago, a woman died, and the home's owner went missing. The case was never solved and Charlie discovers a complex web of deceit. "Another delicious read for the beach." –The Pilot, Southern Pines, N.C
It's time for the famous Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and Charlie is hired to protect a lady balloonist who will attempt a world altitude record on the final Sunday of the Fiesta. Rachael Fairfield has been receiving threats and believes they came from her father, a man she sent to prison 15 years earlier. But Charlie isn't so sure and the investigation gets tricky. "Another winner!" The Book Report
Charlie and Drake are off to Scotland to fly a helicopter contract at the offshore oil rigs in the North Sea, where they find that the helicopter operators are embroiled in an ongoing battle with boat owners. Meanwhile, at the castle where they are staying, Charlie finds herself helping the lord of the manor when his grandson is kidnapped. "Tension is fast paced..." --Midwest Book Review
Charlie isn't thrilled when a forceful female attorney comes into the office demanding that RJP Investigations locate her missing father in time for an upcoming family reunion. Willie McBride had told people that he was going prospecting for gold in the mountains of southern New Mexico, and now Charlie suspects foul play. She's determined to find him, dead or alive.
"A good bet!" –Booklist
Charlie and Drake get a dream honeymoon--three months in a secluded mountain cabin near the famous Taos Ski Valley, while their home in Albuquerque is under construction. Drake will operate his helicopter for skiers and Charlie finds herself drawn into a case that combines the Taos art world, stolen religious artifacts, and murder.
"a delightfully complex mystery." Romantic Times, (4-stars)
It's a New Mexico Christmas. The lights are strung, the luminarias are set along the sidewalks. A hint of snow is in the air and goodies are abundant. Charlie's mother-in-law is coming for a visit, and the preparations are nearly done. But when murder comes to the neighborhood, Charlie's holiday plans suddenly take a turn for the dark.
Bonus: Two New Mexico holiday recipes included!
Cleaning the attic Charlie comes across a small cryptic notebook that belonged to her late father, a top scientist at Sandia National Labs during the Cold War years. She never remembered much about that time, but now the questions are coming at her like crazy. When she learns that the plane crash that killed him was no accident she has to find out more. "The best of the series" Midwest Book Review
Charlie and Sally Bertrand visit Sally’s hometown of Valle Escondido, New Mexico. An unexplained series of miscarriages among the local women has the recently-pregnant Sally worried. She asks Charlie to look into the death of one of them.
Meanwhile, Drake Langston is back, wanting a commitment from Charlie. But she isn't sure she is ready. NPR called it "A good story and a challenging puzzle."
Off to Kauai for a much-needed vacation, Charlie takes a helicopter tour with a gorgeous and fascinating pilot, Drake Langston. But partway through the tour they spot a body lying on the rocks below. When Drake's boss, Mack, is accused of murdering the victim, Charlie finds herself with another mystery to solve. Romance is in the air, too, as Charlie and Drake work together to find the answers.
Charlie Parker is a reluctant detective. As a partner in RJP Investigations, with her brother Ron, she really only intends to keep up the financial end of the business. He's supposed to be the investigator.
But Stacy North, Charlie's former best friend, shows up and wants help in locating a missing watch, so Charlie agrees to help. When people start dying, Charlie knows she's in deep trouble.