R.J. Minnick


R.J. MINNICK has spent a lifetime working at various jobs (she even sold Fuller Brush!) and another lifetime raising six terrific offspring with her husband. During both those lifetimes she kept writing - poetry, reviews, short stories, nonfiction, mysteries, mainstream novels, and Christmas epics. She has credentials in national and local magazines and community news publications.
Where the Bodies Lie Buried is her first mystery, and the first in her Mackenzie Wilder/Classic Boat mystery series.

She grew up the youngest of five girls in upstate New York, then lived in Maryland and Vermont before settling in Nashville, Tennessee where her family spent 24 years before moving to North Carolina. With her children now adults, she has moved from being a full-time mom to being the family's on-call consulting guru. She is also a part-time Parish Administrator and occasional web designer.

For 16 of the years they lived in Nashville, RJ coached writing in their children’s schools. She now continues working with people who love to write by being part of a writer's group and by helping with local writing workshops.

She writes for a local magazine, ARRAY, but her fiction work is currently focused on novels.

R.J. Minnick lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, five cats and - from time to time - a child or two.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in rural upstate New York. We had a centralized school district with teachers that focused on the idea that good writing was the start -- and maybe the pinnacle -- of all communication. Creativity was encouraged; college something to be strived for. I wound up at the State University of New York at Oswego, which led to my meeting someone who would introduce me to antique boats. That, combined with a love of mystery that started with Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie (a tried-and-true foundation for mystery writing), led me to create the series published here on Smashwords, the Mackenzie Wilder/Classic Boat mysteries.
When did you first start writing?
I can still picture the notebook page filled with blotchy blue ballpoint pen and feel the cramps in my fingers. It was 5th grade. I wrote a 15-page story that I think might have been called "The Mystery of the Blue Vase". I'm not sure, but I think there were fairies in the story, too.

Writing for me was simply the recording of my imaginings. Being the youngest of five, it seemed I was always waiting for someone -- waiting for sisters to get ready so we could leave; waiting in the car to pick someone up; waiting for the school bus. Even riding in the car on the way to see my aunts and grandmother was a kind of waiting. My brain couldn't stand being still, so I was always making up stories about my surroundings or what I wished would happen next. Eventually, loving books as I did, writing the stories down seemed the natural thing to do .
Read more of this interview.

Where to buy in print


Christmas House
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 84,000. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Holiday » Christmas
Sometimes it’s not about falling in love. Sometimes it's about making love work. Molly and Bret Small are building a Christmas destination shop full of Christmas goodies, decorations, and gifts - until Fate decides to throw cold water on the idea. Trying to start a business and a family at the same time is not the easiest thing in the world, and the attempt puts their marriage to the test.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 128,850. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
Wilson Parker's been charged with the task of getting land Bedlowe Developers needs for its next project. Parker's already been in touch with a few people eager to make a buck selling land to the flashy company. But maybe he should have spoken with someone besides Ray Boone before heading down Highway 70, Then it might not come down to a race between him and the son of a dying man.
Flying Purple People Seater
Series: Mackenzie Wilder/Classic Boat Mystery, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 99,150. Language: English. Published: April 3, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Dorsey Wegman agrees to fetch one of Mackenzie Wilder’s new boats. No big deal. BUT the boat that is supposed to be ready for the water, isn’t. The boatwright is missing. And "Doc? There’s a dead woman on board your boat. The police have impounded it, and I can’t leave until they have a handle on what’s going on. They’ll be calling you in about a half hour, they said. Doc, what should I do?"
Sweet Corn, Fields, Forever
Series: Mackenzie Wilder/Classic Boat Mystery, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 118,110. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2013 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
When Jason Fields and Mackenzie Wilder discover the body of a country musician in a conference room of Jason's Research and Design facility, the authorities presume Jason is at fault. Especially when they overhear him say the dead man is the reason he doesn't write country songs any more. They have to stop the killing, but will it cost them more than the diamonds on a country singer's costume?
Where the Bodies Lie Buried
Series: Mackenzie Wilder/Classic Boat Mystery, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 103,940. Language: English. Published: November 16, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
When Mackenzie Russell Wilder returns home to take over Dr. Kesselman's medical practice, she thinks she'll spend her future taking care of patients and relaxing on the Hudson River in her classic Chris Craft runabout. But skeletons uncovered on the old family farm seem to dictate otherwise. Was her outlaw father responsible, as New York State troopers think? Or can she and Bryan prove otherwise?

Smashwords book reviews by R.J. Minnick

  • House Of Consequence on May 04, 2014

    House of Consequences is the first in a series and the first novel by Nienna Luinwe. The DeGaul family is extensive, wealthy, powerful, and full of secrets. One secret in particular puts young Genevieve at risk of harm from old enemies who carry a long, hateful grudge. The book moves along quickly, and the plot is sufficiently convoluted to keep the reader guessing. Luinwe’s characters are engaging if not fully drawn. I found this book to be entertaining, but suffering from incomplete editing, which distracted from my pleasure. There were numerous proofreading errors, but also an overabundance of narration. When the author gets fully into a scene with action and sufficient dialogue, the book reads much more easily. The characters breathe better and become more real. The scenes connect better. Taking the time to write more fully would lengthen the novel to a more comfortable length, too. In addition, it would help if the characters could settle into either French or English patterns of speech, rather than a mixture of both. If the author can solve these problems with her next book, she will be on her way to creating an intriguing and entertaining series.