An animal lover, fitness instructor, and author of dark and chilling thrillers...
Shirley strives for what she calls, "plausible realism" in her books and garners critical details from her "police ride along" experiences as well as educating herself by attending and graduating from the West Jordan Citizen's Police Academy and receiving training as a CERT member (Community Emergency Response Team). She is currently a West Jordan Police Department VIPS (Volunteer In Police Service).
When researching Ultimate Trust (book 2 in the Jewels Trust M.U.R.D.E.R. series) her antagonist built a bomb and consequently blew up a house. To ensure the scene was "plausible" she met with the fire chief and a SWAT arson investigator who helped her "build a better bomb" for her story!
"Thinking up and plotting the dastardly deeds of demented killers is a challenge," Shirley says. "However the real fun begins when figuring out how my heroine--and her studly hero, of course--will turn the tables, outsmart the twisted murderer, and survive."
In real life, Shirley has been a victim of human predators more than once, yet lives by the motto: No matter what horrible circumstance life hurls at you, choose to survive and become stronger because of it. She uses that maxim as a guide when writing her novels.
Shirley often wrangles friends into "role playing" when researching scenes and admits she "experiments" on herself and has done so with some of the tools her bad guys use, including duct tape, a variety of rope, and handcuffs. She even locked herself in the trunk of her car and attempted to escape. Hmmm. Knowing this, you may wonder how many of the stunts described in her books she tried on herself ... but she'll never tell!
What is your writing process?
When I have an idea, I jot down a rough outline, including the main characters, with simply the beginning, middle, and end of the plot. However, when I actually commence writing, I "become" each character--to think, feel as she/he would--which often leads my story in directions I never originally conceived. My husband says sometimes he can tell when I've been in the diabolical mind of one my serials killer characters because I take on a hard look and become sharp with my words. And when I'm in the midst of "being" a character when writing a romantic scene ... well, I'll let YOUR imagination run with that one!
What kind of research is required for your novels?
Since I strive for a level of "plausible realism" in my stories, I am always researching, especially guns, defensive tactics, detainment/escape methods, and so forth. Depending on the plot and characters, usually some level of law enforcement is involved. For example, in Ultimate Trust, book two in the Jewels Trust series, the "bad guy" makes bombs. In addition to purchasing a "how to" book on the subject--yeah, I know, it's interesting what can be found in print and on the internet with a little research--I also contacted local authorities. Long story short, with my "how to" book in hand, I met with the fire chief and an arson specialist with SWAT, who helped me add realism to my explosion scenes.
When one of my characters is kidnapped, for example, I often "role play" the scenes with my husband and/or friends. I still laugh as I recall my editor and I acted out a scene in which one of my characters is abducted and thrown into a car. We "practiced" throwing each other into my car to see how we landed (shoulder smashed into the console for example) and what it felt like (head snapping to the side, etc.). Oh, and we did this in a public parking lot, so we ended up with a few spectators!
In the name of novel research, I've handcuffed myself to a chair (but forgot to leave the handy and I was alone, which made for a challenging afternoon), locked myself in the trunk of my car (didn't tell anyone and NONE of the "advice" I read on the internet about escaping a trunk proved valid), and had my hands and feet duct taped to figure out escape methods ... and that's just to name a few of the experiments I've done.
Featuring the beautiful werewolf Florianna Erew, these unique werewolf tales mesh plausible real-world relationship situations and murder investigations, with the desires of those covertly living the supernatural lifestyle to create exhilarating killer-good thrillers.
These psychological thrillers--each unique-- feature sexy heroines and hunky heroes battling a variety of cunning serial killers passing themselves off as "normal" while committing their hideous crimes and often hiding in plain sight of their next victim.
Kidnapping. Torture. Murder.
The smart and sexy heroine, Jewels, along with her herculean hero counterparts, engage in life and death struggles with psychotic killers in this six-book series that spells MURDER.
Be prepared to hold your breath, gasp, and cringe as Jewels battles to survive the sadistic and murderous intentions of demented criminals ... and on the lighter side, perhaps even swoon during her romantic interludes.
FAIR WARNING: Not for the easily offended or faint of heart. The author strives for "plausible realism" thus sometimes strong language and detailed scenes of criminal acts are depicted.
Love Triangles • Revenge Plots • Werewolf Cannibals • MURDER
Sexy Hungarian werewolf, Florianna Erew, believes she’s found her alpha love in homicide detective, Laszlo Veres, until learning Viktor Balogh, her childhood sweetheart turned bad boy, has been released from the Black Moon prison.
Intriguing characters and plenty of twists keep the pages turning in this thrilling werewolf adventure.
Desire. Double Cross. Murder. Florianna Erew is a beautiful werewolf on the prowl for a Hungarian mate. Meanwhile, Exterminators are on the hunt to behead werewolves. This unique werewolf tale meshes plausible real-world relationship situations and murder investigations, with the desires of those covertly living the supernatural lifestyle to create an exhilarating killer-good thriller.
The “Reunion Killer” strikes every five years and is on the hunt. His victim will be an attractive single woman in her early to mid fifties with long auburn hair and work at a job dealing with the public. Zoelle Spencer, a water fitness instructor, is divorced and looking for love. The Reunion Killer has set his sights on her. Will Zoelle find true love or become Forever Breathless?
Romance ignites and bullets fly when Mandi Winslow—a beautiful woman with the premeditated murder on her mind—crosses paths with a handsome federal agent on the run from a treasonous militia wanting him dead. Despite the seeming randomness of their meeting and her subsequent abduction, Mandi soon discovers the terrifying truth: her involvement is anything but mere happenstance.
From the casual observer’s point of view, sexy Summer Davis has it all. Looks. Wealth. Status. But someone driving a black Chrysler 300 is stalking her. Rayne, her psychic twin brother, is receiving visions indicating Summer’s life is in jeopardy. And a sadistic serial killer who torturously spanks women and skins them alive is on the prowl for his next victim … Summer!
This final story in the thrilling Jewels Trust M.U.R.D.E.R. series has it all.
Gruesome murders. Deep regrets. Brutal revenge schemes. Hidden passion. Blossoming romance. True love. And a happy ending … maybe, depending on your point of view.
League of Utah Writers Award Winner!
Somebody’s murdering authors of thriller books. Guess what? You’re next.
SynDee Unser, a writer of thriller novels, dreams of becoming a bestselling author. A widow, she dreams of falling in love again. However, based on her experience of slow book sales and the lack of dating action, she deems both dreams just that. But that’s about to change.
Secrets. Lies. Murders of Unspeakable Horror.
Despite warnings not to go, you go anyway and talk your best friend into going with you.
Captured by a serial killer, you must save yourself and your best friend from a hideous demise.
Jewels’ integrity, marriage, and life are on the line in this shocking fifth book in the series.
Kidnapping. Revenge. Death by Immersion in Boiling Wax.
You’ve become the obsession of not one, but two vicious killers working together.
Can you trust one to save you from the other?
Kidnapped and locked in a cage, Jewels must pour on the charm to attempt to “turn” one of the killers to protect her from the other. Even if that charm leads to falling for one of her would-be killers.
Perverse Needs. Unrelenting Pursuit. Savage Murders.
He looks like your husband. Dresses and acts like your husband.
But he’s definitely not your husband.
A sadistic rapist turned murderer is a dead ringer for Jewels’ hero husband and decides to “become” him. Jewels is forced to accept her new counterfeit husband or suffer grave consequences.
Desperation. Obsession. Premeditated Murder.
Jewels marries her herculean hero, but at least one deviant has explosive plans to ensure the sexy rich woman and legendary lawman do not live happily ever after…
Deception. Torture. Murder.
Captured and held prisoner in the mountains by a radical militia, Jewels seeks an ally. Whom shall she trust? The rough-handed prison guard? The militia’s doctor? Or should she wait for the FBI to rescue her? Will she make the right choice to be spared her captor's savage mutilation? Or will mistaken trust lead to her torturous demise?