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Fascinating Rhythm

A lethal obsession

Welcome to the landing page for Fascinating Rhythm, book one in the Freddie and Kathy 1920s series. The book, which runs about 280 pages, is available in both paperback (for $16.99) and ebook (for $3.99) at the below retailers.

Fascinating Rhythm, the Synopsis

In December 1924, there were plenty of people who wanted to see Frank Selby dead. He was a cad when it came to women. His illegal trade in booze could have made him the target of mobsters. But it was his laziness that made Kathy Briscow the main suspect in his murder. Kathy, an ambitious secretary at Healcroft House, Publishers, was doing Selby’s work for him, including editing The Old Money Story, by dilettante millionaire Freddie Little.

Freddie had good reason to believe that Kathy was innocent. Getting the police to look at Frank’s wealthy cousin Percy was going to be all but impossible. And there were other suspects, such as Frank Selby’s former secretary, who had been fired without cause, not to mention competing rum runners, or even Mr. Healcroft, the head of the publishing house. So Freddie and Kathy join forces to dig up the evidence by combing the streets and speakeasies of New York City, only to become targets, themselves.

See the rest of the books in the series

Download a pdf of the first chapter

How I wrote the novel

Fascinating Rhythm started with a dream. I had this image of a Model T parked underneath a theater marquee. Alas, it wasn’t until I was listening to the great Ella Fitzgerald singing what became the title tune of the book (which I detail on the series page), and dancing to it while trying to get a cheesecake into the oven, that the characters and the setting fell into place.

Sadly, at the time, I did not know much about the 1920s in the U.S. I do love research and found some great books and also discovered how useful period newspapers can be. But even going down the Research Rabbit Hole did not bring the plot and the characters to life the way breaking my elbow did.

I was home from the hospital recuperating, which meant there wasn’t a lot to do. The American Movie Classics channel was just getting on its feet at the time, and they were running a couple of silent films. Hmmmm. So I watched Wings (which just happens to be the Motion Picture Academy’s very first Best Picture), which was darned good, and The Sheik, the one that people think of when they think of Rudolph Valentino, which was… Not so good. Or maybe it’s just a product of its time.

But both films got me thinking about Fascinating Rhythm. But my arm was in a cast. But I had an outline finally. Would you believe I talked a friend of mine from church to write the outline out for me? Then I typed something like thirty pages one-handed and finished the first draft in a matter of weeks. I was housebound and couldn’t do anything else except write.

Publishing the book

It still took a lot of years and rewrites before Fascinating Rhythm saw the light of day as my first self-published book. In mid-2014, I gave up my family TV blog. Or rather, I totally crashed and burned on writing about television. But what was I to do? Freelancing was a losing proposition as more and more publications either went under or expected content for free.

So I decided to focus on my first love – fiction, and mystery fiction at that. I also had a friend who’d written a really good book and decided that she did not want to go the traditional publishing route because she would still have to do so much work, getting the book edited, then finding an agent, then a publisher, and still have to do all the work publicizing the book for a fraction of the proceeds. What she said made an enormous amount of sense to me. And that’s when I decided to go it on my own.

Which brings to mind a nifty little joke. When it came time to decide on the name for the publishing imprint that I would use, my husband and I came up with the same idea independently of each other. You’ll just have to read the book, then look at the imprint name on the title page. Hey, why not go for an inside joke?

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