December 27, 2012

Suspense: Young Ladies of Mystery @stacyjuba #rlfblog

Young Ladies of Mystery.

Stacy Juba, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your new release, the Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set.
Genre: Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Buy links:
Publisher: Thunder Horse Press
Cover artist: Mark Juba (for the boxed set cover)
Length: 595 pages
Heat rating: Clean romance
Tagline: Solve a cold case with aspiring reporter Kris Langley; discover the downside of fame with former reality show contestant Cassidy Novak; and meet teenage psychic Dawn Christian, who discovers that ESP spells D-A-N-G-E-R. 3 books in one download.
The Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set features Stacy's adult mystery/romantic suspense novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim, and her young adult psychic thriller Dark Before Dawn, in one bargain-priced download. Solve a cold case with aspiring reporter Kris Langley; discover the downside of fame with former reality show contestant Cassidy Novak; and meet teenage psychic Dawn Christian, who discovers that ESP spells D-A-N-G-E-R. More on the three books included in the download:
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today - For twenty-five years, Diana Ferguson's killer has gotten away with murder. When rookie obit writer and newsroom editorial assistant Kris Langley investigates the cold case of the artistic young cocktail waitress who was obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, not only does she fall in love with Diana's sexy nephew, but she must also fight to stay off the obituary page herself.
Sink or Swim - How do you change the channel when reality TV turns to murder? After starring on a hit game show set aboard a Tall Ship, personal trainer Cassidy Novak discovers that she has attracted a stalker. Can she trust Zach Gallagher, the gorgeous newspaper photographer assigned to follow her for a local series? As things heat up with the stalker and with Zach, soon Cassidy will need to call SOS for real.
Dark Before Dawn - When teen psychic Dawn Christian gets involved with a fortuneteller mentor and two girls who share her mysterious talents, she finally belongs after years of being a misfit. When she learns her new friends may be tied to freak "accidents" in town, Dawn has an important choice to make - continue developing the talent that makes her special or challenge the only people who have ever accepted her.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
In Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, Kris Langley is in her mid-twenties and is a newspaper editorial assistant, obit writer and aspiring reporter. One of her duties is compiling the 25 Years Ago Today column from the microfilm.
In Sink or Swim, Cassidy Novak is in her mid-twenties and works as a personal trainer for a health club. She is also a recent reality show contestant hoping to gain some income through endorsements.
Dawn Christian, the heroine of Dark Before Dawn, is a teenage psychic who gets involved with a fortuneteller mentor.
25 Years Ago Today

Excerpt from Twenty-Five Years Ago Today:

Kris Langley stared at the bright newsprint lit up on the microfilm reader. The top headline leaped off page one. "Missing Barmaid Murdered." She squinted over the story of Diana Ferguson, a young woman found bludgeoned to death in the woods. In little over a week, it would be the twenty-fifth anniversary. A quarter of a century ago, Diana must've dressed and driven out as always. An evening like any other. By the end of the night, she was dead, her life extinguished like the other victims on fate's hit list.
Most people had forgotten Diana by now. In the black and white yearbook photograph, she didn't smile. Straight dark hair curtained her serious oval face. Diana had her arms crossed on a table, slender fingers too delicate to protect her from a killer.
Kris flipped to a blank page in her notebook, scribbled "Diana Ferguson" and stopped writing. Resurrecting the tragedy in her "25 and 50 Years Ago Today" column would catch readers’ attention, but it seemed inappropriate.
She jumped as Dex Wagner, the seventy-year-old editor-in-chief of the Fremont Daily News, slapped a rolled-up newspaper against someone’s desk. "Jacqueline, why the hell didn’t we have this theater group feature? The Fremont Community Players are in our own backyard."
Suppressing a grin, Kris swung around in her seat. She could use a distraction right about now. Dex waved the competition paper in the air, red circles and slashes marking half the page. In her three weeks as editorial assistant, Kris had enjoyed Dex’s tantrums. So far, none had been directed at her.
Managing Editor Jacqueline McCormack tossed back her blonde ponytail, gathered in a tan fabric scrunchie. She owned a world class selection of ponytail holders that complemented her designer wardrobe. Kris couldn't help thinking of her as a thirty-five-year-old cheerleader. Corporate Barbie.
"We ran a story last week in our entertainment section," Jacqueline said. "They got the idea from us. Gosh, Dex, are you trying to blind me with that underlining?"
Dex paced to the oak bookshelves and back to Jacqueline's neat desk. His stomach bulged under a rumpled gray suit and his wrists hung out of jacket sleeves a couple inches too short. "I think we missed it."
"Trust me," Jacqueline said. "I put a headline on it myself. You do read beyond the front, don’t you, Dex?"
Grumbling under his breath, Dex opened The Greater Remington Mirror, a large daily that covered the ten towns in their readership area and more. Kris saw another column ballooned in red marker.
He pressed his index finger against the lead paragraph, his penguin-patterned tie flapping as he stooped forward. "What about the stabbing of that Miles kid? We should be talking to his family and we haven't even contacted them. For Christ's sake, do I have to keep track of everything?"
"Relax, I'm working on that," Bruce Patrick, the police and court reporter, said from the doorway. He swaggered over and hopped onto the edge of Jacqueline's desk.
Sink or Swim

Excerpt From Sink or Swim:

Cassidy Novak stared into the seething water. It couldn't end this way.
Gray waves buffeted against the 179-foot schooner and fog billowed through the spiderweb of rigging that snarled skyward. Heavy white sails furled, the Atlantic Devil's triple masts lumbered in formation like dead trees.
Gabriel stalked from the bow to mid-ship, his black turtleneck and slacks contrasting with his pale face. Cassidy’s pulse hammered in her throat as she searched his sober expression.
His full lips curled into what would have been a grin for most people. For Gabriel, the Grim Reaper, it mimicked a sneer.
He withdrew a saber from the metal sheath belted at his waist and gripped the hilt beneath the curve of the scoop-shaped hand-guard. Above the main mast, the black and white skull and crossbones flag thrashed in a wind dance.
Cassidy glanced at Reggie, the last surviving competitor besides herself. He rubbed the back of his shaved head and connected his fingers behind his neck. Her own posture locked tight. One of them would go home a millionaire.
The other ... she wouldn't reflect on that.
After three months isolated from society on the new reality show Sink or Swim, Cassidy wanted that prize money and the fame that accompanied it. Hope fortified her very bones. Maybe her days of scrambling to pay off debts and working a lousy job were over.
It’s yours. It has to be.
Just then, Gabriel caught her eye and gestured over his shoulder. Cassidy followed his index finger toward the gangway. To the plank.
Cassidy’s daredevil smile, practiced in the mirror before setting sail, faded like mist.
Her clever comebacks, which she’d imagined quoted at the water coolers of America, were not heard.
Her cascading red hair that she'd tossed like a drama queen – an invention strictly for TV – went taut around her finger.
She’d lost. The overall point tallies had come in, and she’d lost. Her dreams weren’t coming true after all.
"Game over. You lose. Close call though, Reggie beat you by five points." Gabriel dragged her across the deck by the arm and pushed her up onto the wooden board that projected over the water.
Cassidy winced, emptiness invading her body like a physical hurt. Five points. If only she hadn’t screwed up furling and unfurling sails during the first episode, or if she’d done a better job mopping the deck that time she had a cold. After all Cassidy had been through, two simple mistakes cost her the game.
She’d been five points away from a new life.
Under the show’s set-up, twelve contestants had competed in four teams. The crew awarded marks based on skill and neatness, with team members pooling their numbers to win privileges like movie nights or dinners in the officers’ mess. Every Monday, a low-scoring contestant walked the plank and went home on a rendezvous ship. Cassidy had lasted until the final cut.

Excerpt from Dark Before Dawn:

Dawn Christian curled under the covers, shivering in her nightshirt. Goosebumps had popped up on her bare arms. She breathed in and out, trying to calm herself. Even the safety of darkness couldn't hide it.
Something was wrong.
She knew it the same way she had known it would rain despite the weather report. Now gray clouds blistered outside the window.
I can't go, I can't go, I can't go, something bad's going to happen. Dawn rubbed between her eyebrows, the message flying around inside her brain like a loose pinball.
Dark Before Dawn
The red numbers of her alarm clock flickered to 6:29. Dawn rolled onto her other side and faced the wall. In an hour, she'd be starting her junior year at a lame new high school. She missed Boston and taking the T, the city’s subway system, wherever she wanted to go. Dawn used to hang out at museums, watch the college kids in Harvard Square and read books at the Common. Sometimes, she and her mother caught Saturday matinees in the theater district.
Not anymore. Ever since the wedding in July, Dawn had been stuck in Covington, Maine, a beach town overflowing with rinky dink carnival rides, cheesy souvenir stores and bad vibrations.
"Dawn?" She turned to find her mother framed in the dimly lit doorway, fully dressed. "Are you coming down for breakfast?"
"I'm not hungry."
"Nervous about school?"
Gulping, Dawn huddled under the blankets. No way could she discuss her feeling with her mom. Her mother wanted a normal daughter who was on the basketball team or school newspaper, had friends and didn’t live in fear. "Kind of."
Her mother lowered herself onto the bed and squeezed Dawn’s hand. Her manicured pink nails shone against Dawn’s pale skin. Since meeting Jeff eight months ago, Dawn's mother had been letting her curly hair hang loose and wearing makeup.
She smoothed back a tangle of Dawn’s chestnut waves. "You don’t look like yourself. Do you feel all right?"
"I’m fine." Dawn shoved her stuffed monkey, Buddy, further under the blankets. Her father gave her Buddy shortly before he died, and holding it was like hugging a piece of her dad. Still, sleeping with a toy monkey was kiddish and Dawn didn’t do it often. Her mother would get suspicious if she noticed.
Darn it. Her mother drew out Buddy by his slender tail and patted his furry brown head. "Calling in the reinforcements, huh? What’s on your mind, honey? Maybe I can help."
Dawn sat up and clasped her knees. Her mother never understood about Dawn’s hunches. "I don’t think you really want to know, Mom."
"Of course I do."
Yeah, right. But Dawn didn’t have the stamina for lying today. "I’m getting one of my premonitions. Something’s wrong. I think it has to do with school."
She waited and sure enough, her mother got the frightened look she’d worn too many times before. Dawn remembered the look that terrible night with Mrs. Frazier ... but she didn’t want to think about that.


How did you get your start in the industry?
I wrote my first novel, a young adult book called Face-Off, during high school study halls when I was 16 years old. I entered it in a competition for teen writers and it won a publishing contract with a major New York publisher. This was an exciting experience for me, and it gave me the confidence to keep writing and submitting to publishers and agents.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
The publishing industry has changed so much since the early 1990s, when I was originally published. Now I have a web site and a blog, and am very active on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as with many author groups. The opportunity to network with readers and have access to all of this insider information about the publishing industry has given a big boost to my career. Also, the rise of e-books has had a tremendous impact on my career. Years ago, I remember thinking that it wouldn’t even be worth being published if they had electronic books someday, as I was tied to the concept of holding a printed book in my hand. Boy, was I wrong! The growth of e-books has allowed me to make a living as an author and I find e-books very enjoyable to read on an e-book device. It’s like a toy for book lovers. As a result of this e-book trend, I spend a great deal of my time targeting my marketing toward e-book consumers via social networking.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
Luckily, I had the opportunity to change something about my first published book, my young adult hockey novel Face-Off. It was originally published in the early 1990s, and I recently brought it back into print and released digital editions. I deleted the names of some retired hockey players, as well as the names of music groups and TV shows and movies that today's kids wouldn't identify with. I'm now more careful about what real life details I add into a book, as I'm more aware that someday it will be out of date.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
It would definitely be to lighten up, go with the flow, laugh more, and take more time to relax!
What does "balance" mean to you as a writer?
It means balancing family, fiction-writing, marketing my books, and my freelance clients, while not overextending myself. This is challenging, but I am learning to take more time to exercise, read, and just "be."
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
Since high school, I've worked in a drugstore, as a trainer and lifeguard at a health club, as a college writing tutor, as a newspaper editorial assistant, newspaper reporter, and as an administrative assistant, publicist and event organizer. I currently write and edit newsletters for a few freelance clients, in addition to being a full-time author.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I'd recommend Twenty-Five Years Ago Today as a starting point for someone who doesn't normally read mystery or romance novels. I've visited a few book clubs that read literary fiction, and not genre fiction, and they really enjoyed Twenty-Five Years Ago Today as it has a lot of discussion points for a book club. However, some of the members said they normally wouldn't have stumbled across it as it was in the mystery section and they don't usually read mystery novels.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I enjoy reading mystery novels, romantic suspense, sweet romance, romantic comedy, and occasional young adult novels.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I love Christmas, and the excitement of exchanging presents on Christmas morning. I also love the carols on the radio and driving by houses with Christmas lights. It's a nice time of year.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
I was kissing my husband in the living room of our then-apartment as the ball went down on the television.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I love to read, play Just Dance games on Wii, and take walks.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Yellow. I feel like yellow is a happy color, and I have it on several walls in my house. I also wear bracelets with yellow in it, to give me a lift.
Which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Definitely ten-countries in ten days as I like to be on-the-go when I'm on vacation, though my goal is to become more laid back and less of a Type A personality!

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with green peppers and onions.
I'm always ready for a good book.
When I'm alone, I like to blast music very loud.
You'd never be able to tell, but I'm very introverted.
If I had a halo it would be yellow and sparkly.
If I could win a million dollars I'd go for a massage every week.
I can never read enough books because it's one of my favorite things to do.

Previous Books

Adult: Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim
Young adult: Dark Before Dawn; Face-Off
Anthology: 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back
Children's: The Flag Keeper; Teddy Bear Town Children's E-book Bundle
Stacy Juba

Books Coming Soon

Watch for a new romantic comedy in 2013, followed by some fun short story spin-offs for my books!

Find Me Here


  1. Excited to have you on the blog today Stacy. I've been offline nearly all day, so was glad to get on and say hello finally. I envy you having a boxed set of books to offer. Some day maybe...

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me, Kayelle! I was glad to have the opportunity to offer a boxed set. I think e-book bundles are a neat concept so that readers can enjoy more of an author's body of work without having to hunt down individual titles. I also have a children's boxed set in ebook and audio formats, The Teddy Bear Town Children's Bundle, with two of the stories in it exclusive to the bundle. It's about as opposite from the Young Ladies of Mystery as you can get! Wishing all your readers a Happy New Year!


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