About Me

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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Reality or Fiction?

Reality or Fiction?

My writing has slowed a little this month in favor of my Investigative Principles course. However, I am learning procedures the police use in their investigations that will help in the writing of my Rachel Christie series.

The fine points of collecting evidence and the procedures to get that evidence is a lot stricter than one is led to believe when watching television or reading novels themselves. A lot of it is just downright boring and time consuming. I guess that figures since most jobs have their boring elements.

In conjunction with my course, I read a true crime account of a falsely accused man who spent eleven years in jail until DNA evidence freed him. It was an emotional account and gave the viewpoints of both the wrongly convicted man and the victim. Eyewitness is not always reliable. Our memories do not work like cameras. We cannot recall all the subtle details a month or, as in this book I read, three years from the crime.

Although I wish to get back to writing, I feel that the application of the principles learned in this class will make my books more believable to the reader. Since I haven't taken a course in a while, maybe after a few weeks things will settle down and my writing will once again take center stage. I'm glad I finished "Murder Along the Blue Ridge" before the semester began.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Missed Snow

Missed Snow

For several days, our local weather forecasters had predicting snow. How many times have we wished we never listened to those forecasters? Most of the time they tell us it will be sunny and it turns out to rain cats and dogs. Sometimes the weather people tell us it will only rain a few inches. Not like the 7 inches we received in the last few days.

Up until last night, our area was forecast to get 4 inches of snow. Lo and behold, we got 0. That's right. Zero. That didn't bother me. I have dealt with snow since the time I learned to drive. My mother never liked to drive in the snow and we lived over a mountain. If we were on the road and it started to snow, she pulled the car over and had me to drive. However, after driving in snow all these years, I am now glad when the snow passes me by.

Last night, the counties to the east of us had 3-4 inches of snow. The counties to the west got the same amount. However, our area was in a finger that extends from the south to the north and we had no snow at all. They called off school. It wasn't a wait and see. It was let's do it now. They relied too much on the weather forecasters.

I have to say, though, the snow is beautiful, as long as it stays on the mountains like in the picture above. It makes for a wonderful day of reading or writing the seventh novel in the Rachel Christie mystery series.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Free Book Giveaway on Goodreads

Free Book Giveaway on Goodreads

I am giving away five (5) paperback copies of my latest Rachel Christie murder mystery, "Murder Along the Blue Ridge." Although this is number six in the series, it is a stand-alone mystery. If you wish to win a copy, please enter at Goodreads. The giveaway ends on February 12, 2013.

Follow the link below to enter and good luck.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Murder Along the Blue Ridge by Sabena Stone

Murder Along the Blue Ridge

by Sabena Stone

Giveaway ends February 12, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Friday, January 11, 2013

Writer's Block or Distraction?

Writer's Block or Distraction?

When I started the sixth novel in the Rachel Christie mystery series, "Murder Along the Blue Ridge," I had a good idea already formulated in my mind and an outline started. The writing was easy and progressed rapidly. However, with the seventh novel, it took longer to actually sit down and begin writing. I knew what I wanted the book to be about, but transitioning from the sixth to the seventh novel was difficult.

Some people might call it writer's block, but I don't think that's what it was. With the holidays and all the festivities around that time made it impossible to concentrate on my writing. This week, I finally put the outline on the computer and my mind has been working overtime with different scenarios concerning the events in the book. I have come up with lots of possibilities and have finally chosen several subplots.

The seventh book will find a conflict of what Deputy Ron Hartwell wants and what private investigator Rachel Christie wants. Whether there will be enough conflict to separate the two remains to be seen and will unfold as the novel progresses. Whatever happens, I hope the readers will not be disappointed.

The last novel, "Murder Along the Blue Ridge," is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and as a physical book on Create Space.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

First Day of Class

First Day of Class

Today was the first day of my "Investigative Principles" class at the local community college. The only other class I took at a community college was called "Wines of the World." Now that was a good class -- sampling different wines and commenting about them. My latest course, I hope, will be useful in writing my Rachel Christie mystery series in that it will help keep the facts about police procedural more accurate.

The instructor for this class is the retired chief investigator of the small city in which I live. It's a small town of just over 10,000 people, but that's all right. Rachel Christie lives in a town of about 10,000 people. Also, the instructor's husband is a retired police chief from this city. I hope to pick their brains for some good information on cases and police procedures as applied to small towns.

We had to introduce ourselves today.  Most of the people watch CSI and other such shows and believe that they are true to life. I go into this class with no preconceived ideas on what police work actually is. I have an idea that it is probably a little boring at times like most professions. I think, however, that the class will be interesting and informative.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sixth Novel in Series Published on Barnes and Noble

Sixth Novel in Series Published on Barnes and Noble

Yesterday, the sixth novel in the Rachel Christie Mystery Series, "Murder Along the Blue Ridge," was published on Barnes and Noble and on Create Space and has already sold several copies. Making all the icon covers for the different media and making the cover for Create Space are always a challenge. Deciding on what to put on a cover is the hardest and takes a lot of hours of planning and producing.

"Murder Along the Blue Ridge" is an emotion-packed murder mystery that has roots in something that happened fifteen years ago. Rachel Christie, the private investigator, must deal with Deputy Skyler, for whom she has no respect. She doesn't want the case, but finally the deputy's daughter asks Rachel and Rachel cannot say no.

I try to make all of my mysteries stand-alone novels. A minimum of background information from previous novels is only included if the present mystery warrants it. That way the reader is not sitting and wondering why something is happening the way it is.

The novel is also available on Amazon and will be available from Create Space as a physical book in a couple of weeks.

I want to thank my fans for their continued readership and wish them a prosperous, healthy and happy new year.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Safety or What?

Safety or What?

How many times have you seen a sign that said "Safety First?" Do they really mean it or is it just a bunch of words? I ran across this sign in the picture at a local factory. The fact that this sign, which says nothing of itself, covers over a sign important to safety shows a questionable attitude that some businesses have toward safety. It appears that safety is only the employee's concern.

Whenever I worked as an engineer, we had many safety classes and were informed of the dangers in the plants and other work environments. Sometimes that safety lesson was in the form of films which showed gruesome injuries to people. Since then industry has learned that showing such films does not do that much good. People are de-sensitized by all the horror in films.

Some companies claim that there is no such thing as an accident and that all accidents can be prevented. A friend of mine once told me that if there were an accident in his unit, then he would feel it in his paycheck. Those people obviously had a greater concern for safety than those in the picture above.