Monday, December 8, 2014

The Mystery is in my Heart by Paty Jager

Today I'm happy to introduce you to award-winning author Paty Jager, who will tell you about Double Duplicity, her first Shandra Higheagle Mystery.

Thank you for having me on Make Mine Mystery. I’ve always gravitated toward mystery books when looking for something to read and when I decided to try my hand at writing it was a given the genre I would pick.

While the first two novels I wrote decades ago were mysteries, I had so much trouble finding writers in the mystery genre willing to help me hone my craft that I jumped ship when the Romance Writers of America embraced me. Their meetings, workshops and conferences were filled with helpful people who taught classes on Point of View, character arcs, plotting, and all the skills I needed to make a publishable book. They also taught me the business side of writing.

And that’s how my career as a western romance author began. I now have 18 published novels, 5 novellas, and three anthologies. My tag line is: “Tales of intrigue and romance starring cowboys and Indians” Not only do I write historical and contemporary western romance, I also have a historical romance trilogy set among the Nez Perce Indians that deals with Native American spirits. A few years back I started an Action Adventure series with a female Indiana Jones/MacGyver character who is an anthropologist who specializes in Native American cultures. This fun jaunt into something other than westerns made me long to write a mystery again.

The yearning wouldn’t die and even though I’d already written in more genres than one author should, I couldn’t let the idea of writing mystery go. Many writing friends said it wasn’t a good idea to add one more genre. I’d lose readers. But my heart, from the first novel I wrote all those years ago, was in mystery. To stay true to my “branding” the female amateur sleuth in Double Duplicity the first Shandra Higheagle Mystery is half Nez Perce. After years of her mother and step-father having her hide her Native American side, she is finally starting to seek her roots only to have the one person who can guide her the most pass away. Her grandmother, whom she’d only visited once as a teenager, had a special request. That Shandra attend her Seven Drum Ceremony after the funeral. Shandra does and when she’s caught up in murder, her grandmother comes to her in dreams showing her clues to the murders.

I’ve had a wonderful time bringing my fictional ski resort town of Huckleberry, Idaho, to life. Adding three-dimensional secondary characters with a few quirks to keep this an entertaining cozy read has been the most fun. Each book (I’m writing book three and book two is awaiting editing) I add a new full-timer and enjoy the way they interact with the rest of the populace. My two favorite secondary characters are Sheba, a dog as big as a bear but a bit like the Cowardly Lion, who is Shandra’s companion, and Lewis, the orange cat that is usually draped around Crazy Lil’s shoulders. Lil is Shandra’s Jill-of-all-trades who, like the stray cat, came with the property Shandra purchased on Huckleberry Mountain. She bought the land because of its good clay pockets. Shandra is a potter who sells her vases as art.

My brother has worked in the art world since getting out of school. He sculpts, pours, welds, and patinas bronze art work. A story he told me about a particular statue he was putting a patina on for another artist stuck in my mind, and I knew one day I’d use it in a story. That information my brother told me was the whole premise that started Double Duplicity.

On the eve of the biggest art event at Huckleberry Mountain Resort, potter Shandra Higheagle finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She’s ruled out as a suspect, but now it’s up to her to prove the friend she witnessed fleeing the scene was just as innocent. With help from her recently deceased Nez Perce grandmother, Shandra becomes more confused than ever but just as determined to discover the truth.
Detective Ryan Greer prides himself on solving crimes and refuses to ignore a single clue, including Shandra Higheagle’s visions. While Shandra is hesitant to trust her dreams, Ryan believes in them and believes in her.
Can the pair uncover enough clues for Ryan to make an arrest before one of them becomes the next victim?

Pre-order Sale:
Right now you can purchase Double Duplicity for a Pre-order price of $0.99. When it releases on January 10th the price will go up.

 About Paty:
Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon.  On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.
You can learn more about Paty at her blog; Writing into the Sunset  her website; or on Facebook;!/paty.jager , Goodreads  and twitter;  @patyjag.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Terrific blog post, Paty. I enjoyed reading about you and your book.

Paty Jager said...

Thank Marilyn! And thank you for having me on the blog.

Paty Jager said...

That should be "Thanks, Marilyn!" Should have spell checked sooner. But it gave me a chance to come back and check for follow up comments. ;)

Marilyn Levinson said...

I'm glad to have you here today as my guest.

Unknown said...

I'm so glad you decided to write mystery despite the naysayers. It is one of my favorites also and I love the new direction you are going!

Having already read this book, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery! If you haven't gotten your copy yet, you definitely should!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Paty! This is wonderful about your mystery. And I really like seeing about your house you are building. Much luck and hugs.

Melissa Keir said...

I love that you kept true to the Native Americans in your books and have included one in your mystery series. :) I wish you all the best!

Paty Jager said...

Maggie, Thank you for stopping in. I hope other readers are as excited about the Shandra Higheagle mysteries as you are.

Hi Vicki! Thanks! I hope others take to the mysteries. I've enjoyed sharing our building process with others.

Hi Melissa! Thank you! I may not have Native American blood but I feel a kinship and need to write about them.

Anonymous said...

I've read Double Duplicity. It's a wonderful, entertaining book. I recommend it.

Danita Cahill

Richard Brawer said...

Hi Paty,
Loved your post. I live in NJ and am enamored by the west. I have driven across country twice with my daughter when she got a job in Oregon then in Oklahoma City.

My wife and I also flew to Salk Lake City then drove to Jackson on the Wyoming side rather than the interstate. Then of course we went to Yellowstone and drove to Deadwood and Mt. Rushmore. Again we did not take the interstate but drove out the east gate of Yellowstone and across WY.

I was so captivated by the trips I put one in my latest book only filled with peril rather than a tour. I also included a piece about Wonded Knee and the Ghost Dance.

Good luck with your book. Unfortunately I do not have a Kindle or Nook. Does it come in trade paperback?

Richard Brawer

Paty Jager said...

Thank you for stopping in and commenting, Danita.

Richard, the print version of Double Duplicity will be available January 10th. Thank you for asking. I am fond of the west but plan to visit the Midwest and eastern states in the next few years.

DVBerkom said...

Great post, Patty. I, too had a hard time finding support in the thriller genre and found a home in RWA. Although I'm no longer a member, I have many friends who are romance authors from those days and owe a debt of gratitude to them for being willing to help out a new writer.

Your books sound intriguing! I'll have to check them out :-)

Paty Jager said...

Thanks, Daphne! Sounds like we had the same path to mystery/thriller writing. Thank you for checking out my books.

Karen Duvall said...

Sounds like a great story, Paty! I can't wait to read it. :)

Sarah Raplee said...

I can't wait for my copy to arrive!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks, Karen! Glad you could stop by.

Hey Sarah! It won'T be long and the book will release. Thank you for stopping in and purchasing Shandra's first mystery.