New Release by Micki Browning: Beached

Through Sisters in Crime, I met Micki Browning and decided to read her book, Adrift. It was fantastic! The perfect beach read! So, I was really excited when I found out her second book was coming out this month . . . goodness knows, I need something that reminds me of warmer weather and beaches when I’m stuck in Missouri with ice and arctic cold temps! Because I loved her first book so much, I sat down with Micki to find out more about her and her new book. Help me welcome Micki!

In what genre did you begin writing?

Poetry. I was five or six-years-old and I wrote (and illustrated!) a poem called the Crocodile’s Tea. I came across it several months ago. The gist of the story was being invited to a crocodile’s tea and discovering that the crocodile intended to have me for tea. I escaped, but so began my women in peril stories.

How has your writing/genre evolved from that time?
My first sale was a non-fiction article on underwater sound that I had sent to a dive magazine. From there it was mystery short stories—and more really bad poetry. As an officer, I penned a local newspaper column about public safety. It took a long time before I screwed up my courage to tackle a novel. I’ve always been drawn to crime fiction—either police procedural or mysteries.

How long did it take from beginning to write seriously to seeing your book published?

I’d have to say six years. Like many writers I had a couple of practice novels. I learned structure by writing a story that didn’t hold together. I joined Sisters In Crime and took classes through their Guppy chapter. I honed my dialogue, learned how to flesh out characters. Then I wrote Adrift. It won the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence for unpublished mainstream mystery, and the Royal Palm Literary Award. I met my agent through the Daphne contest and signed with her shortly after winning.

What prompted you to write for publication?
Writing is its own reward in many respects, but I’ve always wanted to share my stories. I want to entertain readers.

Tell me about the moment when you realized you were a “real writer.”
Ha! If you’d asked that five-year-old poet, she’d have proclaimed herself a writer. It is only as we get older that doubt starts to edge out confidence. If you count police reports, I’ve written professionally my entire adult life. But despite having published some short stories, I think it was my first royalty check that had me sitting back in my desk chair amazed that thousands of people would read my novel. It is an awesome responsibility.

What did you do with your first royalty check?
I sunk it right back into my writing business. Writing can be a surprisingly expensive profession by the time you factor classes, equipment (in my case an ergonomic desk chair), office supplies, conferences, and myriad other things. My budget keeps expanding. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to claim a massage as a business expense.

What book (that you wrote or read) had the biggest impact on you?
Gosh, this is a really hard question. I take something from every book I read. That said, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is a story I’ve returned to every five years or so since I first read it in my teens. It is responsible for instilling my belief that one person can change the world and that good and evil are in constant opposition—and someone has to fight the good fight.

What book are you the most proud of, and why?
The next one…. Adrift will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my debut. I believe Beached is a better book—at least structurally. I’m working on a police procedural now that is grittier than my Mer Cavallo books. I want to keep stretching. Each next book holds untold possibility—a challenge for me to improve my craft and give more to my readers.

If you could take a vacation with any of your characters, who would you choose and where would you go?
Hands down, I’d vacation in the Florida Keys with Mer Cavallo. We’d go diving, of course.

You suddenly find out that you have an entire day free – what are you going to do?
Wow. I just had about twenty things run through my head—everything from diving or kayaking to catching up on laundry. You know when you are presented with too many choices you become paralyzed with indecision? Yeah. Let me grab a cup of tea and I’ll get back to you….

Anything else you’d like to tell me about your writing?

Beached, the second Mer Cavallo Mystery, launches January 10, 2018, and I’m really excited about the story. Here’s a quick blurb:

Marine biologist Meredith Cavallo’s life unravels after she finds a plastic-wrapped bundle floating on the waves off Key Largo. Curious, she pulls it aboard her dive boat and lands in the middle of a storm of intrigue involving an obscure legend, an 18th century shipwreck and a modern pirate who’ll resort to murder to claim the booty first.

But even more important, I’m so grateful that there are people who enjoy my words. It is truly humbling. Thank you.

Visit me at

Thanks for taking the time to chat, Micki! Friends, I thought you might like a little background on Micki:

An FBI National Academy graduate, Micki Browning worked in municipal law enforcement for more than two decades, retiring as a division commander. Now a full-time writer, she won the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence and the Royal Palm Literary Award for her debut mystery, ADRIFT.

Micki also writes short stories and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in dive magazines, anthologies, mystery magazines and textbooks. She resides in Southern Florida with her partner in crime and a vast array of scuba equipment she uses for “research.”

Make sure you check out Micki’s books – I’ve read Adrift and can vouch for how good it is, and I can hardly wait to start on Beached!


Barnes and Noble

What makes you pick up a Thriler?

The cover is probably the first thing (by the way – I think my cover designer did a great job with Fatal Obsession – awesomely creepy!), but then you read the book description and decide whether or not to read. I can write the book, but I agonize over the description. You have to fit so much in very few words.

Take a look at these descriptions from books that are on Amazon’s thriller bestseller list now:

The Night Bird by Brian Freeman:

Homicide detective Frost Easton doesn’t like coincidences. When a series of bizarre deaths rock San Francisco—as seemingly random women suffer violent psychotic breaks—Frost looks for a connection that leads him to psychiatrist Francesca Stein. Frankie’s controversial therapy helps people erase their most terrifying memories…and all the victims were her patients.

As Frost and Frankie carry out their own investigations, the case becomes increasingly personal—and dangerous. Long-submerged secrets surface as someone called the Night Bird taunts the pair with cryptic messages pertaining to the deaths. Soon Frankie is forced to confront strange gaps in her own memory, and Frost faces a killer who knows the detective’s worst fears.

As the body count rises and the Night Bird circles ever closer, a dedicated cop and a brilliant doctor race to solve the puzzle before a cunning killer claims another victim.

The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni

A #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller.

When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?

After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s unsolved murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight. Once again, New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni delivers a taut, riveting thriller in the fourth installment of his acclaimed Tracy Crosswhite series.

Both of these sound good – but what is it about that description that draws you in? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Special Guest Tierney James: Rooftop Angels

RooftopAngelsTierneyJames200x300I met Tierney James at a writers’ conference several years ago. We bonded immediately over scrapbooking and guns, and I feel fortunate to count her as a friend. In honor of her recent release, I asked her to stop by and answer a few questions.

First, some background. Tierney has been in education for over thirty years. She recently stopped teaching World Geography for a nearby college to pursue her writing career. Creating a workshop for beginning writers, speaking at schools and serving as an officer in the writing group Sleuths’ Ink, are some of the work she does when not writing. With the creation of Winds of Deception, Tierney is now working with one of the crew members of USS Liberty in hopes of obtaining the Medal of Honor for him.
Besides serving as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and attending Space Camp for Educators, Tierney has traveled across the world. From the Great Wall of China to floating the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Africa, she ties her unique experiences into other writing projects such as the action thriller novel, An Unlikely Hero, the first in the Enigma Series. Winds of Deception is the second in that series. Living on a Native American reservation and in a mining town for many years fuels the kind of characters she never tires of creating.

And now, for the questions!

What prepared you to write action thrillers with a Homeland Security theme?
Curiosity. The Twin Towers coming down. I’m also really into geo-political conflict.

This is the third in your series. Can you give us a little taste of the book?
When Tessa Scott wakes with blood on her hands in a rat infested shack in Afghanistan, she discovers six orphan girls and the Undersecretary of State counting on her for protection. Confused at how she got there or why a smoldering Black Hawk helicopter has crashed outside the village, forces her into yet another adventure of cat and mouse with the Taliban who intend to kidnap them. With the help of a Kyrgyz tribesman and his men, they elude the danger only to discover their protection comes at a price which involves marriage to the leader. An unexpected chance at new love outweighs the secret Tessa must now carry forever. Meanwhile Captain Hunter, an Enigma agent, desperately searches for her before she disappears on the rooftop of the world. A race against time and ruthless drug lords, who work with the U.S. government, create obstacles which change Tessa’s life in a way she never expected.

Afghanistan is a pretty exotic locale. Your first two books took place in the United States. Is this the new Enigma?
Well I love geography and sometimes my story just takes me to faraway places. There will be one in China and Turkey but the others will probably remain in the good ole USA.

How many books will there be in the series?
Right now I think there will be about eight.

Will you try to write in other genres?
I’ve tried my hand at paranormal thriller and now science fiction/fantasy. Those are really fun.

List your favorites:
1. Author – James Rollins, Brad Thor, Steve Berry, Daniel Silva, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown
2. Music – Movie soundtracks, jazz
3. Actors – Dwayne Johnson, Jason Scott Lee, Jeremy Renner, Daniel Craig
4. Hobby-Gardening
5. Animal—Dog & the Okapi
6. Exotic locale—Tibet & Israel
7. Movie—Wind & the Lion

What else would you like others to know about you?
Besides teaching and writing, I enjoy family, gardening and traveling. I like trying new things such as learning Hebrew in hopes of incorporating the knowledge in a future Engima Series. Doing research sometimes involves learning new skills, such as being certified with various weapons. I had a blast taking a Samurai class at Killer Nashville. I’m also addicted to writer conferences.

Social Media:
Twitter: @TierneyJames1