What a learning curve. Apparently, the thing you do first, or at least one of the things you do next, after the blood has been let, the sweat has rolled down your body, and the glaring empty white pages have been filled . . . is find readers.
I have Murder by Monstrance in the hands of about 10 beta readers right now, and plan to send it to several more.
Two (or three? one was a couple) have responded already (!) with their thoughts; one ate the thing whole in a single sitting. Amazing. I can't read that much that fast, without my eyes going funny.
Beta Reader One has suggested pushing Saskatoon forward within the story, really placing the city into the plot. I'm debating this idea, and certainly see her point. I may make a few moves in that direction and see where it takes me. (A longer novel, for sure.)
Beta Reader Two was kind enough to send me a first review, and summarized the plot in a way I had not yet managed. You have to write this sort of thing for book covers. Now, BRT is a friend -- full disclosure. But she made my day and I have to share her comment. (Not sure if this sort of thing is done in the author community, but what the heck.)
Thanks BRT. Who is really the writer here? Could never have said this so well.
Praise for Joanne Paulson's debut novel, Murder by Monstrance
When newspaper reporter Grace Rampling stumbles onto a grisly crime scene while out on a routine weekend assignment, she abruptly finds herself at the centre of a police investigation into the death of a prominent Catholic bishop.
As the investigation unfolds, evidence begins to point to a troubling hate crime and Grace emerges not only as a key witness, but a prime suspect and even potential victim. Heightening the tension is a fierce attraction between Grace and lead investigator, Detective Sergeant Adam Davis, that if acted upon could throw the entire case into jeopardy. With Grace at risk and off limits while the investigation drags on, Adam races to unravel an increasingly disturbing mystery, desperate to both protect, and resist, the object of his consuming desire.
"A captivating read, from cover to cover."
"A gripping story. It will keep you reading late into the night."
"Paulson weaves tense action and complex psychological themes into a wonderfully satisfying storyline."
"Thoroughly entertaining. I honestly couldn't put it down, and can't wait for the next one!"