Author Spotlight – Cyndi L. Stuart

Cyndi didn’t start out life as a mystery writer. But one day something unexpected happened—she became a woman of a certain age.

“What in the world are you waiting for?” said the voice in her head as she woke up on her fiftieth birthday. “That novel isn’t going to write itself! And YOU, sweet pea, are NOT getting any younger.”

So, after years spent as a naturalist on the north Oregon coast and PNW garden speaker, Cyndi dusted off her old Comm degree, left technical writing behind and got to work on short stories, flash fiction, and personal essays. But in secret she tapped away on her first mystery novel, Deadly Yours, which has now been published by The Wild Rose Press.

The challenge of creating stories from her own imagination, current events, history, and things she might have overheard at the local coffee shop is what makes her happy and where her passion for writing began. She now lives on a small island in south Puget Sound where she and her husband, a potter and artist, run an artisan business. When not reading, writing, or procrastinating, Cyndi can be found hiking, biking, or swimming in the local lakes, streams, and even Puget Sound (in a wetsuit).

Welcome to my blog Cyndi! Already we are getting to know a little bit about you, and can’t wait to find out all about your new novel: Deadly Yours. What a title, and I am loving the intriguing front cover!

Deadly Yours by Cyndi L. Stuart 

Published by The Wild Rose Press 2024

 

This Killer Won’t Let You Run Away!

A letter, sealed with blood red wax, arrives in a small coastal town. Samantha’s hopes of a new, quiet life are shattered. The killer is back. Like years before, the crime scenes mimic classic mysteries Samantha once taught in her English Lit class—The Art of Detection. Is one murder staged from an Ellery Queen novel? P.D. James? Sherlock Holmes? Maybe more? 

 

Five years ago, strangers died. This time—friends. As the body count climbs, this menace must be found, or the killings may never stop. What’s hidden in the tiny details? Why is the killer taunting her? As the killer closes in, does she once again cut and run or stand and fight? What will Sam risk to bring this nightmare to an end?

Goodness Cyndi, the blurb sounds amazing, and thank you for sharing this wonderful excerpt:

 

Her hands shook as she reached out and grabbed hold of the closest chair. She stumbled into it so hard it began to roll away from her before she could sit down in the seat. In one fluid movement, Colin caught the back of the chair with his left hand and Sam’s upper arm with his right. He then steadied the chair and sat her squarely in the seat. He reached out and pulled a nearby chair close to hers. Sam held her head in her hands. Colin sat down beside her. 

In a soft voice, he asked, “Sam?”

Silence.

“Samantha,” he said, with more force as he placed his hand on her arm. “Please. Look at me.”

Sam raised her head and looked into his green eyes. The scent of fresh cedar and bergamot wafted over her as Colin leaned in. It reminded her of walks in the woods and Earl Grey tea.

“What did you see? Tell me what you think happened.”

Sam stared for another moment at those kind eyes and then went on to describe the murder details, the chest, the stabbing, all of it. When she finished, she put her head back in her hands and waited.

They all sat there in silence for a few minutes and then the hammer came down. Jessica exploded. She stood over Sam with her arms folded across her chest. Her eyes flashed fire.

“Okay, would you care to explain how you know about this murder, which we only got called to yesterday morning! Only his name has been released. The press don’t even have all the details yet.” 

“Because you taught this case to your students, didn’t you?” Colin asked Sam. As his eyes took in her pale face, the back of his neck prickled like it had done at the crime scene.

Sam stared again into Colin’s eyes. The muscles in her face and shoulders began to relax. “You see it too.”

“I think so, but you will need to fill in the blanks for me.”

Marlene jumped in. “Stop! Roll it back! Could you two Poindexters explain what’s going on? Please!”

“Yes!” said Jess as her voice rose in volume and pitch. “And right now!”

“I won’t bore you with all the background,” said Sam, “but let’s just say that in detective literature there is an Agatha Christie novel where the victim hides in a chest to catch his wife cheating during a party and is then run through with a sword by the killer. I thought at first it might have been a reenactment of the P.D. James novel, The Murder Room. That’s why I asked if the chest was found in a museum. 

“In the Christie novel, the killer talked the husband into hiding in the chest. It was printed under different titles over the decades, but the most well-known is, The Mystery of the Spanish Chest. It can’t be a coincidence.”

“Don’t rule out The Murder Room just yet,” said Colin. He visualized the crime scene in his mind. “The body was found in a study that could have been taken for a museum. It was packed with antiques.”

Sam’s thoughts went to the photos on the board of the room and the body. Then with a slow nod of her head, she said, “Oh, so it could be PD James. But in the James novel the victim was shot before going into the trunk.”

“Hmm, well that would depend on how accurate the killer is trying to be with the murders,” said Colin.

Jessica looked ready to have a stroke. “So, if this crazy theory you have is right, there’s a well-read murderer out there killing people for sport? Or,” she said, as a nerve in her right eye twitched, “is he hoping to become some sort of real-life literary sensation?” 

Sam sat back in her chair and knew the moment had come. She had not only seen Bob’s study before in photographs but stood in that very room seven years ago for a party.

“And one more thing, and you’re not going to like it. I know—knew—Bob Brignone.”

 

Wow, intriguing, I can’t wait to read! Thank you so much, Cyndi for visiting my blog and sharing your story with us… 

But that’s not all folks! Cyndi is not just a busy writer, she has other strings to her bow and is offering the following: The Journey from idea to Manuscript to a published book. 

If you are interested here are the details:

May 4, 2024, beginning 10 a.m.
Pacific Standard Time (US)

 

Registration Link: https://www.campusce.net/pierce/course/course.aspx?C=303&pc=6&mc=0&sc=0

 

So, you have this great idea for a book and deep down you know you want to write
it. But how do you start? How do you know when it’s ready? Who do you show it
to when it IS ready? How do you get it published? These were all the questions
bouncing around in my head when I decided to finally sit down and write my
first manuscript. Come along for this two-hour workshop where I outline my
personal tips and tricks to getting a book published with a publisher as well
as how other writers have gotten their books out into the world. I’ll go
through the things you need to know as you start, what happens in the middle,
how to shop your manuscript around, and what to do once you’ve signed the
contract. I’ll lay it all out. leave lots of time for questions and provide you
with a list of resources to help you move forward. To answer your first
question: Of course, you can DO IT!

 

If you would like to connect with Cyndi, please check out the links and socials below. 

PLUS we would love to hear from you – all things writerly of course. All you need to do is put a comment in the comment box… right at the bottom. Thank you.

Thank you again for joining us today, Cyndi – and of course you, all my lovely readers. 

Please check through my posts, as I have been fortunate enough to host so many other wonderfully talented authors. 

Please note, I also add posts for budding writers, so why not scroll on through. My latest is the first part in tight writing for novels…

Also, if you love reading historical novels – why not check out Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox, and it’s sequel The Twenty-One-Year Contract: and note they are also stand alone – you can grab a copy, ebook / kindle / kobo or paperback whichever floats your boat – they are on Amazon and in all good bookstores. Thank you so much: click the link: mybook.to/twentyone #debut 1950s London and everyone has a secret… 

mybook.to/twentyone

Comments (17)

  • Lavada Dee

    Congratulations on the release of Deadly Yours, Cyndi. By the way love your name. Lavada Dee

    • Cyndi L. Stuart

      Thank you. It's been a wild ride, for sure. And as for names, Lavada Dee?! That's fantastic!

  • Ilona Fridl

    I'm another one who waited late to write a novel. Now at 75, I have 8 under my belt. I loved your excerpt! Best on the book.

    • manager

      Thanks for the response, Ilona. So good to hear about your experience!

    • Cyndi L. Stuart

      Thank you, Ilona. Eight books?! Wowza! I'm trying to find the time, energy and ideas to get through book 2 at the moment. I come from a long line of long-lived women, so I hope to be on my eighth book by 75. I'm glad to hear you liked the excerpt. It's so hard to know what to pick.

  • Sheila A Hansberger

    Nice meaty article! Wishing Cyndi all the best for Deadly Yours...and on her next one, too!

    • manager

      Thanks Sheila - have notified Cyndi she can respond herself now. I'm looking forward to hosting you next!

    • Cyndi L. Stuart

      Thank you, Sheila. Book two is in the works but has been stalled while I get this first one off the ground. My plan is to put my rear end back in the chair next week, but that may be a bit of a stretch at the moment with book events and classes to teach. I just so hope readers like my mystery.

  • Margot Johnson

    I enjoyed hearing about your journey to becoming a published author! Congratulations & best wishes with your book! I love a good thriller.

    • manager

      Thanks for your comment Margot, I've notified Cyndi she can respond herself now.

    • Cyndi L. Stuart

      Thank you, Margot. Let's hope I wrote a good thriller. You just never know, do you? A few reviews have started to come in and so far so good. As for the journey, what have I gotten myself into? :-) It's definitely a challenge to change careers in your 50s but I'm thinking it's been worth it.

  • Randy Overbeck

    Best of luck with your new novel. Hope many sales come your way!

    • manager

      Thank you Randy - I've passed your message on.

    • Cyndi L. Stuart

      Thank you, Randy, and from your lips to the book gods ears on sales. ;-) I guess in a few months I'll know if this crazy writing career of mine has worked.

  • Cyndi L. Stuart

    Thank you so much, Lynn, for highlighting my debut novel here on your blog. I'm so appreciative and overwhelmed by all the support you and other writers have given me. These last couple of years have been a rollercoaster ride and I wouldn't have made it through without all the encouragement and advice. Let's hope I can sit down and do it all over again. Either way, I've checked one really BIG item off my "things to do before I die" list. Happy Writing!

    • manager

      Cindy, its been a real pleasure. I think we all need that little bit of support, and I've been so lucky being with TWRP and meeting so many wonderfully talented authors. I wish you every success for the future. I would also love to know what else you have on your bucket list! Please keep in touch.

  • Meryl Brown Tobin

    A fine author spotlight, Cyndi, and I particularly love the last para of your excerpt. It really pulls in potential readers. All the best with sales. Meryl Brown Tobin, romantic suspense author

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