Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway Bird Of Prey (Sémya Slotin Mystery #1) by Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba

Published: October 2013


This was supposed to be an easy case…

Sémya Slotin had spent the last three years living in London with her best friend Polliannah Koch staying away from solving cases. After Hawaii, she was taking a break from puzzles, cases and mysteries that could potentially get her killed. Instead, she had been doing her second and third favorite things, drinking and selling expensive vintage wines and having earthshattering sex with the mysterious, sexy, beautiful but ever so secretive Josh Heinz. Life in London was good….until her funds ran out. Too much wine drinking, not enough wine selling!

When fashion designer and adoptive mother, Annika Slotin, summoned her back to Paris to hire her for what Sémya considered being the easiest case of her amateur sleuth career, all she could think of and seeing was money signs and a well-deserved Cuban holiday once it was solved.

What Sémya didn’t see was her stumbling on the fresh corpse of supermodel Johanna Cartier. She didn’t think that male model turned fashion designer Julian Marais-Caldwin, who also happened to be Sémya’s ex, would be suspected of brutally murdering her. Johanna was his girlfriend, his muse and he loved her. Sémya didn’t see the dead bodies piling up or the conspiracy theories.

Sémya was a little rusty. But then again, it was supposed to be an easy case and she was going to solve it. One vintage wine at a time… Sémya Slotin was officially back in business!

Creating a great detective story 

Writing a good Detective Story 

These five words had haunted me for years. I love mystery novel but I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. There are so many rules and basic information you have to know. Then you have the problem that is authenticity so other mystery buffs don’t tare your precious novel apart. When I finally surrendered and took the plunge, I decided to centre my story around the sleuth not the cases. 

A good detective story should as good as its detective. Let me rephrase that. A good detective would not investigate a bad case… or even better a bad detective wouldn’t solve a good case. Let’s pretend that Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau or Gadget had never existed. How many books could you write or even read about a clumsy clueless detective solving big cases? It makes all the other ones look bad… So first you need your sleuth, male or female? Cop or civilian? Young or old? Smart or dumb? Good guy or bad one? Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys wouldn’t be able to solve a slaughter house murder. Something tells me that Nancy would be a bit of the Nancy about it and loses her breakfast. Trade carefully… Once you have chosen your sleuth, you need to make sure that he/she fits in the era you want your book to be set in. I love Jane Marple, but her sleuthing days would have been cut short very early on if she was from our era. 

You’ve got your sleuth, you’ve got your area… now you need a case/ a murder/ a kidnapping/ all of the above. You can go classic whodunit, dark thriller or slaughter house madness. I’m not sure why but I like me some slaughter house mystery right now…. Don’t be too cocky, take a cue from other books, headlines or your own twisted fantasies (slaughter house). You need something that would peak the reader interested (slaughter house) BUT also something that would also peak your sleuth interest (slaughter house). 

I stop you right there! Who did it? And why? The slaughter house housekeeper? One of the guests who pretended to be dead? What is a ritual sacrifice? A psychotic break? 

So you have your victims, your perpetrator, your sleuth… have you done your research? Do you know how long it takes a person to bleed out? (Slaughter house) Do you have all your red herrings ready to confuse your readers? (Dodgy inn keeper, angry violent neighbour, slaughter house) Then you can start writing. I would advise that for a mystery to create a storyboard so you know where your story is heading and when to drop clues and red herrings. Choose your style, first or third. I personally found first a bit tricky for mystery but if you can make it work, more power to ya! Go get that slaughter house murder!


Josh found Julian in his office. He was about to apologize when he saw the picture on the wall. A nude of picture Sémya, a giant nude picture of Sémya! You could see everything but her face as it was shadowed. “You’re not serious,” Josh murmured.
“It’s some of my best work,” he smirked back. He had a bottle of Jack Daniels with him and had obviously been drinking some it. Very American of him!
“You’re staring the naked body of your ex-girlfriend every day? That’s sick,” Josh told him. But the photograph was beautiful. He couldn’t believe that Sémya let him do that.
“It’s art. Sémya and I had history; it’s not a big deal,” he shrugged.
“Ten years later and you’re still holding on to this…it’s a big deal,” Josh said. He was ready to take it down when Sémya got in the room.
“What is this? Note comparing time?” Sémya said. She looked at the photograph, “Julian you’re bigger but Josh is better. And I’m not just saying that because you were my first. You were a good lover ten years ago and but Josh is just the best I’ve ever had.”
Wow that wasn’t nice… but Josh couldn’t wipe off the grin on his face. 
“What the fuck! Who says shit like this, Sémya?” Julian said back.
“I don’t know…it’s not a big deal, you just have my tits on display for everyone to see. But you couldn’t pick up the phone in three years to call me?” she said matching his tone.
“He’s the best you’ve ever had! That’s a line if I ever heard one,” Julian told her.
Yes, it is…“Hey… don’t talk to her like that. She’s been busting her ass to save yours for weeks!” Josh told him then tried to take the photograph down but Julian stopped him.
“We were good together.  It reminds me of how good we were,” he mumbled. “No one comes here but me and the cleaning lady. And only people who had seen you naked would know that it’s you.” He sat back on his desk. “Really he is better? We had fireworks, Sémya!”
Josh shook his head in disbelief. Is this guy for real?
She chuckled back. “I loved you so much but I was such a foolish girl. I mean I used to write you poetry. But you didn’t love me back. How could you? You didn’t even love yourself back then. But that sure had changed.” Her chuckle turned into a bitter laugh. “What the hell is going on with Eileen? You’re fucking her? She’s barely twenty-five and oh…are you insane?”
“It’s none of your business. Eileen is a great person; I wish I met her before Johanna.” He took out a file and threw it her way. “She gave it to me earlier today,” he slurred.
“You did meet her before, six months before to be exact…Johanna’s medical records, it only took her five days,” she said picking it up.
“Whatever Sémya, I’ll leave you to your new boy toy wonder.” He intentionally bumped into Josh on his way out, his bottle of whisky in his hand. That was that.
“The best eh?” he smirked taking her in his arms.
“This isn’t news to you,” she grinned back.
“I know, but it’s nice to hear you say it when we’re fully clothed,” he winked. He kissed her neck and she stiffened. “What’s wrong?”
She was looking at the medical report. “I know who did it,” she said looking up with a raw resolve in her eyes, “I know who killed Johanna Cartier.”

About the author:
The Author, The Blogger, The Cheeky Reviewer

“My life journey is like my playlist, amazingly unique but full of contradictions with surprising joys with every song...”

I was born in Quebec City, Canada from Gabonese parents but grew up in Paris and Libreville the Gabonese capital until the age of 18. Are you yawning yet? I am...

I moved back to Canada in 1999 after high school in Libreville to study Cinematography and Digital movie production in Laval University in Quebec then The International Academy of Design and Technology in Toronto. After graduating in 2003, I decided to sell my soul to the corporate world and worked in the Benefit Outsourcing Industry for seven in Toronto before reconnecting with her first passion writing.

"A teacher told me in high school that people didn't read anymore so I decided that I would make movies instead...so that didn't stick…"

I finally went back to school to study creative writing at Georges Brown College in 2010 and 2011. I started to write The Coulda Woulda Shoulda Song Series as an assignment and finished Book One in late 2011 before moving to London.

And the rest as they say is history... Almost two years later, I'm in London and wrote three novels: This Could Have Been Our Song! A coulda woulda shoulda ballad... (Book one) currently available on amazon and soon in iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Nobles and Smashwords. The sequel This Would Have Been Our Song! Catchy tune and dancers tales will be release in January 2014. Bird Of Prey, my first mystery novel will be release in October 7th, 2013 on paperback before its wide release in November 25th, 2013. It will be followed by The Plot Thickens (a novella) in January 2014 and Polliannah Got Married! in April 2014 or earlier. 


Unknown said...

Thanks so very much for being part of this tour - TONYA

Unknown said...

Thank you so much, this post is fantastic :)

Unknown said...

this is nice

Meghan said...

Thanks for sharing! This looks great!

nurmawati djuhawan said...

congratz for the new release..
thx u for the giveaway :)

Unknown said...

Excited to read.. catching up with a few others.. and think you do an amazing job from excerpt.