I’m super thrilled to have Kristina Stanley guest posting today!
She is the author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series with Imajin Books and has garnered the attention from some pretty prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England (not to mention hitting #1 in Hot New Releases in Women Sleuth Mystery on Amazon). The first book in the series, DESCENT, has been nominated for an Arthur Ellis Unhanged Arthur for excellence in crime writing, and The Crime Writers’ Association has nominated her second novel, BLAZE, for the Debut Dagger! She is also published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.
Before writing her series, Kristina was the director of security, human resources, and guest services at a resort in the depths of the British Columbian mountains. The job and lifestyle captured her heart, and she decided to write mysteries about life in an isolated resort. While writing the first four novels, she spent five years living aboard a sailboat in the US and the Bahamas (we need more on these sailboat adventures…I see an interview with Kristina in the near future!).
Please welcome Kristina….
Death on the slopes can happen at any moment and still, speed is everything to an alpine racer. Olympic skiers attack a run at speeds in excess of 80 mph. The characters in DESCENT demand speed, and this demand causes injury and death.
Racers have specialized technicians who follow them on the World Cup circuit, striving to give each skier an advantage, to squeeze out that extra bit of speed from the equipment. The technicians file and wax multiple skis for each skier, always busy trying to give their athlete an edge over others. Resorts inject a run to turn the slope into a skating rink. Everyone wants to cross the finish line first. But at what cost?
It is my understanding 11 people have died alpine ski racing since 1959. The deaths were all accidents.
For a mystery writer, there can be no accident. A hard packed surface, incredible speeds and intense competition gave birth to DESCENT and a journey of how a relatively normal person becomes a murderer. So who killed the skier and why?
DESCENT will answer those questions if you read to the end.
When Kalin Thompson is promoted to Director of Security at Stone Mountain Resort, she soon becomes entangled in the high-profile murder investigation of an up-and-coming Olympic-caliber skier. There are more suspects with motives than there are gates on the super-G course, and danger mounts with every turn.
Kalin’s boss orders her to investigate. Her boyfriend wants her to stay safe and let the cops do their job. Torn between loyalty to friends and professional duty, Kalin must look within her isolated community to unearth the killer’s identity.
So what drove me to write about ski racing?
Late one night in Unteruhldingen, Germany I was reading MOONLIGHT BECOMES YOU by Mary Higgins Clark. The opening—a woman trapped in a grave. Darkness and silence surround her, and she doesn’t know where she is. I can still see her fingers clawing at the edges of the coffin.
Tucked in my bed, I knew a driver would arrive at 4 a.m. to carry me to the Zurich airport for a flight to London, England. The sensible thing to do was sleep. But I couldn’t. I turned pages until the car arrived. I was exhausted, bleary eyed and excited. At that moment I knew I wanted to write something that forced a person to read and to forget about life for a while.
When I finally started my first novel, I’d been living in a ski resort for five years. Skiing is one of my passions and seemed the obvious topic.
DESCENT is the first in the Stone Mountain Mystery series. The series takes place in an isolated mountain resort in the depths of the Purcell mountain range in British Columbia.
With all the forest fires this season, BLAZE, the second in the Stone Mountain Series deals with a current Canadian and American issue. Of course, BLAZE is a mystery and arson is the crime, but this time it looks like Kalin Thompson is the target. BLAZE is scheduled for release before the end of 2015 by Imajin Books.
The third in the series, AVALANCHE, has Kalin Thompson searching for a thief, struggling to prove her brother is innocent of a major theft. Unfortunately for Kalin, her brother disappears hours after the theft and is the prime suspect.
REQUEST FOR READER ASSISTANCE: I’m writing the fourth in the series. A business partner of Kalin’s is murdered while driving his ATV on a mountain trail. He’s forced into a frothing river… My problem with the fourth is I have to stop calling it “the fourth.” I need a title. If you have any suggestions for a title that fits with DESCENT, BLAZE and AVALANCHE, please leave a comment below.
I love to connect with people online. I can be found at: www.KristinaStanley.com
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If you’re interested you can buy DESCENT or download a sample at:myBook.to/Descent
Thank you, Donna, for hosting me.