As long as she can remember Brook Peterson has been
reading mysteries. By the time she was ten, she was writing her own and turning
them into little stapled paperbacks to share with her family. She’s thrilled to
be writing and publishing real books to share with all of you mystery lovers
out there. Her stories are sure to include long-held secrets, an antique or
two, and a bit of romance.
cozy and middle grade
What is the name of your latest book and what
My latest book is A Collection of Secrets, which was released on January 14,
2022. This is Book 2 in my Jericho Falls Cozy Mystery Series.
I’m very excited about this story. It picks up where
Book 1 left off. Similar to A History ofMurder, there are aspects of the past that continue to trouble our sleuth,
Chloe Martin. But that’s not the only thing complicating her life; she also
hits a snag in her burgeoning relationship with police chief, Lance Garner.
Without giving too much away, I will say that readers of book one who wanted
more information about Christy’s mysterious diary will be pleased. ;-)
My favorite part of writing this story was
incorporating the RV park scenes. In the past, my husband’s job required
extensive travel and staying in RV parks was a way of life for us. It was fun
for me to bring this part of our real life into the world of Jericho Falls.
When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?
Emotional scenes are tough for me because I truly
feel like my characters are real people—I hate to see them in pain. Appropriate
music (no words, please) helps me get in the right frame of mind. And I also
like to “watch” the scene like a movie in my mind before drafting.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The first mystery series I fell in love with as a kid
was Alfred Hitchock and The Three Investigators. The series was written
by a variety of authors. These stories prompted me to want to become a mystery
author myself when I was about ten years old.
Later, I had a similar experience with Sue Grafton’s
Alphabet Series. In my opinion, it is the best P.I. series available to
date. Go check it out if you haven’t already. Grafton is a master.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
Finish it. It’s typical of new authors (myself
included) to start and stop many projects. But, you’ll never learn the craft of
story structure unless you write from beginning to end. Once you have the first
draft done, the real work begins of shaping it into something worth sharing
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That other people are fascinated by the same weird,
sometimes macabre things that I am; old time towns, antiques, creepy places,
and family lore.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
At about twelve, I wrote a little memoir-type story
about my beloved grandmother, who had recently passed away. It became a family
favorite and talked about for years. I was proud to have been able to capture
the love and appreciation I had for her in a few paragraphs and thrilled that
it influenced others.
Q7: What was the first book that
made you cry?
This is such a funny question. My mom remembers that
I cried at the end of almost every book I read and every movie I watched
because “it was so good!” I just love well told stories.
Q8: What are you working on now?
My upcoming project will be another middle grade
mystery novel for my series published by Level Best Books. It features middle
school sleuth, Jessi Johnstone and her twerpy but intellectual side-kick, Ian.
Book 1 in the series, The Cameo’s Secret,
will be released in the Spring of 2023.
Q9: What are you currently reading?
I’m currently listening to the audio production of Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith. This
is a superb detective series that I highly recommend, but are we surprised
since Galbraith is the pen name of J.K. Rowling? By the way, Robert Glenister
is the narrator for the series and is AMAZING. A Collection of Secrets, book 2 of the Jericho Falls Cozy Mysteries series is NOW AVAILABLE!
It all started with a corn dog. It was the reason my
stomach began to rumble at mile marker 247 and cramp by number 258. It was the
reason I kept speeding up little by little until my speedometer dial flirted
with 80. How long had that deep-fried excuse for lunch been sitting underneath
the red lamp? And was there a bit of vegetation on this godforsaken desert
highway large enough to hide behind? Nope. Not a chance.
So it really was because of that darned gas-station
corndog that I started to see the red and blue flashing lights appear and grow
in my rearview mirror.
“That cop probably isn’t coming for me,” I soothed
myself. “Don’t get nervous—it’ll only make things worse.” I inhaled and exhaled
slowly, practicing the breathing technique I knew to quiet my anxiety. I let
off the accelerator and said a little prayer for mercy. Please, God, if you let
this police car drive past me, I shalt not eat junk food just to pass the time
of a boring drive ever again.
The cruiser was right behind me now, sirens and
lights blazing. The cop wasn’t going to pass me. My pulse raced as I eased my
old Toyota pickup onto the gravelly shoulder and prayed this would not take
long. I rolled down my window and waited for the inevitable.
Glancing at my reflection in the rearview mirror, I
hoped I had some trace of a hairdo and makeup left. Cops let cute girls off the
hook, right? Sadly, the warm desert climate had deflated my hair and melted
what little makeup I started with that morning. I refocused and watched the
policeman take his own sweet time to open his car door and slowly meander up to
mine. Come on, buddy, I’m getting desperate here!
As soon as he was within earshot, I blurted, “The
answers are ‘yes’ and ‘the corndog.’”
“Excuse me?” the officer said, leaning down and
doing the stereotypical two-second car interior scan.
“You were going to ask me if I knew I was
speeding—yes—and what the hurry was all about—and it’s the corndog.”
“The corndog,” he repeated flatly.
“From the Conoco station about fifty miles back.” I
pointed in the direction I had come from and made a face meant to say, ‘yikes.’
“Miss, I’m beginning to wonder about your sobriety,”
the officer said, “and you’re sweating pretty heavily.”
“I’m not drunk, sir,” I told him, “but I need a
ladies’ room in the worst way. I’d settle for a porta-potty, or steep
embankment out of traffic’s view, if you know of one.”
A longish moment of silence followed my confession.
It gave me just enough time to notice how incredibly cute this man, who was
presently deciding my fate, truly was. His arms were folded across his chest,
displaying an attractive amount of blond hair on his forearms. The navy blue of
his uniform set off his tan skin, and I suspected it would enhance blue eyes
nicely as well. That is if those eyes hidden behind his aviator shades proved
to be blue.
At that moment, a stomach cramp averted my
attention. I clenched my teeth and squeezed my eyes shut. I felt a bead of
sweat trickle down my temple.
“You’re serious, aren’t you?” he said.
“Follow me,” he said. With that, he jogged back to
his cruiser and gave what I like to think is history’s first-ever police escort
to the bathroom.
You can purchase A History of Murder here.
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