Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Police Procedurals Respected by Law Enforcement

When I was a young adult and considering my career options for the future, I gave consideration to three areas. Two of them were becoming either a lawyer or a police officer. Where the irony comes into play is I wanted to be a defense attorney to stand up for the accused, possibly even the guilty. Whereas, on the flipside of that, as a police officer I would have made sure the guilty were held accountable. This goes to prove that both “good” and “bad,” light and dark, live inside of me as they do everyone.

Expanding on that, I believe a good Law Enforcement officer needs to have the ability to relate to both sides. While they pursue the presumed guilty, they consider the evidence and the facts in a case. When they deem everything points in the direction of guilt, they will stop at nothing to bring a perp to justice. It doesn’t matter if they meet with opposition even from inside “the brotherhood of blue.” They won’t let anything deter them from the goal of getting the guilty off the street and making them pay for what they’ve done.

When it comes to their view of the accused, Law Enforcement officers have another sense that allows them to reason on why a suspect may have done what they did. Of course, there will be times when motivation remains an enigma, but they strive to analyze the why and the what. Why would they have done what they did? And what pushed them to this point?

See, often times, those who commit crimes, even murders, are justified in their own minds. Whether it be the way they were raised, an example they were given, or something in their lives that made them who they are.

Experienced and talented Law Enforcement officers can “see” all of this, even if some of it remains based on intuition and a “gut feeling.” There are times, though, their predictions are proven. There are other times when officers are left with a feeling of senselessness, when they cannot understand the perp on any level. But I believe a good Law Enforcement officer realizes there are three sides to every story and that somewhere in the middle is the truth.

Now, I said there were three career options I had considered. Well, the third was to become a journalist. Of the three options I am now closer to living the third. Due to extenuating circumstances a career in either Law or Law Enforcement were not in my purpose. However, I have found a niche between the two that caters to the three loves I had dating back to young adulthood.

As a mystery writer, I pursue the “bad guys” and bring them to justice, but I also delve into the minds of killers. My passion and respect for Law Enforcement dictates that I keep my stories as realistic as possible. See, my purpose is to provide not only entertaining police procedurals, but accurate ones. I’m proud to say that based on emails I’ve received from readers who work, or have worked, in Law Enforcement, I have succeeded at this. While they possess the true strength and courage to work on the streets, I write about it from the safety of my office.

To those who work, or who have ever worked, in Law Enforcement—thank you for your service in a career that is not acknowledged enough.

Here are a few recommendations that I’ve received from readers with experience in Law Enforcement:

“Usually it’s hard for me to read cop books without picking them apart but once I started this one I couldn’t put it down. TIES THAT BIND was more realistic than anything I’ve ever read and for the entire book I felt like it was me. The way Carolyn wrote Madison describes me and the way I work and even my personal life to a t. I have never felt more connected to a character. Thank you for creating something so real.” -- Deputy Rebecca Hendrix, LeFlore County Sheriff’s Department Poteau, Oklahoma
 "I thrive on rich characters and TIES THAT BIND did a superb job of capturing the law enforcement partner relationship." -- Kevin Johnson, Sergeant (Ret.) Minneapolis, MN
“Carolyn Arnold provides entertainment and accuracy.” -- Michael D. Scott, Patrolman (Ret.) Castroville, Texas

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Coffee is Murder--An Excerpt

Chapter 4
Blond And Determined

SEAN AND SARA TOOK THE file to the meeting room, which had a glass table and seating for six. The space had more sleek lines and chrome. A large screen was on one wall—the modern-day solution to a marker board. Adam’s enthusiasm about the technology of the interactive whiteboard was contagious and had Sean parting with the money.
Every time Sean entered the room, though, he was glad that he had made the investment. Adam’s praise was well-deserving. The board served a decorative purpose and was practical. Unlike the traditional predecessor, with this electronic one, it was possible to save any notes or doodles as images and PDFs.
Sean handed Sara the file. She was a faster reader, so, once she finished reading a sheet, she would pass it on to him and keep going. They still had more to read when two shadows graced the doorway.
It was Helen and a pretty blonde, who, Sean assumed, must be their prospective client, Sophie Hogan. He had read enough of the preliminary. Between the application and what Helen had told him, he was aware Sophie worked as a nurse in a retirement home. It was her mother, Beverly Sparks, who’d passed away. She was sixty-nine at the time of her death.
“Sean, Sara, this is Sophie Hogan.” Helen conducted the formal introductions as she guided the woman farther into the room.
“Hello. Nice to meet you both. Thank you for agreeing to take my case.” Sophie shook Sean’s hand.
He didn’t have the heart to correct her assumption. This meeting was a preliminary interview. She had made it past Helen, and now he and Sara had to decide if they’d accept the case, or if there even was one to take on.
Sophie clasped Sara’s hand in greeting now. “You are beautiful.”
“Thank you. So are you.”
Sean never tired of people saying that to his wife. She was attractive both inside and outside and had a quality that drew people. Jealousy periodically slipped in when it involved men, but he was working to root out the undesirable quality.
Sophie’s head dipped and she pulled out a chair, but hesitated. “I guess I shouldn’t assume. Is it all right if I sit here?”
“Of course.” Sara spoke gently and Sean admired, again, his wife’s ability to put people at ease.
Sophie was positioned across from them so it worked out ideally. Eye contact and being able to read a person’s body language was a big factor in conversation. Often, more was said through energy and movement than was communicated through words.
“I’m going to excuse myself, if that will be all.” Helen waved a hand, pointing toward the door.
“That will be. Thank you, Helen,” Sean said.
She closed the door behind her, and Sean settled his gaze on Sophie. She was thirty-two, according to the file, but she could have passed for mid-twenties. Her eyes were hazel and her hair was bottle-blond with dark lowlights. She wore it down at the back with the sides pulled up and clipped into a barrette. As a generalization, women freed their face of wandering strands when they were focused. And, despite her timorous mannerisms, Sean saw a person who was likely confident in her own right. He figured that consulting with private investigators ventured outside of most people’s comfort zones.
The business had opened its doors a month ago and had come together rather quickly—money equaled power, and, when the contractors found out it was multi-billionaire Sean McKinley requesting their services, they were more than efficient. A job that might have stretched out for months if they were working for someone else was condensed to the timespan of thirty days.
Three months ago, they had bought the property. Two months ago, they had hired the contractor. And one month ago, they had officially opened the doors. With the applications coming in from the moment they’d purchased the property, they were ready to start as soon as they found a case that matched their criteria.
“Would you like a cup of coffee or a glass of water?” Sara asked her.
Sophie shook her head. “Your assistant did ask me, but I’m good. I’m off coffee right now.”
“All right, well, we’ve read a good portion of your file and application, but it’s much better to hear things straight from the person. First of all, you have our sympathies for your loss,” Sean said.
Sophie’s lips quivered and she nodded.
“You don’t believe it was related to her age.”
She slid her bottom lip through her teeth. “Not at all. My mother was in good physical shape. She might not have been very active, but she was sixty-nine. Still, considering her age and all she had gone through in life, she had many more years left.” Her voice fractured on the last sentence.
“You’re saying that she was murdered?” Sara’s tone was soft.
“That’s exactly what I’m saying.”

COFFEE IS MURDER is available for pre-order from:
Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble:

COFFEE IS MURDER officially releases May 27th.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Coffee is Murder, A Moment of Appreciation #SampleSunday

Excerpt from COFFEE IS MURDER, coming out May 27th.

Chapter 1
A Moment of Appreciation

FOR SARA, COFFEE WAS ONE of life’s greatest—and simplest—pleasures. Every time she took a draw of freshly brewed java, her eyelids automatically lowered in appreciation of the robust flavor. Somehow, when drinking it, life seemed less complicated, or maybe it was just how it coated the palate and calmed her nerves despite what some scientific studies might say.
She was in her home office, seated behind her desk, staring at the blinking cursor on her monitor, but it wasn’t because she had writer’s block. Her wrists needed a break. Better yet, she needed to indulge in this cup.
Leaning back in her chair, she swiveled from side to side and closed her eyes, savoring the aroma of the dark beans. While they were ground at the time she pressed the button, the only way to get it any fresher was picking the beans off the plants in Brazil. With their money, she supposed it was an option.
She let herself get caught up with the thought. It might not be a bad idea. As her daydreaming grew in scale, she laughed. She wasn’t going to board a plane to South America for a cup of coffee, even though it might be the best she’d ever had. She wasn’t that obsessed—was she?
Sean knocked, but entered without awaiting a reply. He held on to a glass of orange juice and she admired his self-restraint. For some reason, his body required only one coffee a day when he first woke up. Otherwise, he moved on to juice or water. 
If Sean had his way, Sara would drink only one, but coffee was a habit she wasn’t willing to break. Maybe she was an addict, although, that word carried such a negative connotation. She wasn’t an alcoholic simply because she enjoyed an evening beverage, so her coffee indulgence shouldn’t be considered an addiction. Even her thoughts betrayed her. Indulgence.
“Good morning, darling.” Sean kissed her forehead and then her lips. “I hope I’m not interrupting.” He glanced at the screen. “I guess I’m not.”
She smirked at him, realizing only a chapter number was showing. “I’m just taking a small break. I can’t always be typing, you know. I’m not a machine.”
“The way you’ve been holed up in here lately, I’m starting to wonder.”
She pouted. “Are you feeling lonely?”
“A little bit like a writer’s widower actually.”
“Well, let me make it up to you.” She stood, cupped his face with her hands, and kissed his mouth.
When they parted, any pleasure she derived from the coffee had diluted. It was replaced by the need to hold her husband.
“Hmm. Not bad,” he said.
“Excuse me?”
“You have coffee breath. I have orange juice breath. Still, the kiss, not bad.”
She narrowed her eyes and was about to say something when the phone on her desk rang.
Sean answered. “Hello…yes, Helen…all right, make the appointment for two hours from now.”
As she listened to her husband speak, she had a good idea what this was about. There was a job.

COFFEE IS MURDER is available for pre-order from:
Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble:

COFFEE IS MURDER officially releases May 27th.

Send to Kindle

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Everyone Has a Story—Here’s Mine, Part 2

Last week I started to share my writing journey with you. It’s one that seems to inspire others, as well as myself. What took place in my life confirmed that I was meant to be an author. If you’re an author, you will have your own story, I have no doubt. But, here is the rest of mine. (If you didn’t catch Part 1, you can find it here.)

Back in 2006, the economy was strong, and I was young and determined to find happiness with my employment. I wasn’t looking for a career, I was simply looking for a place where I’d be happy and my mind would be challenged. That year, I left a company I had worked at for seven years because I wanted a change. I ended up working at three different places in three months—and all the moves were my doing!

What can I say? I knew what I wanted and I hadn’t found it yet. Through all of this, my sweet husband supported my decisions. He says he never had any doubt in my abilities. That’s probably a good reason I’ve kept him around so long. (Nineteen years in 2015.) Other elements could have created stress too. We just bought a new car and moved into our first house.

Titles up until the end of 2014.
Anyway, with this third job move, not only did my salary go up significantly from where I had started off, but, more importantly, it was the job that reunited me with writing. That’s right. After thirteen years, oh, and a move across the province, writing was brought back into my life.

It’s here where the Goosebumps start for me. I believe that things happen for a reason. I always have. Well, with all this job hunting, interviewing, and changes, the Universe delivered back to me my purpose in life.

This is how it transpired. Ironically, this job wasn’t to last long. It was a larger company and they were restructuring. This resulted in my department being transferred to their Toronto office. That meant I was going to be out of a job. But it didn’t happen overnight. It carried over at least a month, maybe longer. We all knew it was coming, but didn’t know when. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had to go through this, but it’s not a nice position to be in. For me, it was meant to be. (What’s meant to happen…)

It was during this time that a co-worker emailed me. Now, keep in mind none of us were motivated. We anticipated the proverbial ax chopping us at any time.

Her email said, “Tell me a story.”

I just want to point out here, again, that I hadn’t written anything in about thirteen years. The concept of writing a full-length novel lingered in the back of my mind, but no real thought was given to it.

So how did I respond to her email? Truth is, I don’t even remember questioning why she asked. It seemed as natural as if she asked me how I was doing.

I fired back a few paragraphs that came to me.

She emailed back requesting more.

I provided her more.

We continued this for a while, going back and forth, her requesting more and me obliging. I was having fun with this and she told me I had to finish what I started.

And, there you go. From a series of events, synchronicity, destiny, whatever you want to call it, I was reunited with my love for writing. This book, known to my readers as LIFE SENTENCE, that I had started in email became my first full-length novel.

Since that day when a co-worker asked me, “Tell me a story,” I’ve never looked back.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Everyone Has a Story—Here’s Mine, Part 1

A common question I’m asked as an author is, “when did you start writing?” Every time I get to answer this question, I fall in love all over again…not that I ever really fell out of love. Some people might tell you that they loved books from the time they could read, that they were writing stories in crayon, that writing is what defines their entire life up until this point. Well, my story is a little different. It’s a unique one that usually sends spikes of energy through me and those I’m telling it to.

It didn’t necessarily start off that exciting, but how I became reunited with writing after being away from it for thirteen years, is my story alone to tell. So here goes.

My story starts off much like other authors. I did start writing when I was young, but it wasn’t with crayons. It was on a typewriter and then on a computer. I was a teenager at the time and in love with the dramatics involved with young romance. Maybe it was a reflection of all the tangled emotions that were whirling through my system? I’m not sure, but I found it so enjoyable. I wrote romance novellas that were full of heartache and suspense. I even have some of these kicking around on three inch floppies. (If you don’t know what these are, I’m feeling old right now…and I oblige, picture attached.)

Anyway, I’d insist everyone in my family read what wrote and if they refused? Well, no problem. I read it to them. You could say I was hard-headed, tenacious. But it was clear that I had a message I wanted to share. Primarily, I wanted to entertain. I also knew I wanted to write a full-length novel.

This love moved me to write into Harlequin for their submission guidelines as a teen. I still remember grabbing the envelope and hunkering down in the basement to read the contents. My parents never even knew I had written to them.

But it wasn’t my time yet. I don’t even remember exactly why I was deterred. Maybe it was because of the story length required. Maybe it was self-doubt or a realization of my limited life experience.

From there, I also remember writing poetry. For those of you who read it or write it, you know it’s an emotional journey. You really have to feel everything you put on the page. I used it as a means to purge my teenage upsets.

But then, I stopped writing. I don’t even remember exactly when or why it happened.

What I do know is, approximately thirteen years later, writing re-entered my life.

Please visit my blog next week to read more about my story.

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