Author Archives: drkatecollier

About drkatecollier

Author of traditional mysteries featuring the Penningtons of Tompkins College in Tompkins Falls, NY. Also Instructional Designer, Curriculum Developer and Professor for Online Teaching and Learning. Also romance author, writing as Katie O'Boyle, series Lakeside Porches, from Soul Mate Publishing, set in Tompkins Falls in the Finger Lakes of Upstate NY.

Gift Ideas for the Writer in Your Life by Rebecca Heflin

from the very talented Rebecca Heflin! Enjoy these gift ideas for the writer in your life…

Untitled designIt’s the holidays once again! I don’t know about you, but I have no idea where 2018 went. Seems like I had just put the Christmas decorations away when it was time to take them out again. With four days left for Hanukkah, and with Christmas right around the corner, we’re all frantically searching for gifts for those special someones in our lives. If you have a writerly special someone in your life, here are my top 5 gift suggestions. And if you’re the writer in your life, treat yourself (or drop some hints to your loved ones).

  1. Craft or Reference Books

I’m of a mind no one can have too many craft or reference books. Check your writer’s bookshelf for these indispensable books I swear by:

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. In fact, all of their thesauruses are a…

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Gift Ideas for the Writer in Your Life by Rebecca Heflin

from the very talented Rebecca Heflin! Enjoy these gift ideas for the writer in your life…

Untitled designIt’s the holidays once again! I don’t know about you, but I have no idea where 2018 went. Seems like I had just put the Christmas decorations away when it was time to take them out again. With four days left for Hanukkah, and with Christmas right around the corner, we’re all frantically searching for gifts for those special someones in our lives. If you have a writerly special someone in your life, here are my top 5 gift suggestions. And if you’re the writer in your life, treat yourself (or drop some hints to your loved ones).

  1. Craft or Reference Books

I’m of a mind no one can have too many craft or reference books. Check your writer’s bookshelf for these indispensable books I swear by:

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. In fact, all of their thesauruses are a…

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Guest Post: The Dark Side of the Ivory Tower by C. T. Collier (and a new Professor Lyssa Pennington mystery!)

My guest post on mystery site Island Confidential.

Mystery Author Frankie Bow

After a rough semester, Professor Lyssa Pennington just wants to post her grades and join her husband, Kyle, in Cornwall for Christmas. First, though, she’s expected to host an elegant dinner for Emile Duval, the soon-to-be Chair of Languages at Tompkins College.

Too bad no one told Lyssa murder is on the menu. And, by the way, Emile Duval is an imposter. Who is he really? And who wanted him dead? Without those answers, the Penningtons can kiss Christmas in Cornwall goodbye.

Enter to Win a copy of Sipped


The Dark Side of the Ivory Tower
by C. T. Collier

For decades, authors have written murder mysteries set on university campuses, but how believable is that? Do highly educated people, such as professors and college presidents, really get hot enough under the collar to kill? Or dastardly enough to be killed? Surely not. After all, such people are the crème…

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Handling a controversial subject in a mystery by C.T. Collier

Here’s a warm-up for the June 23 LCRW meeting: Sex Talk with author Katrina Kissinger (aka Kim Gore)

bookbrowsing

After All Those Years, the Truth

Being a woman of a certain age, I’ve witnessed decades of changing mores about sexual orientation. When I was in my teens, few people talked openly about sexual orientation. In my family of origin, since several close relatives were nuns or priests, a conversation might touch on celibacy but rarely on lesbian or gay lifestyles. Times have changed.

As I approached the writing of the third book in my mystery series The Penningtons Investigate, I needed to do some serious research if I expected the central issue to be the consequences of a woman’s realization, after years of alcoholic drinking, that her sexual orientation was lesbian.

My research began with informal conversations with more than a dozen people who had experienced similar life-changing realizations about themselves or a loved one. Sometimes the awareness was precipitated by sobriety; sometimes it was more gradual. In most…

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How many professors can you bury? (academic mystery)

masterful mystery by one of my all-time favorite authors.

The Penningtons Investigate

Poison Ivy, by Cynthia Riggs

Cynthia Riggs’ Martha’s Vineyard mystery Poison Ivy takes place at a small college on the Vineyard, Ivy Green, where nonagenarian crime-solver Victoria Trumbull is an adjunct poetry professor. I loved Mrs. Trumbull as a poetry teacher focused on her students’ expression in various poetic forms; and as advocate for three students whose research is plagiarized by their tenure-seeking sociology professor. An overarching theme is the (often abusive) power struggle that plays out in a dozen deadly ways in the college tenure process.

Mrs. Trumbull finds the first body– a tenured professor dead a few weeks without anyone missing him. Thanks to the caretaker’s dog who has a nose for cadavers, more bodies are exhumed. Soon the campus is pock-marked by graves dug by a perfectly respectable serial killer twisted and scarred from his own tenure ordeal. As the drama unfolded, I cheered for the two women who opted out of tenure madness and admired…

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Meet Lyssa Pennington — Spunky professor who loves geeks, dangerous thrills, and solving mysteries

Why does Terri Ponce describe my sleuth, Lyssa Pennington as “a handful and a half, and a blast to be around”? See for yourself! (https://terriponce.com/2017/04/30/meet-lyssa-pennington/)

Terri Herman-Ponce

I met a really exciting character this week and just have to share what I learned with you.

Lyssa Pennington is a spunky economics professor who, when she’s not tackling huge egos and nasty gossipers on campus, solves mysteries. In fact, for Lyssa, the more thrilling the better!

She’s a handful and a half, and a blast to be around.

Want to know more about Lyssa and her stories? Read on…


I’m so excited you’ve asked me to interview, Terri! I love solving murders with my husband, Kyle, in The Penningtons Investigate, but I’m excited about having the spotlight just on me, Lyssa Pennington, today.

What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
I couldn’t survive without my sense of humor. My habit of looking for something laughable in even the most serious situations has helped me get through some terribly difficult times. As my husband, Kyle, says I’m…

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Fun with Definitions

I hope LCRW enjoys this play on words, from author Catherine Castle

Fun with Definitions

old-Correspondence By Bebb, M. S. Wikimedia.com

 

The English language is nothing if not strange. Its homonyms and homophones can confuse anyone. Add synonyms to the mix and that’s a lot to learn. Here’s another twist you can add to the complexity of our language: the redefining of words throughout the ages. When I was a kid, sick meant you were ill, not feeling well as in “I’m too sick to go to school.” In the eighties, the word came to mean awful, terrible as in “She’s so sick. I hate her.” Today when the kids call something “sick” they’re not referring to germs, they’re making the word a compliment: “That concert was sick!”

As writers, we should consider the changing guard of words as a challenge and use them to add flavor to our books. This can be especially interesting if you want to put your out-of-time…

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The Art of Writing a Review …

Great tips on reviewing a book for a fellow author. (Yes, I’m still happy to gift you my mystery, Planted, in exchange for an honest review!)

So, you’ve read a great book lately have you? Maybe even found yourself a new “keeper” author. Can’t wait for that next great read?

Like any other entertainment professional, authors need encouragement. Validation over and above the initial sale. Where do we get that much-needed encouragement? Through an honest review.

'The end. Well, time for bed. What are you writing?'
Tips for leaving a review
:

  • Most importantly, a review can be short. Don’t feel like you have to recap the entire book. That’s the sole purpose of the posted blurb. Two to three sentences outlining your reaction is more than enough. And, of course, set the ‘star’ ranking.
    • Example: “I usually don’t care for secret baby stories, but this one was different. Cody was the smartest, cutest thing ever. Sometimes adults are so stupidly blind, but that’s what makes love grand! Great story.”~ 5-star Amazon Review for Home is Where the Hunk is
  • If you do choose…

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Diehl and D’Avanzo Mix In Student Research

Wanted to share my current reads with fellow LCRW writers . . .

The Penningtons Investigate

Colleges have come a long was from the old Lecture/Recitation model of education. Today’s undergraduate students learn valuable life lessons in the field through civil engagement, and they get hands-on real-life experience by participating in their professors’ research projects. As an author and avid reader, I’m enjoying the new crop of academic mysteries that show students gathering and analyzing data and engaging in other aspects of timely scholarly research.

Two authors are stand outs: Lesley A. Diehl and Charlene D’Avanzo.

Diehl’s character Laura Murphy is a psychology professor in upstate New York. In the 2016 mystery from Creekside Publishing, Failure is Fatal, Laura’s ongoing study in sexual harassment on campus is at the heart of the story. A student is murdered, and the description of the murder is one of the anonymous responses to the study’s current round of data gathering. This is not a grisly or grim tale, however, as Diehl’s humor…

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Character Interview: Lyssa Doughty from Katie O’Boyle’s “Waking Up To Love”

The “other half” of the soulmates from my new release: You’ve read Kyle’s interview. Now it’s Lyssa’s turn! –kate

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