Sunday, May 12, 2024

A Storm of Doubts by JPC Allen



About the Book


Book: A Storm of Doubts

Author: JPC Allen

Genre: YA cozy mystery

Release date: March 1, 2024

Her dad said nothing could hurt their relationship. But what if he isn’t her dad?

Summer gets off to a rocky start for twenty-year-old Rae Riley when the ex-wife of family friend Jason Carlisle claims their youngest child isn’t his and Rae’s con man uncle Troy returns to Marlin County, Ohio. Rae is already at odds with her father, Sheriff Walter “Mal” Malinowski, over her desire to help people in trouble. When she extends that help to Troy and Jason’s ex-wife, Ashley, she and Mal clash even more.

Then Ashley disappears, and Jason and his brother Rick are the main suspects. As Rae and her aunt Carrie, a private investigator hired to protect Jason’s kids, work to discover what really happened to Ashley, Rae wrestles with Troy’s insinuations that she may be calling the wrong Malinowski “Dad.”


Click here to get your copy!

I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all
Opinions given are my own and not an endorsement 
Of all author’s opinions. 


About the Author

JPC Allen started her writing career in second grade with an homage to Scooby Doo. She’s been tracking down mysteries ever since. Her Christmas mystery “A Rose from the Ashes” was the first Rae Riley mystery and a Selah-finalist at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2020. Her first Rae Riley novel, A Shadow on the Snow, released in 2021. Online, she offer tips and prompts to ignite the creative spark in every kind of writer. She also leads workshops for tweens, teens and adults, encouraging them to discover the adventure of writing. Coming from a long line of Mountaineers, she’s a life-long Buckeye.


Author Interview

1. What/Who inspired you to write on the main themes found in the book?


Although I'll have a theme in mind when I start a story, I don't weld myself to it. The longer I write, the more I realize, I have to let the theme rise from the story as I put words on paper. In this novel, the theme of trust seemed to occur again and again. Can Rae trust her newly found dad? What will happen to a toddler if her father discovers proof that she's the daughter of his ex-wife and another man? Can Rae trust what God says about Himself? I pray about the theme and examine it to see if it is firmly rooted in God's word. Then I start shaping it.


2. Which character in your book do you relate to the most?


Rae. She has a lot of my characteristics--artistic, shy, wanting to get along with people. But I put a bit of myself in most of my characters--Rae's aunt and oldest brother are writers, her dad's a worrier, her grandmother loves to bake. I even put myself in the villains' shoes, imaging that if I was presented with the same circumstances as the bad guy, and decided to act selfishly, what would be the most believable way to act? 


3. If you could meet your characters in real life, what would you talk about? 


That would be so awesome! I think we would swap family stories. Although the characters would probably freak out that this stranger knew so much about their personal lives.


4. What did your research process look like for this book? 


I had to understand divorce law in Ohio. So I sent questions specific to my plot to a retired judge, who specialized in divorces. I also had some questions about identifying bodies and police procedure. Because I'd taken a free course at my local sheriff's department, their PR person recommended people I could contact. So I sent questions to a lieutenant in the department and an official in the coroner's office. All three men were so helpful in answering my questions.


5. What made you choose the setting/time period for this book? 


I've lived my whole life in Ohio, first growing up in a small town and now living out in the country. I know rural life and wanted to set mysteries in that familiar territory. So I created my own county in Ohio. The advantage of a mystery set in a rural location is there are still part of the country where phones won't work or won't their wits. I can realistically knock out communications, forcing my heroes to survive by wits.

More form JPC

Readers Deserve a Reward

I may be unusual, or just plain weird, but thinking of my ending first is the common way I approach a new story. It seems to help me to know my destination before I set out on the adventure of writing a story. I can take any number of routes to reach my destination and wandering around and exploring detours is a lot of the fun of writing. But by keeping my destination in mind, I don’t get lost. Or at least, not easily.

The other thing I keep in mind about my ending is that it’s a reward for the reader. I’m relatively new to publishing and not well known. So when readers take a chance on one of my stories, I believe it’s my job to reward their risk with an atypical, satisfying ending. Now I do work hard to make the whole story satisfying with things like an attention-grabbing opening and tension-building scenes. But endings, I think, are special to readers. This is the part that lingers in their minds when they close the book–whether it’s a sense of satisfaction, like the pleased feeling you have after a delicious meal, or anger or exasperation because the ending let them down.

I work to make all parts of the ending satisfying–the climax, denouement or wrap-up, and the last lines. For the climax, readers of my mysteries deserve more thant just the good guys solving the puzzle and catching the bad guy. I plan an action-packed, suspenseful climax that has readers living the final confrontation with the main character and it resolves itself in a way that, I hope, surprises readers.

Denouements are so critical to mysteries, when the detective explains how he solved the case. But they can also be deadly dull because the explanation needs to be thorough to meet the expectations of mystery fans. So in A Storm of Doubts, I split up the explanation–a lot of it is revealed during the climax, so I don’t bore readers by piling up a discussion of the solution in one chapter.

The final scene and last lines are areas I spend a good deal of thought on. Even if this scene was my inspiration for the entire story, how it plays in my head and how it plays on the page are two very different things. I also think the last scene and lines have a certain rhythm to them, like the final bars of a song. My job is make the scene round off the story without staying too long in it.

So when you read A Storm of Doubts, I’d love to know what you think of the ending. Because you do deserve a reward.

Blog Stops

Stories By Gina, May 4 (Author Interview)

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 5

Artistic Nobody, May 6 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 7

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, May 8 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, May 8

Beauty in the Binding, May 9 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 10

Guild Master, May 11 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 12

A Reader’s Brain , May 13 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 13

Texas Book-aholic, May 14

For the Love of Literature, May 15 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 16

Vicky Sluiter, May 17 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, JPC is giving away the grand prize package of all four books in the Rae Riley mystery series, a $25 Amazon gift card, and an Ohio tumbler with lid filled with buckeye candies!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a brilliant novel. Thanks for sharing.