Moonlight Author’s Mystic Mysteries

Ghost Stories

Nancy Drew, Where are You?

I blame Nancy Drew for my fascination with mystery and suspense. When I was a kid, I used to pretend to be Nancy Drew and lead my own investigations. For instance, in the “Case of the Chickens Who Didn’t Cross the Road,” our neighbors claimed their chickens remained on their side of the street. But, if that was true, then why was there a large nest with eggs in our empty dog house? After a week of intense dog house surveillance, I was able to say with absolute certainty that those chickens did, indeed, cross the road. And, to this day, the town of Windsor Locks, Connecticut is still stunned by the revelation that cows do eat clothes hanging on the line, jump fences and stand in the middle of the road. Again, it was my investigative work that cracked the “Case of the Wild Cow.” At age thirteen, I wanted to join the FBI, but they weren’t hiring women in those days. Read more “Nancy Drew, Where are You?”

Time Slips

Can A Wrinkle in Time Inspire Success?

How a ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Inspired My Writing Career

supernatural mystery writer Casi McLeanMy favorite childhood story was A wrinkle In Time and, after reading that book, for as long as I remember, I’ve loved the idea of supernatural. Not blatant horror stories, vampires, sci-fi aliens, or other worldly fantasy, but the notion of “what if” that entices imagination into believing there’s more than what meets the eye.

My fourth grade teacher nudged the author within me when she read aloud Madeleine L’Engles, A Wrinkle In Time. The enchanting story opened the door to my future. I read every time travel story I could get my hands on and watched every time slip movie. The question niggled at me. If time travel was “a thing” how would the concept likely occur? Read more “Can A Wrinkle in Time Inspire Success?”

book Moonlight Author's Mystic Mysteries

The Book That Ignited My Imagination

One of my favorite memories of childhood is reading. First, of my mother reading the Little House on the Prairie novels

to my sister and I before we were old enough to read them ourselves. Then, stealing away to a comfortable couch or chair to read the afternoon away alone. Most of my books were from the library, or from the Scholastic Book club from school. I read countless books. Many have faded to line the walls of my imagination. But if you ask me what the very first book was that made an impression on me, I have an immediate answer. Even if I can’t remember much about the story. Read more “The Book That Ignited My Imagination”

Moonlight Author's Mystic Mysteries

The Book That Made Me Love Ghosts + Romance

I’m kicking off our next blog series here on Moonlight & Mystery (if you missed our last one, each author discussed fun details about the setting of one of her books; start here with my post on Cape Cod!)  Today we begin a look back at a book from our youth that inspired us in some way—a novel that maybe made us fall in love with reading, drew us to a new genre, sparked our imagination, or inspired us to write our own stories someday.
Read more “The Book That Made Me Love Ghosts + Romance”

Moonlight Author's Mystic Mysteries

Reviews Are Like Chocolate Cake

I read every night, even if it’s late, I’m exhausted, and my eyes are ready to say night night.

If the book doesn’t grab the lapels of my jammies and yank me against the Kindle, I usually have a hard time sticking with a story. For that reason, I read Suspense.

Twists are the bomb. I love being surprised, saying “I did not see that coming!” I absolutely love the game of trying to guess a mystery. Read more “Reviews Are Like Chocolate Cake”

Moonlight Author's Mystic Mysteries

Small Town Charm

Sometimes you fall in love with the setting of a story and can’t let it go. That’s what happened with a series of stories set in the fictional town of Havenport, Rhode Island.

The town was developed for an anthology of stories I was collaborating on with three other writing—Ruth A. Casie, Lita Harris, and Nicole S. Patrick. We wanted an event to serve as a connection for our stories and decided on the closing of a bookstore in a fictional New England seaside town. All our characters would at some point go through the bookstore. This was intended to be the last in our series of Timeless Tales but instead, we fell in love with the town we created and launched the Havenport series.

Read more “Small Town Charm”

Wisconsin setting Authors

Building Romance & Suspense: Taking My Cues From Nature

Crystal Rock, Wisconsin…

Is a purely fictional resort town where my stories take place. The Dragonfly Pointe Inn has been restored, and in the process, it’s discovered that a human trafficking ring has been operating in the area during the years when the inn was abandoned.

Or has the trafficking been going on for much longer?

Although I don’t write the paranormal fantasy romance that several authors in our Moonlight and Mystery group are great at, I do weave a slight element of fantasy through my stories.

Once two lovers kiss at Dragonfly Pointe? Their love is meant to last forever. Read more “Building Romance & Suspense: Taking My Cues From Nature”

Moonlight Author's Mystic Mysteries

How do Writers Measure Productivity?

How do Writers Measure Productivity?

If writers made widgets, there would be a mound of physical products sitting on the counter at the end of the work day.  Judging from the previous day’s tally, we could accurately determine if this happened to be a good day or bad one by the increase or decrease in sheer number.

But how do writers make this determination?

Some people might say it is from the number of words on the page.  But perhaps we have spent most of the day editing a passage, or researching the history of toilet paper rationing during World War II.  Important details like that need to be authentic. Read more “How do Writers Measure Productivity?”


Imaginary Real Places by Alicia Dean

Thank you for visiting our Moonlight and Mystery Blog. I’ve enjoyed reading about the settings my fellow M&M authors use in their fantastic stories, and I hope you have too.

Picking a setting for my books is so much fun. I typically use fictitious towns so that I can have free rein to create places and characters without worrying about offending anyone or misrepresenting law enforcement or other entities. I like to make up names of towns that have a connection or hidden meaning. Such as…

Read more “Imaginary Real Places by Alicia Dean”