A Whole Latte Murder by Caroline Fardig
A Java Jive Mystery #3
Coffeehouse manager and reluctant sleuth Juliet Langley returns in a gripping novel from the bestselling author of Death Before Decaf and Mug Shot. Just as things are perking up in Nashville, a serial killer sends tensions foaming over.
Juliet’s personal and professional lives have recently received an extra jolt of energy. Her romance with the hunky detective Ryder Hamilton continues to simmer, and business at Java Jive has never been better. But her good mood quickly turns as stale as day-old espresso when she finds out that Ryder has been promoted to his precinct’s homicide division. With him risking his life to catch the worst kind of criminals, Juliet’s growing sense of unease ignites when a local college student goes missing.
Suddenly every Nashville resident is on high alert, especially Juliet’s neighbor Chelsea. Juliet does her best to calm the girl’s nerves, but her worst fears are confirmed when she finds Chelsea dead. Even though she tries her best to stay out of it, Juliet’s involvement puts a strain on Ryder’s first homicide case. The situation soon becomes even more personal for Juliet and her best friend Pete Bennett when one of their employees disappears during her shift. As a killer lurks in the shadows, Juliet, Pete, and Ryder seek out a double shot of justice.
My writing process has evolved over the years. At first, I would come up with an idea and start writing—I was more of a “panster,” an author who flies (writes) by the seat of her pants. Several books later, with a horde of characters to keep straight, I’m much more of a plotter than I used to be. However, that’s not to say that if my characters are screaming at me to go in a different direction than I intended, that I don’t listen to those little voices in my head.
I still start every book the same way—with just one simple idea. Often the idea seed has nothing to do with the central plot of the mystery. Many times it’s something I want to have occur in my characters’ personal lives and relationships to further the overall story arc of the series.
After I find the seed, I focus on the murder. I need to figure out three things to make it work: who dies, who done it, and why. If there’s not a compelling “why,” I start looking for either a new killer or a new victim until the why clicks into place. With that, I have to weave in my main characters’ motivation for investigating. The “why do they even care?” of it all. If my amateur sleuths don’t feel an overwhelming urge to risk life and limb to solve the murder, then there’s really no reason to even bother writing the story.
To fill in the romance side, which to me is just as important as the actual plot, I start listening to music and daydreaming. I create a playlist for each book I write, using songs that capture certain scenes in mood and through the words of the song. Even years later, when I happen to hear those songs, they flood my mind with the particular scenes I came up with while listening to them and carry me back to those feelings I had when writing them.
Once I have everything kind of worked out, I come up with a general timeline of events, just so I have a basic map of where the story needs to go. I begin writing a few scenes, but I don’t box myself in and make myself write them in order. If I’m not sure how I want to start the book, I skip it and write a scene I know has to happen a certain way.
After I have a clearer picture of some of the events that “have” to happen, I come up with a day-by-day calendar-type outline. I actually draw it out in my notebook and put events on Monday, Tuesday, etc. Once that is finished, I buckle down and begin writing, starting at the beginning and pulling some of the finished scenes in where they belong. If I happen to get writer’s block, which happens occasionally, I find it helpful to micro-outline each scene—I list the things that I want to have happen within the scene and use that as a guide.
Of course, once the book is completed, then comes the editing, but that’s a whole other blog post. And speaking of other blog posts, follow my blog tour to learn about the process I use when I’m SONGwriting, an addictive new hobby that allows me to include an original song I’ve written in each Java Jive book.
About the Author
Caroline Fardig is the author of Death Before Decaf and the Lizzie Hart series. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2glRyM1