Carly’s Conspiracy: Behind the Book

The New Year is a time of rebirth, isn’t it? My first published novel, Carly’s Conspiracy, has recently been revised and reborn after years of wasting in the no-man’s-land left behind when traditional publishers go bankrupt.  Indeed, all four of the Judge Wilhelmia Carson novels have been revised and reborn. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have these friends alive again. But even better is the response we’ve received from you.

This has been an exciting opportunity for us. Readers and fans have responded so positively, it’s heartwarming.

Thank you all for making Carly’s Conspiracy a bestseller again. Here’s the new cover. Isn’t it stunning?

Recent reader comments and questions about the Willa Carson books have been fun for everyone along the book trail, so I thought I might share a few of those questions and responses in the blog here today. As regular readers know, Carly’s Conspiracy is the first of four books (so far) in the Judge Wilhelmina Carson Series. The books are mystery and suspense set in Tampa, Florida. So the first questions are often about settings.

  • Why Tampa? Why not Miami or Orlando?

This one is actually pretty easy. Tampa has rich history, and friendly people. Stories about a normal town filled with normal people who live interesting lives are my subject. Tampa fits on all those levels and more.

Tampa is a city where people live and work in the same ways Americans across the country do (and quite a few Canadians as well). But we live in perpetual summer here in the Sunshine State, and we’re the 4th largest population state in the country. We have three major sports teams here and we’re the major league baseball spring training home for the New York Yankees. We have a significant Cuban population (Tampa is closer to Havana than Miami is) and a lengthy latin heritage.

While I describe Tampa in my novels as “the Midwest with palm trees,” because so many of our residents moved here from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan (as I did), Tampa is still a small Southern town in many ways. Tampa and I are much alike that way. I’m a small town Southern woman at heart, too.

  • Why is Willa Carson a federal judge and not a state court judge?

Wilhelmina Carson is named after a mentor of mine, the only woman partner in the law firm where I started out as a puppy lawyer years ago. Wilhelmina was a trailblazer, just like the fictional Judge Willa. And like all trailblazers, both women are unconventional, to say the least. Judge Willa is a federal judge because federal judges are appointed for life while state judges must stand for reelection.

With Judge Willa following her heart instead of all the stodgy rules real judges must adhere to, she wouldn’t have lasted long on a state court bench. As it is, she’s investigating crimes and solving murders, which is not something her Chief Judge appreciates. If Judge Willa isn’t careful, she’s likely to find herself the subject of an impeachment investigation, too!

  • What about the silicone solution? Is it real?

Yes. And no. Carly’s Conspiracy revolves around the silicone breast implant scandal of the 1990s and the book is set in 1999. At that time, silicone breast implants had been removed from the market because there was concern at the FDA that they might be making women sick. Fourteen years later, long after the story ends, the FDA was forced to admit no such health risks existed.

But from 1992 – 2006, women with implants were terrified, manufacturers were bankrupted, and lawyers made a killing.

During the controversy, “the answer” to why some women with implants became sick was hotly debated and theories abounded. It’s believable that the man with the answer might end up dead.

Any Behind the Book questions you’d like to ask? I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to read Carly’s Conspiracy, you can buy or download a sample here.

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Best Tweets That ‘Twas

It’s been a slow week, Tweets That ‘Twas-wise. Folks were spending time with family over the holidays, which is as it should be. Those same holiday celebrations probably kept a few of you from our worthy tweets, hm? Read-worthy blogs and articles we shared this week reprised: First, be sure to listen up! Jennette Marie […]

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The Tweets That ‘Twas @DianeCapri

If you follow me on Twitter @DianeCapri, you know I tweet an eclectic set of items that catch my fancy. Often the subjects are movies, television, and books. Sometimes, foodie and travel bits amuse or inform. The art of writing and the business of publishing are perpetual favorites, natch. I retweet blogs and items that […]

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Frivolous Friday – Need a New Cocktail!

Okay folks, something totally frivolous today. I’m having a small party and I’m tasked with serving a new cocktail. Seems this group is a little bored with our usual red wines. (Yes, I agree – how could anyone be bored with red wine?) I’m no mixologist, so I did what all modern women do. Right. […]

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“A Christmas Story”: Ralphie’s Perfect Gifting Secret

There’s no better feeling than hitting the gifting bulls-eye, especially when the best gift is shared in a face-to-face moment. Every kid knows receiving great gifts feels wonderful. But we adults know giving great gifts feels even better. ‘Tis truly better to give than to receive. Except when it isn’t. Whether they cost precious time, […]

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Healthy, Wealthy and Wise: Lessons from Steve Jobs

Last night, I watched 60 Minutes, for the first time in more than a decade. Why? Because the episode featured Steve Jobs’ self-selected biographer, Walter Isaacson. As I said back in August, I was late to the Apple party, but I became a total convert long before I knew Mr. Jobs was ill with cancer, or […]

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Thank you, Steve Jobs

I blogged about Trailblazer Steve Jobs earlier this summer when he announced his resignation as CEO. At the time, a friend lamented, “He would never have quit if he wasn’t seriously ill. He won’t live much longer.” While I secretly feared this was true, I also hoped my friend was wrong. I hoped Mr. Jobs was recovering […]

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Monday Mystery Mob™ Solution

The Monday Mystery Mob™ reached the following conclusions. Do you agree? #1 Death After Dinner: The study of twins in science is evolving and far from settled. Although fertility treatments produce frequent twins in today’s world, identical twins (called monozygotic, meaning two embryos developed from a single fertilized egg) remain statistically rare. They occur only once […]

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Trailblazers: Jane Austen and Alexander McCall Smith

Is there a place for the positive in crime fiction? Regular readers of my novels know I believe the answer is yes. We must extrapolate a bit, but it seems Alexander McCall Smith, author of the hugely successful Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series, may agree. In an article published this month titled “Beauty Locked […]

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Monday Mystery Mob ™

Start your week with a little mystery. Match wits with the Monday Mystery Mob™. What’s your solution? #1 – Death After Dinner The Monday Mystery Mob™ had finished their schnitzel, gathered strudel and schnapps. Helga Bittner settled in to lead the after dinner traditional crime puzzle discussion. “We’ve got a good one tonight. You’ll never […]

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