cozy mystery, Developmental Editor, Michelle Kilpatrik mystery series

The Edit

It was with great fear and trepidation that I opened the long-awaited email from Shannon Cave, the developmental editor I had hired through My biggest fear was that she would tell me, “Nice try, but have you thought about doing something else?”

I was beyond delighted that she liked my manuscript! And while she sent me pages and pages (I definitely got my money’s worth) of suggestions for tweaking characters and ramping up the tension, she stressed that my manuscript would be ready to submit by making these changes. Made my day!

Today I have started organizing her notes so I can start the rewriting process. My hope, fingers crossed, is to have this revision done by the end of April. Only time will tell if that is a realistic goal or not, but I’m pumped and ready to find out.

After this rewrite, I plan to have some Beta readers give it a once-over, make corrections, and then send the manuscript to either agents or publishers. That decision is next on my list.

With each passing day, Michelle Kilpatrick, the college student, is getting closer and closer to becoming a full-fledged cozy mystery crime-solving sleuth!

cozy mystery

Discovering 1974 One Bite at a Time

Note: The first book in The Michelle Kilpatrick Mystery Series (working title) occurs at a mid-sized midwestern college and surrounding communities in 1974.

1974. President Nixon resigned. The UPC Bar Code was introduced. Flares were in, and polyester reigned supreme. The Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine” and Barbara Streisand’s “The Way We Were” were in the top five singles of 1974, while sit-coms All in the Family, Sanford and Son, and Chico and The Man claimed the top three spots for the 74-75 season.

It was also the time when, in the midwest, pizza became mainstream. Yogurt was marketed as the new option for healthy eating and, I might add, for those who needed to lose a few pounds after eating all the pizza and McDonald’s new Egg McMuffin. A Jell-O Salad and a Tuna Casserole were standard-fare at family reunions, and no church function was complete without its version of a punch made with a quart of melted ice cream.

Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or simply want to step back in time, here are some recipes to help you capture 1974 one bite at a time.

Wacky Cake


Watergate Salad

Jell-O Salad

Poke Cake

Banana Breeze No-Bake Pie

Cherry Breeze Cheesecake Pie

Punch with Vanilla Ice Cream