Award Finalist & Book of the Year: 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards

Helen Starbuck is a mystery category finalist in the 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards for her book, The Burden of Hate (An Annie Collins Mystery). In a starred review, Kirkus called her book, “A Thriller that offers a master class in suspense,” and listed it as a 2019 book of the year.

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Event: 14 Tips for Writing Suspense with National Sisters in Crime President Lori Rader-Day

Quarterly Chapter Meeting/Event:
August 8, 2020

Via Zoom
(Information on how to join the presentation will be posted in the Sisters in Crime-Colorado members listserv.)


10:00 am-10:30 am
Welcome, Introductions

10:30 am-12:45 pm
14 Tips for Writing Suspense with National Sisters in Crime President, Lori Rader-Day.

Missed train stops. Burned dinners. Late nights of just one more page. Who doesn’t want readers to be so captivated by your story that they walk into walls? Writers of the suspense genres may be on the hook more than most, but every story needs suspense to keep readers turning pages. This session offers 14 specific strategies for keeping readers engaged in your story.

About the Presenter:

Lori Rader-Day is the Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony Award- and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. She co-chairs the mystery conference Murder and Mayhem in Chicago and serves as the national president of Sisters in Crime. Her new book is The Lucky One, set in a true-crime amateur online sleuth community.


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Come visit us and see what we’re all about!

For more information, go to and , or contact

The first meeting is FREE for non-members! Local membership dues, $20; National membership dues, $40 readers, $50 professional. A great value all around for following your passion — less than 20 cents per day or $6 per month!

Event: July 2020 Book Club

The Sisters in Crime-CO Book Club July 2020 reads are The Fire Thief by Debra Bokur (Longmont), Neighbor Resurrected by Cordy Fitzgerald (Fort Collins), and Revelation by Amy Drayer (Parker).

Free and open to the public. Come chat with the author and other readers! And if you don’t have a chance to read the book, that’s quite all right. Many times we discuss craft and the publishing process as well as the book, so all are welcome!

PLEASE NOTE: During the current coronavirus situation, our book clubs are meeting online via Zoom. Sisters in Crime-Colorado members can get the link to the Zoom meeting on the chapter listserv. Non-members may request the meeting link through our Connect page at:

For more information, including specific dates, times, and locations, please visit

Hope you can join us!

Award Finalists & Winners: 2019 Colorado Authors League

The Colorado Authors League held their first-ever virtual awards ceremony on June 7,  2020 which featured a lot of great highlights for Sisters in Crime-Colorado authors.

In the Mystery, Crime, Suspense category, Barbara Nickless was the winner for her novel, Ambush.

Jennifer Kincheloe was a finalist for her novel, The Body In Griffith Park.

In the Romance category, Harper McDavid was the winner for her novel, Zapata.

Congratulations to all of our Sisters in Crime.

For more information,  please visit the The Colorado Authors League Writing Awards Winners and Finalists page.

New Release: Body Count By Jodi Burnett

Body Count by Jodi BurnettBody Count (Book 2 in the FBI-K9 Thriller Series)

Abducted and hidden away deep in the Rocky Mountains, Susan Bell is frantic to escape her murderous captor.

Freshman Special Agent Burke Cameron is straight laced, traditionally minded, and comes with a hefty set of old-fashioned values. Burke doesn’t know what to do with the free spirited, progressive woman he’s falling for. He and Susan don’t want any of the same things and he knows he should move on, but he can’t seem to resist her.

Burke and Susan’s world views are polar opposites and a lasting future together is impossible to imagine. But when a group of six women, including Susan, goes missing in the Colorado Rockies, their differences fall away, and all that matters to Burke is finding her. He enlists the help of his friend, Agent Kendra Dean and her FBI-K9 partner, Annie. As soon as they are on the trail, they realize they’re not simply searching for lost women—they are tracking a killer. They discover one body after another. Desperate to rescue Susan, Burke prays that the next body they find isn’t hers.

To read more of Jodi’s work, please visit her website:

New Release: Gone to Darkness by Barbara Nickless

Gone to Darkness by Barbara NicklessGone to Darkness (Book 4 in the Sydney Parnell Crime Series)

Newly minted homicide detective Sydney Parnell faces a savage killer whose endgame is to capture her. And keep her.

Iraqi war vet and former railway cop Sydney Parnell is now the youngest homicide detective in Denver’s Major Crimes Unit. In the past, gut instinct has served her and her K9 partner well. But it’s not a trait Len Bandoni, her old nemesis turned reluctant mentor, admires. Not until Sydney’s instincts lead to their first case: a man tortured and beaten to death, then left in a refrigerated train car with cryptic messages carved into his body.

The victim is a well-liked member of an elite club called the Superior Gentlemen. At first glance, the club appears harmless. But beneath its refined surface swim darker currents.

As Sydney; her K9 partner, Clyde; and Bandoni investigate the grisly murder, the three develop a bond that carries them through a shocking series of crimes and a horrifying conspiracy that threatens the detectives’ lives and promises to bring their beloved city to its knees.

“Barbara Nickless creates characters who matter—to each other and to the reader, who is fortunate to journey with them. With Gone to Darkness, Nickless expertly crafts a dark tale brightened with heart, humor, and humanity. It’s a tightly woven, always escalating, keeps-you-up-past-your-bedtime novel. And Sydney Parnell is my favorite kind of detective: a relentless empath on a mission to solve herself as well as the crime, navigating her demons to ensure justice for the victims of evil.” —Matt Goldman, Emmy Award winner and New York Times bestselling author of the Nils Shapiro series

For more about the Sydney Parnell novels, visit Barbara at

Event: From Manuscript To Masterpiece© – Paulette K. Kinnes

Quarterly Chapter Meeting/Event:
June 6, 2020

Via Zoom
(Information on how to join the presentation will be posted in the Sisters in Crime-Colorado members listserv.)


10:00 am-10:30 am
Welcome, Introductions

10:30 am-12:45 pm
From Manuscript To Masterpiece© – Paulette K. Kinnes

Have you ever wondered what is the most over-used word in fiction? Have you ever wondered what horrible smells like? Have you ever wondered why your editor might suggest that you use the Oxford comma? Have you ever wondered what a large man looks like? Have you ever wondered how to write dialogue correctly? Have you ever wondered what drives a book editor berserk?

Find out from an editor’s perspective when book editor Paulette K. Kinnes presents From Manuscript To Masterpiece© to the Sisters in Crime-Colorado chapter on June 6, 2020! Paulette will offer attendees ten tips for writing fabulous fiction, with a bonus tip or two thrown in for fun.

About the Presenter:

Paulette K. KinnesPaulette founded Platinum Editing Group in 2005 and is a professional freelance book editor based in Denver, Colorado. Paulette has been writing and editing for more than 40 years. Before taking her love of editing, writing, and freelancing on the road, she spent 14 years drafting, editing, and proofreading documents for Colorado District Courts, the Colorado Court of Appeals, and the Colorado Supreme Court. Her legal background has served her in countless ways during her editing career.

Paulette is also a sports nut (the Broncos, the Nuggets, the Rockies, and the Avalanche, and weirdly, the Carolina Panthers!). She has spent many hours over the last several years on the football field on Saturday mornings with her three grandsons. Paulette has two new granddaughters as well.

Paulette has been wild about reading for her entire life. She loves a good mystery or thriller. She is the perfect audience for these genres. . .as she can never figure out who done it!

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New Release: Killer Chardonnay by Kate Lansing

Publication date: May 26, 2020 from Berkley

Killer Chardonnay (A Colorado Wine Mystery Book 1) by Kate Lansing

A young winery owner won’t let one sour grape ruin the bunch in the first installment of this exciting cozy mystery series.

Parker Valentine has always dreamed of opening her own winery in her hometown of Boulder, Colorado. But she gets more than she bargained for when a food and wine critic unexpectedly shows up at Vino Valentine on opening day. A negative review could be fatal for her business, and not only does he seem to hate her chardonnay, he also collapses and dies shortly after drinking it.

Although Parker hoped that the attendees would put a cork in it, soon her winery is at the center of a social media firestorm. With #killerchardonnay trending online, Parker’s business is in danger of closing, and she has no choice but to investigate the murder herself.

To restore her reputation, catch a killer, and keep her struggling business open, Parker needs only one thing: some good proof.

“Lansing’s brisk style and her heroine’s efficient approach make her debut a treat.” —Kirkus

Please join Kate May 26th for a Facebook party ( and/or May 30th from 4-4:30 MT on Instagram Live (@kmlansing) to celebrate her book launch!

Her website is: Kate Lansing

New Release: The Study of Secrets by Cynthia Kuhn

Publication date: May 26, 2020 from Henery Press

The Study of Secrets (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #5)

There could be nowhere more fitting for English professor Lila Maclean to spend her sabbatical than in a proper Victorian mansion. The whimsical Callahan House seems to have materialized from the pages of the mystery novels she is researching, with its enchanting towers, cozy nooks, and charming library. Unfortunately, it also features a body in the study.

Residents of Larkston have long believed that the Callahan family is cursed—the murder on the estate sets the town buzzing. Wild rumors are fueled by a gossipy blogger who delights in speculation, and further crimes only intensify the whispers and suspicions. A newly discovered manuscript, however, appears to expose startling facts beneath the fictions. When Lila steps in to sort the truth from the lies, it may cost her everything, as someone wants to make dead certain that their secrets stay hidden.

“In The Study of Secrets, award-winning author Cynthia Kuhn once again offers mystery lovers what they crave most: a smart, thoughtful, and fiercely-determined heroine; an intriguing puzzle; an idyllic setting, and a cast of suspects worthy of Agatha Christie–with a charming side of humor.” — Lisa Q. Mathews, author of The Ladies Smythe & Westin Mysteries

Please join us on Facebook May 27 for the launch party of The Study of Secrets and Read or Alive by Nora Page!

For more information on the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries, please visit

New Release: Eight Weeks to a Complete Novel by Becky Clark


Want to speed up your writing process and complete a top-notch novel in just two months?

Learn veteran author Becky Clark’s tried-and-true techniques to:
• Write faster
• Organize yourself
• Create a flexible outline you can live with (even if you hate outlines with an intensity usually reserved for walking into a spider web)
• Devise your own reliable system to get you from the premise to THE END in eight short weeks.
• Become the prolific career novelist you’ve always dreamed of!

I’ve read a LOT of books on craft. This book combines a complete structure with a lot of options on how to work around the typical roadblocks that pop up for most writers. ~ Kim Olgren

I’m in your debt! ~ TR Fischer

You offered a ton of information, and because of your humor, it all made sense to me. You’ve inspired me to get serious about my writing. ~ Seth Pooler

I always have this thought that there just isn’t any time, but really the problem is I have not actively chosen time for all my endeavors. I was surprised at how thorough and actionable the content was. LOTS of concrete steps are provided to help anyone find a plan that suits them. Extremely relatable and helpful. ~ Lindsay Maroney

Buy this book! It takes all the confusion out of writing a novel. Becky breaks down how to go about it from start to finish. ~ Norma Thomas

Buy the book on Amazon: Eight Weeks to a Complete Novel: Write Faster, Write Better, Be More Organized

To learn more about Becky and her books, go to: