Guest Nicole Asselin

Edith here, happy the Red Sox are doing pretty well … at least for now. And we’re so pleased to present debut New England author Nicole Asselin to the blog. Her first mystery releases soon, and it features a baseball team!

Madeline Boucher has been a baseball fan for her entire thirty two years.  Her grandfather instilled a love of the Boston Red Sox from an early age and increased that baseball love by purchasing a local Independent League baseball team, the Abington Armadillos.  After losing her corporate job in Boston, Madeline realizes her only option is to join the family business. Given the tile of “Social Media Director” for the team, when Madeline attends her first function as a member of the family business, she witnesses an argument between her brother and a strange man.  

A few days later, she comes upon the body of the man – beaten to death with a baseball bat in the visitor’s dugout – her brother was arguing with. When her brother is arrested and taken to the police station, Madeline realizes she needs to figure out who the real culprit is so her brother doesn’t take the fall for something she knows he didn’t do.

First, I want to thank the Wickeds for letting me guest on their blog.  I’ve been an avid follower since even before I wrote a book, so this is great.

My debut mystery, Murder at First Pitch, is scheduled to be released in the next few months by Pandamoon Publishing.  I had hoped to have a cover to show off by now, but as most writers know, publishing is a marathon, not a sprint!

So, as I await my debut cover, I wanted to talk about how I came to the Ballpark Mysteries.

Nicole and her mom at Fenway Park

I know for New Englanders, baseball is still the national pastime, and some of us live and die by the Boston Red Sox.  I always wanted to write about something I loved.  Before my travel anxiety had taken over, I had attended Malice Domestic in Maryland for the first time in 2017.  By chance, my father (who came along as a giant mystery fan) and I sat down before any of the events started with another writer who had Boston, MA listed on their badge.  That writer was Shelley Dickson Carr.  She could not have been nicer! At that point, I hadn’t even started to think about writing a book.  I was just a fan of the genre and so excited to meet authors.

She then asked me the important question, “What do you want to write?”

Almost immediately, I knew I wanted it to be centered around sports.  I’m a HUGE fan of all the New England teams, but the Red Sox are always number one.  After thinking about it some more, I realized the Red Sox probably wouldn’t love it if I murdered someone in famous Fenway Park. After speaking with her for a little while longer, I had the idea to create a brand-new team.

And that is how the Abington Armadillos was born.  I created a fictional Independent Baseball League, read the book “The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team,” and hunkered down at my computer. 

Nicole and her father at spring training

Thus, Murder at First Pitch was born!  Madeline (the MC and NOT named after my youngest cat) is an avid baseball fan, just like me.  This book is also a love letter to my grandparents, who always had the Red Sox game on the radio when we would visit in the summer. I hope you all get a chance to enjoy this while listening to Joe Castiglione on the radio!

Nicole and her grandfather at Fenway

Readers:  Have you had someone who influenced your writing – or reading?

Nicole Asselin works outside of Boston as a technical writer and lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts with her three cats Julia, Jacques, and Madeline (no relation to the main character of her book). Nicole is a member of Sisters in Crime (National and New England) and the Mystery Writers of America.  She sits on the Board of Directors for the NE branches of both groups as Social Media Liaison. Her short story, “Mile High Murder” can be found as part of Z Publishing’s “America’s Emerging Suspense Writers: East Region” published in early 2019.

33 Thoughts

  1. Welcome Nicole! I grew up north of Boston and while sports aren’t my thing I’m always happy when the New England teams do well. Congrats on the debut!

  2. I love that you’re such a Sox fan, Nicole! I live with one and hear about the games and the team for the whole season, but myself am a little less involved. I can’t wait to read your book.

  3. Good morning Nicole!

    Thanks for telling us about “Murder at First Pitch”. Sounds like it’s going to be a great book and one that I look forward to having the opportunity to read.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  4. Welcome, Nicole! I’ve loved the idea of this book from the first time I heard about it. While I love going to Fenway, there is something cool and gritty about those farm team ballparks and their human scale. Best of luck in your publishing journey.

    1. Thanks Barbara! I love a small ballpark. Part of the inspiration was the show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”…they have a small ballpark with a resturant attached, and I loved that idea!

  5. Welcome to the blog Nicole! Congratulations on the book! I am a huge baseball and Red Sox fan. Can’t wait to read it!

  6. Your book sounds great, Nicole! Admittedly, I’m not much of a baseball fan, but I love your personal connection to the sport. I’m sure that comes through in your writing. Here’s hoping you see the book’s cover soon!

  7. Congratulations, Nicole! It is so great to see you here on the Wickeds! I can’t wait to read your book. I’ve had so many wonderful influences in my reading and writing life to many to mention!

    1. Thanks Sherry! I would have to say the Sisters in Crime have also been a huge influence in my writing life…I couldn’t imagine going through this process without that group!

  8. I’d say Baseball is still the national past time here in CA, too. I grew up in Giants territory and now live in Dodgers country. I’m not someone who will sit down and watch a game, but I’ve gotten to the point that I will turn it on for background noise, or mute the sound if I really want to concentrate. That way, I can still follow the score and know what everyone is talking about the next day.

    Nice to see a sports mystery. That seems to be one area that is a bit neglected in the cozy realm.

    1. I agree! That’s another reason I wrote it…..I know there are many sports fans on both coasts that live and die by their teams. And SPORTS are ripe for murder mysteries!

  9. Welcome, Nicole! Baseball has always been one of my sports loves. Spent a lot of days in the summer watching Buffalo’s AAA team. Unfortunately, now I live in Pittsburgh where we joke that the baseball team keeps the city sports-humble.

    Can’t wait to read the book and congratulations!

  10. I am SO EXCITED to read your book! I’m also a serious Red Sox fan, and baseball in general. This is going to be right up my alley!

  11. This sounds so good! I’ve not seen a cozy centered on baseball. Is that a book skirt! Very nice!

  12. My family followed the Phillies. My dad and I stayed up to see them win the World Series but Dad lost interest during the strike. After he died, I just looked at the headlines in the newspaper. I don’t know any players anymore. The book sounds interesting.

    1. I was fortunate that my Grandpa lived to see the Red Sox win in 2004 and in 2007. He had many lean years as a fan….I’m so glad it touched a cord!

      1. I cannot wait to read your book Nicole. I am hoping one day you can come and talk to my school kiddos💕

  13. Bats, Balls and Bodies? How can you not love a sports based mystery? Can’t wait to read it Nicole!

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