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Having a Little Fun with the Grammar Police and #giveaway

Please welcome Friend of the Wickeds, Kaitlyn Dunnett back to the blog. Kaitlyn is here to celebrate the release of Murder, She Edited, the fourth book in her Deadly Edits Series.

One lucky commenter below will win a hardcover copy of the book.

Here’s the blurb

As the hesitant new owner of a rundown property outside of sleepy Lenape Hollow, New York, freelance editor Mikki Lincoln must get her facts straight about an old murder on the premises–before the killer returns to meet the next deadline!

When Mikki inherits a nearby farm from a woman she hasn’t seen in two decades, the unexpected arrangement comes with a big catch: forgotten diaries hidden in the neglected house must be recovered, edited, and published across the internet within one month. The lonely locale is like an untouched time capsule from the 1950s, and it was left behind for good reason.

While searching for the mysterious memoirs and clues about the former owners, Mikki discovers that the once peaceful place was punctuated by an unsolved homicide and other rumored crimes. Worse, suspicious activity in the creepy, dilapidated barn suggests it really hasn’t been abandoned at all…

In a remote farmhouse with only her observant calico cat, Calpurnia, keeping her company, Mikki must swiftly crack an eerie cold case from the past and stop a clever culprit from leaving red markups on anything other than pages of revised copy…

Take it away, Kaitlyn!

Thanks so much to Barb and the gang for inviting me to visit the Wickeds again. This time it’s to talk about the fourth Deadly Edits mystery, Murder, She Edited. The series features a retired teacher turned book doctor, Mikki Lincoln, as the amateur detective, and in this one she’s plunged into intrigue and danger when she inherits—with conditions!—an old farmhouse in the countryside near her home in Lenape Hollow, New York.

The main plot concerns a murder committed in that house way back in 1958 and a current crime (or two) in the present. In order to inherit, Mikki has to find and edit several diaries left behind by the former occupants, diaries that don’t seem to exist. But there’s also a subplot. It, too, grew out of Mikki’s career as a freelance editor.

I love creating subplots. They give me a chance to shine a light on secondary characters. And, in this case, they offer a bit of comic relief. Mikki, you see, has acquired a stalker.

Bella Trent is Illyria Dubonnet’s “biggest fan.” Who is Illyria Dubonnet? That’s the pseudonym used by Mikki’s friend Lenora to write steamy romance novels. Mikki has been retired for several years, but Lenora is still teaching and is not eager to have her double life exposed to the conservative local school board. She did, however, mention Mikki by name on her most recent acknowledgements page, leading Bella to believe that Mikki was the editor who missed two—count ’em: two—typos in Illyria’s last novel.

Every writer I know has received helpful mail from readers pointing out typos and other errors in the text of published books, despite the fact that such mistakes can rarely be corrected by that point. Most of these correspondents are well-intentioned, but a few are just . . . strange. Although Mikki herself runs a business called the “Write Right Wright” she isn’t anywhere near as much a stickler as Bella. Mikki is all for correct grammar and careful proofreading, but she knows how rare it is for a 70,000+ word novel to end up without one or two small errors. Those typos are tricky to find, especially when the human brain tends to see what it expects rather than what is. No matter how many times the writer, editor, and copy editor go over the manuscript, it’s almost guaranteed that something will slip through. On occasion, the result is unintentionally hilarious.

I’m not making fun of readers who care about accuracy, but in order to inject a bit of humor into the story, I did exaggerate Bella’s obsession and her self-assigned role as one of the grammar police. Or at least I hope I was exaggerating.

Fellow writers—have you had any unusual experiences with readers anxious to offer corrections and advice? And readers—how do you react when you find an error, grammatical or otherwise, in a book by a favorite author?Answer the question below or just say “hi” to be entered to win a copy of Murder, She Edited.

About Kaitlyn

Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett has had sixty-four books traditionally published and has self published several children’s books and three works of nonfiction. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Her newest books are Murder, She Edited (the fourth book in the contemporary “Deadly Edits” series, written as Kaitlyn) and I Kill People for a Living. She maintains websites at www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com. A third, at A Who’s Who of Tudor Women, is the gateway to over 2300 mini-biographies of sixteenth-century Englishwomen, now available in e-book format.

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