Guest Post: My Writing Journey by Karen Randau

A feisty redhead must fight to save herself and the people she loves in Karen Randau’s novella of love, deceit, and redemption – Mystery Bones Murders (Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas Book 1) by @klrandau

My Writing Journey
by Karen Randau

Writing has been a way of life for me since childhood. All of my major life events were processed in prose. When I met with my counselor for the first time at the University of Texas, I was shocked to discover people actually made money writing. I earned a degree in journalism but quickly learned that newspaper reporting wasn’t for me. Instead, I enjoyed a long career in marketing communications.

That led to a job with an international non-profit focused on social justice in developing nations. Traveling the world taught me valuable lessons about life, people, and justice.  I’ve seen people overcoming hardships like we in richer nations don’t face, no matter our situation. I’ve been in war zones, witnessed starvation caused by famine, had my heart broken by children with preventable diseases because of extreme poverty, and been angered by the way many of the world’s women are treated. They work constantly to help their families survive. Despite their debilitating poverty, there is a sense of great joy with the gift of little things. 

One day I was sharing strange thoughts with a co-worker and asked if she thought I’d finally lost my mind. She said no, but maybe I had a novel inside me that was trying to get out. Not believing I had the creativity to pound out a whole novel, I set about trying anyway. That first novel was terrible, and I’m thankful it never got published. But trying taught me how to write a novel and how to get it published.

I now have six books—five published by a small press called Short On Time Books and one self-published because I wanted to see how that works. The first five books feature a protagonist named Rita whose husband was one of fourteen people killed in a movie theater shooting on their thirtieth wedding anniversary. That book is titled Deadly Deceit. Soon Rita realizes she’s being stalked by a man on a Harley, so she partners with the detective investigating the shooting and unravels her husband’s web of deceit that started when he served as a Marine in the first Gulf war. The next four books, Deadly Inheritance, Deadly Choices, Deadly Payload, and Deadly Reception all feature Rita in sticky situations.

My most recent book is Mystery Bones Murders, and it launches a new series featuring a feisty red head with dyslexia who runs a ranch in Wyoming.

Mystery Bones Murders
Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas Book 1
by Karen Randau
Genre: Suspense

A feisty redhead must fight to save herself and the people she loves in acclaimed mystery/thriller author Karen Randau’s novella of love, deceit, and redemption.

Frankie Shep carries a secret that haunts and isolates her after the deaths of her husband and young son five years ago. When she digs up a bone on her Wyoming property one stormy night, she unearths frightening connections she didn’t know existed.
All Frankie wants is to find her missing father, but a mystery stalker thwarts her every attempt and tries to terrorize her out of her home and away from the evidence. She becomes an unwitting sleuth who uncovers the awful truth about the people closest to her.
And that puts her in the crosshairs of a serial killer. He soon discovers she is no one to be toyed with.
“A great story, well written and with an eerie feel about it.”– The Indie Express
“There is no question Karen Randau knows how to create suspense, even tension in her writing. “– Our Town Book Reviews“
If you enjoy reading compelling, thrilling books and a story that really makes you guess how it goes next, do yourself a favor and dive into this book.”– Goodreads Reader
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Frankie set the rifle next to her knee and avoided thorns as she reached in to untangle Diesel. The calf was too panicked. He struggled against her, causing a bruise and a muscle cramp in her forearm. As she pulled back, barbs tore the skin on her wrist. She sucked on the deepest wound while returning to Concho to retrieve a rope and a utility knife from the saddlebag. 

Back at Diesel, she wrestled with the calf to loop the rope around his neck. She cut the branches that pinned him to the bush and pulled on the rope. Diesel kicked and fell, then bawled and tried to run. When he realized he was freed from the bush, he stood still, panting and shivering.

Frankie wiped water from her eyes while inspecting a cut in the calf’s left hind leg. It wasn’t so serious to keep him from walking home before she doctored it. With a grunt, she pulled on the rope and led Diesel toward Concho. 

As they approached, the horse pranced and snorted like crazy. Frankie caught Concho’s reins and rubbed his nose. “What’s wrong with you?” He stood still long enough for her to secure Diesel’s rope to the saddle horn, then returned to his dance.

His hoof clicked against the thing she had seen sticking up from the ground earlier.

“What did you find?” She knelt and dug dirt and mud away from a bone. 

“Concho, did we find an ancient guy’s campsite? Is that what has you so spooked?” 

As kids, Frankie and her friends had often daydreamed about finding a nomadic Native American tribe’s village on the ranch. But where they sledded every winter? 

“Cool.” She moved more dirt until she could pull the bone from the ground and examine it.

The bone seemed small for a man. Her former friend, Harbin Williams, now a professor in the anthropology department at the University of Wyoming, could confirm her exciting suspicions. But…

She couldn’t force herself to attend his son’s funeral five years ago. Their kids died together in the accident her husband caused. She had isolated herself in her struggle to heal her grief, and she couldn’t face helping her best friends with their recovery.

A growl jolted her attention from the bone to the bared teeth of a gray wolf—ten feet from her. 

The rifle lay six feet away, behind the fallen log. 

She hopped over the log and took a fighting stance between her animals and the wolf, and then rushed to pull the repellent from under her rain poncho.

The predator stepped closer. Saliva dripped from its huge teeth.

Karen Randau authors fast-paced stories with intricate plots, lots of action, and a dash of romance told from the point of view of a female amateur sleuth. Mystery Bones Murders is her sixth book and the first book in a new series of novellas. She lives in the mountains of Arizona with her multi-generational family.
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