Nicki Valentine Mysteries...No one gets on your case like mom.
A: Suburban widow and P.I. in training Nicki Valentine can barely keep track of her two kids, never mind anyone else. But when her best friend’s adoption plan is jeopardized by the young birth mother’s disappearance, Nicki is persuaded to help. The case leads where few moms go (teen parties, gang shootings) and places they can't avoid (preschool parties, OB-GYNs’ offices). Nicki has everything to lose and much to gain—including the attention of her unnervingly hot P.I. instructor. Thankfully, she’s armed with nature’s best defense system: women’s intuition.
Q: What's next for Nicki?
A: In Sky High, Nicki rarely gets time off from parenting and investigation, so attending a wedding with her superhot colleague Dean sounds dreamy. But things turn nightmarish when the groom—a soon-to-be transplant donor—disappears, and Nicki and Dean commit to a partnership they never planned. Together, they examine the groom’s unfulfilled promises, including one to his mom, a psychic medium with an unusual health need. As family secrets emerge, Nicki must face questions about her late husband, whose long-ago betrayal still threatens to cloud her judgment. With support from her pole-dancing best friend, her always-on-call family, and the loves of her life (her two kids—and possibly Dean), Nicki must uncover the groom’s demons while conquering her own.
In Skydive, a jailed mom seeks help for her endangered biological daughter, who just “aged out” of foster care, and Nicki can't say no. With her boyfriend, Dean, and her carefree BFF by her side, Nicki braves back alleys, drug dens, and the strip-club scene, all while wondering if any risk is too great when it comes to finding a teen in trouble. Ultimately—in both relationships and work—Nicki must decide, “How much am I willing to risk for love?”
Q: I've always wanted to write a book. What tips can you offer?
A: First of all, go for it — even if it feels overwhelming. That's normal! But start with reading and research. Read the kinds of books you want to write. Research what makes them work. (For example, how long are they? What do they usually include?) Remember, any kind of writing is great practice. I wrote professionally for about 15 years before my first book (Child Abduction and Kidnapping, part of a series on criminal investigations) was published. Works of fiction must be complete before submitting them to agents or publishers.
Nonfiction writers should prepare a proposal. You may decide to query agents to see if they'll represent your book (and pitch it to publishers). This involves sending a brief letter or email and, if requested, a writing sample. Each agent has particular guidelines you must follow. Before hitting send, make sure your project is beautifully edited and ready to go. (You can hire a professional editor if needed, but don't pay agents or publishers to read your work.) Some publishers work directly with authors, and self-publishing is another option. See the LINKS page for helpful websites. Good luck on this exciting journey!