My Books

Sea-Devil: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 1
Sea-Devil: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 1

You never get over your first about your first murder? When a man is murdered in her bookstore the night before her grand opening, island newcomer, Delilah Duffy, makes a name for herself as prime suspect. If Delilah Duffy hopes to create a life on the island, she must navigate through a vicious family feud, shoddy police work and the mistakes of her past. Will Delilah uncover the truth before her past and her present destroy her?

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Luna-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 2
Luna-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 2

We're all just one pain away from lunacy. A seaside inn. An elegant party. A black dress. What could go wrong? For Delilah Duffy, just about anything. With her bookstore failing, the last thing she needs is a party or another mystery to solve. With nightmares, anxiety, and panic intensifying, Delilah doesn’t know what’s real and what’s in her head. With everything at risk, Delilah discovers what’s worse… becoming a lunatic or facing one.

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Sea-Crossed: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 3
Sea-Crossed: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 3

Some secrets are kept to be kind. Torture, pain, misery - that’s all someone else wants for her. When a dinner party turns deadly, Sam goes missing, and Delilah realizes she's being watched, the “book queen with a thing for crime scenes” must battle to get her life and love back. Can love and determination save them or will dark secrets ruin her chances for a normal life? With mysterious messages taunting her and a killer eluding her, what lines will she cross to get to the truth?

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Pyra-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 4
Pyra-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 4

Everything can change in seconds. Bookstore manager and crime-solver, Delilah Duffy knows that better than anyone. When her Happily Ever After Valentine’s Day Bash ends in fiery destruction, everything she’s worked for burns with it. Pregnant and brokenhearted, Delilah fans the flames of her anger toward what she’s good at: solving crimes. Hot on the trail of an arsonist while her nemesis is on hers, Delilah fights to get her life back. Will she turn ash to treasure before the pyromaniac strikes

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My Vella Story

Water World
Water World

After a tough move with his Mom and sister from his beloved country home, Ethan isn't adjusting well to city life. In trying to escape his problems in this world, he opens another, dropping him and his sister, Abby, into Water World. This trip is no vacation, not with legendary monsters and deadly sea creatures to battle. But teaming up to help the merpeople through their home-related crisis might help Ethan and Abby navigate theirs, if they survive long enough to make it home.

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  • Jessica Sherry

Building Characters through their Mugs

In developing characters, consider mugs. Coffee mugs. Teacups. Travel mugs. Goblets. Skulls. Beverage vessels reveal interesting things about a character without beating readers over their heads with a lot of telling. A simple, everyday item that most of us don’t give much thought to can be a useful writer’s tool in developing characters.

Here’s a pic of my favorite mug and what it might tell someone about me.

Coffee Mug

Its large size reveals that I like big portions and maybe drink too much coffee. Both true.

The apple might make you think of teachers, and yes, I used to be one.

A closer look shows that the handle’s been glued on, so either I’m too cheap to replace a broken mug, or it’s special to me. Both are true.

For more thoughts on writers and their mugs, you might be interested in this post on Gifts for Writers.

My husband Joe’s favorite work mug is this pixelated Star Wars one.

Star Wars Mug

Duh, he’s a Star Wars fan.

The unique pixeled look, though, separates it from standard, commercial mugs available everywhere (thanks a lot, Disney *eye roll*) and hints that he’s a picky fan. Pixels suggest computer language and old video games—both things he likes.

He works in a place where he’s not afraid to show this side of himself, suggesting a super-casual workplace, co-workers into the same things, or both. All that’s true (or used to be; he works from home now).

People love their mugs, their creature comforts, and their routines. Writers should take advantage by using such facts of human nature in their stories.

Poirot’s tiny espresso cups, pinkie out… The gorgeous tea set in Father Brown’s rectory… Michael Scott’s World’s Best Boss mug, which he bought himself… all reflect who they are.

A dainty teacup might suggest a romantic or someone longing for another time.

A mug with a poop icon might suggest a crude sense of humor.

From handmade to store-bought, with affirmations or superheroes, mugs shaped like animals, or advertising businesses, mugs can tell readers a great deal about the characters using them.

Coffee Hound Antique Mug

Need mug ideas? Visit your favorite mug-selling store and take pics of your favorites. Or, for a more eclectic selection, pop into your local thrift and antique store. I found this one on display at my parents' house and thought it was cool.

Now, let’s go darker… *Villainous cackling*

What about a character who buys/possesses a mug that doesn’t make sense? Or doesn’t belong?

The heroine looks for a coffee mug in her boyfriend’s house and finds a mug advertising a company that, as far as she knows, he’s never worked for in a state he’s never lived in. Has he set up his household with careless thrift store finds or hand-me-downs? Or does he have a secret past? Has he lied to her? Does she know this man at all?

Thinking about mugs just became a Lifetime movie. *Smirk*

One more thought from the darker side…

Could a mug be used as part of a disguise? Imagine a place where no one knows everyone all the time. A hospital, maybe. Or a large school or college that often has substitutes or visiting professors. Someone drinking coffee from the same mug given away at the employee picnic or staff meeting might blend in. How might an institution’s swag be used against them? To overhear conversations, steal something, or get access to places?

Wow. It’s amazing all the places a mind can go starting with such a simple thing.

So, let’s play. What ideas have percolated in your writer brain about mugs? Share in the comments below!

Need more ideas? Go to