My Books

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

You never get over your first love...how 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

12+ Writing Ideas Using the Pandemic as Background

The coronavirus pandemic--fuel for enumerable outbreak-style writing projects--tops BIG STORIES right now. A worldwide pandemic makes for compelling fiction, providing built-in suspense and horror. But what if you don't want to write end-of-the-world, outbreak stories?


I certainly don't. It's just not my bag, baby.


Instead of jumping on the pandemic bandwagon--however relevant--it might be fun to brainstorm using the BIG STORY in small ways. A writer's spotlight can shine on anything, bringing life to the stories behind the obvious one. I'll probably never write a novel about a pandemic, but now that we're all in the middle of one, I can definitely see it playing a background role to just about anything.


Here are some of my crazy, writer-brained, coffee-fueled writing ideas on the small stories behind the big one:


  • Quarantine Stories: Think The Shining. Close-quarters, limited supplies, an uncertain future--being quarantined, or hell, just being stuck at home can exasperate all sorts of problems. Course, that doesn't mean your story has to go psycho. Love stories, mysteries, family dramas, comedies--you can do anything with a group of people stuck together.

  • Hospital/First Responder Stories: Heroes on the front lines of this crazy time in history all have stories of their own. Focusing on these amazing people for characters with the coronavirus as background could make for awesome stories. Maybe a nurse, new to the job and unsure whether she's made the right choice going into medicine, now faces a pandemic that even seasoned nurses struggle coping with. Will she step up or bow out? Or a cop newly retired choosing to come back to work to help his fellow officers, even if it puts him at risk. Or a team of retired cops--oh, that sounds fun... A doctor dealing with an anxiety disorder treating extremely anxious patients. Endless possibilities.

  • Airport/Cruise Ships/Travel Stories: For some travelers, getting home has been the big story. Not only have these poor souls feared getting sick, but they've also faced terrible obstacles simply getting back home. Some cruise ships are still at sea, unable to dock--who knows when those tired vacationers'll be on land again. Think Planes, Trains, & Automobiles. Good stories can surely come from that chaos.


A little bit smaller now.... Here are a few of my smaller-scale wonderings:


  • A budding romance that can't blossom because of social distancing.

  • A rage murder committed because someone's not social distancing; I did hear a story about people coughing on other people just to move up further in line at the grocery store. Another about a woman going postal and licking items in the grocery store--the store had to throw out that merchandise.

  • The lengths someone might go to for toilet paper.

  • How being home all the time means we pay attention to our neighbors more... and they're watching us, too.

  • People with OCD are shaking their heads at the rest of us. Who's crazy now? For once, people who obsess about germs fit right in. Yesterday, when I went to Publix, an employee sprayed down my entire cart right in front of me before I could use it. I could see a character like Adrian Monk loving this pandemic world. No shaking hands. No hugs. No touching. Not everyone would hate it.

  • What about criminals? Have they had to change their MO because people are home all the time? Are they stealing different things?

  • Bored teenagers... Oh, my gosh, the bored teens. I have one. She's playing video games right now. Teens could sneak out at night to meet-up with other teens, causing all sorts of trouble. More online environments are getting hacked; bad words displayed over virtual boardrooms. Sounds like bored (and smart) teens to me. What other hijinks could teens get into that could make good stories? Or even, what good things could they get into? Planting gardens, errands for elderly neighbors, creating fun, outdoors social media games with their friends.

  • Small businesses have been forced to reinvent themselves through all this, if they haven't been shutdown altogether. What about a new business on the cusp of opening when all of this unfolds? What might someone do to save his business? A determined entrepreneur could transform his business into something completely unexpected.

  • A huge event being cancelled after months, maybe years, of blood, sweat, tears, money thanks to the coronavirus could the catalyst for a great story. Weddings, conferences, concerts, dream vacations, graduations, proms, sporting events, anniversary celebrations, awards shows, book tours (I wish), the Olympics. Just when you think you've got everything figured out, on track, planned and perfected, along comes a pandemic to screw things up. What did Langston Hughes say about a dream deferred?


You get the idea. A pandemic story doesn't have to be a traditional pandemic story, if that makes sense. Using the pandemic as setting rather than plot could be the background for anything.


Cup's empty. Time for a refill. Share your pandemic writing ideas below so I'll have something to read when I come back.


Need more ideas? Here are more on COVID-19. For writing ideas on an array of topics, check out www.coffeebrained.com

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