Monday, September 18, 2023

The Flapper, the Imposter, and the Stalker Guest Post #GoddessFishPromotions


The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker

by Charlene Bell Dietz


GENRE: Mystery, Historical, Suspense Novel



A privileged teenager from Minneapolis in 1923, scraps her college scholarship and runs away to become a flapper in dangerous, chaotic Chicago. In her search for illusive happiness, she confronts the mob and then must contrive a way to not be murdered.



Kathleen continued, “You said you wished you could go to college with me. What if we could go somewhere together, not to college, but someplace where we could dance and act and you could sing? I bet with our talents, we could turn this horrid world into something much more joyful—help make it one big party.”

How?” Sophie’s eyes opened wide.

We’ll go where you won’t have to teach kids piano, or act or dance, unless you want. You’ll be able to sing your heart out and, who knows, maybe even write your own songs.”

My mother would never let me.” Sophie looked off into the near distance.

Sophie, we’ll get to wear sparkly dresses. And wouldn’t you love to wear those modern, classy clothes? We’d bob our hair even shorter, wear lipstick, and be around people who know how to have fun and not have a care in the world.” Sophie should see the photos in Kathleen’s collection of theater magazines again. Then she’d be excited too.

I’m sick of funerals and consoling others,” Kathleen continued.

Look at how miserable Dolly is. Aren’t you tired of that too? We’d be around progressive people, thinking people, people who know how to make the most out of life. They’re searching for talent, Sophie. We’ll fit right in.”

Where, Kathleen? No one much appreciates our abilities here.”

Chicago. There are all sorts of openings for attractive young ladies with well-turned ankles and voices like canaries. That’s what the advertisements say.”

Guest Post

My Coauthor—My Reader

Charlene Bell Dietz

My father grabbed my ten and twelve-years-older brothers, and marched them, double-stepping, into the kitchen. He pulled his belt off and, ushering them down into the basement, slammed the door. Daddy never lost his temper. Daddy never hit us. I strained with all my hearing molecules, but our deep cellar smothered all sounds.

You just became my other author. Your vivid imagination about the cellar and what might happen, and why my brothers found themselves in horrible trouble brought more to this passage than my written words could. This is why we live in books. They capture our emotions and let our imaginations soar.

Stephen King says if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. I read all the time, and I read anything. People say they are voracious readers, but I’d say I’m a compulsive reader, even though I’m an author. I read, I imagine, and I write to let other readers imagine.

My first two mystery books won the coveted Kirkus Reviews’ starred review, and both were named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2018. Everyone said I had achieved the impossible. But how? After scratching my head, and evaluating hundreds of books, I believe I know.

This is my second-year judging contest books. I fling each book into mental categories: 1st waste of paper, 2nd needs help, 3rd Okay, going places, 4th Excellent, 5th Dang it! This fifth category contains intelligent, well-written books with cold, unengaging stories. These authors leave no room for readers to help write their books.

New authors are told, “Make the reader care.” Authors must go deeper than this and must make room to include the reader as their emotional coauthor of their books. Readers’ minds, from the first paragraph, should create a wealth of concern or curiosity. When books start with absolute clarity, when they say exactly what the author means, and they leave nothing to anyone’s imagination, the reader’s mind has nowhere fun to go.

Some people should wear labels” Poisonous. Dangerous to humans and other living things. Jossenda Ledesma was one of those people. But of course, she wore no such label, and her toxin was slow to bubble to the surface.” (Relative Danger, Margaret Tessler, p. 1, 2017.) Here, readers might envision their own dragon-lady aunt, maybe revisit a horrid encounter, experience intense empathy, or predict something awful. Subtext, the unsaid text, becomes powerful. Yet, not stating the obvious requires the author to work harder.

To create rich storytelling, the author hunts for moments to surprise the reader, to create suspense, and to engage the reader’s intelligence. This allows the reader’s imagination to kick in, enhancing the author’s words.

Children, come. I have a surprise for you.” The father held up a bag of candy. (on-the-nose dialogue)

Children, come. I have a surprise for you.” The farmer opened the cellar door and pointed down into the darkness. (Subtext)

Authors who write with meticulous clarity, use on-the-nose dialogue, and neglect the use of subtext leave no room for readers to become their emotional coauthors. Invite your reader to coauthor your stories, letting their imagination live in your stories.

Subtext exudes power. Long ago, when I stood outside our basement door, knowing my brothers had not heeded my father’s admonitions, my unruly imagination wrote my story for years to come. I would never play with matches—ever.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Charlene Bell Dietz’s award-winning mystery novels The Flapper, the Scientist, and the Saboteur combines family saga with corporate espionage, and The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker propels readers back into 1923 in frenetic Chicago. The Scientist, the Psychic, and the nut gives readers a frightening Caribbean vacation. Her latest novel The Spinster, the Rebel, and the Governor is a historical biography about Lady Margaret Brent, the first American woman to be called an attorney, whose integrity and intelligence saves pre-colonial Maryland from devastation. This book won the New Mexico Press Women’s first place award and an award by the National Press Women. The Spinster, the Rebel, and the Governor will be released as a second edition by Artemesia Press in February 2024. Two of her Flapper books have won the coveted Kirkus stars, and two were named best book of 2018. Charlene, a retired educator, lives in the foothills of the mountains in central New Mexico where abundant wildlife, solitude, and natures’ beauty inspires her creativity.

Connect with Charlene:

Buy Links:

The book will be $0.99 during the tour.



Charlene Bell Dietz will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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