Sunday, May 29, 2016

"Choosing One Moment" by Marja McGraw

With each of my books, I’ve been asked at some point, “What inspired your story?”

In the case of “Choosing One Moment – A Time Travel Mystery”, it was music. Two songs in particular come to mind.

The first is “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce. I’m sure most of us have some moments (plural) that we’d like to relive. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could put those moments in a bottle and pour them out when we need them?

However, even more than the Jim Croce song, the Natalie Cole version of “That Sunday, That Summer” reached out and made me want to choose a moment in time to relive – at least in a fictional sense.

Those two songs made me think about traveling in time to create more memorable moments. That’s when the wheels started turning and time travel felt like something I had to deal with, but in my own way.

“If you ever receive an inheritance, you may want to think it over carefully before you begin sorting through antiques and mementos. They aren’t always as they seem.
Carrie McFerrin learned this the hard way.”

Vintage clothing and an old wooden crank telephone lead Carrie down a road of mystery when she travels from the present to 1909. She develops a new love and respect for her ancestors, people who would have just been names to her – faces in old photos – without time travel.

Someone is coming after two sisters with murder in mind. Carrie and her Great Aunt Genny (who hadn’t even been born in 1909) have to discover who could be so devious and why the sisters are in danger.

Is this time travel for one? Or time travel for two. You just never know what the universe is going to drop in your lap.

I researched this time period, but I didn’t go all out and include a history lesson in the book. The story is more about the characters than the era, other than the customs and speech patterns of the people involved.

Imagine if you traveled in time and when you arrived at your destination, someone saw you for who you really are instead of whom you traded places with. What if this person wanted to know about modern technology? How much should you tell them? Can you imagine telling someone about modern movies when they’ve just seen their first silent movie? Unless they’ve been reading science fiction of the time, they might just turn their back on you and walk away, shaking their head. There are some who might delight in your descriptions, too.

It works both ways. The character has chores to do, and they don’t include using a modern washing machine or clothes dryer, or throwing a frozen dinner in the microwave. Carrie has to learn what her ancestors went through in their time.

While this is a mystery, it’s character driven and a lot of fun. There’s more to life than just a killer. Right? Uh, maybe I should rethink that. Carrie and her great aunt have plenty to keep them busy, and suspects who are different from anyone they’ve ever known in the present.

I hope you’ll give “Choosing One Moment – A Time Travel Mystery” a try. I can only hope it will make your day.

Pat, Thank you so much for having me as a guest. There aren’t too many things I enjoy talking about more than books and writing. 

Book blurb: 
Mystery writer Carrie McFerrin has inherited an old family house and all of its contents from her Great Aunt Genny.

While taking inventory of the attic contents, she comes across an old wooden crank telephone. Thinking the old telephone would look perfect in her vintage kitchen, she hangs it on the wall by the back door, and an old, yellowed piece of paper asking for help falls to the floor.

The impossible happens when the disconnected old phone rings – three rings, a pause, and three more rings.

Carrie picks up the receiver, wondering what’s going on, and her life suddenly changes – forever.

Nothing will ever be the same.

Author's Bio:
Marja McGraw was born and raised in Southern California. She worked in both civil and criminal law, state transportation, and a city building department.  She has lived and worked in California, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska and Arizona.

She wrote a weekly column for a small town newspaper in Northern Nevada, and conducted a Writers’ Support Group in Northern Arizona. A past member of Sisters in Crime (SinC), she was also the Editor for the SinC-Internet Newsletter for a year and a half.

Marja writes two mystery series: The Sandi Webster Mysteries and The Bogey Man Mysteries, which are light reading with a touch of humor. She also occasionally writes stories that aren’t part of a series.
Marja says that each of her mysteries contains a little humor, a little romance and A Little Murder!
She now lives in Washington, where life is good.