(Revamping the blog. Please excuse the odd headings. Working on it!)

Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Milk Carton Murders 20

We pick up a few paragraphs later from where we left off last week. (I'm skipping some key stuff I can't give away in a snippet) Investigator Pepper Black is still over at Dave's house attempting to be casual as they sit on the front porch and she questions Dave's father, Hal. She wants to find out if he's connected to the murders of the three girls 20 years earlier whose remains were found at Wiscoy Creek. Pinned to each child was a piece of a milk carton with their photograph as part of the missing children campaign of the 1980s and 90s. Only problem is they are different than the ones that came from the Center For Missing Children. Hal worked at one point in the print shop at the dairy.

Pepper had some pretty damning evidence against Dave's dad last time about his work in the print shop and how the killer changed the milk carton layouts to add his victims.  Hal, who is now in his 60s, is coming damn close to incriminating himself. 

Ever wonder where serial killers who were never caught go to retire? I do.
(Think I'll use that line in my book blurb)

Dave swung his way up from the glider. Pepper looked dumbfounded as he walked towards the front door of the house; there was no going back now--no way to undo it.

“Dave, I asked you a question,” Pepper demanded, “who is Sally? Why is your dad saying it’s his fault she’s dead?”

“I called her Sally.” Dave paused. “You know her too, Pepper--you found her five days ago in a wooden coffin. Her real name is Samantha Briggs.”

And with that I must leave you hanging on that scene. I plan to publish this one way or another so I can't tell the key parts of the story in the snippets.  Next week we will jump ahead.

The link to the other Weekend Writing Warriors is here. You're bound to find something to pique your interest.

The Sunday Snippet writer's on Facebook are here. Between the two there is something for everyone. Thank you for any comments you leave me. Much appreciated!

(This is also post #I-can't-remember in the Ultimate Blog Challenge.)
When three small coffins are unearthed near the Wiscoy Creek during a routine dredging operation, it’s the last thing DAVE ROBERTSON, of the Lamont Weekly Times, expected. Pinned to the skeleton’s clothing are pictures from milk cartons of missing girls.

Dave is stunned to find that one of the girls is Sally―a foster child his parents had cared for through the Friends of Foster Families (FFF) program. Cold case files reveal the girls disappeared over 20 years ago. Knowing his house was the last place he saw Sally alive, he can’t help but suspect his dad.

How can he write the biggest story of his career if his father turns out to be the killer? If the voice in his head would shut up and let him remember, he might figure it out before he loses his mind and his dad is charged with murder.

Full blurb and snippet recap here.



  1. You are definitely leaving us with wanting more. I wish you good luck in having this published. I'm enjoying the snippets!

  2. I'm loving the premise, and the way you leave me hanging in suspense at the end. - Is your story based on real events? You definitely create that kind of atmosphere.

  3. The suspense is killing me! Such an intriguing story and I feel so sorry for Dave. Looking forward to the next excerpt.

  4. You mean we will never find out what happened until you publish the book?! How frustrating.

  5. Ohhh, the there's a tenseness to this story that every time I read a snippet, it leaves me on the edge of my seat. And I don't usually like thrillers. Excellent snippet! By the way, this line here: “Ever wonder where serial killers who were never caught go to retire?”—that makes an EXCELLENT tag line!

  6. Yes, PLEASE publish this story so I can read the whole thing in one sitting LOL! Love it, so fascinating...another excellent excerpt!

  7. I'm sorry Kristen. :( If it's any consolation I'm on my third round of edits. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to tweak the ending a bit. So see, even I don't know everything yet. :)

  8. Fabulous excerpt! I fear your comment about wondering where uncaught serial killers go when they retire will give me nightmares tonight. lol. Great work! :)

  9. Argh! you leave with such a cliffhanger! Well played! I'll be watching for next weeks. :)

  10. And with this you really leave me hanging on this scene, curious and wanting more.
    Yes, where do serial killers go to retire would work in a book blurb.

  11. The real part, Dana, would be the milk carton campaign in the 80s and 90s run by The Center For Missing (and exploited) Children. Lamont is a hamlet in my county in the town of Pike, but not a village. (Nothing really there.) Wiscoy Creek is real. It's about 9 miles long and people canoe on it. So I sort of combined all the local villages I have seen in my life to create mine.

  12. AnonymousJuly 28, 2013

    Gripping stuff!

  13. AnonymousJuly 28, 2013

    Where DO serial killers go to retire? I wonder if it's some nice quiet neighborhood, where everyone thinks they're friendly?

    Now I wonder of Dave is going to throw his dad under the bus, or still try to save him... Nice snippet!

  14. Looks like he's ready to open up, at least a little . . . poor Dave.

  15. Aw geez, what a place to stop :-D

    As always, I'm really intrigued by the twists in this story. Everything feels so real. Great job Cindy!

  16. Hey I Googled Wiscoy Creek--it's south of Letchworth State Park?? !! I've been to Letchworth any number of times :-D

  17. What a tease you are. Great snippet!

  18. You are so right owllady! It is south of the park.I gave Pepper her own story when I did Camp NaNo/A-Z Challenge in April. I set it at Silver Lake which is near me but called it Spirit Lake (Indian name for it.)

  19. Ughhh! leaving us hanging again! I think Dave just moved past the point of no return...but I'm not convinced that his dad did the murders. :-) It's too easy.

    Marcia mentioned Letchworth State Park. I've been there too, a couple of times. It's been 30 years or so. My dad loved that place. :-)

  20. Yes you must use that line in your blurb! I have this image now of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel meets Quartet for Retired Serial Killers!!

  21. Oh my goodness, you are so mean, leaving us hanging like that! Good job Cindy! I loved this eight!

  22. I agree you should use that line for your blurb. :)

  23. This is such a tease! Sounds like the makings of a great book.

  24. You better get this one finished, Cindy. I really want to read it in its entirety. :D Great snippet.

  25. Looking forward to next week!

  26. And the intrigue continues...

  27. So Dave is starting to help for real now instead of covering himself. Great!
    I somehow think that Hal didn't do anything.


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