Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Author Stop and Guest Post: Renee Harrell and Something Wicked

We would like to introduce author Renee Harrell and her new YA mystery novel, Something Wicked (Book One in the Ann Lippens mysteries), to our readers today. When we were contacted about this book, we immediately knew from reading the blurb that a story with a hot guy, two best friends, rock musicians, and a paranormal spin, was a book we wanted to read.

Book blurb:

After a nasty break-up with her boyfriend, high school student Ann Lippens is invited to go to the town's new night club, Whispers. At the club, she finds herself in the arms of the mysterious and handsome Cody Rhodes. When she rejects Cody's advances, the musician turns his attention to Ann's best friend, Kim. Kim couldn't be happier. Within days, Kim is changing her appearance and behavior to please her new boyfriend. Ann investigates the singer only to discover that Cody is the very image of a long-dead rock star named Bobby Winters. Winters and his band had a dark and troubled history until their fiery demise. Bobby's string of girlfriends all died early, suspicious deaths. Discovering the secret timetable for Kim's murder, Ann realizes she's the only one who can stop it. But it's not Kim that Cody truly wants....

Guest Post: Blame Nancy Drew

(Renée and Harrell Turner write together, under the semi-pseudonym of ‘Renée Harrell’. Their first Ann Lippens mystery, Something Wicked, was published in April.)

When I told Hubby that the Reader Girls were letting us stop by to do a Guest Post, he wasn’t excited. We’d never done a Guest Post before and he didn’t know why anyone would want to read our ramblings. (We ramble on at our own website, Mars Needs Writers, and all kinds of silliness pops up there. Here, at someone else’s hangout, he suddenly got nervous.)

“We’ll do something easy,” I told him. “Let’s tell ‘em how we came to write our book.”

“Don’t blame me,” he said. “Blame Nancy Drew.”

He’s right. You see, once upon a time, we wrote a novel for a book packager. It was a boys mystery story and it sold well but, per our work-for-hire contract, our pen name didn’t appear on the book. After some time passed, I told Harrell I wanted to write our own young adult mystery, with our own characters.

“We’ll have a female detective!” I decided. “Like Nancy Drew!”

Quick confession: I was more of a Laura Ingalls kind of girl and I’ve never read Nancy Drew. Harrell was a Hardy Boys fan. But, it turns out, the Hardy Boys shared a few adventures with Nancy and my Hal wasn’t impressed.

“Nancy Drew is too perfect,” he told me. “She’s mostly... amazing.”

“So our heroine won’t be perfect. She’ll be ordinary.”

“Nancy’s rich. Has her own car. Has her own – lots of things. All the things I wanted when I was a teenager and never could afford. The things I still want now.”

“So our girl detective won’t have those things. No money. No car. Not even a cell phone.”

“Everybody has a cell phone,” he argued, for no good reason. “But there’s more. Nancy has the perfect boyfriend. She speaks multiple languages, she’s an artist, she’s an athlete. She can do everything and she does it all without flaw.”

“Jealous, much?”


So we created Ann Lippens. Ann’s not a good student or a talented amateur detective. She has some body issues, she’s lost her cell phone and can’t afford to replace it, and her boyfriend sucks. But she has a loving father, she’s loyal and mostly brave, and she refuses to abandon her friends when events go terribly wrong. When a (possibly) undead rock and roll star pushes things to the limit, she’s there to fight him to the end. And, just for fun, we sprinkled in a couple of other (possibly) undead characters from the distant past. If you’re looking for history’s most famous serial killer – and one of his victims – you’ll find them both in our book.

“Okay, we wrote the book you wanted to write,” Hal told me. “Who knows if the un-Nancy Drew can even sell in a Twilight kind of world?”

“We’ll never know unless we try,” I said. “Now that Something Wicked is written, we have to let people know it’s out there. That means, doing the occasional Guest Post on a site we like.

“Like Reader Girls.”


“How long does the piece have to be?”

“About 500 words, give or take.”

“Then we’re done.”

And so we are. Thanks, Meg, Caity, and Laurie! 

About the author(s): 
"Renée Harrell" is the semi-pseudonym of Renée and Harrell Turner, a wife-and-husband writing team. Their first novel was written under a much more famous pseudonym and was published by Simon & Schuster (USA) in the United States and, later, by Simon & Schuster (UK) in...um, the UK. Something Wicked is their first Ann Lippens mystery and marks their second publication with Hunting Monsters Press. To learn more about Renée Harrell, the Things We're Doing, the Things We Like, and That Thing We Did, go to www.MarsNeedsWriters.com.

Find Something Wicked at:

Barnes & Noble

Thank you to Renée and Harrell Turner. Our review will be posted soon.