A dying wish. A secret world.
Can this grieving investigator stay on the right track?
PI Kelly Pruett is determined to make it on her own. And juggling clients at her late father’s detective agency, a controlling ex, and caring for a deaf daughter was never going to be easy. She takes it as a good sign when a letter left by her dad ties into an unsolved case of a young woman struck by a train.
Hunting down the one person who can prove the mysterious death was not just a drunken accident, Kelly discovers this witness is in no condition to talk. And the closer she gets to the truth the longer her list of sleazy suspects with murderous motives grows. Each clue exposes another layer of the victim’s steamy double life.
Can Kelly pinpoint the murderer, or is she on the fast track to disaster?
Published by: Camel Press
Publication Date: May 12th 2020
Number of Pages: 232
ISBN: 1603817069 (ISBN13: 9781603817066)
Series: PI Kelly Pruett #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Goodreads
Mary Keliikoa spent the first 18 years of her adult life working around lawyers. Combining her love of all things legal and books, she creates a twisting mystery where justice prevails. She has had a short story published in Woman’s World and is the author of the PI Kelly Pruett Mystery Series.
At home in Washington, she enjoys spending time with her family and her writing companions/fur-kids. When not at home, you can find Mary on a beach on the Big Island where she and her husband recharge. But even under the palm trees and blazing sun she’s plotting her next murder—novel that is.
Q&A with Mary Keliikoa
What was the inspiration for this book?
I spent years working in downtown Portland high rises for lawyers and coming to work via mass transit. The inspiration for the book really began there. The MAX tracks run perilously close to the sidewalks and I often wondered how it was that more people didn’t actually fall in front of the train. The plot for DERAILED evolved as I continued to play with the idea of having someone fall because of murderous intent.
What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?
Right now it’s writing Book 3 of the Kelly Pruett series! But seriously, the biggest challenge was getting an agent. My dream was to be traditionally published, and for that to often occur, an agent is needed. I went through well over 100 rejections on Derailed before I was signed. That was the biggest challenge, and I was only sort of kidding about Book 3. I had the idea that writing books would get easier, but I haven’t found that to be true 😊
What do you absolutely need while writing?
A quiet space and my laptop are my must haves. Coffee is good too, but I can create without it.
Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?
I show up 5-6 days a week, 2-3 hours each time. I find the routine is helpful and my brain just knows it’s time to work. That’s not to say that I don’t mess around on social media, or get up to refill my coffee cup ten times before my writing session is over, but I find the consistency helps me be creative. I learned long ago that I have to show up and get my fingers typing for inspiration to hit. If I only waited for inspiration, I might not get anything done.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
I love my Kelly Pruett character. She is tenacious, and striving to get out from under her dad’s shadow. She wants to be her own person, but wants to be a good mom. She wants to be someone her daughter looks up to. Maybe I just relate to her the most. Although I have to say her Basset hound Floyd is a very close second.
Who is your least favorite character from your book and why?
Oh I don’t know if I have a least favorite… I do like them all. But if I have to choose, the bartender in the book. I know I created every bit of him, but I’m not sure I liked his attitude about the whole mess!
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?
It was written in 1999, and when I did the editing 16 years later, it underwent a huge technology overhaul to bring it into current time. The way PIs worked pre-Facebook was a lot different and we didn’t walk around with Smart phones like we do now!
Another fun fact is the original title was Bamboozled. When I was one of the mentees chosen during the 2016 Pitch Wars contest, the first thing that was changed was the title. Two mentors who had considered my novel came up with the name Derailed, and it stuck.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you enjoy the likes of Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich, I believe you’d enjoy Kelly Pruett. On her first case, she really comes into her own as a PI, and there are a enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’ve long been a lover of mystery and puzzles, and combined with my 18 years in the legal field, I was compelled to try my hand at writing a novel. I live in the Pacific NW with my husband of 30+ years and also have a home on the islands. My favorite place to plot murder, novels that is, will always be on a sandy beach with toes in the sand.
What’s next that we can look forward to?
Book 2 in the series, DENIED, will be out in May 2021. PI Kelly Pruett will be back on the case, this time for a former classmate whose father has gone missing. But the search for the missing father and the truth puts Kelly into a high risk game of chance with a killer willing to gamble everything to win. I’m a little scared for Kelly—but I know she can ultimately handle it!
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Mary Keliikoa. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on September 1, 2020 and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.