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Nov 28, 2023

Having the chance to chat with a dear friend about her book is always a treat.  So when Denise L. Barela chatted to me about her mystery, Silencing the SirenI knew we'd have a lot of fun. Boy, did we. From the first ideas on this mystery through the new series she's considering, and where she wants to take her writing in the future, Denise has a lot to share.  Listen in to learn about her writing and how you can listen to her book free!

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Why an Almost Love At First Sight Mystery Actually Works!

Denise L. Barela's debut novel is the seventh in the Ever After Mysteries. These fairy-tale retellings set in the twenties (and now the forties!) feature fun mashups of those beloved tales with some kind of mystery. Denise chose "The Little Mermaid" and went to town combining 1920s New York City and Coney Island with that fairy tale and a freak show attraction that causes all kinds of trouble in various ways.

One thing I liked is how the "love at first sight" aspect of the original story played out in Denise's. She focused on Annabel's character and, being so different from the superficiality he lived with, it drew him in.  No, it's not a romance, but this mystery does have romance in it, and Denise made that tough trope work.

The research Denise did involved widely differing topics--from novelty gifts (doorbells, folks!), to car technology advancements, to just how hard it was to find a map of New York City for the era!

Of course, that sparked a discussion on research for her other book and how she discovered rewritten history ruining her plans for it.  Enter rewrites. Sigh.

Finally, we discussed the sorts of books she wants to write, her conversation with Jaime Jo Wright, and where she plans to take things after she does one more mystery-themed series.  Clue is coming like you've never seen it.

Silencing the Siren by Denise L. Barela

Andrew Grayson thought he had everything… until he met her.

The indulged son of wealthy parents, Andrew has always gotten whatever he wanted almost before he knew he wanted it—clothes, gadgets… even a car! What more could a young man desire?

Enter Annabel Thompson. Freakshow mermaid extraordinaire… in a wheelchair!

Of course, her beauty attracts him. How could it not? Add to that a kind heart, and Andrew can’t help but fall for her.

Annabel’s connection with the freakshow repels his parents and their society friends. They want him to sever all ties with her and his new friends. Oh, and marry the “right” girl with the “right connections.” But he won’t do it. He’ll defy them and marry his little mermaid.

When Annabel turns up missing, declared dead, things don’t add up, Andrew begins asking some difficult questions, the most important being, “What happened to the little mermaid of the Coney Island freak show?”

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. Silencing the Siren offers a retelling of “The Little Mermaid” that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat as you watch the story unfold.

Learn more about Denise L. Barela on her WEBSITE and follow her on GoodReads and BookBub.  You can listen to Silencing the Siren free on her YouTube Channel.

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