The Murder Collection is a new mystery story that I’m writing, but it will be posted here at Love Bytes in monthly installments, free to read. The best part? It’ll require reader participation! That’s right, your choices will directly affect Dean Stewart and his ongoing quest to make it big in New York City, maybe find a boyfriend, and definitely not get caught up in murder investigations. Keep reading below for a blurb and the first part that’ll require your help.
The Murder Collection Blurb: Dean Stewart recently graduated from a prestigious art college in New York City. Riding the high of a major success that has put him in the spotlight of the art community, there’s tremendous pressure for Dean to unveil his next collection. The only problem is, he doesn’t have one. In fact, Dean hasn’t felt any inspiration in months, and the funds from his first major sale aren’t going to pay for his apartment and work studio forever.
Just when Dean can’t afford a single distraction, he gets noticed by homicide detective, Jiro Watanabe, and not in a good way. Without warning, Dean is thrust into a world of mystery and murder, when all he wants is for Jiro to ask him out on a date that doesn’t involve the police station.
The art world is about to get a whole lot more cutthroat.
I wasn’t going to create any worthwhile art by staying in bed for three weeks. Not that I expected to suddenly be struck with a lightning bolt of inspiration today. After all, the only reason I’d showered, shaved, and put on clean underwear was because I’d run out of TV shows to binge-watch on Netflix.
Maybe I shouldn’t have tried so hard my thesis year in art school. Then I wouldn’t have come out swinging, wouldn’t have sold my first collection for an obscene amount of money, and now wouldn’t be where I am today. You know, paying for both a work studio and separate apartment in New York City, eating ramen noodles for dinner every night in an attempt to stretch my savings and cover just one more month of rent, while dealing with the impossible task of painting something better than my already best. Such is the life of an artist, amirite?
Anyway, my publicist was done tapping his foot and giving me the stink eye. He’d moved right on to threatening to sever ties with me altogether if I didn’t show him my next big project.
“Dean, you’re hot right now. You’ve got to produce while people still remember your name. While people still give a shit!”
I unlocked my studio door and stepped inside.
Jeff Delaware came at painting from a business standpoint.
I came from— well, the art standpoint. And great art can’t be rushed. Otherwise I’d just paint shit.
“Maybe if I painted shit with shit….” I muttered thoughtfully, shutting the door behind me. Not that I’d actually… you know. I mean, I prefer oils, thank you.
But speaking of shit. What the hell was that smell? The studio was pretty big, and seemed completely untouched from the way I’d left it at the beginning of the month. The ceilings were high, and the ventilation definitely worked because I didn’t need to be killing myself with turpentine fumes.
And yet, something smelled awful. Like… turpentine. But there was more. Garbage? Hot garbage? A dead animal? A bag of crap set on fire? Jesus!
I covered my nose with the sleeve of my jacket and walked around the studio, eventually stopping outside of the water heater closet.
“Oh God.” It was coming from inside.
CHOOSE DEAN’S ACTION!
- Dean opens the closet.
- Dean leaves it be.
Please leave your choice in the comments below! Thank you, I hope to see you again in February.
The Mystery of the Curiosities (Snow & Winter Book Two)
Life has been pretty great for Sebastian Snow. The Emporium is thriving and his relationship with NYPD homicide detective, Calvin Winter, is everything he’s ever wanted. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Sebastian’s only cause for concern is whether Calvin should be taken on a romantic date. It’s only when an unknown assailant smashes the Emporium’s window and leaves a peculiar note behind, that all plans get pushed aside in favor of another mystery.
Sebastian is quickly swept up in a series of grisly yet seemingly unrelated murders. The only connection tying the deaths together are curiosities from the lost museum of P.T. Barnum. Despite Calvin’s attempts to keep Sebastian out of the investigation, someone is forcing his hand, and it becomes apparent that the entire charade exists for Sebastian to solve. With each clue that’ll bring him closer to the killer, he’s led deeper into Calvin’s official cases.
It’s more than just Sebastian’s livelihood and relationship on the line—it’s his very life.
She is a reluctant mover and has called many places home in her lifetime. C.S. has lived in New York City, Key West, and Ibaraki, Japan, to name a few. She misses the cleanliness, convenience, and limited edition gachapon of Japan, but she was never very good at riding bikes to get around.
She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful, and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued three cats, including one found in a drain pipe in Japan who flew back to the States with her. Zak, Milo, and Kasper do their best on a daily basis to sidetrack her from work.
C.S. Poe can be followed on her website, which also has links to her Goodreads and social media pages. She can also be followed via her e-mail newsletter on the website.
The Murder Collection copyright of C.S. Poe, hosted by Love Bytes. 2017