Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Cozy #Animal #Mystery: ABBY’S REDEMPTION, Whispering Pines Mysteries, Book 2, by Rhonda Blackhurst

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Whispering Pines Mysteries, Book 2


Last summer Abigail Sinclair narrowly escaped her abusive ex-husband, who was bent on revenge. Finally, victim turned survivor, she is free from a life of watching over her shoulder at every turn. Abby focuses on running Whispering Pines Resort in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains and learns to trust again while growing a relationship with new love, Gabe Coleman. She’s living her dream until she finds the body of a woman who endured the same horrors that she once did. The demons of Abby’s past reel her back into the nightmare she thought she’d put to bed.

Juan Robles, Homicide Detective with the Blue Mist Mountain Police Department, familiar with Abby’s history and with a history of his own, is driven to find the killer while protecting Abby. But how does one protect someone who, at every turn, is more driven to find the killer than even he is, exposing herself to danger?

Abby’s intense desire to help a fellow domestic violence victim propels her forward, entangling her in a web of deception, lies, and terror. Can Abby solve the murder and find justice for the dead woman before Detective Robles is forced into solving her own murder?

Whispering Pines Mysteries, Book 2


INTRODUCING…Rhonda Blackhurst

1. What appeals to you about the genre that you write?  Most of what I write are cozy mysteries. In my day job as a paralegal with a District Attorney’s Office, I see a lot of crime and violence that people inflict on one another. Oftentimes, unfortunately, there isn’t a happy ending for anyone involved. Cozy mysteries let me tie up each story with a big, happy bow and a feel-good ending. The Whispering Pines mysteries, of which Abby’s Redemption is book two of the duology, is a bit more serious. It revolves around domestic violence, and while fiction, I hope to educate as well. 

2. Are you a plotter or a pantser (one who writes “by the seat of your pants”)? I’m an inbetweener—plantser? I have to have somewhat of a summary before I start. And then I plot as I go along. I depend heavily on my Series Bible for each series.

3. What is your favorite part of writing? I love spilling out the first draft! I log into Pandora, find a station that matches the mood of what I’m writing, and go to town! While editing/revising isn’t my favorite, I do love to know that I’m making my book better and making it shine.

4. If you had to give up writing and do something else, what would you do instead? If I had to give up writing, I would feel extremely sorry for everyone around me. I’m the best me when I’m writing and creating and get a bit grumpy and out of sorts when I’ve gone too long without it. If that were to ever happen though, God forbid, I would own a bookstore and coffeeshop. 

5. What’s your favorite meal of the day? Breakfast! I typically have the same thing every morning with few variations, but I love mornings! I enjoy sitting outside on my deck in the summertime with breakfast and coffee or looking outside my window in the winter while eating. Mornings are magical.

6. Which are your favorite characters to write, the female characters or the male characters? Why? Female characters are more natural for me. But I think it’s common for women to enjoy writing female characters and men to write male characters because we can relate to writing about the same sex. When I do write male characters I tend to make them villains. Haha!

7. If you had a superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it? Time travel. I would love to travel back in time and have a re-do on so many things. That being said, I wouldn’t travel forward, as I don’t want to know the future. I like the endless possibilities each day brings. 

8.  Many writers dream of having the ideal location to write. If you could live anywhere in the world or live a particular lifestyle, where would you be answering these questions right now? I love my home office, but if I could go anywhere, I’d be on a beach with white sands beneath me and turquoise waters before me. A beach house with a large window with a view of the beach would be just fine, too. Just give me a beach! 

9.  Do you have any rejection stories to share? Reviews that meant something special to you? I pitched one of my cozies to an editor at a conference who further requested that I send her the full manuscript. About four weeks later I received a “this is not for us,” letter. As disappointed as I was, the lesson was huge. Do your research. After looking at the books this publishing house represented, I discovered that my “style” wasn’t a match for what they publish. 

10.  Tell us about your next book & when is it being published? Abby’s Redemption, book two of the Whispering Pines Mysteries duology, was just released on March 21st. The subject matter (domestic violence) is a little “heavier” than a typical cozy mystery but it’s important to me and was something I just had to write about. My next release will be a fun Christmas Novella, Shear Holiday Mayhem, in my Melanie Hogan cozy mystery series. 

About Author Rhonda Blackhurst…

Rhonda was born in northern Minnesota but now resides in Colorado with her husband, dogs, and close to her children and grandchildren. She loves the Rocky Mountains, but a piece of her heart will always belong to the woods and lakes of Minnesota.

Her love of writing took flight at the tender age of four when she was caught writing with her crayons on the knotty pine walls of the family home. In her teens, she tested her hand at journalism by writing an article or two for the city newspaper about school events. She completed an online Journalism/Short Story Writing course and was a stringer for another local newspaper, writing about school and community events. It was then she realized writing fiction is her first love and true calling. She has written poetry through the years, some of which have been published in poetry anthologies.

When she’s not at her day job as a Restitution Advocate in a District Attorney’s Office, she can be found hibernating in her home office creating characters, settings, and stories. When she’s not writing, she’s reading books on the craft of writing, and is typically reading more than one fiction book at a time. Mostly mysteries, of course.


Links to Rhonda’s website, blog, books, etc.

Website: www.rhondablackhurst.com


Facebook Author Page:

Facebook Private Group, Salon Talk: www.facebook.com/groups/614032209421341/?source_id=401835913256203

Instagram: Rhonda.blackhurst

Twitter: @rjblackhurst


** Special Giveaway**: Go to Rhonda’s website (above) and sign up for her newsletter for a chance to win a free audio book of your choice in the Melanie Hogan series. Happy Reading!


Thanks, Rhonda, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

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8 Responses to Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Cozy #Animal #Mystery: ABBY’S REDEMPTION, Whispering Pines Mysteries, Book 2, by Rhonda Blackhurst

  1. This book sounds like a must-read for many who are in a dangerous domestic situation. Thankfully, I am not, but it does sound like a great read!

  2. Samantha says:

    Okay, so first…..YES to the beach! And thank you for being another Coloradoan that loves the beach – and I now clarify…warm, tropical beach, please. I love the ocean, but it’s not the same up off the coast of Washington state. Still helps to hear the waves and play in the sand, though.

    Your book might be hard to read, but as a survivor and warrior overcoming domestic violence, thank you for tackling such a tough topic that is so needed. I appreciate that greatly! Sometimes books like this are healing and sometimes the PTSD gets me hard. I will definitely take a look.

    • Thank you, Samantha. And my heart goes out to you! Be gentle on yourself and if it bothers you, put it down. I didn’t go “deep” into the issue, as I wanted to keep it in the cozy genre, but hopefully enough to educate a bit.

  3. Karen Docter says:

    Good morning, Rhonda, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench with your next book in the series. I can really relate to stories about domestic abuse and what it takes to overcome. I can’t wait to see how Abigail carries forward in the next part of her journey. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

  4. Kathleen Bylsma says:

    This is a subject matter that needs to be addressed in whatever fashion available. Victims, female and male , need to be made aware of help within reach.
    Thanks, Karen and Rhonda.

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