Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Sowed To Death by Peg Cochran

The Mysteries of the Writing Process

Readers have expressed an interest in the “writing process.”  Each writer’s process is probably as unique as his or her fingerprints, but this is mine.

For my mystery series, I already have some characters in place—protagonist, detective and other regular cast members.  But what I need is a victim and a murderer!  I start with the victim—the person can seem like the last person anyone would want to murder or they can be very unlikeable.  But whichever way I go, I need to surround them with characters who have specific reasons for wanting them dead.

To come up with the victim, motive and suspects, I usually “think out loud” on paper.  On the computer—writing longhand always ends up making my shoulder hurt because I tend to grip the pen too tightly!  Always have.

I write down all my thoughts just as they occur to me—no censoring my thoughts or backspacing to erase them.  Here is an example from my notes—some plot musings that never made it into the book…or at least not that book!

He’s receiving stolen goods—saffron or caviar or something.  Why would he be a victim? Maybe this isn’t the real reason he’s killed.  Just another red herring.  Maybe the goods are meant to be passed to someone else and he double crosses them.  He’s a partner with somebody.  Or someone paid him to move the goods and he steals them instead.  Has to be someone local. 

It’s probably hard to believe, but those ramblings eventually coalesce into a plot!

I try to outline…I want to outline…but often I am so excited to get started on the story that I don’t.  I don’t sail off blindly though, I have to have my “plot points” – what happens at the end of the first act, at the midpoint (big dramatic happening that changes everything), end of second act, black moment (all is lost!) and the ending.

 At some point, I end up with a completed book!  And it seems like a miracle each time!

Series: Farmer's Daughter Mystery (Book 2)
Publisher: Berkley (July 4, 2017)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0425282031
ISBN-13: 978-0425282038
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


In the latest Farmer’s Daughter Mystery from the national bestselling author of No Farm, No Foul, farm owner and blogger Shelby McDonald must field another murder mystery….

The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.   

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of Sowed to Death to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on July 23rd

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will have 48 hours from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

pegPeg grew up in a New Jersey suburb about 25 miles outside of New YorkCity. After college, she moved to the City where she managed an art gallery owned by the son of the artist Henri Matisse. When her first daughter, Francesca, arrived, the new family moved back to the New Jersey suburbs where her second daughter, Annabelle, was born.

After her husband died, Peg remarried and her new husband took a job in Grand Rapids, MI where they now live (on exile from NJ, she likes to joke). Peg managed to segue from the art world to marketing and is now the manager of marketing communications for a company that provides services to seniors.

Her greatest love though has always been writing—particularly mysteries! She has two cozy mystery series debuting from Berkley Prime Crime—the Gourmet De-Liteseries set in Connecticut and featuring Gigi Fitzgerald who provides gourmet diet meals to a select group of clients, and the Sweet Nothings Vintage Lingerie series (release date September 4th), written as Meg London, set in Paris, TN with Emma Taylor who finds murder and mayhem in this quiet country town.

As for pets — she has a schizophrenic cat (really) named Frazzle and a Westhighland White Terrier, Reggie, who is desperately in need of losing a few pounds. But you know what they say: If your dog is overweight, it means YOU aren’t getting enough exercise!

When she’s not writing, Peg can usually be found cooking, which she loves. When asked to bring a dish to a potluck she invariably opts to bring dessert — partly because she loves making sweet dishes and partly because she and her husband always manage to be late so there—s no point in putting them in charge of the appetizer!

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Farmer's Daughters Mysteries






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  1. Kathleen Kendler says:

    thanks for the review.

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