MYSTERY WE WRITE Blog Tour – Week 11

This week, I have invited mystery author Beth Anderson to tell us a little about herself and her new release, RAVEN TALKS BACK

First, Beth, tell us a little about RAVEN

Raven Morressey is living the good life. Nice home, husband, three healthy children, and it’s finally summertime, when life is again lovely in Valdez, Alaska. All this explodes one morning when builders, digging up her back yard, uncover a recently murdered headless, handless female body covered with scarification—hundreds of colored designs cut into the skin to resemble tattoos. As if this isn’t enough, where the corpse’s head should have been is a large rock with a face painted on that resembles an Alaska Native mask.

Raven’s eight year old son, Timmy, is the first one to see the body and is suddenly unable to walk or respond in any way. On that same day, Raven hears the voice of her long dead Athabascan father coming from Timmy, who is unaware of the ancient hunting chants he sings in his sleep and the words he suddenly speaks in Raven’s native tongue—a language he does not know.

Jack O’Banion, Valdez’s Chief of Police for the past few years, faced with his first murder case in Valdez, begins his official investigation. Everywhere he goes he finds nothing but deception. The town seems to have closed into itself and nobody will tell him anything that might help him solve this case. Then one murder quickly morphs into two, then three, and the Alaska State Troopers are hot on his back to find the killer now.

Between Raven’s voices and the visions she develops, and Jack, whose career as well as his contented life in Valdez are on the line, they both feel they have to find the killer and restore some sanity to the town—not to mention their own lives, which are quickly unraveling out of control.

What inspired the unusual setting for this one?

My first day in Valdez, Alaska, where this book is set, was foggy.  In Valdez, the fog rolls down the mountains, it doesn’t lift, like you’d expect.  I had come to Valdez to work for one of the oil companies for three months, so I wasn’t expecting to have any time to even think  about writing a book.  In fact, that was the last thing on my mind.  But as I stood there watching that beautiful, haunting sight, I heard a voice inside my head speaking the first lines in what eventually became the first page in this book, right before the main story.  If you read the first page, I think you’ll all understand why I was enchanted enough to write this book with Raven as the lead character, because this is a look into her soul:

The Fog

The spirits of my ancestors live in the towering Chugach Mountains that surround my world in Valdez. I know they are there. I can see them most mornings, great cottony masses of gray fog rolling down the mountains, sinister characters in a black and white movie, shivering and mourning their inevitable disintegration above the marina before they disappear over Prince William Sound.

They call to me through that fog, whispering my name. I hear them, soft, desolate sounds you can only hear if you’re really a part of this beautiful land.

My people will tell my story to future generations of Athabascans, and tourists from the lower forty-eight who come to walk through our villages and see for themselves how little is left of what we were. We have no written ancient history. Everything known about our past has evolved only because of stories told in the dark of night before our children go to sleep, when wind screams over the mountaintops and roars down through the passes, bringing the icy chill of our glaciers spiraling into our homes in spite of insulation invented by modern man. The wind is still bitter and we know it.

Even so, we lead a lovely, slow-paced life in this part of Alaska, where all the flowers burst with fragrant beauty everywhere in the summertime, and deep undercurrents of love and laughter seem to hover beneath the surface of our daily lives.

At least to me it had always been that way, until the Saturday morning in early June, when my world of gentle laughter disappeared and violent death entered the soft space I had occupied all my adult life.

Now let’s learn a bit about Beth Anderson, the author herself:Author

Beth Anderson is a multi-published, award winning author in several genres including romance and mainstream crime fiction. A full time author, she lives in a Chicago, Illinois suburb. She has appeared on Chicago’s WGN Morning Show, The ABC Evening News, as well as numerous other radio and cable television shows. She has guest lectured at Purdue University and many libraries and writers’ conferences. She loves music, particularly jazz. Her website and blog are both at

Links to Beth’s author pages on Amazon and Barnes & Noble:
Website and blog:

Publisher’s Website: Krill Press

RAVEN TALKS BACK ISBN #: 9780982144398

Thank you, Sharon, for inviting me onto your blog today.  I enjoyed it, and I hope your readers do, too!

(Sharon is scheduled to guest later this week for author Mary Martinez at


About sharonervin

I write novels for and about women. I work half-days in my husband and son's law office. A former newspaper reporter, I have a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. I have four grown children.
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10 Responses to MYSTERY WE WRITE Blog Tour – Week 11

  1. Hi, Beth, as always I’m glad to learn more about you and your book.


  2. Marja McGraw says:

    Beth, I’ve got to reach a point where I can sit down and read your book. It sounds fascinating. Good blog!

  3. Coco Ihle says:

    Beth, Your book really sounds intriguing and I love the haunting atmsophere it seems to provoke. I look forward to reading it. Good luck!

  4. Thank you, ladies! I hope you like it, all of you. And thanks for stopping by.

  5. Vivian Zabel says:

    Yes, Beth, your book does sound interesting. *tries to figure where she can work in another book*

  6. I know what you mean, Vivian. I’ve got 40 books on my Kindle right now, only a couple of them read. But I keep finding new ones I just have to havem especially from members of this blog tour. And that doesn’t even include my large collection of hardbacks, most of which I haven’t yet read. As Pat says, “So many books, so little time.” But I will get the onea on my Kindle read, one by one. Thanks for stopping by! I’m going to miss you when this tour is over.

  7. Jackie king says:

    Coco, Haunting is the perfect word to describe the atmosphere of RAVEN TALKS BACK. Beth’s book keeps returning to mind…it’s that kind of book.
    Best wishes,
    Jackie King

  8. Thank you so much, Jackie. I think word of mouth is the best promotion in the world. I know for sure, I buy a lot of books just from recommendations of people whose judgement I trust. And thanks so much for coming over and listening to me talk one more time. 😉

  9. Jacqueline Seewald says:

    Just the kind of mystery I enjoy most, one with a paranormal edge. Much success!

  10. That it is, Jacqueline! Hope you’ll have a chance to read it. You can read the first four chapters at my website, if you like. Thanks for stopping by, and Sharon, thank you for hosting me!

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