Oliana Mercer Series Book 1
by Marguerite Ashton
Genre: YA Mystery
Oliana knows that every family has a secret, but she never expected hers to come from the grave.
High school senior Oliana Mercer dreams of attending the prestigious Reyersen Drama Academy and pursue her acting career. But when tragedy strikes, Oliana discovers secrets hidden from her by her adopted parents, dimming the lights on her perfect world.
As the sins of the past surface, Oliana finds herself caught up in a tug-of-war between two families while the love for her boyfriend is tested.
Determined to find some form of happiness in life, Oliana becomes student director in the high school’s senior play. When her best friend, Devin Worthy, dies during dress rehearsal, Oliana is re-cast as the lead.
Everyone thinks the death was a suicide, except Oliana, whose search for clues may be enough motive for the killer to murder again.
ATTENDING A WRITER'S CONFERENCE
I’ve had writers ask if I think it’s important to attend a writer’s conference. All I can say is it depends on what you want out of your writing career.
For me, conferences help to keep my brain fresh with the constant changes going on in the publishing world. I try to attend a conference once a year. Even if it’s online. This gives me an opportunity to connect with other writers, sharpen my skills, and prepare for the battle of getting to my final manuscript.
One of my favorite conferences is conducted by veteran police officer, Lee Lofland. It’s called the WritersPolice Academy. At WPA, participants get a chance to see into the world of public safety officers. From shallow grave work to actual range time with firearms, writers can get a hands-on experience or visit classrooms and learn from an instructor.
Another thing that I’ve found helpful is going on a writer’s retreat. It helps me to avoid getting burned out. My latest one was the Write2TheEnd rustic retreat.
The May 2016 invitation to escape for three days in rainy Michigan couldn’t have come at a better time. I’d almost lost my mom to cancer twice, and the stress of worrying if my mother would be around for the holidays had taken its toll.
Even with the, “treat your writing as a business,” motto, my seven hours a day writing habit had stalled. I’d decided that if I couldn’t write, I’d at least make notes. Finally, after talking to Mom who promised me she was getting better, I decided to leave. The trip turned out to be the best thing for me. I loved everything about it. The food, the scenery, the quiet time and the workshops. It gave me a chance to recharge my batteries.
Not only did I consume more sweets than I should have, but I managed to finish two chapters.
Oliana Mercer Series Book 2
It’s been two weeks since Oliana Mercer learned a horrible family secret and witnessed the death of her best friend. Two weeks of heartache, secrets, and lies. While Oliana wants to move on, graduation day is a turning point for her, but for the worse.
Austin wants Oliana to stay and not attend Reyersen Drama Academy, a relative from the past wants her forgiveness, the custody battle for her little brother moves forward…and then there’s James whose recent drug habit landed him in trouble. Now he’s missing. After a charred body, believed to be James is found in a dumpster behind the high school, Oliana receives a text from James’ phone.
When Oliana turns to the police for help, she is pulled into a conflict that makes her question whether to obey the law while fighting with the family who abandoned her.
Oliana Mercer Series Book 3
Settling into campus life at the posh Reyersen Academy acting school, Oliana Mercer prepares for an audition for a lead part in a play called Cold. She soon discovers that her new roommate is not only vying for the same role, but is seeing Austin - Oliana's ex-boyfriend. She does all she can to avoid Austin until he is found murdered at a party. With hardly any clues, she starts snooping around and descends into Reyersen's forbidden East Wing, which mirrors the set for the upcoming play.
As Oliana learns more about the school's past, she begins to suspect people around her might be involved and becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened. When another body is discovered, Oliana finds out that acting will be her best chance for survival.
Prequel to the Oliana Mercer Series
Newly sober and dating the man of her dreams, Traci Collins is ready to enjoy the good life, until her new best friend, Olivia Durning, confides a dreadful secret far worse than Traci could imagine.
Sealed by a shared bond, and unaware there is more to the secret than what she was told, Collins feels honor-bound to protect her friend when a confrontation between Olivia and her childhood tormentor turns deadly.
A mysterious text forces Traci to question Olivia's actions and re-examine her loyalties. When the answers to Traci's questions endanger a life she treasures more than her own, she must decide if friendship has a limit. For a bridge once burnt severs ties forever...
When Marguerite Ashton was in her twenties, she took up acting but realized she preferred to work behind the camera, writing crime fiction. A few years later, she married an IT Geek and settled down with her role as wife, mom, and writer. Five kids later, she founded the Crime Writer’s Panel and began working with former law enforcement investigators to create; Criminal Lines Blog, an online library for crime writers who need help with their book research.
She’s a workaholic who hides in her writer’s attic, plotting out her next book and stalking Pinterest for the next avocado recipe.
A member of Sisters in Crime, Marguerite grew up in Colorado, but is now happily living in Wisconsin and playing as much golf as possible. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
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