A to Z 2015 Blogging Challenge Theme Reveal

Announcing My Theme -- 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge:

For a list of other participants in the A to Z Theme Reveal 2015, click on the link to the left.

Resources for Crime Fiction Writers +

A Mystery for Readers to Solve ... follow the clues

It is not too late to sign up for this year's A to Z Challenge.
You still have about ten days. When I last checked, there were about twelve hundred participants. If you've participated before then you already know how much fun and how rewarding this challenge is. If you have never participated or if you are knew to blogging, this is the jumpstart you've been waiting for. There will never be another opportunity like this. You will meet life long friends and blogger buddies and numerous people who are always willing to share advice. If you are like me and have been on a blogging hiatus, this is the perfect time to reconnect with old friends and make many new friends.

Yes, this is challenging, but the feeling you get upon completion is too hard for me to explain. It is a feeling of accomplishment, yes, but so much more. If you are on the fence or undecided, I highly recommend that you give it a shot. You won't regret it. I'm sure you already know this, but I would be remiss for not mentioning the creator of this amazing and fulfilling challenge, Arlee Bird, over at Tossing it Out. He began the challenge in 2010, with about 100 participants and in only one year, the numbers jumped to well over 1000 participants for 2011. You can read Arlee's story about the challenge and how it started: What is the A to Z Challenge

Now it is Time For the Big Reveal:

For anyone who has ever visited my blog, I am sure it will come as no surprise that I am once again going with a Crime Fiction Theme.

It's what I read. It's what I write. And, for most of my adult life, it is what I have done for my day job.

Yup! That's my theme again!

Resources, Tips, & Stories for Crime Fiction Authors (and readers)!

It won't be exactly like my theme from 2013, I promise. I missed 2014 and regretted it. I'm adding some variety & spice.

I will cover topics related to all aspects of criminal cases, including, but not limited to:

  • Crime Scenes
  • Autopsies
  • Police Interrogations
  • Police Procedurals
  • Mysteries
  • Motives
  • Murder    
  • Alibis
  • Legal Process
  • From Crime to Courtroom
  • Courtroom Procedure
  • Hearsay & other Evidentiary Terms
  • Indictments -- Jury Trials, Jury selection, Jury Verdicts, Sentencing & Appeals
  • Death Penalty
  • Weapons -- ammo
There are two (2)  things that I intend to do differently (or two (2)  areas of interest I intend to add to my posts)

Not all Posts -- just the posts that pertain to this topic

  1. I will touch on areas that I have noticed (or I have noticed that other readers have noticed) -- legal and criminal topics that some writers get wrong. I've read a plethora of blog posts about writers making mistakes when it comes to handguns and ammo. I am certainly not a firearms or ballistics expert, but I will share some of what I've learned on this topic and a few other topics that writers commonly get wrong.
  2. I intend to use real life - true cases and fictional cases (from popular novels, film and television) to enhance some of my topics.
  3. I won't be doing this for all topics. Research is extremely involved and for the sake of keeping my blog posts short and concise, I intend to write short articles, with the exception of four or five, which will be more detailed.

Bonus: Mystery Game & Chance to Win Prizes.

  Each blog post will contain a clue. The clue should be rather obvious and all you need to do is mention the clue in your comment.

Each clue will also play a bigger role, it will help solve a mystery. By the time you reach letter Z, you will have all the clues needed to solve the mystery.

I will announce my prizes on Tuesday, 3/31/15 and again at the beginning of the blog challenge and each day thereafter.

In order to win the big prize, you will have to solve the mystery and you also have to leave comments for at least 10 separate A to Z blog post. They do not have to be consecutive comments, but that will help you solve the big mystery.

Example: You solve the big mystery, but the only other clue you discovered was from day two (letter B) - you don't qualify to win the grand prize.

You solve the mystery and you left comments (including that day's clue) for Letters A, B, C, J, L, P, T, W, X, Z - Woo Hoo! You win the grand prize, because you also left comments (mentioning the daily clue) in a minimum of 10 blog post comments.

However: You and two others solve the mystery: I only have one (1) grand prize. So the three of you will each have your names entered one time into a drawing. Each have an equal chance of winning. One of you will receive the grand prize and the other two will receive runner up prizes (Runner up Prizes will not be less than $100 cash or equivalent.

Each week, I will pick a random person from the comment section. If you have left comments for all seven post that week you will receive seven entries. If you left three comments that week, your name will be entered (3) three times. Weekly winners will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or an Amazon book of your choice.
I haven't selected the grand prize yet? In the past, I've given a Kindle Fire and an iPad mini as grand prizes.

I am open to suggestions for the grand prize -- for one lucky winner who solves the mystery. If several people solve the mystery, I am afraid I can only give out one grand prize. If several of you solve the grand prize (it won't be that simple. ha ha ha) -- then I will have to hold a raffle to choose the winner and the other contestants will all receive runner up prizes. Those prizes are to be announced -- depending on how many winners we have.

I hope you will play along and try and solve the mystery.

I look forward to reading your blogs next month.


  1. Great theme - stick with what you know. Plus a mystery with clues. Bring it on!

  2. I terrible at solving mysteries, but I love to try. This sounds like a lot of fun.

  3. It sounds like you've got a very ambitious month ahead of you :-)

  4. A mystery. Clues. Now, if I only had a brain! :-) I will not be in contention for the Grand Prize, but I will be by daily, curious to spy each new post. Thanks for dropping by my blog. :-) I am giving a talk in April at local sci fi convention on how to write that genre and fantasy -- and then how to market it. We both have taken on challenges in April!

  5. I love crime fiction! On my blog, I've discussed crime scenes, interrogations, police officers, and murder. But you're going to tackle topics I haven't touched. I bet I'll be able to learn a lot of my writing. Count me in! :)

  6. Fun theme! Best of luck with it this April! :)

  7. Try Isabella Rose mystery romances. I welcome feedback

  8. Hi Melissa .. yes I will be reading - solving I doubt it .. but it will be fascinating to see what you come up with .. interesting A - Z posts .. cheers Hilary

  9. Great, I'm all hooked now. My NaNo book this year will contain a mystery and I'm not that expert, I'm bookmarking your blog for April.

  10. Oh boy! Just released my first crime novel! Your blog should be an interesting and fun read in April! Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting, Lisa co-host AtoZ2015 lisabuiecollard.com

  11. Oh wow! You put a lot of work into this! :) Sounds fantastic!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from

    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z

    MopDog - The crazy thing about Hungarians...

  12. Cool how you are doing this challenge and including a giveway prize with it for those that follow along! Have fun with it!

  13. I'll definitely play along! What a great idea. Good to see you again, Melissa. :)


  14. What fun! I can't wait to read. I'm addicted to Dateline/48 Hours Mysteries. I just love piecing together the clues to try to figure out if the accused person really did it.


  15. Sounds like a great theme. I'll be stalking you daily.

  16. I am impressed! What a great theme. It sounds so much fun. I love mysteries and solving tricky quests. I look forward to read your Crime Fiction posts. Have a great weekend!

  17. Wow! This sounds like super fun and I look forward to learning tons about crime writing, too. And thank you for your very kind comment at my blog. I'm glad my last theme made such an impression!

  18. This sounds like a lot of fun! A lot of work too so congrats for putting so much effort into it! Can't wait to stop by in April! :)

  19. Hey, this sounds like fun :-)
    I love mysteries, though I'm terrible at solving them. Usually, I'm so caught up in the story I forget to make all the connections. But I'll try your game nonetheless :-)

  20. This sounds fun. Looking forward to participating.

    Jean from Rantings and Ravings of an Insane Writer.

  21. Hi Melissa! *waves* I love how you own and love your A to Z theme, even though you've done it before. Seems like you really know your niche and you're passionate about sharing it with the rest of us :) Like I mentioned in my reply to your comment on my blog (thanks for visiting!), I'm terrible at mysteries but I'll give the clues a shot! Also looking forward to reading your legal and crime fiction posts!

    Wendy Lu Writes

  22. HI Melissa! I just saw your comment on my blog from the other day. SO awesome that you are blogging again. And I always love your cool A-Z themes!

  23. Thanks Shell. Cant wait to read your post

  24. Thanks Wendy. I was late getting my post up last night, but looking forward to the challenge. Thanks for visiting

  25. This one won't be too too difficult. Glad you are going to play along

  26. It did. I am a little late getting started today, but making the rounds as soon as I get my post up and yours is one of my first places to visit.

  27. I love the same shows. Thanks for visiting

  28. Thanks for welcoming me back. It is good to be back

  29. Hope you will try and solve the mystery

  30. Glad you could stop by. Hope you will try and solve the mystery

  31. I was late getting Day 1 and the basic facts up, but they are up and ready to be solved, Well, not solved. Not quit yet. Hope it isn't that easy

  32. I know. Sometimes I think I must be nuts


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