A Storm of Doubts Author Interview and Giveaway!

About the Book

Book: A Storm of Doubts

Author: JPC Allen

Genre: YA cozy mystery

Release date: March 1, 2024

Her dad said nothing could hurt their relationship. But what if he isn’t her dad?

Summer gets off to a rocky start for twenty-year-old Rae Riley when the ex-wife of family friend Jason Carlisle claims their youngest child isn’t his and Rae’s con man uncle Troy returns to Marlin County, Ohio. Rae is already at odds with her father, Sheriff Walter “Mal” Malinowski, over her desire to help people in trouble. When she extends that help to Troy and Jason’s ex-wife, Ashley, she and Mal clash even more.

Then Ashley disappears, and Jason and his brother Rick are the main suspects. As Rae and her aunt Carrie, a private investigator hired to protect Jason’s kids, work to discover what really happened to Ashley, Rae wrestles with Troy’s insinuations that she may be calling the wrong Malinowski “Dad.”


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About the Author

JPC Allen started her writing career in second grade with an homage to Scooby Doo. She’s been tracking down mysteries ever since. Her Christmas mystery “A Rose from the Ashes” was the first Rae Riley mystery and a Selah-finalist at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2020. Her first Rae Riley novel, A Shadow on the Snow, released in 2021. Online, she offer tips and prompts to ignite the creative spark in every kind of writer. She also leads workshops for tweens, teens and adults, encouraging them to discover the adventure of writing. Coming from a long line of Mountaineers, she’s a life-long Buckeye.


More form JPC

Readers Deserve a Reward

I may be unusual, or just plain weird, but thinking of my ending first is the common way I approach a new story. It seems to help me to know my destination before I set out on the adventure of writing a story. I can take any number of routes to reach my destination and wandering around and exploring detours is a lot of the fun of writing. But by keeping my destination in mind, I don’t get lost. Or at least, not easily.

The other thing I keep in mind about my ending is that it’s a reward for the reader. I’m relatively new to publishing and not well known. So when readers take a chance on one of my stories, I believe it’s my job to reward their risk with an atypical, satisfying ending. Now I do work hard to make the whole story satisfying with things like an attention-grabbing opening and tension-building scenes. But endings, I think, are special to readers. This is the part that lingers in their minds when they close the book–whether it’s a sense of satisfaction, like the pleased feeling you have after a delicious meal, or anger or exasperation because the ending let them down.

I work to make all parts of the ending satisfying–the climax, denouement or wrap-up, and the last lines. For the climax, readers of my mysteries deserve more thant just the good guys solving the puzzle and catching the bad guy. I plan an action-packed, suspenseful climax that has readers living the final confrontation with the main character and it resolves itself in a way that, I hope, surprises readers.

Denouements are so critical to mysteries, when the detective explains how he solved the case. But they can also be deadly dull because the explanation needs to be thorough to meet the expectations of mystery fans. So in A Storm of Doubts, I split up the explanation–a lot of it is revealed during the climax, so I don’t bore readers by piling up a discussion of the solution in one chapter.

The final scene and last lines are areas I spend a good deal of thought on. Even if this scene was my inspiration for the entire story, how it plays in my head and how it plays on the page are two very different things. I also think the last scene and lines have a certain rhythm to them, like the final bars of a song. My job is make the scene round off the story without staying too long in it.

So when you read A Storm of Doubts, I’d love to know what you think of the ending. Because you do deserve a reward.

Author Interview

  • What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

A horrible writing process doesn’t equal a horrible book. I have never struggled so much with a story of any kind before. For a long time, I couldn’t even start this book because several reviewers had said I had too many characters. So I tried to pare down the cast. I finally realized I couldn’t, so I included family trees and a roster of characters at the beginning. I didn’t so much write and grind out words. When I finally got the first draft done and began editing, I was stunned that the story was actually good. Now I really like it and think I grew as a writer through the challenge of completing STORM.


  • Do you read the genre you write? Why or why not?

I grew up on mysteries and still love them, so that’s what I read and that’s what I write. Because I know the genre backwards and forwards, I have confidence when I plot my stories that I’m delivering what readers expect.


  • How did you come up with the title for your book?

I did research and took a poll. The working title was A Storm in Summer. But when I put that into Amazon and Goodreads, I found a lot of books had that title. I wanted a title that would stand out. So I tried different ones and came up with A Storm of Doubts and A Summer of Storms. I polled my newsletter subscribers and chose A Storm of Doubts because it sums up my mystery so well.


  • What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?

If you can’t write a lot, write a little. Another reason I had such a terrible time with this novel was I never felt I had the time to write it. Than author Bettie Boswell said to just write a page. If I sat long enough to write a page, I’d probably write more. She was correct. If you don’t have several hours to devote to your writing, writing a page here and there. All those pages added together make a novel.

  • Is your writing space pristine or organized chaos?

I don’t really have a writing space. Yet another reason this book was so hard to write is that I developed severe pain in my back, shoulder, and arm from writing. My writing space is wherever I can write without pain. That usually means a recliner in the living room or bedroom. The desk where I’m supposed to write is now used a complicated filing cabinet.

Blog Stops

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Beauty in the Binding, May 9 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 10

Guild Master, May 11 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 12

A Reader’s Brain , May 13 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 13

Texas Book-aholic, May 14

For the Love of Literature, May 15 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 16

Vicky Sluiter, May 17 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, JPC is giving away the grand prize package of all four books in the Rae Riley mystery series, a $25 Amazon gift card, and an Ohio tumbler with lid filled with buckeye candies!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.