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Mysteries and Crime Fiction with a New England Twist



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Coming Fall 2024

"First Thanksgiving"

in Season's Readings: More Sweet, Funny, & Strange Holiday Tales

This story is the First Place Winner in the Bethlehem Writers Group 2023 Short Story Writing Contest.

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Published November 2023

"Icing on the Cake"

in Malice, Matrimony, and Murder: A Collection of Cozy Mystery and Crime Fiction Stories

An anthology of 25 new stories by 25 different authors as well as an overarching mega mystery.

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in Hook, Line, and Sinker The Seventh Guppy Anthology

Emily P.W. Murphy, ed. January 2023

23 original tales of grifters, con artists, and their marks


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Publish crime fiction and mystery.

Long stories and short.

I started out asking the question whether it was possible for a 50+ aged person who has never written fiction to research, write, and publish a historical mystery novel. I fell in love with writing short stories along the way. Now I'm attempting both. I will face rejections (and already have!) but hope to savor every minute of it. I know it won't be easy or quick. Join me on my journey.

March 2020. My teaching job was on hold, four teenagers and spouse at home on zoom. What was I going to do? With no plan in mind, I opened a spiral notebook and began to write. 


After a career in environmental education, Sally Milliken now writes contemporary and historical mysteries and crime fiction, trying to incorporate her love of and respect for nature in her writing. She enjoys cold water dipping in the Merrimack River with her mermaid sisters, playing ice hockey with the Clippers and the Panthers, and creating bowls on the pottery wheel. She and her family live in coastal Massachusetts.



May 2024
'Vexation River' my WIP historical mystery based in 1882 Newburyport, MA made the Short List of the Historical Novel Society First Chapters competition in the Crime/Mystery Category. Amateur sleuth, Budding scientist, Gilded Age, small city on the coast...what's not to love! The ten entries proceed to the next round where they will be judged by HNS editors. Hoping for some great feedback to improve the manuscript. Good luck all!

January 2024 
My story 'Adam-13' is the winner of the 2023 'Golden Donut Short Story Contest' from the Police Writer's Academy. The prompt was a photo of a skeleton wearing a police uniform and the story must have exactly 200 words. No more, no less. A challenge!




by Sally Milliken


“Kent’s already on set,” Associate Producer Lia called as her head appeared in the makeup room doorway.

“Is Martin nearly ready for his closeup? We’re losing our light.”

“Hang on, he just needs a touch up of powder. His cheeks are shiny, that’s all,” I answered.

“Great.” She nodded. “I’ll send an intern to walk him to set.”

As soon as Martin was out of the chair, I followed, stopping next to Kathy. As a hair stylist, she was ready with brush in hand.

“I’m sorry the hat is covering the style work you did on Martin.”

“Thanks. Comes with the territory, though.” She shrugged. “You know how it is.”

“Mmmhmm. I’m using tricks I never even imagined.”

“Me too. After his hair flew off during the chase scene yesterday, I thought that would be the end.”

“Not that I’m complaining about steady work,” I began, “but how long are we gonna milk this thing?”

“As long as we bring in the money, the brass wants us to keep going.”

“Martin’s been dead for eight years.”

“Damn, nobody move, his tooth fell out again.”

“That’s a wrap for today, everyone.”

Judges’ comments about the winning story – We really enjoyed reading this submission and it stood out because it was so different to any of the other stories. There was almost a sense of dark comedy about it and we thought the twist at the end was super. The visual detail gave a great sense of setting and we thought the plot built well towards the final line. It also worked well with the photo. Well done!

January 2024
My story "Canary in the Coal Mine" was chosen as the January selection for Stone's Throw, the online Magazine for Rock and a Hard Place Press. The theme for the month was about characters emboldened by success and how that new confidence might be the very thing that brings them down. Read the story here:
At the end of the year, it will be combined in an anthology with the other 11 stories from each month, each with a different theme.

November 23, 2023

The anthology Malice, Matrimony and Murder was released today. Huge thank you to organizer and editor Marla Bradeen. Hurrah! 

Dru's Book Musings post:

June 2023
My story "First Thanksgiving" won First Place in the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC 2023 Short Story Writing Contest. The story will be published in an anthology called Season's Readings: More Sweet, Funny, & Strange Holiday Tales in the fall of 2024. Many thanks to the Bethlehem Writers Group and judge Barb Goffman for this huge honor.

May/June 2023
Kickstarter campaign for Malice, Matrimony, and Murder: A Collection of Cozy Mystery and Crime Fiction Stories. This anthology of 25 new stories will be published in Fall 2023 with my story "Icing on the Cake." 
The anthology includes an overarching Wedding Whodunit that the reader can solve. Collect clues from the stories, solve the whodunit, and the reader will receive a digital download of extras in one compilation not available anywhere else. Extras include recipes, character interviews, bonus stories, and more!

January 2023
First Publication! My short story "Trailblazer" is published in Hook, Line, and Sinker The Seventh Guppy Anthology. Emily P.W. Murphy, ed. and cover designer. Thank you Guppies! Absolutely thrilled.

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