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Monday, January 29, 2018

The Muse Who Wouldn’t Shut Up by Sandra Carey Cody


Please welcome Sandra Carey Cody to Discover Yourself. She has a great Muse post!

A writer’s relationship with her muse is a delicate, sometimes unpredictable, thing.
I wrote An Uncertain Path at my muse’s insistence. It’s a sequel to Love and Not Destroy, which was intended to be a standalone. After writing five books in a series, I wanted to do something different. The plan was to write a standalone, then return to my series, refreshed. With that in mind, I created a new cast of characters and a new plot, complete with a puzzle to be solved and questions to be answered. By the end of the book, the puzzle was solved, the questions answered. My protagonist, Peace Morrow, abandoned as an infant, has solved a murder and discovered her birth family. But, as often happens, the answers led to more questions. How will Peace relate to her newly-discovered family? How will they fit into her life? My muse insisted that these questions be answered. So ... I had to write another Peace Morrow mystery, one with a subplot that showed the diverse pieces of Peace’s life coming together.
All was going well until my muse became fascinated by the killer in the new book. She suggested a new path. My “Whodunit” became a “Whydunit” - not what I had planned but, truth be told, I’m glad I listened to my muse. An Uncertain Path is a dual narrative and, I believe, is a better book, more complex, more layered, than if I had stuck to the original plan.
 A tragic accident links the lives of two young women, forcing each to question things she thought were certain and setting them on a path neither could have imagined.
Peace Morrow is about the meet the birth family she’s always longed to know. Raised as a Pennsylvania Quaker, she wonders what her Virginia aristocrat family will think of her. Just as they’re getting to know one another, a careless action by one of them takes the family to the brink of disaster, straining relationships and testing loyalties.
Rachel Woodard, longing to break out of the safe world she’s always known, takes a drastic step that results in the death of a young man, setting off a chain of events that swirls outward like a pebble dropped in a pool. Should she live a lie to preserve her own life? What if the lie hurts no one and will save the people she loves from heartbreak?
Struggling to control the fury that threatened to explode within her, Rachel got in the car and started the engine, looking at the road ahead.
Tony went to front of the car. There he stopped and spread his arms wide.
“Get out of the way!”
“Not until you talk to me.”
“There’s nothing more to say.”
He stared at her, but did not move.
“I’ll run over you if I have to.”
He didn’t budge.
Rachel started to shake. “I mean it. I will.”
“You know you won’t.” And then he sealed his fate. He grinned at her, the same grin he’d used to win every argument since fifth grade. 
Rachel’s foot was on the accelerator. She leaned back, gripped the wheel, and moved the gear shift lever. She felt the car move.
Tony moved with it. His eyes widened, his mouth formed a large oh, his head moved side to side. He stumbled back, but still, he remained squarely in front of the car.
Rachel felt her body tense and, unbelievably, as if of its own volition, the car shot forward. She watched as Tony seemed to dive onto the hood, then slide, slow motion, off to the side. She saw his feet go up, his body flip sideways and disappear from view. 
She stared through the windshield, to the spot where, seconds ago, Tony had stood, grinning at her, blocking her way. Now there was nothing. She looked to the side where he’d fallen, waiting for him to get up.
He didn’t.
She got out of the car and walked around to the other side.
He lay face down by the side of the road, next to his bicycle, still as a broken doll.
Sandra Carey Cody grew up in a story-loving family in Missouri. Her husband’s job transfers took her to various cities in different parts of the country until they settled down in a small town near Philadelphia. Wherever she’s gone, books have been the bridge to her new life and new friends. Her published works include the Jennie Connors mystery series, assorted short stories, and two books featuring Peace Morrow: Love and Not Destroy and An Uncertain Path. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and teaches at the Pearl S. Buck Writing Center.


  1. Thanks for hosting me, Brenda. This is a fun blog and I'm proud to be a part of it today.

    1. You are welcome. I'm so happy you're here and wanted to share with my Discover readers!

  2. And, muses and Godde’s Spirit. Always leading us to places we hadn’t planned. :-)

    1. Except when they're quiet, which is much worse than when they lead us down uncertain paths. Thanks for stopping by, Beth.

  3. This sounds likes a really intense but very intriguing story! Glad you followed your muse to write it.

    1. Thanks, Karen. It's never a good idea to ignore your muse. She might refuse to speak to you and then you really have no place to go.