Running Out?

Cheryl Hollon 2Cheryl Hollon and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and the Tampa Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. A mystery conference addict, she regularly attends SleuthFest in Florida, Malice Domestic in Washington, D.C., and New England Crime Bake in Dedham, MA. Cheryl and her husband live in St. Petersburg, FL in a 1920’s Craftsman Bungalow. Learn more at

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Pane & Suffering

Shards of Murder

Will I ever run out of types of glass art to feature in my mysteries?

The Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery Series features a different type of glass art in each book. You might think I would soon run out of subject material, but I’ve written three books and plotted out another three with no sign of running out of glass art ideas.

In the first book, Pane and Suffering, the focus is stained glass for both students and professionals. It also covers the difficulties encountered when producing large panels for church windows. These challenges are fun to write about. For research, I audited a beginner’s class in my local glass shop to get the details right for my main character, Savannah Webb, when she unexpectedly needs to teach a stained glass workshop.

In Shards of Murder, the recently released second book, Savannah is teaching a workshop that focuses on fused glass art. This technique uses a large kiln to heat the glass at extremely high temperatures to form dishes, platters, vases and jewelry. I now have lots of fused glass jewelry to wear at book signings and conferences.

I’m currently working on the final edits for the third book, Cracked to Death. The glass topic in this mystery centers on methods for recycling glass. The workshop employs many techniques for using discarded glass bottles and transforms them from abandoned trash to new artwork treasure.

The next three books in the series will concentrate on the following: etching glass, glass blowing and bead making. In preparation for writing about these techniques, I’ve researched each topic. I’ve created sand etched crystal books featuring the cover for each mystery. I’ve not only taken instruction in glass blowing, but also traveled on a cruise that had a glass blowing shop with daily demonstrations – what a nice sacrifice for my art. For the bead working mystery, I will be signing up with a local business that teaches lampworking skills.

Will I run out of glass art categories to feature in each book? I don’t think so. Glass art covers such a broad range of specialties, I fear I’ll run out of ways to plot murders long before I run out of different types of glass art.

Shards of MurderAbout Shards of Murder:

When a glass-making competition turns deadly, glass shop owner Savannah Webb must search for a window into a criminal’s mind…

As the new proprietor of Webb’s Glass Shop, Savannah has been appointed to fill her late father’s shoes as a judge for the Spinnaker Arts Festival, held in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. With her innovative glass works, the clear winner is Megan Loyola, a student of Savannah’s former mentor.

But when Megan doesn’t show up to accept her $25,000 award, rumors start flying. And when Savannah discovers the woman’s dead body on festival grounds, the police immediately suspect her of murder. To keep from appearing before a judge herself, Savannah sorts through the broken pieces of glass scattered around the victim for clues as to who took this killer competition too far. . .