female sleuth

Free Mystery Feature July 2022 | Lucky Punch: A Kira Brightwell Short Story

Lucky Punch Kira Brightwell cover

A nice, relaxing vacation. After all the mystery and mayhem over the past several months, a tropical getaway seems like just what Kira Brightwell needs.

With only her best friend for company and no one back home aware of their location (detective friend, persistent sidekick, and nosy reporters included), Kira can finally unwind and try to forget. Maybe enjoy a cool, refreshing cocktail on the beach.

But wherever Kira goes, trouble always follows only a step behind.

A stand-alone story from the Kira Brightwell mystery series by Jacquelyn Smith. If you enjoy a fun, tropical escapade, grab this book.

Now you can read it for free on this site for one month only. This short story also comes in ebook and paperback format–both on its own, and as part of the Six Stitches Kira Brightwell Collection.


Lucky Punch: A Kira Brightwell Short Story

Jacquelyn Smith

This story will be available for free for one month only, which is now over. The next free story will be posted on October 1st. You can keep an eye out for it here.


Recommend, rate, and review:

Posted by Jacquelyn in Free Mystery Feature, 0 comments

Free Mystery Feature April 2022 | Clean Break: A Kira Brightwell Short Novel

Clean Break Kira Brightwell coverKira Brightwell needs a change of scenery.

A relaxing, solo trip to Toronto to visit her grandparents seems like a good idea. No nosy reporters, no criminals to take down, and (most importantly) no self-appointed sidekick Trevor Wright.

…But from the moment Kira steps off the plane from California, nothing goes according to plan.

A stand-alone short novel misadventure from the Kira Brightwell mystery series by Jacquelyn Smith.

Now you can read it for free on this site for one month only. This short story also comes in ebook and paperback format–both on its own, and as part of the Second Warning Kira Brightwell Collection.


Clean Break: A Kira Brightwell Short Novel

Jacquelyn Smith

This story will be available for free for one month only, which is now over. The next free story will be posted on July 1st. You can keep an eye out for it here.


Recommend, rate, and review:

Posted by Jacquelyn in Free Mystery Feature, 0 comments

Meet Kira Brightwell’s Canadian Cousin: Mackenzie Quinn

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

I wrote a lot of Kira Brightwell adventures last year during the first six months of the pandemic. (All shorts, but still.) Honestly, if I hadn’t had a set schedule already in place to write all those stories during that time, I probably would have got a bit crazy. (Crazier?)

I still love Kira, and I definitely have future plans for her, but I kinda got burned out. The difficulty in writing a mystery series is that the stories are very much tied to the lead detective. I did try to mix things up with all those Kira shorts as much as possible to have some kind of variety and keep things fun (different locations, character focus, themes, etc.), but it’s pretty much always going to be the same main character in the same timeline.

Then I thought, ‘What if Kira had an older, Canadian cousin?’ Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Writing/Publishing Updates, 0 comments

Kira collection updates, recommendations from lockdown, plus a crazy cat story

I’m not going to lie. 2021 started off rough for me. (Like it did for so many people.) Insomnia, mental health issues, jackhammers… It was not a good time.

But now it’s June somehow, and things have turned around. The jackhammers have left the building, and I’m finally sleeping again. (Yay!) More importantly, I’m finally getting some work done.

It’s a little early to talk about, but I do have a new mystery project in the works… And I’ve been hard at work designing and formatting the paperback versions of the latest Kira Brightwell collections that came out late 2020/early 2021. The sticking point has been the cover design, which I’ve had to completely re-think on the collection front, but it’s finally coming together:


First Blood Kira Brightwell cover Second Warning Kira Brightwell cover Third Round Kira Brightwell cover Fourth Strike Kira Brightwell cover Down in the Fifth Kira Brightwell cover Six Stitches Kira Brightwell cover


I’ve also been enjoying some mystery-based lockdown entertainment, which I can happily recommend. Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Writing/Publishing Updates, 0 comments

Free Mystery Feature April 2021 | On the Card: A Kira Brightwell Short Story

What is the Free Mystery Feature?

So roughly a year ago, I started posting one of my short stories for free each month, over on my multi-genre website. Each story was available for one month only, before it was taken down, and another one was posted in its place. (Inspired by insanely prolific author, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Free Fiction Mondays feature.)

These stories were a mix of my mystery and fantasy work. (Mostly fantasy, since I’ve written a lot more of it at this point.) After some thought, I’ve decided it makes more sense to break these stories out onto my genre-specific websites instead.

What does this mean? Well, this site now has a blog feature, which it didn’t have before, so I’ll probably be posting updates on my mystery writing here going forward, with my multi-genre site acting more as a roundup for all my writing news. More importantly, it means this feature will only include mystery stories. As I said, I don’t have as many mystery stories as I do fantasy. So to keep this feature running for a decent amount of time, I’m going to post a free mystery story for one month of each quarter (which is roughly the same, if not somewhat better than the rate I was posting them on my multi-genre site before). Bottom line, there will be one mystery story available for free during the months of April, July, October, and January.

(Side Note: If you also happen to enjoy reading fantasy, you can check out my Free Fantasy Feature. And yes, this means that during those months listed above I’ll have two free stories available–one mystery and one fantasy.)

Make sense? Let’s kick things off with some birthday hijinks!


On the Card Kira Brightwell coverKira Brightwell needs to pay.

A problem solver for hire and local hero in her own right, Kira never sought any acclaim for her actions. She only wants to track down the man who abducted her three years ago. And maybe celebrate her birthday with some ice cream cake.

But even an unintentional path to prominence comes with collateral damage.

…And some people can never forgive and forget.

A fast-paced, stand-alone story from the Kira Brightwell mystery series by Jacquelyn Smith.

Now, you can read it for free on this site for one month only. This short story also comes in ebook and paperback format–both on its own, and as part of the Second Warning Kira Brightwell Collection.

Get the ebook at:


Buy ebook direct from the author

Paperback available at:


On the Card: A Kira Brightwell Short Story

Jacquelyn Smith

This story will be available for free for one month only, which is now over. The next free story will be posted on July 1st. You can find the most recent mystery feature here.

Posted by Jacquelyn in Free Mystery Feature