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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Debra Mares, author of The Mamacita Murders

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Debra Mares' The Mamacita Murders Virtual Book Publicity Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book.

About Debra:

Debra is the granddaughter of a Mexican migrant farm worker and factory seamstress, was born and raised in Los Angeles, is the first to graduate college in her family, and grew up dancing Ballet Folklorico and Salsa. Debra followed a calling at eleven years old to be an attorney and voice for women, currently lives in Orange County, and appreciates international travel and culture. She has been a county prosecutor in Riverside, California since 2004 and is assigned to the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit. Debra has prosecuted cases ranging from gang homicides and domestic violence to political corruption and major fraud. Debra co-founded Women Wonder Writers, a community outreach organization and co-created The Write of Your Life, a mentorship and writing program for at-risk young women throughout Riverside County. The Mamacita Murders is Debra’s first novel and first in a series of legal thrillers and chick lit mysteries. 

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Debra!

Debra has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.

10 Motives to Kill
by Debra Mares
Attorney and Author of The Mamacita Murders

Crime fiction is sometimes the most legally thrilling when it’s written in the killer’s point of view.  For example, Lawrence Block wrote Hitman in assassin Keller’s point of view.  Block wrote scenes in Hope to Die, a Matthew Scudder novel, in the killer’s point of view, saying for him, it’s an “easy psyche to inhabit.”  In Jack and Jill and First to Die, James Patterson walks us through crime scenes in the eyes of the killer.  It’s creepy and I love it.  Sometimes I get chills and sometimes I laugh. 

The Mamacita Murders is written from prosecutor Gaby Ruiz’s point of view, not the killer’s.  But Gaby has seen plenty of crime scenes and has been exposed to many sick psyches of killers.  So, why do people kill?  At a first glance, it usually appears over something trivial, like cutting someone off the road or having empty pockets during a robbery.  But, the reasons are far more complex.  Knowing the killer’s motive from the start helps the writer weave the killer’s dramatic need through each scene. 

Here are 10 random motives to kill that crime novelists can use for their plot when writing in the killer’s point of view:

1.             Obsession
2.             Jealousy
3.             Rage
4.             Disrespect
5.             Revenge
6.             Drugs
7.             PTSD
8.             Failure to Protect
9.             Fear of Abandonment
10.         Money

With obsession and jealousy, I’m talking about the “Fatal Attraction” type of stalking.  The murderer becomes obsessed with a person and fixated on them or anyone they become involved with, leading to the murder.  With rage and disrespect, the murderer was dismissed in their lives at some point, not given a voice or heard, and devalued to some extent.  When it happens again, they are triggered to carry out the murder.  With revenge, there may be a long history of abuse or other problems leading the murderer to seek revenge for something tucked away in their past.  Every person that triggers the insecurity can suffer the wrath of revenge by a murderous monster.

With drugs, a murderer can be so desperate for money to buy drugs that they rob, steal or break into a car or house, which leads them to the murderous event.  With PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the murderer may have been abused in the past, leading them into dysfunctional relationships where they enter the cycle of violence and become part of the murder.  With failure to protect, the murderer could be so codependent on her family, that she gets too aggressive with her child or leaves the child with a dangerous person refusing to protect her, leading to the murder.  With fear of abandonment, the murderer can be abandoned in their lives at some point.  When it happens again, they are triggered to carry out the murder.  When money is the motive, the murderer kills for greed, murder-for-hire, life insurance policies, to put a competitor out of business, during a robbery, or to reap the benefit of a will.  People who place such a low value on the life of the victim will kill for money.

Do you think it’s important to know the killer’s motive to kill?  What are some other motives you’ve written or read about?  Have you written from the point of view of a killer?  Do you enjoy reading in the killer’s point of view? 

Feel free to send your thoughts to  I’d love to hear what you think. 

Thanks so much for joining us today, Debra!

One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of chick-lit mystery novel, The Mamacita Murders.

When Laura, a seventeen year old key witness goes missing during trial, Assistant Prosecutor Gaby Ruiz is called to action. Ruiz investigates the sexual assault on Laura, who is left for dead in a motel in a drug- and gang-ridden community. Did Clown, Laura’s boyfriend, try to kill her when she tried to leave the Lincoln Gang’s prostitution ring or – did a random assailant ransack Laura’s room and assault her or – or did law enforcement try to kill Laura to protect one of their own?  The investigation twists from the backwoods in Tuckford County to the back rooms of law enforcement buildings all the way to the Walled City.

Gabriela Ruiz is a sex crimes prosecutor in Tuckford County and runs The Mamacita Club, a community outreach effort from her chrome Vintage Airstream motorhome. She travels with her girlfriends around the county to reach at-risk women. Women affected by drugs, gang and domestic violence, sex crimes, and broken homes–they’re all in The Mamacita Club. Gaby has spent all of her professional life seeking justice for others. But it is not until Laura goes missing, that Gaby is able to start searching for justice for herself and begin to fix her own guilt-ridden past for not protecting her mom from an abusive relationship–this time to save her own life and seek closure over her own mother’s death.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below. 

This giveaway is open to Canada/US addresses only until 12:01 AM EST on June 21, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Participants

Monday, June 4
Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at Lori’s Reading Corner

Tuesday, June 5
Guest Blogging at Literarily Speaking

Wednesday, June 6
Guest Blogging at The Book Faery Reviews

Monday, June 11
Interview at Blogcritics

Tuesday, June 12
Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at Good Choice Reading

Thursday, June 14
Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook

Friday, June 15
Book Spotlight & Book Giveaway at Celtic Lady’s Reviews
Book Review at Bibliophilic Book Blog

Monday, June 18
Interview at Examiner

Wednesday, June 20

Thursday, June 21
Interview at The Plot Thickens

Friday, June 22
Interview at Literarily Speaking


  1. Hey Darlene, thanks for stopping by the blog :)

  2. I always love to read about a murderer's motives, and often times I end up liking them...and sometimes even supporting them. I am reminded of The Architect, which is about an architect who is obsessed with perfection, and kills people to "restore" a family. I found him intriguing, and I found myself mad at the police investigators while reading the novel.

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  3. I think a good, but mostly, hidden, motive is the key to any mystery. I certainly have not read much from the killer's POV, that would be a bit disconcerting to me.

  4. While it might be facsinating to some to try and understand the killer's P.O.V, it wouldn't be to me. It'll just be distracting and downright creepy.

  5. I too like to read the motives of the murderer. I want to know what makes them tick and why they are as messed up as they are. Like Lillian said, you sometimes feel sorry for them even.

  6. I love reading crime novels and I don't want to be able to guess the identity of the killer until the end - I like to know the motive(s)because it gives a structure to the book no matter what the actual motive is - I recently read a book from the killers point of view - an interesting perspective

  7. I'm overly interested in murders. Sometimes there's a reason, sometimes there's not. I'd love to know if they killed someone out of happenstance, planning it out, or if they wore a purple shirt.

  8. I love to try and figure out who the killer is and I like to know why they killed. Sometimes I like to read from their point.

  9. I like to know the motives of the killer and I only want to read his/her point of view for a short period of time.

  10. I think it is very important to know the motives of the killer. The thing is a motive could be anything from dark thoughts about someone snapping their gum to revenge LOL However, it certainly makes for a more interesting read to get into the why whatever has happened :) Thank you for sharing with us today.

  11. It is important to know the motives of the killer, otherwise there is some part of the story left untold and all you have is a dead body. That's what's so cool about reading a story from the killer's point of view... while not often done, it lends a rare view into the mind of the mad.
    Lisa Hackney


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