How Do You Feel About Controversy? (and my new release)

by Kassandra Lamb

Marcia’s busy today, so she gave me permission to play in her sandbox while she’s gone… 😀

I’ve taken some risks with my latest Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mystery, and I’d love to hear your take on it. Here’s the gist of it from a post I did earlier in the week.


Some people don’t mind controversy; a few even thrive on it. And with social media, these two groups seem to have found their voices more and more lately.

But I’m in the group that pretty much hates controversy. I sit on my hands at least once a day, resisting the temptation to get into it with someone on Facebook or Twitter. It just isn’t worth the stress.


In my Kate Huntington mysteries, I have often touched on somewhat controversial social issues. I’ve been fortunate that they have been well received. I really enjoyed writing those books, but more recently I’ve been having fun with a lighter cozy mystery series about a service dog trainer.

I thought I had left the somewhat darker topics behind. My muse, however, had a different idea. She spun out a story in my head that involves two less-than-likeable characters who are members of groups that normally inspire high levels of sympathy in people.

In my new release, I have a crabby paraplegic veteran, who has an unhealthy obsession with his sister’s love life, and a brash, hard-to-like sexual assault survivor.

My main character, Marcia Banks, doesn’t particularly care for either of these people when she first meets them. And she feels guilty about that. How can you dislike a veteran in a wheelchair? she asks herself.

But the reality is that people in most groups come in all sizes, shapes, and personality types. And some of them aren’t going to be likeable. (READ MORE of original post)

Nonetheless, I’m feeling a bit of trepidation as this book releases. I know I will get blow-back from some folks. I hope it doesn’t get too nasty.

What do you think? Am I worrying for nothing?

Here’s the scoop on the new release:

Patches in the Rye cover

Patches in the Rye, A Marcia Banks and Buddy Mystery, Book 5

Nothing about her new client is what service dog trainer Marcia Banks expected—from the posh house that says family money to his paranoid preoccupation with his sister’s love life—but when he dangles a thousand-dollar retainer under her nose, she can’t resist playing private detective.

In between training sessions, Marcia digs into the sister’s boyfriend’s sketchy past. But the deeper she digs, the more questions arise. How is a disastrous fraternity party five years ago linked to blackmail, prostitutes, and murder today? And who’s driving the black SUV that keeps trying to turn Marcia and her dog Buddy into roadkill?

She can’t let it go, not when there are innocents at risk who are depending on her to find the truth. But the deepest, darkest truth is the one she wishes she never uncovered.

Just $0.99 for a limited time on:




21 thoughts on “How Do You Feel About Controversy? (and my new release)

  1. I don’t enjoy controversy but I’m with you. Unless we write utopian fantasy, we have to reflect the variety of people, good and bad, that exist in the world.It sounds like a great read, Kassandra. Good luck with your release!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree with olganm. As you say yourself, every category of person whether they’re disabled or not will reflect a broad spectrum of character traits. I expect there will be some people who are upset that someone seen as a vulnerable character is portrayed in a less than kindly light but that shouldn’t stop you. Just because someone’s in a wheelchair it doesn’t make them a saint and does make for an interesting conflict within the book. Good luck with it!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I avoid anything overtly political in my stories, largely because I want to sell books to the widest array of readers possible, and not just to people who look at things the same way I do. But I don’t think I would consider this case in the same vein as that sort of controversy. This is about two very specific people, and let’s face it, some people are not nice folks, whether life has slapped them around or not. Being a victim of a devastating injury may or may not change that. Probably not, if we are realistic. It’s far more unreasonable to think that every single person in a similar situation is going to become a lovely, well-adjusted sort you’d want to have for a best friend, especially if they weren’t that way to start with.

    I think your story will hinge more on how you’ve told it than on whether a reader feels insulted on behalf of every paraplegic veteran or abuse victim, everywhere. It’s just THESE two people you’re talking about, and I’m sure you’ve made certain that’s clear. And you’ve made me want to read the book to see exactly how you’ve handled it. But right now, I must get back to things I have to take care of before tomorrow.

    BEST of luck with this one, Kass. I think it sounds great! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Marcia! I hope you do read it eventually but I understand you are super busy right now. I’m excited for you!

      I did make0 the point several times that they have histories that explain why they are the way they are. And definitely the injuries/trauma they both suffered would not improve already shaky mental health. I’m praying any negative reviews will have the effect you mention, making people want to read it to see how everything is handled. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have no doubt at all you handled it well, Kass. I’m just eager to see the way you did it. We learn so much from each other, right? I find myself going, “Yes!” Fist pump. “Well played, author so-and-so!” And I try to take those lessons to heart for when I’m working my own characters through something difficult. (NOT meaning to take anyone’s ideas or words, of course. Just learning the types of things that work, as opposed to the ones that seem clunky and forced.)

        I’m on a brief break right now, between loads of laundry, packing, making sure the shelves are stocked while I’m gone, so Mark will have something to eat, etc, etc, etc. Also making sure I’ve scheduled things that need to go forth while I’m away, and the like. You’d think I was traveling to the other side of the world for six months, instead of the other side of the state for less than a week! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on the new releae Kassandra. I’m not big on controversy or confrontation either. Sounds like this book will open up conversations. I wish you good readers who can take in the story and issues and not be judgmental. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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