Monday, June 26, 2017

The Copper Box: the Story Behind the Story by Suzanne Bratcher and #giveaway

The Copper Box: the Story Behind the Story

Today we welcome Suzanne J. Bratcher to my blog. Suzanne is very graciously offering to giveaway an ebook of The Copper Box to one person who comments. Please leave contact information. 

I lived in Flagstaff, Arizona for almost thirty years. My day job was running a writing-across-the-curriculum project at Northern Arizona University, but my heart was in fiction, particularly mysteries. Whenever I wanted to dream, I went to Jerome.

The tiny town is about fifty miles from Flagstaff, but the road winds up and down mountains and meanders along the Verde river, so the drive takes a couple of hours. I enjoyed the trip, and once I reached Jerome, I had art galleries, gift shops, and museums to explore. When I decided to get serious about writing a mystery, Jerome was the natural place to begin.                                             


Jerome advertises itself two ways:

·         Billion Dollar Copper Camp

What began as a camp of miners grew to a respectable town of 10,000 in the 1920s. Though the copper mine is long defunct, rusting equipment is scattered across the landscape, and a mountain of tailings looms over the community.

·         Largest Ghost Town in America

Eventually the ore deposits dwindled and the mines closed. By the early 1950s Jerome had dropped to a population of fewer than fifty, a true ghost town. Thirty years later the town began to reinvent itself as an art community, eventually growing to its current population of 400, making it the largest ghost town in the U.S.  

On my rambles through the area, an inhabited Victorian house across the road from a dilapidated shack caught my attention as the perfect site for a mystery. I had the basic ingredients for the setting: history, ghosts, and two houses.


Next I needed characters. I considered the Victorian house. A young woman with long curly copper hair sat on the porch in a wicker swing. She said, “Hi! I’m Marty.” A four-year-old girl with golden hair skipped up the driveway. Marty watched her with a troubled expression. Somehow I knew little Ruthie was dead and Marty was afraid she was responsible. My first ghost.

I turned my attention to the tumbledown house across the road. Historian Paul Russell, needing a haircut and a shave, came out of the front door and collapsed in an old wooden Adirondack chair. Wiping the sweat off his face with the hem of his tee shirt, he said, “My wife Linda had great plans for this house, but she died before we made much progress.” Running a hand through his dark hair, he mumbled, “Car wreck. My fault.” My second ghost.

I knew Marty and Paul were destined to be together, and I guessed they would meet over a dead body. Perhaps the old lady who lived in the Victorian house: Marty’s grandmother, Paul’s neighbor. I saw Marty run out of the house, trip on the porch steps in her high-heeled sandals, and fall into Paul’s arms.


The plot began to develop. Granny Lois was dead, so she couldn’t help Marty solve the mystery of Ruthie’s death. Because Marty couldn’t remember how Ruthie died, she needed to find something that could unlock her memory: an antique copper box.

I was writing a suspenseful mystery, so I knew a killer lurked in the shadows, someone else who wanted the copper box. As Marty and Paul searched the house, dangerous accidents began to happen. If you’re curious about the rest of the story, The Copper Box is available on Amazon.

 links to buy The Copper Box from Amazon: Kindle =

About the author:

A preacher’s kid, Suzanne Bratcher grew up in churches in four states. A passionate reader, she began writing as a young girl. After graduating from Baylor University, Suzanne became a writing teacher. Over the course of her career, she taught high schoolers, college undergraduates, and public school teachers. Suzanne continued to write: publishing professional articles, two textbooks, short stories, and poetry. The Copper Box, mystery shot with suspense and sprinkled with romance, is her debut novel. It is available in eBook and paperback at Visit her webpage at and her Facebook page at


Marilyn R. said...

Suzanne Bratcher is a new author to me. The Copper Box will be an intriguing read knowing about the background and Jerome. Thank you for the giveaway Suzanne. marilynridgway78 [at] gmail[dot]com

Unknown said...

As Suzanne Bratcher's publisher, I enjoyed this book very much. It was one that "hit me." I loved it, and I'm so glad we published it. After meeting Suzanne, I knew I had made the right choice. Thanks for being one of Mantle Rock Publisher's authors, Suzanne.

Rose McCauley said...

Love what I've read about this book. Hope I am picked to win a copy! rosemccauleywritesatgmaildotcom

Pam Harris, author said...

Love Arizona, and Jerome is so unique!

Cafinated-Reads Molly said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing a new to me author! MollyATcafinatedreadsDOTcom

cjajsmommy said...

As I read this interview, I found myself becoming increasingly interested in reading this book. djragno at hotmail dot com

lollipops said...

congratulations, Rose~

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