Death by Chaos by Renaii West

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Author | 0 comments

What happens in college, stays in college—or does it?  Is 20 years later too late for the truth of that chaotic night, resulting in death to be revealed?

Those are some of the questions addressed in my debut novel, Death by Chaos.  

Inspired by my own college experience, and my love of Greek mythology, puzzles, and character-driven cozy mysteries, I created four main characters, Tasha, Elizabeth, Dawn, and Miranda, who were the undisputed goddesses of their Southern California liberal arts college and appeared predestined to be forever traveling on that path called the Charmed Life. But, in a tragic twist of fate, just before graduation, in 1973, a student is found murdered on campus.  Suspicion falls in their midst, and one of them goes missing.   The case goes cold, and for the next two decades, secrets are kept, and suspicions linger. And one of the four goddesses continues to be haunted by the chaos of that night and what followed. With an upcoming college reunion, and an arrival of a handsome stranger on a motorcycle bringing even more turmoil to her life, she believes the time is right to finally revisit the past, uncover the secrets, expose the truth and while she is at it, rekindle the lost passions of her roommates. To do this without drawing the attention of those who wish the case to remain unsolved will require good acting, deception, and maybe a little divine intervention.

As a Boomer myself, I had such fun revisiting that era defined by Woodstock, the counterculture, and the second-wave of feminism.  It was an exciting time to be a young woman; on one hand there were numerous new opportunities being presented to us, but there was still some baggage left from the Leave it to the Beaver era, in which were raised.  New territory was navigated and new ground rules were established.  

As someone who embraced the sisterhood is powerful philosophy, it was important to me to create four distinct characters, who were not the stereotypical female rivals, but young women who empowered and supported each other.  It was also important for the characters to be intelligent, ambitious and to possess different skills that they could bring not only to their friendship but to resolving the mystery.  

I have been writing and performing from an early age. After earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I became the dramatic arts instructor in a performing arts program, where I wrote and directed many of my own productions. At some point, I signed up for a belly dance class, just for the exercise, and before I knew it, I spent over a decade, performing at restaurants, street fairs, and other fun venues.  The creative satisfaction of choreographing and the camaraderie I felt with my fellow-dancers inspired me to spread my creative wings and thus, Death by Chaos was born.  I am thrilled to share I had the pleasure and honor of winning The IndieReader Discovery Award, Women’s Issues and was a finalist in the Mystery category in The Independent Author Network Book of the Year. 

After hours of writing and then rewriting the novel, I developed such affection for my characters, and I find I am still experiencing some separation anxiety.  Readers have inquired if there will be a sequel, that will also provide the final resolution.    And the answer is yes, just not right away.  I am currently finishing up my second novel, with plans for it to be published and available in the spring of 2022.  Although the plot will revolve around a different set of characters, I think the readers will find this merry mix of belly dancers and fire performers delightful in their quirkiness and their loyalty to each other.  Hopefully readers will appreciate how resourceful and creative they are when it comes to solving an unsettling mystery involving one their own.  

When Death by Chaos first came out, many of my friends commented that they too had a story inside them and was interesting in writing.  I encouraged them to go for it, letting them know there are so many wonderful resources such as the Authors Lounge, that will help authors, both the rookies and the vets, publish and promote their books.  It is truly a good time to be an independent author.  

I would like to thank Author’s Lounge for letting me promote my current book, Death by Chaos

announce my upcoming second novel, still to be titled (I have found deciding on the final title to be a challenging task) and to share my journey in the writing process.  

If you would like to know more about me, Death by Chaos, and future books, please visit and feel free to say hi.:

Twitter: RenaiiW


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