Okay I am NOT taking Jesus’s words out of context, but “Glass Slipper” is in the hands of the publisher, and the likely date of publishing is around about August. Giving me a LOT of time to churn through a whole lot of my – ahem – 246 books on my Kindle.
Is that an addiction or a book club?
So it’s nearly Christmas. Looks like I’ll be baking my homemade rolls for a bunch’a family. These puppies are humongous and work great for turkey sammiches the day after Christmas. Or any time.
I have A LOT of books in mind (the majority are skeletalnized with some bones and some muscles/tissue/tendons. Looking forward to writing:
possible military thriller
possible follow up to the Whiskey River Series
possible cozy mystery
possible police procedural in rural Minnesota
And … I have others.
I am reading “The Kremlin Conspiracy” by Joel Rosenberg, a Christian writer and a great author with complex characters.
If you like thrillers and haven’t read his novels, check into them.
SO everyone, have a wonderful, Christ-filled Christmas, remember why we celebrate, give gifts, and sing those wonderful Christ centered songs. Merry Christmas!
And when the holidays pass, stop by again, and give me an idea of what you are reading, what you are writing, and what you think I should write!
Okay so it’s not all about Sisters in Crime, a writing club worldwide for women mystery/crime writers. I joined because they once had great articles and podcasts about writing and especially crime.
Recently, I found I’d spent needless dollars for a group which had gone totally woke. I am generally non-PC or neutral in my writing, but I am all about crime. I want to hear, read, listen to podcasts about crime writing. Not politics.
Gah. Not a crime podcast for an entire year about crime.
So I removed my emblem from my website featuring Sisters in Crime. I wrote to them via email, asking them to discontinue my subscription. And I’d like my money back. I’m off their facebook site. Just. No.
No, I don’t have to tell you about our pampered chickens. So on I go.
I was asked to endorse a book by Mary Felkins and I read it in a day *and it rivals the length of a Tom Clancy book* (I’ve been told I read fast). The name of it is “Sweeter With You,” a wonderful book coming up this month from Elk Lake Publishing.
Not to give away the plot but it’s an amazing reminder of how God wants us, heart and soul, 100%, how he gives us gifts for a season, then we move on according to his will. Being in the presence of the Lord on a daily basis, reading and praying, takes our pride away and turns it into a new and blessed gift. If we ignore it, we will have missed the opportunity to learn and grow.
When “Sweeter With You” is on the shelf, please, please pick this up. It’s a romance and two people, struggling with God’s will, somewhat like Jacob (but different … )
I’m excited to see this book on the shelf this month!
Do you have the discipline to write, read, and get down time in your day?
I DO NOT.
Because I have a contract for “Glass Slipper,” I have been binge-writing. I need time to do some more reading.
Have you a cloning machine? Do you need to have a cloning machine? Me too … and the writing one needs to type faster and rewrite as consciously as possible.
AND NOW WE HAVE CHICKENS.
I think they are mostly roosters but I can’t tell. Yet. So we handle these chicks a lot.
Barred Rock Chickens (these are pullets- very young hens. I think they are pullets)
Hopefully they’ll be at this point SOON. (Hens, right here) 6-8 pound hens.
I know you have projects (like gardens, knitting, baking, cooking for huge families, cows, chickens, goats, sheep, etc), and I want to know what takes up your time – eating into reading and writing!
Writers, tell me please your process. I love hearing from other authors what their process is, do you write by the seat of your pants? Do you plan? Do you do both? How do you build your characters? Before, during, or after the inciting incident? Do you interview them beforehand like you’re the journalist, or use a program?
And last, do you know the beginning, middle, and end before you start? Truth be told I flailed through my first manuscript. I found for my next novel, a software to help develop plot, characters, plot arc, and character arc. So I guess I’m a planster. A bit of both, seat of the pants and planning.
AND my corkboard. So old school, but nothing gets LOST in the midst of a downed internet.
OKAY. Your turn.
Your favorite genre (to write/read)
Planner, pantster, or planster?
Binge reader? Binger writer? Or both?
Now it is YOUR turn. Like, subscribe, comment, share (if you so want).
I have to admit, my writing has taken over. Last night, I do believe I made significant progress on Glass Slipper. Got about (ahem) 2 sentences written. Hahahahaha.
I have thrown a partial of forensics/police procedural to author, Brent Brantley, to make certain I have my facts correct. BTW, Brent wrote “You Cannot Grasp the River.” Oh, what great book!
OKAY FINE. So I have a list of books I’m itching to READ *like Jane Daly, LG Westlake. I finished the Beta on Linda Rodante’s “Scars,” and loved it. She doesn’t pull away from the pain of characters who really, really deal with life issues.
So now, drum roll, here is my next list (considering I keep purchasing books this could be daunting).
Lynette Easton’s, “Acceptable Risk.”
Stevn Roger’s, “Into the Room.”
Jason William Karpf’s, “The Deliverer.”
Sue Colettta’s, “Marred,”
Vickie Phelp’s, “Forgive the Trespassers.”
Lisa Black’s, “Unpunished.”
Patricia Cornwell’s, “Cause of Death.”
Dale Amidei’s, “Sister’s Shadow.”
These are ‘just a few’ of the books on my Kindle. Not necessilary in order.
I also have (for my writing) “TONS” of DIY books and sites to help my writing. Do you? I have 1. OneStopForWriters.com (for plot, character, world building, more), and 2. ProWritingAid to check my grammar (I mean, I’d like to write English properly. You may have already noticed bloopers. I haven’t. And I don’t care in social media). 3. And I truly use old school … corkboards to put up pictures, maps, and strings to link them …
AND 4. Inked Voices for critiques (I did use Scribophile but there are rules/regs that are a wee bit much). 5. “Say What?,” “Criminal Psychology,” “Story Trumps Structure,” “Strunk and White,” “Spunk and Bite,” Police Procedural,” “Don’t Murder Your Mystery,” “60 Ways to Murder Your Characters,” (of course, that’s Sue Coletta), Katherine Ramsland’s, “The Criminal Mind,” and her “Crime Writer’s Research.” ALSO … “Emotional Beats,” “5 Secrets of Story Structure,” and perhaps my favorite, “Master Lists for Writers.” Looking across the room on a table, I see more. Without proper glasses, I cannot see ’em. Do you see a pattern?
Do you have a list of fiction? DIY sites? Books to assist in the writing process? Once again, inquiring minds want to know. If you purchase books insanely, as do I, then you are my tribe.
Please comment, let me know what’s up with your writing and reading. Do you have the same issues? What programs do you use?
Oh, and it would be too cool to drool if you purchased my Romantic/Suspense, “Romance Under Wraps,” and my global thriller, “Rules of Engagement,” jus’ sayin.’ 😉 on Amazon.
I’ve been binge reading for about 5 days. Jane Daly is coming out with a sequel to “Broken,” so I – yes – reread it, and LG Westlake has a sequel to “Calculated Risk,” so did I read it? Why, of course.
I finished Westlake’s “Calculated Encounters” yesterday. Excellent writing. Her amateur sleuth gets into trouble constantly. Her characters are well-written. Her main character never follows the orders of the ex-FBI agent, now bounty hunter, and her attempts to let her love interest (writing a ‘happily ever after, for now) know she is indeed in Spain, now gets him in deep kimchi while she’s in a horrible situation on her own. Because she didn’t follow the bounty hunter’s instructions (“go home!”).
I’m a serial binge reader, usually three at a time. I have Terri Gillespie’s novel, “Cut it Out!” (another sequel in the Hair Maven’s series) in one room, Linda Rodante’s “Scars,” on my ‘puter, her beta, and Lisa Black’s police procedural, “That Darkness,” on my Kindle.
I can keep up with the plots and characters of each, perhaps because they are all in different formats.
My favorite genres wander from romantic comedy, romantic suspense, police procedural, romantic forensics, thrillers, intrigue, and do you note the pattern there? Usually romance within the second genre, no matter how little.
I do have favorite authors but so many it’s hard to name them. Every time I turn around, I have another new favorite. SMH.
Tell me, what are you reading these days? Who are your favorite authors, and your favorite genres?
What are you writing?
First, Terri Gillespie has mad skills. Her first book was replete with four plots, one main character with three subplots and three more characters. A Christian/romantic/coming of age book with some suspense, the first in the Hair Maven’s series follows the four lives of beauticians at odds with the new owner, Shira. I’m jealous, I mean, amazed that the first book was so incredibly complex and weaves together so eloquently.
Second, I’ve been following/reading Linda Rodante’s Christian romantic/suspense novels forever. I love her spiritial warfare series. She always creates complex characters with complex issues to overcome. She addresses modern men and women who have to overcome their physical/emotional issues to reconcile ‘at odds’ characters’, bringing them together to defeat (or convert) a bad guy or gal. A lot of peril and prayer – these books address issues that Christians and non-Christians face, from trafficking to gangs. All her characters are super complex.
Lisa Black is new to me and writing a police procedural. Chapter one sounds like a behavioral analyst/detective talking to a hardened criminal. The last lines are 1000% SHOCKING. The next chapter involves two detectives following the evidence. The group of detectives assigned to the murder of said hardened criminal is 10,000% SHOCKING.
Because I see this is part of a sequel, I can’t wait to read her next installment after I finish this one, though I have 240 books left on my kindle. I should have stuck with paperbacks. Apparently that ‘buy with one click’ button on Amazon is an addictive issue for me.
Sue Coletta is a favorite when I need to read a serial killer novel. Lisa Gardner is another serial killer novelist with police procedural. Teri Blackstock for romantic suspense. Sara Blackard for romantic suspense. Dale Amidei for insanely complex thrillers. Christy Barritt for her romantic suspense. Those are just a few.
Okay. Now, like I said, it’s your turn. Comment and like!
Allo! Good morning! Guten Morgen! Shalom! ! صباح الخير
Okay that’s it, and I hope everyone is having a great day, no matter your time zone.
As I rewrite “Glass Slipper,” I am pushing this sequel to “Romance Under Wraps,” a police procedural/forensics/romance.
I’ve added a baby. Imagine a near-toddler in McCloud’s world. How will he react? How will Jonah react?
More importantly, how will his mom react? So far for me, it’s been a riot to write. If you’ve read “Romance Under Wraps,” you will have a good idea of how Jack McCloud thinks. He’s not been a very respectful dude.
Poor mom. Or maybe not.
Last night I fleshed out a villain for “Glass Slipper.” I’d written it before but somehow it fled off the page.
But another one comes on the scene also.
Remember: Smart villains make for a great obstacle for the main character to overcome. Villains should be smarter than your main character(s).
So I ended up going to bed thinking, muuuuuaaaaahhhh. Probably the reason I tossed and turned.
In that wee bit of info, tell me what you think, and tell me what you’re working on. Because it’s important! And what are you reading today?
Still on my down-time for reading after publication of “Rules of Engagement.” Whew, 5 days, 4 books, and counting. I am going for another 5 or more before returning to “Glass Slipper.”
Speaking of, “Glass Slipper,” still set in Whiskey River, Oregon, will take on a new look. You won’t know it however, because you haven’t been exposed to the rest of the manuscript I do have. Anyone else have that issue? I don’t mean rewriting/editing. Clear as mud, right?
So I’ll leave it up to you to ponder what I could be up to. It is still a sequel to “Romance Under Wraps,” that much I’ll give ya.
Since I like to keep posts short so your eyes don’t glaze over, I am skeletonizing (forming the bare bones, the framework, the blueprint, outline … oh you get it) the sequel to “Rules of Engagement,” where it looks to already be a sit-down-and-chew-yer-nails read. This will be in the style of “Rules of Engagement,” and is an intrigue/thriller. Again, a lot of players.
I do have a Work-in Progress (aka WIP) title but that’s just so the manuscript doesn’t say, Work in Progress (which we too, all are, not just our manuscripts, but I betcha I can find that as an actual book title).
What are you reading? What’s you’re favorite genre? I really do want to know, so *like, *subscribe, and *comment.
An invitation to follow along my writing journey. Pray as my goal is to write three novels a year. Four would be cool but I would wonder about the quality of my work. I have read a lot of authors who are actually capable of that, and I applaud them. That is truly a gift.
My current novel is the sequel to “Romance Under Wraps,” which involved a thief and a homicide detective. My second novel is a standalone (maybe) which is a complete departure from romantic suspense. Might want to read this before “Glass Slipper” comes out. When? I dunno, I’m still writing.
If you’ve already seen my post about “Glass Slipper,” I have to let you know that it’s taken quite a turn with the characters. And while dubious as to some of the scenes, I read them to my husband (who is well acquainted with forensic, police procedurals, and behavioral analyses) and found those scenes real to life.
This brings me to the change in a few of my characters. The main character, Jack McCloud is still morose. His tech is a forensic scientist with degrees in both forensic science and behavioral analysis.
Needless to say, this puts detectives Catherine Cade and husband Rick Calhoun in new moods as they have to listen to Calhoun gripe about McCloud’s new tech and how McCloud has to, albeit somewhat unwillingly, defend her as she drones on about her follow up questioning of witnesses, friends, etc. (okay, not realistic in the real, real world) about the victim (victims?) and what made them tick, and why they were a victim. Then she builds a profile of the killer. But is she right?
Husband and wife detective team (yes, I know! That’s why it’s called fiction…) are skeptical, interested, preoccupied, and want to get to the point. Bottom line. After all they are just detectives. 😉
OKAY, OKAY, since it’s been a bit over a month since I last wrote, I figure just perhaps since I posted on Twitter my blog site and website that I really should keep up to date.
So this is for Jack who so graciously sent me his hysterical blog link on being a lawyer with a sense of humor … in the event he’s checking in on me.
What exactly have I been doing with my time? Uh.
I’m a night owl. That’s when I read, write, rewrite, etc. So I am working hard(ly?) on Glass Slipper, my third novel. Police procedural, forensics, my first serial killer novel. Yay! Cough, I mean …
Anywho it is a sequel to “Romance Under Wraps,” murder mystery, forensics, police procedural, romance. It wasn’t my title or cover concept, so no, to say it’s a romance would be misleading, but all is well if folks like romance with suspense. And gunplay. Etc.
“Glass Slipper” continues on in fictional (almost real) Whiskey River, where Jack McCLoud is the medical examiner. Morose. Trying to go straight. Trying to forget the dame who shot him, giving him a bad attitude (more so than usual) and a nice limp.
Mercedes Hall has a few secrets of her own. She’s the new tech in the morgue with a handful of secrets and a lot of Jack’s new problems and temptations.
Trying to go straight with a knockout redhead stepping into his world and shaking it up was not his plan.
Sharing an excerpt. This is how Jack’s mind goes (this of course, is up to change via the editing process. But you get the idea).
“I was still mulling over how I’d been shot.
How did I miss it? The woman I had almost married was an assassin. She wasn’t sent for me, but she’d used me up, and shot me. It was, at the very least, unexpected. My knee pained me, especially in the Dead Room, so naturally, it was hard not to think of that Mata Hari. I might be wrong, but ‘once bitten, twice shy,’ certainly seemed to apply. Nearly sleeping the big one at the hand of a crazy blonde could make a man cranky, and I’m not likely to take another broderick, emotionally or otherwise.
The thought of her and the ache in my leg dogged me as I readied the newest arrival, Lindsay Pratt, D.O.A., for viewing in the morgue.
Every building, every room has its own whiff test. The bleak corridor that led to the Dead Room was long, and smelled like formaldehyde, and bleach, and maybe a thousand dead bodies. That was the nature of my business as medical examiner.
I’m Jack McCloud, the lone ranger of the dead across Southern Oregon, our very own Rest in Peace Department.
* * *
I had a hard and fast rule: nothing jumps in the morgue so when a stranger comes through the doors, I tend to take note.
A live one walked in, jarring my thoughts. The blonde strode into the Dead Room, a knockout, a tomato with gams that kept on going like a kid’s toy with an Energizer battery. Her threads were a spending spree beyond my annual take-home and she was like a fine porcelain vase. In a tight-fitting cerulean dress, with thin straps over her shoulders, all those blonde curls spilled over her shoulders like a waterfall over a cliff. And her curves? Her curves were hugged by all that lucky, lucky blue.”
Very happy to have sent off the review/approval my “final” manuscript off for the last time to the publisher. Nothing is ever set in stone and the publisher may want more edits, whether content, grammar, or wording. May the Waiting Game commence. I hit “send” at 11:57 pm last night. Oh, yeah. “Rules of Engagement.” So tired I forgot to mention the name of the novel!
Titles are always subject to change per the publisher, and I will be seeing a cover come maybe soon. Cool. Beans.
So, that said, I get to spend time catching up with my To-Be-Read (TBR) pile and chill a bit until she goes through it and asks for changes, etc. The nature of the writer’s life. Currently reading a serial killer novel. Hahahaha. Ahem.
There is nothing in the writing world better than a good editor. So many, many thanks go to her for cracking the whip.
It’s tough to pigeonhole a genre sometimes and this is no exception. Is it a Christian fiction? Well, ya, just not heavy-handed. Is it a thriller? Oh most definitely. Is it a crime fiction? Depends on whether crimes against humanity count. Is it military? Yep, any mistakes, thoroughly my own. What about intrigue? Yes. Anything medical? Oh, of course, but any mistakes are again, thoroughly my own. What about romance? Um, some, clean of course. Is it bloody? I plead the 5th!
I am pretty sure there should be a “Not for the Faint of Heart” genre, though. If you want the truth. Because I write different genres. Truth be told.
Not to worry, ye faint-of-heart. My next novels involve forensics and murder (uhhh, that’s not a problem, is it?), cozy mystery with romance, spinster sisters cozy, and a novel yet to be announced.
Why dead bodies always show up in my sweet romances is beyond me.
“Romance Under Wraps” has been on the shelf since near the end of the dreaded COVID 19, 2020. A little over a year and chugging along. I’d like to share a review with you.
“Romance Under Wraps” was a labor of love that started with a contest a LONG, LONG time ago in a galaxy far away. My first published novel, with many *many* revisions, rewrites, more rewrites, then a handful more before editing. Then the professional editor. A romantic suspense. A thriller, some have said. Amateur sleuth, Catherine Cade, is a thief. A thief with retrograde amnesia, she steals one identity after another to dodge an ex-partner. Rick Calhoun, homicide detective, is getting in her way. Especially when he catches her red-handed on CCTV, in what appears to be stealing evidence from a locked evidence room. Checking a background cements his fears. Now there’s a confrontation for the ages. Let the chase begin, especially when the dead body of a city VIP tosses the two together.
“This was the most memorable and moving novel I have read all year. The plot took me through a whirlwind of emotions – laughter, tears, sorrow, and anger. The heroine, Catherine Cade, cannot recall a thing about her life prior to an automobile accident. What she can recall all too vividly is the abusive relationship she endured at the hands of a thief and con artist. This man, who convinced Catherine that she was his wife, taught her how to work a con and change her identity. With no real identity of her own, she became adept at changing her persona during frequent moves. Things changed for Catherine Cade when she moved to the small town of Whiskey River. Not only had her surrounding changed, but Cade developed friendships, a career, and a handsome love interest. Her attraction to a detective spurs a great deal of conflict, not only because she is a con artist but because Cade’s personality and values change throughout the book. Eventually, I realized that Cade was running away from both evil and good. She was running to a void, a continuous life of nothingness. The author has crafted engaging plots. No one is what they seem. No one seems to be trustworthy. For crime mystery lovers this is a fiction that you will enjoy with plenty of action, gun play, good guy and bad guy moments, murders, assaults. For mystery/romance lovers you will feel involved in the plot development of what appears to be a hopeless love between a con artist, Catherine Cade and a no-nonsense ex-Marine, detective, Rick Calhoun. For the cozy mystery lovers, you’ll enjoy how the plot develops to encourage the heroine to develop her interests in solving a murder and in opening a bakery. For me, I loved how the plot developed to show the ways in which God may choose to act in our lives.”
“Rules of Engagement” is with Deb Haggerty, Elk Lake Publishing, and her nefarious editor, Mary, who will red-pen my manuscript into another orbit (that means, “Fix this.” “Fix that.” repetitively). “Rules of Engagement” is in a different genre (sort of). A medical military *and romance* thriller. A global disaster loosely based (and I mean very loosely based) on a true story, started some time after “Romance Under Wraps” was mostly completed.
I have no idea what that cover will look like. Kind of hope it includes these pics which are representative of the two main characters (out of a gazillion other characters):
“Glass Slipper” is my next endeavor that I am currently writing. I have a beautiful graphic design for it, but we’ll wait for the real cover release. Heck sometimes titles and cover art are changed. But it might even look like a … glass slipper.
“Glass Slipper” is in a sequel to “Romance Under Wraps” in Whiskey River, a forensics/police procedural (& rom/com) about what else? Forensic science students. Dead ones. Someone wants them out of Whiskey River. Or so it seems. Morose medical examiner, Jack McCloud, meets his match in a new medical examiner’s technician, Mercedes Hall. Jack’s brain works in old movies, Bogie and Bacall’s “Key Largo.” Also Raymond Chandler’s, “The Maltese Falcon.” “The Big Sleep.” And sometimes – sometimes – those 1940s expressions slip out into the modern world in which he lives. And does what he can to solve a serial killer case and dodge Mercedes.
Thus, I forgot to let my vast and varied blog readers (wait… what?) know that “Rules of Engagement” has been accepted by Elk Lake Publishing. Which is why I have been working my fingers to the bone, with my nose to the grindstone, dead on my feet, fingers on fire, etc., getting the manuscript vaguely edited, ready, and moderately polished for my editor. IF I get this edited on time it may be out by June or July 2022. God willing.
“Rules of Engagement,” the title, is subject to change per the publisher so let’s not get too attached to the title. Same with the picture concept that the publisher considers. Title and cover concepts, by the way, are rarely accepted, or even considered by publishers, so I feel incredibly blessed.
Here are “my” possible cover picture (they get to put them together and figure out if they are usable) concepts:
Since the photos are still ‘up in the air’ (which they purchase if they approve of them), I got a few for free from Adobe Stock Photos. Naturally I thought of the next two too late.
The other picture is less whimsical and perhaps a wee bit more inline with the seriousness of the story (but y’all know I like whimsy).
Like! Comment! Share! Subscribe! OH and tell me WHAT YOU THINK about the title AND the pictures (just as an aside, titles are reused, recycled for movies, books, memes, etc.)
The worst of submitting the required documents to any publisher (or most) has been completed. These fun things include a one page synopsis of the entire book (everything summed up from first to last line in one page);
… the cover letter (Dear Agent/Publisher, thank you for … etc.); the sell page (how will I manage to help promote this novel?); market analysis (How does it compare to the ten million books in the same genre? And what makes it ‘better’ or different than all the rest?); the biography, the blurb (the back flap of the book that may entice you to read); the tagline (oh that funny littlie line that hooks the reader into reading the back flap, then the book).
And of course the first three chapters.
Here is my biggest recommendation to those who are ready to submit. 1. Don’t write it into the wee hours of the night when you are sleepy.
Not like I would ever dare do that. <cough>
AND 2. Edit mother-lovin’ everything before sending it to the agent/publisher or even your editor. Because if you don’t, you may send off an automatic rejection.
And your editor, should you (and please do) employ him/her to edit your work, will find those many, many mistakes that may potentially be extraordinarily embarrassing.
Not like that would ever happen to me. <cough>
I rarely edit my social media and I am sure it shows. But I am not a professional blogger so there’s a lil’ something in me doesn’t care if a comma is off. Should I? Probably. But I don’t.
ANYWHO the whole batch was edited because my editor DID laugh as did I (thank the good Lord I didn’t send that embarrassing bit), but now the whole shebang is into the ether.
FlippinFanFantastic, I say. Now I wait because rejection could be around the corner. At which point, I may have to start this process over.
For now? Imma gonna read. I have another novel in the pike, ready to be written, but my brain needs a break.
First, the murder mystery dinner theater was closed the night we were all dressed up and made it there on time (getting anywhere on time is a story in itself) – cancelled unfortunately due to some folks who were exposed to Covid and had to wait for another two weeks.
SO we got back just a bit ago. Funny, a lot of real groaners (puns), and fantastic food. A stabbing. Suspects. Confessions.
“So you accidentally stabbed him… three times?”
“Yes, that was unfortunate.”
I also finished the final draft of Rules of Engagement. HALLELUJAH. Now I am working on the synopsis. Then the cover letter, proposal, etc., etc. Beta readers, welcome! If you don’t know what that is, comment… 🙂
How exciting! For my birthday our kids got us tickets to a murder mystery dinner. Interactive.
Hopefully not too interactive.
That said, I spent all day yesterday and into the wee hours working on the last rather intimidating chapters of “Rules of Engagement” (working title). Complete rewrites. Complete.
I am a mere one half chapter from completion.
That deserves applause, by the way. Ahem.
“Rules of Engagement” is a military/thriller and romance. Scott is a good guy. Cheyenne thinks he’s all wrong (as in crazy). She’s a scientist. He’s die-hard special forces and hates (hates!) a babysitting job assigned him (protecting her.)
So folks, I need some great ideas on covers to submit to the publisher on my wish list.
You ready to help out? Like, post your thoughts, and subscribe!
“Romance Under Wraps” has been chugging right along thanks to Deb Haggerty and the Elk Lake Publishing group!
Check out the cool stuff on their website and the YouTube trailer (hint: Go to the ‘O’ and find my trailer):
To the readers and reviewers, you guys rock.
Thank you also to the latest reviewer who said,
“Don’t let the title fool you; this is a suspenseful tension-inducing read. Yes, there is a touching romantic underlying theme, but my interest was a suspenseful crafted story. This novel meets and exceeds my personal interests in both suspense and romance. The author displays a solid knowledge of police work and captures a cops’ thought process and their dry humor (I know because I was once one).
The main character’s, Catherine, on and off again romantic relationship with Detective Calhoun, is peppered with humorous quick-witted barbs. However, you see a growing relationship with each other. The storyline also draws a line of Christian thought through it. A dynamic, dangerous, and complex novel compels the reader to turn the pages to the very end. And what an ending.”
I’m excited to announce that “Romance Under Wraps” is on sale for 99 cents. One week only. Midnight (PDT) June 30th to 11:59 pm (PDT) July 7th. Alrighty then. I asked the publisher why ‘Romance Under Wraps.”
Romantic suspense, clean read, with a dash of police procedural.
Some folks just can’t stop breaking the law…
I can’t tell you how fun this is. I’ve been looking forward to a near-giveaway for months, and Deb Haggerty from Elk Lake Publishing said, “As you wish.”
Well, you know what I mean. And Deb doesn’t look like Wesley. Which is a good thing.
So this is the perfect time to storm Amazon and pick up a kindle copy for 99 cents!
“Romance Under Wraps” is also available paperback, Audible, and Kindle Unlimited.
She’s an identity thief with partial amnesia impersonating a nurse practitioner—trying to go straight. When one of her patients dies a mysterious death, she is faced with an agonizing decision. When evidence points to murder, she must overcome her fear of prison for the truth. Her biggest problem is the cop who caught her.
Rick Calhoun is a homicide detective who knows more about Cade than she does. When he finds a murder scene and catches up with Cade, the chase begins.
She tries to keep her lies straight, and it’s a job while tending patients and opening a bakery. He has to keep the investigation quiet, tend to his homicide cases, and keep Cade out of trouble.
Cade’s biggest worry is the detective who found her. He’s onto her, and she‘s stuck. Calhoun’s biggest problem, he is in love with her and will sacrifice anything to give her safe passage.
Love means never having to hear your Miranda Rights …
I never thought I’d read about, and like, a scam artist and identity thief. But I just did, and I do! Who wouldn’t like Catherine Cade and her effort to get her memory back, and her witty repartee, and her exploits? And who wouldn’t like Calhoun, her sexy detective boyfriend? “Romance Under Wraps” has as many ups and downs and twists and turns as a rollercoaster and just as much action. If you like fast-paced mysteries laced with romance this is the book for you. A very enjoyable read. I give O’Sullivan 5 stars for this debut novel. ~Nadia
In a heart-wrenching story about losing one’s sense of self while driven with a ferocious instinct to survive, Romance Under Wraps dazzles readers with its exploration of love and redemption. It is insanely relatable for anyone who’s found themselves questioning their faith. Cade and Calhoun work together, albeit not easy at first, to show the world how love, alongside God, brings redemption to even the most cunning of sinners. ~ Kara Kelley
Don’t forget to check out “Romance Under Wraps,” on kindle, KU, audiobook and paperbook on Amazon. Click right ‘chere for details:
In the meantime, I am continuing work on Rules of Engagement, the upcoming military thriller.
Scott (not the governor) Walker and Cheyenne (not the town) Keyes become embroiled in an international disaster. There are those who would benefit from the collapse of civilization. And interference by the Army Ranger and the microbiologist threatens their existence.
The problem comes when the probabilty of obtaining two scientists drops exponentially as plans for their deaths are known, and the only way to obtain information is through kidnapping. Never makes for a good impression.
In the meantime, I am excited to have taken part in ProWritingAid’s Crime Writers Week which was chockfull of information and tips.
I hadn’t tried my string/crime board with the military thriller, but I did this time.
not mine but you get the idea…
And equally as large, I started a trick by Michael Crichton who, when in med school, wrote on 3×5’s when a scene would come to him. He pocketed these 3x5s and at home when he had a break, would shuffle them around on the floor until they made sense. Post-It notes, optional. Once these puppies are all arranged, the dates go there. These go onto another corkboard.
Could I do these online? You bet, but I don’t believe that technology is always there, especially in my neck of the woods, as in, the boonies, where we have rolling blackouts because of fire hazards. Or someone plows into a pole. Or, worse, the computer crashes. That sorta thing.
Another fun tool I’ve been using is OneStopForWriters.com which has pretty much everything you could ever want to build worlds, characters, emotional/wound/negative/positive/occupation traits, and options to go into depth, and another option? To make your own. Timelines, story map, name something. If that’s not cool, you can add in that everything you plug in, you can save to a pdf and print up (so again, nothing disappears). I’ve tried several programs, and these are my two favorites. If you have one that works great for you, drop a line.
Don’t worry. I have another corkboard to post all of the information I need right there.
Old school? Yes. Don’t hate me ’cause it’s cool…
I don’t often plug 2 programs in one sitting, but ProWritingAid rocks, as does OneStopForWriters.com
And get ready to sign up for beta reading because “Rules of Engagement” is going through the editing process and critique group. You’ll see it before, or maybe after, my editor does!
The author weaves together a story across the lifetime of a marriage/family – falling apart. Secrets kept. Trauma, depression. Human trafficking,
The story of us all, right? No? Think about this. We all have secrets, some worse than others. We all have the goals to help someone. Our families often fall apart because we are 1. trying to protect someone and 2. not communicating.
It’s a fight for his family, for those trafficked, for his nightmares in the military to stop.
This is a real life type novel that will keep you up late at night!
I had the pleasure of listening to The Superior Word’s Easter Message, and Jim Dwyer mentioned “Romance Under Wraps.” Starts at min 4:42… Got the print screen time for ya. 4:42
‘Cause he’s a dude, he sees the cop side more than the romance side, and is almost done reading my first novel.
If you enjoy clean/Christian romantic suspense/police procedure you enjoy “Romance Under Wraps” … with the main character off the rail, Catherine Cade, an identity thief, wholly unlikeable, especially when dealing with Rick Calhoun, homicide detective.
Oh, he has plans for her all right. And she is not amenable to his offer but does she have a choice? Not even. Not if she wants to stay out of prison. And not if she wants to solve a murder — with or without the dirty cop.
How many laws will HE break and what will he sacrifice to keep her safe?
What will she do with that?
And many thanks to Linda Rodante for surprising me with a fantastic meme for one so technically challenged (me).
While I determine what to work on with “Alex and the Very Dead Doxy” and “Rules of Engagement,” I had the urge to write down an idea.
Idea? Turned into almost 1800 words. Well, oops, kinda. The whole point of writing is to write, no matter what. Even when editing/rewriting/reading, one should write at least a few minutes (or 1000 words) of something fresh.
So. I wrote something fresh. Out of my genre by a thousand percent. I have no title, but it is kind of fun to tinker with new ideas.
Now it’s time to go back to work. That means, back to editing. Rewriting.
My dance card these days are mostly penciled in with doctor’s appointments. BTW that is a fantastic way to market your book. HAHAHA. My doctor looked up my novel, ‘Romance Under Wraps,’ while I sat there… his wife (and the physician’s assistant in the office) was interested in getting his wife the novel!
Yesterday, someone with a long history of working forensics asked me why I write crime fiction. Well, I write a combo of crime/romance or thriller/romance but that’s neither here nor there.
I thought it through and it didn’t take long.
Here it is:
“I write (romantic suspense) crime fiction primarily because of the evil I have seen in the world, the crimes perpetrated by others, and people so hurt, so lost, that they need a message of hope. I write specifically to a crime or serial killer with an obstacle standing in the way of the main character’s ability to find the suspect as well as a subplot for the main character, an obstacle for him/her to overcome emotionally/spiritually.
Everyone has a wound, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Everyone has physical obstacles to overcome whether the huge stack of dishes caked with eggs, cheese, and no dishwasher or a crime, a villain, and the chase. These elevate people (I pray) that they see something in their mundane lives that they can relate to (the chase, the doing of, the dishes, whatever) and give them a message, one of redemption.
I was a nurse practitioner and saw a lot of evil. Patients in need, ignored. I also have taken forensics classes and I give the main character a good pile of evidence for the main character through forensics (which is a lot like performing a history and physical, examining labs, imagining, diagnosing, chasing down the ‘villain’ of the body). Also I understand redemption and prayer, overcoming physical and emotional obstacles, as well as spiritual. And that’s why I write crime fiction.”
She emailed me back and said in her twenties she’d seen much of the same.
Yes, I agreed with her statement, “It’s heartbreaking.” Indeed it is, and folks, even by being entertained, often need a hope, for someone to understand, even if it’s on a subconscious level.
Perhaps some of you could relate on a level of fear from not knowing who you really are. Or running from abuse. The life of indecision or shame? If you are one of many who has backslidden, or never really made a decision, consider reading “Romance Under Wraps.” The message of hope and redemption are within your grasp.
With the debut of “Romance Under Wraps,” promoting, writing “Alex and the Very Dead Doxy” AND “Rules of Engagement,” I am having a riot!
I am pleased to see solid 4s and 5s popping up for “Romance Under Wraps,” and on Kindle, it is on sale in time for Christmas for 99 cents from December 24th to December 30th.
That’s what my main character, Catherine Cade, would call “easy as takin’ candy from a baby.” She’s a thief, and betting within this romantic suspense, she’d tell you to get it while it’s hot enough for the black market!
The good news is that the ebook How to Steal a Romance is on schedule, end of this month (July 31st in case COVID scrambled your calendar brain).
I’ve set up signings in my town, and I’ve been asked for an interview with Inked Voices, who are chock full of new and established authors as well as editors, agents, and publishers.
That said, COVID, oh joy of joys, has slowed the presses enough to kinda tick me off. The paperbacks will be available around September.
Next on my list is Rules of Engagement. Oh yech. I mean, editing goes slowly. Sigh. Since How to Steal a Romance is coming out soon and very soon, I am whipping my way through a novella, a sequel to How to Steal a Romance.
Name? Currently, the name of said WIP is When I Was Dead. It’s How to Steal a Romance from Rick Calhoun’s perspective. Takes place? Of course, in Whiskey River, a small community in Southern Oregon.
Then, I will return to finish Rules of Engagement. This is perhaps the most complicated of all of my works, a military/intrigue with plenty of romance and sparks in the middle of a kidnapping. You won’t find one soul in the first-person narrative. Instead, because of the plethora of characters, everything is in the third person, past tense.
Other works, in the works: Glass Slipper, a noir sequel to How to Steal a Romance with the morose medical examiner and a new tech. He doesn’t like her. At all. She thinks he’s a pig. They’ll get along great…
Next is a small town detective with zip experience, working to solve a serial murder. She is totally out of her depth and the only one in town who knows it. Alex must find another detective. Someone who knows what he/she is doing. And, a behavioral analyst. Alex and the Very Dead Doxy takes place in a rural community in Northern Minnesota.
Anyone notice a small town theme?
Next? Murder in the Mist. Takes place, again in Minnesota with one minor difference. Small one. The main character’s only help is from Whiskey River, a woman with a past like hers. That could only mean homicide detective, Catherine Cade Calhoun. With her husband out of town, homicide detective Rick Calhoun, she can take a short leave to help her friend languishing in jail. What could possibly go wrong? Alex doesn’t know what to do with her, and the main character is beside herself, a witness to a murder, as the cultish madman hunts her down.
I have the skeleton of a novel called, The Corpse in the Cupboard, which lives to its name. Kit Russell awakens in a strange town, in a strange house. Alone. Of course, a bit freaked out, she scouts out the digs she was tossed into. Finally, as she seeks coffee, she opens a broom closet and out falls a you-know-what. Most unfortunately she knows who it is. After getting said dead body back in the cupboard, a knock on the door stops her scream and a private detective, seeking shelter from a storm (which conveniently knocks out the power and the phone), walks into the kitchen when Kit’s back is turned. Oh, mercy. When he opens the broom closet he starts yelling. No wonder! So, what happened? How did she get there? Why is the woman dead? And in a cupboard? Can she trust this alleged private investigator? Can he trust her?
Welp. That’s what’s up with me.
How are you doing on your reading and writing?
I LOVE COMMENTS, so gimme a heads up, tell me what you think and how you’re doing!
Military intrigue. Not my usual genre. Yes… yes. There is some romance. But more of a dude’s novel.
I ‘usually’ write romantic/suspense, however, several years back I started this military thriller/intrigue. By the time I finished ‘How to Steal a Romance,’ it was time to do a rewrite. This is a fictionalized novel loosely based on happenings in 2014.
I’ll leave you to guess what it’s about.
Got a lot done in the past few days on the new novel. I find it truly amazing how much can be accomplished when not on social media… who would have thought.
Anyway, the next steps include: Finishing the last third of the rewrite. Putting this through the paces of my Grammarly and electronic reader. Send it to beta readers (whom I will need, btw, in the event you want a free copy). Then off to my Grammar Nazi who will also rip it to shreds. Then… a copyeditor and off to publishing houses out there and/or agents.
My timeline ‘was’ six months to finish the rewrite. Well, I am almost done. So, the next goal, I continue now at three months to beta readers, six months or thereabouts to copyeditor, minus the copyedit, send off, acceptance by agent/publisher, and their edit requests.
… finished a big project oh say like a novel and got a contract and wonder what’s next?
That’s me. And freakin’ out a bit.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. If you have ANY wisdom do let me know. That’d be awesome. Novel is ‘supposed’ to be out in about 6 months. How to Steal a Romance, ’cause I know you wanna read it. Right?
I should add perhaps… bon chance (GOOD LUCK!). Bon courage (roughly, be happy, don’t worry…).
Have copyeditor, will travel. Before I sent her the MS I found a gazillion gaffs so… I fixed ’em, notified the agent who graciously let me dump the first submission of cover letter/proposal/synopsis/first 50 pages.
That being a big, fat whew, I moved on. Now, it’s a condundrum.
Should I really work on Murder in the Mist?
Or… back to my romantic/comedy/suspense (noir), Glass Slipper? The immediate sequel to HTSR? A tough edit.
(Image courtesy S. Spalletta)
What about the wee town of Olvegaart? Where a romantic/mystery occurs (some suspense)? Where the working title is Alex and the Very Dead Doxy?
Yes… doxy means lady of the night. Or day. Or whatever.
Just needs a cleanup, okay a lotta cleaning up.
AIR, military suspense/romance? Note: Imagination in overdrive. Again.
(Image, courtesy my brain)
I mean, that is done! But not vaguely edited. At. All.
I have a full plate, writing included. Driving me crazy. Mostly because I am not writing my fiction.
Reading is my current project to clear my cluttered brain-pan. I had one sitting on my shelf for 5 years (maybe more, like… 8?) so I started reading while I am using a stationary cycle. This gives me an hour of action-packed stuff and I cycle around 16 mph…
While my mph gets me nowhere fast, the read is getting me through chapter after chapter. In Washington, D.C. right now in a pretty decent crime thriller, so perhaps one could say my mph has taken me far.
Lonely writer. Lone (but not so) reader. Sad and lonely blogger.
Cover letter, proposal, synopsis, and first 50 page sent to an agency, and will send more off later.
But not yet done. I have my final read-through, proofer, then editor.
… as my Grammar-a-holic says… seriously?
THEN I am done and should it be requested it will be sent into the ether. If not? Meh… I will let it stew in a drawer for another year while I work on AIR. Or Glass Slipper. Maybe finish up Alex and the Very Dead Doxy.
Perhaps why writers get frustrated at themselves, their agents, publishers etc. :
Let me see if I can put it in words that even the inebriated (writer?) might understand. – Tom Robbins
Had a hankerin’ for posting a new WordPress site. WHY? Oh, heck. I don’t know. I was frustrated (wait… am frustrated) with my website, and wanted to blog.
You know, like destroy everything techy in sight. I want to throttle something. Or the infernal internet, but I’d have to talk to the man who invented it and reach the end of the .com .net .org .everything else internet-y.
Here I will not focus on forensics but on writing and interviews. (this is also a picture of an agent’s desk. And you wonder why it takes more than a month to hear back…)
I pulled out a few of my notes from some webinars, as well as non-fiction, “Death Investigator’s Handbook, a Field Guild to Crime Scene Processing, Forensic Evaluations, and Investigations.” Wow, what a mouthful for a title, but it is well-written for much of the basics of the Death Investigor who is called (after the deputy who does a walk-through, or maybe two for safety’s sake) who does another walk-through before the detectives. Can you say Locard’s principle? Anywho it’s a good start to the investigative process. By Louis N. Eliopulos.
The next and perhaps the best is “Criminal Psychology” which is surprisingly full of information on interviews and interrogations, which I mentioned in another blog. Written by multiple authors, but if you type in Ray Bull that’ll take you there.
Kathrine Ramsland has a stunning book out called, “The Criminal Mind, a Writer’s Guide to Forensic Psychology,” which will make you turn off most of the TV shows about behavioral analysts.
And for fiction, I started “Forgive the Trespassers,” which looks to me like a tear-jerker but I could be wrong. The author is Vickie Phelps, and it ends section 1, chapter 1, with a “God would forgive them this one time, wouldn’t he?” line.
Continuing Terri Gillespie’s “Cut it Out!” which centers on another of the hair maven’s gaggle of gals.
What am I working on? I am about halfway through “Glass Slipper” and figured I really needed a better system of keeping track of clues, discussions, et al, so I picked out my notebook and am writing down each chapter’s high points that must be recalled later on. Like, “did that happen on Friday or Saturday?” or “what days were the groups?” “Who taught what again?” Minor points, of course.
Tell me what you’re reading, whether memoire, fiction, non-fiction, short stories. I really, really would love to know!
Do click like and please reply. Share if you are so moved. Love to hear from readers, authors, and new writers.
Today is another day of work. Reading or writing. Has any writer noticed that unless you go for a hike or whatever, yer behind starts to look a lot like the couch/chair your’re sitting in?
Recent books I’ve read: SEVEN of ’em. What, you may ask? Yesterday I read a SP romance called “Staking Claims,” by Judge Rodriguez. A historical romance set in Colorado, an Irish immigrant is salvaged so to speak by a ‘real’ Irishman. Complete with brogue. Aye, lass. This was a fast & enjoyable read. The suspense and pain was up front and there was healing & redemption as the novel continued. This is not my usual genre. Ya know what I write: romance, blood, gore, political cabals, etc.
“Staking Claims” was a nice break.
I’d mentioned in another post that I was going to read Jane Daly’s “Broken,” so when her upcoming book is released, I’ll be ready. Well, Jane, I’m ready! “Broken is a slow-burn romance in a series of at least two books. How am I supposed to know how many books she’s planning for this? Tsk.
Next: I finished both of LG Westlake’s slow-burn romantic suspense, “Calculated Risk,” (I had to re-read to catch up with characters), and “Calculated Encounters.” She also has a devotional Bible study for daily or read-through that was awesome. All three were awesome. “Isa” in the “Calculated Risk” series is constantly going in the opposite direction she is told–and yet is able to find and solve real issues we face (in her novels of course). You can find both novels here:
Also, find her devotional, “God’s Will,” here (it really, really is good):
I completed, “Scars,” the beta I’d read, by Linda Rodante. As always there is a good deal of suspense with budding romance, and often a surprise ending in her books. Linda has been a great help to me as an author, and she was the first Christian novelist whose books I’ve read (I think I have one more left. Stop me! Stop me! I can’t purchase anymore books!), and she’s drawn me into so many real-life issues that her characters are well known to me now. And here it is (I pre-ordered this). Jump on it. Here:
Also, I read another S/P author, Eric Johnson’s “What do You Mean I Can’t Stay for Dinner?” The title belies the intensity of a futuristic/modern warfare. I loved this book. Loved it. It has scads of military information that ahem I may use in later books. The dialogue is mostly inner thoughts by a Russian pilot within military maneuvers. But the military! The craft! The research was well-done. You can find the .99 cent special here:
Before these, I read Piper Bayard’s “The Leopard of Cairo.” Wow. The threat of a nuclear bomb is as close as can be, and is an adventure, action, and political thriller spanning the globe. John Viera is on the precipice of salvaging his marriage with many a promise, then dragged into espionage. Again. BTW gals, when I picture John, my brain sees Antonio Banderas.
In between reads, I am writing, sometimes quite slowly. Sometimes, on a roll.
Also last but not least in the least, I read “Waxman,” by Brent Brantley. A very moving story of an infant rescued from a house fire and disfigured for life–and who also had a genetic disease that caused even more problems. Living as a hermit, he still undergoes threats and harassments from townspeople. But he is a man of great faith, and the sheriff takes to the wise man immediately. It’s also a not over the top romance. Really another excellent book.
So take your pick from sweet historical western to gritty political thriller. I love ’em all. But as you can see, I have not tackled the books I said I would ‘last post.’ Well, they’re in the big “Q” (if queue is going to be pronounced Q then … just spell it like that).
I must write more than ONE scene today. Must. I might add that I read a number of non-fictions that I’ve mentioned before. Though I am due to read another of Lynette Easton’s, Terri Black’s, Piper Bayard’s, Sue Coletta’s, Steve Roger’s “Into the Room,” and several of Lisa Black’s as well as Lisa Gardner’s and Dale Amidei’s. There are more. A lot more.
SO TELL ME WHAT YOU’VE READ THAT I’M not supposed to buy right now … Kindle has a lotta room.