ENDORSING “Sweeter With You”

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!

The problem with bingeing

Do you have the discipline to write, read, and get down time in your day?

Hmm
got it! got it! yay!! it’s three a.m.! oh.
ahhhhhhhhhh

I DO NOT.

Pfft.

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.

Twelve.

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)

6 weeks old pullets (wee hens) what we have

Hopefully they’ll be at this point SOON. (Hens, right here) 6-8 pound hens.

the most pampered chickens ever
Roosters and 10 pounds – why they are meat chickens …

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 mist of a downed internet.

OKAY. Your turn.

  1. Your favorite genre (to write/read)
  2. Planner, pantster, or planster?
  3. Old school?
  4. Programs?
  5. Major distractions?
  6. Binge reader? Binger writer? Or both?

Now it is YOUR turn. Like, subscribe, comment, share (if you so want).

Now what am I reading and writing??

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.

Laughing. Just ‘Cause

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?

Me neither.

Not Me

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.

Here:

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.

That’s what I’m talkin’ about

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.

Reading/Writing

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!

Suspense …

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 …

Not mine … but similar

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.

romantic/suspense

Global Thriller

Reading vacation

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!

Great villains make for great novels

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.

yum

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?

awe

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.

Mom. Mercedes. Maybe.

Last night I fleshed out a villain for “Glass Slipper.” I’d written it before but somehow it fled off the page.

oh, so different!

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?

The adventure continues

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.

Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com

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.

Downtime is good too

After completion of “Rules of Engagement,” now on the shelf (you have 1 more day to purchase it on sale, jus’ sayin,’), I have serious time to chill.

Starving authors get to go places, right? Hahaha … but I am thinking about putting the ocean YouTube video on the big screen and sink my feet into 2 buckets of sand and drink a virgin pina colada.

Down time … yeah.

Since I have around 200 books on my Kindle, I believe I will abandon writing in extremis like I had been, a wee bit of reading won’t hurt me, will it? I figure I can write a hundred words to fiddle with “Glass Slipper,” and take a chunk out of the Kindle library that rivals the Hangzhou Zhongshuge Bookstore in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, China (pronounce that fast …). Well … almost.

Have a fine finish off in June and read a book. Oh, here’s a few (this one on sale ’til the 21st of June:

Just out! Free on KU. Also available on Kindle and in paperback.

And …

Debut novel, free on KU and Audible, also Kindle and in paperback

That’s the buzz for the day. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, comment, and share!

Come along as I write …

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. 😉

Calhoun and Cade. Meandering to the morgue once again to listen to Mercedes. Again.

What kind of twists could there be?

And who else shows up to the party?

So follow me here, on Facebook, and my website. https://www.claireosullivan1.com

And don’t forget “Romance Under Wraps”: https://www.amazon.com/Romance-Under-Wraps-Claire-OSullivan-ebook/dp/B08MB43BSL/ref