Why is writing so much work?

So you wanna be a writer?

I’ve learned a lot over the years (and years. Did I say … years?). Perhaps it’s because I had no idea what to/how to get across a message, nor did I know English (I mean, I did, but it was like my second language when it came to writing).

I’ve heard, “Gee I could write a book, looks easy.” You think? Here’s the formula should you be ready:

The most difficult portion for me (besides the plot arc and main character arcs, and ultimate ending) is the synopsis.

But I found out one thing with the first novel: I found plotholes, defined the main character’s arc (behavioral and emotional changes to overcome the problem/s).

That’s not to say I didn’t rewrite, because I did. I can’t say my first novel was perfect, because it was far from perfect. But it was a great teaching method to have a group of critiquers, a lot of help from the gal who stuck with me for ‘some reason’ who ultimately became my editor, and a lot of rewrites.

Indie writers have a huge burden on their shoulders. They have to cross out the backstory because the backstory is for you, the writer. The rewrites must be rewritten, listened to, rewritten again. Then edited. Then it’s vital to hire an editor. If you don’t, you risk all the hard work for one stars. Do NOT skip hiring an editor.

I had a sequel in mind to my second novel, a huge military/thriller until I felt drawn back to a Whiskey River novel (not to be confused with another author’s Whiskey River Series).

Anyway, I’m reading and cogitating on said #3 in the sequel now. So my first agenda will be to write the crime. Yes, the crime and the end result. And the main character’s personality and arc. Then fit it into a one or three page synopsis.

So if you are intent on becoming a writer, interview at least one character. I sit on the couch and imagine I’m a reporter. HAHAHA. I get the character to speak to me. I ask all the questions of a person in the limelight. By the way I do this in my head since out loud sounds like crazy world. But I’ll know their flaws, fears, and expertise. Do this with your villain, also.

So get backstory onto your paper. Don’t put it into your work (unless it’s relevant). Write the synopsis or something similar. Put your main character’s biggest fear and obstacle in there. How will they overcome the villain (which can be even in their head)?

Your secondary characters are equally as important! Don’t forget them. Interviews (or an in depth one on a program such as OneStopForWriters is very useful) are also required. Make that villain smarter than your main character. A wimpy stupid or clichéd villain ruins an otherwise good book. I stopped reading a famous author’s books because of one novel which was a cliché and a half. It was predictable (I hoped for a different villain), the villain was truly stupid. Just one novel turned me off and as an author, you do NOT want a one star review.

Sequel to “Romance Under Wraps” is in the back of my mind while I read. Then scribble. Then read, etc. The synopsis will have to come first.

In the meantime, I have two novels on the shelf: “Romance Under Wraps,” and a military/thriller, “Rules of Engagement.”

Don’t forget to give an author some love. We work hard. More than you think!

When Angels Sing–A Christmas Story

From Elizabeth McD, a fantastic author. A short fiction which brought tears to my eyes!

When Angels Sing–A Christmas Story

Posted on 

Backstory on the inspiration for the story: One cold, cold evening earlier this month I stopped at a RedBox (movie rental kiosk) outside a grocery store. A young man was there with the Salvation Army singing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” as I walked up. During the course of my business he sang quite a few verses, and I told the Dearliest later that it made quite an impression. Most people only know the first, maybe second verse.

Combine that with having watched a LOT of Columbo this year, and you have the starting point for this short story.

Photo by hollydornak on Pixabay

When Angels Sing

Irena shivered and wrapped her small arms around herself, curling up into the smallest ball she could. She wasn’t cold under her winter coat, but the dim light cast spooky shadows on the brick walls and it scared her. Her tangled hair stuck to trails of drying tears, and she fought back a whimper. She wanted her mom and dad.

If only she hadn’t left her friends to admire the red sled in the shop window. “You come straight home from choir practice,” her mother had said. “I have to pick your father up from the airport today, but Sandra will be home to let you in.”

Surely by now Sandra would know Irena was late and the housekeeper would call someone. What time was it anyway? Irena glanced about the large, barren room for the third—or was it fourth—time and saw the same thing as before. A table, a lamp, two men playing cards, a mini fridge, a space heater, and the crummy mattress beneath her. No clock. It must be nearly dinner time, she was starving.

“I’m sorry I was disobedient, God,” she whispered. “I’m sorry I didn’t listen to Mom. Please take care of her. I love her. I love Dad. Please get me home.”

The tears came again, and she closed her eyes tight. Maybe if she slept, this would turn out to just be a bad dream.


“Detective Coleman, the parents are here.”

“Thanks, Molly.” Det. Coleman rose from his cluttered desk and maneuvered the floor to the front of the station.

“You must be Mr. and Mrs. Braily,” he said, shaking their hands. “Please follow me. We can use the office over here.”

After twenty years on the force, Detective Coleman had seen his share of kidnappings, not all of which ended well. Fortunately they didn’t happen too often in this town, but that didn’t make it any easier. He took one look at the little girl’s picture, and he knew he wouldn’t rest until she was home safe with her family. She reminded him of one of his grand-daughters, those inquisitive eyes and bright smile. No, he wouldn’t rest, especially with Christmas two days away.

“We know she left the church at 3:00,” the detective said, pointing on a map of the neighborhood. “She walked with friends up to here, and that’s where the trail gets tricky. We have officers checking the stores along this street, hoping someone saw her or anything suspicious. There’s been no call? No ransom demand? Forgive me for saying, I know this is hard, but you’re a high-profile family and it’s the best working theory at the moment that your daughter was taken for money.”

Mr. Braily shook his head. “Not yet.”

“It’s three blocks to home,” Mrs. Braily managed around a handkerchief. “We normally have Frank—he’s our chauffeur—drive her, but I needed him to take me to the airport and I didn’t think…it’s three blocks. How could this happen in broad daylight?”

Det. Coleman didn’t voice the answer. Evil was evil, day or night. It didn’t discriminate. He squinted down at the map. God help him, this was one evil he planned to eliminate.


Irena woke slowly, her eyes crusty and her mouth dry. Swallowing was hard, and her lips cracked when she tried to lick them. She wished the ringing in her ears would stop.

“Could I have some water, please?”

The men still sat at the table, smoking cigarettes and talking over their cards. They must not have heard her. Irena sat up, carefully cleared her throat, and tried again. “Excuse me? Can I have some water please? I’m very thirsty.”

One of the men scowled at her. “Don’t do it. Give her water, then she’ll need to use the bathroom. Nuisance.”

The other one retrieved a bottle from the fridge and tossed it across the room. It landed on the mattress next to her, and she twisted the cap off without hesitation. Oh, how good that cold felt on her desert of a throat…

“We might be here a few days,” he said. “Does no good to us if she’s damaged or dead. She’ll need food next.”

“Me too,” the first man said. “We haven’t eaten since Greta’s Cafe. I’ll go order up some pizzas or something if that’s okay Boss.” He pulled a cell phone when the boss nodded approval.

“While you’re at it Joey, go downstairs to the bar and check the news. See if anyone’s paying attention to our ransom demand yet.”

“Sure Boss.”

Joey, Greta’s Cafe, the bar. Irena filed it away. She knew the restaurant, which meant they hadn’t taken her too far from home. Maybe she could find a way to escape, find her way back. Why was her head still ringing?

She made an effort to listen better. It wasn’t her head after all but a bell. A soft, clear bell dinging in unsteady rhythm. It sounded cheerful and hopeful, and Irena thought if she could hear the bell, perhaps the person holding it would hear her if she yelled. But not while Boss watched her through his shroud of cigarette smoke.

Someone started singing outside. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” rolled off a beautiful low voice, and Irena sucked in a quiet breath. She closed her eyes, straining to hear, wishing that just for a moment she could turn the space heater off. The singer sang in time to the bell, verse after verse. She didn’t know there were so many verses.

The lamp winked out and the heater faded. The boss grumbled under his breath, something about a fuse, and activated the flashlight on his phone. “I’ll be right outside,” he grunted to Irena. “Gotta get the heat back on. Don’t try anything, there’s no place for you to go.”

The moment the door clicked behind him, Irena bolted to her feet and peered out the small window above her mattress. She had to stand on her tiptoes, but she could make out the street below—two, three stories maybe?—she was terrible with distance.

It was after dark, streetlights lit up fat snowflakes drifting down, and beneath one light post stood the singing man. Snow dusted his top hat and the shoulders of his long black coat, and a thick white scarf hung around his neck. Bell in hand, a red Salvation Army bucket beside him, he proclaimed the Christmas message. In the dark silence of the room, Irena heard him perfectly.

“Fear not then,” said the Angel
“Let nothing you affright.
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright.
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy.

The lamp flicked back on, the heater whirred to life. The singer glanced up briefly, and Irena took a breath to yell for help. She raised her hands to pound on the glass, but the door slammed open before she could make a sound.

“Hey! You get down from there!”

The boss made angry strides at her, and Irena dropped like a stone to the mattress. After a long stare out the window, the boss glared at her. “You stay away from there.” He continued muttering back to the table.

Irena released a breath. He wasn’t going to hurt her. She listened again for the singing and the bell, but they weren’t there anymore. That was okay. She’d heard what God had wanted her to, she was sure.

“Fear not then…
This day is born a Saviour…
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”


Detective Coleman stood on the street corner, the early morning light sparkling in the fresh snow. The shops would be opening soon, but for now everything was quiet save Greta’s Cafe. He pulled out a small notepad and flipped a couple pages, stopping at the message he’d taken down at the station.

“A Salvation Army volunteer working the convenience store thought he saw a small person in a second story window of the old bank,” he mumbled to himself. “He didn’t notice the lights being on until they went off. And then on again. Went home, couldn’t sleep for thinking about it, called first thing this morning.”

The detective walked down the sidewalk past retailers, the convenience store, and the Canters Inn Bar. He stopped at last in front of the long abandoned bank building and studied the brick walls. His gaze then fell to the ground, where footprints came and went out the alley, partially filled in by snow but still obviously there. Craning his neck down the narrow space, he confirmed his suspicions. The only side access down here went to the bank, not the bar. Someone had been in there, and recently.

Detective Coleman moved back to the small convenience store. He paused at the three-pronged indents of a Salvation Army bucket and looked back at the brick building, right into a second story window.

Maybe that bell ringer really had seen something.

His phone rang. “Coleman here.”

“The lab boys just finished analyzing the ransom call, and they identified the sound in the background. Near as they can figure, it’s some kind of bell ringing.”

Det. Coleman pocketed his phone and shook his head. There was no maybe in his mind anymore.

Half an hour later the Brailys sat with several officers in Greta’s Cafe, waiting anxiously and watching a monitor as a SWAT team prepared to breach the old building down the road. It didn’t take long—less than a minute—and they were in, confirming Irena was alive and two men in custody. Mrs. Braily immediately began to cry.

“Thank you God!” Mr. Braily said, wrapping his arms around his wife.

When Det. Coleman delivered their daughter some minutes later, they clung to each other in overwhelmed relief. “Medics checked her out,” he said to them. “She’s fine, just a little dehydrated and hungry.”

“Oh thank you, Detective!” Mrs. Braily said. “Thank you so much.”

Irena smiled at Det. Coleman, her eyes weary but happy. “Yes, thank you, sir. Do you know where the angel is?”

Mrs. Braily blinked at her in confusion. “Who, darling?”

“The man who sang and rang the bell so I wouldn’t be scared.”

“She means Kevin, ma’am,” the detective said. “He’s a young man with the Salvation Army. Saw her in the window and tipped us off. This whole thing would’ve taken a lot longer if not for him. I’ll fetch him if you like, he insisted on waiting outside.”

Irena didn’t wait. She ran out of the cafe and immediately focused on a man in a long black coat standing by a patrol car. She barreled into him, her arms wrapping around him tightly.

“Thank you, mister.” His rough wool coat muffled her words. “You’re the angel who sang ‘Fear not.’ I trusted in God and he saved me from Satan’s power, just like the song said.”

She looked up at him but didn’t understand the tears in his eyes.

“I’m glad you’re okay, Irena,” he said, kneeling down to her level. “I’m glad God kept you safe and am humbled He used me to help.”

“You must come home with us tonight for Christmas Eve dinner,” Mr. Braily said, finally catching up to his daughter. “My wife insists, and if you have time come by tomorrow. Come to church with us if you like.”

“Oh, well, thank you sir,” Kevin replied with an awkward nod.

“Is your family in town? They’re welcome also.”

Kevin shrugged. “As it happens, I’m on my own this year. Everyone else is caught up elsewhere.”

“Then you’ll come home with us?” Irena smiled and slipped her hand into his. “Let’s go tell Mom! And get some pancakes. I’m starving.”

“Can we talk you into joining us too?” Mr. Braily asked Detective Coleman.

“Oh, no sir,” the detective replied. “I mean I appreciate it, but the wife you know has a big dinner planned with all the local and out of town family and as for me, well…I plan to go home and sleep right up until the roast is out of the oven.”

“I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more,” Mr. Braily said.

Det. Coleman chuckled. “You know, last night when I told my wife that I was working a case and wouldn’t be home, she knew. She somehow knew it was a missing child and you know what she said? She says to me, ‘God picked you to find them, and I know you will.’ It was a comfort, I’ll tell you that. Kept me going when the leads seemed a dead end. What a night. What a day.”

“A true Christmas miracle, Detective,” Mr. Braily said.

And it was.

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy.


Man have I been tired. I think I take two sometimes three naps a day. Apparently this is normal. For like 6 months after a stroke.

Oh, yay.

Yes, I have a routine. No I won’t give up coffee. Yes, I can still do my wee exercises. Yeah yeah yeah. I know, it’s about healing, blah, blah, blah.

Truly, this is cutting into my reading and penning time. Imma gonna need an alarm on after 30 minutes. Perhaps I need this time sound asleep after all.

Tomorrow I go for PRE-OP. Anything CVA related? No. Cataract related. Again. I wondered if it was too early for surgery after the CVA but the cardiologist said I was cleared for it. Okay. LOL I won’t be able to SEE right. They’ve gotta fix a retinal tear and the other eye, remove the cataract. Will they do both same day? Who. Knows. If so, I’ll have those funky patches on each eye, and I’ll look just like an alien.

This doesn’t include surgical procedures to implant a 3 year loop recorder *THREE YEARS* to send to my cardiologist in real time what’s going on with my heart, and a TEE before the loop recorder (did I say 3 years?!). So exciting (transesophageal echocardiogram–go ahead, check my spelling, I’m closing in on naptime). Nothing to do with golf. The TEE, not the nap.

I wait upon my editor to get through her slush pile to pen my third novel to pieces and eventually get the title and cover. Looking forward to it! “Glass Slipper” still fits? Oh. Well, since you haven’t read it, then how could you possibly agree with me …? jus’ sayin’ ya know?

Working my way through “Warped,” (a bit at a time) and enjoying it, quite different from my normal genres yet still the investigations I am used to.

Today I add, my Christian genres are not the normal Amish, romcom, or even romantic suspense.

Here are the genres I love to read, thus I love to write:



Military fiction


Crime fiction

And … medical as in forensics.

They are not sweetness, they are not pretty stories. They do revolve around either the salvation message or the sanctification message. Physical disasters and war, crime, thrillers are a picture of spiritual warfare in real life–finding the evil, the ugly demons plaguing our lives, as we bring out the sword of the Spirit and fight.

Now. Tell me about what you read? Write? Seriously. Inquiring minds want to know.

And as always, links to the first Whiskey River novel, romantic suspense, and followed by a standalone military intrigue/romance…

He’s a warrior. And figures she’ll be cooperative. Scott’s got no idea.
She’s clueless. He’s laughing. Catherine has no idea why she’s being dogged by a homicide detective. He has no idea why she wants to run away. Of course, she’s a thief but … really!

What are your favorite reads?




Follow for news, interviews, reviews, and what’s a’happenin’

It. Is. Finished.

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:

  1. possible military thriller
  2. possible follow up to the Whiskey River Series
  3. possible cozy mystery
  4. possible police procedural in rural Minnesota
  5. And … I have others.
  6. SCARY

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!

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?

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



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.



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 midst 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.


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.


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.


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!