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!

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!

Updates and a testimonial … for fun

Hi ya!

“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.

From a reader:


Mollie

5.0 out of 5 stars Most Memorable and Moving Novel Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2021

“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):

Oops…

Oops? Did you just say, ‘Oops?’

“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.

Cinderella Glass Slipper, Crystal Glass Shoe Ornament, Ideal for Cinderella Party Decoration, Girls Birthday Gift,, Weddin...

“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.

For my other upcoming novels, check out https://www.claireosullivan1.com/

And that’s all, folks!!

‘Sup?

I’ve been working like I am insane. No. Comment.

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This is my EDITOR… ahem.

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.

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Your mamma wears Army boots…

“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:

Scott Walker (not the governor so stop emailing me, yeesh)

Cheyenne Keyes. MAYBE. More silly than likely

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).

Another MAYBE

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.)

OKAY, off to edit.

Nerner Sarcastic GIF - Nerner Sarcastic Yay GIFs
Yay….

Rules of engagement: Submitted

Hallelujah!

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.

Special night afoot!

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!

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Am… Writing

Okay, can you say, ‘rewrite/edit?’

I am almost done with those pesky rewrites for “Rules of Engagement” (working title). The critique group is shredding it like mozzarella for me. My cover? Yet to be determined. However, if you wish to see some of what I envision, keep on reading. No, it’s not about weeping, mozzarrella, or Operation.

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Oww

That helpful process is great. Until you realize it’s like going into open heart surgery without anesthesia and car batteries are attached to the surgeon. Routinely zapping him awake or simply for fun. Who is getting his advice from the game, Operation.

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Yeah, like that

After that, it may go directly to the editor for giggles. Or I may withhold it until it’s as clean a copy so she doesn’t. Pretty much she will tear it apart. Re-shred.

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Editor’s motus operandi

Annnnnd this is me. Once she’s done with it.

That would be me

*The writing life*

Cover ‘in the works.’

“Writing is easy. Just put a sheet of paper in the typewriter and start bleeding.” — Ernest Hemingway

Whew! “Rules of Engagement” and then some

Been busy, busy. Rewrites on Rules of Engagement and juggling ARC and TBR books, reviews, promoting Romance Under Wraps, have been a challenge.

(promote, promote right here): Find Romance Under Wraps on Amazon. Free on KU and Audible. Also available on Kindle and paperback. Click:

Two people (editor and my husband) have started cracking the whip on me to finish the rewrites ASAP. UH.

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ouch!

Truth be told those last chapters will be the hardest.

Truth

Anyone else stuck in that?

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I like keeping posts short. My attention falters with long posts. So, off to rewrites or whatever my calendar tells me to do. Maybe I should get a calandar. Hmm.

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Now that Romance Under Wraps is done…

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.

haha, mine are in order, at least they are now!

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!

“Night to Knight” by Randy Tramp

I so enjoyed this book. Very hard to put down.

Night to Knight by [Randy Tramp]

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!

Really a riveting book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.