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.

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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.

WELL then.

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.

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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.

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First thing to edit, write in ENGLISH??

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!

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How COVID Impacts ME (and you)

Good and mixed news.

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).

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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.

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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.

The Last Breath – Raerei's FortressLooks dead to me

 

 

 

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.

States That Defend Us—Where Do Our Military Volunteers Call Home?

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…

Crime Scene Photography: A Complicated History

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.

Documentary: Hobart woman may have fed dismembered lover to ...

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.

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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?

crime scene barbie

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!