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

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!

‘Sup?

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

Image result for I'm Not Insane
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.

See the source image
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.

Thanks to Deb at elk lake publishing!

“Romance Under Wraps” has been chugging right along thanks to Deb Haggerty and the Elk Lake Publishing group!

Check out the cool stuff on their website and the YouTube trailer (hint: Go to the ‘O’ and find my trailer):

To the readers and reviewers, you guys rock.

Thank you also to the latest reviewer who said,

“Don’t let the title fool you; this is a suspenseful tension-inducing read. Yes, there is a touching romantic underlying theme, but my interest was a suspenseful crafted story. This novel meets and exceeds my personal interests in both suspense and romance. The author displays a solid knowledge of police work and captures a cops’ thought process and their dry humor (I know because I was once one).

The main character’s, Catherine, on and off again romantic relationship with Detective Calhoun, is peppered with humorous quick-witted barbs. However, you see a growing relationship with each other. The storyline also draws a line of Christian thought through it. A dynamic, dangerous, and complex novel compels the reader to turn the pages to the very end. And what an ending.

See the source image

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!