Monday, March 31, 2014

Work Like Mad, Now Wait

When it comes to publishing a book through a publisher, it seems I'm either working like mad to get a deadline met or biding my time waiting. It goes something like this:

Send in the novel to see if they will accept it - wait
They accept but want revisions - work like mad to reread and revise
Send in the revisions - wait
They send back for edits - reread and work like mad
Send in the yet again revised novel - wait
Get the pre-galley - work like mad to reread again for corrections
Send back the corrections - wait
Get the final galley - work like mad to reread again for corrections
Send back the okay to go - wait to get the release date

I'm in the final waiting stage right now. With this publisher, from galley they have a year to publish the book. A YEAR! It might not necessarily take that long, but it could. Angst. So I wait. In the meantime, I previously posted the official excerpt. Thought I would share the opening paragraphs with you:

Lacy quickened her pace.
The footsteps behind her did the same.
As fast as her feet touched the bricks, her heart beat twice that speed. If only she could clear the narrow alley, step onto the lit sidewalk...
Like a magnet, the street light pulled her forward and she lunged out of the darkness. Her hand slammed to her chest. After a hard intake of breath and a fast exhale, she cast a furtive glance over her shoulder. With her head down and the strap of her purse in a tight fist against her breast, she whirled around to cover the last block at a trot…
And jarred with the collision as if she’d hit a cement wall. She careened off balance, but hands grabbed her shoulders keeping her upright.

This is the first book in my Love and Murder Series. Waiting for that release date...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tortuga's Gone to the Dogs

  Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.
Xena, mellow but destructive
It's 5:00am on Tortuga Flats Farm, pitch black outside but not quiet. Dogs are howling. Not ours. This happens quite often in the early hours. Once in a while, it sounds like coyotes and may very well be, but this morning it's definitely dogs. One will start then a chorus from several houses around will join in. I'm not sure if they're greeting each other or taking the place of roosters in our area.

Everyone in this area has dogs - not A dog but dogs. We're not too fond of how some of these doggies are kept and the care they receive, or rather don't receive. We called the Humane Society on our newest neighbors last week. They hadn't been home for two days and their two dogs were alone and looked awfully thin. The woman from HS entered the property. She found water and bowls that appeared to be food dishes. The assumption was made that someone was coming around to feed and water the animals. Poor puppies don't look all that healthy.

Gabby, Xena and Rusty
Another neighbor has about six dogs that are the rattiest looking pack. Supposedly, they have saved a couple of them from a worse fate than how they now live. We don't see them getting beat and they aren't starving but they seem so ignored.

We may be over judgmental considering how we care for our dogs who are part of the family. Lance and Christie have two, Xena and Gabby and we have Rusty. We make our own dog food which we've researched to confirm they're getting what they need. They sleep the night indoors. Even though we have plenty of yard space and room for them to romp and play, they get a walk nearly everyday.

Rusty, the elder
Xena eats things like expensive hearing aids. Gabby digs holes in the yard. Rusty is getting old and crotchety and sheds too much. But hey, none of us are perfect either. We believe if you're going to bring a pet into your life, you should treat it with respect and love. Not sure why you would want one otherwise.

Friday, March 21, 2014


There are great books to be had from The Wild Rose Press. Here are a couple to tempt you. Then enter the drawing blow before March 27 for a $10 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.

A Second Chance at Forever by JM Stewart
Recently divorced and working two jobs, Angela Lewis has no room in her life for love. Yet when her childhood crush finds her at the nightclub where she works as sexy stripper Candy Cane and expresses his interest, Angela can't resist. She only wants one night to live the fantasy her alter ego provides.

Alex McKinley is still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life, and one night with Candy is exactly what he needs. He gets more than he bargained for, however, when he discovers she's the little sister of his best friend. Suddenly little Angie's all grown up and driving him crazy.

The more time he spends with Angela, the more Alex finds himself falling for the woman she's become. She makes him want to live again. But can he convince her to take a chance on him?

Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 210
Word Count: 56923
978-1-61217-619-2 Digital
978-1-62830-099-4 Print

Magic of the Loch by Karen Michelle Nutt
Michaela Grant travels to Scotland for a holiday, knowing this vacation is her last. A medical condition threatens her life and any chance of a future—until she meets Alan MacLachlin, a man forced to exist between two worlds.

Alan is the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Once every fifty years he returns to human form in search of his soul mate, the one woman who can break his curse. He believes he has found forever with Michaela, but to claim it he must figure out how to save her life.

Michaela and Alan vow to take what time has to offer, but another threat looms. A sinister shape shifter with a vendetta against Alan is making Loch Ness his personal hunting ground. Now he's threatening Michaela. Alan must discover who the shifter is and stop him before it's too late.
Rated: Spicy

Page Count: 372
Word Count: 98481
978-1-61217-293-4 Digital
978-1-61217-292-7 Paperback

Voodoo Dreams by Alana Lorens
When her big trial goes bad, corporate attorney Brianna Ward can't wait to get out of Pittsburgh. The Big Easy seems like the perfect place to rest, relax, and forget about the legal business. Too bad an obnoxious--but handsome--lawyer from a rival firm is checking into the same bed and breakfast.

Attorney Evan Farrell has Mardi Gras vacation plans too. When he encounters fiery and attractive Brianna, however, he puts the Bourbon Street party on hold. He'd much rather devote himself to her--especially when a mysterious riddle appears in her bag, seeming to threaten danger.

Strangely compelled to follow the riddle's clues, Brianna is pulled deeper into the twisted schemes of a voodoo priest bent on revenge. To escape his poisonous web, she must work with Evan to solve the curse. But is the growing love they feel for each other real? Or just a voodoo dream?

Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 278
Word Count: 66269
978-1-62830-045-1 Paperback
978-1-62830-046-8 Digital

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Writing Mystery by JoAnne Myers


Please welcome JoAnne Myers back to Muse Monday. She'll be awarding two commenters a print copy of her poetry collection “Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between.”

Before writing a word, take some time to jot down key story points. As you're writing, the story will want to take on a life of its own. Having a handy reference of key points will help keep your story on track and you from pulling your hair out. A list of key points is also helpful when outlining the story plot. You may very well find that the story begins to unfold as you're writing down the key points. If this happens...let it! Write down any ideas or details that come to you, they'll come in handy later. 

Some key points to consider are; what is the mystery? This is the underlying theme to the entire story so be as in-depth as possible (has there been a murder or a theft or a kidnapping? If so, how and where was it committed?).

Hunt for the culprit. Every good story has at least one antagonist, but what steps must the hero or heroine take to find him/her? How will the villain evade the hero? How is the mystery solved? In mystery writing there are a lot of twists and turns. Write down your initial thoughts for plot twists, red herrings to throw the readers off the trail of the true villain, and of course the final stages of how the good guy will prevail...or does he? You need to decide whether or not the hero or the villain wins in the end. Many hero’s die trying to solve their case. Many are involved in physical altercations with other characters. You must decide how many altercations, the number of characters involved, and what weapons if any are used. It is not a good idea to only engage your characters with fist fighting. Throw in some knives, chains, falling from windows, or my favorite, a poisoning, and other nasty assaults.

Every great story has well rounded characters. We read fiction because we want to be entertained and develop a connection with the characters. Outlining items such as personality traits, physical features, and quirks can help bring your characters to life; a speech impediment, or limp, or a nervous twitch.

For the Protagonist, decide the name, age, where does he/she live, does he/she have a family or pets, what is their driving goal for taking on this particular case? Is the hero a police officer, a person sworn to honesty, pride, and valor. Or is the good guy a private detective being paid to find a certain someone. Or your main character could be a parent or sibling searching for a missing loved one.

For the Antagonist, decide the name, age, where does he/she live, is there an underlying reason for being the antagonist? Perhaps this person is a career criminal. On the other hand, maybe he/she is a good person that suffered an unjust and turned to crime out of bitterness and despair.

Then you have your support characters, who are the color of the story. They provide depth to the story whether good or bad. A support character could be as simple as a loud mouth hot dog vendor standing on a street corner or as in-depth as the villain's partner in crime. In writing a mystery story, support characters can take on a life of their own with the reader, so make them interesting. Just because they are labeled support characters does not mean they are any less important than the main characters.

Next is the location of the story. When and where is the story set? These two key elements are what bring your story to life. Mystery story writing is a broad genre and could be set in any time period and in any place. When working with actual locations it is a good idea to do research on the location first. Readers want to feel as though they are there with the characters, so being able to accurately describe a location is vital. Time periods are no exception. If the story is set in 1940's New Orleans, the reader will want to see their surroundings, not just be told the story is taking place in a speakeasy or church. Be descriptive!

A mystery story is not a story without a solid well thought out plot. Some things to consider when developing the story plot: What is the driving force of the mystery? To solve a murder, or rescue a kidnap victim? What does the villain do to thwart the hero? Does the villain get his goons on the hero? Is the hero being set up by the villain and now he is being hunted by police. What other obstacles get in the way of solving the mystery?

One of the most important elements of writing a mystery story is suspense. Giving away too much too soon will bore the reader. It is best if the suspense is sprinkled throughout the story; bring the mystery to light within the first few chapters, then as the story progresses add a clue here and there without revealing the outcome until the final chapter. Do not be afraid to add a "red herring" or false clue, within the stories context. Readers love nothing better than to think they have everything figured out only to find in the end they were mistaken the entire time.

The final few chapters of the story should hold the climax of the conflict and resolution between the hero and villain, including how all of the clues scattered throughout the story cumulatively solves the mystery. A good conclusion gives the reader a sense of closure in finding out how the hero solved the mystery. Remember that not all mysteries have to be completely solved or have a "happy" ending. If you are writing a series of stories, the villain may get away at the end of story #1 with the hero using clues from story #1 to track down the villain in story #2. In mystery story writing, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.


When two dismembered torsos wash up on the banks of the local river in the small industrial town of Pleasant Valley, residents are horrified. Between contradicting statements, police ineptitude, lust, lies, manipulation, incest, the motorcycle gang The Devil’s Disciples, crooked cops, and a botched crime scene, everyone becomes a suspect.

The young beautiful Jackie Reeves, a registered nurse, believes the killer is a man from her past. She contacts the dangerously handsome FBI Agent Walker Harmon. An arrest is made, but Harmon and Jackie believe an innocent man is being railroaded by local cops. Determined to find the truth, before anymore killings, Agent Harmon and Jackie are forced to run a gauntlet of deep trouble and turmoil, which marks them for death.

My books along with my original canvas paintings, can be found on my website Books and Paintings by JoAnne or

Buy Links for “Murder Most Foul,” a crime/mystery story

JoAnne’s books are also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble