Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Radio Murders by Kelly Marshall

Attention crime readers. Here's an author whose books you might want to get to know, including The Radio Murders, which has just been re-released. Here is her story behind the story.


Writing is a lonely profession. We authors often sit up late in the night while our spouses, children and, in my case, grandchild have all gone to bed. Frequently tired after a day full of activity, it’s the quiet time when we can think, imagine, and write without interruption. It was my desire to connect with my reader that prompted me to start a blog. I fought the idea for some time. I kept thinking, how in the world will I ever find the time to add one more thing to my exploding schedule? My decision to write a blog was prompted by that need to reach out and connect with those individuals who inspire me and share their thoughts with me—just like they did on my radio shows.

It’s been a few years since I sat at a microphone and communicated with listeners on my radio show Lights Out in Seattle. Back then I worked for KLSY for several years. Another radio station wined and dined me and wooed me away, and I went to work for Warm 106.9, also in Seattle. Management named my new show Love Songs. I thoroughly enjoyed the magic of nighttime radio. The lights in the studio would be soft and low; I could look through my studio windows and see the city lights sparkling in the dark waters of Puget Sound. The real magic though was the conversations with my listeners. I treasured their stories of love and devotion and yes, even their tales of painful losses. One conversation sticks in my mind with crystal clarity. The caller was from Vancouver, BC. Her family had been in a horrific car accident that night and she was waiting to hear whether they were going to live or die. She called my show to ask for support from my Lights Out listeners. I was humbled that she thought of us to help her through her desperation.

I left radio in 2002 and decided to get a “real” job. You know, one of those with fantastic benefits. It was a difficult transition because I missed the heartfelt sharing I had in radio. I decided to write in my spare time to ease some of the boredom I felt with the job that paid my bills. From the time I could barely read, I had a feeling I would communicate in the world with the written word. I started writing and haven’t stopped. I have written four novels: Black Phoenix, an apocalyptic thriller, The Chair, a sweet romance for the mature set, The Radio Murders, the first in a series of crime mysteries set in Seattle, and 6 White Roses, the second in that series. Currently, I am very close to finishing the third Seattle murder mystery, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die.

I recently changed publishers and am very pleased to announce that I am now with White Bird Publishing. The transition from one publisher to another can be complicated, so all of my books had to be taken off the Internet and reformatted. The freshly edited, new edition of The Radio Murders debuts August 16th.



Kelly's Bio:
I always thought I would communicate in the world as a writer. As a child I was a voracious reader, and knew someday I would pen a great novel. It was my calling. But life sometimes takes left turns and I went to broadcasting school instead of a four-year college.  I did spent thirty years having fun, spinning records, interviewing people, doing love song dedications. I had a ball until…Congress passed a law in 1996 allowing broadcast corporations to own multiple radio stations in one market. Well, the gobbling began and soon behemoths corporations ate up radio stations like locusts in a wheat field. Radio announcers like me were axed on bloody Fridays with surgical precision. I left radio, went to work for the US Federal Government, and in my private hours, began doing what I really loved doing—writing.  
Thank you for the gift of your time. I look forward to hearing from you.


Here's the link to Amazon and click here for Kelly's blog.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Alter Ego by Tory Allyn

I'm happy to feature this suspense thriller this week. It looks like a book I'm going to have to read.


At Granite’s Mill, deep in the backwoods of Virginia, a body is discovered with unusual physical characteristics. By morning, the media erupts over a headline in a local newspaper, ‘The Son of Virginia’s Governor is Missing’. 


 FBI Special Agent Jack Stanwick is handed the case. Realizing he’ll have to go outside the brethren, Jack marshals the help of an old friend, Raymond Davenport, who hung a sign on a renovated brownstone in Washington, DC, with the verbiage: Davenport Detective Agency. To assist him, he hired three former police officers from various precincts, who like himself, blew the whistle on dirty cops only to deal with the fervent hostility from the brotherhood.

 With the investigation under way, the detectives stumble upon a group of men known as M.A.G.O.C., who’re muddled in a governmental conspiracy involving a top-ranking official at the White House. With their many resources, they dig further and unearth Prescott Chemicals. Years earlier, the owner and his lead chemist had stolen an elixir from the Mayapo natives of the Amazon rainforest and have transformed it into a formula to be used in a congressional scheme. 

When the detectives accidently come into contact with the new formulation, something undesirable happens to one of them, altering his life forever.

Here's where to buy it: Alter Ego

Tory Allyn currently resides in Upstate New York. Although born in Syracuse, he was raised in the quaint town of Baldwinsville with his brother and two sisters, who drove him into becoming the zany person he is today. As a child, he made up many a tale. Some funny; others dark and brooding, but all started him on the path to writing. Today, his nephew, lovingly referred to as ‘The Monster Child’, is his partner in crime. Most days you will see them playing ball at a nearby park, going for a dip in the backyard pool or snowboarding down a popular mountainside. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Which Blurb is the Best?

Like most writers, I find it challenging to write the logline (or Facebook hook), and pitch or Amazon blurb for my books, and I now have three templates for creating them. Each template has its merits, but I do favor one of them over the others.

When I completed Aquarius Addiction, at the end of 2014, I didn't have a template to use, and now I think the blurb I wrote then was too wordy, so I plan to change it.

I've placed all four of my efforts below and I would love it if readers and other writers would take a look at all of them. Tell me in the comments section below which one you think is the best. As a reward for giving your honest opinion, I'll be happy to share all three templates with you.



1. THE ORIGINAL (NO TEMPLATE)

Logline, One Line Pitch or Facebook Hook


FBI Psychic Arlette Xylander has two goals – to beat death, and have wild passionate sex with Andre Rossouw.

Blurb

Why did hunky Andre Rossouw come into Arlette's life on the same day her doctor told her she was about to die?

Attractive FBI Psychic Arlette Xylander displays all the character traits of her star sign, Aquarius, being feisty, eccentric, freedom-loving, flirtatious, rebellious and unpredictable. She may be only five feet tall, but she epitomizes the old adage that dynamite comes in small packages.

Her emotions rage between denial, anger and tears when her doctor tells her she is suffering from a rare terminal disease. When hunky Andre Rossouw asks her to help find his sister who has been missing for four years, Arlette makes two decisions. To beat the disease and find a cure, and to have wild and passionate sex with him.

Then she finds out he has a fiancée.

Arlette's country home on the banks of Bayou LeGue was left to her by her mysterious aunt Lucie, whom she never met, and whom her dysfunctional parents have never been willing to discuss. She often wakes in the dark hours of the night to hear ghostly voices downstairs, and wishes she could find out who they are and what they want.

A mysterious letter arrives from her aunt, hinting at a secret in the house, and her friend, Reay, agrees to research her home's recorded archives, while Arlette plans to dig into her family history. She starts by visiting her aunt's grave, where she finds a mysterious woman wearing a hooded cloak, who leaves in a hurry. Arlette's instincts tell her the woman holds the answers to all her questions, but how can she find her?


~~~~~~

2. Logline:

FBI psychic Arlette Xylander couldn't predict that her doctor would give her such devastating news on the same day she met the man of her dreams.


Blurb:

Arlette Xylander's aging New Orleans mansion on the bayou is haunted. She wishes she knew what the ghosts were saying, but she's a psychic, not a medium.

She doesn't allow the shattering diagnosis—a death sentence—from her doctor to prevent her from accepting the assignment to use her psychic powers in an attempt to find Andre Rossouw's missing sister.

At the Rossouw farm she and Andre share a passionate kiss. Then she finds out he has a fiancée. It doesn't deter her from placing him—or what she wants to do to him—at the top of her bucket list.

The kidnappers cannot risk being identified. Arlette knows she's getting close to finding the missing girl when she's viciously attacked. What desperate and terrifying lengths will they go to next?  

~~~~~~


3. Logline

FBI Psychic Arlette Xylander meets the man of her dreams on the same day her doctor gives her an earth shattering diagnosis. Will she have time to fulfill her bucket list?

Blurb:

FBI psychic Arlette Xylander accepts the mission to help find Andre Rossouw's missing sister, but her doctor has given her six months to live. Will she be able to complete her quest in that time?

A strong mutual attraction draws her into Andre's arms for a stolen kiss—and then she finds out he has a fiancée. But it doesn't stop her from putting him at the top of her bucket list, and failure is not in Arlette's vocabulary. She is an Aquarius, after all, and true to type—rebellious and independent..

There's only one way you can stop a psychic from getting information, right? A vicious attack tells Arlette she's getting close to revealing the kidnappers' identities, and she has to find the strength and resourcefulness to overcome their terrifying and reckless attempts to thwart her investigation.

Could a mysterious woman wearing a hooded cloak hold the key to a cure for Arlette's disease?

~~~~~~

4. Logline: 

How would you feel if you met the man of your dreams on the same day your doctor said you were dying?

Blurb:

When hunky Andre Rossouw asks FBI psychic Arlette Xylander to help in the search for his missing sister, she puts him at the top of her bucket list—to have hot passionate sex with him, that is. 

She also wants to find the secret hidden in the walls of her aging New Orleans mansion before she dies. The ghosts who meet at her dining room table in the darkest hour of the night probably hold the answer, but she's a psychic, not a medium.

Her quest to find the missing girl brings clues, and the shattering information that Andre has a fiancée.

Tensions escalate when Arlette is viciously attacked, and she wonders if she'll run out of time before fulfilling her quest.

~~~~~~

. . . And just in case you want to buy it, here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/Aquarius-Addiction-Trish-Jackson/dp/1619359618/ 


Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Convenient Marriage by Maggie Tideswell -- Preview

The Story Behind the Story

This is the first post in my new project in which authors talk about the story behind their book and what motivated them to write it. 

My friend and fellow romance author, Maggie Tideswell has a new paranormal romance in the works and I found her explanation of the idea behind the story fascinating. Hope you do too.


Maggie writes:

The idea of two complete strangers getting hitched has always intrigued me, for one simple reason—why would they do such a thing? Could such a relationship succeed? By successful relationship, I understand not only the longevity of the marriage…but is it possible for the participants to actually fall in love with each other in such a strange arrangement? I write romance, after all, and love is found in the most unexpected places.

A Convenient Marriage grew over a number of years. The basic story was simple—a divorcee with two children, an ex-husband being difficult over visitation, as well as a fiancée unable to commit. 

Holly’s friends suggested that she needed a new husband, placing an advertisement in the paper for one behind her back. Joshua was struck by a simple plan when he saw the ad and responded to it. Boring stuff, huh?

The problem was motivation. Why would Holly marry a man she’d never met, and why would Joshua respond to an ad for a husband, then actually propose to a woman he had never clapped eyes on? So, in came the dawdling fiancée, Nicole. Both Holly and Joshua were justified in not planning the marriage to be a real one, because they each had an agenda of their own, but Nicole was the injured party. For their plan to succeed, they had to marry—the real kind, down to that all-important piece of paper married—and they had to seem to be totally in love with each other. Holly needed to be married to take her ex on for custody of her children, while if Joshua wanted to motivate his reluctant fiancée into church, he had to be off limits to Nicole. That would make him very attractive to her again, and maybe she would even set a date for their wedding.

And here comes the ‘but’. Holly and Joshua’s plans go awry from the moment they meet on the steps of the chapel where their fake marriage is to take place, when both recognize the immediate attraction. Back at Joshua’s wine estate—yes, he is a rich landowner where Holly expected him to be a pauper—Holly meets Joshua’s mother, his brother and sister-in-law, and Nicole, the fiancée, who found out about Joshua’s duplicity in a room full of people. No one can blame Nicole for being a tad upset. Or can they? To add to Holly’s woes, she seems to have acquired a ‘ghost’ demanding she tell a story.

Amidst Nicole’s shenanigans, Joshua’s mother’s disapproval, Holly’s ex’s aggression, and the ghost following Holly around, will these two accomplish what they set out to do? Or will life get in the way?

Joshua’s and Holly’s journey through the uncharted seas of a blind marriage, where no rules apply, is a stormy one.


A Convenient Marriage will be published on October 13, 2016.

Maggie Tideswell is a South African author with a passion for romance. All over the world people are falling in love, even the birds and the bees are doing it. Ghosts just can't seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can't be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.

Find other books by Maggie on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Tideswell/e/B005GJ3DG8

A Convenient Marriage by Maggie Tideswell -- Preview

My friend and fellow romance author, Maggie Tideswell has a new paranormal romance in the works and I found her explanation of the idea behind the story fascinating. Hope you do too.

Maggie writes:

The idea of two complete strangers getting hitched has always intrigued me, for one simple reason—why would they do such a thing? Could such a relationship succeed? By successful relationship, I understand not only the longevity of the marriage…but is it possible for the participants to actually fall in love with each other in such a strange arrangement? I write romance, after all, and love is found in the most unexpected places.

A Convenient Marriage grew over a number of years. The basic story was simple—a divorcee with two children, an ex-husband being difficult over visitation, as well as a fiancée unable to commit. 

Holly’s friends suggested that she needed a new husband, placing an advertisement in the paper for one behind her back. Joshua was struck by a simple plan when he saw the ad and responded to it. Boring stuff, huh?

The problem was motivation. Why would Holly marry a man she’d never met, and why would Joshua respond to an ad for a husband, then actually propose to a woman he had never clapped eyes on? So, in came the dawdling fiancée, Nicole. Both Holly and Joshua were justified in not planning the marriage to be a real one, because they each had an agenda of their own, but Nicole was the injured party. For their plan to succeed, they had to marry—the real kind, down to that all-important piece of paper married—and they had to seem to be totally in love with each other. Holly needed to be married to take her ex on for custody of her children, while if Joshua wanted to motivate his reluctant fiancée into church, he had to be off limits to Nicole. That would make him very attractive to her again, and maybe she would even set a date for their wedding.

And here comes the ‘but’. Holly and Joshua’s plans go awry from the moment they meet on the steps of the chapel where their fake marriage is to take place, when both recognize the immediate attraction. Back at Joshua’s wine estate—yes, he is a rich landowner where Holly expected him to be a pauper—Holly meets Joshua’s mother, his brother and sister-in-law, and Nicole, the fiancée, who found out about Joshua’s duplicity in a room full of people. No one can blame Nicole for being a tad upset. Or can they? To add to Holly’s woes, she seems to have acquired a ‘ghost’ demanding she tell a story.

Amidst Nicole’s shenanigans, Joshua’s mother’s disapproval, Holly’s ex’s aggression, and the ghost following Holly around, will these two accomplish what they set out to do? Or will life get in the way?

Joshua’s and Holly’s journey through the uncharted seas of a blind marriage, where no rules apply, is a stormy one.


A Convenient Marriage will be published on October 13, 2016.

Maggie Tideswell is a South African author with a passion for romance. All over the world people are falling in love, even the birds and the bees are doing it. Ghosts just can't seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can't be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.

Find other books by Maggie on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Tideswell/e/B005GJ3DG8

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Can You Work Through an Information Dump?

I sometimes have to give up on a book without finishing it. Why? Because I can't read through a long information dump. It's just too boring. 


If you're on Goodreads you will know that your friends can recommend books they've enjoyed. I usually prefer to choose books on my own, but I weakened and downloaded a book that was recommended to me. I thought the blurb and the plot sounded like it would be the kind of book I enjoy. But no. I never found out if the story was any good or not.

What is an information dump?  It's when an author wants to tell you the back story of the characters. This can be done in a few different ways, but one way is for an 'omnipresent third person' (OP3) a.k.a. the author, to tell the story. Another way is to have the characters think back, and the third (and best way in my opinion) is through dialogue.


The problem with the first method is that, apart from the fact that it isn't the way books are supposed to be written these days, we as readers need to become invested in a character before we care about their back story.

I am not going to mention the title or author of this book because it's not my intention to discredit anyone, but the author took the reader through four decades of back story of the four women who have played bridge since they were in their twenties. That's a very large information dump. I hardly knew any of the characters, so it didn't mean anything to me.

As an author, I have probably been guilty of the same thing in the past, but I most definitely won't be in the future. In fact, I'm currently working on 'Fat Girls Rock' and because it is the 4th in a series, (Redneck P.I. Mystery Series) I have to keep giving information about what has happened in the past. I'm doing so by breaking it up and spreading it out as far as I can and using as much dialogue as possible. It's not easy, but I think I'm keeping it credible.

Something to think about.

Can You Work Through an Information Dump?

I sometimes have to give up on a book without finishing it. Why? Because I can't read through a long information dump. It's just too boring. 


If you're on Goodreads you will know that your friends can recommend books they've enjoyed. I usually prefer to choose books on my own, but I weakened and downloaded a book that was recommended to me. I thought the blurb and the plot sounded like it would be the kind of book I enjoy. But no. I never found out if the story was any good or not.

What is an information dump?  It's when an author wants to tell you the back story of the characters. This can be done in a few different ways, but one way is for an 'omnipresent third person' (OP3) a.k.a. the author, to tell the story. Another way is to have the characters think back, and the third (and best way in my opinion) is through dialogue.


The problem with the first method is that, apart from the fact that it isn't the way books are supposed to be written these days, we as readers need to become invested in a character before we care about their back story.

I am not going to mention the title or author of this book because it's not my intention to discredit anyone, but the author took the reader through four decades of back story of the four women who have played bridge since they were in their twenties. That's a very large information dump. I hardly knew any of the characters, so it didn't mean anything to me.

As an author, I have probably been guilty of the same thing in the past, but I most definitely won't be in the future. In fact, I'm currently working on 'Fat Girls Rock' and because it is the 4th in a series, (Redneck P.I. Mystery Series) I have to keep giving information about what has happened in the past. I'm doing so by breaking it up and spreading it out as far as I can and using as much dialogue as possible. It's not easy, but I think I'm keeping it credible.

Something to think about.