Welcome.

Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Who's For Dinner Fridays, and Saturday Sampler.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

#IWSG - BIAW & Me


It's that time again. The 1st Wednesday of the month is Insecure Writers Support Group, the brainchild Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts: Jennifer Hawes, Jen Chandler, Nick Wilford, Juneta Key, JH Moncrieff, Diane Burton, and MJ Fifield!

Have you heard of BIAW (Book in a Week)? It’s a challenge like NaNo, only a week long instead of a whole month. The main premise of this challenge (offered by the Kiss of Death RWA online chapter four times a year) is “to get a solid storyline down, a good rough draft of your beginning, middle and ending, and an in-depth idea of your main characters, so by the end of the week you'll have ‘a novel idea’ you can flesh-out and build upon.” It runs for seven days, Monday through Sunday. No word count goals, except what you set for yourself.

In October, I participated and wrote over 8k words. My goal this time was 10k. I wrote over 11,000 words from November 28th through December 4th. This was exactly what I needed to give me a good kick in the pants to finish the PI mystery I’ve been dogging around on most of the year. I didn’t do all the advance prep that they suggest since I had a good chunk of the story already written.

I’m not sure why I’ve had such difficulties with this story. It might be because I’m normally a pantser, and I’d figured out the whole story before writing. I knew what would happen in scenes. I knew most of the characters well. Just like a good plotter (even if I didn’t write everything down). Perhaps that was the problem. I’d already “told” the story. There were very few surprises.

Whatever the cause, as you can see off to the right, I’m nearly finished with The Case of the Meddling Mama. Thanks to BIAW.

December 7 Question: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

What a great question. I’ve planned one year ahead but not five before—although if you treat writing as your business, which I do, you should have a five-year plan. I plan to get one of my books into the Top 100 on Amazon. How? Another good question and the hardest. Active marketing (paid and free) and, most importantly, by writing stronger books.

As you see above, I have the privilege of being one of the co-hosts this month. I’m looking forward to getting around to seeing those on my list, as well as everyone I can get to.


Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

#WeWriWa #8Sunday - Bygone Brother - Caught

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

I'm continuing with a snippet from my PI mystery, The Case of the Bygone Brother, a contemporary cozy, that takes place in a small Lake Michigan resort town. Alex (Alexandra) O'Hara has taken over her dad's investigation agency, struggling to keep it going.  In this snippet, Alex and Nick are surveilling Mr. Yoder's activities, with Alex peeking in the basement window.
While I gaped at the sight in the basement, the back door opened and a woman said, “Hurry up, Killer, do your business and get back in here.”
Killer? Time to make tracks before some monster dog discovered a trespasser. I slowly straightened, keeping my back to the wall, and edged behind the bushes—without making noise or quick motions. As I put my toe into the fence link, vicious barking close by—real close by—spurred me up, then Killer grabbed the hem of my jeans.
As the dog tugged, Nick grabbed the back of my sweatshirt and started to haul me over. The bent tops of the chain links dug into my stomach. Killer hung on a moment longer then landed with a whimper before baying like a hound who’d treed his prey, while I lost my balance and landed on top of Nick—just like that time in the office.
“We have to stop meeting like this,” he whispered.


Alex O’Hara finally gets a case that will give her bottom line a much needed boost. She might even be able to change her diet from ramen noodles to prime rib. All she has to do is track down a man who’s been missing for over ten years. Piece of cake . . . until an old flame arrives and a mugger roughs her up with orders to back off.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday and the Crazies

Have you been going crazy with all the ads and sales? Did you join the frenzied crowds on Black Friday? And here it is Cyber Monday.

I hate shopping. Even more than that, I hate crowds. So I was not one of the frenzied shoppers last Friday or even on Saturday. Today is different. I'll check out the deals on my favorite sites. I already know what I want to give my family members and dear friends.

If you like science fiction romance, check out this site.

http://smschmitz.com/promo
My first published book, Switched, is in the $.99 group. Be sure to check it out.

In other news, I sent out my Holiday Newsletter this morning. If you haven't subscribed yet, email me at dmburton72@gmail.com and I'll send you a copy.

I joined the BIAW (book in a week) challenge that starts today. I have to report my word count each day. Now that's an incentive. LOL The last time I did this, I wrote over 8500 words. My goal this week is to write 10,000 words (that's 40 pages) on The Case of the Meddling Mama. I'll report next Monday.

Have a great week and try not to stress.




Saturday, November 26, 2016

#WeWriWa #8Sunday - Bygone Brother


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I'm continuing with a snippet from my PI mystery, The Case of the Bygone Brother, a contemporary cozy, that takes place in a small Lake Michigan resort town. Alex (Alexandra) O'Hara has taken over her dad's investigation agency, struggling to keep it going.  This snippet picks up with the older client in Alex's office.

When Mrs. Yoder finally took the visitor’s chair, I breathed a silent prayer of thanks. She was convinced her husband was running around on her—no wonder she nearly bolted out the door. Her perception of Nick and me playing hanky-panky in the office must have been a painful reminder of what she thought her husband was doing.

“Can you check the bank and credit card statements?” I asked.

“That seems so . . . underhanded, like I don’t trust him.”

I gave her a long look until she said, “I guess I don’t trust him if I’m coming to you.”

“What time does he leave so I can follow him?”

“F-Follow him?”

What? Did she think I’d look into my crystal ball and ‘see’ her husband fooling around?



Alex O’Hara finally gets a case that will give her bottom line a much needed boost. She might even be able to change her diet from ramen noodles to prime rib. All she has to do is track down a man who’s been missing for over ten years. Piece of cake . . . until an old flame arrives and a mugger roughs her up with orders to back off.

Amazon ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ ARe ~ Barnes and NobleSmashwords ~ Amazon UK
 



Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving



It’s too bad many of us only think about what we’re grateful for at Thanksgiving. We should be thankful every day. We live in a land of plenty when people in other parts of the world go hungry, have no homes, no freedoms, and live with fear every day.

As we sit around a table laden with enough food to feed two or three times as many people, we give thanks for our many blessings. Here are a few of mine.

Grandchildren who make me laugh and fill me with good cheer.

Children who’ve grown into responsible, caring adults.

My husband who’s a quiet presence in our home, always supportive, a good man.

A family who takes care of each other.

Friends who love us and care about us.

Our house that shelters us, in a neighborhood of genuinely nice people.

My talent as a writer where I can entertain readers by giving life to the characters in my head.

Supportive writing friends.

Fans who are enjoy my books.

Books that have always been my friends.

My list could go on and on. Even though I mentioned him above, I am most grateful for the man I married 44 years ago on Thanksgiving.

Safe travels to all who will be on the road this week. 




What are you grateful for?


Saturday, November 19, 2016

#WeWriWa - #8Sunday: The Case of the Bygone Brother


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

The snippet this weekend is from my PI mystery, The Case of the Bygone Brother, a contemporary cozy takes place in a small Lake Michigan resort town, similar to the one where I live. Alex (Alexandra) O'Hara has taken over her dad's investigation agency, struggling to keep it going. Last week, she fell off the filing cabinet and landed on top of Nick. A potential client came in. This snippet picks up a few minutes later.
 
Mrs. Yoder, an attractive woman in her mid-seventies who hadn’t let age keep her from being trim and stylish, lingered in the doorway to my office, disapproval fairly shouting from her. “I believe I have made a mistake.”
I put on the matching jacket to my gray skirt, saying, “Ma’am?”
“The, uh, scene I interrupted . . .” She pursed her lips, giving me that ‘you Jezebel’ look, yet I saw hesitation in her expression, too, and uncertainty.
“I apologize, I fell off the cabinet and he caught—” Pop’s caveat zinged through my brain, never explain, never complain. “Appearances aren’t always what they seem, but I will understand if you choose to go elsewhere.” Please don’t, I need the work.


Alex O’Hara finally gets a case that will give her bottom line a much needed boost. She might even be able to change her diet from ramen noodles to prime rib. All she has to do is track down a man who’s been missing for over ten years. Piece of cake . . . until an old flame arrives and a mugger roughs her up with orders to back off.

Amazon ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ ARe ~ Barnes and NobleSmashwords ~ Amazon UK
 




Friday, November 18, 2016

Who's For Dinner with Linda Carroll-Bradd


My guest today is Linda Carroll-Bradd. Besides sharing who she'd like to have dinner with, she's celebrating the release of her newest book. Welcome, Linda.


I’d love to spend time with Jane Austen, one of my top three favorite authors. I’ve imagined the circumstance both ways—me in her time or her in contemporary time.


Not only would I be fascinated by what she’d think of a dinner at one of America’s popular chain restaurants like Applebee’s or Carrabas, I believe I’d have to steer the conversation. Trying hard not to be a fan girl about all things Austen, I would keep my questions centered on her work.

Did you realize the extent of social commentary you layered into your work?
Which of your heroines is your favorite?
Who is your favorite hero?
Did writing about women who had little say about the direction of their lives relieve personal frustration?
If you’d known that your books would still have an audience two hundred years later, would you have written them any differently?



The influence I’ve gained from reading her works makes me include a bit of resistance in each of my heroines. They are always wishing for something that is against what someone else expects. I guess you could say each has a little bit of Lizzie Bennett in her personality.

That would be a fantastic dinner, Linda. I wonder how Jane would feel seeing her books turned into movies. Congratulations on the just released, Silent Signals, part of the A Cowboy Christmas series. I'm excited to learn more about it.

Title:  Silent Signals, A Cowboy Christmas series
Author:  Linda Carroll-Bradd
Publisher:  Prism Book Group
Release Date:  11/18/16 (24,431 words)

Blurb for Silent Signals:
After losing half his herd in the Great Blizzard of 1886, rancher Konrad Werner needs to safeguard his cattle. Tomboy Anora Huxley trains the Australian Shepherds and Kelpies that run the family’s sheep herd. Although cattlemen and shepherds are at odds, the pair discovers common interests. A threat is overheard, and Konrad rides out to Anora’s ranch to protect her. The tense situation reveals their true feelings. Will Anora be swayed by family loyalty, or will she listen to her heart that responds to Konrad’s silent signals?

Tagline for Silent Signals:
Will the valley’s feud between cattlemen and shepherds keep them apart?

Purchase Links:


Excerpt from Silent Signals:
Twirling her finger like a tornado, Celina grinned. “Turn so I can see from all angles.”

“And I can move.” First, she bent over to touch her toes. “See?” Then, with hands on her waist, she leaned from side to side. She was just finishing the last quarter of her second spin to display her outfit when the bell over the door tinkled.

“Gaelle, you about ready to leave?” a deep voice asked.

At the familiar sound, Anora gasped. She dropped her hands to her sides at the same moment she came to a stop at the sight of that man filling the doorway. Her skirts swished around her legs a couple of times before settling.

“Yes, I’m ready.” Gaelle was quick to answer.

His eyes widened as he ran his gaze down her length from head to toe and then flicked to the table where her underthings lay. With a slow move, he dragged his hat off his head and pushed the door closed behind him. A quirk pulled at one corner of his mouth.

Beard-stubbled, the man had been good looking. Clean-shaven, he was downright handsome. Heat flashed in Anora’s cheeks, and she panted, not taking in enough air. Certainly this breathlessness had to do with the corset, and not with the appearance of this attractive but arrogant man. Her gaze caught his dark one, the color of hot cocoa, and her stomach leapt, like when she took a tumble. She had to look away.


Stifling a squeal, she dashed forward, bunched the garments together, and stuffed them under her coat. Then she whirled and pinned him with a hard stare. “What on earth are you doing here?”



BIO
With interests as widespread as baking, crocheting, watching dog agility matches, and reading thrillers by Swedish authors, Linda is the mother to 4 adult children and grandmother to 2 granddaughters. She currently lives in the southern California mountains with her husband of 37 years and their two much-loved dogs.

WEB CONTACTS
Goodreads  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806413.Linda_Carroll_Bradd


Cover Contest Finalist
Also, voting is open until November 20th for the winter cover contest sponsored by Still Moment Magazine. I'm proud that Silent Signals is one of ten finalists. To vote, leave the title or the #9 in a comment on the magazine’s Facebook page.