Welcome.

Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Weekend Writing Warriors, and guests whenever they drop in.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

#IWSG: Marching in like a Lamb


 Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of 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. We are rockin' the neurotic writing world!

The awesome co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are:  Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!

In Michigan, March came in like a lamb. I dread what's going to happen when it leaves. GRRROAR!

Last month, I was pretty jacked up over my January writing. My plan was to write a paragraph a day and I ended up writing over 6k words. I was thrilled with my progress. On February 1st, Hubs fell and broke the top bone in his neck (the C-1) in 2 places. Neck brace time and a huge setback. He'd been doing so well after the stroke at the end of December. Today, the physical therapist said he's finally back to where he was at the end of January. A whole month of going backwards. Initially, I had all I could do to take care of him. With the help of our kids and the home health care workers, he's more independent and improving bit by bit. Even though I lost a whole month of writing, my attitude was that I would do what I could do and not stress over what I couldn't.

While Hubs improves with baby steps, I'm writing in baby steps--a paragraph a day. My biggest goal is to improve my patience. To accept what is and be patient not just with Hubs but with myself.


March 3 question - Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

Reading has kept me sane through Hubs' continual health issues. I read to escape. I read just about anything fiction. Not horror or graphic violence, though. I'm not fond of nonfiction. I tend to read what I write--cozy mysteries, romantic suspense, and science fiction romance. I love adventure stories, which sort of encompasses everything I read . . . and write.

I belong to a local readers' group. Because of covid, we've been meeting via Zoom. This group has made me read out of my comfort zone. We've read biographies, historical fiction, literary fiction. Sometimes, I don't finish the book. But that's my choice. Life is too short to read something I'm not interested in, but I give the book a try. Our discussions can be very lively. Twelve to fifteen women with strong opinions love to share. LOL

Leaving this post on a good note, I got my 1st covid vaccine shot last week. I'm looking forward to mid-April when I can get real hugs from my grandkids.

I hope everyone has a great month. Stay safe.

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, February 27, 2021

#WeWriWa - The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé: Johnny on the Spot

 Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors 

Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. I'm sorry I didn't get to everyone. I'm having trouble with time management. On the bright side, the sun has been shining for most of last week. And--drumroll, please--I got my 1st covid vaccine shot.

I'm sharing a snippet from the 2nd Alex O'Hara mystery novel, The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé. Alex is a P.I. in the small Lake Michigan resort town near Grand Rapids. I'm continuing from where we left off last week when the stranger announced he was her new receptionist.

Some changes were made to the original.

Snippet:  

He shrugged off the trench coat and tossed it onto the visitor chair. I almost yelped at the casual way he handled a $2,000-plus overcoat, especially when it slipped to the floor. After picking up the coat, he added his suit jacket to the pile. OMG, was that Armani?

So how does a small-town girl from West Michigan know about expensive men’s clothing? Unlike my knowledge of women’s fashions, I didn’t have a friend in the business. I’d gone online to get a really special Christmas present before discovering I couldn’t afford such an extravagant gift for the man in my life. The former man in my life. Nick Palzetti. How could Pop’s partner Tony raise such a jerk?

Now for a little more:

While I silently fumed about old Love ‘em and Leave ‘em Palzetti, Pete loosened his tie, slipped open the top button of his shirt, then carefully rolled up the sleeves. Two turns, very precise.

“Now what seems to be the problem?” he asked. “I’m a whiz at telephone systems.”

“Wait, wait, wait. What do you mean you’re my new receptionist?” I’m not usually so slow on the uptake. I must be tired, or his expensive clothes had engaged my brain. Okay, not all of my brain. Nick Palzetti’s desertion occupied the majority. As it had since Christmas Eve.

“I saw your ad and knew you needed me.” He picked up the telephone receiver and listened for a dial tone. I could have told him there wasn’t one.

“That ad just came out this morning.”

He gave me a slow smile. “Then I’m Johnny-on-the-Spot."

 

Blurb:

She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti? 



Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ iBooks ~ B&N ~ Smashwords


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week!



Saturday, February 20, 2021

#WeWriWa - The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé: Limp Fish?

 Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors 

Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. I hope you all are safe and warm. Our temps have been the lowest since 2016, along with snow and more snow. But our west Michigan towns have the equipment to get rid of snow quickly. My heart goes out to those in Texas who haven't had heat in many days.

I'm sharing a snippet from the 2nd Alex O'Hara mystery novel, The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé. Alex is a P.I. in the small Lake Michigan resort town near Grand Rapids. I'm continuing from where we left off last week when the stranger offered to help Alex up off the floor.

Some changes were made to the original.

Snippet: 

Instead of his hand, I grabbed the seat of the receptionist’s chair and pulled myself up. Why, oh, why had Susan deserted me to go off to Michigan State? Never mind that her mother and I had encouraged her to get a college education. If my former receptionist had been here, I’d never have looked—and sounded—like an absolute idiot. Of course, since the agency wasn’t open on weekends, she wouldn’t have been here anyway. Duh.

I swiped at the dust bunnies clinging to my butt then rubbed my hands down the sides of my oldest pair of jeans. Besides, who expected clients at two o’clock on Sunday? I wish I’d never left the door unlocked for my tech master, RJ.


 The rest of the scene:

“Could we start over?” I tried for a quirky smile. “My mouth left the station without my brain.”

“Would you like me to go out and come in again?” His smile wasn’t the least bit quirky. Neither were his blue eyes. Sexy. Oh, yeah. Real sexy. Slender and fit, he was a couple of inches shorter than my five-ten. Clean-shaven and wearing a really nice—read sexy—cologne.

Quickly, I shoved my hair behind my ears, pushed up the stretched-out sleeves of my Detroit Tigers’ sweatshirt, then held out my hand. “Hi. I’m Alex O’Hara.”

His weak clasp surprised me. Pop would call it a limp-fish shake. Well, shoot. Considering his good looks and expensive taste—I’m not shallow, not a bit—I thought he’d be the one to make me forget Nick the Rat. Not that I dated clients. At least not until they weren’t clients anymore. I gave his soft hand a quick, business-like squeeze.

“And I’m Pete Cuddy. Your new receptionist. You obviously need my help.”

 Blurb:

She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti? 



Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ iBooks ~ B&N ~ Smashwords


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week!




 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Guest: MARIS SOULE #NewRelease SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT #mystery

 Please welcome my friend Maris Soule to the blog today. She has a new release, the 4th book in her P.J. Benson Mystery series, Something to Crow About. I enjoyed the other books in this series, so I've anxiously awaited this one. 

Here's Maris to tell you about her latest book.



Thanks, Diane, for the opportunity to tell you and others about my new book, SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT.

 

I actually decided to write this book while riding in your car back from a book event we’d attended. During the event, one woman had stopped at my table and asked when I was going to write the next P.J. Benson mystery. She wanted to know if P.J. had her baby and if P.J. and Wade did get married. Those two questions initiated the fourth book in my P.J. Benson Mystery series.

 

SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT takes place less than a year after the first book, THE CROWS. P.J. is now in her ninth month of pregnancy, is married to Wade Kingsley, the homicide detective she met in the first book, has become Wade’s son’s stepmother, and her Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is now full-grown and continues to play a part in keeping her alive.

 

Basically, in this book, P.J. Benson is at it again. She has clients’ taxes to finish and her baby is due in two weeks. This definitely is not the right time to get involved in solving a murder.

 

Prior to her scheduled Mothers-to-Be meeting, P.J. Benson enters a church bathroom and overhears Brenda Cox, a friend and former co-worker, tell someone on the phone that she was caught getting the information they wanted and barely got away. P.J. tells Brenda to call 9-1-1, but Brenda says she’ll be fine and will see P.J. soon. When P.J. and the other women attending the Mothers-to-Be session hear police cars and an ambulance out front, they know it’s a serious accident, but it isn’t until the next day that P.J. discovers the victim was Brenda. The police consider the hit-and-run an accident, but P.J. is certain Brenda was murdered. P.J.’s husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Wade Kingsley, warns her not to get involved, and P.J. knows he’s right, but soon it’s clear the killer thinks Brenda gave P.J. something. As P.J. tries to understand what Brenda took and why, she discovers curiosity can put a person’s life in danger. Not a good thing when all she wants to do is celebrate the arrival of her baby.

Excerpt:

I pointed toward the notepad. “Brenda is the woman I talked to.”

As I summarized what I’d heard, Wade sat near me, and made notes. Occasionally he asked a question: Was I sure that was what she said? Did she mention a name?

“No name,” I told him. “Just that she’d been at her computer looking at pictures she’d taken when her boss came up behind her and saw what she was doing.” Saying that triggered a thought. “Hey, you can find out where she works, and that will tell us—”

Us, P.J.?” Wade sat back and looked at me. “There is no us. We are not getting involved,” he said firmly. “You are not getting involved.”

“I know, I know,” I said, “I’m not going to, but Detective Ferrell needs to know what Brenda said. Right?”

“Did she tell you what the pictures showed?”

“Not exactly. Just that they showed hidden compartments and origins of shipments. That information must have been important because she said her boss threatened her and came after her.”

“You said she was going to meet the person she was talking to at the brewery, that this person had promised to take care of her. Did she say how?”

I shook my head. “No, but she said she didn’t have any family.” I knew that. “And she wanted to be put somewhere where they—whoever ‘they’ were—couldn’t find her.”

“You’re thinking witness protection?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. What I do know is Brenda sounded scared. She said, ‘These people don’t play around.’ She was afraid for her life.”

Wade said nothing for a second, then asked, “Did she ask you for help?”

“No.” I sighed. “But I don’t think she realized her life was in immediate danger. I think she thought this person she was talking to would take care of her.”

“You do know that this sounds like something out of a spy movie.”

“Maybe so, but this is real. Brenda’s dead.”

 

Something to Crow About is available as an e-book and a paperback.

 On Amazon at: https://rb.gy/16ftbx

Or ask your favorite bookstore to order the paperback from Ingram

 

The e-book is on sale right now for .99c

 


Maris Soule
is the award-winning author of 25 romances, 6 mysteries, and 2 short stories. Besides writing, she has also taught high school art, paints when she finds time, and for several years raised and showed Rhodesian Ridgebacks (the dog in her P.J. Benson Mystery series). Originally from California, she met and married her husband when she was studying for a Masters degree in art history. They moved to a small, rural community in southwest Michigan. It was that area that gave her the inspiration for the P.J. Benson Mysteries. She and her husband have two married children and two granddaughters. They now divide their year between Michigan and Florida.

 



Find Maris online at:

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ LinkedIn ~ Goodreads ~ Newsletter Signup

 


Saturday, February 13, 2021

#WeWriWa - The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé: Delish!

 Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors 

Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. 

I'm sharing a snippet from the 2nd Alex O'Hara mystery novel, The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé. Alex is a P.I. in the small Lake Michigan resort town near Grand Rapids. I skipped ahead to chapter 3.

Some changes were made to the original.


Snippet:

 

The outside door opened, letting in a blast of Michigan winter air. The cold draft shot down my back as I lay on the floor under the receptionist’s desk. What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

“That better be you, RJ,” I hollered. “And you’d better fix this piece of shit telephone system before I tear out every damn wire.”

When RJ didn’t give me a song-and-dance about why it had taken him so long to respond to my SOS, I squinted between the edge of the modesty panel and the floor. Oh, no. Dark gray trousers with a knife-sharp crease grazed the fashionably-correct spot on a pair of highly-polished gray Italian loafers. Definitely not RJ’s scruffy athletic shoes topped by the ragged hem of his worn blue jeans.

 

Now for the rest of the scene:

I had two choices. Door Number One—stay under the desk and pretend no one was home. Door Number Two—scramble out and greet the potential client.

Scratch Door Number One. I’d already spoken. He knew I was there.

As I scrambled, I hit my head on the underside of the desk. “Hell’s bells.”

“My dear girl, whatever are you doing in that awful place?” The owner of the expensive loafers had walked around the desk and was peering down at me. “May I give you a hand?”

How about duct tape for my mouth? My mother must be turning over in her grave. And Pop would be appalled that I’d given a client a bad first impression of the agency he and Tony Palzetti had started after high school. Correction, after high school for Pop, college for Tony.

As I scooted out from among the tangled wires, I also cleaned the floor with my backside. The underside of the kneehole drawer caught the scrunchie anchoring my ponytail and pulled it off—the scrunchie, not my ponytail. Through another tangle, this time my hair, I looked up at the owner of the sexy voice.

Delish, as my Dottie would say. “Money, money, money,” as ABBA sang. Under his black, unbelted Burberry, he wore monochromatic better than Alex Trebek. Dark gray suit, a darker gray shirt, and a gray-on-gray striped tie. His blond hair with its precision cut enhanced his appearance. No barber for this guy. Had to be an expensive stylist. The businesswoman in me took notice. So did my lady parts.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Nicolas Palzetti. There are other fish in the sea than you.

 

Blurb:

She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti? 



Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ iBooks ~ B&N ~ Smashwords


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week!



Thursday, February 11, 2021

Guest: J.Q. ROSE #NewRelease ARRANGING A DREAM: A Memoir #Review

 I'm happy to share a new release by a fellow Michigander, J.Q. Rose. I don't often read non-fiction. I'm so glad I read this story. See my review at the end. First, I'll let Janet tell you about her story.



From one West Michigan author to another, thanks so much for hosting me on your blog, Diane.

Readers, please leave a comment below to enter the drawing for a PDF copy of Arranging a Dream: A Memoir. The deadline for entry is Thursday, February 18, at 9 pm ET. You might be the lucky commenter!!

 Diane asked what inspired me to write Arranging a Dream: A Memoir. BTW, that was not the first title of the book. The working title was JQ Rose Memoir. Catchy, huh? So, after much thought, I came up with Pink Petals and Baby Poop. In my mind, it was a real keeper. My writers' group laughed at that one. When I told them I was serious, their laughter turned to concern. I dropped the Pink Petals, etc., but I still like it because it summarizes what the book is about. The florist business and motherhood.

 Back to your question about why I wrote this memoir. I have several important reasons.

 1.    I have presented workshops on writing life stories for years. I encourage people to record their stories for their family and friends all the time. I thought it was about time for me to do what I say.

2.     I wanted to pen this slice of my life for our daughters and grandchildren.

3.     I look at our story as a guide for readers now and in the future. As I wrote, I realized it was a story about having a dream and turning it into reality. People bury their dreams due to the many obstacles they must overcome to achieve them. I don’t want anyone to look back at their life and have regrets for not trying to have a career in something they are passionate about. Reading through the pages of Arranging a Dream, they can be assured we overcame problems to have an extraordinary, ordinary life, and they can too.

 BACK OF THE BOOK:

In 1975, budding entrepreneurs Ted and Janet purchase a floral shop and greenhouses where they plan to grow their dream. Leaving friends and family behind in Illinois and losing the security of two paychecks, they transplant themselves, their one-year-old daughter, and all their belongings to Fremont, Michigan, where they know no one. 

Will the retiring business owners nurture Ted and Janet as they struggle to develop a blooming business, or will they desert the inexperienced young couple to wither and die in their new environment?

Most of all, can Ted and Janet grow together as they cultivate a loving marriage, juggle parenting with work, and root a thriving business?

Follow this couple’s inspiring story, filled with the joy and triumphs and the obstacles and failures experienced as they travel along the turbulent path of turning dreams into reality.

Click here to order the Paperback at amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Arranging-Dream-J-Q-Rose/dp/0228615542/

Click here to download the eBook from your favorite online bookseller.

 UNIVERSAL LINK  https://books2read.com/Arranging-A-Dream



About J.Q. Rose

Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.”  She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her romantic suspense novels. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard and Dangerous Sanctuary released by Books We Love Publishing. Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines. 

 Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games and travel are the things that keep JQ out of trouble. She and her husband spend winters in Florida and summers up north with their two daughters, two sons-in-law,  four grandsons, one granddaughter, two grand dogs, four grand cats, and one great-grand bearded dragon.

 Connect online with J.Q. Rose

J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/

Facebook http://facebook.com/jqroseauthor

Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/telllifestories

BWL Publishing  http://bookswelove.com/rose-j-q/


Diane's Review:

The story read so easily. It was like Janet and I were sitting at the kitchen table over cups of tea as she told the story of leaving everything behind for a dream. Her story-telling skills came through as I read spellbound by Janet and Ted's adventure. Their move to the small town in northern Michigan could have been a disaster. How fortunate that they were warmly greeted by fellow business people, neighbors, and church members. But it wasn't all rosy. They had difficulties that threatened their dream. The reader gets a good glimpse into motherhood, too, as Janet balanced working in the floral shop and being a "good" mother. She's honest about her feelings of accomplishments and guilt. If you enjoy reading an entertaining story of pursuing one's dream, you can't go wrong with Arranging A Dream.





Saturday, February 6, 2021

#WeWriWa - The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé: I Don't Have Time

 Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors 

Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. I apologize for not getting to everyone. Many of you know my Hubs has had health problems. Last Monday, he fell and fractured his neck. Being in a brace has made him need more of my attention. I'll try to do better this week.

I'm sharing a snippet from the 2nd Alex O'Hara mystery novel, The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé. Alex is a P.I. in the small Lake Michigan resort town near Grand Rapids. This continues from last week, which ended with, "I need to be sure this man truly loves me—me, not my money.” 

Some changes were made to the original.

Snippet:

Although nobody would ever mistake me for an heiress, I understood her caution.

“I am almost forty years old,” she said. “I want to have children before I’m too old.”

Again, I understood. I’d just passed a landmark birthday—the big Three-Oh. Rather than worry about kids, though, I devoted myself to my business. After a rocky start, I was on a pretty even keel. Plenty of work, not enough time.

But I had plenty of time before having kids.

“Ma’am, if you’d called for an appointment, I could have saved you a trip. I do not have time to devote to your case.”

 

 Now for the rest of the scene:

A crestfallen Maura Finley stared at me, her mouth slightly open. I guess nobody had ever turned her down. While hers might be interesting, I had a bad feeling about this case. A client might want the lowdown on a prospective mate—as I’d discovered before—but they often resented the bearer of bad news. Of course, the client could be grateful if the news was good, like my friend Ellen.

“I will double your usual retainer.”

“It isn’t a matter of money—” Although money never hurt. “—I’m in the middle of a large case that is taking up all of my time.”

“How soon will you finish?” No longer disappointed, she looked calculating.

God save me from rich people who think everyone should drop what they’re doing to attend to them.

“Three weeks, minimum.”

“Good. I will be out of the country for the next four weeks. You may finish your present case then check into Clyde Wilson.”

Well, shit. I mean, shoot. I was trying to break my bad habit of swearing. I had misgivings about this woman. Demanding, she was going to be difficult to work with. She exuded the power that came from old money. Power that expected everyone to do her bidding.

But then I’d had difficult clients before and managed them, I reminded myself. I could probably wrap up the fraud investigation in a couple of weeks. I’d given myself a cushion when I’d told her three.

Were the reservations I had enough to turn her down? No.

I drew the pad closer to me. “Tell me about this man. Clyde Wilson?”

That better not be a smug look on her face.

 

Blurb:

She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti? 



Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ iBooks ~ B&N ~ Smashwords


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week!