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, August 5, 2020

#IWSG: Who Chooses the Genre?


Happy Insecure Writers 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 August 5 posting of the IWSG are Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!


Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

The form was always a full-length novel. I choose the genre in advance. I started writing in the 1990s. Since romance was so popular then, and I like reading romance, that's what I wrote. Somehow, a mystery always inserted itself into the story. So, my stories became more romantic suspense. After too many rejections to number, I took a break and wrote a science fiction romance for fun. A crazy premise--being kidnapped by aliens by mistake--and I just had fun with it. About that time (early 2000) a friend of a friend started a niche publishing house for fantasy, paranormal, and futuristic romances. She loved my story and bought it. Switched became my first published novel. I've written 6 novels, 1 novella, and am working on my 7th science fiction romance novel.

I also love cozy mysteries. So, I decided to write a cozy mystery series, featuring a female PI. Currently I'm working on the 4th book and my 2nd novella in that series. Remember the romantic suspense? I've published 2 full-length novels in that genre.

In my posts, I often mention my grandchildren, ages 13, 10, 5, and twins 2.5. The older two know about my writing, but since my stories are on the spicy side they aren't reading them yet. So I decided to write an action adventure story for them . . . and any other kid who likes to read space adventures.

As you can see, I choose what I want to write. Should I have stayed in one genre? Maybe. But why? If I don't write what I want, what's the point? I write to make money, but it doesn't pay the bills or exceed my social security. LOL So, if I'm not making a lot of money, I'd better have fun with this crazy career. 

And I do.

Here in Michigan, we're back under a stay-at-home order. With covid on the rise throughout the country, I hope you all are staying safe. Have a great month.

Less than one month left to enter the IWSG Anthology Contest
 

Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 4500-6000

Genre: Science Fiction

Theme: Dark Matter

Submissions accepted: May 6 - September 2, 2020

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group. 

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, July 18, 2020

#WeWriWa ~ THE SPY: Her First Mission #sfr


Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

I'm sharing snippets from The Spy: An Outer Rim Novel. It's the 4th book in my series featuring strong women on the frontier of space.

Because this is a work in progress, suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Because of your comments last week, I added this next section. By the way, I also changed the last sentence, which read: “TAM-247765, you are next in line for liftoff.”


“TAM-247765, you are tenth in line to depart,” Space Flight Control informed her, along with admonitions that even a newbie pilot knew.
Genna shoved thoughts of the Chellian driver and her former boss out of her mind. She had a mission. Excitement filled her, as it had in the commissioner’s office. Her first mission. Find Quin d’Sernin.
And bring him in.
Along with the excitement came fear. Would she have to infiltrate Hallart’s gang? Did she dare?


That was the snippet. Here's a bit more:

Maybe she could find d’Sernin without encountering Hallart. She drummed her fingers on the control panel.
“TAM-247765, you are second in line to depart,” Space Flight Control announced. “Make your way to the liftoff ring.”
Genna taxied to the ring. Within mins, gravity slammed her back into her seat. The five-point safety harness kept her from being thrown around the cockpit while blasting through Bricaldia’s atmosphere. Tamerly’s ship handled the bumpy ride with little jarring.


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


Saturday, July 11, 2020

#WeWriWa ~ THE SPY: Ready For Liftoff #sfr


Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

Sorry for missing last weekend. I'm sharing snippets from The Spy: An Outer Rim Novel. It's the 4th book in my series featuring strong women on the frontier of space.

Because this is a work in progress, suggestions are greatly appreciated. I've skipped a few paragraphs ahead. Genna left the Chellian driver at the restaurant and walked to spaceport. 

As soon as Genna entered the cockpit of Ian Tamerly’s luxury space yacht, she tossed the tote and wig on the empty copilot’s seat. She ran her fingers through her hair and massaged her scalp. Stars, she hated wigs. Space Flight Control informed her she was fifth in line to depart. Plenty of time for routine checks. Within mins, she verified the mech Ian had recommended to get her ship ready had been as diligent as he’d said.

Without a good recommendation, no way was she letting an imbecile touch the spacecraft she’d borrowed. While Ian hadn’t been concerned about his ship, Genna would rather not owe him more than borrowing. She knew he wanted their relationship to progress beyond friends. She wasn’t ready for that.

Here's a little more.

Ian Tamerly was handsome, rich, a powerful force in the Central District. Unfortunately, she wasn’t attracted to him. Not like she’d been with Laning Servary. Ian’s attraction gave her ego a boost after Servary had stomped on it. Damn that man. He’d spoiled her for all men.
But not for that Chellian driver. Somehow, he oozed sensuality. She didn’t like short men. They used their overinflated ego to make up for a lack of height, boasting and posturing like a turken rooster. Still, that man sent shivers through her when he touched or peered at her with his golden eyes. He was a man she could—
“TAM-247765, you are next in line for liftoff.”



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




Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Guest: KARA O'NEAL #NewRelease

Today, I'm so happy to welcome Kara O'Neal who's here to talk about her new release. Here's Kara to tell us about The Sheriff's Gift.



The Sheriff’s Gift
Texas Brides of Pike’s Run Series, Book 2
Historical Romance

About:
The Sheriff’s Gift was a wonderful book to write. It allowed me to delve into the lives of the people in the town I was creating. Alice Parker, the heroine of the story, is the schoolteacher, and Conner Lonnigan, the hero, is the sheriff. They are highly involved in the lives of the townsfolk and are often called upon to help. Alice and Conner are strong-willed people with caring hearts and no-nonsense attitudes. Not only are they perfect for the town, they are perfect for each other.

The Sheriff’s Gift sets up several other books in the series. Many of the students, once they are old enough, end up with their own stories. It has been so much fun watching them grow and change and establish their futures. Writing is a joy, and I’m so glad I get to spend time with these wonderful characters!

Amazon link:
Barnes and Noble link: https://bit.ly/38juYvY

Blurb:
Strong-willed and independent, Alice Parker is certain she’s meant to be a school teacher. She accepts her first position in Pikes Run, ready to mold the minds of young children, but unprepared to deal with her attraction to Sheriff Conner Lonnigan. If the board finds out she’s tumbled into his embrace more than once, she would be fired.

Sheriff Conner Lonnigan is awed by Alice Parker. He falls for her almost immediately, but the demands at home forbid him from marrying. Conner’s duties as sheriff control his days, and his mother’s panic attacks control his nights. He doesn’t have the freedom to devote himself to Alice, but that can’t stop him from pursuing her anyway.

Alice and Conner fight their love for each other, but the wants of the heart become too much to ignore. As they battle the demands of their jobs, the couple finds that ultimate fulfillment can only be found in each other's arms.


Excerpt:
“What is it?” Alice asked.
He didn’t reply until she was outside. “I have somethin’ for you.”
She gave him a sideways glance. “I hope it isn’t another complaint from Beulah.”
He grinned down at her. “Nope.” He jerked his head in the direction of the yard. “Come on.”
She followed him into the yard and toward the barn. When they entered the building, the cows lowing and the horses swishing their tails, he stopped and pulled her into an empty stall.
They were alone except for the animals. This was what she’d tried to avoid, and here she was, despite her usual unflinching self-control, in the wrong situation. Though her heart exalted, her mind raced for ways to get this over with quickly.
He smiled down at her, his hand still at her elbow from when he’d pulled her over. “You look pretty today.”
“Only today?” she heard herself ask. Oh, dear! She was flirting.
He chuckled low and deep. “Every day. You’re always pretty.”
In her wildest dreams, she’d never thought to hear a man say such a thing. “What did you want to show me?”
He flushed beneath his confident smile. “A present. I ordered it for you.”
Alice’s heart stopped then sped like a locomotive. “Truly?” she whispered.
He nodded.
“But…but I didn’t get you anything,” she protested.
His smile turned soft, and her knees went to jelly. “Just havin’ you here is present enough.”
If he said anything else as tender and beautiful, she might faint from want of him. “Oh,” she murmured.
He gazed at her for a few moments more before reaching into his coat and pulling out a box wrapped in brown paper. He handed it to her.
Gingerly, she took it and unwrapped it slowly, wanting to savor the moment. Once the paper was gone, she sprung the latch on the box and lifted the lid. Her throat ached with emotion when she saw what sat in the velvet casing.
A small ceramic house, the rooftop covered in snow, stared up at her. It was beautiful. She ran a finger over its smoothness. “Thank you,” she rasped.
“There’s more.” He took it from her and lifted it out of its case. “It’s open in the back. You can put a candle here and since the windows are cut out, it’ll look like there’s—”
“Firelight,” she breathed. Awed and deeply touched, she gazed up at him. He’d remembered her memory of her mother and bought her a gift to commemorate the time. “Oh, Conner. How wonderful.”
He swallowed. “You like it?”
She closed her eyes in disbelief then opened them once more to look up into his handsome, dear face. “I adore it.”
And in that moment, everything she’d ever wanted changed forever. She loved Conner Lonnigan with all her heart. The emotion stampeded through her, causing her to tremble with its force. She couldn’t stop herself from rising up and taking his lips with hers.


Bio:
Born and raised in Texas, the state had to be the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Please visit me at www.karaoneal.com.

Social Media:
Website –  www.karaoneal.com
Blog – The Story Continues -- http://www.karaoneal.com/the-story-continues


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

#IWSG: The Future and The Past


Happy Insecure Writers 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 July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox! Be sure to visit these fabulous volunteers.


Each month we have an optional question. Here's July's: there have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

I wish I knew. That's why I'm really interested to read what others say. I'm excited by the changes in the past decade. Changes that allow me to publish my stories on my own. I dipped my toe into self-publishing in 2011. I'd gotten the rights back to my first published book. A friend pointed out it wasn't doing anything, so why not self-publish it. Why not, indeed? I was scared to death that I'd do something wrong. It seemed to take me all day to publish Switched on Smashwords. The next day, I figured out Kindle, and--bam--it was published on Amazon. Okay, not quite that quickly. Since then, I've published 14 more books. 

Would I have imagined this in 2010? Nope. My imagination never dreamed what I could do. My imagination still hasn't dreamed up what will happen in this next decade. I live day-to-day, month-to-month, and maybe imagine 6 months ahead.

One of the advantages of self-publishing is I can change the price of my books any time. I'm participating in N.N. Light's Christmas in July event. So, for the month of July, my holiday romance (with a hint of mystery) Romance Rekindled is only 99 cents. Amazon  http://a.co/jlmHYD2  Amazon UK  http://amzn.eu/12TqpEM 


What am I working on? My current wip, The Spy, an Outer Rim Novel, is coming along. I know, I've written about it before. I'm slowly getting more written/revised. Meantime, I have three more projects I can't wait to get back to: the 4th book in my Alex O'Hara mystery series plus 2 spinoff novellas.

On the personal front, even though Michigan has eased some of the restrictions (I got a haircut!!!), Hubs and I are still following the COVID safety procedures --wearing a mask outside the house and keeping social distances. I still order my groceries online and pick them up curbside. We get takeout, but don't eat at restaurants. Although we've seen the grandkids (and our kids), we don't hug. We're all trying to stay safe. I hope the resurgence of COVID cases isn't affecting you or your families. 

Stay safe, everyone, and have a good month.


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.


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Guest: JEAN DAVIS Dreams and Stars and Lies

My friend Jean Davis is here today, sharing her latest release. Take it away, Jean.


Today is the release of Dreams and Stars and Lies. This collection features five short science fiction stories. They are all unrelated but two take place in far-flung corners of the greater Narvan universe, though also not directly related to the series. 

I

Destiny Pills and Space Wizards, my first short story collection, features more lighthearted YA-friendly stories. With Dreams of Stars and Lies, I focus on deeper plots and longer stories more intended for an adult audience. 

Why short stories?
While I enjoy writing novels, short stories are a nice break from 90,000 word plots full of characters and broad-scale world-building. They offer an alternate medium for experimenting with new worlds, exploring offshoots of existing ones, and answering thought-provoking 'what if' questions in a different ways. 

What else do you write?
My novels all fall under speculative fiction, fantasy, science fiction, science fiction romance, and dystopian. All my books can be found on Amazon in both print and ebook. The Narvan series is also available in many other online stores.

Where did the stories for this book come from?
Devolution sprang from a one line prompt. It deals with a woman's desire to have a child in a world where she doesn't qualify to procreate. 

Legacy was also born from a one line prompt. I like prompts. They get my mind spinning to figure out how to take the suggestion in an unexpected direction. A grandmother's trip to see her newborn grandson has world-changing consequences. 

Battery came to me in preparation for a local writer's meeting when I needed to bring something to critique. Deadlines make for great inspiration. A young girl has the power to change the world. It's the recharging that is concerning.

Mrs. Gilroy was written from a title prompt years ago and languished on my hard drive until comments from a critique partner inspired the spark of life it had been missing. A husband's dream becomes his wife's nightmare.

Sipper came to me one day while I was in the midst of a month-long short story challenge. A job on a far-away world is the answer to all of Tia's prayers until people start to die and she has to figure out why or join them.

What are readers saying about Dreams of Stars and Lies? 
“Davis shows us a new frontier of space discovery, but there is no rover facing the space dust. We are the guinea pigs, and that adventure is not for the meek."  
- Stellla Telleria author of Across TheWire

”Jean Davis speculates on a future that seems all too believable. Her stories will entertain, and they will make you think. Don't look in Dreams of Stars and Lies for easy solutions.”
- Joan H. Young author of Accidentally Yours

$9.99 print / $1.99 ebook. Want it free? Review any of my other books on Amazon, let me know when your review has posted, and I'll send you a free ebook of Dreams of Stars and Lies.

Where can you get a copy?
Dreams of Stars and Lies can be found in both print and ebook on Amazon and in ebook through Smashwords / Barnes & Noble / Kobo and more.


Jean Davis lives in West Michigan with her musical husband, two nerdy kids, and two attention-craving terriers. When not ruining fictional lives from the comfort of her writing chair, she can be found devouring books and sushi, enjoying the offerings of local breweries, weeding her flower garden, or picking up hundreds of sticks while attempting to avoid the abundant snake population who also shares her yard. You can find her at www.jeandavisauthor.com and on Facebook and Instagram @jeandavisauthor

Saturday, June 27, 2020

#WeWriWa ~ THE SPY: I Prefer Sitting Alone #sfr


Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

I'm sharing snippets from The Spy: An Outer Rim Novel. It's the 4th book in my series featuring strong women on the frontier of space.

Because this is a work in progress, suggestions are greatly appreciated. The chatty transport driver has brought her to a restaurant.


Unlike most Chellians, the driver was slender. In the transport, his flowered shirt had bloused out making him seem bigger. His hand on her waist contained more strength than a man who sat all day transporting people should have. 
“Is this all right for you?” He waited outside a booth near the back of the eatery for her to be seated. Behind them, a sign for san-facs hung over the entrance to a narrow hall, an exit sign beyond them. Good, a means of escape. CPIC Training Lesson #3: always sit with your back to the wall; Lesson #4: memorize all exits.
“We can put your tote on the other bench,” He easily slipped it off her shoulder.

 That's the snippet. Here's a little more.

She slid into the booth, then the Chellian slid in next to her, the corner of his mouth lifted in a small grin.
“Excuse me.” No way did she want to sit next to him. He disturbed her too much. Besides, he prevented her quick escape.
“Problem?”
“I prefer sitting alone.” She added a bit of Bricaldian hauteur to her tone.
“I prefer sitting so I face the door.”
Startled, she edged closer to the corner of the booth. “I do, too. But I can move.”


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Have a great week!