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Saturday, June 19, 2021

#WeWriWa: - The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé: Nick's Not Playing Tug-of-War

 Welcome to the Weekend Writing Warriors. Sorry for missing last week. I'm overwhelmed (at times) with my new normal. Hubs' health is getting worse, even after being in rehab for four weeks. I hope to keep up with this group. I so enjoy reading the snippets.

I'm sharing another 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 picked up from last time. Some changes were made to the original.

Snippet:  

It wasn’t like Nick to blame someone else for his own faults. Then, again, what did I really know about him? Until five months ago, he’d been out of my life since his college graduation when he loaded up his silver Ford Escort and headed for Washington, D.C.

He’d pop in and out on holidays to see his folks, maybe a couple of other times a year. Tony and Maria never talked much about their son’s job with the State Department. Whenever the subject of Nick’s job came up, Tony was really good at the artful dodge. That’s what made him a first-class investigator. If Pop knew, he would’ve told me. I think.

Now a little more

So far, everything about Clyde Wilson checked out. The man had never even gotten a traffic ticket. That made me a tad suspicious. My God, who hadn’t gotten a ticket? Even my sainted mother, may she rest in peace, got a ticket when she crossed the double yellow line to avoid a double-parked truck.

Maybe Wilson was Mr. Perfect. Maura seemed to think so. I’d barely started the investigation and found nothing out of the ordinary. Still, some instinct urged me to dig deeper.

“Stop hiding behind your work.” Nick took the legal pad out of my hands, my pen leaving a long squiggle down the top sheet. “I want you to listen to me.”

I gazed up at him, wide-eyed. “Why? Do you have something important to say?”

“Quit trying to be a smart-ass.”

Trying? I thought I was doing a pretty good job.” I pulled on the legal pad.

“I’m not playing tug-of-war with you.” After letting go of the pad, again he gripped the arms of my chair and turned me to face him. “I want you to listen and listen well. I couldn’t contact you because I was out of the country.”

“And you were in such a primitive place that they didn’t have telephone service. Here.” I stuck out my leg. “Pull the other one.”

With frustration in his expression, he said patiently, “Yes, there was phone service. My job prohibited me from contacting you or anyone else in the States.”

An earnest expression replaced his frustration. “Everything happened so fast I didn’t have time to talk to you before I left. I was given a solemn promise that you would be given . . . assurances. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I apologize. I promise someone will pay for what you went through.”

“So which job was this? The fake one for the State Department or your real job for some agency that doesn’t exist?”


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, June 5, 2021

#WeWriWa: - The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé: I'll Be Right Back

 Welcome to the Weekend Writing WarriorsThanks to everyone who visited last week. I didn't get to everyone, but I'm planning to catch up this week.

I'm getting used to the brace being on and off, as I wean myself off. The wrist is still a bit tender, but I'm even typing with both hands now. So much quicker. 

I'm sharing another 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've skipped ahead a bit from last time. Some changes were made to the original.

Snippet:  

“Did you really think I would fall into your arms? I’m not some bimbo you can jump into bed with and then say ‘I’ll be right back’. Right back doesn't mean not a single word for over two frelling months.”

I’d just binge-watched Farscape, so frelling was my word of choice when I really wanted to say the other F-word.

Every muscle in his body tightened. The effect was fascinating and a little scary. His lips, which had been soft only moments ago, thinned. His face became all sharp edges.

“What do you mean not a single word?” he asked in a too-soft voice. Like I said, a little scary.

And now a bit more:   

I gave an exasperated sigh. “I mean just that. Not one word. We’re about to make love, you get a phone call, say you need to go out for a minute, then you disappear. Don’t you think I was worried sick about you? Not knowing if you’d been killed or injured or God knows what. I didn’t know where you’d gone or why. Didn’t you care that I’d be beside myself not knowing what happened to you?”

Well, shoot. I hadn’t wanted him to know all that. Really, I was worried for only a week. Or maybe it was two. Couldn’t have been longer. I’m not a glutton for punishment.

Nick ran his hand around the back of his neck. “Son of a bitch.”

“Thanks. That was so kind. If you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.” I pulled my chair up to the desk, crowding him and bumping his knee. I almost apologized.

“I wasn’t referring to you, sweetheart. I—”

“Okay, buster, let’s get something straight.” I was getting up a full head of steam, as Pop used to say. Nick had given no explanation for his absence, no apology. I felt like a dope for revealing my fears. “I am not your sweetheart, Nick Palzetti. Never was, never will be.”

He pulled out my chair then, propping his hands on the arms, he leaned in. “Yes, you were, are, and always will be.”

The conviction in his voice gave me pause. I wanted to believe him. That had to be my emotional side. But my logical side made me wary. What if I—

“My son-of-a-bitching boss was supposed to call you.”

I was torn, but my logical side prevailed. “And why would your boss call me?” A likely story. Blame someone else for not doing the job yourself. “Didn’t you have time?” I smiled sugary-sweet.

“I think we have what’s called a breakdown in communication.”

“Really? How convenient.” Then I remembered my faulty communication equipment before Pete came . . . and guilt reared its ugly head.


  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!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

#IWSG: June


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 June 2 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria!

Question of the month:

For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? 

It depends. Maybe a couple of days. I want to get right back to it. Usually, I have a list of things to fix, threads to tie up, or threads to delete. My first draft isn't really a first. As I write, I often go back and tweak something. I can't just write straight through. I heard it once called circular writing. Guess I'm not the only writer to do this.

Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

I don't know about that. It's how my writing has evolved. And it works for me.

Last month, I added a picture of my broken wrist in a cast. The doc took that one off after 3 weeks. Then, he put on a new one for another two weeks. Now, I'm wearing a removable brace. One more week (I hope) it comes off. Still typing with one finger in the old hunt-and-peck style. Very slow.

I hope you have 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.


The Seventh Annual IWSG Anthology Contest!


Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Sweet Romance

Theme: First Love

Submissions accepted: May 7 - September 1, 2021

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. You must belong to at least one aspect of the IWSG to enter.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Our official judges:


Author Nancy Gideon
Nancy Gideon is the award-winning bestseller of over 70 romances ranging from historical, Regency, and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal and horror, with a couple of produced screenplays and non-fiction writing books tossed into the mix. She’s also written under the pseudonyms Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West, and Lauren Giddings.


Agent Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates
Caitlin Blasdell has been a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates since 2002 with a focus on commercial fiction. Before becoming an agent, she was a senior editor at HarperCollins Publishers.


Author Susan Gourley
Susan Gourley is traditionally published in fantasy and science fiction romance using the name Susan Kelley. She is currently serving as the President of the Pennwriters writing group renowned for the annual conference.



Author Meka James
Meka James is a writer of adult contemporary and erotic romance. A born and raised Georgia Peach, she still resides in the southern state with her hubby of 16 years and counting. Mom to four kids of the two legged variety, she also has four fur-babies of the canine variety. When not writing or reading, Meka can be found playing The Sims 3, sometimes Sims 4, and making up fun stories to go with the pixelated people whose world she controls.

Agent Melissa Gaines, Victress Literary



Author Jennifer Lane
Jennifer Lane writes sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist. She has published nine novels and two short stories, including Behind the Catcher’s Mask as part of the IWSG Masquerade Anthology.


Agent Rachel Beck, Liza Dawson Associates
Rachel Beck joined Liza Dawson Associates in January 2020 after working at a boutique literary agency for four years. She has been in the publishing industry since 2009 and worked at Harlequin editing romance novels for nearly six years before transitioning her skills to the agent world in order to be an advocate and champion for authors.



Author Loni Townsend
By day, she writes code. By predawn darkness, she writes fantasies. All other times, she writes in her head. People call her peculiar with a twisted sense of fashion, but don't let those understatements fool you. Her behavior is perfectly normal for a squirrel disguised as a human.


Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Dancing Lemur Press' imprintFreedom Fox Press, next year in the IWSG anthology. (Please see their site for general submission guidelines.) Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

This is our seventh anthology contest! Previous titles include Dark Matter: Artificial, Voyagers: The Third Ghost, Masquerade: Oddly Suited, Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime, Hero Lost, The Mysteries of Death and Life, and Parallels: Felix Was Here.