It’s Saturday, perhaps you feel like a fun little read that will melt away the troubles and stress of the week? Get on the Scotti train and have a few laughs.
Have a great weekend.
It’s Saturday, perhaps you feel like a fun little read that will melt away the troubles and stress of the week? Get on the Scotti train and have a few laughs.
Have a great weekend.
Happy Wednesday to you and I hope your day is going great. We’ve got lots of blue sky and sunshine out here in California and my tomato plants are loving it.
Just wanted to write a quick post to announce that the Scotti Fitzgerald books are all now available in print. I know, it took a while but I finally made it happen. You’ve no idea how complex setting up a print book can be. At least, I had no idea. Lots of trial and error because you know…math…
Anyway…to celebrate Scotti’s premiere in print I am giving the eBook versions of all THREE books in the series away for FREE today and today and Thursday (May 9th & May 10th).
On Friday all the books will go to 99 cents each and remain at that price through the weekend.
Then Monday, we’re back to business as usual.
If you haven’t read the books, now is your chance to grab the whole series for free. Or if you’ve only read Coffee & Crime, you can pick up the next two books for free.
If you do and you like them – I’d be Thrilled if you’d write a review on Amazon or Good Reads. But no pressure. I know you’re busy.
To pick up your free copy of Coffee & Crime click here
To pick up your free copy of Murder Ready 2 Eat click here
To pick up your free copy of Death of the Family Recipe click here
If you live outside the U.S. you can go to my BOOK PAGE and find the appropriate link for your area.
Otay announcement over, you may now return to your day – hope it’s a great one!
PS: If you don’t own a Kindle but would still like eBook copies of the books, just CONTACT ME and I will send you the ePub versions personally.
Is the ability to read minds a blessing or a curse?
When Antonius’s father dies, he must work to support his family. He finds employment as a servant in the Palazzo Ducal, home of Conte Valperga. Sixteenth-century Pesaro is a society governed by status, and Antonius has limited opportunities.When a competition is announced, Antonius seizes his chance. The winner will be apprenticed to the town seer. Antonius shares first place with his employer’s son.The two men compete for their mentor’s approval. As their knowledge of magic and alchemy grows, so does the rivalry and animosity between them. When the love of a beautiful woman is at stake, Antonius must find a way to follow his heart and navigate his future. The Stone Circle is available at Amazon.
Kate Murdoch is the author of Stone Circle. She exhibited widely as a painter both in Australia and internationally before turning her hand to writing. In between writing historical fiction, she enjoys writing short stories and flash fiction.
Her short-form fiction has been published in various literary journals in Australia, UK, US and Canada.
Stone Circle is a historical fantasy novel set in Renaissance Italy. It was released by Fireship Press December 1st 2017.
Her novel, The Orange Grove, about the passions and intrigues of court mistresses in 18th century France, will be published by Regal House Publishing in 2019.
I saw this over at Loraine Ambers’ lovely blog and it looked like fun…
E-Book or Physical Book?
I like both. It depends on what I’m reading and my mood. I have been reading a lot more on my Kindle lately but I may dig into that stack on my night stand soon.
Paperback or Hardback?
Hardbacks – I love the larger size and print and they smell more like books, if that makes sense?
Online or In-Store Book Shopping?
In-Store. I’m not much of a Barnes and Noble shopper but I love indie bookshops and used bookstores. My local library has one and I can spend hours in there, browsing. And it’s tiny!
Trilogies or Series?
Either one works if the story is enticing. Although, if I fall in love with the characters I will be sad if more books don’t follow.
Heroes or Villains?
Both – any fully formed character is a pleasure to love or hate. Though in either case, I really prefer a flawed hero or villian to the perfect ones who can jump from tall buildings in a single leap, fight off battalions of bad guys with one hand tied behind their back, and make the perfect martini. Good guy or bad guy, give me someone I can relate to and you’ll have me forever as a reader.
A book you want everyone to read?
Anything by Diane Dickson – her writing is a feast for the eyes.
Recommend an underrated book?
Scarpetta’s Winter Table, by Patricia Cornwell. It’s somewhat obscure and very short (relative to her other novels). But it gives you interesting insights into the characters of the Scarpetta series. If you’re a Scarpetta fan, see if you can find a copy and read it.
The last book you bought?
Twist of Truth by Diane Dickson. I’m addicted to her books.
Weirdest thing you’ve used as a bookmark?
Like most readers I usually use whatever is within reach but the weirdest thing was probably a sock.
Used Books: Yes or No?
Of course, otherwise what would used bookstores sell? Nothing like a brand new, hot off the press new book but there is something about a used book that appeals to me – the passing on from one reader to the next – it’s almost as though you can feel the love/excitement/fear/interest that each reader experienced while reading the book and it makes it seem alive. (Is that too weird a revelation? Even for a writer?)
Top three favorite genres?
Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense. Yes, I know Amazon considers them one genre but they are not. I also enjoy retro sci-fi (Asimov, Heinlein) and psychological horror (think Twilight Zone not the Chain Saw Massacre), and occasionally a good literary novel but anything with mystery or suspense intrigues me.
Borrow or Buy?
Both. When the budget is tight, I turn to BookBub or the library.
Characters or Plot?
Hands down, characters. I don’t think a book can be good if the characters don’t draw you in and make you care about them.
Long or Short Books?
As long as it’s good, length is not a consideration. Although books topping out at 500 pages is probably my max. I’ve read recently that readers are moving toward shorter books these days. Personally, I’m always sad when a good book ends.
Long or Short Chapters?
Short chapters. It makes me feel more connected to the action in the story.
Name the first three books you can think of
Books that make you laugh or cry?
Either. But more to the point, books that make me feel, I need an emotional connection to books I read or I’ll end up not finishing them.
Our World or Fictional Worlds?
Fictional worlds always seem like more fun – lots of adventure and less risk.
Audio books: Yes or No?
Audio books are okay. I listened to a lot of them when I was commuting on a day job. Although, I don’t think you get the same satisfaction from them. Especially since you’re usually multi-tasking while listening. I think you also miss nuance in a story you listen to rather than read. The exception I suppose would be if you were listening one hundred percent and doing nothing else. Still, if the narrator doesn’t match the voice in your head it could ruin the experience for you.
Do you ever judge a book by its cover?
If the cover is really awful or really amazing, yes, probably. Generally though, covers don’t influence me as much as it seems they do others.
A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?
Perhaps the Handmaid’s Tale. But not really. Generally, I find the book to be better than the film version. They are doing a decent job of the Bosch series from Michael Connelly’s books but I had to get used to the actor they selected for the lead because he was nothing at all like I’d imagined Bosch.
Series or Stand-alones?
Either. Though I LOVE to find a new series to get my hooks into. You always get so excited when a new book in the series comes out, like you get to visit with an old friend. Wow, this question makes me miss Sue Grafton.
How about you? What would you answer to these questions? Feel free to tell us in the comments or consider yourself tagged and do your own version of the post.
Annabella Cordova quickly becomes embroiled in the conspiracy involving the university she studies at. Her life is turned into chaos when her friend disappears, seven days later a gruesome package is delivered to Andres Valero; the troubled detective, returning from forced leave, only to be faced with horrific crimes that brings his memories to the surface.
Annabella’s past collides with her present, a traumatic childhood event leaving her deaf and without both of her parents. Her ability to read facial and body language in people leads her to discover parallels from an earlier century.
Initiated to Kill takes the reader back in time to the 19th century; creating a psychological profile of the serial killer that wanders the London streets, his paintings depicting crimes only seen by a killer’s eyes.
Annabella and Andres combined must stop this person at any cost, and reveal a conspiracy hidden for centuries.
I have always been intrigued by the interpretation of facial expressions and body language. The TV series “Lie to Me” increased the popularity of learning more about this interesting subject.
The incentive for me to finally decide to study Body Language came when I wrote my first novel, Initiated to Kill. My main character, Annabella Cordova is deaf, so fully understanding how body language could be read and interpreted was essential to me; as I wanted my novel to be an authentic as possible. I immersed myself into the fascinating and complicated world of Body Language.
One of the key things to remember when writing or reading a person’s body language is that it is not what they reveal in their baseline behaviour, but the change from that behaviour to something quite different.
Armed with a diploma in body language, people tend to ask me “what is my body language saying to you now?”
They might cross their arms, or do something fairly common like that, then want me to basically give them a run-down on what that body language is revealing.
However, it doesn’t work like that. A lot of people think that by crossing their arms they are being defensive or closed off, and yes, that might be true.
That doesn’t really tell me much. Instead, it’s watching people that change from one behaviour to another that exposes what is actually going on.
That is why people in law enforcement talk so much about establishing baseline behaviour. It is crucial at any point if you’re wanting to find out if someone is lying or omitting something, that their baseline behaviour is first established. That way, when you go to the line of questioning you really want to address, you can immediately see a change of behaviour; and that’s what really gives it away.
Now, some people may ask, “well, if it’s that clear cut, then why doesn’t law enforcement immediately know if someone is guilty?”
Unfortunately, body language isn’t an exact science. Although, much can be revealed, people may still not know why that change occurred. But it can give an inkling that they need to dig further into that line of questioning.
So, how important is it to know more about body language? Well, 38% comes from vocal tone, while 55% comes from body language. It is even thought that at around 90% of our communication to others is through our body language, without even consciously knowing we are doing it.
People tend to look for exaggerated displays of body language, but often, it is the subtle displays that are truly revealing.
Body language in relationships can even divulge what the other person is feeling. It may seem out of nowhere, your partner suddenly wants to end the relationship, while you didn’t even think there was a problem with the relationship.
Think about it. Was your partner withdrawing? Was your partner sleeping further away from you, or being less affectionate? Did they sit on another chair instead of being close to you? Has intimacy seem to have gone out the window?
Although very subtle signs, they are also very telling, revealing that inwardly your partner is withdrawing; thus, revealing in the increase of the distance between you. However, if this is recognised early on, you can then try to make changes to help the relationship, or at least be prepared for when the relationship is over.
In a dating situation, does the other person lean closer toward you when you speak? Are their hands on the table close to yours, or in their lap? Do their eyes dart around the room, or mainly stay focused on you? What about their feet? Are their feet pointed straight ahead towards you, or in another direction?
No matter how insignificant it may seem, never underestimate the small changes, words are only a very minor part of the overall picture.
Just by looking in one direction it can reveal someone is telling the truth, while another direction they are thinking up a story. Every little bit contributes to the overall picture.
These aspects are important to consider when including body language in your writing. The more you understand how it works, the easier it will be to write a realistic portrayal of a witness, victim, cop or perpetrator.
And what may surprise many people, is that body language experts believe that the legs and feet are considered more accurate communicators than the face.
Think about it. What is your body language saying about you?
Sharlene Almond has a diploma in Body Language and Criminology, enabling her to explicitly portray her characters. Living in Auckland, New Zealand with her two dogs and partner. Currently, she is working on an advice monthly newsletter to encompass all of my training – Body, Mind and Writing Newsletter. Her education in Cognitive Behavioural therapy, Freelance Journalism, and Editing give her the ability to better understand the human mind and to write about it in a comprehensive manner.
One of my favorite quotes from the fascinating and brilliant Eudora Welty.
Patricia Bossano’s Faerie Legacy Series blends fantasy with realism, inviting young adult and adult readers to explore the powerful magic within. Wander into Faerie and meet the heroines in the 200-year saga of a hybrid faery-human family. The ties that bind them, despite the conflict between two realms, will touch your heart.
Candid Confession of an Indie Author
“Bet on yourself” and “Go after your dreams” are inspiring mantras one hears hundreds of times—I’ve certainly echoed them enough over the years, although I didn’t truly live by them, until 2016.
My name is Patricia Bossano and I’m an independent author of Fantasy novels. I recently completed the 3rd installment in my Faerie Legacy series, which has been 22 years in the making. You’ll probably think, boy, what a slow writer she is! but in my defense, between 1996, when I wrote the first draft of Book I, and 2017 when I launched Book III, I raised my two children, worked as a Spanish instructor, translator & interpreter, carved a career in International Sales Operations, got divorced, lost my father to cancer, relocated my mother from South America to California, and then . . . more distress.
I had just turned 50, I was on my way to financial recovery after my 23-year marriage ended, and I’d even started glimpsing a retirement plan when, in 2016, I lost my corporate job along with the stability it afforded me.
Feeling metaphysically cornered, I paused and took a panicked look at myself.
What first came to mind was my love of the written language, which began in the 4th grade, and had grown from scribbling journals to writing letters, short stories, and eventually two full length novels.
I saw my heart’s desire had been in a back burner while I focused on family and worked real jobs.
No regrets though, only the shiver of anticipation—Do I hurry up and find my next corporate job? Or, Do I dare bet on myself and go after my dreams?
Right on cue, the words of a seer came back to me from months before: Holding Book II of my series in his hands, without having read it, he said, “The Faery Realm is destroyed in this book!” which is true, and then he proceeded to explain; “The women in your family, on your mother’s side, were guardians of a forest (faeries) in ages past. The stories in your books are not fiction, they’re subconscious recollections from long ago.”
That was the nudge I needed. I became convinced that the time was ripe for elemental, female magic to make an entrance. I told myself it is never too late to believe!
I’m a hybrid faery, and I BELIEVE in faeries! There—I said it!
I took the proverbial leap of faith. I sold the only house I ever bought on my own, transplanted myself back to California, and went after my dream of becoming a full time starving artist—I mean, writer!
I persevere daily, even when it feels like I’m the only one who believes in me. I’m doing anything and everything to get my faeries in the universe’s radar.
My dream of sharing the magic of my stories with worldwide audiences is foremost on my mind, and it is buoyed by any triumph, however small, along the way.
Patricia Bossano is the award-winning author of the Faerie Legacy Series: Faery Sight, Cradle Gift and Nahia, and other tales. Patricia lives in Southern California with her family. If you’d like to know more about Patricia you can visit her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Nick Angriff’s ultimate enemy finally takes the stage and the 7th Cavalry will never be the same.
Operation Overtime has come through its first winter in post-Collapse America in better shape than expected. Food is plentiful, the city of Prescott is healing, and there’s even a battalion of new recruits for the Marines. Everything seems to be going Angriff’s way, until people start trying to kill him again.
When the aggressive Chinese send an armored force to capture old America’s largest tank farm, Angriff can rally only desperate measures to stop them. But first he must crush the traitors both inside and outside of Operation Overtime.
Angriff must rely on others to do what he has always done for himself. As the body count mounts, he has to determine who he can trust and who wants him dead.
In the tradition of Standing The Final Watch and Standing In The Storm, traitors, assassins, and secrets explode in a rocket-powered roller coaster called Standing At The Edge. You’ve been warned. (Standing At The Edge, The Last Brigade Book 3, continues the saga of Lt. General Nick Angriff and the 7th Cavalry, which began in Standing The Final Watch and continued in Standing In The Storm. Standing at the Edge is available for pre-order and officially releases on January 18, 2018)
I majored in Creative Writing in college. You’d think that would give me insight into writing, right? I forked over all of that tuition money, sweated blood churning out stories for my classes to read, critiqued tons of bad fiction, much of it by my professors, then smiled and told them how awesome it was, even when it sucked.
That last part was mandatory if you wanted to pass.
I did everything I was supposed to do, graduated, and then got slapped in the face with the reality that everything I’d just learned was useless.
There are some great writing programs out there, but not the one I took. Instead of learning things like don’t edit until you finish or don’t think you can edit your own manuscript, I learned RULES. Not examples, mind you, just the rules.
For example, I was told show, don’t tell. Sounds pretty fundamental, doesn’t it? But what does it mean? I wasn’t taught that part. Or don’t use adverbs. What? Wait, aren’t they part of the language? Such questions earned me contemptuous glares. So I followed the rules and produced nothing significant, which led me to quit writing fiction for twenty five years. When I forgot the rules and just wrote, I produced a beast. I had written the first draft of a 164,000 word book! Yay, me!
Every writer who has ever finished a manuscript faces the question of what comes next
Many authors suggest you now put the first draft away for a while, with the idea this will allow you distance to be more objective when you read it. And there’s merit in this approach for many, maybe most, but not for me. I dive right in.
I start with beta readers. A beta reader gives you objective and sometimes painful feedback on your work. They are almost never your mom, siblings, friends or cousins. You need the brutal truth, not “I really liked it.”
Beta readers are your single most valuable asset as a writer. Cultivate them, pamper them, worship them (not really). But most of all, listen to them. I send my beta readers the first draft, others wait until later. Whatever works.
After the beta reader feedback I’m ready to start polishing the manuscript. The first things are the author edits, starting with content. This is where you make sure everything is consistent, all of the storylines match up, names are the same, etc. Nothing will kill a reader’s willing suspension of disbelief faster than overlooked storyline errors. This is also where I do most of my rewrites. Once that’s done, the author does a timeline edit. (Some books don’t require this, but my military SF relies heavily on synchronicity so for me it’s mandatory.)
Next up is the line by line edit. Maybe some authors enjoy this. I don’t. I hate it. I hate it more than I hate liver. But it must be done and the worst part is that you don’t do it just once. You do it as many times as you can stand doing it. For me that’s usually twice. Now comes the first point where most authors make a huge mistake. They send the manuscript out or, worse, publish it.
And then they get to read review after review about the bad editing. So here’s what I wasn’t taught in college: a professional editor is a must, be it a freelance editor or one at a publisher. What’s more, not all of them are good at their jobs, so sometimes a writer has to search until they find one that fits their work. I know one writer whose first novel desperately needs a good edit from a pro, but he says that he can’t afford it. Truth is he can’t afford not to find the money.
Then comes the cover, which is probably the least understood part of the process. If you have a publisher like mine to design it for you, and they’re good at it, it can sell a lot of books for you. The cover of my first book did just that.
On the other hand, if you wing it you might not sell any books at all. The writer who told me he couldn’t afford an editor also made a huge mistake in his cover. It is a beautifully rendered pastel drawing that does not have the name of the book or the author’s name on it.
Yes, you read that right. What’s more, the thumbnail looks jumbled. There’s nothing to indicate to the reader what the book is about, or even who wrote it. This is something else they didn’t teach me in college…covers matter.
And not just the artwork itself, either. The layout matters, the fonts matter, the colors of the artwork matter. Everything matters, and it takes a pro to recognize when it’s right.
The biggest takeaway for the cover is that when you find an artist whose work sells your books, never let them out of your sight. Marry them if you have to.
If you’ve done all of this well, your book is ready for the most important people in the world, namely, your readers.
William Alan Webb (Bill) lives on four acres in West Tennessee with his wife of 40 years, Kathy, 8 dogs, 3 horses and a cat. To say they’re failed foster pet parents would be an understatement. When not writing fiction Bill writes military history, does the housekeeping (he considers dust bunnies more pets, but his wife doesn’t), burns a lot of food attempting to cook and mows the grass whenever it gets too high to see the house. Fortunately for him she thinks he’s cute. If you’d like to learn more about Bill you can visit his website, follow him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.
Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes.
The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams.
Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond The Mist
For as long as I remember, I’ve loved the idea of supernatural. Not blatant horror stories, vampires, sci-fi aliens, or other worldly fantasy, but the notion of “what if” that entices imagination into believing there’s more than what meets the eye.
My fourth grade teacher nudged the author within me when she read aloud Madeleine L’Engles, A Wrinkle In Time. The enchanting story opened the door to my future. I read every time travel story I could get my hands on and watched every time slip movie. The question niggled at me. If time travel was “a thing” how would the concept likely occur?
Years later, when I heard about the eerie lore attached to Atlanta’s Lake Sidney Lanier, a man-made lake located in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, the tales fascinated me. Plagued with mysterious disappearances, freak accidents, strange phenomenon, and ghostly occurrences, the lake became the perfect setting for my passion to bloom.
What if the construction created more than a lake? What if the excavation triggered a seismic shift, which when given enough energy, opened a portal to a different dimension…a rip in time connecting past to future? I loved the possibilities. I envisioned a town that time forgot and the history and creepy tales attached to the rural area that sleeps beneath Atlanta’s famous lake, became book one of my Lake Lanier Mysteries, Beneath The Lake.
Homes, churches and buildings still linger beneath the surface, abandoned by displaced families and businesses. The moonshiners of the 1940’s added built-in suspense and sparked the birth of NASCAR. Looper Speedway, a half-mile dirt track where bootleggers competed with their souped-up cars, bared its cement stands in a recent draught. And there’s a Lady of the Lake who haunts the ghost town. Some say she lures victims to her watery grave. The truth is, swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheered-off trees and town remains. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake’s unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead.
I moved to Lake Lanier last year and my home overlooks a beautiful cove. The glimmering lake is a solace for me. Taking walks on trails around lake, and talking to neighbors who have lived in the area for generations feeds my muse. There’s no telling how many tales Lake Lanier Mysteries will yield, but if this inspiration should ever dry up, my passion for a touch of supernatural will keep me submerged in fodder. For now, Between The Shadows, book three, flourishes as my current work in progress. This story slips back to 1865 Georgia at the end of the Civil War, where two more Reynolds Cove characters promise to lure you into their own romantic suspense. I hope you all will join us as Lake Lanier Mysteries continues.
I love venues where I can talk about the inspiration behind writing. Thank you so much for hosting me, Anita. And thanks for reading everyone.
BIO: Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense. Her novel Beneath The Lake, is the 2016 winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense. If you’d like to learn more about Cassi you can visit her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
The Graveyard Shift
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