Saturday, August 19, 2017

Guest Blogger: What to do if You Have Just Decided to Write a Book by Brenda Berg



So, you’ve just thought of a brilliant idea for a new book. You may have had this idea a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been brewing in your mind. You’ve been trying to think of how the story can start and end and all the other twists and turns that will happen in the middle. But come on, if writing a book was easy then everyone would be doing it. Whether you’re writing fact or fiction, here’s a list of things you need to know now so you can make your career as an author as successful as possible.

Remain Quiet and Collected

The first thing you may want to do is to run outside and scream from the rooftops about your new idea. Kind of a eureka moment. However much you feel the urge to do this, at this stage of your career, don’t. Friends and family, despite meaning well can put a lot of pressure on you. It’s fine to tell a few people about your idea but don’t advertise what you’re doing. That stage is later when you have something to show them.

Be Real

I’m not saying that your idea isn’t the next big hit and they’ll be making films about you and your successes in years to come. However, until that time comes, you have to keep your feet on the ground. It’s very rare that the first publisher you go to will love your idea and front you a few million to keep you going. Writing is hard work, and initially, you’ll get very little money back. Statistics show that over 6,000 books are published around the world every day, so you’ll need to work hard to make yours stand out from the next.

Create Your First Draft

Now that your head is screwed on and your feet are on the ground, you can set about writing your book. Aim for the first draft. From start to finish, write your book once all the way through, chapter by chapter. You can be sure they’ll be bits that you want to change as you go, feel free to do so, but this will simply be the foundation of your work. If you can, seek the help of professional writers, such as the ones at State of Writing. They’ll be able to help you plan your work as well as providing you with tips if you get stuck.

Continuously Rewrite

When your first draft is complete, you need to go back through several times to rewrite. It may pay at this point to take a break for a week and let your ideas collect before reading through again. You may want to change the story in place or bulk up some characters. This is easily the most time-consuming part of the process. Some writers may even go through their work more than 50 times.

Finalizing: Part One

Let’s say you’ve gone through your story 100+ times. You’ve read it through and maybe even had a family member or friend read it through and they love it. Great, it’s time to start finalising your work. To start with, you’ll want to edit and ensure all the grammar is correct. You can do this yourself or promote the help of a professional service, such as UK Writings. This will allow you to refresh your skills as a writing, picking up on grammar mistakes that you may have forgotten about or developed bad habits of using, a common practice that many of us writers fall into.

Finalizing: Part Two

The second step of ensuring your content is ready for the primetime is ensuring that no aspects of your work are plagiarised. This is essential as, even if not deliberately, you may have accidentally copied someone else’s work. This is a copyright violation and, if not completed, you may find yourself with an expensive legal battle. One of the most popular websites among writers is Plagium and Academized that ensures this task is free of plagiarism and carried out to a professional level.

Finalizing: Part Three


The third and final part of finishing your work is proofreading. After all the other checks have been completed, one final proofread is essential to make sure everything is ready for the public eye. Again, you can do this yourself, but it’s highly recommended that you invest in a professional service, such as Write my paper. It’s extremely difficult to proofread work that you’ve written because the mind tends to read what it thinks should be there, sometimes missing mistakes. A second pair of eyes is always recommended. Once this has been completed, your book is ready for the public eye! Good Luck!  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Church of the Holy Child by Patricia Hale

The Church of the Holy Child

by Patricia Hale

on Tour August 15 - October 15, 2017



Synopsis:

The Church of the Holy Child by Patricia Hale

A woman with a history of domestic abuse is missing. Her sister hires private investigators Cole and Callahan.

When the woman is found dead, her husband is charged but when a second body appears showing the same wounds, questions arise and what looked like a slam-dunk becomes anyone’s guess. The case goes to John Stark, a veteran cop and close friend of Griff Cole.

The bodies are piling up, and one person knows where the killer is. Father Francis, a priest at The Church of the Holy Child, listens to the killer’s disturbed account of each murder and wrestles with the vows that bind him to secrecy.

The case takes an unexpected and personal turn when Cole’s ex-wife goes missing and a connection to his past points to the killer.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Published by: Intrigue Publishing LLC

Publication Date: August 15th 2017

Number of Pages: 259

ISBN: 1940758599 (ISBN13: 9781940758596)

Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 


Read an excerpt:


Inside the wooden confessional there’s a man who talks to God. At least that’s what my mother told me the last time we were here. But a month has passed since she disappeared so today I’ve come to the church alone. I no longer believe that she’s coming back for me like she said. Instead, I’ve become her stand-in for the beatings my father dishes out. That’s what he calls it, dishing out a beating, like he’s slapping a mound of mashed potato on my plate. He swaggers through the door ready for a cold one after coming off his seven to three shift, tosses his gun and shield on our kitchen table and reaches into the refrigerator for a Budweiser. I cringe in the corner and make myself small, waiting to hear what kind of day he’s had and whether or not I’ll be his relief. More often than not, his eyes search me out. “’C’mere asshole,” he says, popping the aluminum top, “I’m gonna dish out a beating.” If anyone can help me, it has to be this guy who talks to God. I open the door of the confessional with my good arm and step inside.

Twenty-three years later

ONE

His breath was warm on my neck, his lips hot and dry. His tongue searched the delicate skin below my ear. Heart quickening, back arching, I rose to meet him.

The phone on the nightstand vibrated.

“Shit,” Griff whispered, peeling away from me, our clammy skin reluctant to let go. He swung his feet over the edge of the bed and flashed me his bad-boy, half-smile. “Cole,” he said into the phone.

At times like this, cell phones rate right alongside other necessary evils like cod liver oil and flu shots. I leaned against his back and caressed his stomach, damp dunes of sculpted muscle. Not bad for a guy north of forty. Griff still measured himself against the hotshots in the field. But in my book he had nothing to worry about; I’d take the stable, wise, worn-in model over a wet behind the ear, swagger every time.

He pried my fingers from his skin and walked toward the bathroom still grunting into the phone.

I slipped into my bathrobe and headed for the kitchen. I have my morning priorities and since the first one was interrupted by Griff’s phone, coffee comes in a close second.

Twenty minutes later he joined me dressed in his usual attire, jeans, boots, tee shirt and sport jacket. Coming up behind me, he nuzzled my neck as I poured Breakfast Blend into a travel mug. Coffee splashed onto the counter top.

“Gotta run,” he said taking the cup from my hand.

“What’s up?”

“Not sure yet. That was John. He said he could use a hand.

“Sobering up?

Griff flinched like I’d landed one to his gut.

“Sorry,” I said. “Cheap shot.”

“Woman found dead early this morning.”

“When’s he going to admit that he can’t run the department with a pint of scotch sloshing around in his gut?”

“The job’s all he’s got left, makes it hard to let go.”

“I’m just saying that he shouldn’t be head of CID. Not now. I’m surprised Haggerty has put up with it this long.”

“There’s a lot going down at the precinct. Internal Affairs is having a field day after that meth bust.

They’ve got so many guys on leave right now that a bottle of Dewar’s in John’s desk is the least of Haggerty’s problems.”

“I just don’t want you to get sucked into CID.”

He slipped his hands inside my robe and nuzzled my neck. “No chance of that. Nobody on the force feels like this.”

I pushed him away halfheartedly.

I’ll call you when I know what’s going on.”

The door closed behind him.

I sank onto a kitchen chair and flipped open the People magazine lying on the table. Griff and I had just finished an investigation for an heiress in the diamond industry whose sticky handed husband had resorted to blackmailing her brother as a way around their pre-nup. The ink on her twenty-thousand-dollar check made out to Cole & Co. was still wet. And being that I was the & Co. part of the check, I’d earned a leisurely morning.

The phone rang just as I was getting to the interview with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell on the secrets of a long-term relationship. Caller ID told me it was Katie Nightingale, our go-to girl at the office. Katie kept track of everything from appointments to finances to take-out menus.

I lifted the phone and hit ‘answer’.

“Britt?” Katie spoke before I had a chance, never a good sign.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Missing woman.”

“Since when?”

“Last night.”

“What makes her missing? It hasn’t even been twenty-four hours.”

“The woman who called said her sister was leaving an abusive husband and was supposed to let her know when she was safe by ringing the phone once at seven-thirty. The call never came. Now she can’t get hold of her. She said her sister carries your card in her wallet.”

“What’s her name?”

“The woman who called is Beth Jones. Her sister is Shirley Trudeau.”

I nodded into the phone. I can’t remember every woman I encounter, but Shirley’s name rang a bell. Since giving up my position as a Family Law attorney with Hughes and Sandown, I’d been offering free legal aid for women who needed advice but couldn’t afford it. Mostly I worked with wives trying to extricate themselves from abusive marriages. Given the reason I’d abandoned my law career, it was the least I could do. Shirley hadn’t been living at the women’s shelter, but she’d spent enough time there to have Sandra, the shelter’s director, hook her up with me.

“And Beth thinks Shirley’s husband found her?”

“That’s what it sounded like once she’d calmed down enough to form actual words.”

“I’m on my way.”

I set the phone down, making a mental note to call Sandra. She’d upgraded from a caseworker in Connecticut to Director in Portland, Maine a few months ago. I’d stopped by her office to introduce myself when she started and left my business cards. Our paths didn’t cross that often but we respected each other’s work and always took a few minutes to chat. I knew she’d been on the swim team in college and that she could bench-press her weight. We were close in age and like minded when it came to the politics of non-profits. No doubt Beth Jones had called her too.

After a shower and a quick clean up of last night’s wine glasses, Chinese takeout containers and clothes that we’d left strewn around the living room, I locked the apartment door and began my fifteen-minute trek to our office on Middle Street. I savored my walk through the Old Port, the name given to Portland, Maine’s waterfront. The summer heat that a month ago had my shirt stuck tight against my back was a thing of the past and the snow and ice that would make walking an athletic event had not yet arrived. The cool, crisp air was like a shot of espresso. As long as I didn’t let my mind wander to what nature had in store, I could enjoy the rush.

I hit “contacts” on my phone and scanned the names for Sandra’s.

“Sandra, it’s Britt,” I said when she answered. “I wish this was a social call, but it’s not. Shirley Trudeau is missing.

“I know. Her sister called this morning. I’m on my way in now. How did you find out?”

“Her sister hired us to find her. “Was someone helping her leave?”

“She had a caseworker, but I wasn’t in on the plan. I’ll know more once I get to my office and talk to the person she was working with.”

“Okay if I call you later?”

“I don’t know how much I’ll be able to tell you. You know the rules. If she was on her way…”

I stopped mid-stride and lowered the phone from my ear. Sandra’s voice slipped away. That dead body that Griff went to look at… my gut said, Shirley Trudeau.

***
Excerpt from  The Church of the Holy Child by Patricia Hale.  Copyright © 2017 by Patricia Hale. Reproduced with permission from Patricia Hale. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Patricia Hale
Patricia Hale received her MFA degree from Goddard College. Her essays have appeared in literary magazines and the anthology, My Heart’s First Steps. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Revenge, was published in 2013. The Church of the Holy Child is the first book in her PI series featuring the team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan. Patricia is a member of Sister’s in Crime, Mystery Writer’s of America, NH Writer’s Project and Maine Writer’s and Publisher’s Alliance. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two dogs.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website  Goodreads Twitter Facebook



Tour Participants:

Stop by these awesome hosts to learn more about Patricia Hale and her  amazing book, The Church of the Holy Child. Plus, there are some great reviews, interviews, and giveaways!!





Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Patricia Hale. There will be 1 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card! The giveaway begins on July 16 and runs through October 19, 2017.
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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Author Interview: Night Court by Erica Gross


When did you first discover poetry?

I can’t remember. Poetry was always around me from the time I was a small child. I heard poems in both English and German, which my parents recited to us and to each other. I reluctantly said a temporary goodbye to poetry in my mid-twenties, as I was occupied with working and starting a family. When I was thirty-five, I decided to go back to school, finish my degree, and get an MFA. Since then, I’ve never looked back.

What was your first poem titled and what was it about?

Here is a very early poem, which I wrote when I was ten:

Wait World

Wait! Wait for me
world
wait for me to catch
up with you
Hey, world
wait up! If you’ll
just wait a second
I’ll be caught up
so wait, will you?
I’ll be caught up

How many poetry collections have you published? How are they similar? How are they different?

I have one other poetry collection: my chapbook, titled Wild Place, which I published in 2012. The poems in Night Court, my new collection, extend the themes I explored in the first book: love, death, grief, and nature. Some of the poems in Wild Place are re-printed in Night Court. The new book has more political poems than the first, as well as poems about my family’s experiences with mental illness.

What theme ties the Night Court collection together?

Night Court is composed of five sections, each organized loosely around a theme. Each section except for the last has an “anchor” poem that also connects it to the other sections. These poems have “The Art of” in their titles. The first section is a kind of trip through my thoughts when I can’t sleep, which is most of the time, the second section is mostly about parents and grandparents, the third, marriage and motherhood, the fourth contains poems of the senses (this is where my food poems are) and the fifth wraps these themes up with poems that point to the future.

Is there a poet you admire or emulate?

I admire so many, and my list gets bigger all the time. I read Linda Pastan, W.S. Merwin, Seamus Heaney, Elizabeth Bishop, Sharon Olds, Robert Duncan, William Carlos Williams, Louise Glück, Wanda Coleman, and Denise Levertov, among many others. I’m a fan of contemporary Irish women’s poetry. I think Ocean Vuong is amazing. His line, “I’ll tell you how we’re wrong enough to be forgiven” from the poem “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” is like a burr in my skin.

What is up next for you?

I’m busy promoting Night Court right now, but I’m also working on a memoir, creating poetry and video classes, writing and publishing poems and articles, and working on videos.


Erica Goss is a poet and freelance writer. She served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA from 2013-2016. She is the author of Night Court, winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award, Wild Place and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets. Recent work appears in Lake Effect, Atticus Review, Contrary, Eclectica, The Red Wheelbarrow, Main Street Rag, Pearl, Rattle, Wild Violet, and Comstock Review, among others. She is co-founder of Media Poetry Studio, a poetry-and-film camp for teen girls: . Please visit her website, Facebook page, LinkedIn, and Vimeo.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Coming in 2018! Barbour Launches Unique Historical Fiction Series



Read my Family Fiction This Week news today and discovered Barbour Publishing is launching an 18-book historical fiction series that follows one family tree through American history. Now, for those of you who don't know it: I love historical fiction and I am partial to American history. I live here after all. I can't remember the last time I have been this excited about a new series.

The series is slated to release over three years starting in February 2018 with The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse. According to the site, "This book, which takes place in 1620, features voyages on two ships, the Speedwell and the Mayflower, and will set the stage for subsequent books with its focus on adventure, romance, and a thread of espionage that is woven throughout each of the 18 stories.
"Releasing every other month by a team of well-known authors, the Daughters of the Mayflower will satisfy voracious readers of Christian fiction continuously for three years. The books are written in such a way that they can be read in succession or stand alone, making them perfect for readers interested in specific time periods in American history."

You can learn more about this series and the first six books being released at https://www.familyfiction.com/barbour-launches-unique-historical-fiction-series/

New Release: Dog Dish of Doom by E. J. Cooperman



The start of a great new series, Dog Dish of Doom (Minotaur Books, August 15th, $24.99) stars amateur sleuth Kay Powell. A talent agent for show biz animals, Kay discovers she has a talent of her own: solving crimes.

Kay Powell wants to find that break-out client who will become a star. And she thinks she’s found him: His name is Bruno, and he has to be walked three times a day.

Bruno’s humans, Trent and Louise, butt in a lot, and Les McMaster, the famous director now mounting a revival of Annie, might not hire Bruno just because he can’t stand Trent in particular.

That becomes less of an issue when Trent is discovered face down in Bruno’s water dish. With a kitchen knife in his back.

Laugh-out-loud funny, this series debut is a delight.

Praise for E. J. Copperman’s DOG DISH OF DOOM:

“Admirers of old comedy sketches and anyone looking for a laugh-out-loud mystery should pick up this series launch by Copperman.”

Library Journal (STARRED)

"Readers will root for Kay to be more than pals with Sam Gibson, proprietor of Cool Beans coffee house—and, of course, to keep Bruno as more than a client. [Filled with] resilient, warm, funny supporting players."

Publishers Weekly

"Well-drawn characters, including a heroine who talks directly to the reader, and effectively framed with details of the theater enhance this humorous cozy."

Booklist

PURCHASE YOUR COPY AT...

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

KOBO

EBOOKS.COM

GOOGLE PLAY

INDIEBOUND.ORG

E.J. COPPERMAN is someone you could sit down and have a beer with, if that’s your thing. Or a hot chocolate. Or a diet soda. Actually, you can have anything you want as long as you don’t care what E.J. is drinking.

E.J. is the author of a number of mystery series: Agent to the Paws begins with Dog Dish of Doom and other series include the Haunted Guesthouse mysteries, Asperger’s mysteries, and Mysterious Detective mysteries.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Book Review: While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax

A story of life changes, new discoveries and friendships fills the pages of While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax.

In a brilliant move, Wax wove a story of four lives that intersect at an historic apartment building in Atlanta around the insanely popular Downton Abbey television series. Published near the height of the series' popularity, this novel tells the story of three women from different backgrounds and in different stages of their lives who become fast friends thanks to the concierge's decision to air weekly episodes of Downton Abbey.

Not only are Wax's characters likable, complex, and realistic, the secondary characters provide some comic relief to balance out the unfolding drama. I found a little bit of me in each of the women, which is always nice. Claire, Brooke, and Samantha almost became like my friends and I was sad to see them go; though getting to the end was worth it. There aren't many books that make me stay up past two in the morning to finish these days--busy realtors need their sleep--but While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is definitely one I couldn't put down until I read it to the satisfying end. Wax has a ton of other books to check out, which I definitely plan to do.

This is women's fiction at its finest. Pick up While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax and discover it for yourself.


Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (April 2, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425263312
ISBN-13: 978-0425263310

I received a copy of this book from the publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read this book for the following challenge:


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Book Blast: Audition for Murder by P. M. Carlson


Actors Nick and Lisette O’Connor need a change. They leave New York City for a semester as artists-in-residence at a college upstate, where they take on the roles of Claudius and Ophelia, two of the professional leads in a campus production of Hamlet. Threats and accidents begin to follow Lisette, and Nick worries it might be more than just petty jealousy. Maggie Ryan, a student running lights for the show, helps investigate a mystery steeped in the turmoil of 1967 America.

Don’t Miss These Great Reviews:

“P.M. Carlson’s energetic and insightful novels are back in print — hallelujah!” — Sara Paretsky
“An extremely well-written tale, with a plotline that offers a jolt per page.” — CF, Booklist

“Very literate, sprinkled with surprises and offering that rarity of rarities — fully fleshed out characters.” — Bob Ellison, Los Angeles Daily News

Book Details:
Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company / Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: October 2012
Number of Pages: 233
ISBN: 1932325212 (ISBN13: 9781932325218)
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor #1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords  | Goodreads 



EXCERPT

Lisette stumbled on the way to the car, and Nick caught her elbow to steady her. Rob had unlocked the back door, and Nick helped her in while Rob let Maggie into the front passenger seat and then went around to the driver’s side. There were a few snowflakes blowing in the wind, and his pale hair licked about his forehead like little flames. He sat down, closed the door, and stared at the wheel a minute.

“God,” he said. “I’m stoned. A little.”

“Do you want someone else to drive?” asked Maggie.

“No. I’ll be fine.” He raised a dramatic finger and declaimed, “Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used.”

“Every inordinate cup is unblessed,” countered Nick, who had maybe had a drop too much himself.

“I’ll be extremely careful,” Rob promised. He turned the key and started out of the lot. Lisette lurched against Nick as they rounded the corner onto the highway.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“Very tired,” she said.

Nick tipped her chin up and studied her a minute in the headlights of the car behind them. “You look bad,” he said, concerned. He could see her honey-brown eyes in the wavering light. The pupils were tiny. “Do you feel sick?”

“M’all right,” she said. The eyes closed. Nick leaned forward.

“Rob, she looks bad.. Could we get her to a hospital, do you think?” Maggie turned to look at Lisette.

“She says she’s all right,” objected Rob. “Are you sick, Lisette?”

She made an effort. “Just tired. Bed.”

“I’ll just take you home,” said Rob soothingly.

“Home,” murmured Lisette. Her cheek was cold and damp. Nick felt panic rising.

“Rob, please!” he said.

“Come on, Nick,” said Rob. He had stopped at a stoplight, and turned to look back at them, the red glow making his hair shine like embers. “The hospital is miles away, and she says she’s just tired. I believe her. I’m tired too.”

“Nick’s right,” said Maggie suddenly. “She’s not just tired.”

“Jus’ tired,” repeated Lisette.

“See?” said Rob. “You two alarmists are interfering with her rest.”

Maggie leaned across Rob, switched off the ignition with one hand, and opened his door with the other. “Out, Rob,” she said.

“What?”

“Out. Get out. Now.”

“You’re crazy!” He stared at her unbelievingly. The light blinked to green.

“Sorry, kid,” she said, leaning back against her door and placing an elegant French boot, still muddy, against his thigh.

“My God! My coat!” Shocked, he flinched away from the boot. She shoved, and he suddenly found himself outside, arms flailing for balance. Maggie slid smoothly into the driver’s seat and turned the ignition. The car moved forward and left Rob on the pavement, staggering. When they were clear of him Maggie pulled the door closed and made a rapid U-turn, then pressed the accelerator. The car vaulted up the hill toward the hospital.

By the time they had run their third red light, a patrol car was chasing them. Lisette was slumped against Nick, and he braced himself to keep them both from ricocheting around the back seat as Maggie traced a complex, competent line through the other traffic. He was dimly aware of the flashing lights from behind intersecting the rapid flow of the light from street lamps. She did not slow, and the sirens and lights behind them got other traffic out of the way. When she turned into the hospital driveway the patrol car seemed to relax a little. She skidded to a halt in front of the emergency room and was out opening Nick’s door instantly.

“Need help?”

“She’s not heavy,” he said. Lisette was unconscious.

“I’ll follow when I’ve talked to the officers.” She made sure the emergency door was open and then walked toward the patrol car. Nick carried the limp body into the emergency room.

Excerpt from Audition for Murder by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.




P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.


Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website , Goodreads , Smashwords, and Twitter 

Check out the Author's tour page at:
http://www.partnersincrimetours.net/audition-for-murder-by-p-m-carlson/