Showing posts from April, 2017

The Cutaway by Christina Kovac, a review

I loved this book. From the beginning words I was hooked. This is the story of a missing woman and so much more. The main character, Virginia Knightly, is a TV news producer, as such she begins an investigation into the missing woman’s disappearance. Set in Washington, there’s a hint of both political and perhaps even police involvement in a major cover-up. What’s so great about this book, is how realistic it is.
Just when I thought I had the plot figured out, it took a surprising turn and making everything look totally different. The unexpected curves that often lead to a dead end bring Virginia closer and closer to danger, and a totally unexpected ending.
Virginia is one of those women who is so immersed in her job, she has no time for the love she yearns for even when it’s right there for the plucking.
TheCutaway has some fascinating peeks into how many are involved and what it takes to put the latest and most intriguing news on the air every single night.
Though dubbed a thrill…

Public Appearances

Whenever a new book comes out, unless an author has a great publicist, she/he will be scrambling for places to make appearances to talk about the book, writing, or anything that might compel a reader to want to buy the book.

Actually, most of us are looking for places to appear and sell our books whether we have a new one out or not. 
I've been fortunate to already have made a few appearances. Though for some of them I didn't have the new book yet, I did have cards to hand out with the cover and all the information.
I did a joint presentation for my local Sisters in crime group, I've talked to a great group at the Hanford Library, and had a table at a craft show at our church. 
My blog tour began on April 22 nd.
In May, I'm doing a radio interview at 6:35 in the morning. Yes, I am. I'll let you know how that goes.
On June 24th at 11, I'll be over at the Paso Robles Library talking about Best Sellers again.

I have five Fresno Library visits at  11 a.m, I'll …

SIN EATER by John Schembra

First, I would like to thank Marilyn for hosting me on her blog.  She has long been a friend and the type of writer I want to be when I grow up!
 I would like to use this opportunity to introduce my latest novel, Sin Eater, a paranormal thriller.  This is a bit different from my Vince Torelli series of mysteries, with new characters and settings, and an especially evil villain.  It was so much fun to write and I was honored that it won the Honorable Mention Award in the PSWA 2014 writing competition.

While talking to people at book signings they often ask how I came up with the title, as Sin Eater is an unusual and uncommon phrase.  Well, when I write, I usually have the television on in the office as background noise (low volume) and there happened to be a movie playing at the time.  I don’t know what the title was or what the plot was about, or even who was in it, though I believe it was one of Robin Williams’ movies.  As usual, I was not listening to the dialogue but I did hear some…

Stepping Off on Another Blog Tour

Once again I'm embarking on a blog tour to promote the latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series. Come along with me on the ride!
Unresolved Blog Tour Schedule
April 23  About Unresolved and the Rocky Bluff P.D. series
April 24  Favorite Character in the Series April 25  The Inspiration for Unresolved
April 26  My Writing Process
April 27  My Exciting Life as an Author
April 28 Rubbing Elbows with Super Star Authors
April 29 Authors Who Have Influenced Me
April 30  Challenges in Writing a Series
May 1 Interview
May 2 Balancing Writing Two Series
May 3 Choosing Characters’ Names and the Rules I’ve Broken May 4  W…

Genetic Ancestry by Betty Jean Craige

A couple of years ago a friend persuaded me to discovery my genetic ancestry. So I ordered a kit from 23andMe, spit in a vial, and sent the vial back to the company through the US Mail. In six weeks I learned that I was 68.6 percent northwestern European and 24.6 percent Ashkenazi Jewish, which did not surprise me. What did surprise me was my ancestry timeline. In the 1700s most of my genes came from Scandinavia, the Iberian peninsula, and Oceania. My British and Ashkenazi Jewish genes predominated only after 1860.
I started thinking about all the intercultural lovemaking that went into creating "me" over the 200,000 years of humanity's past and all the secrets some of those lovers had to keep when their societies viewed each other as enemies.
This pondering of genetic ancestry led me to write Dam Witherston, the third in my Witherston Murder Mystery series. What if, I asked myself, everybody disclosed his or her genetic ancestry routinely? What would we find out about o…

Researching Teens for the Niki Alexander mysteries by Laura Elvebak

My protagonist, Niki Alexander, is an ex-cop who quit after she had to shoot a teen before he shot her. Convinced that the only way she might find redemption was to save as many street teens as she could. To that end, she became a counselor for a teen shelter. But what did I know about troubled teens? I told myself I knew teenagers. After all, my three children were teenagers once. They were five years apart in age. As soon as one child passed through the teen phase, the next would present a whole new set of problems. As a single parent, I learned through experience.
First lesson: Niki Alexander had to teach street kids how to fight and protect themselves to survive the perils they faced.
My oldest daughter developed her strength from martial arts. She won tournaments while going to school and working part time to pay for lessons. At sixteen she worked at a Dairy Queen, a few blocks from our apartment. She would walk to work and back. One afternoon on her way home, she was approached by …


What Makes Characters Interesting?
Characters’ appearances don’t make them interesting. A physical deformity or tic can catch a reader’s attention initially, but appearance alone won’t sustain the interest of readers. The importance of the appearance of a character is more important in visual fiction, i.e. movies, than written fiction. Certainly, many beautiful/ handsome second-rate actors have had successful careers.
Characters’ actions make them memorable, especially if their actions are the result of being in conflict with the norms of their worlds.  Many authors make the mistake of making their character too predictable (stereotyping). Real people are a blend of weird contradictions. An example is action hero, Indiana Jones, faced all types of killers calmly but was terrified by snakes. I think most villains should do one kind action, like save a dog, during the course of a story. Similarly, heroes and heroines shouldn’t always be angelic. 
The desires and emotions of characters mak…

The Secret of Bramble Hill, A review

Sue Owens Wright’s Secret of Bramble Hill has all the elements of a gothic novel, except that it’s set in 1946 after the end of World War II. My one criticism of the story is that there is no mention of the aftermath of the war. However, the fact that it is set in a manor in a quaint Cornish seaside town and is filled with mysterious goings-on overrides anything I might consider a  problem. Tessa Field comes to her aunt’s home after learning about her unusual death. Soon she is reunited with her childhood friend, Peter Tremayne and feels an immediate attraction. However, the budding romance is fraught with suspicion. Soon, Tessa suspects her aunt’s death wasn’t accidental and it isn’t long before her own life is threatened from more than one source. With a generous sprinkling of ghostly appearances, people who aren’t who they seem to be, and even a séance, along with a strong romance, this is a most satisfying tale of mystery and intrigue.  
--Reviewed by Ma…

I'm a Ukulele Player by Leslie Langley

I play the ukulele. When I mention this to people, after the spit takes and rude remarks, they ask me why I don’t play a real instrument. Contrary to popular beliefe, the ukulele is not the spawn of an unholy union between a guitar and a cartoon character – although I do agree it looks like that. It is not a toy. Okay, maybe sometimes it’s a toy.
Don’t know much about the instrument aside from that unfortunate man named Tiny Tim? Here are some Fun Facts About The Ukulele:
·While it is considered a Hawaiian instrument, it was really invented by Portuguese immigrants to the island, based on their traditional madieran instruments - machete do braçabraguinharajāo, and cavaquinho.  And no, I have no idea how to pronounce that. Any of it.
·It is played by a very unusual list of celebrities, from mega billionaire Warren Buffet to The Beatles to Phil the Minion and Sponge Bob Square Pants.
·“Ukulele” means “Jumping Flea” in Hawaiian. Don’t feel bad. I don’t get it either.
·It is pronounced,…