Welcome. Toss a blanket down, sit for a while under the willow, relax, and enjoy what's written below.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Six Sentence Sunday

The following is from Chapter One of Sarah’s Heart the next book in the Gentle Falls Mail-Order Bride Romance series. 

Matthew spoke directly to Sarah, "I tried to get another bride and that woman at the agency has the nerve to write and tell me I’m not qualified to be one of her grooms. Me? Not qualified? It’s Penelope’s fault and since she’s married and you’re not, you have to marry me today. I paid for one of her brides, and you’ll do just fine.” He crossed his arms and stared at both women.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Six Sentence Sunday

The following six sentences are from Chapter Three of the third Annie Ryan cozy mystery, Bones, Booze & Bouquets. 

Georgie whistled. “A skeleton, bootleg booze, and now a body. We have a mystery to solve.”
I grabbed her arm. “I think we do, but first, we need to know who died and how. I hope it was natural causes." 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

New Release

New Release and a new genre for me. Meet Penelope and the residents of Gentle Falls, Wisconsin.
Eighteen-year-old Penelope Langton lives a quiet life as a cook for a wealthy family in 1880 Chicago. She’s resigned that her life will remain routine and uneventful. Marriage is the furthest thing from her mind. Her best friend tries to convince her to leave before her employer’s despicable nephew returns for the summer. 

Penelope believes her friend’s plan to become a mail-order bride is foolish. With her friend gone and the family’s nephew’s early arrival, Penelope finds herself fighting for her virtue and looking for employment. 

Will Penelope find a way to freedom and safety by becoming a mail-order bride? A visit to the matchmaker seems her only way out, but will her new life as a bride be more complicated than the life she leaves behind? 

A sweet romance. Steam level=sweet. 

Available on Amazon

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My review of Violated by Carolyn Arnold.

My review of the novel, Violated, by the talented author, Carolyn Arnold. 

Violated may be the fifth in the Brandon Fisher FBI Series, but it is in no way mundane. Ms. Arnold brings back the agents we love in the previous books with the added twist that one may be a killer.

Agent Paige Dawson plans on a vacation with her boyfriend only to come face to face with a horror from her past. Is Paige responsible for the crime she’s accused of committing? Is this a case of wrong place, wrong time or a carefully orchestrated plan of revenge? A local detective latches onto Paige’s possible guilt as if it was a bone and refuses to listen to reason.

Her FBI team intends to get to the bottom of the crime regardless of whether or not Paige is guilty. Will they discover a diabolical killer or a brilliant agent behind the crime?
Ms. Arnold touches on a subject relevant to the times with enough twists and turns to keep any reader turning page after page. The plot rushes forward at a quickening pace and comes to a surprising conclusion. It is one I did not see coming.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a gripping crime novel. 

Available at: Amazon Barnes & NobleAppleKobo

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Six Sentence Sunday

The following six sentences are from Chapter Two of the third Annie Ryan cozy mystery, Bones, Booze & Bouquets. 

“A dead body is a laughing matter?” My handsome fiancĂ© asked. “What is that smell?”

“Bootleg booze.” Georgie was laughing hard enough now that tears ran down her cheeks.

I looked at Clark and said, “I think she’s high from the fumes.”

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

*New Release* Sinister Awakenings

Kellie and all her friends have returned to fight evil and unravel mysteries in the seventh Kellie Conley mystery. 

New readers, as well as those following Kellie’s adventures, will enjoy this mystery. It is a stand-alone novel. 

Kellie, with the help of Lance, battles an old enemy determined to wreak havoc and kill them both. The spirit has set its sights set on Taylor. Will they save her in time? 

A second spirit battle plunges Lance into a strange mystery surrounding an ancient diary and the horrible spell unleashed. A young woman aids Lance in his investigation. Kellie and friends join them to try and stop the person responsible for the unleashed horror. 

Available on Amazon 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Summer Prescott Interview

Please welcome Summer Prescott, author of the popular Frosted Love cozy mystery series, to the willow tree. Summer has agreed to answer some questions for us. Welcome, Summer. 

What are you currently working on and when do you plan to release your next book?

I’ve been busy, busy, busy lately! I’m continuing to write the adventures of Missy, Chas and the rest of the gang from the Frosted Love series, but have decided to produce them every two weeks 
rather than every week, so that the books will be a bit longer, and I’ll be able to take my time writing them, making characters and situations more intense and richly detailed.

In addition to writing the new Missy and Chas series, entitled The INNcredibly Sweet Series, I’m also publishing the work of two up-and-coming authors in the Cozy genre, and am currently in 
negotiations with a third writer for future projects in Children’s Mystery.

Book 2 of The INNcredibly Sweet Series has just been released, and I’m looking forward to receiving Book 7 from Patti Benning in the next week or so.

Do you have a favorite genre for your writing or do you write whatever moves you?

I love writing in multiple genres. Cozy is fun – I always seem to become great friends with my characters – and I’ve been predominantly writing in the Cozy genre for more than a year, but I’m working toward expanding into a more intense Mystery/Thriller realm, with books that are more in line with works by Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I don’t think that I’ll leave Cozy behind, but will most likely divide my time between the two genres.

In my “free time” (which has been in short supply lately), I write commercial fiction and even dabble a bit in poetry.

What is the best piece of advice you were given about writing?

I think, actually, that I read the best piece of advice about writing in a quote from Stephen King, 

“Write, write, write.” That, for me, really sums it up. I’ve found, both on the writing side of things as well as the publishing side, the writers who are successful, are the ones who actually make the time to write, and write, and write some more. My own writing has evolved significantly since I wrote my first Cozy (thankfully), and I really believe that it’s because I’ve been cranking out a book per week for a year – that’s a lot of practice!

The second piece of advice that I try to live by as a writer is to have a thick skin when reading reviews. I evaluate reviews by first looking at what I can learn from them. I ask myself if it’s valid criticism, and if so, I strategize as to what I can do to fix the issue(s). As every writer knows, there are plenty of trolls out there, trying to do harm by posting awful reviews. I’ve learned that if someone says something that personally attacks the writer, or our intelligence, it’s best to just shake it off and move on. Constructive criticism should be just that – constructive. If there’s nothing to be learned from a nasty review, take a breath, shrug your shoulders, and get back to writing.

Do you have a special spot where you like to write or are you a “have lap top will travel” writer?

Both. I’ve written at airports, in hotels, and in foreign countries, but my favorite spaces are on my comfy couch and (blushes), sitting on my bed. I love cranking up the fireplace while I write.

What is your favorite book and favorite author?

That’s an impossible choice, lol. Here’s a handful…Stephen King, Dean Koontz, JR Ward, Mary Higgins Clark (her earlier stuff), the classics (sisters Bronte, etc…), and Idaho wilderness author, Patrick McManus, just to name a few. Yes, my tastes are all over the place, and I’m obviously not opposed to reading just for the sheer entertainment, even if it’s not literary art.

When did you discover your passion for writing?

I think I wrote my first poem at age five, and never looked back. Seriously, I’ve loved writing my entire life.

Do you have a favorite beverage or snack you must have while writing?

COFFEE!!! Too many times I get into a groove and forget to eat. When I’m really on a roll, I’ll grab a handful of pretzel crisps and call it good.

What inspires you?

Everything! People, places, news stories, Facebook memes…I look at everything with an eye trained toward story potential. I also have an amazing muse with whom I can toss ideas around, and explore storylines and characters.

Do you have a favorite vacation destination and do you write while vacationing?

I go to the Caribbean every winter, and while I do use some of that time to figure out storylines and character development, I don’t do any writing, other than to jot down my ideas.

Do you have any advice for other writers on any subject you choose?

EDITING!!!! It’s so disheartening to see new writers, who tell a darn good story, held back because of deficiencies in grammar, spelling, tenses, and other technical aspects of writing. I’ve seen books where the story was good, but it was edited so poorly (or not at all) that I couldn’t get through it. Also…as well as write, write, write, make sure that you read, read, read.

Any last thoughts you would like to add?

Probably the most important thing that I can say about writing is that it should make the reader feel something. When a reader picks up a book, they’re not just killing time, they’re looking for an experience. That experience may be pure entertainment, but that often involves making them laugh with delight, or cry in anguish. When I’m done with a book, I want the reader to care about my characters as much as I do. I hear the voices of my characters in my head, and can mimic Missy’s southern accent. I stop to cry sometimes, and occasionally crack myself up when I write, and I’m perfectly okay with that. People and relationships are what life is about, and even in the context of a mystery, if we don’t feel anything about the people and relationships in the book…what’s the point of reading?

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