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

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?

Contact me via email at:

Follow me on Twitter: @summerprescott1

Find my Book Catalog on my blog:

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Sweet Taste of the Paranormal

In 1812, the Brothers Grimm published their book of fairy tales. One of the famous tales is that of young Hansel and Gretel. Two children are drawn into danger by the sweet taste of a gingerbread house owned by a wicked witch. The witch’s favorite meal is children.

Snow White, also a fairy tale included in the book published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, has become another classic story. In 1937, Walt Disney released the animated version. The evil queen and Snow White’s step-mother disguises herself as an old woman who offers Snow White a perfect, sweet red apple.

The Brothers Grimm used fairy tales to teach lessons. These two fairy tales teach the lesson of being wary of strangers. However, Hansel and Gretel overcome their captor and escape. Walt Disney’s beautiful film shows the poison of the apple overcome by love’s true kiss. A thread of the paranormal and sweet treats runs through both fairy tales.

In today’s world, the paranormal is found in many books, movies, and television stories. In the CWs television show Supernatural (I must add that I am a huge fan having seen each episode at least twice and some three or more,) the same thread used by the Brothers Grimm runs through an episode in which a young woman who loves to bake cupcakes is cursed by a jealous witch. She finishes frosting her beautiful golden cupcakes with pink frosting and takes a bite. Her face shows the bliss of the taste of the cake. Her second bite causes her face to contort as she looks at the cupcake in her hand. Blood pours from the cupcake and in its center, she sees a beating heart. Poisoned, she drops to the floor only to be saved in the nick of time by the Winchester brothers. Once again, a sweet treat is to blame.

These are fairy tales and a television series. Each has used the paranormal, witches to be exact, in their plot lines. Is there any link to reality? Husbands who have tried or succeeded in poisoning their wives and vice-versa have often used a sweet tasting poison added to the lemonade or glass of sweet red wine. What about the paranormal twist in all of this? While these poisonings may have been rooted in reality, they can be turned and twisted into delightful paranormal stories.

Magic potions, secret spells, strange plants, mysterious shops selling items only found during the midnight hour can be written into your paranormal story. A drop or two of a sweet concoction added to any sweet food or drink could do numerous things to the person unfortunate enough to consume it. The limit is in the mind of the writer. One person could be done away with or a plague of zombies created.

Enjoy giving your victims a sweet treat, but be careful that someone does not return the favor. Have fun with the possibilities.
Happy Writing!  

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