For the Criminally Inane

For the Criminally Inane

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Verdict Is In!

I've often mused about what I write on this blog, and I finally got the official word: I write adventurous cozy mysteries. Sound soft and warm? One you could wrap up in? Well, it is.

What exactly is a cozy mystery? I'm glad you asked. And how is that different than, say, a police procedure? Good question. I will give you a definition.

Police procedure: Think of all the gore, sex and drama of a show like CSI with hardened criminals and jaded investigators supported by a team of experts.

Cozy mystery: All the suspense and drama of a mystery leaving out the sex and gore.

Sleuths are often amateurs relying on instinct, intelligence and intuition rather than formal training.

But most of the cozies I know are in small towns, but I write cozy mysteries/adventure because my protagonists must go to great lengths and distances to solve the case,.

And then there's romance.

And humor.

I really can't write anything that doesn't have these elements because it is what I love. But you probably already knew that about me.

So if you're looking for a good mystery, without sex, violence and gore with a bit of humor and romance, stay tuned for my first novel.

Looking for more examples of cozy mysteries, here's a Goodreads link.

What would you like to see in a cozy mystery?


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Vote for your favorite excerpt

I need your help!

I need to know which excerpt is the best for my book.

Vote in the comments section. Thank you!!

#1 He stepped closer, lowering his chin, giving her a deep stare. His eyes had a depth Andy had never seen before. Knowledge and understanding and something else in those pupils.
“Your black belt won’t always save you, you know.”
Andy turned away. He continued to follow her.
For some reason, that irked her. She thrust a hand to his chest. Rock solid. “Don’t. I could take you down if I had to.”
“I’m sure you could.” He had a cocky grin starting at one side of his mouth, then spreading to the other. “Goodnight, then.” With a salute to her, he marched backwards. When he rounded the corner, Andy found her phone and dialed Carla.
“So what was that all about?” Carla asked.
“Some guy wants karate lessons.”
“Are you sure? I think he was into you. I think this is just a way to get to know you.”
Andy changed the subject. “What did your mom want?”
Right at that moment two men in rubber masks rushed her, sliding up beside her, grabbing her phone and purse. She didn't care about the burner phone, but her weekender tote! Everything she needed was in there!
She was not letting go without a fight.
or

#2 Hugh shouted, “Let it go. It’s just a bag! It’s not worth it.”
“You don’t understand!” Andy said. The man held tight but still she persisted. “It’s my life, my everything.”
“Girls and their purses! I was talking to the duck.”
Daffy managed to stand, still holding the purse. Andy was too slow to return to her feet. Then Hugh jumped into action. Andy had never seen anyone so agile. He grappled the Daffy around his neck, then crashed him into his knee. Andy recognized the Russian Sambo technique. Even with the rubber mask, the wallop hurt. Daffy probably had a broken nose.
Andy stood still. This was the same man who asked for karate lessons a few minutes before?
Holding his nose, Daffy ran with Bill from the alleyway leaving the purse. Andy retrieved it from the sidewalk.
“So what was that?” she asked.
or

#3 She bit her lip, her fingers twirling the stem of her empty wine glass, thinking. It was all coming too fast. Andy didn’t know anything about organized crime. “What’s in it for you?” she asked.
“Freedom. I didn’t realize what I was getting into, and I want out. There is only two ways out. Death or the downfall of Imperium.” Now she understood his haggard appearance. “I’d prefer the latter.”
A silence passed between them. Her gaze darted to the other couples seated with hurricane lamps between them, the flames wavering in the open breeze. It was all so ironic. All those years growing up, Brad convinced Sandra and her dad that he was the obedient one, and Andy was the rebellious one. And now she was having this conversation.
Brad broke the silence. “Listen, I’m sure they’re watching me, so we don’t have time. Are you in or out?”
Seeing Brad so scared, so small, so internally sick with fear, made her all the more afraid.
She understood when she replaced her father as Andrew Baker there might be some retaliation from those she exposed. But a lone wolf breaking the law was different than organized crime. This was the mob he was talking about!

Monday, June 19, 2017

So what's next?

I have so many people ask me what's next in the publishing process that I thought I'd communicate the next few steps.

Manuscript
I have to go through at least three rounds of edits. I just got my first back today! yay! Time to roll up my sleeves and get to work, even though I went boating this last week and burned the tops of my thighs. Needless to say, I can't set my laptop on top of them without a pillow! Yow! Painful lesson learned!

Cover Art
This is the fun part! I filled out a form for the art team talking all about my story. Darn, right? The cover artists need to know the tone and feel of my book, what the characters are like, what symbols are important and setting.  We scrolled through a lot of great work and picked a few covers that had the feel I like. I'm excited to have the cover reveal. If you want to be one of the firsts on the cover reveal, sign up for my newsletter to the right! =>

Back Cover
I have to write a blurb, a dedication and figure out the sweetest cut for my 250-word sample which should entice readers.  While my husband had my worksheets open on his laptop and was writing what I was dictating to him (see story about sunburn on thighs above) he wrote out a really nice dedication to himself, haha!

Writing
Now that I have a contract for my first book, I'm writing like mad to finish up another book with my characters.

Social Media
Creating a marketing plan and timeline. I have in mind a video I want to post on my website about a disguise my main character girl uses to rescue some information. I want to try and recreate that in a video.  I'll let you all know when that goes live!

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

At what point do you call yourself a writer?

When I was nine years old, I took a piece of blue construction paper and stapled it around some blank computer paper. I titled the book, Young Author. I didn't know what I was going to write in there, but I knew it was going to be good!

I wanted to write mysteries. I read a whole lot of Nancy Drew at the time, everything in the local library and bought a few dozen more with my own money. (My daughter has them on her bookshelf as I write this--no way was I getting rid of those.) I attended a few workshops, dreamed, scribbled in notebooks, started a dozen stories, wrote a play (in fourth grade) and a scene I took to drama competition, took some Creative Writing classes in college. But it wasn't until nine years ago that I decided I was going to do it.

I had read a book that contradicted the thought that I had to be wildly talented to get published (a popular belief that I held or held me back), I only had to work hard, gain experience, and learn skills. In roughly ten years, 10,000 hours or 1 million words, I could overcome the talent curve. That gave me an incredible amount of hope.  And it helped me find my voice. I found that I do like mysteries, but I write more of action-adventure-romantic-comedies. Or Romantic Suspense with a comedic slant :)

So I am happy to announce that after nine years of studying books on the craft, attending workshops, and putting my bum in the chair, I finally have a contract on a book! And I feel like I can finally call myself a writer.


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Friday, February 17, 2017

Author Spotlight: Nanette O'Neal

 Last day! Author spotlight! #sharethelove for these authors! Check out their book links!

Inspiration Behind the Doorway
Never underestimate the power of the story! Think back to when you were a child—what was your favorite story? It may have been a timeless tale of good triumphing over evil, or a  happily-ever-after story that brought the prince and princess home.  Whatever it was, I’m sure it spoke directly to your heart and made a lasting impression to this day. This is not a coincidence. I believe the power of story is a gift from God—a gift that speaks directly from His spirit to ours reminding us of eternal truths that span all generations and cultures, touching hearts to remind us of eternal truths. Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? A timeless story doesn’t simply entertain. It inspires us to be better than we were yesterday. We need more good stories!
And so, my series, A Doorway Back to Forever, was born. It is a fantasy story with symbols of faith for those who have eyes to see them. It is a written for middle grade and older, especially families and those who are looking to strengthen or reconnect to the spirit within themselves. The main characters, Kit and Robyn discover they have a secret gift called magic-sense—a forbidden power to see and hear beyond earthly sight and sound. It is considered a taboo, but they are strangely drawn to it. Unable to control their curiosity, it leads them to the doorway back to Forever, a magical realm where magic-sense began. They’re given a challenge to explore the kingdom and fight with the royal family for its existence. But a madman beyond the doorway wants to see the royal family destroyed and the girls dead. Kit and Robyn know what they must do—do you have the courage to join them?
About  Nanette O’Neal
Author, music educator, and aviation enthusiast, Nanette O’Neal has had a long time passion for the idea behind the Doorway Back to Forever series, stemming from her faith and her love of story. Her interests have always been strong in various creative endeavors, such as music, martial arts, science fiction, and fantasy. Having studied music in college, she made a career of teaching and directing various ensembles in the public and private fields for years. When she decided to tackle writing, she began an intense process of study and research in the craft, through books, online tutorials, chat and critique groups, as well as various workshops, conferences and retreats.
The Doorway series consists of seven novels about faith, courage, and the power to discover your eternal destiny. The first book, A Doorway Back to Forever: BELIEVE, was released in 2016. Book two, A Doorway Back to Forever: TRUST, is scheduled for a spring 2017 release. Nanette has plans to develop an online master seminar based on the symbolism of the series called A Doorway Back to Forever: AWAKENING, scheduled to launch in the fall of 2017.
Her book can be found on Amazon: amazon.com/dp/1943526168
Her blog is found at nanetteoneal.blogspot.com
Her Facebook author page is Nanette O’Neal Author https://www.facebook.com/ADoorwayBacktoForever/
You can also join the group Friends of A Doorway Back to Forever on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/757500701016269/

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Author Spotlight: Deb Graham

Day four of #sharethelove for my fellow authors! Check out this one!

Deb Graham  is the indie-published author of eleven non-fiction books, including two best-seller cruise books and others on how to write one’s personal story, how to complain effectively, and several cookbooks, science and craft books for her six and a half beloved grandchildren. Deb believes firmly in the power of Story, and enjoys presenting local workshops on finding one’s own voice, as well as self-publishing. 

Leery of writing fiction for many years, Deb recently published her first novel, Peril In Paradise, a cozy mystery set on (where else?) a cruise ship in Hawaii. She enjoyed the process so much she’s working on another cozy mystery, set on a cruise in Alaska, to be followed by a multi-generational novel told from the perspective of an antique cookie cutter collection. 
 Deb’s superpowers include being able to spell-check and grammar-check with her brain, and a talent for swiftly improvising, as well as finding an analogy for almost anything.

About the book: Peril In Paradise is a cozy mystery that takes place on a cruise around Hawaii. With details rich enough to plan your own trip (I am a travel writer, after all!) it’s more a how dunnit than a who dunnit. Jerria is a mild real estate agent from Oregon, who hits a patch of depression when her youngest son opts for college 4000 miles from home, In an effort to raise her spirits, her husband, Will books a fabulous cruise.  Alas, all is not well in paradise, and they can’t blame the mythical Pele for the danger in which they find themselves. 

 Connect with her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Deb-Graham-Author-1390601407905523/

Buy her books here:https://www.amazon.com/Peril-Paradise-cruise-Deb-Graham/dp/1523382104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485887732&sr=8-1&keywords=Deb+Graham 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Author Spotlight: Wendy C. Jorgensen

Day three of #sharethelove for my fellow writers!

Book Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Eve Hunter reluctantly returns to Ridgway, Colorado, where her mother drowned ten years earlier. As tensions mount, Eve must unravel the town's mysteries including her grandfather's secretive colony and the strange behavior of an intriguing young colonist before more of the town's inhabitants disappear. 


About the Author:
Wendy C. Jorgensen lives in Reno, Nevada, at least most of the time, with a wonderful husband who's a financial guru--thank goodness--and a golden retriever who's often mistaken for a sloth. She recently moved to Nevada from Colorado, where pieces of her heart are scattered all over the state. Her two brainy and creative sons make her want to be smarter. She hopes someday to journey to the stars. 


Why I Wrote Scattering Stars and What's to Come
When I began writing my first novel in 2011, there was never any doubt as to what I would write about. I've been fascinated by aliens ever since I saw the movie Escape to Witch Mountain in the 1970s. Any story about human-like space travelers visiting the earth draws me in immediately. In fact, speculative fiction of all types is my favorite genre. I have a stand-alone scifi book coming out in March/April about neuroenhancement called Acceleration, and ideas brewing for future books about time travel and genetic engineering. Stars on Ruby Mountain, the sequel to Scattering Stars, should be out by early 2018.      


https://www.amazon.com/Scattering-Stars-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B01E0K9EA2/
Scattering Stars (The Scattering Stars Trilogy Book 1) - Kindle edition by Wendy C. Jorgensen. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Scattering Stars (The Scattering Stars Trilogy Book 1).
Facebook: @authorwendycjorgensen Twitter: @WCJorgensen19

https://www.amazon.com/Scattering-Stars-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B01E0K9EA2/