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.

#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.

#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.

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!

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!

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter!!

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:
Her blog is found at
Her Facebook author page is Nanette O’Neal Author
You can also join the group Friends of A Doorway Back to Forever on Facebook

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

Buy her books here: 

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.
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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Author Spotlight: Didi Lawson

Day two! Showing my love for my fellow writers! Check out her book links below!
Anything but a typical aristocrat, young Baroness Marie-Louise is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work, especially when it comes to saving her ancestral estate. Determined to shake loose the shackles of propriety and gain the warm family life her upbringing denied her, she has vowed to marry a man of lower rank. Blue-bloods need not apply.

But when she is forced to turn to a childhood friend for assistance, the handsome, debonair count may prove a temptation impossible to resist. Marie-Louise soon finds herself caught between the comfort of a middle-class doctor and the passion of a nobleman, with the future of her childhood home at stake.

What inspired me to write HOHENSTEIN:
Growing up in Germany where you can find a castle on every hill, I always dreamed about life in these castles. I could even see one castle up on the hill, peeking above the trees, when I looked out my bedroom window. Stories  involving princesses and knights in shining armor were among my favorites. Coming up with a story about a castle and a young baroness, therefore, came almost naturally.

I took three castles to construct Hohenstein Castle: the castle I saw from my bedroom window (Solitude Castle), an older castle (Lichtenstein) for the draw bridge, courtyard and surrounding areas, and the gate and entry from yet another castle.

Author Bio:
Born and raised in Germany, I always liked to write and tell stories. I even won prizes for my essays, and often had to read them out loud in front of the class, but it wasn’t until many years later that I realized I actually had a talent for writing. After I graduated from business college in Germany, I came to the US to further my education at Brigham Young University where I met my husband. We have three children and ten grandchildren, lived in Utah, North Carolina, Arizona, Germany and now Missouri.
Amazon link:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Author Spotlight: CR Simper

 To show my love and support for my writing community, every day this week I will be sharing an author spotlight!
About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Onnie, newly minted adult, isn’t sure what she wants in life, but she is sure what she doesn’t want, and going off to the Interplanetary Alliance’s Academy is at the top of that list. When she purposely flunks the entrance exam, she’s certain that’s why her father commanded her and her brother Jayesh to return to Rift Watcher Station. As Onnie settles into her new life on Rift Watcher, will she find a place of her own?

Chief Medical Officer Darragh Conally has issues. And secrets. As Onnie determinedly worms her way into his life and forges a friendship he doesn’t want, those secrets come dangerously close to being exposed. But how do you tell the Captain’s daughter to back off without risking your job?
Author Bio:

C R Simper was raised seven miles north of a small town, with two sisters, thirteen dogs, and an open sky painted every night with billions of stars. This unharried childhood allowed time for much reading, which led into a desire to create stories of worlds beyond her own. She has two published short stories in the Steampunk genre, and two published YA Sci-Fi novels: Rift Watcher and Into the Rift. Besides writing, she has a passion for genealogy.

What inspired me to write Rift Watcher?

I love character driven Science Fiction. I started Rift Watcher with no real theme in mind, (my writing process=pantser) but it ended up being about reaching out to people who are somewhat different from the norm. In the story, Onnie is sort of cornered into deciding to befriend Darragh because he's the only one on the station near her own age, but (spoiler) she comes to figure out he's been through a lot to get where he is, and he's a good person in his own quirky way. has all of my book links.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Febuary is the month for love

I am thinking this month I'll dedicate my blog to things I love: #sharethelove.  I love supporting my other writers in my writing organization. I've asked if I can promote books for them this month. It's kind of like paying it forward, but not expecting anything in return. So for the next few weeks, I'll be posting their stories for you to read.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review for Wood Fairies of Estraelia

When Elias of Elderberry introduces his best friend Jaron Finley to his magical world of fairies and castles, wizards and yōkai shape-shifters, will Jaron ever want to go back to his dull world of school and homework, especially after meeting Elieli, the fairy princess of Estraelia? It’s doubtful, but he must—the mortal that he is. Will Elias have to alter his memory and erase all that his friend has seen, or will Jaron be able to keep the secret that Elias Rey—a sophomore at PVHS, is a wizard and the youngest heir of Elderberry?

Held captive by evil wraiths in the dungeons of Sirusas, Elias’s older brother Saulen struggles with remembering who he is. How will the sons of Elderberry battle the dark forces of sorcery and rescue him?
And finally, when Adalee trips and falls by a nest abandoned from a Swypht Dragon of Ural, she takes an egg, knowing it has little chance to survive on its own. How will she keep it hidden in the non-dragon fairy kingdom of Estraelia? And why should she?


Elias of Elderberry is a truly marvelous book! The action, concept, and mysteries contained in this novel are intensely compelling and exciting. Not satisfied with simply writing an entertaining story, Sneed fills the pages with lessons about temptation, addiction, and the morals of right versus wrong. - R.L. Drembic

The Sons of Elderberry! Book One, Elias of Elderberry, was fantastic! I am eager to read the continuing sequels. Do any of us really know who we are and what our real worth is? Fifteen-year-old Elias was soon to discover things beyond his wildest imagination. This is about present day with regular school attendance, yet also, time travel with castles, dungeons, dragons and more! There were many characters well-defined and realistic. Also, the scenes were portrayed very well so the reader was able to easily picture them occurring. My Review of this book offers a Five Stars rating. - LAWonder10


Author Theresa Sneed graduated cum
laude with a BA in education, and though she loves teaching, she is currently
taking a break from it to pursue a writing career. 

books are unique; each story will take you to places you have never imagined before.
She writes across four genres—mystery and suspense, fantasy, historical
fiction/time travel, and realistic paranormal. All of Theresa’s books have
elements of sweet romance, and while none of her books have profanity or
sexually explicit scenes, each book is intriguing and white-knuckle intense—the
kind you can’t put down.

The No Angel series is the story about a
guardian angel with an attitude, and the ever present, but misunderstood spirit
world.  There are four published books in
the series with many more to come. Book one is called Angel with an Attitude, book two – Earthbound Angel, book three – Destiny’s
, and book four – Earth Angel.

Sons of Elderberry series has two
books out called Elias of Elderberry, and The Wood Fairies of Estraelia.
Harry-Potterish—with wizards, fairies, elves, pixies, yōkai shapeshifters, and
dragons, this book has it all! Theresa anticipates another three to five books
to finish that series.    

Escape is
the story of a 15 year old girl abducted by a corrupt sheriff in the 70’s. He
keeps her captive in his cellar for five years until she escapes with his truck
and his young daughter. Escape is
book one in a three book series.

Salem Witch Haunt
was intended to be a stand-alone book, until the shocking ending made it
apparent that her characters were not finished telling their story. As the
ninth great granddaughter of one of the women hanged as a witch in Salem,
Theresa has a vested interest in this epic time-travel. Thoroughly researched,
all interactions with real people from that era are based on primary
sources—the trial scene with Susannah Martin is taken from Reverend Samuel
Parris’s transcript verbatim. 

of Theresa Sneed’s books may be purchased through Amazon or links on her
She loves hearing from her readers and may be contacted through her website or
through her email at

Connect with the Author here: 

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

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