Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Perfect Spot for Crime

Sometimes story ideas come from strange places. Since I write Romantic Suspense, naturally there must be a crime scene to launch the suspense aspect. I love hands-on research, and when a story in the local paper caught my eye I was off and running.

The title of the article was Bogs Worth Exploring and Protecting by Evelyn Anderson. The article informed me that bogs are among Pennsylvania's most valued habitats. I learned a glacier once covered the northwestern part of the state, the basis and foundation for bogs. The area I was considering for my story's setting was referred to as a fen because of its alkalinity. Yet each bog is unique.

I don't wish to bore readers with technical data about bogs, although personally I found it interesting, but as I read the article, the word swampy grabbed my attention. More details got my imagination churning: floating sphagnum and glacial pools. I tweaked the image with shadows, winding paths, and the lingering odor often associated with a damp, swampy setting.

Hmmm...or a dead body, maybe?

Since my stories are set in places within easy access to the Great Lakes and all the wonderful sights bordering their shores, a crime within this rich, fertile, shadowy environment got me off and running....or, typing.

Here are two excerpts from Deadly Reflection. The first is my hero's encounter in the bog, the second is my heroine's shocking introduction to the shadowy, swampy environment that changes her life forever.

Enter: Nick McGraw: Vacationing police detective.

Perspiration trickled down Nick's spine, and a steady breeze molded his tee shirt to his damp skin. Swirling up from the bog were smells he'd almost forgotten.

         Moisture laden peat, thick as plush carpet, and an underlying hint of decay.

Then the wind shifted, and an all too familiar stench permeated the air around him. The hair on the back of Nick's neck rose and out of habit, he reached for his Walther PPK.

Enter: Cassandra Burke: An innocent bystander, maybe....

She swiped a hand across her eyes, crouched low, and peered into the surrounding shadows.

What is that smell?

Rufus lurched away, disappearing into the gloom.

"That's it." She scrambled after him. As she pushed through dense foliage, the swampy ground gave beneath her feet and seeped between her toes. Finally, frustrated and spitting mad, she caught sight of the retriever's golden coat.

"Rufus, come here."

He spared her the flick of one ear. He'd heard her, but he made no move to obey. Instead, he crept forward, heading straight for a pile of sticks, leaves, and God knows what else. Something reeked to high heaven, and the hum of insects droned in her ears.
            Thanks for stopping by my Blog about the Bog!

Available now:
Deadly Reflection


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Reinventing A Writing Career


Reinventing A Writing Career
The initial message came in an email. My publisher's name as the sender was welcome since I'd met my June 1st deadline for my eighth Romantic Suspense novel and was eager to start the editing process.
It took a couple of read throughs before reality sunk in. My publisher was closing. No explanation, only the bare fact that in a matter of days my seven successful novels would disappear from all selling points, along with reviews. The rights to my books would revert to me, a bright spot in the solemn post, and I could purchase my covers.
Numb best described my state of mind. Once I recovered, I had a choice to make, and nothing I'd ever faced during my writing career scared me more than facing that decision.
So, I did what good writers do...I researched my options, which was almost as scary as the dreaded email! A turning point came when all the writers, wonderful authors, and friends,  I'd come to know throughout my writing career stepped up, providing a plethora of ideas and information. Self-publishing is not one size fits all, I was happy to discover. Sorting through options and reading self-proclaimed success for taking one path or another was daunting, but I eventually came to a decision and found a path suitable for me to follow.
My success depends on my ability to jump into the Social Media pool and not drown! Trial and error will be my companion, along with wonderful, warm, willing and helpful fellow writers who have traveled the same path and splash in the Social Media waves. 
I'll start in the shallow end of that pool, and hope in the future I can dive from the high board and come up smiling!
A note to all my past readers...thank you, and be patient because I must wade before I can swim. That eighth novel will take some time to hit the shelves, but I promise to make that happen as soon as possible.

Will prepare my books for publishing through 

Stand by for the upcoming re-release of

~Deadly Reflection~