Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cjpetterson@gmail.com cj

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mid NaNoWriMo

cj Sez: Since I’ve committed to writing as many words as possible for the NaNoWriMo challenge, today’s post will again be brief. 


Click on over to Facebook and log in to view the perfect symbolism for a successful NaNoWriMo...


Wishing all the strivers SUCCESS!

FYE…Here’s the opening paragraph of my NaNoWriMo story:

The young man sitting opposite her did not appear unfriendly, though not a word had passed between them during the previous eight hours. Handsome, she thought, but soft. Definitely not a Westerner. Despite the semitransparent mix of brown dust and coal soot coating the train window, his dark hair, parted in the middle and curling against the collar of his suit coat, shone with a red highlight glint in the late afternoon sun. streaming in train’s window. His eyes were as blue as the clear Texas skies. She’d been sitting silently, facing him, since leaving the depot in Indian Territory at seven that morning. She took notice of his shy glances and the occasional, deep dimple that dented his one smooth-shaven cheek when he seemed to reflect on some pleasant thought. Silent long enough, she decided to be a little forward and venture the start of a conversation. ///

As you can see by the red, crossed-through places, I can’t stop editing, so I have little hope of reaching 50,000 words. How-some-ever, I will have a good start on a new historical western romance.

From my publisher, Crimson Romance, a new release coming November 27th, the perfect holiday gift for a romance reader near you: 


CHRISTMAS KISSES: 4 HOLIDAY ROMANCES by USA Today bestselling authors Alicia Hunter Pace and T.F. Walsh, with Dana Volney and Casey Dawes.

Grab your eggnog and curl up by the fireplace with these magical holiday romances sure to warm your heart and your spirits!

Okay, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
Warning, warning! Santa’s arrival on Christmas eve is only six weeks away. Here are some wonderful (and cheap) suggestions for holiday gifts for your favorite romance readers. Helpful hint: The bundles are so cheap, you can buy them for white elephant gifts also and look like a big spender.
Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse Western anthology of 8 short stories @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle @ 99 cents (includes Deadly Star)
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)
Bodies in Motion — 10 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)
Note: On the bundles, the “look inside” invitation gives you a taste of only the first book.
Qrtly newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Remembrances of Elmore Leonard


cj Sez: When NYT best-selling author Elmore Leonard first suffered a stroke in August 2013, writer and poet Fenton Ludtke, a dear friend of mine and one of Mr. Leonard’s former work-a-day colleagues, shared some of his personal memories of his former colleague. 

Following is an excerpt of Fenton's note:

“When I left the AP (Associated Press) in 1963 and joined Campbell Ewald, Elmore Leonard also was a anew copywriter. He wrote copy on the Chevrolet account. He was quiet, and almost shy. We talked and drank (a few) at home parties, where he came out of his shell a bit. We named him “Dutch” after Dutch Leonard, then a major league baseball pitcher with a tipsy knuckle ball, as I recall.

Back then, Elmore would rise around 6 a.m. and write for an hour. He disciplined himself. His venue, westerns. Then he’d shower and dress and make it to the agency in the GM building on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. After a while he was doing so well, his westerns were selling in paperbacks, and later one as a movie, “3:10 to Yuma,” that he left the agency to go on his own. 

After his stroke, Elmore still continues to work on his latest book. (cj Sez: It was Raylan, his 46th novel.)

George Will, the columnist, has called Elmore “America’s greatest mystery writer.” It isn’t a mystery to me. It’s a matter of discipline.” 

cj Sez:  Discipline . . . a necessary ingredient for any NaNoWriMo participant, so I’d better get back to it!

VETERANS' DAY is Saturday...


Veterans Day (November 11) was originally called “Armistice Day,” and the date was chosen to commemorate the signing of the armistice with Germany that ended the hostilities of World War I. It was also once called “Poppy Day,” a name inspired by John McCrae’s poem, Flanders Fields. “In Flanders fields the poppies blow. Between the crosses, row on row…”

Not all states observe the official holiday, although all Federal offices will be closed for the holiday on Friday, November 10.

We have the freedom to do and say stupid stuff because of our Armed Forces veterans. Since some of us seem to need a special day to remember to say “thank you,” this is a reminder that you can do that on Saturday…Veterans Day is November 11.

That’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
P.S. Please say a prayer or my sister who suffered a stroke last week.

Qrtly newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
Qrtly newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
 “Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse Western anthology of 8 short stories @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle @ 99 cents (includes Deadly Star)
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)
Bodies in Motion — 10 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)
Note: On the bundles, the “look inside” invitation gives you a taste of only the first book

Sunday, October 29, 2017

News you can use

cj Sez: We celebrate Halloween by dressing in weird costumes and then go begging for treats.
October 31 - Hallowed Eve, the day before All Saints Day.
  
But since most stores have ALL their end-of-year marketing displayed, here’s an all-encompassing wish:

  
November 1 - National Author Appreciation Day

In 1928, Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, president of the Bement, Illinois Women’s Club had the idea of setting aside a day to celebrate American authors. An avid reader, while recuperating in the hospital during World War I, she wrote a fan letter to fiction writer, Irving Bacheller, telling him how much she enjoyed his story Eben Holden’s Last Day A’ Fishin. Bacheller thanked her by sending her an autographed copy of another story.

To thank him properly, she submitted the idea for a National Author’s Day to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, and they passed a resolution declaring November 1 as a day to honor American writers. The United States Department of Commerce subsequently recognized the day in 1949.

Now that you know…
Got a writer or two in your life? Go out of your way to encourage them. Buy books by your favorite author and then take five or ten minutes to write a review to support them. 

Also on November 1 – NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month is a hot-to-trot race to produce 50,000 words in 30 days1,667 words a day will get you there. Authors, if you’re participating, start your writing.

cj Sez: My gift to you…an extra hour of sleep next weekend.

It’s fall-back time. For those of you on Daylight Savings time, before you tumble into bed next Saturday night, remember to turn back your clocks one hour because on Sunday morning at 2 a.m. Nov 5, 2017 - Daylight Saving Time Ends.  (cj Sez: I like the idea that I can reclaim the hour I lost to DST in March.)


Benjamin Franklin takes the honor (or the blame, depending on your view of the time changes) for coming up with the idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy, according to David Prerau, author of "Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time" (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2005). 

At the time, Franklin was ambassador to Paris and sowrote a witty letter to the Journal of Paris in 1784, rejoicing over his "discovery" that the sun provides light as soon as it rises.
Even so, DST didn't officially begin until more than a century later. Germany established DST in May 1916 as a way to conserve fuel during World War I. The rest of Europe came onboard shortly thereafter. And in 1918, the United States adopted daylight saving time.

That’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to the same. Hope you have a great week.

cj 
Leaving you with a word from my sponsors: 
Qrtly newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
 “Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse Western anthology of 8 short stories @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle @ 99 cents (includes Deadly Star)
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)
Bodies in Motion — 10 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter)
Note: On the bundles, the “look inside” invitation gives you a taste of only the first book.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Smiles and truisms to start off your week...

cj Sez: I know. I’m supposed to post an interesting and informative blog for our Lyrical Pens followers. 
 Well, I procrastinated again (actually I spent all day Saturday at granddaughter’s soccer games they won both of them, yay) so, instead of newsy items, I’ll pass along some smiles and truisms that show up on my computer screen with regularity.

***
Noun-verb agreements
I write.
You write.
He writes.
She writes.
They write.
We all revise . . . a lot.  

***
It’s funny how Red, White, and Blue represent freedom . . . until they’re flashing behind you.
***
***
I am a professional writer. I can tell lies with a straight face.

But I’m a piker when it comes to atoms.
You can’t trust them.
They make up everything.

***
At two a.m.: “I need to stop, I whispered to myself as I started reading another chapter.” (cj Sez: Been there, did that.)

***
James Watkins: “To survive as a writer, you must develop a tough hide and a tender heart . . . and never, ever get the two switched.”

***
Here's the key I wish I had when I'm on deadline: 


***
Diablo Cody: “I don’t have a formal rewrite process. I just compulsively groom and re-groom scenes like a cat with OCD.”  (cj Sez: My method exactly.)

***
We are all precious in the sight of the Lord.
He may shake His head a lot, but we’re still precious.


You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj 
“Bad Day at Round Rock” short story in The Posse anthology
newsletter sign-up at cjpetterson@gmail.com


Sunday, October 15, 2017

New releases from authors I know

cj Sez: I'm happy today to offer some suggestions for your to-be-read pile...and hopefully, you'll take the time to post your own review after you've read them. 

† The Apprenticeship of Nigel Blackthorn by Frank Kelso is a coming-of-age story of the American West in 1853. The story tells the adventures of a 13-year-old English boy whose missionary parents were slain by the Indians they came to convert. A passing mule-train rescues Nigel, and he has a choice: an orphanage or an apprenticeship on the mule train. eBook available today for the pre-order price of 99 cents on Amazon . . . http://amzn.to/2xO5F4z

Frank Kelso grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, the origin of the Santa Fe Trail, so writing western themed books fit in with his upbringing. His parents considered storytelling a family tradition, and the taller the tale, the better. A biomedical research scientist in his day job, Frank writes short stories and novels—including the recent California Bound.

Frank is also the co-publisher of The Posse, the anthology of Western short stories that includes my historical fiction “Bad Day at Round Rock.”

A couple of 5-star reviews of The Posse and my short story “Bad Day at Round Rock:”

The Posse has a little bit for everyone who loves the Old West. If you're like me, and a romance reader, you will thoroughly enjoy Lyn Horner and cj Peterson's romantic tales of the Old West. Excellent stories, woven in with period details. If you're a lover of Old West "grit" the other stories will grab hold of you and not let you go!

Solid mix of short fiction by collection of western writers. I liked the variety and different approaches. All the stories were well crafted. My personal favorites were Bad Day at Round Rock, The Savage Posse, and Set a Thief.


† Trouble in Summer Valley by Susan Tanner is the latest entry in the Familiar Legacy series, written in concert with several very talented authors. The story is about Avery Wilson who knew starting over would be hard, but she never expected to be in an all-out war with her ex. What was he planning next? Her goal of equine rehabilitation for wounded veterans on her Alabama horse ranch was slipping from her grasp, and her precious horses were in danger. Available on Amazon  http://amzn.to/2znuGlz
           
Susan Tanner’s Trouble in Summer Valley is a romantic mystery showcasing one smart feline named Trouble. Because Ms. Tanner is a horse lover as well as a cat lover, her upcoming Trouble books will have backstories which feature the world of horses.

5 out of 5 star review: Trouble is back! This time he is in Alabama and has temporarily adopted a new human female, Avery Wilson, who is being threatened by her ex-husband on the courthouse steps. This is also where she meets and is rescued by Dirks Hanna who has been sent by the IRS to determine if her Summer Valley Ranch should be certified to host Veterans with PTSD.

///

In 1986, Sandra Scoppettone, a founding SinC member, reported that the New York Times Book Review had not reviewed a book by a woman in months. SinC volunteers analyzed the book reviews appearing from 1985–1987 and determined the percentage of reviews of female-authored books dropped from fifteen to six per cent.

Since then, the international Sisters-in-Crime writers organization has spent more than thirty years promoting women writers. Their Publishing Summit Report 2017 is available here:  http://www.sistersincrime.org/  (cj Sez: SinC is an organization for crime writers, and its members are both sisters and misters.)


That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj Sez On a personal note ... congratulations to grandson Jeff who passed the Alabama bar exam in July and was part of the group sworn in last week by the Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice as an attorney-at-law.  Sa-lute!

And now a brief word from my sponsors:
“Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse Western anthology of 8 short stories @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Deadly Star) @ 99 cents
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents
Bodies in Motion — 10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents
Note: The “look inside” invitation on the book bundles gives you a taste of the first book.
Newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
Stop by my author pages for more info . . .

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Trouble is on the move, 2017 Awards

cj Sez: Trouble is on the move, and it all began with author Carolyn Haines … I’m talking about Trouble, the black cat shamus star of her Familiar Legacy mystery series. 

A number of books are scheduled for the series, and three have launched: Familiar Trouble, Trouble in Dixie, and Trouble in Tallahassee. The fourth book, Trouble at Summer Valley Ranch, will launch October 9. The first book in the series, Familiar Trouble written by Carolyn Haines, is currently available free on Amazon Kindle.  http://amzn.to/2uqmHUY

Blurb:  BLOOD IS THICKER... Sometimes a unique talent is inherited—and such is the case for Trouble, son of Familiar the black cat detective. Trouble’s rather indolent life in the sleepy town of Wetumpka, Alabama is upended when a serial killer arrives on the scene. Trouble begins to apply the skills he learned from his dad and his hero, Sherlock Holmes.

A 5 out of 5-stars review: “Cats can get into plenty of trouble. Trouble the cat is just the opposite - he works hard to keep his "biped" OUT of trouble. Witty, amusing and tense, Familiar Trouble is a fun and engaging read.”

cj Sez:  You get ’em, Trouble.

I’m happy to share the good news of recent award-wining authors. Maybe someone you read? If not, maybe someone you should read?

The American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) announced its Carol Awards winners for the best in Christian fiction published in the previous calendar year (2016). The winners were announced September 23 during the annual conference awards dinner. www.acfw.com/carol/carol_award_finalists_2017 

Contemporary
The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell

Historical
Like a River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart

Historical Romance
The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

Romantic Suspense
Always Watching (Elite Guardians) by Lynette Eason

Debut
You’re the Cream in my Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

The Private Eye Writers Association announced its Shamus Awards for 2017. The Shamus Awards were given to private eye titles published in 2016.  The winners announced in the PWA newsletter. For more details, go to:  http://www.privateeyewriters.com/news.html

Best Private Eye Novel
Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman

Best First Private Eye Novel
IQ by Joe Ide

Best Original Private Eye Paperback
The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown by Vaseem Khan  

Best Private Eye Short Story
“A Battlefield Reunion” by Brendan DuBois  in AHMM, June

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS!!

Tell me about your good news, and I’ll be happy to share that also.

Got my royalty check recently and decided I better not quit my day job. Oh wait… I did that already. Sigh.

That’s it for this post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
And now a brief word from my sponsors:
“Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse Western anthology of 8 short stories @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Deadly Star) @ 99 cents
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents
Bodies in Motion — 10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents
Note: The “look inside” invitation on the book bundles gives you a taste of the first book.
Newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
Stop by my author pages for more info . . .

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The reader's imagination is a powerful writer's tool

cj Sez: A lot of the passion, or eroticism, a reader finds in a story is often the part that’s left unwritten. For me, what one imagines to be residing between the lines of a story—the perceived hidden meanings—can be more erotic than detailed descriptions.
The calendar says Autumn; the temperature does not.
The reader’s imagination is a powerful tool for writers.

 Writers can never predict how their words will be interpreted because their readers are coming from a multitude of backgrounds, and each has a different set of life experiences. That’s both exciting and fearful. Words, syntax, and semantics have to be as exact as we can make them, all the while knowing that the reader will most probably interpret them differently. Yet it is unfair and insulting to intelligent readers to tell them what is meant through the use of Italics and adverbs attached to dialogue.  Example: “How dare you do that,” she exclaimed angrily. (Suggested alternative: “How dare you do that!” This draws the reader into the story by allowing him or her to place their own word emphasis.)

I’ve had the pleasure of having a reader tell me how much she enjoyed (or did not enjoy) a particular scene or dialogue exchange. When I asked why, her interpretation of the scene or dialogue was nowhere near what I had intended. Obviously, words do not have universal meanings. In particular, writing with and about passion and eroticism tends to invite a lot of critical judgment and opinion.

Erotic is far more than the sexual and sensuous description.

For me, the definition of erotic is nebulous. It is sitting on the floor of a darkened room immersed in music…it is snowflakes melting in my eyelashes…the smooth caress of summer breezes...the warmth of the sun…the whistle of an elk and the cry of a loon in the northern wilderness...it is pleasure that fills me with laughter and pain that makes my heart ache…it is intelligence with a quick wit and gentle humor…it is the harmonics of a deeply resonant baritone…the touch of a guiding, strong hand at my waist…it is the fragrance of herbs crushed between the palms of my hands...it is the touch of silk, satin, skin on skin…the velvetiness of a baby’s cheek…the taste of dark chocolate melting on my tongue...it is the aroma of a pipe and the coarseness of a woolen shirt…it is the heady sheen of an athlete…it is a decision made confidently that culminates in success…it is trees dressed up in spring green or autumn blaze…pewter clouds and blue skies…it is sounds, feelings, sights, smells, tastes, touch, memories…it is imagination.

Okay, that’s all for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on and I’ll try to do the same.

Cj   
“Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse Western anthology of 8 short stories @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle @ 99 cents (includes Deadly Star)
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter
Bodies in Motion — 10 book publisher’s bundle @99 cents (includes Choosing Carter
Note: The “look inside” invitation on the book bundles gives you a taste of the first book.
Newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
Stop by my author pages for more info . . .
(I’m thrilled to be a published author. Thank you.)   


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Do you believe the English language is difficult?

cj Sez:  Here are a few of the community outreach programs that Simon & Schuster is doing:

Besides partnering with storm-relief national and local nonprofit organizations to provide books for displaced adults and children AND donating 250 “Best Of” titles to Texas public schools and libraries affected by Hurricane Harvey (Librarians who need information on the offer should email education.library@simonandschuster.com ), it has been announced that S&S will be offering the same support to Florida organizations affected by Hurricane Irma.

Yay, Simon & Schuster !

A reminder of how fluid and difficult the English language is (from a 2014 post):

This quote came from fellow blogger, Sol Sanders a few years ago:  “Perhaps the glory of the English language is that it so expressive. Its remarkable heterogeneous origins have given it an almost limitless vocabulary. And American English, particularly, has used that tool with an enormous flexibility to make it the international means of communication. One is able with a minimum of linguistic dexterity to capture every meaning, or almost every nuance.”

Mr. Sanders’s comments were part of an introduction to his essay on what today’s journalism and media do with the English language. The gist of his blog was that journalism and media people over-complicate their sentences with words that muddy their meanings—changing nouns into verbs and, perhaps, calling a shovel a “hand-held, earth-moving tool.” My take is that media and journalists employ an old trick of confusing the issue to persuade readers to their (the writer/editor’s) points of view

I’ll admit to a few personal dislikes of those words with muddied meanings. One is the word “impactful;” a noun turned into a verb turned into an adjective by adding ful on the end. What the Sam Hill does that really mean?

The fact is, the English language is a living language. It’s constantly evolving as we create new words and new definitions in response to new technology. The rather sad result is that the generations cease to understand each other at an almost exponential pace. Many times I need an interpreter to understand teen-talk, and I can’t text (a noun turned into a verb because of technology), like my family does for fear I’d forget how to spell.

Still, for me as a genre writer, the gloriously expressive English language is what makes my craft so fascinating. I adore language and anyone who accurately uses a large vocabulary with familiar easeespecially if he has a warm, baritone voice and a sense of humor. Oh my.

Yes, I use nouns as verbs. Yes, I deliberately obfuscate . . . and add the disclaimer that it’s for the sake of mystery. I am drawn to the syntax, symbolism, and syncopation of a well-drafted sentence that is the hallmark of successful mystery/thriller/ suspense novelists. It’s using that “minimum of linguistic dexterity to capture every meaning, or almost every nuance” that appeals to me, and, I think, to readers of those genres. They want to try to decipher the code, find the clues, and solve the crime. Mystery writers like trying to confuse the issue.

I’m still working on my craft. How are you doing with your genre?

Okay, that’s all for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
“Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse Western anthology of 8 short stories @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Deadly Star) @ 99 cents
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents
Bodies in Motion — 10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents
Note: The “look inside” invitation on the book bundles gives you a taste of the first book.
Newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
Stop by my author pages for more info . . .
Pop Quiz: The royalties on the publisher’s bundles are shared among the number of authors in the bundles. Guess how much that amounts to. (Obviously, I write for the sheer joy of writing ... I do, but I’m also thrilled to be a published author. Thank you.)   


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Trouble in Tallahassee launch...Bouchercon in Toronto

cj Sez: Summer is winding down, and one of my favorite cartoons illustrates the lament of most everyone returning to their regular fall, winter, and spring school and work schedules…

I, however, am eagery looking forward to moderating autumnal temperatures on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The summer heat has been hellacious this year (or at least it was to me). I haven’t ventured into my yard for longer than thirty minutes at a time since June, and boy, do I have the weeds to prove that. The flowers seared by summer heat will soon relinquish their places to autumn replacements, and my potted vegetables will give their all for a few more weeks of bounty.  

The arrival of September also brings with it the launch of new novels. One of those is Trouble in Tallahassee  . . . Familiar Legacy Book 3 . . . which launches September 12.

Trouble in Tallahassee, written by Claire Matturro, is a romantic mystery featuring that super sleuth Trouble, the black cat detective. This is book #3 of the new series called FAMILIAR TROUBLE. In this novel, Trouble finds himself in Tallahassee and wanders into the lives of young attorney Abby Coleridge and her temporary and troubled roommate, law student Layla. When the student disappears, leaving behind a blood-splattered note and a stash of cryptic flash-drives, Abby sets out to find her. Trouble, the black cat detective, lands in Tallahassee, Florida, in the nick of time. Can he sniff out the salient clues and save them—and himself—from a fiery end?  Ooooh. Sounds like a mystery to me.

Available now on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2eMtf77

Upcoming conference:  Bouchercon, the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention, is an annual convention of mystery readers, fans, writers, and enthusiasts. This year it’s being held in Toronto, Canada, October 12-15. http://bouchercon2017.com/   I went to Bouchercon 2016 in New Orleans but will miss Toronto. Are you going this year?

 In the Did You Know department . . .

On the Writers in the Storm blog site, guest blogger Susan Spann, a California transactional attorney whose practice focuses on publishing law and business, offers advice on the important do’s and don’ts about workshop and conference-related blogging and social media shares. Read more about possible copyright infringement here:


That’s it for this post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
Qrtly newsletter sign-up:  cjpetterson@gmail.com
Bad Day at Round Rock” in The Posse  --8 short story Western anthology @99 cents
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
California Kisses—10 book publisher’s bundle (includes Deadly Star) @ 99 cents
The Great Outdoors  8 book publisher’s bundle (includes Choosing Carter) @99 cents

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Tidbits ...and Have a safe and happy Labor Day

cj Sez: Sending all y'all my best wishes for a safe and happy Labor Day holiday.

My publisher, Simon and Schuster, is among the industry giants stepping up to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey…

Help Offered to Libraries, Bookstores, Shelters
As Texas’ coast awaits the second landfall of the Harvey storm system—which at this writing has produced close to 50 inches of rain in some areas—Simon & Schuster’s education and library marketing department has announced help for damaged libraries.
Any Texas public or school library damaged by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey can have 250 “Best of” titles to help restore collections. Librarians who need information on the offer are asked to email education.library@simonandschuster.com


**
This from a Crimson Romance editor:   “An editing tip: I've noticed this summer, throughout submitted manuscripts and my own reading, a growing tendency to emphasize specific words in a sentence. Save this move for those times when the italics are needed to keep the reader from misunderstandings if they were to read it another way.


“Most of the time, the stressed words only serve to lock the reader into how you would (arbitrarily) read it, taking away the reader's autonomy. It wears folks out mentally to have to perform the book to a rhythm that might not be their own.

“It also makes your characters sound alike, and the poor italics must cover so many other technical jobs (book/magazine/movie titles, self-thoughts, foreign words), it makes your manuscript look intimidatingly busy.”

**
James Lee Burke “tells” his readers what is happening here….or does he?

“The evening sky was streaked with purple, the color of torn plums, and a light rain had started to fall when I came to the end of the blacktop road that cut through twenty miles of thick, almost impenetrable scrub oak and pine and stopped at the front gate of Angola penitentiary.”
― 
James Lee BurkeThe Neon Rain

cj Sez: Every adjective in that sentence works with the verb to carry the action forward. The reader is on the road with the character, sees what the character sees, and ends up where the character does. Burke could have told his readers something to the effect that “It was raining the evening I drove twenty miles through a thick forest and stopped at the end of the blacktop road in front of Angola penitentiary.” Instead, we read a fantastic opening line, and a wonderful example of showing not telling.   

Burke’s poetic descriptions are not purple prose. They grab readers and drag them into his story. There is a beauty in the drama, yet the ominous intensity of the moment is conveyed.

Showing vs telling? Yes there are places in a story where some narrative telling may seem appropriate to move the story along, but perhaps not as many as you might think. Showing does a lot to appeal to a reader’s intellect as well as improve pacing. I suggest you can write your descriptions, tell your readers everything, then re-write in a way that shows them. How to do that, you ask? Read, read, and read some more. Get familiar with how your favorite author handles the task. It just takes practice …writing and re-writing and re-writing and re-writing, and . . .

There's nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself.                              James Lee Burke 
I’ve had a few of those. (Makes for elephant hide skin.)

That’s all the tidbits for this post.’Til next time, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. 

Please continue to pray for strength, courage, and comfort for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and all those volunteering to help with rescues.

cj
A brief word from my sponsors:
“Bad Day at Round Rock” short story in The Posse anthology @ http://amzn.to/2lQRvcD

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