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, September 15, 2019

Summer is hanging on

cj Sez: Is it getting close to autumn temperatures in your neck of the woods? I envy you, because it’s certainly not cooling down here on the Gulf Coast of Alabama.

   I am told and led to believe that it reached 97° F in Mobile yesterday… September 14. I know annual flowers and veggies are supposed to start dying off in September, but not from heat stroke.

   The hellacious heat and humidity do make it easier for me to justify staying in the house to read and/or write, as in another short story.

   Yesterday, I started a short, short story with a submission date of September 30. Okay, I admit it. I have written only three paragraphs for three different ideas. And did I say short, short? It’s more of a haiku…no more than 100 words long. If you’re interested in trying your hand, read more here: http://www.negativecapabilitypress.org/   (P.S. Their call for submissions is near the bottom of the page.)

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   Mobile Writers Guild secretary and prolific author Joyce Scarbrough celebrated the release of AFTER HER, the second book in her Unfinished Series, with a pre-release signing at The Haunted Book Shop on September 13th during Mobile’s ArtWalk. The book releases in paperback and Amazon Kindle on Tuesday, September 17th.

   You’re invited to the Facebook launch party on Tuesday—the official release day for AFTER HER. There’ll be games and give-aways of book swag and other prizes all day, so come join the fun! Here's the link to the party: https://www.facebook.com/events/460604031207225/

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   By the by, as the masthead of Lyrical Pens says, if you have a book (new or old) you want to promote with a blog post, drop me a note. We can arrange a blog date…the only caveat is that this site is PG 13.

   That’s it for this week. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. See you next week?

cj
   Don’t you just hate it when autocorrect won’t let you correct what it has determined to be incorrect? Word is forever trying to capitalize my name, and it drives me batty. I know, I know. I don’t have far to go.

CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are quick reads chock full of adventure with a touch of sassy banter and sweet romance. Get your Kindle copy on Amazon…visit my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj for more information about my stories.

   TO ORDER an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

   Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Where did you get your love of books?


cj Sez: Do you have a huge to-be-read pile on your nightstand?

   Is there one particular book you can point to as THE BOOK that captured your imagination and started you reading more and more and maybe thinking about being a writer?
   As a child, did you have a parent that read to you?
   Did you have a home library of books?

I’ll answer first:

  Nope, I have a small TBR pile and another small list of TBR Kindle books. I blame that on my eyes, and the fact that most books put me to sleep after about four chapters. Obviously, I'm a slow reader...unless I get "in the zone."  

   Yep, THE BOOK for me is "Last of the Mohicans," by James Fenimore Cooper. At age ten, when it was still safe for a kid to walk the city streets at night, I spent Friday evenings crunching through icy snow to go to the Mark Twain Library in Detroit and find a quiet corner to read a few chapters. 
   Based on the French and Indian war and touching on interracial love, the story whetted my appetite for exciting adventure. Of course, I had to see the movie when it came out, and, no matter it wasn’t a box-office smash, I fell in love with Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis).

   Nope. Or at least I can’t remember that either of my parents read to me.  
   
Nope, no home library, although I do remember reading comic books and some Golden Books. I don’t think the Golden Books were mine, though.

   All of that is to say don’t compare your writing or reading life to anyone else’s. Sometimes, all it takes is a single story to bring about a love of books and spark one’s imagination.

   I do believe I can point to my not being introduced to reading as a child as at least one reason why I am such a slow writer…but I love the lyrical syncopation of words and syntax, and I am writing. In fact, although I’ve been working on two novels for “years,” I had original short stories accepted into two different anthologies this year, and I’m working on a third short story.

   What sparked your love of reading and/or writing? Can you pinpoint a single story or book? Or was it the cumulative effect of childhood experiences?

Of Note this week:  

   Sept 8 is U.N. International Literacy Day and National Grandmothers’ Day. 
   September 11 is Patriot Day and the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks of 2001 (please pray for the survivors and the families of those lost in the terrorist attacks).
   September 12 is Johanna’s birthday (my granddaughter), and 
   September 13 is Friday the Thirteenth.

   By the by, as the masthead of Lyrical Pens says, if you have a book you want to promote, let me know. We can arrange a blog date…the only caveat is that this site is PG 13.

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

cj

   CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are quick reads chock full of adventure with a touch of sassy banter and sweet romance. Get your Kindle copy on Amazon…visit my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj for more information about my stories.

TO ORDER an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook  


Sunday, September 1, 2019

New releases by two Gulf Coast authors


cj Sez: TODAY'S POST PUTS a spotlight on a couple of my favorite Gulf Coast authors who have recent book releases waiting for you on Amazon.

   Miranda James, the alter-ego of author Dean James and the New York Times bestselling author of “A Cat in Stacks” mystery series, released THE PAWFUL TRUTH (book 11 of 12), on July 19, 2019.
 
"Humor and plenty of Southern charm...Cozy fans will hope James will keep Charlie and Diesel in action for years to come."--Publishers Weekly

   Check out more reviews at https://amzn.to/32kBwpU

   (P.S.: James also wrote the Deep South mysteries.)
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   Prolific author Carolyn Haines is reissuing earlier books in her Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series and many of the novels are available free with Audible trial as of this posting.

  GAME OF BONES, launched on May 14 this year, is number 20 in the series, and THE DEVIL’S BONES, is due to be launched in May 2020.

"Distinctive characters and an atmospheric setting elevate this paranormal cozy. Series fans and newcomers alike will be satisfied."―Publishers Weekly
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   Besides the lighter Sarah Booth Delaney mysteries, she also launched her paw-sitively entertaining Familiar series featuring Trouble, the Sherlock Holmes of cat detectives. There are ten books in the series, written by different authors.  


   But wait, there’s more…there is a darker side to Ms. Haines’ story telling—horror stories, including THE DARKLING and THE SEEKER (which was released on June 19 this year).


   An excerpt from one of the 5-star reviews for THE SEEKER: “I love old fashioned suspenseful storytelling without the gore and graphic death scenes that is prevalent in today’s horror stories. Ms. Haines is a masterful storyteller and writer that is hard to dispute in this reader’s opinion.”
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   The novels above are enjoyable reads, and that kind of excellence doesn’t happen overnight.

   These two Gulf Coast authors have honed their craft over the years and continue to work hard at putting out their very best effort for their readers.

   One of the blogs I follow is that of author/editor/chief-cook-and-bottle-washer, C. Hope Clark.  http://www.fundsforwriters.com  Her “Funds for Writers” blog has been on the Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers list every year since 2001. Anyway, to quote Hope: 
“Writing well takes time. It isn't an instinct. You are not born with it. You do not accidentally write a stupendous tale. You develop this talent with hard work and a crazy number of hours invested in making your craft better.”
   That means all writers, but especially aspiring writers, need to participate workshops, critique groups, conferences, and READ in the genre you write. Before a writer can develop his/her own writing voice, (s)he must read the good work of other published authors.

   Now, to inspire you to continue working on your own WIP, here’s marvelous first line hook:  
"It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not." —Paul Auster, City of Glass (1985) 
   By the by, as the masthead of Lyrical Pens says, if you have a book you want to promote, let me know. We can arrange a blog date…the only caveat is that this site is PG 13.

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

cj

CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are quick reads chock full of adventure with a touch of sassy banter and sweet romance. Get your Kindle copy on Amazon…visit my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj for more information about my stories.

   TO ORDER an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

  VISIT ME on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook  


Sunday, August 25, 2019

An invitation and a book review


cj Sez: Mobile-area readers, take note. Here’s a chance for an exciting experience.
“Enrollment is open for the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department Citizens Fire Academy. The 9-week program begins on September 23, 2019.

MFRD's Citizens Fire Academy is a hands-on learning experience, designed to provide participants with an overview of the major divisions within the department, up-close experience of a regular tour of duty for Mobile firefighters, and general practices in firefighting and emergency medical services. Classes are held on Mondays from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

The Citizens Fire Academy is open to the public and free, but class size is limited to 24 seats. Applications are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis.”

Visit cityofmobile.org/fire/divisions/citizens-fire-academy/ to download an application or for more info.

(cj Sez: I did this academy and the Police Academy a couple of years ago as primary research for a book and got some invaluable insights into the local culture and the lingo of Mobile Firefighters. Most exciting? Participating in a jaws-of-life extraction from a mock vehicle crash
That's me, after breaking out a car window.
and being rappelled down from a four-story building. If you’re not in the Mobile area, look for similar opportunities in your home town.)
 
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DID YOU KNOW?
As part of the Dollywood Foundation, Dolly Parton established a program called Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which mails one book per month to each enrolled child—from the day they’re born until they reach kindergarten. The program reaches over 850,000 children each month.

BOOK REVIEW 5 Stars
“A Lethal Legacy” by Heather Graham

While I was in Detroit last week doing research for a book, I made time to stop in at a local library and do some reading for pleasure. I found “A Lethal Legacy” on their New Books shelf and spent pleasurable hours reading another romantic suspense tale well told.

Heather Graham does a marvelous job of place, setting, and time descriptions that establish the eerie and deadly tone of the suspense immediately. Paint is peeling, chunks of the house are missing and night is falling when the protagonist first sees the “old Victorian house” on an island. The yard is “scruffy sand and grass,” and the “picket fence around it is broken or gone.” Would I want to enter such a house, especially after “a man had died—horribly mangled and brutally broken?”

There is love and betrayal, and love everlasting. Every chapter starts with some kind of action and ends with an invitation—no, a command to continue the journey. At one point spelunkers are warned: “A way of saying, enter here and die.”

“A Lethal Legacy” is book 4 in her New York Confidential series. On Amazon  https://amzn.to/2NvZdaG

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That’s it for this week’s post. Please drop me a note with any questions or comments…the mailbox is always open. In the meantime, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj

CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are quick reads, chock full of adventure with a touch of sassy banter and sweet romance. Get your Kindle copy on Amazon…visit my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj for more information about my stories.

To order an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook  


Sunday, August 18, 2019

I'm out of town

cj Sez: Thanks for stopping by, but there’s no new Lyrical Pens post next week—I’m out of town visiting family and friends in my old stomping grounds in Michigan.

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

cj

   There’s still time to get in some vacation /beach reading. CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are quick reads chock full of adventure with a touch of sassy banter and sweet romance. Get your Kindle copy on Amazon…visit my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj for more information about my stories.

   To order an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

  Do visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook  


 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Writing a synopsis

cj Sez: I’m starting on another synopsis for a work-in-progress and thought I should reprise what I know about writing one.
   Since I don’t do a formal outline for my stories (gasp), I use the synopsis as a form of outline. It also helps me find any holes in my storyline. Someone asked me once how I knew when I’d reached the end of my story if I didn’t know where it was going. The reason I don’t outline is because once I’ve gone through that whole process, I feel as if I’ve written the entire story.

   I don’t consider myself a “pantser” though. I do know how I want the story to start, and I do know how I want it to end. What I don’t know (or plan/plot) is the path the characters will take to get from beginning to end. I consider myself a “pathfinder.” I like the excitement of finding out—as I write—what kind of trouble I can create for my characters then figure out how to get them out of it. Kind of like running a maze. I write until I’ve solved all the characters’ problems then I’m done. The End.

   I’ve talked with writers who say they have absolutely no problem creating a synopsis. Not so me. I need a step-by-step, how-to, cheat-sheet and would love to find the one I safely filed away a couple of years ago. But I do remember some of the important rules. As I’ve said before, some rules are made to be broken, but first one must know what they are. I wouldn’t, however, advise a novice writer to break any rules when submitting a manuscript, especially if the instructions are spelled out on an agent’s or publisher’s website. And always, always use the agent/publisher instructions for font and page layout format.

So here’s my synopsis outline:

➽ Write the synopsis in third person, present tense.  Since my stories are written in past tense, I need to keep that directive on a piece of paper taped to the monitor in front of me.

➽ Start with a hook (the character or the inciting incident) and reveal the story premise. I think of this as my “elevator pitch” . . . the twenty-five words and amount of time a writer has to impress an agent if caught on the elevator together.

➽ Concentrate on the primary story line, the turning points, and their effect (internal and external) on the characters . . . and do this in the chronological order of the story.

➽ As for the characters, only include primary characters by name. Use all capital letters on the name the first time s/he is introduced within the synopsis. Then be consistent with how the character is referred to in the rest of the document. For example, JOHN DOE might become Johnny for the remainder of the synopsis. Secondary characters can be described by what they do rather than by name . . . the sheriff, the teacher, the doctor.

➽ Very important is to show the complete narrative arc for the primary character. How (s)he felt at the beginning of the manuscript and how the character is changed by the end of the story.

➽ Write in active voice. Use strong verbs and words that show emotions, motivations, conflict, and tension. 

➽ Don’t go into lengthy descriptions and backstory in a synopsis. Unless a character’s physical description or age is pertinent to one of the story threads, keep focused on the nitty-gritty of the main story line.

➽ The synopsis should be written in the same tone (voice) as the novel. If the novel is lighthearted, the synopsis should be also.  

   It looks soooo simple, doesn’t it? One, two, three and done.  Ha!

   Just like every other writer who’s typed THE END on the last page of their novel, I’ll be trying to cram thousands of words and hundreds of pages of manuscript into a concise document that is sometimes restricted to maybe four or five pages. Though I have read that some might peak at eighteen pages, depending on who’s asking for the synopsis. How many pages do you usually submit? 

Words of wisdom: A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish.
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   That’s it for this week’s post. Warning: No Lyrical Pens post next week—I’ll be out of town visiting family and friends in my old stomping grounds in Michigan. In the meantime, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj

There’s still time to get in some vacation /beach reading. CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are quick reads, chock full of adventure with a touch of sassy banter and sweet romance. Get your Kindle copy on Amazon…visit my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj for more information about my stories.

To order an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook  

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Calls for Submissions etc.


cj Sez:   If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a published romance novelist, opportunities are knocking.….

   Avon Books recently announced an open submissions period during which unagented romance writers can submit their finished work of fiction to the Avon editorial team for consideration. The HarperCollins imprint is seeking manuscripts by writers of all gender identity, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, and ability, and all subgenres of adult romance fiction are welcome, with one mandate: "HEA (happily ever after) or HFN (happy for now) conclusions are required." 


   To participate, writers must submit their manuscript, a three-to-five-page synopsis, and 100-word author bio via the HarperCollins website no later than September 15, 2019.

And a reminder from an earlier Lyrical Pens post:

   Harlequin is looking for new talent and wants to bring more stories representing diverse voices to romance readers and announced they will accept writing submissions from September 1 to October 15, 2019.
   “Harlequin’s ‘Romance Includes You Mentorship’ initiative offers aspiring romance writers from traditionally underrepresented communities the chance to work one-on-one with a Harlequin editor for a year on writing a romance novel and includes an offer to publish their book and $5,000 (US) to support their novel writing.”

   Submit a sample of your writing and apply here:  http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/mentorship/

(PS:  Note the upcoming deadlines on these calls for submission, and be sure to follow all the directions.)
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Preliminary Cover Art

   Good news on the home front...my short story, “Puppy Love,” was accepted by Bienvenue Press for inclusion in their 2019 Christmas anthology, FINALLY HOME. The theme of all the touching short stories in the anthology is finding forever homes for homeless animals, and part of the proceeds will benefit a rescue group.


   There is, of course, a romance (between a lawyer and a firefighter), but at the heart of my “Puppy Love” short story is sweet, courageous Molly, a beago (beagle and golden retriever mix) with a prosthetic leg.

Be sure and watch for the launch of FINALLY HOME.
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This was in my email inbox Saturday:
Halloween is Coming! Are You Ready?
(It’s the first week of August, folks.)
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   That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
Free on KU
CHOOSING CARTER: action and adventure in the mountains of Colorado with a touch of romance. 

   When Bryn McKay enlists the help of the man she loves to stop her terrorist brother, she knows that someone she loves may die.

   School is starting soon, but there’s still time to get in some vacation/beach reading. Visit my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj 

   To order an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

   Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook  

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Dog daze of summer and hurricane season

cj Sez: The dog days of summer were historically the period following the heliacal (sunrise) of the star Dog Star, Sirius. Sirius is one star in a group of stars that form the constellation Canis Major, meaning “Greater Dog.”

   Greek and Roman astrology connected Sirius to heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. For Egyptians (according to the Farmer’s Almanac), “Sirius came into view just before the Nile River’s flood season. They used Sirius as a 'watchdog' for that event. Because it also coincided with a time of extreme heat, the connection with hot, sultry weather was made for all of time! Some ancient peoples believed the summer swelter was due to the combined heat from Sirius and the sun. The name Sirius means ‘scorching’ in Greek.”

   The Farmer’s Almanac also says, “the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11” are the traditional timing of the Dog Days. It also says that “some of our hottest and most humid days happen after August 11.” Seems there’s a lot more hellacious heat and humidity to come…so we have that going for us.
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Here’s an offer to cool you down, at least visually.

   You-all guys know it’s Hurricane Season on the Gulf Coast, don’t you? Well, have I got a deal for you. The HOMETOWN HEROES Christmas anthology is available at the low, low price of 99 cents (one week only, folks) or free on Kindle Unlimited.


And you’ll be getting a two-fer!

   Part of the proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Cajun Navy, those hometown heroes who trailer their personal boats to hurricane devastated areas to help those in need. And they do their incredible volunteerism on their own nickel. You can help out and read some wonderful stories at the same time by buying this book—the stories are lovely reads for any time of the year.

   Discover the role this fox plays in my story, “Hobbes House Noel,” one of the five romance stories in the anthology. (Well, actually not THIS fox. This photo was taken in my back yard.)

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

cj

By the way, if you read/heard about the U.S. Navy ship that recently destroyed an Iranian drone by laser, I found that amazing because I proposed that concept in DEADLY STAR in 2008. To read what else I wrote about, the novel is still available free on Kindle Unlimited here:  https://amzn.to/30JqTMq

For your summertime/beach reading pleasure, stop by my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj 

To order an autographed copy of DEADLY STAR, CHOOSING CARTER, HOMETOWN HEROES, and THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice, and I shall be forever grateful.

Visit me on Facebook at:  cjpetterson/author on Facebook

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Gothic tales, mysteries, and reviews


cj Sez:  A few recent releases for your To-Be-Read pile.

New Gothic/horror novel from USA Today Bestselling author Carolyn Haines . . .  THE DARKLING 


   
   When Berta and Bob Henderson open their open to foster Annie, a young amnesiac found wandering the streets of a nearby city, bad things begin to happen.

   As tragedy strikes the family one by one, it becomes clear something is stalking the Henderson family. 

Available on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2JS5dHh


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TROUBLE IN ACTION: Book 10 of 10 in the Cat Detective Familiar Legacy mystery series  by Susan Y. Tanner  

   Trouble, the Sherlock of black cat detectives, strolls into the exciting world of stunt riders amid tension between a university sponsoring a reenactment of the Civil War battle of Albrecht Creek and a Cherokee nation tired of being wrongly blamed for everything.

   Trouble must race the clock to keep protagonist Kylah West safe and help love interest Wolf Stockton solve the murder of a young reenactor. The clever feline also realizes that those two bipeds have another deep need—for each other.

Available on Amazon here:  https://amzn.to/2GmdDFM

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MY REVIEWS:

MURMURS OF EVIL (The Possession Chronicles Book 2) Kindle Edition
by Carrie Dalby  

   Protagonist Magdalene Jones is hired as a companion to a wealthy woman who is despondent over the death of her daughter. Magdalene soon finds herself immersed in an economic class she knows nothing about and is immediately tempted and challenged by the heir-apparent of her employer, his father, who, himself, is tempted by her. Intrigue abounds in this recommended read. I gave this book 5 stars.

Available on Amazon here:   https://amzn.to/32Hk4wv

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THE RECKONING
by John Grisham   

   I thought this book would be a legal thrillerit is anything but. To repeat the Amazon description, “The Reckoning is Grisham's argument that he's not just a boilerplate thriller writer.”
   
If Southern Gothic is one of your favorite reads, THE RECKONING by John Grisham is for you. If you don’t know what Southern Gothic literature is, it includes dark humor, violence, destitute characters, discrimination, angst, and a strong sense of place—THE RECKONING hits the high notes and then some of all of these Southern Gothic characteristics.

   Grisham has told a suspenseful tale of betrayal and lies that drive a town’s favorite son (a World War II hero whose Bataan Death March experience is detailed) to commit a horrific crime. The negatives were the sometimes too-long paragraphs that seemed to ramble and didn't add a lot to the narrative. I gave this angst-driven story 3 stars.

Available on Amazon at: https://amzn.to/2Z2UX5l

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

cj

By the way, if you’ve read/heard about the U.S. Navy ship that recently destroyed an Iranian drone by laser, I had already proposed that concept in DEADLY STAR. To read what else I wrote about, the novel is still available free on Kindle Unlimited here:  https://amzn.to/30JqTMq

For your summertime/beach reading pleasure, stop by my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj 

To order an autographed copy of DEADLY STAR, CHOOSING CARTER, HOMETOWN HEROES, and THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook  


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Aspiring romance writers take note


cj Sez:  Harlequin is looking for new talent and wants to bring more stories representing diverse voices to romance readers and announced they will accept writing submissions from September 1 to October 15, 2019.

   “Harlequin’s ‘Romance Includes You Mentorship’ initiative offers aspiring romance writers from traditionally underrepresented communities the chance to work one-on-one with a Harlequin editor for a year on writing a romance novel and includes an offer to publish their book and $5,000 (US) to support their novel writing.”

   If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a published romance novelist, here’s an opportunity. Submit a sample of your writing and apply here:  http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/mentorship/

   (PS:  Be sure to follow all the directions.)

///

Well, tropical disturbance aka tropical storm aka hurricane aka tropical storm Barry has inundated the Gulf Coast of Alabama with a lot of rainfall (not nearly as much as New Orleans and other cities in Louisiana and Mississippi). It seriously rained all day today. Weather Alert: The storm is weakening into tropical disturbance Barry and is now moving inland and Northward toward Memphis.

   I just wanted to mark my family and I safe but soggy. 

///

The following pieces of writerly info really makes me happy:

   James Lee Burke was born in 1936. I’m not that old, but it tells me I don’t have to be a twenty- or thirty-something to succeed. (Granted, I should have started earlier. Sigh)  In the back of his novel, WAYFARING STRANGER, on the “About the Author” page, I found this:  “His novel, The Lost Get-Back Boogie, was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years and, upon its publication by Louisiana State University Press, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.” 

   Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it’s a letdown, they won’t buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.
                                          ~Mickey Spillane

   From author Chris Bradford: “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” 

///

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

cj

Where did I get the idea for DEADLY STAR, you ask?... One of my sons came up with the premise. "What if what looks like an asteroid was really a satellite?" he said one night. "Suppose it was a weapon?" My imagination took over and gobs of research followed. One of the more interesting things I found was that in the 1990s, the U.S. government funded something called "Operation Dawgstar" and provided grants to college students to develop nanosatellites. I also discovered that nanosatellites were actually launched from the space station Mir in 2001 and that they possibly could go undetected by world powers for some time. The surprise meteor that hit Russia in February 2013 proved that to me. The meteor was reported to be as big a five-story building when it entered the atmosphere but wasn't detected. Scary stuff. 

   Buy it. I think you will fall in love with Mirabel and Sully and their struggles.

   For your summertime/beach reading pleasure, stop by my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj  — at the time of this post, CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are free on Kindle Unlimited.

   To order an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

   If you send me a note at cjpetterson@gmail.com, I’ll personalize your choice, and drop it in the mail to you (cover price plus mailing).

Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook  


Sunday, July 7, 2019

The research rabbit hole


cj Sez: I think another day of celebrating the 243 rd birthday of the United States of America is in order, so here’s a shot of the July 4 fireworks over Mobile, AL (says the proud mother whose son took the photo).
Click on the picture to get a better view.

Jeff called the tiny, white sliver of moon in the middle of the photo a “waxing crescent moon.” My friend in South Africa took a photo of that same moon at dusk and described it as a “sickle moon.” Yep, that’s how an author/poet shows the lunar shape to her readers.

***
   It occurs to me that doing research for a story is therapeutic in a way, almost like getting lost in a good book.

   I can get so caught up in searching hither, thither, and yon that hours pass before I realize I’ve just spent half a day or more absorbed in collecting information, a lot of which is just interesting trivia that has little or nothing to do with the story I’m writing.

   Some days all those hours are productive, some days they’re minutes I should not have wasted. There are other days, however, when doing a deep dive into research becomes a kind of meditation. I get so mesmerized by all the words in that research rabbit hole that the mortal worries of the day disappear.

   I don’t think I’m alone in this. Do you? Besides, when the afternoon heat/humidity index in Mobile climbs to a helacious 107° F, I’d rather be meditating in front of the computer in my air conditioned office than outside…anywhere.

***

Quote of the Day: 

The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.           E. L. Doctorow

***

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

cj
Hurricane Season is heating up along the Gulf Coast, and that brings to mind HOMETOWN HEROES, the Christmas anthology that gifts a portion of the benefits to the “Cajun Navy.” The Navy is that magnificent group of volunteers who help (on their own nickel) people in hurricane-stricken areas. The anthology may have been released at Christmas, but the stories are timeless.

You can order an autographed copy of the anthology (as well as CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, and THE POSSE) from The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

If you send me a note, I’ll personalize the book of your choice, and drop it in the mail to you (cover price plus mailing).

If you prefer Kindle, at the time of this post, HOMETOWN HEROES, CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are free on Kindle Unlimited

Contact me at cjpetterson@gmail.com and visit me at
and on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook