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Friday, January 29

Murder & Obsession AND IWSG Anthology Cover Reveals!

Today's Winning Query Letter is from Medeia Sharif. Check it out: Winning Query Letter / 52 Likes by Medeia Sharif 



Flames burn between a hardboiled cop and a gifted artist, but soon extinguish as another man’s obsession ignites into an inferno of desire, driving him to destroy the object of his madness.

To be Released March 2016

As wedding bells echo like the ring of toasting champagne glasses in the ice carved mountains of Anchorage Alaska, detective Steven Quaid rehabs his grandfather’s cabin into a honeymoon cottage for his new bride.

When he returns from a hunting trip, Steven’s faced with five police officers, who “Want to talk.” Plagued by two unsolved murders, the Department is searching for answers.

The conversation comes to a deafening halt as the team finds a bloody crime scene in the bridal suite. "Where's her body?" is a question Steven cannot fathom. 

Steven’s jaw clenches and his heart races. Images of Sarah streak through his mind.

The silence breaks as an explosion of accusations vibrate through every fiber of his being.

Steven bolts…

Although running is never the smart thing to do, Steven’s not thinking clearly and his escape into the wilderness of the Brooks Range proves almost fatal.

This Steven Quaid mystery is both personal and heartbreaking.

   Yolanda Renee
At one time Alaska called to me and I answered. I learned to sleep under the midnight sun, survive in below zero temperatures, and hike the Mountain Ranges. I've traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and the memories are some of my most valued. The wonders, mysteries, and incredible beauty that is Alaska has never left me and thus now influence my writing.

Despite my adventurous spirit, I achieved my educational goals, married, and I have two wonderful sons. Writing is now my focus, my newest adventure!

You can find Yolanda at:

New Covers:

After a gritty detective becomes involved with a beautiful widow suspected of murder, rumor and obsession obstruct his quest for justice.

World damnation is a psychotic man’s goal, but two obstacles stand in his way, greed and a dedicated detective. 


Parallels: Felix Was Here
An Insecure Writer's Support Group Anthology
Science Fiction/Alternate History
Enter the realm of parallel universes!


What if the government tried to create the perfect utopia? Could a society linked to a supercomputer survive on its own? Do our reflections control secret lives on the other side of the mirror? Can one moment split a person’s world forever?

Exploring the fantastic, ten authors offer incredible visions and captivating tales of diverse reality. Featuring the talents of L. G. Keltner, Crystal Collier, Hart Johnson, Cherie Reich, Sandra Cox, Yolanda Renee, Melanie Schulz, Sylvia Ney, Michael Abayomi, and Tamara Narayan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will expand your imagination and twist the tropes of science fiction. Step through the portal and enter another dimension!

QUESTION: Do you like murder stories? What do you think of Yolanda's new covers? And the IWSG Anthology cover?

Wednesday, January 27

C - Criminals + 4 Teasers

Today's Winning Query Letter is from Anna Simpson. Check it out: Winning Query Letter / White Light by Anna Simpson

Below are descriptions and teasers for the four main criminals so far in the Disaster Crimes series (Book One – Hurricane Crimes, Book Two – Seismic Crimes).

Viktor Chuman AKA Chewy – One of the police officers who killed Donovan’s brother. Internal Affairs Investigator Ryan Goldwyn. He is brutal and nasty with a wide nose and a mean right hook.

Excerpt from Hurricane Crimes:

“Don’t move,” Chewy shouted at her. “You’re going to back out of here one step at time. If you do anything stupid, I’ll blow a hole through your boyfriend’s head.” He pressed the muzzle of the gun to Donovan’s temple.

With her hands in the air, Beth slowly moved one foot back at a time, her right foot dragging the gun along the ground and all the way down the driveway to the canoe.

“I have to turn around to get it,” she explained. “When I raise my hands, all I’ll have is a leather journal.”

“You better or it’s a bullet into Goldwyn’s brain.”

David Buckland AKA Buck – The other police officer who killed Donovan’s brother, but the only one who got away and is on the run. He’s cruel on purpose, had remarkably good luck, and many criminals on his side.

Excerpt from Seismic Crimes:

Buck shot at them with abandon. The pings from bullets hitting metal echoed throughout the garage. Heart beating so hard and fast that it felt like it would explode, Beth peered left and right, searching for a safe route out of the garage. Even if she could make it to the next aisle over, Buck would no doubt follow with his gun blazing. By the sound of it, she figured it was a semi-automatic, and there was no telling how many magazines he had on him.

Glass rained down on her when bullets sliced through the windows. She ducked her head even lower. Pieces of glass slid off her head to the ground where shards circled her feet like a ring of posies. A few of the glass puzzle pieces from the window had collected on her lap. She brushed them off and pressed her hands firmly against the passenger door. More glass fell on her when the truck’s window behind her erupted.

Viper – Viper is a drug dealer widely known throughout Central Florida. He illegally sells marijuana and not for medical purposes either. He has a stash of guns and bundles of cash. His crib is always full of other dealers and men getting high. Like Vegas, what happens in his house stays in his house.

Excerpt from Seismic Crimes:

Viper’s lips spread into a wicked sneer, causing her stomach to roll. She had the sickening feeling he wasn’t above taking advantage of a woman passed out in his crib. “Anyway, do ya know where Buck is?”

Viper stood slowly, taking his gun in his hand. Her breath caught painfully in her chest. This is it. He’s going to pop a bullet in my head.

Separated by the coffee table, he pinned Beth in place with his dark eyes. “Why the hell you wanna know?”

Viper Snake
Image from Pixabay

Jackson Storm – He is a big time criminal who has done every crime in the book. For fun. He has countless criminals all across the United States working for him and willing to do whatever he demands. He even has ties to a police-killing Mob in Cleveland (30 Seconds). No one has been able to catch him and that could be because corrupt cops helped him get away with his evil doings.

Excerpt from Seismic Crimes:

“What do you want?”

“Isn’t that obvious?” He waved the gun at her. “You.”

Beth never thought a monosyllable could cause such terror, but she was ready to pee her pants. “If you wanted to kill me, you could have done that the second I walked out of the bathroom.”

“I don’t want to kill you here. I have somewhere special picked out for your murder. And I plan on having fun with you first. When I do kill you, though, I’ll make sure to have plenty of body parts left over so I can send Donovan pieces of you…one by one. Then I’ll kill him in a way he won’t ever see coming.”

More criminals to come in Book 3!

To read more of these scenes, pre-order Seismic Crimes on Amazon.

Monday, January 25

Body Language - Character ER

A character’s dialogue can add humor and suspense (if delivered by an antagonist). Two characters can exchange witty banter, argue, or whisper sweet nothings. Dialogue pushes a story forward. You can’t have a book without it.

A character’s emotion influences the story, fuels scenes, and builds connections with readers. Without emotions, we would have dull stories and robotic characters. We don’t want that!

A character’s body language is also important because it compliments dialogue and reveals emotions. Whenever our characters say or do something, whenever they feel a certain way, we should add physical cues to drive home those feelings and actions. 

Below are some emotions with physical reactions.

Anger – clenching of jaw and fists, a puffing up of the chest and squaring of shoulders, spine rod-straight, arms crossed, flaring of nostrils, seething, pacing, glaring, heart pounding, blood roaring, heat rising up neck and face

Curiosity/Suspicion – head tilting, pursing of lips, scratching head or temple, tapping fingers, quirking a brow, squinting eyes

Fear – cowering, avoiding eye contact, slumped shoulders, body shaking, sweaty hands, dry mouth, fast breathing, heart racing

Grief – sobbing, whole body shaking, quivering lips, tearing eyes, heavy heart, shuffling footsteps, low shoulders

Love/flirting – heart fluttering, breath catching, glowing, blushing, laughing, winking, lip biting, butterflies in the stomach

QUESTION: Do you forget to add body language and other physical reactions?

Friday, January 22

Emma and Mrs. Perkins Character Interview / White Light by Anna Simpson

For today I have a very entertaining character interview with Emma and Mrs. Perkins from Anna Simpson’s book, WHITE LIGHT. These two made my rather bland questions hilarious. Check it out:

Hi, Emma and Mrs. Perkins! Can you tell us about White Light?

Mrs. Perkins: I’ll read the blurb. *clears her throat*

Emma never dreamed of being a super-sleuth. In her mind, she’s more Scooby Doo than Nancy Drew and when her nosy neighbor, Mrs. Perkins, drags her to an anniversary party to solve a mystery, she rolls her eyes, buys a box of chocolates and hops in the car. 

What’s a party without an attack on its host—or more accurately on the host’s grandson, sparking an allergic reaction and moving the party to the hospital waiting room. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect. Emma and Mrs. Perkins, along with Great Aunt Alice (a spirit with boundary issues who keeps stepping into Emma’s body like a new dress and playing matchmaker), dive into an investigation that almost gets Emma killed along with the man they are trying to protect. With so many reasons to kill him and so much to be gained if he died, Emma and Mrs. Perkins must unravel the tenuous ties that point to every member of his family as potential killers.

Even if it means going back to the psych ward, Emma will protect her friend and this innocent man. What good is freedom if it's haunted with guilt? 

1.    Who would play the two of you in a movie?

Emma: *glances over at Mrs. Perkins and shrugs* I don’t know. She’d have to be young but tough, and like, understand that hanging with older folks has its quirks. The food’s great. Know anyone like that?

Mrs. Perkins: *facepalm* Well for me it would be Cybill Shepherd.

Emma: *mouth drops open* She’s tall… and blonde…and beaut—

Mrs. Perkins: *smoothes her grey sausage curls* I suppose I could dye my hair for our headshots.

2. What are your jobs?

Mrs. Perkins: Retired

Emma: I read tea leaves at the Pie ‘n’ All. At first I was so freaked out. Me read leaves? I can barely read the Tarot. But it worked out okay. Aunt Alice, my great-aunt, she’s dead you know. Oh, and a psychic. Anyway, Aunt Alice is always ready to pop in and give me a hand when I get stuck.

Mrs. Perkins: It’s all true. She is really, really bad at reading anything. Not a psychic bone in her body. *wipes her nose with a hanky* We are so blessed that Alice still has time for us.

3. What do you do for fun?

Emma: Fun? Mrs. Perkins and I play bridge. I’m getting pretty good too.

Mrs. Perkins: *opens her mouth*

Emma: *hand swings up and an open palm pushes in Mrs. Perkins’ direction* Galdy says I’m getting better every game.

Mrs. Perkins: Sure she does. Her and Jay have been beating us at every tournie. You might as well be on their team.

4. What’s your biggest pet peeve?       

Emma: Peeve? *Emma’s eyes cut to Mrs. Perkins* Besides nurses, I don’t have any. I mean who likes those pajama clad, needle wielding sadist anyway? Nobody I know. And I know people.

Mrs. Perkins: Maybe we should move on to the next question.

5. How did you meet Mrs. Perkins?

Emma: Old family friend.

Mrs. Perkins: Old? More like lifelong. Really, Emma. If your aunt could hear you right now---

Emma: Okay, Okay. I give. She’s a lifelong friend of Great-Aunt Alice. We are quite the threesome.

6. What was your first impression?

Emma: *burst out laughing*

Mrs. Perkins: Well, tell her.

Emma: *straightens face* Never a dull moment…Not even if I’m ready to sell my soul for one. We’re neighbors you see.

Mrs. Perkins: True. You should see her lawn. It’s a disgrace. And in regards to dull moments. Emma acts older than I do.

Emma: *clenches teeth*

Mrs. Perkins: Let me just say on my behalf, I’m very supportive. Without me the girl would starve. And without Alice, well, we’d have to go look for cases. Overall, we make an excellent team.

Emma: Exactly what I would have said.

7. What kind of trouble do the two of you get into?

Mrs. Perkins: So far we haven’t landed in jail. Okay I’m speaking for myself. Emma on the—

Emma: Hey. It was only a conference room.

Mrs. Perkins: Were you locked in? Did Tom have to bail you out? Well…

Emma: Benny the bully locked me in. So what? *exhales a long breath* I try to stay out of trouble. *swings a thumb toward the older woman* Not easy if you get my drift.

Mrs. Perkins: You’d think being a small town not much would happen. It’s just ridiculous how busy we are.

Emma: Too ridiculous. I’m used to a quieter life.

Mrs. Perkins: *takes Emma’s hand* No worries. Crime will never be the same now that we are on the job.

8. What moment of White Light was your favorite?

Emma: When Tom picked me up for my first date in years.

Mrs. Perkins: When Emma finally agreed to help me solve our mystery.

Emma: Sorry, but my moment is with Tom.

Mrs. Perkins: What can you do?

9. What moment of White Light caused you the most fear?

Emma: When I knew Mrs. Perkins went off on her own. I just felt she was in trouble. It was horrible.

10. Is there anything you did in White Light that you would change if you could?

Emma: *raised a forefinger to her chin as she thought.*

Mrs. Perkins: I would have told Emma the truth a lot sooner.

Emma: Nope, not a thing.

Mrs. Perkins: *glares*


Anna Simpson lives near the Canadian-US border with her family. Even though she's lived in several places in British Columbia, her free spirit wasn't able to settle down until she moved back to her hometown.

The woman is easy to find though, if you know the magic word -- emaginette. Do an internet search using it and you'll see what I mean. :-)

Author Links: 

Thank you for chatting with me, ladies. And I have to say, Mrs. Perkins, you’re a hoot!

Please leave a comment for Anna Simpson. :)

Wednesday, January 20

B - Beth Kennedy + 3 Excerpts

GIVEAWAY: I'm giving away 3 paperback books by different authors in the Paranormal Romance, Historical Fantasy, and Sci-Fi Romance genres. For your chance to win, you have to subscribe to my newsletter. In January 29th's issue, I'll reveal what you have to do to win them. There will be additional prizes to the 5 runners-up, so you'll want to act fast!

Beth Kennedy is the heroine of the Disaster Crimes series (Hurricane Crimes and soon-to-be published Seismic Crimes). She is smart, tough, and romantic; what every good heroine should be.

Character Profile:
Name – Bethany Grace Kennedy
Occupation – Self-Defense Instructor
Location – Central Florida
Doppelganger – Kate Beckinsale
Love Interest – Donovan Goldwyn
Likes – Canoeing, boxing, writing poetry, poker, the beach
Dislikes – Snakes, hurricanes, cheating ex-fianc├ęs, car troubles

Kate Beckinsale
Image from Wikipedia
Source Gerald Geronimo

Here are some special never-before-shared teasers from Seismic Crimes to illustrate just how smart, tough and romantic Beth really is.

Smart Teaser:

“Chewy, one of the cops…” She stopped suddenly, her face burning as she looked at the four officers in front of her. What if one of them is in league with Chewy? What if they all are? They could kill me and then kill Donovan.

“It’s okay, Ms. Kennedy,” Officer Burnett said. “Please go on.” His gentle smile and sincere, brown eyes calmed her, and she found the courage to tell the truth.

“Chewy was in the house when Donovan went in to retrieve the footage. I heard a gunshot, and I got out of the canoe to help him.”

“And all you had was a shovel?”

“That’s right.” Beth explained how she saw Chewy hit Donovan and hold him under the water in Ryan’s living room. “I hit Chewy in the back with the shovel so he’d release Donovan. He fired a shot at me and told me to drop the shovel. I did and that was when I stepped on another gun under the water. It’s in the canoe outside. I’m sure if you checked it, you’d find it’s registered to Chewy.”

“We’ll check,” Burnett reassured her.

“I told Chewy I had Ryan’s journal in the canoe because I knew he wouldn’t want any evidence out there for someone to use against him. Chewy held the gun to Donovan’s head and told me to back out of the house. I dragged the gun under my shoe down the driveway to the canoe and slowly reached inside. I brought out a journal, but it wasn’t Ryan’s. It was mine. When I saw Ryan’s journal was identical to the one I wrote poetry in, I thought we could replace Ryan’s with it. Before Chewy could take my journal, though, I threw it. He went after it, and I went for the gun. When I came back up out of the water, Chewy had his gun pointed at me. I fired before I could even think. The bullet hit him in the head.”

Tough Teaser:

“Empty out your pockets. Now!”

“All right.” She slowly dipped her hands into her pockets and pulled them inside out to show she didn’t even have a gum wrapper. Lint occupied the deepest recesses of the cotton squares. “See,” she said, forcing calm. “I don’t have any money. Now let me go.”

“Turn around.”


“I said, turn around. I want to see your back pockets.”

Beth glared at him as annoyance washed over her. I don’t have time for this. I have to get back to Donovan. She grabbed his wrist, stepped around him, and wrenched his arm behind his back, forcing his hand toward his head while twisting his wrist at an awkward angle. He let out a growl and released the blade. It clattered to the asphalt at her feet. She didn’t waste a second to peer down at it. She kicked the back of his knee with the side of her foot as hard as she could. He crumbled and she let him fall. When he was on the ground, she gathered a fistful of his dark hair and slammed his forehead into the ground, knocking him unconscious. Then she launched into an all-out sprint.

Romantic Teaser:

She helped him back into bed and even stretched out beside him. Her fingers stroked his temple and combed through his hair. It wasn’t long before his breathing became deep with sleep.

Mid-day, she peeled the gauze off his burn to clean it and reapply salve. Removing tape from skin and hair—not to mention from an irritated wound—always hurt, so she barred her teeth and lifted the strips centimeter-by-centimeter. Donovan’s eyelids fluttered open when she was half-way through the task. Her fingers stilled.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “Your burn needs to be cleaned.”

He made a soft humming sound from deep in his throat before his lids lowered, curtaining his worn-out eyes. Stroking his brow, she murmured endearments to him even though she figured her words wouldn’t have enough power to penetrate his subconscious. Regardless, she hoped he could hear them in his dreams.

To read more of these scenes, pre-order Seismic Crimes on Amazon.

QUESTION: Which teaser did you like more? The smart teaser, tough teaser, or romantic teaser?

Monday, January 18

Writing About: A Honeymoon + IWSG Announcement

Last week, I was asked to join the Insecure Writer's Support Group to head the group's newest endeavor...a monthly newsletter! I happily agreed. So...Hi, everyone! I'm your newest IWSG Administrator! :D And I'm thrilled to help launch the IWSG Newsletter.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group Newsletter will feature articles by industry experts, IWSG members, and administrators. There will also be a dozen links to helpful articles for writers in each edition, as well as a special Member Spotlight. Even if you're not a member of the blogging group, you'll greatly benefit from these FREE monthly newsletters.

First issue goes out on February 24!

FYI: Those who are part of the IWSG are already signed up.


In a romance where you follow the relationship between your hero and heroine, and chronicle their wedding, you should detail their honeymoon as well. At least for a short chapter.

Here are 3 main points to consider if your characters go on a honeymoon.

1. Where does your couple go?

Have they discussed a dream vacation? If so, send them there. If not, where could you picture them going? A sun and beach loving couple could go to the Bahamas. An adventurous couple could go to Colorado. And a romantic, food loving couple can go to Italy. Where are your characters telling you they’d like to celebrate their love?

2. Romance x10

Now is the time to break out all the romantic quips you’ve been locking away. Let your characters ooze romance. Describe their tender kisses, warm caresses, and love making. But make it more than sex. Make this intimacy strengthen their bond and deepen their relationship.

Image from Pixabay

3. Let them have fun!

Aside from fun in bed…your characters should get out and about. Send them on an adventure or to sight-see. This should be a light moment for your characters and readers before it’s time to get back to reality and to shake things up with the plot line waiting for them.

BOOK TIDBIT: In the 3rd book of my Disaster Crimes series, a disaster strikes during Beth’s and Donovan’s honeymoon. Any predictions?

QUESTIONS: Have any of your characters gone on a honeymoon?
If you’ve been on a honeymoon, where did you go?
If you haven't where would you want to go?


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