Posts Tagged With: writers

Guest Post: Probably Pretty Proficient

by Amy Metz, author of The Goose Pimple Junction Mystery Series

MetzebookCover

Click on Book Cover to check out Amy Metz’ entire Goosepimple Mystery series on Amazon.

In the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series, the goosepimpleisms and Goose Pimplese are plentiful. The former are euphemisms, and the latter is the way the locals talk. When Tess arrives in Goose Pimple Junction in book 1, she has a little bit of trouble understanding the Goose Pimple culture. Luckily, she has Jackson to translate for her. By Book 4, Tess has come a long way in speaking and understanding Goose Pimplese, and Louetta tests her abilities, with Lou’s homemade award of a mason jar on top of a candlestick at stake. Can you pass the test? If you can, you’re eligible for the Probably Pretty Proficient award.

ProbablyPrettyProficient

Do you speak Goose Pimplese?

  1. Translate: “Let’s skwinta the diner.”
  2. What would you do with bob war?”
  3. Define this: ‘sump’n teet.'”
  4. If I said Pickle was the sinner of the basketball team, would I be implying he needs to go to church more often?
  5. Translate “sumose.”
  6. Translate “Utcha doon.”
  7. What do you do with a flosswater?
  8. Translate “Wongo.”
  9. Translate “Yonto.”
  10. Translate “Impa tickler.”

Answers

  1. Let’s go into the diner.
  2. Make a barbwire fence.
  3. Something to eat.
  4. No. You’re saying he plays center on the team.
  5. Some of those.
  6. Whatcha doing?
  7. Swat flies.
  8. Do you want to go?
  9. Do you want to?
  10. In particular.

 

How’d you do?

5 answers right: you’re in a heap of trouble.

8 answers right: you’re satisfactual.

10 answers right: Pull out the mason jar, hon. You’re probably pretty proficient.

About the Book

GPJ4Cover

Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction is the latest in Amy Metz best selling mystery series. Released today! Click on book cover to get it now at Amazon!

Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she’s baffled when her marriage falls apart.

Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she’s hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don’t go as planned, she’s forced to resort to Plan B. She’ll also need Plan C and D.

Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.

When Caledonia and Wynona’s paths cross, they prove there isn’t a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this . . .

 

 

authorpic2012

Amy Metz is the best-selling author of the Goose Pimple Mystery series. Click on author pick to visit her website to learn more!

About the Author

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky and loves a good Southern phrase.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

STARTS WITH A WHISPER–ENDS WITH A ROAR

If the wind could speak, would you understand?

 

Fantasy author E.D. Tice recently released his debut novel, Whisper, the first in a series aimed towards middle-school and young adult readers.

Whisper is the story of Whitney Roseman and her adventures in the northern wilds. Central to the story is her ability to talk to the wind, and the life-changing things she learns from those conversations. Readers young and old alike will enjoy Whitney’s pluck and verve.

The novel consists of a series of four short stories and novellas, each focusing on a different age in Whitney’s life. While beginning with stories of Whitney when she is 11, the second half of the book jumps ahead several years to when she is in high school. Readers will find that, though the story begins relatively quiet and peaceful (if you call an attacking coyote, a charging moose, and a fistfight with a local boy “peaceful”), the story really gains in volume during the second half with the introduction of a shadowy, supernatural villain, hell-bent on Whitney’s destruction.

An ambitious project, Whisper not only bridges different ages in Whitney’s life, but different genres of literature. Starting out as a magical realism story in the vein of Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist, the story weaves together elements of fantasy, supernatural, and psychological thrillers.

A graduate of Shepherd University, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Tice says he first began work on the story as a character-development exercise, and as a test of his own abilities. “I’d once heard said that men can’t write from a woman’s perspective, and I wanted to challenge that notion,” Tice says. “Originally, my main story centered around a different character, a boy. The current protagonist, Whitney, was in a supporting role.”

ED Tice

E.D. Tice’s debut novel sat dormant for many years until he shared it with his wife Amanda, who pushed him to finish the work. (pic: author with wife Amanda and their son Judah.)

Tice says that, as he began writing more stories about Whitney, he found that he liked seeing the story through her eyes. “There was a freshness to writing from Whitney’s point of view—the story had grown almost stagnant in my mind and switching to her perspective really opened up a lot of creative possibilities. Plus, I relished the challenge of writing from the perspective of a young girl, and watching her grow and develop as a character. From there, I chose a short-story/novella approach—as well as going cross-genre—because I wanted to experiment with the structure of novel-writing, and even the concept of ‘genre’ to see what ways altering those conventions can bring out new methods of story-telling.”

Since graduating from Shepherd in 2009, E.D. Tice says that the story has sat dormant on his computer and in his mind, occasionally dusted off as he’s thought about trying to finish it, only to push it back and focus on other priorities.

It wasn’t until E.D. Tice shared his stories with his wife, Amanda, that he again felt a strong urge to finish. “She really encouraged me to get this first book written,” Tice says of his wife. “She keeps telling me I have to finish the whole story because she needs to know how it all ends.”

E.D. Tice aims to have the second book in the series available for purchase by late June 2016.

Click here to follow E.D. Tice on Twitter.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mystery Writing Is Murder

American Journalist and Biographer Gene Fowler once said, “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”
Yeah, right. Try writing murder mysteries. Not only will drops of blood be forming on your forehead, but it will be dripping out of your eyeballs as well.
I’m sure any author of any genre will claim that theirs is the most difficult to write.
Take romance, for example. Girl meets boy. Boy meets girl. They fight. They realize their hatred for each other is really sexual tension. They give into “the urge.” They fight again. They discover they can’t live without each other. They get married. The End.
For a twist, let’s do romantic-suspense. Girl meets Boy. Boy meets Girl. One of them is a secret agent or hit man working for the government or undercover cop—whatever—one of them is in a dangerous line of work that puts the other in the line of fire. They are running for their lives and both look really hot while bullets are whizzing over their heads. They find a moment of peace to do the deed. Bad guys get the jump on the couple. One of them is taken hostage. The other saves him/her. The bad guys are killed and the couple lives happily ever after. The End.
Admittedly, it is tough for writers of these genres because putting the twist to the general plotline to keep things fresh for their readers is a real challenge. How many ways can you kiss? How many ways can you describe a kiss?

Cancelled Vows

Lauren’s latest best-selling mystery, Cancelled Vows, will be released Thursday, January 28. Click on book cover to pre-order from Amazon.

As a mystery writer, I claim that writing murder is the tougher game, especially for writers, like me, who prefer to keep their books character driven and to have their protagonist solve the case with his brilliant intellect.
Some readers, and writers, have found that the reality of technology and the justice system has thrown a monkey wrench into the general murder mystery premise:
Someone gets killed. Detective surveys the scene. Questions all of the witnesses. Tracks down suspects. Cunning Killer lies. Detective is stumped. Cunning Killer slips up. Brilliant Hero detects the Killer’s mistake. Traps Killer. Killer confesses and goes off to prison.
Justice prevails.
Anyone fourth grader knows that such is not the case in real life.
Between technology: “Oh, you say you were never in that room? Well, we found your DNA from where you sneezed on the victim’s baloney sandwich right before you slit his throat with the butter knife.”
And justice system: “Is that all you got? A car filled with nuns saw your suspect running out of the house with a bloody knife in his hand at the time of the murder? His defense attorney is going to claim that they are conspiring to railroad him into jail because he’s Jewish. Come back with something more and I’ll get you a search warrant for the bloody knife.”
Some mystery writers see this as a killjoy. What fun is there in having a dull computer database spit out the name of the killer, especially when it’s someone who wasn’t even on the protagonist’s radar? Then, many readers, myself included, get frustrated when the mystery turns from a whodunit, but how-are-we-gonna-catch-‘em?
This is where the rubber hits the road. In reality, these hurdles add to the fun for the author. It doesn’t take away from the protagonist. Real detectives, true-life protagonists, deal with these real issues every day.
Sure, the computer database, devoid of personality, may spit out the pieces of the puzzle, just like the collection of witnesses may lay out their pieces of the puzzle. A clever defense lawyer may throw up legal hurdles to protect the killer—but hasn’t that always been the case?
Today’s real detectives come up against different types of hurdles than the investigators of fifty years ago, which were different from the hurdles fifty years before that.
While the murder investigation game may be different than it was in the days of Hercule Poirot and Perry Mason, it hasn’t become any less thrilling.
One thing that has not changed: Murder has been around since the days of Cain and Abel. As long as there are motives for murder, it will never go away. Also, protagonists will always have to be on their toes to anticipate and find their way over hurdles thrown up by their antagonists.
The game of writing murder mysteries is always changing—and never dull.

About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The eleventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Cancelled Vows is scheduled for release on January 28, 2016 and available for pre-order on Amazon.

Lauren and Gnarly

Best-Selling Mystery Author Lauren Carr … and Gnarly, too.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

 

Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:

E-Mail: writerlaurencarr@gmail.net

Website: http://acornbookservices.com/

http://mysterylady.net/

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lauren.carr.984991

Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries

Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/LoversInCrimeMysteries?ref=ts&fref=ts

Acorn Book Services Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/AcornBookServices?ref=hl

Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“I Take Thee …”: Making That Commitment To Your Book

“Congratulations on your book.”

People are impressed with anyone who has completed the task of writing a whole book.  There are thousands, if not millions, of people who have sat down to a keyboard to start writing a book but never finished it.

After all these years of working at it, I have to pinch myself with the fact that my fifteenth mystery, Kill and Run, the first installment of my new series, The Thorny Rose Mysteries, was released on September 4.

Kill and Run

Released Sept 4, Kill and Run, Lauren’s 15th mystery, has been in the top 100 on Amazon in three different mystery categories. Click on Book Cover to view on Amazon.

My goal is to release five books this year. Struggling writers who are unable to complete even one book, often ask, “How is that possible?” As a matter of fact, I was recently asked to conduct a workshop entitled, “Writing that Bucket List Novel” to answer that question. Most writers assume that I am able to do this simply because I do write full time. I treat my writing like a job.

“Me,” they say, “I have a full time job and family to interrupt me. No way can I write a full book in less than a year.”

Believe it or not, I completely understand. I was there. But contrary to the dream of being able to sit at a desk, uninterrupted, left alone to create literary masterpieces at my leisure—this is not—

Hold that thought. My husband just came running into the room because his computer screen looks different and he got scared.

Where was I?

Unless you are totally committed to not just working on—but completing—your book, all the freedom from working for a living, family obligations, finding wallets and remotes, feeding dogs, running sweepers, finding your son’s athletic clothes, cooking dinner, cleaning up the kitchen, flying in to the school because your son forgot his essay which is due today and he’s going to flunk out of calculus and end up living in your attic for the rest of his life if you don’t stop writing the gun fight scene right now to get it there in ten minutes—

In a nutshell—it takes total commitment!

Best-Selling Mystery Author Lauren Carr ... and Gnarly, too.

International best-selling author Lauren Carr invites aspiring writers to join her in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, for a writers retreat in November (during National Novel Writing Month). Click on photo to visit Lauren’s website for more details.

A young writer who attended one of my workshops told me that he had quit his job. He had a full time job with the federal government and was making good money. Young, unmarried, and living at home with his parents, he saved up enough money to support himself for a full year. Then, he quit his job to finish his book.

A year later, he had a half dozen uncompleted manuscripts. He spent much of that time doing favors and running errands for friends and family who said, “Since you’re not doing anything …”

Believe it or not, this is a perception that many people make. Even after all these years, my family assumes since I wear my grungy bathrobe all day and sit around with a laptop in my lap that I’m not doing anything.

Yes, I am doing something!

If you don’t consider your book important, no one else will. When you make a commitment to something, you make it a priority. If you have a full time job and your buddy calls you to help him move a sofa, would you leave your job to go do it? No, because if you leave your job it may not be there when you get back. Same with your book. If you keep leaving it to go do other stuff, then you won’t ever finish it.

This means you have to put your writing ahead of Keeping Up With the Kardashian.

Now, let’s address the half dozen unfinished manuscripts.

This is what I call the Forty-Page Block. It’s not always page forty. Sometimes it’s page twenty-five or page one hundred and twenty-five. Whichever page number it is, at some point there’s a block that separates the authors from the wannabes.

At this hurdle, many writers will simply throw in the towel and walk away without looking back.

Others will try to get around the block in this book by starting a second book. Inspired by ideas from Book One, Book Two may even be a sequel to its unfinished predecessor. Then, the writer will be hit with another inspiration too good to ignore and abandon that project to start another and then another.

The Forty-Page Block stems from loss of interest in the project. Maybe the writer has a short attention span. Maybe the project isn’t worth the paperless word doc it’s written on. Whatever the reason, when the book ceases to be new and fresh, the writer doesn’t want to work on it anymore.

This is the dividing line between those writers who want to be authors and authors who have published books under their belts. Published authors will stick to a book through thick and thin. Even when he’d rather watch the game with the guys, he’ll go to that laptop and churn out five or six pages.

When he finds himself staring at the same Word doc that he’s been looking at for the last seven weeks and sees that it’s not looking very pretty, the author doesn’t walk away. He’ll work even harder to rekindle that flame of passion. He’ll stick with it, no matter what it takes – even if it means a complete rewrite.

Walking away or running off with another book is no option for the true author. Yes, new book ideas may be more fun, and easier to work on, but those flings will only be distractions in reaching the goal of seeing this relationship to the end — that being publication.

So, if you’re a writer seeking to become the author of that one finished manuscript, I call on you now to take the plunge and make that commitment by putting your right hand on your keyboard and repeating after me:

I, state your name or pen name , take thee  book title  to be my published book. To compose and obsess, for rewrite and edit, in polishing and proofreading, from this day forward, until publication do we part.

You two make a beautiful couple.

Lauren Carr's Advance toward Authorship Writers Retreat will take place at Lakewood Resort on Deep Creek Lake, the setting for her hit Mac Faraday Mysteries.

Lauren Carr’s Advance toward Authorship Writers Retreat will take place at Lakewood Resort on Deep Creek Lake, the setting for her hit Mac Faraday Mysteries.

CALLING ALL WRITERS:

Press Release: International Best Selling Author Hosts Writers Retreat in Deep Creek Lake

Advance Toward Authorship Writers Programs

Are you a writer struggling to complete your masterpiece? Or have you completed a draft but need some quiet time away from the rest of the world to concentrate on getting it ready for publication.

International Best Selling Mystery Writer Lauren Carr has been there and done that.

“It took me six months to write the first draft for A Small Case of Murder,” she recalls. It took more than that for her second mystery. “Then, one weekend,” she says, “a friend dragged me to a writers’ conference that ended up being a total bust. After the first day of not getting anything out of it, I locked myself in the hotel room and wrote for the rest of the weekend. By the time I left three days later, I had written one third of the first draft of It’s Murder, My Son.” This book went on to being her first best-selling mystery novel.

Regularly listed among Amazon’s top-100 authors in mysteries, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries and the Lovers in Crime Mysteries. This month, the debut novel for her new mystery series, the Thorny Rose Mysteries, was released to top sales and rave reviews. Since its release on September 4, Kill and Run has been listed in the top-ten of three categories on Amazon both domestically and in the international markets.

The author of fifteen books, Lauren Carr is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

It takes more than simply getting away for it all to write books, Lauren warns. “Spending time with other writers, bouncing ideas off each other, having someone to ask advice when you’re stuck—when you have all that—then you have the total package that can inspire and motivate you to complete your book.”

Such is the package that Lauren Carr, in conjunction with Lakewood Resorts on the shores of Deep Creek Lake, is assembling for the Lauren Carr’s Advance toward Authorship Writers’ Retreat! “Not only will writers who attend this writers’ retreat have quiet and beautiful scenery in which to write,” Lauren explains, “but they will be surrounded by other writers in order to share ideas and have someone who has been there available to encourage them and lead the way.”

A variety of packages are available. Writers can sign up for a single unit to write in complete solitude or share a unit with their spouse or writing buddies. Each lakeshore unit at the luxurious Lakewood Resorts can accommodate four or more writers—making this an ideal retreat for writers groups.

Offerings include choice of a variety packages. Many offer focused writing time, weekend workshops, private consultations with Lauren Carr, writers’ gatherings, and meal options.  Retreat prices vary with level of participation.  Lodging costs are per unit, and units can be shared with family or other writers.  In addition to lodging, all participants pay the per person rate for the chosen retreat package.

The dates for the Lauren Carr’s Advanced toward Authorship Writer’s Retreat will be Friday, November 13-20, 2015. Weekend packages (Friday through Sunday) will be available. It will be held at Lakewood Resort, McHenry, Maryland—Deep Creek Lake, the setting for Lauren Carr’s Mac Faraday Mysteries! Visit Lakewood Resort’s website at http://www.lakewoodresortsmd.com/ for more information.

Space at Lauren Carr’s Advance toward Authorship Writers Retreat is limited. Writers are encouraged to visit Lauren Carr’s website at www.mysterylady.net or email her at acornbookservices@gmail.com for further details.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Grammar Nazis Need to Get a Grip

By Lauren Carr

The Internet has made it much easier for anyone yearning to voice their opinion about anything and everything to do so. Among those striving to be heard are readers anxious to release their inner book critics to heap praise or criticism upon the authors of those books they love or hate. Nowadays, any reader with a kindle simply has to hit a button at the end of the book to leave their ratings and thoughts—whatever they may be.

Thus, Grammar Nazis can now easily warn perspective readers of any book that does not meet their lofty standards by posting reviews citing the read as poorly written and badly edited.

This is not necessarily a good thing because nasty reviews from Grammar Nazis can potentially deter unwitting readers from purchasing and reading books that are actually very well written and finely edited.

What is a Grammar Nazi? According to the Internet, a Grammar Nazi is someone who believes it’s their duty to attempt to correct any grammar and/or spelling mistakes they observe—

  • usually found hanging around book reading chat rooms,
  • or posting one-star reviews declaring books poorly edited (or not edited at all) on Amazon, Goodreads, and every other book website they can find,
  • or sending emails with multi-paged lists of spelling and grammatical errors to authors of said books, and declaring their editors and proofreaders incompetent.

I am very familiar with Grammar Nazis. My mother is one. Luckily for authors, she is unplugged and has more important things to do that compose detailed lists of what she considers to be grammatical mistakes in books—unless it’s one of mine.

What type of books have fallen victim to one or more negative reviews from Grammar Nazis? Well, here’s a sampling of reviews that I have found on Amazon, the biggest book seller in the world.

One reader, who identifies him/herself as a literature teacher, begins a long-winded one-star review by stating that he/she only uses To Kill a Mockingbird in his/her class “when forced to” because it is so poorly written. This reader goes on to say, “The descriptive passages were rather crude, and at times the language became practically unintelligible.”

Another reader posted a one-star review for For Whom the Bell Tolls. Not even Ernest Hemingway is immune from Nazi attacks. This reader writes:

I will not presume to say that I am right & that millions who love this book are wrong, but I really do not understand why this book is considered a classic. The dialogue is so choppy & forced-formal that it seems like the characters are all talking past each other.

Another reader had trouble understanding how Tom Clancy’s Hunt for Red October became a best-seller:

Clancy could have edited 40% of the text out and had a much better story. This novel is bogged down with irrelevant character descriptions, military acronyms, tedious sub-plots, and background stories that have nothing to contribute to the novel’s overall focus. I found myself constantly frustrated with the monotonous length it took to cover simple plot points. Clancy obviously has a huge audience; however, he needs an effective editor. This novel is a very slow read.

As you can see, Grammar Nazis really don’t care who you are or how experienced your publisher or editor is. When they see a mistake, they’re going to let readers know. Like in this Nazi’s review for Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, published by Little, Brown Books for YA:

…the editing—or lack thereof—is appalling …; the grammar and syntax are unforgivably bad; the plot is onion-skin thin; and the characters are uniformly dull and uninspiring.

The purpose of this post is not to rip apart Grammar Nazis. After all, I am closely related to one. My mother even proofreads my books before they are released to catch errors missed by my team of editors and proofreaders. (More about that later.)

Nor is the purpose of this post to convince Grammar Nazis that they’re wrong. Believe me, there is no convincing a Grammar Nazi they are mistaken about errors they have noted. They got “A’s” in English in school. They have worked for a hundred years as an editor for a daily newspaper and never once during that whole century—publishing two editions seven days a week—not once was there so much as one typo in any of those newspapers—not a single one! Therefore, the prospect of them being wrong about whether you should be using a comma or a semi-colon within dialogue is inconceivable.

As an author and a publisher, I would like to put this issue into a proper perspective for both readers and those authors whose books fall victim to a reader or two who has too much time on his or her hands. As a rule, I do not engage or argue with the rare Grammar Nazi who posts a nasty review for any of my books on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other sites.

However, I do believe that the average reader who sees reviews posted by Grammar Nazis and new authors who will (not if) receive such reviews should be aware of a few things before they accept the Grammar Nazi’s claims of bad writing and poor editing as fact.

A couple of years ago, an author friend of mine independently published a book. During the publication process, her book went through two rounds of editing (by two different editors) and was proofread by another editor, plus a friend of hers, who happened to be school teacher who taught English. Thus, her book was looked at by four different pairs of eyes before publication.

Nine months after the book was released and received several glowing reviews, she received one poor review declaring that it was poorly edited and had numerous grammatical errors. So, she hired yet another editor to proofread the book again for grammatical mistakes and misspellings. This editor, who used a different style manual than the other editors, ripped that book apart with changes on every page.

Over a year later, a traditional publisher signed my friend to a multi-book deal. As part of the publication process, this same book was edited yet again! It went through two separate editors—one of whom contacted my friend to tell her that it was very well written and was pretty clean to begin with. Not only that, but after the book was formatted, it was proofread by yet another editor.

First review my friend received from a reader stated:

This is the first novel I’ve read by this author, and while it was a good read, with a good plot, interesting primary and secondary characters, and was very suspenseful, the sheer number of grammatical errors, misused words, and spelling errors certainly detracted from my enjoyment of this book. While I’d like to read the next novels in this series, I can only hope that they are better edited and proofread than this one.

Excuse me! This book was looked at by—count them!—seven different editors plus an English teacher. Not all of them were ill-educated, poorly trained, or incompetent!

The answer to how this happens lies in this one simple question:

Grammatical errors, misused words, and spelling mistakes according to whose rules?

everyone-is-a-grammar-nazi_o_2312553

I have assembled a team of editors and proofreaders to work on my own books based on each one’s strengths. It is a given, where one editor has strengths, he or she has weaknesses in another area.

Let me explain. Last year, I sent one of my books to a new editor to be proofread before its release. Because she was unproven to me, I sent the same book to yet another editor as a backup. Neither proofreader knew the book was being worked on by someone else. Therefore, they thought it was completely up to them to catch every mistake.

When the book came back from these two proofreaders, they had both identified completely different errors. Only in one instance did they both identify the same error! They concentrated completely on different areas in proofreading the book. One proofreader was more concerned with the punctuation while the other focused on the spelling.

Also, each one of my editors/proofreaders works under a different set of rules.

One of my editors, who I have used for years, follows the new comma rules—whatever those are. From what I have seen, the comma is rarely used. I have read many books in recent years, whose editors seem to be following these rules. According to the new comma rules, the line from Gone with the Wind: “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn,” has no commas.

Another one of my editors loves the Oxford comma. Thus, the line would be written, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Based on what she learned when she was in school, my mother swears it is, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Who is right? Under interrogation, both of these editors and the Grammar Nazi could cite a source and reasoning to back up their argument of where the commas go and why.

Another area of disagreement is the ellipse. That is the “…”. One of my editors believes there should be no space before or after the ellipse. Another editor firmly believes there should be a space before and after the ellipse.

Even highly regarded style manuals used by editors disagree. Some argue that the ellipse should be treated like a word, which means it should have a space both before and after. Others (mostly journalistic style manuals) say it should be treated like an em-dash (—) so there should be no space. This is because the space before and after can create havoc with formatting.

Therefore, I quite literally split the difference. During formatting I use a half-space before and after the ellipse.

To better illustrate this issue, I love to tell writers, new editors, and readers about a book I edited for another author several years ago.

This book contained a character whose name ended in an “s.” Well, throughout the book, there were many instances in which his name was used in possessive.

Now, every editor has a thing or two or three or dozen, in which they will not trust their knowledge. To be safe, they will look it up in their style manual every single time. For me, the question of a proper name ending in “s” and used in possessive was one of those things. The Chicago Style Manual called for this possessive to be “s’” not “s’s.”

Well, the author said I was wrong and that it is supposed to be “s’s.”

So, I looked it up again, not just in the Chicago Style Manual, but several sites on the Internet. Not only did I discover that the answer varies in the Chicago Style Manual depending on which edition you use, but I also found a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States had gotten involved in this very argument while writing a decision on a case. Even the justices disagreed! Clarence Thomas (who should know since his name ends in an “s”) declared that it is “s.’”

I let the author have the last word. He requested that I change all of the possessive references for this character to “s’s.”

Then, upon proofing the book, the author brought in his daughter, a technical writer who goes by a totally different style manual. She stated that it should be “s’” without the extra “s.”

So I had to change it back.

Many people who are not in the business of writing, editing, or publishing fiction fail to realize that many of the grammar and punctuation rules that we were taught as being carved in stone really are not—especially when it comes to fiction.

Most fiction authors’ literary style and narrative voice don’t follow all of the rules taught in simple fourth grade grammar. Keeping in tune with the casual manner in which people communicate today, writers focus more on creating a conversational tone and flow to the narrative than using the correct pronoun.

When I sent my third book to the editor, I could practically hear her laughing between the lines in her notes when she rewrote a sentence in my narrative. “When was the last time you heard someone use the word ‘whom?’” she asked.

While my sentence was grammatically correct, she noted that it had such a formal stilted sound to it that it broke the easy going pace of my writing. As a result, the reader would be pulled out of the story. Yes, the sentence, rewritten by the editor, was grammatically incorrect. However, the narrative flowed much more naturally.

Grammar Nazis, particularly those who have spent the bulk of their education or professional lives in the world of non-fiction writing and editing (working in journalism or teaching grade school English), fail to realize this when reading fiction. Being a Nazi, they are incapable of becoming immersed in the plot and the story because they have spent their lives searching for mistakes. When they encounter what they perceive to be an error, they are so offended that all enjoyment of the other 99.9% of the book becomes an impossibility—all they can see and think about is that imperfection.

Feeling righteous about what they know is right, they feel compelled to note said error and to warn readers via bad reviews and/or notify the writer of what a sloppy job his editor did.

the first installment in Lauren Carr's upcoming series, Kill and Run is scheduled for release September 1.

The first installment in Lauren Carr’s new mystery series, Kill and Run was released September 4. It has been receiving rave reviews from reviewers and readers … except for a couple of Grammar Nazis

Less than two weeks ago, my fifteenth book, Kill and Run was released. Over the years, the publication of my books, which I publish independently, has been fine tuned. I use two different editors, plus I will do a round of editing myself. After the book is formatted, my books are proofread by a professional editor who has never laid eyes on the book beforehand. Plus, a copy will go to my Grammar Nazi mother.

Yet, in spite of the many steps I take to produce high quality books, shortly before Kill and Run’s release (but too late to make corrections before the release date) a total of twenty actual grammatical and spelling errors were discovered. (The corrected version is now available and being sold. Pre-order e-book customers can download from Amazon under “manage my kindle.”)

Two Grammar Nazis (my mother was not one) demanded to know how this could happen. “Your readers deserve better!”

Here’s how and why this happens–not just with my books, but most books published, both independently and traditionally:

Prolific writers (those who write more than one book a year—I release three or four) make mistakes. A prolific writer cares more about writing a thrilling book with fully developed characters and an intriguing plot than determining if every single word (Is it lay or lie?) is right and ensuring that every punctuation mark is correct (To use the comma or not to use the comma?).

Such minute details have the power to tie a Grammar Nazi’s panties in a knot.

One Grammar Nazi was upset because in The Murders at Astaire Castle, David O'Callaghan went into a donut shop to buy a box of donuts.

One Grammar Nazi was upset because in The Murders at Astaire Castle, David O’Callaghan went into a donut shop to buy a box of donuts.

A few years ago, I received an email from a woman informing me that I was a shoddy writer and how dare I consider myself worthy of editing other authors’ books. (I don’t edit other authors books anymore because I am too busy writing my own books.) Her complaint: In The Murders at Astaire Castle, which has been consistently in the top 100 of Ghost Mysteries on Amazon since its release in July 2013, contained this sentence:

“On the way into the police station, David stopped at the donut shop to buy a box of donuts.”

The Nazi wrote, “No, sh!t.” She used the actual word. My error was using “donut” twice. That is repetition, which is a no-no. This, she declared was sloppy and shoddy writing. She went on to post a one-star review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Think about it. The Murders at Astaire Castle has 66,000 words. This Nazi was having a hissy fit over one sentence, consisting of nineteen words, in the middle of a 286-page book. Frankly, I thought one bad sentence out of the thousands of sentences in that book was doing pretty good.

Since the Grammar Nazi revealed in her email that she was a writer, and obviously much better than I am since she would never have written that sentence, I looked up her profile in the social media sites and found that she has never published a book. To date, she still has yet to have a book published under her name. Based on her reaction to the news that David had stopped at a donut shop to buy donuts, I think she is probably too busy sweating over every page, paragraph, sentence, comma, period, and word to allow her book to be released to the public.

By virtue of being a Grammar Nazi, her book must be perfect. Anything less is unacceptable.

That’s pretty sad in my opinion.

Prolific writers know that there comes a time in every book’s life where we need to just let it go and move on to the next book. We accept the fact that there could very well—No, we know and accept the fact that there will be one, two, three, or twenty grammatical errors in the book that our team has not caught.

From a professional stand-point, it is not good business to hold up the release of a book to invest in yet another editor to scour a whole book in search of those few errors that will cause one or two Grammar Nazis to have hissy fits—even if they do use the power of the Internet to proclaim the book as poorly edited.

At what point can a book—not a five-hundred word article or a student’s ten-page research paper—but a 60,000 to 110,000 word book—be declared error free, especially if editors, proofreaders, and Grammar Nazis can’t agree on what the rules are?

Alas, there is yet another important reason Kill and Run was released with twenty actual mistakes that had been missed by my team of paid professional editors and proofreaders—and yes, I do consider them professional and am proud to have them working for me.

Unfortunately, not only are my editors and proofreaders professionals—but also, every single one is a human being. Therefore, they suffer from the condition that every human suffers—Yes, even the Grammar Nazis suffer from this dreaded incurable condition:

Human beings aren’t perfect. As intolerable as it may be, we all make mistakes.

I have worked with numerous editors in the thirty plus years that I have been writing and I have yet to meet an editor who is perfect, which is why I use more than one on every project.

With this in mind, I look at those twenty mistakes in Kill and Run this way:

  • Kill and Run has approximately 110,000 words. Twenty mistakes out of 110,000 words amounts to a .018% error rate.
  • That means my team of editors and proofreaders got 99.982% of the book right—based on the grammar and spelling rules as we know them.

I wouldn’t call that sloppy, shoddy, incompetent, or poor. Would you?

About the Author

Best-Selling Mystery Author Lauren Carr ... and Gnarly, too.

Best-Selling Mystery Author Lauren Carr … and Gnarly, too. click on photo to visit Lauren’s website.

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday and Lovers in Crime Mysteries. Kill and Run the first installment of her new series, The Thorny Rose Mysteries was released to rave reviews from reviewers and readers on September 4, 2015. Lauren introduced the key detectives in the Thorny Rose Mysteries in Three Days to Forever, which was released in January 2015.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learnt in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:

E-Mail: writerlaurencarr@gmail.net

Website: http://acornbookservices.com/

http://mysterylady.net/

Blog: Literary Wealth: https://literarywealth.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lauren.carr.984991

Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries

Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/LoversInCrimeMysteries?ref=ts&fref=ts

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Guest Post: A Special Dedication from Author Cindy McDonald

If you read my bio it says that my life whirled around a song and a dance for twenty-six years. That’s right; I was a professional dancer/choreographer. I loved my dance school, and when I made the decision to retire from dance to write, it was a heart-wrenching decision indeed.

To the Breaking Pointe is the second installment in Cindy McDonald's critically acclaimed First Force series. Click on Book Cover to download from Amazon.

To the Breaking Pointe is the second installment in Cindy McDonald’s critically acclaimed First Force series. Click on Book Cover to download from Amazon.

Over those twenty-six years, I’d like to think that I touched a lot of young girls lives. I’d like to think that I helped form them into the lovely young women that many of them became: mothers, lawyers, physical therapists, teachers, and the like. When I bump into my former students they throw their arms around me, kiss me on the cheek, and say things like: Oh Miss Cindy, I’m so happy to see you! I miss you so much and I miss dance so much. It was the best time of my life.

The feeling is most mutual. But the very best part of choreographing was the ballets that we performed. I produced many: The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Firebird—my second favorite. But it was Coppelia that was my absolute favorite ballet that my dance school performed.

The year was 2005. I struggled that year to produce my show. We had lost my father very unexpectedly on Valentines Day that year—he simply dropped dead in his chair after breakfast. Needless to say my focus was a little off. I had girls counting on me to put on a great show and I’m not one to let anyone down regardless of the circumstances.

I had chosen Coppelia to be our ballet production that year and I dug in with everything I had to choreograph the ballet. When the costumes arrived in March they were fantastic! A good friend of mine, John, who directed many of the musicals that I choreographed locally, had agreed to play the role of Dr. Coppelius. John is an older man and he was fabulous with a fun sense of humor—the girls all loved him.
Coppelia was a great success and the ballet holds a special place in my heart as does the entire cast.

To the Breaking Pointe is dedicated to that cast—the ballet is featured in the book. As I wrote the story—especially the parts where the ballet is mentioned—I could hear the music. I could see the costumes, and I could see the girls in my mind’s eye dancing about the stage. I could see John with a pair of faux bifocals parked at the edge of his nose, chasing Swan Hilda around the shop as Dr. Coppelius.

I have so many warm memories of my dance school, but this ballet was so very special to me and so is To the Breaking Pointe.

Reviews for To the Breaking Pointe:

To The Breaking Pointe is a riveting romantic suspense story that takes the reader on one hell of an exhilarating roller coaster ride. Author Cindy McDonald weaves an intriguing suspense thriller that transports the reader between Russia and the US as they follow First Force operative Grant Ketchum, as he tries to rescue his lost love Silja Ramsay, a Russian principal ballerina with the Novikov Ballet Company, from the clutches of a ruthless wealthy American financier. This is a gripping tale that easily draws the reader in from the beginning, and keeps them captivated and in suspense until the dramatic conclusion. This complex and multi-layered story follows Grant, who with the help and protection from his First Force team, travels to the other side of the world to rescue his unrequited love.” Reviewer: Jersey Girl Book Reviews

“I love this book. I don’t have the chance often to read stories with Russian leads that I also enjoy. Grant Last the woman he loved when he let her get away. Silja is a dancer for a failing company. She doesn’t know anything about what is going on until and American backer wants her in exchange for helping the dance company. Before she is taken away, she sends a message to Grant to help her. He will go through heaven and earth to save her and not lose her again. It was such an awesome book. I loved reading it and I can not wait for more from this series!: Reviewer: My Life, Loves and Passion

“I loved everything about the novel. There was a lot of suspense, action and a few twists that were surprising to me. The 2 main characters Grant and Silja were fantastic and well suited for each other. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series. The author shared a small bit about the next in the series and I cannot wait until it is released. I do not think I can’t wait that long.” Reviewer: Deal Sharing Aunt
About the Author:
Cindy McDonald's new series: First Force is a romance-suspense. Into the Crossfire has been receiving rave reviews. Click on the sexy book cover to check it out!

Cindy McDonald’s new series: First Force is a romance-suspense. Into the Crossfire has been receiving rave reviews. Click on the sexy book cover to check it out!

For twenty-six years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of her adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. She often notes: Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things that I have experienced with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happenings at the racetrack—she muses: they are greatly exaggerated upon of course—I’ve never been murdered. Viola! Cindy’s first book series, Unbridled, was born.

Author Cindy McDonald. Click on pic to visit Cindy's website.

Author Cindy McDonald. Click on pic to visit Cindy’s website.

Cindy is a huge fan of romantic suspense series’, and although she isn’t one to make New Year’s resolutions, on New Year’s Day 2013 she made a commitment to write one, Into the Crossfire is the first book for The First Force Series.

People are always asking Cindy: Do you miss dance? With a bitter sweet smile on her lips she tells them: Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love writing my books, and I love sharing them with my readers.
Cindy resides on her forty-five acre Thoroughbred farm with her husband and her Cocker Spaniel, Allister, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
For more information, book trailers, and excerpts for all of Cindy’s books please visit her website: www.cindymcwriter.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“It’s Not a Baby, It’s a Book”

If you are a new author working on your first book, then you need to read this blog post by Mercy Pilkington. It gives an excellent perspective on the business end of being an author!

“It’s Not a Baby, It’s a Book”.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Character Guest Post: Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

Interview with Slick & Junebug
From Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction
by Amy Metz

Today we’re delighted to be talking to Slick and Junebug Calloway, the owners of the aptly named Slick & Junebug’s Diner. Those are unusual names. Did Amy give you those or are they nicknames?

Slick: What’s wrong with our names?

Junebug: Oh, don’t listen to this old coot. I’ll tell you about our names. You’re right, they’re both nicknames. Slick has worn his hair slicked back like that ever since he was a boy. His mama used the pomade very liberally, and folks started calling him Slick, and it stuck. My name came about on account of two things: one is I was born in June, and the other is when I was a baby my daddy said I was no bigger ‘n a bug, and they started calling me Junebug.

Click on Book Cover to download Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction on Amazon.

Click on Book Cover to download Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction on Amazon.

Can you tell us your given names?
Slick: Clarence
Junebug: Shirley

Those are nice names, but I do like Slick and Junebug better. I hear you’re one of the best cooks around, Slick. Who taught you to cook?
Slick: My mama, bless her heart. She was a better cook than I am, and in fact I’d hire her over at the diner if she were alive today. She taught me everything I know about cooking.

What’s your favorite food to make?
Slick: I make the best cheeseburger you’ll ever put in your mouth.
Junebug: He’s right, he does.

Amy: His cheeseburgers are so good they’ll make your tongue slap your brains out.
What would you call a cheeseburger in diner lingo?
Junebug: Burn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose on it.

So all your cheeseburgers are well done?
Slick: Naw, Burn one just means I grill ‘em. Want me to make you one right now?

Maybe later. Junebug , what’s your favorite thing he makes?
Junebug: I love his baking. There ain’t nothing in our diner that’s store bought. It’s all made from scratch, even the life preservers.
Life preservers?
Amy: She means donuts.
Junebug: Slick makes killer donuts. But I’d have to say I like his pies the best. He doesn’t make one that I wouldn’t climb through all of Georgia to get to.
Amy: His Eve with a lid on is the best thing you ever put in your mouth. It’s won the county fair blue ribbon for as long as anybody can remember.
Slick: She means apple pie.

Ah. What’s your favorite thing to order in diner lingo?
Junebug: You mean, what do I like to say the best?

Yes, when you head to the kitchen to place an order. What’s your favorite thing to say?
Junebug: Well, I love to-go orders because I can say, “Let it walk” or “Give it shoes.” And I love nervous pudding. You know what that is?

No idea.
Junebug: Gelatin. Bossy in a bowl is a goodun too.

That’s got to have something to do with a cow. Is it chili?
Slick: No, it’s beef stew. You know what I like the best?

No idea.
Slick: Clean up the kitchen.
Junebug: Not literally, he means hash.
Slick: It’s not only good tasting and fun to say, but I get to use up a lot of food that otherwise would get tossed.

I hear that the diner has two regulars who occupy counter stools every single day. What do they order the most?
Junebug: Trouble.
Slick: Ah, she’s just kidding. Clive and Earl are talkers, though. First of all, they always have coffee. Clive likes his black.
Junebug: Which in diner lingo is mud.
Slick: And Earl likes his coffee with cream and way too much sugar.
Junebug: That’s called a blond with sand. But I always tell him he likes coffee in his sugar. I guess that would make it mud in your sand.
Amy: And two cups of coffee are called a pair of drawers.

Interesting. What else do Clive and Earl like?
Slick: Anything.
Junebug: Everything.
Slick: They usually order the blue plate special. I change it up so they have something different every day.
Junebug: And even though Earl doesn’t have one tooth in his head, he’ll order and eat just about anything. It might take him longer, but it doesn’t deter him.

What does Amy usually order?
Amy: Slick does something to his ham that’s out of this world. I don’t know what it is, but a ham sandwich with lettuce and tomato and some sweet tea is good eating.
Slick: That’s my Noah’s boy, and she always wants to take it through the garden.
Amy: He means lettuce and tomato. Sometimes he’ll add onion–pin a rose on it–when he has a sweet Vidalia onion sitting around. But actually, any of Slick’s baked goods are my favorite.
Junebug: He makes pies with six-inch high meringue, cakes with icing an inch thick, big fat chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies, donuts, brownies, you name it, Slick makes it, and it’s good.

Okay, folks. I’d better let you get back to work. And you all are making me hungry. Can I have that cheeseburger now?
Junebug: Burn one, Slick. You wanna take it through the garden and pin a rose on it, hon?
Sure, why not.

My Review:

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that my two favorite things are mysteries and humor. Therefore, it goes without saying that I loved Amy Metz’s Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. Being a small town girl from West Virginia, I know that it takes a special talent to be able to honestly bring out the special quaint qualities of southerners without making them appear stupid and backward. Amy Metz does that wonderfully. Her characters are simply loveable. I found it an extra special treat to be taken into a compelling mystery as well.

Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction is charming, fun, well-written, and loaded with delicious personality that makes the reader want to go back again if only to say, “Hi, y’all!”

About the Author:

Click on Amy to visit her website to learn more about Goosepimple Junction.

Click on Amy to visit her website to learn more about Goosepimple Junction.

Amy Metz attended Centre College and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Elementary Education. She taught first grade until her first child was born, and then motherhood and volunteer work took up her time. When her mother was diagnosed with dementia in 2009, she turned to writing as therapy. Needing an escape from life and from the memoir, and desperately needing to laugh, she began writing a humorous southern mystery that eventually became Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, and an author was born.

Amy has been richly blessed with two sons – an adult and a teenager – and a daughter-in-law. When not actively engaged in writing or spending time with her family, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in her hands. Amy’s debut novel, Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, was first published in August 2012, with the second edition coming in September 2014. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Contact Amy at: amy@amymetz.com.

Amy’s links:
Website: http://amymetz.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramymetz
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6436458.Amy_Metz
Blog: http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com/

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lauren Carr’s Latest Mystery: TWELVE to MURDER

Mac Faraday’s plan to spend a quiet weekend home alone with his lady love, Archie Monday, is shattered by murder.

Best-Selling Mystery Author Lauren Carr's latest is Twelve to Murder, a Mac Faraday Mystery. Click on Book Cover to order on Amazon.

Best-Selling Mystery Author Lauren Carr’s latest is Twelve to Murder, a Mac Faraday Mystery. Click on Book Cover to order on Amazon.

A middle aged couple are brutally murdered in their summer place on Deep Creek Lake. To any other detective, the case would be considered open and shut when it appears as if one of the victims has written her killer’s name in her blood—not so for Mac Faraday, who believes there is more to this case than meets the eye.

Anyone who is near the news can’t help but hear about the fall of one child star or teenybopper idol after another. Miley Cyrus twerking everywhere. Lindsay Lohan going in and out of rehab like it had a revolving door. Has-beens arrested and committing suicide or dying of overdoses. In the eighties, Corey Haim was a very successful child star, became a teen-idol, and ended up dead before he was forty.

For best-selling mystery author Lauren Carr, such stories cause her to ask “What if…”

Such was the seed that inspired Twelve to Murder. “What if,” Lauren said, “a very intelligent boy reached his peak before even reaching legal drinking age? What are the emotional effects to an extremely intelligent young man when he realizes he’ll never reach the same level of success that he had when he was a teenager? How does it feel to be a has-been? What would such a person do when suddenly, he is featured on the news again, only this time, it is because he has been accused of a double homicide?”

In Lauren Carr’s latest Mac Faraday Mystery, such is the case of former child-star and teen-idol Lenny Frost when he steps into a pub in Deep Creek Lake to see his face on the television over the bar with the announcement that once again, he’s wanted…for the murder of his agent and her husband!

How does Lenny Frost react to this sudden celebrity? He takes everyone hostage and gives Mac Faraday twelve hours to find the real killer or he’s going to kill everyone in the bar.

Find out all there is to know about Lauren Carr and Mac Faraday's latest case in the Twelve to Murder Virtual Book Tour. Click on the Tour Banner for the tour schedule.

Find out all there is to know about Lauren Carr and Mac Faraday’s latest case in the Twelve to Murder Virtual Book Tour. Click on the Tour Banner for the tour schedule.

About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

Mystery Author Lauren Carr and Gnarly. Yes, Gnarly is a handful. Click on author pic to visit Lauren's website.

Mystery Author Lauren Carr and Gnarly. Yes, Gnarly is a handful.
Click on author pic to visit Lauren’s website.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder. Dead on Ice (A Lovers in Crime Mystery) was released September 2012. The second installment, Real Murder will be out in 2014.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Guest Post: The Heart of the Matter: Why I Love a Good Mystery

Today’s guest post is by Susan Russo Anderson, who is the author of not one, but two murder mystery series! So i is obvious that she must love mysteries. In this guest post, she is going to tell us why.

Too Quiet in Brooklyn is available Friday, Dec 20. Today!

Too Quiet in Brooklyn is available Friday, Dec 20. Today!

While you’re here, be sure to check out Susan’s latest novel, Too Quiet in Brooklyn, which is released TODAY! That’s right! Today it is available!

The Heart Of The Matter: Why I Love A Good Mystery

At first blush, mysteries are not a suitable subject for this time of year—unless you’re like me and would rather peer into the surrounding darkness than squint into the glitz of the season.

For many of us, there is something compelling about mysteries. We can’t put them down, perhaps because we need to know what comes next. And even though we think we have the answers to the central questions of who done it and why, we love the shock of being fooled by a surprise at the end.

I’ve loved reading mysteries since forever. I can’t tell you why, not totally. But the mysteries I’ve enjoyed the most, whether historical or contemporary, have certain traits in common. They are driven by a main character I care about, a character in extremis, pushing against improbable odds, a character who never gives up. And surrounding her (or him) is a sense of doom if she doesn’t succeed, not just for herself, but for a bunch of innocent others.

For me, it’s characters who tell their story and sweep me up into their world.  I like to get to know them—how they’ve been hurt, what they yearn for. I like to know about their pets. (Many of them, like Gnarly, become lovable central characters in their own right.) I am curious about their favorite foods, their friends, their lovers, their failures. I am charmed by their uniqueness. I like to watch them grow. Because I care about the characters, I want to know what’s going to happen next in their lives. So a bonus is a mystery in a series where the characters have lives beyond the mystery of the main plot lines, where the characters think and comment and change. Subplots and character monologue—the stuff that books are able to handle so much better than video or film—this keeps me reading books and coming back for more.

But everything I’ve said so far doesn’t explain why I choose to read a mystery over, say, a romance. Is it the puzzle or the gruesome details of the murder? That’s part of it, but not the total answer. There are some people, myself included, who are intrigued with death, arrested by the sudden, inexplicable yet inexorable demise of everyday life. The abrupt abduction. The ending for us all. And it is this placement of death and terror at the heart of a book, and the protagonist’s quest to find the perpetrator, to achieve justice and balance while struggling with grief and loss and the meaning of life, that is at the heart of the matter for me. The main character’s defeat of that dastard, death, however brief, keeps me choosing a mystery over all the other genres.

Susan Russo Anderson, Author of The Serafina Florio Mysteries and the Fina Fitzgibbons Mysteries

Susan Russo Anderson
Author of The Serafina Florio Mysteries
and the Fina Fitzgibbons Mysteries
Click on author photo to visit Susan’s website.

About the Author

Susan Russo Anderson is a writer, a mother, a grandmother, a widow, a member of Sisters In Crime, a graduate of Marquette University. She has taught language arts and creative writing, worked for a publisher, an airline, an opera company. Like Faulkner’s Dilsey, she’s seen the best and the worst, the first and the last. Through it all, and to understand it somewhat, she writes.

The first book in the Serafina Florio historical mystery series was published in 2012, the fourth book, Murder On The Rue Cassette, earlier this month. She has just published the first book in the Fina Fitzgibbons series, a new adult mystery, Too Quiet In Brooklyn. You can connect with her on her website, on Twitter (@susanrussoander) and Facebook. You can find her books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, and Smashwords.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: