Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Curious Mystery

Blogger keeps statistics on the number of views or hits that posts receive. Not long ago one of my posts received over 16,300 views. I confess this was unusual for me. I am far from a famous author. And so I am still not certain why this happened. Honor bright, I couldn’t discover a reason for that much interest in a single post I’d written. The blog is titled “Ten Tips for Writing Short Fiction that Sells.”

I googled in an effort to discover why this happened. Had an influential individual recommended the blog? Are there that many fellow writers interested in getting info on success in short fiction writing? I thought the second might be possible because I hear from a lot of editors that they are overwhelmed by the number of submissions as never before. I credit this to the ease of using the internet for submissions these days. However, Google gave me no clues to solving this mystery.

I would very much appreciate your input. So if you have a possible solution for this puzzle, let me know. With so many blogs on the net these days, no one can expect to draw a great many readers. But, needless to say, they are very welcome!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Novellas: Dead or Alive? By Jacqueline Seewald

Recently THE WRITER MAGAZINE ran an excellent article entitled “Novellas:  Stepping stone to success or waste of time?” Since my novella THE BURNING is now available in pre-order and will be published November 8th, I kind of like to think this is not a dead art form. Or as Mark Twain so cleverly quipped: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

Just so you know, a novella is written fictional prose normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, and usually somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 words, although it can be a bit longer or shorter.

For those who would like to try writing in this length, be aware that novellas are more complex than short stories yet leaner and more focused than novels. 

In a NEW YORKER article in 2012, Ian McEwan stated:
“I believe the novella is the perfect form of prose fiction.” Yet even famous writers like Stephen King have lamented that the novella gets no respect (forgive me for borrowing, okay stealing, Rodney Dangerfield’s best line). 

THE ATLANTIC also ran an interesting article in April 2012 about the return of the novella in which Joe Fassler described it as “an unfairly neglected literary art form practiced for centuries by celebrated writers.”

It is true that the novella hasn’t been a particularly commercially successful format. Too long for most magazines and journals, yet too short to satisfy novel publishers, the genre can languish. Still, my first novella, LETTER OF THE LAW, was published with some enthusiasm last year in SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY MAGAZINE.

 I was also fortunate to find a publisher who found my novella THE BURNING worthy of publication. Now I have to hope it will also find a readership. Simple enough? Don’t I wish!

As mentioned, on November 8th, THE BURNING will be published by Annurlunda Enterprises. The Burning is based on a play I wrote that won the Playhouse 22 Playwrights Award (in the late 1980’s) and was performed on stage.

THE BURNING is faction, part fact, but also fiction, about what happens to a family in Pennsylvania as the result of a coal fire burning under the town. Members of the Ferris family face his or her personal hell, barely coming through it alive, forced to acknowledge painful truths. It’s based on real events that occurred in Centralia. Unfortunately, such problems continue to plague coal-mining communities in different places. And there are no easy answers.

The publisher has provided this novella with the following blurb:
 George Ferris has worked hard to make a good life for himself and his family without going into the coal mines that shortened his father’s life. Now, a slow-moving catastrophe is threatening to take it all away. How far will he go to protect everything he has worked for? And will he realize what really matters before it is too late? Inspired by true events.

Here is a brief excerpt from the novella:

George drove home on autopilot, detached, barely aware of his surroundings. The talk with Baines kept turning over in his head. He’d worked so hard for so many years to provide a good life for his family. Was that going to end now? The whole thing seemed crazy. Could some underground fire wreck his life and that of his family? He shook his head, refusing to accept this as inevitable.
The living room of George Ferris’s house usually offered a refuge, but he didn’t want to walk inside yet. Instead he stood in the front hallway praying for composure while silently lurking. He could see Amy was sitting on the sofa attentively reading a book, feet tucked under her.
Every so often, she coughed. Liz came into the room. She was dressed in brown slacks and a casual cream-colored blouse. He admired how beautiful his wife was. With her natural good looks, she wore very little make-up and didn’t need it. George was reminded of how much he loved her. Liz was the real deal. What would this news do to her? She deserved so much better in life. For a few minutes, he watched Liz straightening up the room, but then she stopped to listen to Amy’s recurring cough.

THE BURNING is now available for pre-order both in print and as an e-book. Check out the details from the publisher at: 



Your thoughts and comments most welcome!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Spotlight on Bestselling Author Jennifer Lowery

My guest writer today is New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, Jennifer Lowery. She grew up reading romance novels in the back of her math book and on the bus to school, and never wanted to be anything but a writer.  Her summers were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters spinning tales of romance and intrigue and always with a tall glass of ice tea at their side.
Today, Jennifer is living that dream and she couldn’t be happier to share her passion with her readers.  She loves everything there is about romance.  Her stories feature alpha heroes who meet their match with strong, independent heroines.  She believes that happily ever after is only the beginning of her stories. And the road to that happy ending is paved with action, adventure, and romance. As her characters find out when they face danger, overcome fears, and are forced to look deep within themselves to discover love.

Jennifer lives in Michigan with her husband and charming rescued tomcat named Shamrock. Their son lives near them and is in the Army National Guard as well as a student at a local university. Their daughter is married and lives with her amazing husband who is stationed at Fort Bragg.  When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Hello fans and readers! How is everyone today? I’m great. Fall is my favorite season and in honor of that I am offering the second book in my Wolff Securities Series, Not Without Risk, for .99 cents on Amazon, September 30-October 4! Yay! Of course, Kindle Unlimited subscribers always read for free. Keep reading for buy links!

If you haven’t read the first book, Maximum Risk, no worries. These are standalone books as well as part of a series. You don’t have to read them in order, but I recommend it. Simply because you will get a fuller character experience by reading them in order.

As a bonus for your continued support and generosity I have including one of my favorite fall recipes. I make these muffins every year and they never last long, lol. Please enjoy the recipe and the .99 cent book!

Not Without Risk Blurb:
He always keeps his promises…

Private security specialist, Nate Wolff promised to rescue humanitarian aid worker, Macy Gibbs, not harbor a fugitive. Determined to keep his promise and not make the same mistakes his brother made, he risks his life to protect her from the terrorist group hunting her.

Keeping this one will be the hardest thing he’s ever had to do…

With a bounty on her head for the murder of a man who bought her in an illegal human trafficking ring, Macy Gibbs puts both her life, and the life of the tall, handsome stranger who’s vowed to rescue her, in danger. Emotionally scarred from her ordeal, she trusts no one. But, can the biggest danger she’s about to face be the impact this former SEAL has on her heart?

Not Without Risk Excerpt:

Nate put a hand on Macy’s shoulder. She didn’t stir. Unable to resist, he caressed her cheek. Warm. Not as hot. A good sign. Beneath his hand her skin felt soft as silk. He gently ran his thumb across the fading bruise on her jawline. Anger and the urge to protect and defend surged through him. Except, it felt more personal. Not just a bodyguard protecting his charge. More…
Nope. Not going there. The reasons stuck like a knife in his heart.
He dropped his hand to his side, sobered, and put his thoughts in proper order. First things first. Get Macy dressed, then grab her and go. They may not have confiscated his weapons, but that could be a ruse to keep him off guard.
His supply of clothing for Macy was running low. Only two shirts and one pair of pants left. Foregoing the undergarments, he grasped the edge of the blanket, prepared to dress her and make a run for it.
The murmured question came from Macy. He froze, his gaze flying to her face to find her eyes open. Glazed, confused.
Letting go of the blanket, he leaned over her. “Hey. I’m here.”
Her beautiful blue eyes that reminded him so much of Bleu Lake back home, met his, radiating with pain. “Don’t leave me. Please.”
The impact of those words went straight through his chest. At that moment, he knew they couldn’t go. Not until she was healthy enough to go. They’d pushed hard already and look where it got them.
Bending, he pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I’m not going anywhere. Go back to sleep. You’re safe.”
That seemed to work because the tension went out of her muscles and her eyes drifted closed. Seconds later her breathing evened out, indicating she slept peacefully.
Nate straightened and scrubbed a hand down his face. He returned the clothes to his pack, dragged the crude chair in front of the bed and dropped down on it. His Glock now rested across his thigh, finger near the trigger as he settled in.
Whomever, or whatever, came through that door they would have to go through him first in order to get to Macy. And he’d die before he let another person hurt her.

Buy the Book:

And now for the recipe!! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

15 ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
5 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.     Mix pumpkin, vegetable oil and sugar on low speed with electric mixer (I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer).
3.     Add in eggs, one at a time, combining thoroughly after each addition.
4.     Add vanilla
5.     In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Slowly add to liquids, scraping sides of bowl to combine.
6.     Make Filling: Mix filling ingredients until combined.
7.     Fill 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
8.     Fill each with pumpkin mixture.
9.     Spoon cream cheese mixture on top and swirl with a skewer or toothpick.
10.           Bake until done.

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Thank you so much for spending a few minutes with me today! I appreciate it more than you can know!

Happy Fall,

Your comments for Jennifer are welcome here!