Sunday, December 1, 2019

"Broken Christmas Promise" released; "She's Not You" free on Cyber Monday!!

Just wanted you to know that "Broken Christmas Promise" has been released!

"Star-crossed lovers, Jenna Kastle and Brett Wolfhead, meet by chance during the Christmas season.  He broke her heart and then disappeared.  Now he sits in front of her.
She froze at the all too familiar sound of his voice.  His dark eyes fasten on hers. Her heart hammers.  How does she handle this – ignore him and let him think that he had never hurt her or confront him and demand an answer?
She chooses to confront him never imagining what his answer would be.”
Pick up your copy!  

Also on Cyber Monday, "She's Not You" - the first in the Oyster Point Mystery Series is on a Free Book Promotion - Monday, December 2, 2019, 12:00 AM PST Monday, December 2, 2019, 11:59 PM PST DON'T MISS YOU one this one.  Pick up a copy for yourself or a gift for someone else!!…/…/1625267789

I'll be back with some other news soon!
Till, Judi

@SolsticePublishing #Mystery #Romance #CapeCod #Wellfleet #Mysterywriters #writerscommunity 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

One Point of View or more...?

Point of view or POV has always been the most confusing part of telling a story by a new writer.  Learning to stay in one POV is hard... you don't want to think about things like that, you just want to tell the story.  BUT, there are rules governing how to use the three accepted POVs:  first person, second person, and third person.  I'll let you do the research on these three but will say that I had written The Looking Glass Labyrinth in first person initially.  This means that statements are written using "I, me and myself."  It's easier to understand if I give an example... ""I understand."  I change the subject.  "Her name was Rachael?" The intense watchful eye in the portrait are fastened on me as I chat with her great-great-great-granddaughter." Here I'm telling the story in first person.  When I submitted parts of it to my writers' group, our leader, a published writer, suggested that I try rewriting it in third person.  I kind of rebelled inside since I had finished it, but thought I'd rewrite part of it in third person and prove her wrong.

Well, as I rewrote it, I found that it became... stronger?  Maybe even a much fuller story. And my publisher loved it.  And so it never hurts to experiment with the POVs to see which best tells your story.  In my first published novel, She's Not You, I used third person but actually wrote it from a number of POVs.  When I submitted chapters in my Creative Writing class, the professor said it was not the normal way to write a novel BUT, then she said I had done it so well that it didn't bother her.  I actually couldn't imagine telling this story any other way.  And as it turns out, most of my books are now written that way. 

My latest Christmas story to be released on December 2nd, Broken Christmas Promise, elicited the same comments from the editor assigned to me by my publisher.  She was about to tell me to rewrite it as a single POV when I stood my ground and said "This is pretty much my signature now... my voice."  She admitted that it didn't bother her but was still unorthodox. 

Most new writers attempt the multiple POVs but don't keep them separate.  You can't be in one person's head in one sentence and then another's the next sentence.  POVs have to be separated by chapters or divided by a break to show that this new section is a different POV,  Most writers show a break by three asterisks (***).

I find it interesting to write the same event from a number of points of view... when it makes sense.

So choose your POV carefully.  It will make or break your story.

Keeps writing and learning how to be a better and better teller of stories!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!



Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Find my novels in the Westernmost bookstore in the USA!

Years ago I wrote a short story about a couple returning to Hawaii after many years.  Their first visit had been during the Vietnam War when Hawaii served as a place for R&R (Rest and Relaxation) for the US soldiers and their families.  She remembers the special time that she spent with him.

"I lean my head against the small porthole-like window, watching the aquamarine water and the chain of emerald islands flow by below. The airplane banks and when it straightens, there stands the proud and distinctive sign post of Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, with its rich green cloak and open crater. The plane rumbles along the coastline of Oahu past the long stretch of Waikiki Beach. It looks the same, the marinas, hotels; even the pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel is still there. And then, at the end of Waikiki, tall and straight, stand the towers of the Ilikai Hotel. It’s as I remember it from April, 1968."

I'm now on the island of Kauai, returning after many years.  My character and I  are feeling the same emotions.  The memories, smells and views bring it all back.  This time I'm older, married and a published author.  But "it's as I remember it."

Before I arrived, I looked up the only bookstore on the island and emailed them that I would be here.  I dropped off a copy of each of my books and was asked to return for a book signing on a Friday night which is a big time in Hanapepe.  Not sure I'll be back, but who knows.

More after I return to the mainland.  I've managed a bit of editing on my next Oyster Point Mystery!!!

Keep writing,

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Where Lost Things Go....

I watched "Mary Poppins Returns" last night and the song that touched me was "The Place Where Lost Things Go"... it had me in tears.  I think Emily Blunt wrote it and it is simple and touching.  I thought I would share ...  for all of us who have lost or miss placed things or people. 

Till, Judi

The Place Where Lost Things Go
Do you ever lie
Awake at night?
Just between the dark
And the morning light
Searching for the things
You used to know
Looking for the place
Where the lost things go
Do you ever dream
Or reminisce?
Wondering where to find
What you truly miss
Well maybe all those things
That you love so
Are waiting in the place
Where the lost things go
Memories you've shed
Gone for good you feared
They're all around you still
Though they've disappeared
Nothing's really left
Or lost without a trace
Nothing's gone forever
Only out of place
So maybe now the dish
And my best spoon
Are playing hide and seek
Just behind the moon
Waiting there until
It's time to show
Spring is like that now
Far beneath the snow
Hiding in the place
Where the lost things go
Time to close your eyes
So sleep

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Journey... Life and Writing

Don't you wonder sometimes... where am I going?  What brought me to this point?  Who was responsible for where I am today and even who am I today?  So many variables, so many choices... so many people.  It's really like chapters of a book, but in life the characters bleed through to other chapters in your story.

It seems that this time of year always brings up good and bad memories for me of people that I've lost.  First and foremost, my Dad, because this is around the anniversary of his death.  I lost him many years ago, but his influence and love are still all around me.  What a good man he was.   And then there was a "sister" - well actually a real one and two "sisters by choice" as we called each other.  I lost them all to cancer.  My real sister started me on this writing journey by encouraging me to write a children's book (Fiona the Lighthouse Firefly) that she had always talked about.  Writing it became my grieving process.  After it was published, I established a scholarship fund in her name where all the proceeds from those two Fiona books go.  My other "sisters" had been in my life forever.  I laughed and cried with them, shared things that I had never shared with anyone else, accompanied them on the final journey they were taking  And my Mother, bless her.  She who caused me anger, heartbreak, and joy.  After our tumultuous times, we ended as friends, loving and respecting each other.  And then there were the men, of course, who as the Willie Nelson's song says, "came in and out my door."  Listen if you've never heard that song -  Each and every one contributed to who I am - my strength, my resiliency, my ability to cope with loss and to open my heart and love.  Not all of the encounters ended well.  Some of the younger ones ended in disappointment; some were lost to accidental deaths; some were just lost over the years, but each and every one had an impact that "bled" through into the rest of my life.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because when I write, they all come to mind... their quirks, their looks, their ability to love and share, good traits and bad.  As a writer, you pull from your life experiences and the people who participated in them.  As the leader of my writer's group used to say, "you've been hurt, so what, everyone has been.  So you need to pick at that scab and tell us how it felt."  And I can tell you from experience, it's not easy but that's what readers connect with.  I even go back to the loss of my animals and the heartbreak their loss brought.  My first dog, Blackie, appears in many of my stories.  I can still feel the pain of my first encounter with death from him, then my Dad and Mom and all the others who are gone.

So many of you might recognize bits and pieces of yourself in my characters.  Or maybe I've done such a good writing job, that you can't tell if it's you or not.  :-)

Dig deep and enjoy the writing process.  I sure am.  "Dark Secrets has received really good reviews and I'm currently working on two new novels right now!


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Pick up a copy and travel to Paris!

Well, you can now pick up a copy of "Dark Secrets" and follow Brielle to Paris.  What she discovers will shock you.  

In my last blog entry, I promised to talk about the editing process with a publisher and so I will...  

I agonize over my characters - are they believable and interesting; the plot - is it enticing, thrilling and surprising; and the setting - is it fascinating and appealing?  At this point, I consider myself  a decent writer; we can always become better writers and editors help us to reach the next plateau.  Most of the time, my characters, plot and settings are good, but the editors find the inconsistencies that we as the writer, skip right over.    

This time, the edits were mostly missing somethings - words or punctuation marks.  How did I miss these things I thought.  I knew before I submitted the manuscript that I had read and reread the story many many times and yet, these edits eluded me. 

So, I started through the manuscript again fixing what had been spotted,  While attempting to read every word, I found  missing quote and periods.

Because my manuscript had French places and terms in it, these words had to be italicized.  So I had questions about which words and places had to be in italics.  

As I continued through the edits, I felt that gremlins were at work, inserting, taking things out, changing words... weird.  But in the end, after reading and rereading the manuscript till I thought my eyes would fall out, it was ready to go.  Whatever errors are now in the book, the "gremlins" did it!!

I'm on to the next Oyster Point Mystery - old loves return.  Will Lizz or Mike break up Jamie and Jack?  Time will tell.

Keep writing,

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Cover appears - Dark Secrets !

I'm really very pleased with the cover for my newest novel, Dark Secrets - it's dark and intriguing like the novel.

The editor has begun working on my novel but I've not received anything back so far.  One comment she has made which I'll pass along to you is that when you use a foreign language, the words must be italicized.  She's doing that as she moves through the manuscript.  She's also checking my French... which I admit could be a bit rusty.

As I wait, I'm working on another "Oyster Point Mystery" with Jack, the Chief of Police, and Jamie, a cyber expert and budding detective, returning to find themselves enmeshed  in a number of cold cases once again.  To complicate their lives, Lizz, Jack's sexy ex-girlfriend, and Matt, Jamie's handsome motorcycle riding ex-boyfriend reappear in their lives.  How will this affect Jack and Jamie's relationship?  Is it strong enough to withstand the feelings of young loves gone bad?  Even I don't know at this point.  Lizz is hotly pursuing Jack and Mike... not sure what he's going to do.  But Jack is beginning to feel a bit of jealousy.  Jamie, confronted by the perfectly made up and adorned Lizz, sexy in everything she wears and does, is feeling threatened.  Will these feelings of jealousy and doubt cloud the love they feel for one another?

In the meantime, Jamie's dreams begin again because of this new cold case she's interested in -- a young girl found buried in a shallow grave.  As hard as it is for her to experience these dreams, they always contain nuggets or facts that  help them find the murderer in the future.

Well, enough of a preview into the next Oyster Point Mystery!  I love working with these two characters because their backgrounds tend to provide very fertile ground for many twists and turns.

Au revoir... keep writing,