Monday, September 29, 2014

JoAnne Myers: Never Give Up

JoAnne Myers

JoAnne has been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of her life. Besides having seven novels under her belt, JoAnne canvas paints. When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, JoAnne spends time with relatives, her dog Jasmine, and volunteers her time within the community.
JoAnne is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center.  
JoAnne believes in family values and following your dreams. Her original canvas paintings, can be found at:

NEVER GIVE UP: by JoAnne Myers

For as long as I can remember, I have had an artistic flare-whether that be for writing, painting, sewing or drawing. I recall as a child how much I enjoyed drawing. The writing came later. My seventh grade English teacher was Mrs. Henderson-a young mother and wife. She gave us a writing assignment and after gifting me with an A+ told me I should consider writing as a career. She meant as a journalist. I did not take her advise and become a journalist (one of my many misgivings). My mind went toward other things as many young girls dream of-a husband, home, and family of my own. I put my love for writing and painting on hold for years.  I unfortunately married a man who like my mother never encouraged me to be artistic. It was not until my children were grown and I no longer had a husband, that I went back to my first love-art.  I got a late start, but always encouraged my children and others to partake of artistic endeavors.  I now have six books under contract with two publishing houses. So my words to you all, is that no matter what road you choose, never forget your passion, and always keep it close to heart.  Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from enjoying your natural talents.  You might need to put art on a temporary hold, but never ever give up.

Blurbs for “Flagitious” a four crime/mystery anthology

“Too Solve His Mother’s Murder”

After his Air Force career was interrupted by his mother’s untimely murder, Steven Moore, returned home. Met with a cold reception of lies, secrets, and threats, he is determined too find Wanda’s killer, even at the cost of his own life.  Was Wanda a victim of the legendary Hatchet Man? Was this loving and devoted mother killed because of her shady past, or for her inheritance?  Between finding the truth and falling in love, Steven stops at nothing, too solve his mother’s murder.

“The Other Couple’s Child”

Charlotte had it all. A loving and devoted husband. Supportive family and friends, and a house full of beautiful children. Everything was perfect for this Super Mom, until a medical procedure turns her life upside down, and spirals into a child abduction case. Time is running out. Will police arrive in time to save Charlotte and the other couple’s child?

“3381 Market Street”

Katherine Sims, a young widow working for a brokerage firm in a small southeastern town, is tired of the excuses concerning Charlie’s absence. She knows something terrible must have happened to her favorite nephew with the sad blue-eyes. After exposing the killer, Katherine’s life is turned upside down and she finds herself fighting for her life. Filled with maniacal suspects, a Satanic Cult, and danger around each corner, this story depicts one woman’s courage too avenge a child’s murder, while finding unexpected love.

“The Tarot Card Murders”

New Detective, and ex-navel man, twenty-six-year-old Nick Difozzio, returns to his small county determined too abolish crime. Not until death knocked on his door, did he know the face of evil. Will the decorated veteran destroy the Lycanthropes, or will he succumb to their murderess desires and become one of them? He took an oath too protect, honor, and uphold the law, but can he defy the lust, riches, and power offered, or are the ‘dark forces’ stronger than his will?

Excerpt from “The Tarot Card Murders”

The Scene:  Detective Nick Difozzio has been called to another bizarre murder scene, located in the abandoned industrial section of town. 

        An abrupt silence you could cut with a knife filled the room. Shape-shifters? said one from the group. You mean like a Yeti turns into a deer to avoid those who track it. Or the Lock Ness monster turns into a log.
        After Ted and the others poked fun at his fantastic idea, Nick laid it out, Not exactly. But certain creatures are believed to have shape-shifting powers of one sort or another, and what other possibility is there to explain these bizarre murders?
        Well, we could have a psychopath lurkin around. Or a nutty drifter or escaped convict, Ted said. But it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to understand that, if shape-shifters do exit, they would be very elusive creatures, nearly impossible to detect and capture. What does take a lot of imagination, is believing in shape-shifters.
        Yeah, I guess youre right. Ill see ya tomorrow, Nick said. Once outside, he noticed the full moon, and wondered, who will die tonight? On reaching his vehicle, he discovered a surprise in his passenger seat.
         Denise, whats going on? he asked via the drivers window.
        With teeth white as snow, she said, Well, sugar, I was thinkin about the last time you were at my house. You remember, when you cabbaged my safe contents so foolishly?
        With a chuckle, he nodded. Honey, the only foolish thing I did that night was fail to realize the money in the safe was counterfeit. But I bet its all gone now.
        And I bet youre right, she smiled. Just then, Denise partner in crime, twenty-two-year-old Wendy Goss zapped the lawman with a stun gun from behind, dropping him like a hot potato.
        Jumping from the vehicle, Denise removed Nicks gun and cell phone, placing them under the seat. Afterward, both women placed him in the backseat. Getting behind the steering wheel of Nicks car, Denise drove his Mustang, while Wendy followed in her Firebird.
        Halfway to the destination spot, Nick regained consciousness. With his gun gone, he played dead, hoping to find the gangs hangout. Soon both vehicles stopped. Denise exited the Ford then helped Wendy search the Firebirds trunk, for items needed for Nicks demise.
        Someone better keep an eye on the cop, Wendy said.
        Dont worry, that pigs out cold, Denise said, finding rope. Peering out the back window, Nick realized he was on an abandoned farm. Searching for landmarks, he memorized a foreclosure sign reading Stonewall Realty.
        Uncertain if the girls were armed, Nick made the decision to strike now or never. Disabling his cars dome light, he cautiously retreated from the backseat. As quiet as a mouse, he snuck up on the chattering women foraging for items to gag and bind him.
        As soon as the murdering beauties were finished gathering their supplies, Denise slammed the trunk shut. Immediately Nick punched her between her baby blues, knocking her to the ground before turning on Wendy.
        Struggling with the yellow-haired lady, who, like her partner, was trained in Judo, Nick swapped blows with the tall slender gal and encountered a high degree of skill. Then, recovering, Denise attacked him from behind with a blow to his ribs, bringing him to his knees. Both women struck like tigers from all sides.
        Doing his best to avoid their most deadly kicks, Nick used every device not nailed down as a weapon against the feisty felines. First, his leather belt with the sterling silver buckle, then, a stray piece of firewood left behind by the homeowners. Across the parking area, the trio fought. Nick matched his street skills against the trained martial artists as each one fought for their own reasons. 
            The gallant cop battled for his life and self-respect, while the women fought for control over the detective representing the authority they loathed. Or perhaps, Denise and Wendys desire for domination extended to include the entire county, not just the town, thought Nick. Whatever the reason, theyre formidable.
        Bruised and bleeding, the women fought until Nick broke Wendys arm. Seizing the opportunity to get away, she escaped in her vehicle leaving her comrade helpless and easily overpowered.
        Get off me, you bastard! Denise screamed as Nick slammed her to the ground, cuffing her.
        Youre under arrest. Wiping the blood from his lip, he threw her into his vehicle then drove to the local hospital. On the way there, Nick phoned headquarters, I got one of the blood members. Were on our way to the ER.

Other books by JoAnne:

"WICKED INTENTIONS" a paranormal/mystery anthology
"LOVES', MYTHS' AND MONSTERS'," a fantasy anthology
"THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY," a biography true-crime
"TWISTED LOVE," a true-crime anthology
“MURDER MOST FOUL,” a detective/mystery

Contact JoAnne:


Buy link:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Interview with Carol Henry

Carol Henry lives with her husband in the beautiful New York State Finger Lakes area where they are surrounded by family and friends. World travelers, Carol writes about her visits to exotic locations for major cruise lines' deluxe in-cabin books, and takes pleasure in sharing her adventures with her readers in her suspense adventure novels. Carol writes about Destination: Romance--Exotic, Romantic Adventures where the heroine discovers more than the 'wild and wonderful' world around her--she finds her inner courage and an once-in-a-lifetime love. She also writes contemporary and historic romance for The Wild Rose Press. Her second romantic suspense novel Shanghai Connection came in 2nd in the Best 2012 Romance Book/Ebook Novel category from the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll.  Carol is also the local historian for her home town and has written several books on the town's history. For more information visit her website at:


What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done? 
The most adventurous thing I’ve ever done was hunt alligators in the back of beyond in the Amazonian Rainforest at midnight in a small boat powered by a 8-mph motor. Our guide in the front of the boat had hats with small lights attached to spot the alligators. Unfortunately, the rotors got tangled in the hibiscus roots and we were stuck in the middle of the lake until the small boy operating the contraption could untangle them and start the motor again. And yes, darn it, they did capture a small gattor, and we putted back to the center with it aboard.  You can read about it in my first romantic suspense novel—Amazon Connection.

What adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill were no problem?
This is a tough question for me. I’ve been lucky enough to have many wonderful adventures outside my comfort zone, as my husband and I travel the globe. Right now, however, I’d have to say it’s to go on an African Safari and experience the personal wildlife up close and personal.

Who are some of your favorite authors?  What commonality do you see in them?
Again, a hard question for me. I like reading a variety of authors and genre.  There are so many wonderful writers out there, and there is always something to glean from the various writing styles--although I try to remain true to my own voice while working on my own novels J.
I believe color says something about a person’s personality.  What’s your favorite color?
I have several colors that look best on me, especially blue or teal. But red speaks to me. Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, strength, determination, leadership, courage, as well as passion, desire, and love—qualities I’ve been told I actually possess. And, as it happens, traits most writers seem to have in abundance.

If you could have a do-over life, what one thing would you do differently?  What would you do again?
I feel that everything I’ve done in the past has laid the path for what I’m currently doing—like stepping stones. Instead of looking back, I’m always looking to the future and another chapter in my life.

What is your writing process from conception to finished MS?
Once I have an idea for a novel, it percolates in my mind for a bit, and then I start writing (in long hand) what I imagine the first chapter is going to be. Then, I tend to do what I call plot points of what I see happening, who my characters are and what they need to be to exist in the story. I ask a lot of questions, not all get answered right away, but it allows me to think the story through. Again, all these plot point start out in long hand before I go to the computer.  I have scene sheets I work with, timeline sheets—I guess you could call me a planner (I see this is the next question). I have a summary of characters, their POV, their scenes, and a brief sentence or two of what is happening in each scene and chapter—all great for referencing.  Did I mention the character sheets?  Yep, everything gets outlined in one way or another—sometimes filled in as I go along. Definitely a planner J

Are you a planner, panster or both?
A planner!

How did you research for your book?
I happen to be an international travel writer, so for Rio Connection, as for my other ‘Connection’ novels, I research for a travel features as I travel.  So I had my basics. But I still needed additional information about the location to make sure many of my facts I include are accurate. I collect various items, books, brochures, and newspapers while traveling, and these help me remain true to the area I’m writing about. Of course I take tons of photos. The focus for Rio Connection actually came from a newspaper clipping about computers being used to help educate those in need, which was ultimately a bit of backdrop for my story. From there, the main focus of espionage grew and the story developed. My biggest focus is getting my main characters together in a foreign land. My main ‘connection,’ although a backdrop only, is the Wild and Wonderful Corporation based out of New York—at least one of my characters is connected with this business.

What is your all-time favorite movie?  American Dreamer, with JoBeth Williams and Tom Conti, about a would-be writer who wins a contest and a trip to Paris where all hell breaks loose. The whit, suspense, twisting turns, with a bit of humor, and the additional ending is so cleverly done, I watched it three times in one sitting.

TV show? I tend to be fickle with TV watching. Currently I like NCIS and NCIS Las Vegas. Can’t wait to see what NCIS New Orleans is like. It’s more the characters that draw me in. But then, I could watch Big Bang Theory any night of the week—oh, wait! I do J

How important do you feel writing workshops are to any writer?
Especially for the novice writer, writing workshops are crucial. Learning the ‘tricks of the trade’ go a long way in helping the writer gain the knowledge and confidence necessary to forge ahead. And it doesn’t hurt to ‘bone’ up on the latest techniques and publishing trends as a writer progresses. Keeping current is a must in this industry.

If you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?
I’d like to be an instant multi-lingual American who could hold meaningful conversations with anyone around the world without having to stumble over pronunciations. I’m always amazed, and sometimes ashamed, at how people in other countries speak English so well.

If you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?
Although there are many worthy causes, and I do donate to several of them, the Wounded Warriors would be my choice—these men and women put their life on the line to protect our homeland, regardless of the beliefs, backgrounds, or of those less worthy of the sacrifice performed on their behalf. These heroic men and women and families have paid the ultimate price, and should be taken care of accordingly.

What advice would you like to give to an aspiring writer?
Learn the ins and outs of writing. Don’t give up. Believe in yourself. Believe in your talent. Go forward. Never give up.

Did anyone mentor you or help you along the way?  Please tell us about your mentor and what you feel they contributed to your writing career.
There are always many who either knowingly or unknowingly have contributed in some way to a writer’s career. First and foremost, is my mother who insisted that each of her children become members of book clubs of their own, at an early age. Reading was always a big part of my life—something I shared with my own kids and grandkids—there are always books wrapped under the tree at Christmas time. I was tickled when my son and his wife gave me an unabridged dictionary for Christmas one year. Best gift ever!

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
My husband gave me the best advice ever when it came to writing—do you own thing! If I had listened to certain people in a small critique group, I never would have had the courage to submit my manuscript and land my first contract! Of course this doesn’t pertain to learning the mechanics of writing in the first place. It’s the confidence in yourself and your writing that’s important.

If you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be? (Language is no barrier)
As I’ve already traveled around the world, been to places both sublime and hard pressed, I am always thankful and grateful to come back to the U.S. and my hometown in New York. To quote Glinda The Good Witch’s Magic Spell for Dorothy: “There’s no place like home.” J

Where do you write?
I tend to be all over the place. Plotting—anywhere, literally, especially in waiting rooms; first drafts—my home office; rewrites and edits—on my laptop in the gazebo (weather permitting) or the living room with the radio tuned to a light-rock station and the drapes pulled open wide—my window on the world (especially if I’m home alone).

How much time do you devote to writing each week?  Do you have a day every week that you take off?
Even though I’m retired, I live close to extended family, and two elderly mothers. Grandchildren abound, and I’m active in my small home town. But when I’m on a project, that takes priority and my time at the computer is constant. Having been published several times now, a major part of spending time every day on the computer involves social media and promotion, promotion, and more promotion. Sometimes it’s difficult to eke out writing time, but, I also tend to work my story ideas in my head throughout the day, or days, so when I do sit down, it flows and I accomplish more positive first draft material, then if I had sat down and simply spit out drivel and had to go back and make major changes. If that makes sense. To me, that process is part of my writing schedule. I’m a light sleeper, so sometimes I find myself at the computer in the middle of the night, or pencil in hand scratching out some thoughts.

What is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?
Well, I haven’t written a paranormal. But I don’t think I’m ready for that—most of the dark stuff scares me spitless! I do believe in ghosts! Children’s picture books appeal to me…

Is there anything you would like readers to know about you?
People think I’m very social, but in fact I don’t think I am. I tend to hold back until I assess the situation, the people, the mood, and react accordingly. I really don’t know where I got the courage to step out of my shell and become the person I am today. I’m a coward—but I don’t like to be left behind—wherever my adventures take me.


Espionage and anger lurk…even in paradise during Carnival

After finding her fiancé in the arms of her aerobics instructor, Marcia Kline calls off the wedding. When she learns her brother, Russell, is in trouble in Rio de Janeiro, she goes on her honeymoon alone to check up on him and runs smack-dab into Russell's boss, Jared Reed, whom she'd been briefly involved with two years ago. Before long, Marcia becomes entangled in the danger surrounding her brother and the seamy underworld of high-tech espionage during Carnaval. Jared Reed suspects Russell Kline is in Rio selling his latest avatar prototype. He flies to Rio to catch Russell in the act, and instead saves Marcia from being kidnapped at knife point. Jared suspects Marcia is involved in her brother's scheme, so to keep an eye on her, he decides to help her search for Russell. And finds it hard to keep his emotions for Marcia in check. In a race for their lives, will they learn to trust one another and make an everlasting Rio Connection?

Short Excerpt:
Marcia swallowed her fear. Her heart vibrated against Jared’s back. She rested her head against his neck and made an effort to think herself into a better place--being snuggled in Jared’s arms, on a secluded tropical beach. Erotic sensations rocketed through her lower body--her mouth went dry, her mind buzzed with sexual desires. “Honey, this isn’t the time to get caught up in a sexual fantasy. You keep squirming against me and we’ll never get to enjoy that dream you’re dreaming. There is no way I can accommodate you at the moment. You’re making it difficult to concentrate on getting us down to the bottom—safe, and in one piece.”  The belt jerked on the cable and caught. They were stuck in mid-air.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Interview with Connie Bowen

Connie Bowen, Debut Author With Prairie Rose Publications

C. Marie Bowen writes paranormal adventures with suspense and romance. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and has a love for historical westerns and a good ghost story. Her life travels took her from Denver to Wichita, KS and finally settling in Texas. All locations you’ll find in her upcoming Soul of the Witch trilogy, beginning with book one, Passage. Look for Hunter’s continuing story in books two and three, Twin and Demon.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Sub-chapter of RWA, and Savvy Authors.

Learn more about Marie's books, and works in progress at:


What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done? 

I bungee jumped. My husband and I and our youngest son were on a visit to Colorado. We spent the day at Heritage Square riding the alpine slide and decided to try the bungee. No, I wouldn't do it again.

What adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill were no problem?

I would go on an African photo safari or take a cruise around the world.

Who are some of your favorite authors?  What commonality do you see in them? 

Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin and Diana Gabaldon. Although their stories are vastly different, they write with such richness that you become part of their world. They are excellent world builders and their characters grow and change across the story.

I believe color says something about a person’s personality.  What’s your favorite color?
Hmm. I actually have two. One is a light burgundy. Darker than pink, lighter than wine. The other color is peach, not orange and not gold, but somewhere in between. They should never be worn together.

If you could have a do-over life, what one thing would you do differently? 
That is so hard. Every choice would change where I am, and I'm pretty satisfied with how things turned out. I guess I wouldn't let the bullies see me cry in seventh grade, and I would have learned much earlier not to care what people thought of me.

What would you do again?
Have my kids. They are the best things, the best times and the best friends I've ever known.

What is your writing process from conception to finished MS?
I get an idea, or a character, or a setting. I set up a story board and throw every crazy idea at it. Then I organize the ideas. Some change, some fall by the way side, but eventually I have a loose chapter outline. Then I round up the characters and hope they cooperate. As any writer will tell you, they often have minds of their own. I follow the outline and write the story, then go back to the beginning and fix the POV's, backstory, pacing, etc. The first draft gets it all, then I trim.

Are you a planner, panster or both?
I'm the planner. The characters are the pansters. They wander off and misbehave. My husband once asked me what I was thinking about. I had to explain that I wasn't thinking at all. I was listening to two of my characters argue about what they were going to do.

How did you research for your book?
Hunter is a character in book two of the trilogy I'm writing. The research for Hunter and Lily Graham was done on line using maps, historical records, you tube videos, anything that would help.

What is your all-time favorite movie?  TV show?
Movie – The Princess Bride or Stardust.
TV show – Firefly.

How important do feel writing workshops are to any writer?
Essential. As with anything you do in life, you have to learn how to do it. Those skills are not simply bestowed upon you. Workshops are teachers helping students. You can be both your entire life, depending on what you know and what you are trying to learn. 

If you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?
I would learn how to ride a motorcycle.

If you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?
I'd need three million. Meals on Wheels for seniors, Women's centers (Medical and safe houses), and The Humane Society.

What advice would you like to give to an aspiring writer?
Write something. Take classes and join a writer's group. Enter contests. Find a critique partner, or three. Learn to take constructive criticism. Trust yourself enough to know that sometimes the critics are wrong.

Did anyone mentor you or help you along the way?  Please tell us about your mentor
 and what you feel they contributed to your writing career.
I took a self editing class through RWA. The teacher was fantastic. One of her stories is in Vol. 1 of the Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico anthology. Linda Carroll-Bradd changed the way I look at my writing from the ground up. Next would be the two critique partners I have now, C. A. Jamison and Jodi Hale. They are both outstanding writers and I am very lucky to have fallen in with them.

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
From my mom:  Raising kids is easy. All you need to do is feed them and love them and let them grow up.

If you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be?
(Language is no barrier)
There are a lot of places I'd like to visit, but only two places I'd like to live. Either in Denver, with my mom and family, or in Chicago with my two boys.

Where do you write? 
At my computer desk in the front room.

How much time do you devote to writing each week? 
Too much right now. I'm starting a business and the learning curve is kinda steep. I write every day for 5-6 hours. That includes editing and media.

Do you have a day every week that you take off?
On the weekends I like to hang out with my husband. Even then I usually get an hour of writing, critiquing, media or editing in.

What is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?
Fantasy. Like Robin Hobb or GRRM, build a world from the ground up.

Is there anything you would like readers to know about you?
I can't think of anything you haven't asked.  


Hunter and Lily Graham

Prairie Rose Publishing

Hunter will need his unusual tracking skills to help Lily Graham find a missing child. Dealing with Lily will be a different problem entirely.
Hunter hoped to beat the winter storms south, and be snug on a riverboat before the Kansas snow began to fly. Instead, his spirit guides sent him east toward Wichita, with no hint at what he would find. His Cajun upbringing fostered respect for his special talents, and life as a bounty hunter taught him to ignore those tiny voices at his own peril.

After collecting a bounty in Wichita, he thought his side trip was over. Then he saw Lily Graham. Beautiful and desperate, she fell to her knees and begged for his help. A child was missing and a young life was in danger. Hunter would need to call upon his extraordinary skills to find the child, but time was running out. And what would he to do about lovely Lily?
Hunter stood and touched the door. It moved. He drew his revolver and glanced toward Lily. She was pinned to his side. He tipped his head to her, she nodded, and then he pushed open the door with the barrel of his Colt.
            They moved into dark interior and Hunter stepped sideways, away from the door. From the back of the house, a chair scraped across the floor. Dim light spilled from the doorway ahead. He stood still and allowed his eyes to become accustomed to the dark front room. Senses extended, he could feel the room ahead, one man seated at a table. To the left, through the opening was another room. Susan would be there. He slid his gun into his holster.
            Hunter stepped around a chair and put his back to the wall beside the opening. Wind blew the front door ajar and leaves skittered across the floor.
            “Hummel?” the man in the next room called. “You back?”
            The scrape of the chair again. Hunter watched the light from the doorway dim as the man stepped into the opening.
            Hunter slammed his fist into the man's nose, and felt it dissolve beneath the blow. He followed the man as he stumbled into the kitchen, reaching for his gun. A quick slice across the man's windpipe, and he fell onto the table, and then slid to the floor. Hunter knelt and cleaned his blade on the man's pant-leg. He caught a glimpse of Lily's skirt as she disappeared into the adjoining room.
            “Hunter …”
            He rose, slid his knife into the sheath at his back and followed Lily into the room. The light from the kitchen lantern illuminated an empty cot.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

JoAnne Myers: Writing Mystery

JoAnne Myers, Author

I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paint.

When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dog Jasmine, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My books and original canvas paintings, can be found at:

Writing Mystery by JoAnne Myers

            Before writing a word, take some time to jot down key story points. As you're writing, the story will want to take on a life of its own. Having a handy reference of key points will help keep your story on track and you from pulling your hair out. A list of key points is also helpful when outlining the story plot. You may very well find that the story begins to unfold as you're writing down the key points. If this happens...let it! Write down any ideas or details that come to you, they'll come in handy later.
Some key points to consider are; what is the mystery? This is the underlying theme to the entire story so be as in-depth as possible (has there been a murder or a theft or a kidnapping? If so, how and where was it committed?).
            Hunt for the culprit. Every good story has at least one antagonist, but what steps must the hero or heroine take to find him/her? How will the villain evade the hero? How is the mystery solved? In mystery writing there are a lot of twists and turns. Write down your initial thoughts for plot twists, red herrings to throw the readers off the trail of the true villain, and of course the final stages of how the good guy will prevail...or does he? You need to decide whether or not the hero or the villain wins in the end. Many hero’s die trying to solve their case. Many are involved in physical altercations with other characters. You must decide how many altercations, the number of characters involved, and what weapons if any are used. It is not a good idea to only engage your characters with fist fighting. Throw in some knives, chains, falling from windows, or my favorite, a poisoning, and other nasty assaults.
            Every great story has well rounded characters. We read fiction because we want to be entertained and develop a connection with the characters. Outlining items such as personality traits, physical features, and quirks can help bring your characters to life; a speech impediment, or limp, or a nervous twitch.
            For the Protagonist, decide the name, age, where does he/she live, does he/she have a family or pets, what is their driving goal for taking on this particular case? Is the hero a police officer, a person sworn to honesty, pride, and valor. Or is the good guy a private detective being paid to find a certain someone. Or your main character could be a parent or sibling searching for a missing loved one.
            For the Antagonist, decide the name, age, where does he/she live, is there an underlying reason for being the antagonist? Perhaps this person is a career criminal. On the other hand, maybe he/she is a good person that suffered an unjust and turned to crime out of bitterness and despair.
            Then you have your support characters, who are the color of the story. They provide depth to the story whether good or bad. A support character could be as simple as a loud mouth hot dog vendor standing on a street corner or as in-depth as the villain's partner in crime. In writing a mystery story, support characters can take on a life of their own with the reader, so make them interesting. Just because they are labeled support characters does not mean they are any less important than the main characters.
            Next is the location of the story. When and where is the story set? These two key elements are what bring your story to life. Mystery story writing is a broad genre and could be set in any time period and in any place. When working with actual locations it is a good idea to do research on the location first. Readers want to feel as though they are there with the characters, so being able to accurately describe a location is vital. Time periods are no exception. If the story is set in 1940's New Orleans, the reader will want to see their surroundings, not just be told the story is taking place in a speakeasy or church. Be descriptive!
            A mystery story is not a story without a solid well thought out plot. Some things to consider when developing the story plot: What is the driving force of the mystery? To solve a murder, or rescue a kidnap victim? What does the villain do to thwart the hero? Does the villain get his goons on the hero? Is the hero being set up by the villain and now he is being hunted by police. What other obstacles get in the way of solving the mystery?
            One of the most important elements of writing a mystery story is suspense. Giving away too much too soon will bore the reader. It is best if the suspense is sprinkled throughout the story; bring the mystery to light within the first few chapters, then as the story progresses add a clue here and there without revealing the outcome until the final chapter. Do not be afraid to add a "red herring" or false clue, within the stories context. Readers love nothing better than to think they have everything figured out only to find in the end they were mistaken the entire time.
            The final few chapters of the story should hold the climax of the conflict and resolution between the hero and villain, including how all of the clues scattered throughout the story cumulatively solves the mystery. A good conclusion gives the reader a sense of closure in finding out how the hero solved the mystery. Remember that not all mysteries have to be completely solved or have a "happy" ending. If you are writing a series of stories, the villain may get away at the end of story #1 with the hero using clues from story #1 to track down the villain in story #2. In mystery story writing, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Blurb for “Murder Most Foul” a detective/mystery

When two dismembered torsos wash up on the banks of the local river in the small industrial town of Pleasant Valley, residents are horrified. Between contradicting statements, police ineptitude, lust, lies, manipulation, incest, the motorcycle gang The Devil’s Disciples, crooked cops, and a botched crime scene, everyone becomes a suspect.

The young beautiful Jackie Reeves, a registered nurse, believes the killer is a man from her past. She contacts the dangerously handsome FBI Agent Walker Harmon. An arrest is made, but Harmon and Jackie believe an innocent man is being railroaded by local cops. How far will these lover’s go to solve this heinous crime before anymore killings. Determined to find the truth, Agent Harmon and Jackie are forced to run a gauntlet of deep trouble and turmoil, which marks them for death.

Other books by JoAnne:

"WICKED INTENTIONS" a paranormal/mystery anthology
"LOVES', MYTHS' AND MONSTERS'," a fantasy anthology
"THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY," a biography true-crime
"TWISTED LOVE," a true-crime anthology

Other books soon available:

“FLAGITIOUS,”  a crime/mystery novella collection available in September

Buy Links:

Lulu Paperback:

Barnes & Noble Paperback:

Contact Jo Anne: Email:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Kirsten Lynn, FORT ELLIS

Please welcome author, Kirsten Lynn 

Thanks to The Romance Room for the invitation to share a bit about my new release, HOME FIRES, and the area that influenced the story.  Today, I’m talking about Fort Ellis in Montana Territory. This fort played an important role in the development of Bozeman, Montana and in reuniting Cord Matthews and Olivia Bartlett.
Despite its location in the fruitful Gallatin Valley and the labors of early settlers, the future of Bozeman, Montana was anything but certain in its early years. The town’s dependence on the success of nearby mining camps and attacks by local American Indian tribes left many to wonder if the settlement, found in 1864, would thrive or die.  With the establishment of Fort Ellis three miles east of Bozeman, the town witnessed its first surge in growth and development.
Fort Ellis was established in 1867 in response to the hysteria caused by the murder of John Bozeman, allegedly killed by Blackfeet Indians.   Under the orders of Brigadier General Alfred H. Terry, commander of the Department of Dakota, Captain Robert S. LaMotte and soldiers under his command in the 13th U.S. Infantry constructed the garrison.  It took two years before Colonel A.G. Brackett arrived with two companies of the 2nd cavalry. The cavalry gave the installation the distinction of being the only early cavalry post in Montana.
The fort was named for Colonel Augustus Van Horne Ellis, who was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The soldiers were charged to protect the agriculturally significant Gallatin Valley, area miners, and white settlers, and those traveling on the Bozeman Trail from “aggressive Indians,” mainly the Sioux and Blackfeet.  

FORT ELLIS (courtesy of National Park Service)

At its largest, the fort was comprised of three log officers' quarters, seven troop barracks, a hospital, an ammunition storehouse, office building, guard house, mess hall, store house, two granaries, five stables, a bakery, a laundry, a library, a court room, a sawmill, and various workshops.
There are no reported significant conflicts between the soldiers and Sioux or Blackfeet, but January of 1870 saw one of the most tragic events in the fort’s history. Orders from Lt. General Philip Sheridan came to the fort to strike at the Blackfeet and “strike them hard.”  Major Eugene Baker led Fort Ellis troops in a violent attack against a winter camp on the Marias River.
When the gunfire ceased, 90 women, 50 children and 33 men, most elderly and in 40 degree below zero weather, lie dead. Soldiers burned the lodges, destroyed winter provisions and took 140 women and children prisoner. Before the soldiers could get their prisoners to the fort, they found the captives were infested with small pox. In a despicable act, they left the women and children in the bitter elements without food or adequate clothing.
Upon their return to the fort, Baker and his men found they had mistakenly attacked a friendly group of Blackfeet who had recently signed peaceful agreements with the whites. The horrendous massacre was ignored in the West, while Eastern newspapers did not and reported on the event “…which will leave so dark a stain on our history.” 

Col. Baker and soldiers (courtesy of National Park Service)
Fort Ellis did play an important role in the economy of Bozeman and the history of the town. At its peak 400 soldiers resided there, rivaling the population of Bozeman. With the sense of security provided by the fort more women and children settled in Gallatin Valley.
Soldiers squandered their pay at local saloons. Businessmen and ranchers also prospered from government contracts for supplies, horses, and beef. One year after the outpost was established Bozeman grew from a village of a dozen log cabins to a town of 150 people with 40 dwellings, three stores, a hotel, a gristmill, a blacksmith shop and two saloons. By 1870, Bozeman was a community of 574 people.
Soldiers from the fort served as escorts for the Northern Pacific Railroad surveying parties, erected telegraph lines, and built roads.  Among the cavalry units stationed at Fort Ellis was the Second United States Cavalry. An officer from the Second, Lt. Gustavus C. Doane, became well known for his exploration of Yellowstone National Park (the first scientific expeditions of Yellowstone).
The post’s importance waned by the 1880s, and in 1886 the government decommissioned the Fort Ellis. All buildings affiliated with the post were eventually demolished or relocated.  

Fort Ellis

As mentioned above, Fort Ellis plays a significant role in my debut publication, HOME FIRES, and in the next installments of the series.  Both the benefits and tragedies of having a fort nearby are felt by the Matthews’ family, as it was by the early settlers of Bozeman, Montana.
Malone, Michael P, Roeder, Richard B. et al. Montana: A History of Two Centuries.  University of Washington Press:  January, 1991.


Cord Matthews sets his sights on the open Montana Territory when the War Between the States rips everything from him including his own heart, Olivia Bartlett. Cord builds a new dream, but a ghost from his past won’t let him forget what his heart wanted most.
Olivia Bartlett, forced to flee her Virginia home and the man who owns her heart, finds new purpose as a nurse to the wounded at Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory.  But war and separation haven’t diminished her love for Cord Matthews, or her stubborn belief he is coming for her. When tragedy steals another loved one and danger threatens her life, Olivia flees to Montana Territory, seeking refuge.
Reunited on the Montana frontier, can Cord and Olivia hold tight to their love despite the guilt each carries for a past they can’t change and defeat a danger who seeks their destruction?

Kirsten Lynn writes stories based on the people and history of the West, more specifically those who live and love in Wyoming and Montana. Using her MA in Naval History, Kirsten, weaves her love of the West and the military together in many of her stories, merging these two halves of her heart. When she's not roping, riding and rabble-rousing with the cowboys and cowgirls who reside in her endless imagination, Kirsten works as a professional historian.

Monday, September 1, 2014

JoAnne Myers: Writing Paranormal

JoAnne Myers

I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paint.
When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dog Jasmine, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My books and original canvas paintings, can be found at:


When it comes to fiction writing, almost anything goes. That is why I love writing paranormal stories. The author can go completely over the edge and make something unbelievable seem believable. When it comes to ghost stories, I get a lot of my inspiration from real life experiences. Not necessarily my own either. I watch television programs that partake of the supernatural and paranormal flare. Programs from ordinary people who claim they experienced either an afterlife experience, or a haunting.

Some of the stories from my paranormal anthology, “Wicked Intentions” are based on actual hauntings. In The Legend of Lake Manor, I placed my young psychic, Cassandra Lopez, in a haunted mansion I fashioned on my knowledge of a three-story mansion in my hometown and information from television about a restaurant/bar in Ohio, supposedly ruled by demons so violent that the local police are constantly closing it down.

A television documentary about a young mother plagued by ghost sightings since childhood, inspired The Haunting of Barb Marie and her gift/curse.

And The Apartment, in which my newlyweds, Bill and Gayle, are plagued by sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and theirs lives, originated from a real apartment haunted by the ghosts of two homosexual lovers who died violently. The legend says no tenant is able to stay there until the spirits are chased off by a paranormal investigation team.

On the Discovery Channel, I got the idea for Summer Wind. I learned of the colonial explorer Jonathon Carver who lived during the 1700s and whose ghost is believed to be haunting the Summerwind estate, built in the early 20th century. Carver’s ghost is, supposedly, searching the house’s foundations for deeds to a vast tract of land (10,000 square miles) given to him by Sioux Indian chiefs as a reward for the peace treaty he created between two warring tribes. In my Summer Wind, 29 year-old Ginger is mysteriously drawn to the old mansion, and like the many owners of the real mansion, the haunting had a negative and profound effect on Ginger and her family.

Another investigative program concerned one sister’s psychic premonitions about her twin’s murder. This led to my story, Blood Ties, and my heroine, Audra Roper’s dark, disturbing visions of her sister’s disappearance and the roller coaster of risks, heartbreak, and intrigue that followed.

Dark Visions came from reading a newspaper story while sitting in a diner. A young woman began having visions of her father's disappearance that was actually his murder from years earlier. So, my Carrie Reynolds starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday and believes these ‘dark visions’ can solve the twenty year disappearance of her father.

I set my murder mystery, The Truth Behind the Lies, on Norfolk Island after following a three year long murder investigation on that island from 2003. In my story, Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian faces attacks, more murders and ghostly occurrences, and the killer is closer than anyone realizes.

So, the next time you get Writer’s Block, or need a new idea, try switching on the television, open a newspaper, delve into history or simply look and listen. You will find something to stimulate your muse.  

Wicked Intentions recent release

Blurbs for “Wicked Intentions” 7 bone chilling paranormal tales

                                    BLOOD TIES

            After the mysterious disappearance of twenty-six year old wife and mother Lisa Smalley, her twin,  Audra Roper, begins having dark and disturbing visions of Lisa’s disappearance.  Trying to survive while looking for Lisa, Audra’s life becomes a roller coaster of risks, heartbreak, and intrigue.

                                    THE HAUNTING OF BARB MARIE

            Even as a child, Barb Marie saw dead people. This took an unhealthy toil on her throughout her childhood and young adulthood.

                                    SUMMER WIND

            When twenty-nine year old Ginger discovers the old mansion Summer Wind, she is mysteriously drawn to it. . Immediately, the haunting’s have a negative and profound effect on the family. 

                        THE TRUTH BEHIND THE LIES-laying the Norfolk ghost to rest

            Solving the brutal murder of American born Ruthie Geil becomes a gauntlet of attacks and more murders for Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian. Between the victims family, ex-lovers, and ghostly occurrences on Norfolk Island, the killer is closer than anyone realizes.

                                    THE LEGEND OF LAKE MANOR

            For the young psychic Cassandra Lopez, coming to the infamous and haunted mansion Lake Manor, was more like a mission. 

                                    THE APARTMENT

            When young newlyweds Bill and Gayle move into their new apartment, their lives are plagued with sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and lives. 

                                    DARK VISIONS

            When Carrie Reynold’s starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday, she believes her “dark visions” can solve the twenty year disappearance of her father.       

Excerpt for “Blood Ties”

“Wake up, sleepy head,” said a cheerful Kyle Roper to his snoring sister
Audra. Living next door with a key to her place, he often visited
unannounced…like this morning.

Audra stirred in her canopy bed, then slowly opened one bloodshot eye.
“Is it morning already?” she asked, releasing a Wild Turkey and Coca Cola
scented yawn.

“Wooo…weee…” said Kyle as he waved the noxious fumes away from
his face. “I’m glad you’re on vacation so you can sleep late. What time did you
bad girls leave the bar?”

“One hour after closing,” she said rolling onto her back and pushing her
long chocolate-colored hair from her mascara-streaked face. “I feel like crap.”

“Maybe sooo…but if you’re gonna take Mom to the hairdressers, ya got
less then an hour to shower and make it on time.”

“Eight a.m. is too early to be getting a perm. What’s wrong with that sweet
mom of ours?”

“She’s an early bird, unlike a pair of twins I know,” he said pulling back
the covers to reveal his sister’s Asian inspired silk pajamas. “I gotta go. I’ll call
ya later.” He then left the room as Audra reluctantly rose from her bed.

Immediately she felt a severe pain in her abdomen and cried out, alerting
her brother just before he reached the front door. He raced to her side and found
her kneeling on the floor, holding her stomach with both hands. “Audra, what’s
wrong?” He lifted her petite body onto the bed. “Do you need an ambulance?”

Her face twisted in agony. Each word was a struggle to release. “Lisa!
Lisa!” She sobbed, horrifying her big brother.

“What about Lisa?” He shook her to get a response.

“Lisa,” she whispered before fainting. Kyle was shaking with the
realization his other sister needed help. He grabbed the nearby telephone from
the side table and frantically dialed Lisa’s number.

On the third ring, his brother-in-law Doug Smalley answered. “Hello,” he
said with a grumpy tone.
“Doug, I need to talk to Lisa,” Kyle said with urgency.

There was a moment of silence. “Do you know what time it is? She’s
asleep. She didn’t get in till after four. She’s dead to the world.”

“Well then…tell her ta call me or Audra as soon as she gets up,” said
Kyle. “Don’t forget, Doug.”

“When could I ever forget my in-laws?” The line went dead.

“Bastard!” said Kyle before returning the receiver to its base.

At that moment, Audra regained consciousness. “I need to call Lisa.”

“Don’t bother. I already did, and she’s asleep.”

“Your stomach feeling better? How’s your head?” he asked, sitting down
on the bed next to her.

“Can you get me two aspirins from the bathroom medicine cabinet?” Her
older brother obliged. He returned shortly with the tablets and a glass of water.
Audra swallowed the pills and liquid then said, “Something has happened. I can
feel it. Like when we were kids and Lisa or me got hurt…”

“And one twin felt the other twin’s pain?” he said, finishing the

“Yes! It was just like that…but much worse.”

“Doug promised to tell Lisa I called.”

“So you didn’t talk directly to Lisa?”

“No, but you and I both know it’s not just alcohol Lisa is prob’ly on.”

Audra rebelled at her brother’s accusations against their sister. “So you
believe Doug’s lies about Lisa using drugs?”

“Don’t forget I had a drug addiction once. I know the signs of a heroin
addict. When Lisa calls you, make it clear to her that she needs to get help if
she wants custody of the kids in the divorce.”

“If Lisa loses those kids, she’ll just die.”

“And that’s exactly why she must get help. I gotta go,” he said, kissing
Audra on the cheek and leaving.

After hearing the front door shut, she remembered her previous obligation.

“Oh crap! Mom!” She jumped off the bed and into the shower. 

Other books by Jo Anne:

"TWISTED LOVE," a true-crime anthology
"MURDER MOST FOUL" a detective/mystery anthology
"LOVES', MYTHS' AND MONSTERS'," a fantasy anthology
"THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY," a biography true-crime

Other books soon available:

“FLAGITIOUS,”  a detective/crime anthology available in August

Buy Links:



Contact JoAnne: