Tag Archives: suspense

Alive by Jennifer St. Giles


kaylee's justice

 Please join me in welcoming Jennifer St. Giles to my blog today. I love her writing and can’t wait to read her latest release, Kaylee’s Justice.

 

Let me start by giving a huge thank you to Pat for reaching out and sharing her blog with me today. I am grateful. And to all of the readers out there, you are the wind beneath an author’s wings. Thank you for enabling our stories to take flight. 

Last night, after a rough week at work, I saw a post on Facebook that made me laugh because it so reminded me of perspective. The post—If I woke up and nothing hurt I would think I was dead. So by default, at times hurt can be a good thing. It means I’m alive. It also brought to mind my new release, Kaylee’s Justice, Exposed Series, Case File 1, feeling “Alive” somehow became a theme that underlined the battle between good and evil in the story.

True Crime writer, Eva St. Claire, is blessed/cursed with a psychic gift, as is her sister, Iris, and her brother Devin. These gifts compel them to fight the many faces of evil in the world even though the battle has always led their ancestors to a tragic end. To protect themselves, they keep their gifts a secret from almost everyone, especially the authorities. Eva is driven to do all that she can as quickly as she can in hopes that her work will save others from falling into a killer’s trap. Everyone matters in her book.

 FBI Agent Adam Frasier thinks psychics are lowlife shysters. They took advantage of his mother and played a part in her downward spiral into mental illness. He is haunted by a tragic past and the one person he blames more than anyone else is himself. He doesn’t deserve the good in life. He spends his life on the ragged edge of duty.

 We all suffer injuries along life’s journey. Both Eva and Adam have been beat up by the past. They’re hurt and to escape their pain they both have zeroed in on relentless pace to stop evil, excluding almost everything else in life. Neither of them are truly living. When they are forced together to stop a serial killer, something unexpected happens. Each makes the other “feel alive.” That feeling isn’t something either of them can walk away from. So on this first case that they solve together, their cat and mouse chase begins with a dance to a real song titled Alive, by a fantastic real-life band, the Aaron Hendra Project. It is a song that I loved at first note a few years ago and can’t forget. You can check them out here http://www.aaronhendra.com

My question to you today is what or who in your life makes you “feel alive”? Post here. I will be giving away two digital editions of Kaylee’s Justice to two lucky winners.

I invite you to liven up your day and come join the fun at my Facebook release party for Kaylee’s Justice on 4/4 from 6 to8 pm. There will be prizes and free books. https://www.facebook.com/events/999905823396892/

Buy Link for Kaylee’s Justice http://www.amazon.com/Kaylees-Justice-Case-File-Exposed-ebook/dp/B01C25AFTG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459687535&sr=8-1&keywords=kaylee%27s+justice

You can get free books by singing up for my newsletter at jenniferstgiles.com

Happy Reading Jennifer St. Giles/Jennifer Saints/ J L Saint

 

A New Beginning

Blogs are like children. They need a certain amount of tending or they go off course at times. Mine has. I had intended to ramp up again in September which turned into November and…Luckily one friend did volunteer to guest and wrote a lovely post from Phoenix, the black cat,  for October.

And I haven’t been entirely lazy. In fact I can safely say I’ve been busier than ever having joined with some good friends and fellow writers to create a Sisters of Suspense blog which will be publishing their first Snippets of Suspense anthology this week.

And I’m still with Authors Billboard where I also blog monthly and am in the latest Book Bites for Romantic Suspense. I did a FB party with them last week which was great fun and a learning experience as well. I offered a booklet of Maxine’s chocolate recipes for anyone signing up to my newsletter and something went wrong. Nothing was showing for newsletter sign ups. I must say I was crushed. We’re talking chocolate recipes from Maxine of Death by Chocolate series and no one was interested?

It turns out when I changed the paragraph saying anyone signing up would get a free booklet of Maxine’s chocolate recipes I inadvertently removed some code. Thankfully my genius son was able to fix it and so, if anyone should want a copy of Maxine’s Chocolate Recipes the link is here.

Look for more blog posts from me and guest authors, I’ll also be sharing blogs from the Sisters of Suspense Blog and Author’s Billboard and I’ll be doing more Well Writer blogs. For this week I’ll be sharing a blog I did for the Sisters Of Suspense. What Would You Do is a blog on the terrorist attacks on Paris and Beirut and how that affects us. As well it’s a blog on the Syrian refugees. It’s impossible to speak for everyone or to know the answers to such horrifying events. It’s also impossible to ignore them.

A Slice of Life and More

lisa 4

As a writer I remain fascinated by how other writers write. I think this is because I secretly hope to find the hidden code that makes me able to immediately write wonderful books that are literary and commercial successes. But I digress.

Today I have a guest from my local RWA chapter (Romance Writers of America for the un-initiated). Lisa has two writing persona’s – ‘Lisa McManus Lange’ writes sassy and inspirational slice-of-life articles for her blog www.lisamcmanuslange.blogspot.com and is multi-published with Chicken Soup for the Soul (5 books – 7 stories) and other anthologies. ‘Lisa McManus’ writes fiction for kids and teens, and is contracted with Lycaon Press for her young adult novella, ‘Newbie Nick’ available wherever ebooks are sold. She can be found at www.lisamcmanus.com

How did you start writing?

I daydream – a lot. I read – a lot. As a kid I did both – a lot. I knew at a young age I wanted to be a writer, and had a first-attempt at it by writing a short story – a ‘thriller’ – about an acid-spewing spider that attacked people as they slept.  Needless to say that story was never published – but to this day I wish I still had that story. I wrote poetry in my teens, and then didn’t ‘really’ start writing until I was in my early 30’s. My first publication was a slice-of-life story about an old woman I would see on my daily walks who always picked-up trash during her own daily walk.

What is the best part of writing?

The best part of writing is when a reader comes to me saying that what I wrote changed their day, their perspective, or their life (I have been blessed to have all three).

 Why do you write?

I write because I love being able to entertain or inspire. If someone laughs at what I wrote (even if it’s in the wrong places!), I am happy.

How do you come up with ideas?

From daily life. I enjoy the obscurity and absurdity of everyday stuff. I love things that make me think, ponder and wonder – and then I think, “What if?”

If you had one super-power what would it be and why?

To run fast. I am busy and always on the go, and if I could run faster to where I needed to go, I would be happier (never mind having the ability to outrun zombies, a secret obsession of mine).

One wish?

Funny you should ask about wishes as I have been thinking about them for a story: the possibilities, the problems they can cause (if they came true), the good they do (if they came true), and the power they have over a person who has been granted just one wish.

So what would I wish for? As cliché as it sounds, to have happiness and health for all my family. That’s all. It’s simple, really.

 What would you say to someone wishing to become a writer?

Read. Read. Read. Read.

Write. Write. Write. Write

Read what you want to write about.

Write anything.

Read what you love.

Write daily.

Read outside your ‘norm.’

I’ve heard too many people say ‘I want to be a writer’ (of books) but they don’t know what to write. When asked what kind of books they like to read (a writer can write books, magazine articles or poetry – the list goes on), they say ‘I don’t have time to read,’ or ‘I haven’t read a book in years.’  One fuels the other – reading and writing – and you can’t have one without the other.

And then when asked if they are writing, they say no. Everyone has to start somewhere, why not NOW? So get writing, and get reading!

 Lisa has recently written a YA book called Newbie Nick which is available wherever ebooks are sold.

Newbie Nick

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All 14-year-old Nick Zinsky wanted was a guitar of his own and a necklace for his mom, and he wanted to buy both without anyone’s help. Too young to get a real job, he came up with a plan to get the money.

Using a guitar loaned from his high school, he spent the summer and weekends playing the guitar while busking downtown. But he had to keep his “job” a secret from everyone—from his mom, his music teacher, the other kids at school, and especially from the school bully, Beau. 

But when a music competition is announced where the prizes would solve all Nick’s problems, Nick lacks the confidence to enter the competition. Having a nickname like “Newbie Nick” doesn’t help, either.

Does he find the courage to enter? Will he ever get his guitar?

Excerpt

“Whatcha doin’?”I stopped playing and looked up. Even though I was wearing sunglasses, I had to shield my eyes against the sun.
It was that little girl again. “I’m playing the guitar.” I wasn’t about to be a rude jerk to her, but I didn’t have much time to talk. She hung around me yesterday, but was too shy to talk. Her dad, or uncle, or whoever from the shop next to me kept a watchful eye on her, peeking out the store door every few minutes. I figured if I ignored her, she would go away. Traffic wasn’t busy on the street, which meant less noise, but the sidewalks were busy with tourists and shoppers. If I was gonna make some decent cash today, I needed to keep playing, but not with the attention of a little kid. I had just started strumming, remembering how my grandpa taught me to place my fingers, when she spoke again. “Why are you playing?” she sing-songed. Her whiny voice bugged me. How do you explain being a street busker to a kid who looks like a kindergartener? As she picked her nose, some guy threw a dollar into my guitar case. “Thank you!” I called out. Some might laugh at getting only a dollar, but it all adds up. Not only was I saving money for a sleek guitar for me, but also a necklace for my mom. And I didn’t consider what I had been doing all summer as charity. She always worked hard for us, and taking nothing for herself. I wanted to do this for her and was determined to do it all on my own, without help. I worked for every dime I got. My mom always says money doesn’t matter when you have people in your life that care as much as they do. Whatever. I looked at the little girl, stalling to think about how to answer. “Jessica, are you okay?” Her father or uncle or whoever called from the store. “I’m fine, Daddy!” 

Oh, so that’s her dad. When I first started coming downtown at the beginning of summer, he would scowl at me from the store’s doorway. I was afraid he would call the police, but he didn’t. I always try to move spots, but there are only so many sidewalks I can use. I have to be seen and heard, but I also have to be careful to not be seen by anyone I know. 

Her dad went back inside. Jessica was still waiting, so I gave the easiest answer. “I want to buy a guitar and one day play like my grandpa.” 

“Whyyyy?” This time she sat down on the sidewalk beside me. 

I strummed a few chords. The people passing by ignored us. I was losing business chatting with her. I figured I would just get my story out quick. I knew she wouldn’t care and probably wouldn’t tell anyone. And besides, a little twerp like her wouldn’t understand, anyways. 

Sweat dribbled down my back, and I knew the peanut butter and jam sandwich in my backpack was gonna be warm and soggy. 

I looked at her again. “Because he was the best guitarist ever. He was a music teacher and taught me how to play when I was a little kid like you.” Before I knew it, I was babbling on. “If I want play like him, to be like him, I need my own guitar.” 

I barely registered that someone had thrown in a few coins in my case as I kept talking. “Someone stole his old guitar from my grandma’s house, and I haven’t been able to play unless I borrow a guitar from school. So I want my own.” I stopped. Why had I gone on and on like that? 

“Doesn’t he play the guitar anymore?” she asked, as if I hadn’t rambled on about any of the other stuff. 

“He died a while ago.” And I miss him so much, I wanted to add, but didn’t. I didn’t want to sound like a freak, even if only to a stupid little kid. 

“Is he in heaven?” She looked fearful for a second. 

“Yes, he is,” I said, and she sagged in relief, as if worried he wasn’t. 

She picked at a worn edge of the guitar case, looked at the money inside, and then said, “Why don’t you work at a store to get money? If you have a store like my daddy, you could make lots of money!” 

She was really starting to get on my nerves, though I couldn’t blame her for my frustrations. I strummed again. After being without a guitar for a year, not only had I gotten rusty and lost my touch, but I had forgotten how playing made any mixed-up feelings disappear. 

But it was missing my grandpa that had me wanting to play again. My grade nine music teacher, Shark, had loaned me a guitar for practicing on the weekends. He knew my mom couldn’t afford to rent one. But it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted my own. I hated not having something to play during the week, and I hated feeling like a charity case and borrowing one. 

So when summer came, Shark secretly loaned me the guitar for the summer. The school wouldn’t approve if they knew. Even though having a guitar with Mattheson High School in black ink down the side of it wasn’t exactly cool, at least I could play. But if Shark knew what I had also used the guitar for, I don’t think he would exactly approve either. 

Jessica still watched me. Waiting. 

I gave in. “I can’t get a job because I’m fourteen, almost fifteen,” I was quick to add. “Maybe next year I can get a real job. But for now, my mom won’t let me. She says school is too important.” Just thinking about it was starting to irritate me. I had to get rid of the kid somehow. 

In a nice, fake, happy voice I said, “Hey, I think your dad is calling you. I think you better go now.” 

At the mention of her dad, her eyes widened and she jumped up. She stared at me for a moment, and then skipped away. Thank God. 

A leaf fell at my feet, reminding me I didn’t have much time left. Soon the crappy autumn rains would start, and my days of busking downtown would be over, along with days of making money. If I wanted to play, if I wanted a guitar of my own, I had to make money. I had already put down $50 toward theperfect guitar I had on layaway at Mike’s Music store, but I had a long way to go. It was a vicious circle—playing a guitar to make money to play a guitar. It sounded stupid thinking about it that way, but it was true. 

But none of that mattered right at that moment. 

Because as I looked up, I saw him. My sweat from the summer sun turned to ice. 

It was that stupid jerk, Beau, from school. 

  I can personally say I loved this book and cried happy tears at the end.

 Newbie Nick, available at Lycaon Press

http://www.lycaonpress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=6&products_id=38&zenid=685304d8c9d7c84c0e6d69eebcf5b2f3

Find Lisa at:

Thank you for having me, Pat. I wish you much success in your own writing, and thank you in advance to your visitors for stopping by!

Introducing Jacquie Biggar – Romantic Suspense Writer

JacquieBiggar_TidalFalls_HR (1)Join me in welcoming Jacquie Biggar to my blog today. Jacquie owned and operated a restaurant in her hometown of Edson, Alberta for thirteen years before moving west to Victoria to take care of her grandson and pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She joined Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death—an online suspense group, and her local chapter, VIC-RWA, of which she currently holds the position of secretary. Today she shares her writing process with us.

 

Do you outline your books or wing it?  Describe your process.

 I’m what’s known as a pantser, in other words I wing it. I get my ideas from current events and from there I build my character’s world.

How do you decide on setting?

 The setting was the easy part. I love the west coast and small towns, so I made that an integral part of my story.

What genre(s) do you write in?  Why?

I’ve always loved romance and dreamed of one day writing for Harlequin—still working on that—and suspense books keep me turning the pages, so it was a natural fit.

What is your favorite part of writing?

When you get that scene in your head and everything flows from the fingers to the keyboard, almost without thought. Love that.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

I’d have to say editing. I go over the same words so many times it can be frustrating.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of editing.  How about you?

I edit as I go. I’m compulsive, and can’t seem to leave it alone.

What’s the strangest thing you have ever done in the name of research?

Online searches for drug-running and human trafficking in Iraq and Mexico. I expected to be flagged by the DEA at any time, J

E-books, print, or both?  Any preferences?  Why?

For myself I prefer e-books, but I know a lot of people like print so I’ve gone with both for my novel. And let’s face it, there’s nothing like holding a book you wrote in your hands.

Please tell us your experiences with social media.  What are your favorite and least favorite parts of it?

 I love social media. It’s an amazing way to make friends with people from all over the globe. That being said, I’ve found since I opened an author page on Facebook, I’m getting lots of strange, “Hi, I’d like to get to know you better,” messages I could do without.

What do you read? Do you read different genres when you’re writing versus not writing?

I read a wide variety within the romance genre. Romantic Suspense-Iris Johansen, Suzanne Brockmann, Comedy-Jennifer Crusie, Paranormal-J.R.Ward, YA-Jodie Esch, Lisa Lange.

For more about Jacquie Biggar check out her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

http://jacquiebiggar.com

http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar

http://Twitter.com/Jacqbiggar

 

Here is a blurb from my novel, Tidal Falls, available Sept 15/14

Sara Reed is on the run from an abusive ex who happens to have ties to a Mexican cartel. Mistakenly thinking her and her daughter would be safer if she had some kind of leverage, she takes a copy of some valuable files, files that make her a target.

Nick Kelley is an ex-marine trying to find his place now that his career is over due to injuries suffered from an IED. When the two of them meet in the pretty little town of Tidal Falls, the experience is explosive.

http://www.amazon.com/Tidal-Falls-Wounded-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B00MS89MA6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1410146633&sr=1-1&keywords=tidal+falls

 

 

 

Lost in Vegas Cover - photo by Andrew Zarivny/Shutterstock

Dear Reader


Welcome to my world. This last year has been a busy one for me. I’m in the process of  launching a new book, Lost In Vegas, on Amazon. I hope you like it.

How has this happened? From child-hood I’ve always loved stories. First reading them, then telling them. In college I took journalism classes. I had short stories and articles published.

But as with many of us I was busy raising a family and working jobs to pay the bills. Writing fell by the way-side. The years went by and one day I decided to check out the local writers group.

There was a workshop with an exercise. Write something that had the hero and heroine meeting within the first page. Maybe there could even be a kiss! And don’t let the heroine get too comfortable. If she’s shy don’t have her go to the library and meet the librarian, get her out of her comfort zone. Maybe in a bar.I decided why stop there, let’s put her on top of the bar! Many revisions later, the result is Lost In Vegas!

Vegas – the city of gamblers, dreamers, heroes and heartbreak. And Kate McLaren’s  last chance to redeem herself by putting her boyfriend’s fail-safe black-jack system into action to  make payroll for her salon. Make that ex-boyfriend when the system fails miserably.

She wakes up to find herself being given mouth to mouth resuscitation by sexy  JT Sullivan, head of Sullivan Security. But the only way she can convince him not to send her to the nearest emergency is to meet him for breakfast the next day. After she tells him she’s gone from business woman of the year to not having enough money to meet payroll and  can’ t face going back to her hometown and family (who also happen to work for her)he convinces her to stay in Vegas, finds her a place to stay and a job waiting tables.

To find out more there’s an excerpt. But none of this would have been possible without the support and encouragement of fellow writers. I benefited from workshops such as the Write On Vancouver workshop with Michael Hauge and another with Jane Porter. Shirley Jump’s workshop was so good I immediately took another with her. Then I got the Deep Editing lectures from Margie Lawson’s School of Writing and Lisa Wells, How to Create A Series. I pitched to editors and submitted manuscripts. But as I was doing this several of my fellow writers decided to self-publish through Amazon. They are all doing well. More than one suggested I should try this route, as did my son. So here I am feeling a lot like Sally Fields and hoping that ‘They like me, they really do!