Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Angels Sing to Rest by Chrinda Jones

Title: Angels Sing to Rest
Author: Chrinda Jones

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Angels Sing to Rest by Chrinda Jones #Giveaway #Books @Writers_Authors @JoLinsdell


Synopsis:

"Angels Sing to Rest" begins where "Darkness Knows Me" left off: after the investigation into the death of the Deep Ellum Killer, Levi Devereux.
Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Angels Sing to Rest by Chrinda Jones #Giveaway #Books @Writers_Authors @JoLinsdell
http://amzn.to/1NAaVbS
Detective Sergeant Olivia Gates returns from a two-month suspension, to find her team has gained a new member, her ex-husband is being released from prison, and a 10-year-old street kid has been murdered on her patch of South Dallas.
Her ex she can deal with, even when he drags their young son into the mix or so she thinks. The murdered boy with the crushed chest, isn't so easily handled and weighs heavily on her as more street kids are killed with an unimaginable sadistic flare and no discernible motive.
If the continuing body count wasn't stressful enough, Olivia's falling out with long time friend and colleague, Doctor Will Green, threatens any hope Olivia had for more than a friendship with the good doctor.
Drugs, gaming, prostitution and sadistic murders lead Gates and her team on a trek through the seamy underbelly of living rough on the streets of downtown Dallas.

Nominated for Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards!



Author Bio:

Chrinda Jones is a crime writing and reading fiend, which she believes is genetic and began with her great-grandmother, who hoarded crime novels. "Darkness Knows Me" is her crime novel debut and "Angels Sing to Rest" is next in her series. When she's not putting her time in with the writing gods, you can find her playing music or enjoying a good meal with friends and family. Chrinda currently resides in Murphy, Texas, with her husband, children, grandchildren and her Jugg, Abby.

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How I Moved from ‘Frozen’ to Flowing Creative Author


How I Moved from ‘Frozen’ to Flowing Creative Author, guest post by Susie E. Caron


I was frozen and I knew it.
This happened recently, soon after I retired. That’s when I thought I would hit the ground running and write great things. Instead, I found myself completely frozen.  Stuck as I was, I just desperately wanted to rant, so I asked my friend, Jo Linsdell, if she would listen. What a friend! She not only agreed to hear me, but she offered valuable tips that helped to change my focus, and recharge my creativity – just in time for the PiBoIdMo Challenge.

How did I become frozen?
First, I was frustrated, because for the past 2 & 1/2 years, the sales for my 3 picture books trickled to dismal numbers over time.  They had each performed well on launch dates and there wasn’t anything wrong with the books. However, like many beginning authors, I was shy about tooting my own horn and writing sales pitches. In fact, each book had received 5 star reviews on Amazon from real buyers. Here are quotes from some of them.

How I Moved from ‘Frozen’ to Flowing Creative Author, Guest post by Susie Caron
http://amzn.to/1Mr4JCN
Twee’ (PicBk#1)
“A wonderful addition to any children's book collection!”
“There is no doubt that this vibrant book will be read over and over by me and my family.” 

I AmTwee’ (PicBk#2)
“I love the message this book instills that you are special in your own unique way!
“I highly recommend picking up a copy of I Am Twee', the 2nd book in the Between You and Me Series.”

Twee’ for Two (PicBk#3)
“Your books are keepers and remain on my coffee table for kids of all ages.” 
“I myself love Twee’ books by Susie. I cannot wait for your future books.” 

Second, my weekly parenting blog hadn’t grown much or converted to sales. I offered my best content articles with pictures! Wasn’t that supposed to help people get to know, like and trust me? I wanted to share, and I continued to write because I wanted to be read and enjoyed. However, I had hoped it would convert more.

Third, I found myself pretty worn out. By this time, I had read, watched and taken as many free and paid courses as I possibly could and sought out every “do this magic thing and become a best-selling author now” course that I could find. Even though I learned a lot, I was tired of trying to do the ‘right thing’ and still not get the promised benefit.

All my efforts left me frozen.
After all this, my platform, fan base, and sales grew at a painfully slow rate. Now I felt totally frozen and unable to move in any direction.  Time had opened up for me, but it seemed that all the information from the past two years held me captive. I clearly needed help.

What could Jo do to help me?
I had hoped that Jo would say something like she understood. Then, I’d feel better, and I could get back to writing. Jo responded with understanding, but she also offered to take a peek at my web site and critique it. Wow! I hadn’t even thought of that. Her kind gesture excited me and I couldn’t wait to see what she would say.

Jo only offers quality information.
She doesn’t disappoint readers and fans. She certainly helped me. Here are a few of the suggestions she made for my web site.

*Change the header/banner; put it up front and make it clear. “The first thing readers should be aware of when they visit the site is who you are and what you do.”

How I Moved from ‘Frozen’ to Flowing Creative Author, Guest post by Susie Caron

*Change your banner for your books, make them more prominent, and make this first ‘call to action’ strong - ‘Buy today’, or ‘Grab your copy’ .

*Change your sign up box; put it in the top middle, below the header. “This is your second most important ‘call to action’…. so make it easy to find and fill out.”

*Change the placement of your photo and bio; update the bio. “Put your photo to the top of the side bar (above the book banner).”

Jo made a few more helpful suggestions such as, “make it clutter free and easy to navigate. “ She reminded me to create more content that helps to ‘Build my author brand and sell more books,” And, “Always ask yourself, “What is the reason for this blog post and what do I want my reader to do next.”

So, what did I do?
I treasured my friend, and the advice she offered. How could I go wrong by taking action?  So I went to work and for the next two days (yes it took me that long) I worked to get my web site better, more pointed and ready for my next chapter in life.

It was during that transition that I felt my smile return, and my creative juices starting flowing again.

Why did I feel better?
Jo Linsdell gave me something more precious than her helpful tips. She gave me permission to grow again, and to put FUN back into my writing. It wasn’t anything she said, or even written in her suggestions. It was tucked within the friendship, and offered because Jo took the time to listen, to care and to offer some suggestions. As a result, and just as soon as I began making changes to my web site, I got excited.  That’s why I signed up for PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month). I couldn’t wait to start creating again: picture book ideas, characters, and more. I thought “maybe I’ll try illustrating too.” Time opened up around me and made my world seem fresh and new. I wasn’t frozen any more and I was having FUN.

How I Moved from ‘Frozen’ to Flowing Creative Author, Guest post by Susie CaronWhat about you?
I hope my experience gives you some hope. If you find yourself stuck, frustrated or frozen give yourself permission to put the fun back into writing. Also check in with a trusted friend who can encourage you. Don’t limit yourself. Do what you love. Write about many wonderful things that interest you and give you joy. Put FUN back into it.

Thanks for reading. Remember to share this post with your friends.

Here are some fun links:
Visit my new and improved web site www.susiecaron.com
Buy my books: http://amzn.to/1Mr4JCN
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/susiecaron

Twee’ Means You & Me
Because Good Friends Rock!

Thank you Jo Linsdell, for being a true friend and for allowing me to share this bit of my author journey with your readers and fans.

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Writing Historical Fiction for Children

Writing Historical Fiction for Children, guest post by Patricia Murphy #Writing #Writers


My last two novels have been set in early 20th century Ireland so here are some tips about historical fiction, though they can apply to any fiction.

Know What You Write About

“Write what you know” is the adage always given to authors. But for historical fiction, I would stand that on its head and say – know what you are writing about. It seems obvious, but researching your period or your setting really matters. It helps you garner those authentic details that get lost in the passage of time. But don’t get bogged down in the research. It’s important to put it all aside as soon as you can and just write. History is just the entry point. The aim is to soar above the facts and invent your own world to get to the emotional truth of your story.

Spread Your Net Wide

Writing Historical Fiction for Children, guest post by Patricia Murphy #Writing #WritersThis is a fun bit and is the nearest you can find to a Time Machine. So wade into the primary sources, which include diaries, journals, newspaper reports. But also art, historic buildings, memoirs of the time. It all helps flesh out the past and furnish rooms for your imagination to inhabit.

 I have also made documentaries for British Television, and I am very influenced by visual sources. Luckily, the period I write about coincides with the beginning of photography and cinema. I love pouring over old photographs to get the tenor of the time, including the clothing. Looking at photographs also gave me clues as to what children were doing when Dublin became a war zone in Easter week. A lot of the time they were hanging around the streets. There are photographs of children scavenging firewood from shelled buildings, little girls carrying jugs looking for milk.

The next best thing can be watching plays and films of the period. Costume and set designers usually take great pains to get authentic details correct. I remember once filming at the Globe Theatre in London about child actors and the costume designer there had completely reconstructed how Elizabethan clothing was made. It was astonishing to see the pleating of the ruffle the whole length of a room and the use of pins.

Or ask an expert. Many historians have encyclopedic knowledge that they love sharing. Send them an e-mail or arrange a telephone call. They are often only too happy to help.

My study often resembles a low budget Police Incident Room, with post-it notes, photographs, postcards, maps, etc. I often write out a master timeline with the major dates, so I know I have to work the plot around key events. I draw or print out maps of key locations. I also blue-tac postcards of major artworks from the period into a collage.

When I was recreating the fishing village of Ringsend near Dublin city centre, I found a painting by an Irish artist called Harry Kernoff of the shop in Whiskey Row where a lot of the action is set. This shop was owned by my ancestors, so I was able to marry the depictions with memories of my grandmother who worked behind the counter as a child.

Have a First Aid Kit
If you get stuck have some strategies in your back pocket to kick-start your imagination. I write a scene from the point of view of another character. Or pen a letter from one character to another. Both my novels The Easter Rising – 1916, Molly’s Diary and Deadly Shot – Dan’s War of Independence 1920-22 are written in diary form. Sometimes I write an entry that isn’t going to make it in but frees my imagination to let me get a handle on a scene.

Read Aloud
This helps tone up rhythm and pace particularly for young readers who are still mastering reading in their heads. Also I know my books are often read aloud in class or by parents. Giving them a run through helps me cut out any slack or unclear sentences or passages.

Writing is a Marathon Not a Sprint
Being an author or doing anything creative is a long-term process. Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers calculated that it takes at least ten thousand hours to achieve mastery. But even acknowledged geniuses admit they are still learning and honing their craft. So don’t feel you have to put everything into one book. Or if a novel keeps getting rejected or an idea refuses to cohere – move on. The main thing is to keep writing. Cross-fertilize with other creative projects that might spark your imagination and make you feel less lonely, such as writing for theatre or making a short documentary. Creativity can take many forms and its all storytelling. Keep the words and ideas flowing and the brain active!

Writing Historical Fiction for Children, guest post by Patricia Murphy #Writing #Writers
Patricia Murphy is an award-winning children’s author and Producer/Director of documentaries. Her most recent novel is Deadly Shot – Dan’s Diary - the War of Independence 1920-22. Previous works include the critically acclaimed Easter Week 1916 – Molly’s Diary, described as “brilliantly imagined”, “beautifully written and compelling” and “ fantastic at bringing history alive for children”. She is also the author of The Chingles Celtic Fantasy trilogy. She was the winner of the Poolbeg “Write a Bestseller for Children” Competition 2004.
She is also an award-winning Producer/Director of primetime documentaries for BBC and Channel 4. These include Children of Helen House on the Oxford children’s hospice for BBC. She created and filmed the launch programmes of Born to Be Different the Channel 4 flagship series following six children with disabilities through the 21st century. Other films include Behind the Crime about criminals and Raised by the State on growing up in care. She has also made Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4.





Writing Historical Fiction for Children, guest post by Patricia Murphy #Writing #Writers

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Interview with Donald Bain


Interview with Donald Bain #Writers #Authors #Books @Writers_Authors @JoLinsdell


What genre do you write and why?

I never chose a genre to write in. As the author/ghostwriter/collaborator on more than 120 books, the genres were determined by the publishers of many of those books. I have, however, for the past 25 years been writing almost exclusively in the murder mystery/thriller genres, starting with the Margaret Truman Capital Crimes series set in Washington, D.C. (currently writing the 30th in that series), and the "Murder, She Wrote" series (finishing up the 46th novel). I suppose I'm the quintessential journeyman writer--and proud of it.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Too many writers talk about the book they're going to write and never actually write it. I know writers who strive for "perfection" in the first draft and don't seem to ever get around to finishing it. Write it! That first draft may be lacking, but at least you have a blueprint for refining and polishing it. I believe in that saying, "All good writing is re-writing."
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
The above saying is one of my favorites. I also believe in "If I had more time I would have written less." Get rid of the excess verbiage and give the reader credit for understanding what you've written without having to belabor it with unnecessary words. I also understand what Kurt Vonnegut meant when he said, "I hate writing but I love being a writer."
Interview with Donald Bain #Writers #Authors #Books @Writers_Authors @JoLinsdell
http://amzn.to/1LpU1IH
What's the best thing about being a writer?
Being a writer means that I can continue what I do well into my dotage, as opposed to having spent a working life digging ditches or collecting tolls on the Jersey Turnpike. Being a writer allows me to share with others (readers) my imagination, as well as expressing my own thoughts, which come out through the mouths of my characters. The problem is that you never stop writing, at least in your mind, never can walk away from a story until you've typed THE END. It's with you day and night, plotting the next scene, coming up with distinctive features for your characters, and wondering whether what you're writing will please both your editors and the reading public. But I love it!
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I have a website, www.donaldbain.com. The problem is I fall behind on keeping it up-to-date. I've been interviewed on myriad sites, however, and have been the subject of numerous newspaper and TV interviews. For me, the best and most satisfying way for a potential reader to discover my works is when another reader reads one and is pleased enough to recommend it.
Did you learn anything from writing that was unexpected?

What I learned was that writing is hard work. If you aren't tired after a day of writing the chances are good that what you've written isn't very good and will have to be rewritten the next day. I've also learned that the publishing industry is in turmoil and sometimes doesn't make any sense. But I suppose that's true of most industries. Finally, I've learned that a good agent is a writer's best friend and advocate. I'm blessed with a top-notch agent, Bob Diforio, who's always there to make some sense out of the publishing world.

How do you research your books?

I've built up an extensive research library, which with the Internet provides plenty of sources for whatever research I need while working on a given project. But when it comes to setting a book in a locale away from where I work there's no substitute for actually visiting that place, soaking in the atmosphere, and touching what makes that place unique. With few exceptions, when setting a "Murder, She Wrote" novel in a place other than Jessica Fletcher's beloved Cabot Cove, Renee and I have visited that place, walked its streets with a tape recorder, and wove what we'd learned into the story.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?

Self-publishing is here to stay, for better or for worse. On the one hand many worthwhile books that had been rejected by mainstream publishers have been self-published to great success, which is good for the author and for the reading public. The problem is that self-published authors don't usually have a good editor working with them, nor do they have the corporate backing of a publisher and its marketing muscle.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

My cousin Jack Pearl, who wrote more than 100 books including the definitive biography of General Patton, got me started as a writer. He started me writing articles for the men's adventure magazines, and arranged for me to rewrite a book for S&S, THE RACING FLAG, the history of stock car racing. The editor on that book, knowing I was working for American Airlines at the time, called and asked if I'd be interested in collaborating with two Eastern Airlines stewardesses on a lighthearted tell-all about the stewardess life. I got together with them and the result was COFFEE, TEA OR ME? which went on sell more than 5-million copies worldwide, became a made-for-TV movie, and spawned numerous sequels. That book gave me the financial comfort to devote full-time to writing, which I've been doing ever since.

Does your family support you in your writing career? How?

My wife, Renee, certainly supports my writing life. After all, she's a writer, too, and has collaborated with me on the last 20 or so "Murder, She Wrote" novels. If she didn't support what I do we'd be in deep trouble. My two daughters are also supportive, although one of them wonders why her father spends his days "putting little black marks on paper." Actually, Kurt Vonnegut once said the same thing about what he did for a living.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I spent many years working as a jazz musician (vibes and drums) and found my ultimate professional happiness and fulfillment when playing with a variety of jazz groups. Today, I always have recorded jazz playing in the background while I write. I enjoy reading, of course, doing crossword puzzles, and eating out in good restaurants.    

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