Friday, September 26, 2014

Jazz and Mystery the Perfect Combination (SinC-up Blog Hop)#SinC-up

When I responded to a fellow Sisters in Crime member to partner with her for a “SinC-up blog hop", I didn’t realize we would have a writing trait in common other than we both write mysteries. It turns out we also like to listen to music when we write. You can read H.A. Somerled’s blog on writing with music here. And learn about her books here.

I’ve talked about how music has helped me get in character and dropped me into a deeper POV while writing. I listen to Native American drum and flute music as well as music by Karen Therese while writing the Spirit trilogy—three historical books set among the Nez Perce. 

While writing the Action Adventure books, I listened to first Guatemalan music while Isabella Mumphrey, the heroine, was in Guatemala, then Mexican music when she was in Mexico City, and Native American music when she found adventure in Arizona while tracking down a Hopi ceremonial kiva.

Now that I’m working on a mystery, I listen to jazz. My amateur sleuth is half Nez Perce, so why don’t I listen to Native American music, you might ask. Simply because Jazz lends itself to mysteries.
As a junior in high school I attended a Jazz music summer camp. At that camp we learned that you not only have to learn the song’s melody and rhythm, but you have to make up your own rendition of the melody when it’s your instruments turn to solo.

So, like a mystery story that starts out with the standard structure: someone is killed, sleuths-amateur or professional or both try to solve the murder, and there is a twist at the end, a jazz song also has the fundamentals of the song that everyone knows and adheres to. But then, like a jazz song has improvisation by several different instruments, the author gets to improvise by leading readers into what if’s and red herrings to take them on a ride of suspense, just like the instruments in a jazz song take the listener on a journey with their unique spins on the melody.

Jazz songs have emotion and melody. They have soft and hard. All the aspects that need to be hit in a mystery as it is being written and read.

And that’s why I listen to jazz while writing mystery.

Have you ever connected a song or artist with a book you read? 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Written Fireside: Of The Storm - Part Four

When I was approached to be part of Written Fireside for a round robin story writing event next February that will be a western, I jumped into the fray by offering to be part of the Halloween Written Fireside story. And so, Of The Storm started Sept. 2nd at Lori Connelly's blog and has been expanding each Tuesday on participating author's blogs. Today, I have part four of this paranormal story set on Halloween night. The last installment of the story will be Oct. 28th. You can find all the blogs and authors who are participating here:

You can find the previously posted parts at these author's blogs:

And here is Of The Storm Part 4

Amaya stared into Bri’s eyes. Her body shivered. Usually she took his threats of the world coming to an end lightly. But there was as much fear as anger in his gaze. Compassion, an emotion she only doled out to her patients and never to this fae, her nemesis for as long as she’d been on this earth, surfaced.

She placed a palm on Bri’s angled jaw.  “If you promise to help me save Makani, we can stop the war and save both the fae as well as the humans.”  She’d brought up an alliance between them before her mind fully realized she’d just asked an enemy to be an ally.

His eyes narrowed a moment before he covered her hand with his long, slender fingers. “What do you know?”

Bri’s quick acceptance of her touch and the energy emitting from his body into her hand forced her to jerk her hand away and rethink having him help her. The connection between them was more than two beings fighting for a common cause. She couldn’t have that. Couldn’t feel anything for a male that wasn’t human.

“I know the chant and the location that will make the torc open the portal. All Makani knew was the torc had powers.” Amaya spun from Bri’s watchful gaze and headed into her bedroom. There was a certain item she wanted to take with her. An amulet her mother said must be worn to keep her safe from demons. Hopefully, she could use the necklace to free Makani from Blaike’s hold over her.

“What are you doing? I thought we were going to find your sister and the torc.” Bri’s words whispered hot across the back of her neck like a caress, lingering and tugging her toward him.

She fought the urge, concentrating on slipping the amulet under her nurse’s tunic and swept by Bri, making sure they didn’t touch in any way. “I’m ready now.”

She’d get Makani out of the Demon King’s clutches for good and retrieve the torc. Then she’d deal with the magnetic force luring her toward Bri.

To be continued next Tuesday, September 30th at Ciara Gold's blog:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Foundation is Everything

In any project the foundation or starting point is the most crucial. In writing you have to have a good plot and intriguing characters. In building a house you want the foundation to hold up the walls, the floors, the roof.

Here is the journey of the foundation of our new house:

The concrete guy and my hubby built the frames for the footings for the stem wall. The county required 12 inch, we did 18 inch. This was a spot that a lot of fill dirt was used.


This is the footings poured and cured with the rebar sticking up for the  stem wall.

The boards were put up for the stem walls, plastic was put down and gravel was dumped on top to make it easier to navigate under the house crawl space.

Getting the stem walls poured. I put the bolts in the cement. 

Finished stem wall. They were four feet tall because hubby doesn't like to crawl around on his hands and knees. 

After the stem wall came the back patio. The corners are rounded and it is brushed. Once the framing is done we'll color this and the front patio.

Next came the stem wall for the garage. 
The garage was poured at 5:30 AM because the cement trucks had to be somewhere else at 8.

 Last to be poured were the garage apron and the front patio. Now we are on to the floor and plumbing. Those photos will come in stages.

I hope you enjoy a peek into our house project.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Release: To Save a Viscount: Book Four of the Spy Series

I'd like to introduce you to Jessie Clever,

In the second grade, Jessie began a story about a duck and a lost ring.  Two harrowing pages of wide ruled notebook paper later, the ring was found.  And Jessie has been writing ever since.

Armed with the firm belief that women in the Regency era could be truly awesome heroines, Jessie began telling their stories in her Spy Series, a thrilling ride in historical espionage that showcases human faults and triumphs and most importantly, love.

Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and two very opinionated Basset Hounds.
Her social media links are:
Facebook: / Twitter / Google+ / Pnterest

Here is the information about her latest release.

To Save a Viscount: Book Four of the Spy Series

When an assassin threatens England's spy network, Lady Margaret Folton must find the killer before it's too late.  But when Commodore John Lynwood is accidentally granted a title meant to be used as bait to lure the assassin into the War Office's trap, Margaret must face the tragedy of her past and decide which is more important: the assignment or love?


August 1815

He had grown so accustomed to the sound of gunfire that he did not hear the shot that was meant to kill him.

This would have worried Richard Black, the Duke of Lofton, if he had had time to think on it. But as the situation inherently required immediate action, prolonged and abstract thinking on the subject was neither prudent nor wise. So he refrained. Instead, he wondered who it was that smashed into him at incredible speed, sending him tumbling backwards off the walk along the Thames and into the bitter, black water below.

He had been meeting his contact there along the water at an unholy hour, and darkness had lain all about him. The exchange had gone as planned, and he now held the knowledge that he knew would prove key to his current assignment with the War Office. But as the inky water of the Thames closed over his head, he wondered if he would ever get that information to the necessary people.

And then as the last of the light disappeared, he thought of Jane, his wife. His Jane. He did not think of her in specific instances or certain memories that lay in his mind. He thought of her in pieces. Her smell. Her laugh. The sound her hair made as she brushed it at night. The way she always laid her hand on top of his whenever they should find themselves sitting next to one another. Her amazing talents with chestnut roasters.

He would have laughed if such an action would not speed up the inevitable drowning that suddenly became all too real, flushing thoughts of Jane from his mind. His arms began to push against the water as his feet began to pulse, driving him toward the surface. Only he did not move. Whoever it was that had slammed into him still held him about the waist, dragging him deeper into the water. He began to struggle, the need for air and life and Jane surging through his veins in a way he had never felt before.

And then a hand brushed against his cheek, and slender fingers came to rest across his mouth. He wanted to open his eyes, but he knew it would do no good in the black water. But he let the feeling of his attacker’s hand brush against his skin, the shape of it press into his face, the narrowness of limb and the delicate arch of bone.

It was a woman who held him beneath the water.

And he stopped struggling.

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