Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic GRAB, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic GRAB for a great start to the week. Enjoy!


Vivianna grabbed his arm and tugged him to the side of the house. “We had an agreement. Do you realize what could happen if someone sees you here?”

Shutter (work in progress)


“How am I going to pay for these?” She laced her fingers together as if to keep from grabbing for what he offered.

Marsha West


If he grabbed Juliet and ran to the ends of the world, they’d be hunted and killed. Why had he thought he could see Juliet and leave without consequence?

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


He pulled out a chair, plopped the sack next to me, grabbed Daniel’s plate, and served himself from the platter.

Vicki Batman
Raving Beauty” from Just You and Me set


Disgusted, he slugged back the whiskey, breathing through the fire as it burned its way into his roiling gut, and grabbed his cowboy hat on the back of his chair, preparing to leave the room with his tail between his legs.

Jacquie Biggar


A feeling of suffocation suddenly grabbed him and held him. He wanted to scream and fight against the chains that bound him.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


Starting this minute, Laura Horton was moving on, strong and sure, grabbing life by the horns. Not cowering in the shadows, waiting for it to kick her in the ass.

Claire Gem


Maria grabbed my hand. “Don’t call. Don’t Skype. You won’t get a word in, and all the relatives will be interrogating you.”

Joanne Guidoccio


Yes, sweetness, it’s me.” Without regard for his injuries, Ian grabbed his daughter and raised her into his arms. She giggled with delight, the most joyful noise Hannah had ever heard.

Jeannie Hall


Strong arms grabbed her, and when a hand clamped firmly over her mouth a scream exploded in her throat.

Kathryn Jane


Leaning over she grabbed the chair with one hand as she wrapped her other arm around her belly and took a deep breath.

Marian Lanouette


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My Fascination with the Devil #amwriting #Suspense #RSsos @jacqbiggar

It’s not what you’re thinking. Okay, maybe it is.

I’ve fallen in love.

He’s Handsome, smart, charming, and oh yeah, he’s the devil.

And I’m not alone.

Thousands tune in every Monday night to watch what is quickly becoming a craze on Twitter and various other social media platforms.

That’s right, it’s Lucifer.

So what is this phenomenon all about?

Based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, this series follows Lucifer, the original fallen angel, who has become dissatisfied with his life in hell. After abandoning his throne and retiring to Los Angeles, Lucifer indulges in his favorite things (women, wine and song) — until a murder takes place outside of his upscale nightclub.

For the first time in billions of years, the murder awakens something unfamiliar in Lucifier’s soul that is eerily similar to compassion and sympathy.

Lucifer is faced with another surprise when he meets an intriguing homicide detective named Chloe, who appears to possess an inherent goodness — unlike the worst of humanity, to which he is accustomed. Suddenly, Lucifer starts to wonder if there is hope for his soul.

Like Lucifer-played by the amazing Tom Ellis, I think we all go through phases where we don’t feel good enough (He thinks he was sent to Hell as punishment from Father. His older brother, Amenadiel- played by D.B Woodside, tells him it was actually because He trusted Lucifer to keep the evil ones down there and so protect humanity.)

human-silhouette-1725041_640

Lately, I’ve been struggling with personal self-esteem. That’s the problem with being an introvert, you spend way too much time in your head.

My sales are down. My writing is slo… ow going, each word is like pulling teeth, and my family has been having medical problems.

Hard to stay positive in the face of all that adversity.

But, then hope appears (much like Lucifer’s guiding light, Chloe). A good review here, a kind word there, and the darkness falls away. Maybe I can finish this story. Find new readers. Make my mark in this crazy world of writing.

Maybe.

If you haven’t watched Lucifer yet, you should. It’s surprising what the devil can teach us. 🙂

By the way, I have a new release coming out!

July 1st 2017 is the one hundred fiftieth birthday of Canada’s Confederation and our local writing/critiquing group decided it would be fun to do an anthology to celebrate.

My contribution, My Baby Wrote Me A Letter, stems from a news segment I watched. A woman bought an old desk at a yard sale. After bringing it home she began the process of refinishing the wood and happened to find a letter taped to the back of a drawer.

When she read the message, she realized the note could be important to someone, and with little more than a faded name to go on, began a search for the writer of the mysterious letter.

It was placing a picture on Facebook that led to the son of the man who had written that long ago message to his family. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer and feared he would never survive to see his children grow, so he wrote them a letter from the heart.

The news story had a happy ending; the man survived the cancer and lived not only to see his children to adulthood, but several of his grandchildren as well.

His story was an inspiration to me,

Jacquie

JacquieBiggar_MyBabyWroteMeALetter_800px

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic LISTEN, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic LISTEN for a great start to the week. Enjoy!


For the first time he spoke of his childhood, his sister’s death, its effect on him and his parents. He spoke of his mother’s illness and his father’s death. She listened without interrupting, unless she wanted him to clarify a point, or to ask a question.

Marian Lanouette


Andie grabbed her camera, plucked the lens off, and high-stepped her way through the tall grass covering the crime scene perimeter. She walked in tandem with Lucas and listened intently as he ran through the massive area he wanted photographed.

Shutter (work in progress)


“I’ll listen to you again, Clay, but I’m not going to change my mind. I’m just doing this so you can’t later complain you didn’t get a fair hearing.”

Marsha West


Rolling to his side, Rafe listened for her heartbeat, counting his, then hers, until they matched. On the third cycle, he fell asleep.

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


He didn’t listen. He walked toward the table and grasped the top rail of the chair across from me. Droplets on his coat glistened like Swarovski crystals in the lamplight.

Vicki Batman
Raving Beauty” from Just You and Me set


“Listen, honey. Did you recognize the body?” She shook her head and gripped him tighter. “Help is on the way.

Jacquie Biggar
Tempted by Mr. Wrong (work in progress)


The sun warmed his back as he sat on a flat rock and listened to the sounds of nature.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


“Are you listening?” Tania asked, moving closer and waving a hand in my face.

Joanne Guidoccio


She welcomed the anguish like a long-lost friend. Embraced it, wallowed in it until she was reduced to sobbing like a lost child.

Kathryn Jane


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Book Ideas

One thing we authors are always asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” How many times have you been asked that question? Do you have any cute, short, snappy answers?

Well, I don’t. I wish I did. So people would say, “Oh, cool!”

Ideas for my books come from everywhere. My second book was written because I drove 4 times a week by a house which captivated me. Two times to babysit the first grandchild and twice for Pilates at my daughter’s studio. I fell in love with this house. I dreamed about the house. I took my husband by and made him pause briefly so I could take a picture. That picture formed the basis for the cover of TRUTH BE TOLD, a book I hadn’t even begun to write yet.

photo(26) Truth Be Told 200x300

Vacation visits to Vermont gave me the location for my first published book, VERMONT ESCAPE. I fell in love with the small town of Woodstock.  We’d visited twice before I wrote the book, and then later we visited again. It was interesting how different the town looked from what had been in my head when I wrote the book. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t remember it right, but more like creating something new out of my memories. If you’ve ever in Vermont, you must stop by Woodstock. It is the quintessential New England town. Stay at the Woodstock Inn. So charming. IMG_5548 (Had to go back to photos. First trip was before we did fancy phones. 🙂 Top pic became home of the hero’s childhood home. Bottom used for descriptions of area.)

ACT OF TRUST grew from trips to Maine. In Boothbay Harbor, we stayed in a VRBO cottage that took my breath away. You know how on HGTV, when the people walk into the newly remodeled house and are blown away with their mouths gaping open? That’s the way I feel whenever I enter this cottage. After the first visit, I wrote the book. Two years later we returned, and it was just how I remembered. Must’ve taken good pics. 😊 My cover artist, Charlie Volnek, did a great job using the pic I took from the back balcony for the book cover.

MRW iPhone Oct 2013 022  51AoTTvhxHL

Each of my books starts from a location. I ask who could live here? What could they do? Why do they live here? What do they want and why can’t they have it? And on and on until I come up with characters and conflict. One place we’ve visited, I asked “Why in the world would anyone live here?” I’m convinced its filled with folks from Witness Protection. Another book sometime?

The idea for this blog came because my husband sent me an article about child abuse, drugs, vice, sex trafficking all happening on a street not far from some elementary schools that were in my district area when I was on the school board years, and years ago. It’s call “The Trail.” It was a grim article about a grim situation. So another location, and I suspect another book idea.

Authors, where do your ideas come from? Tell me the snappy answer you use when you’re asked. And readers, (though we are all readers), what are you really asking when you ask us, “Where do your story ideas come from?” Are you perhaps a writer in waiting? Don’t wait too long to put fingers to keys and put those ideas on your computer.

Love to hear from you.

Please sign up for my Newsletter http://eepurl.com/bBcimz , contact me at marsha@marsharwest.com , and follow me on my social media sites.

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines about GOODBYE, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines about GOODBYE for a dramatic start to the week. Enjoy!


She welcomed the anguish like a long-lost friend. Embraced it, wallowed in it until she was reduced to sobbing like a lost child.

Kathryn Jane


He wiped her tears with his thumb then released her. His eyes burned as she walked out the door—out of his life. Deep in his heart, he knew they’d be together someday. Mia just needed to come to the same conclusion. He’d bide his time before he went after her.

Marian Lanouette


Another deep exhale, another long silence. “Why did you leave like that?”

My heart broke for the sound of hurt in his voice. Gone was his playfulness, now replaced with something painful.

Follow Me (work in progress)


Did she kiss him goodbye or shake hands? He answered the question for her by setting his bag down and pulling her into his arms for a hard, swift kiss. “Take care of yourself, Meg.”

Marsha West


Juliet’s sweaty hands gripped the edges of the stationary, tearing it. It wasn’t a valentine. It was a goodbye.

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


Reaching for the door knob, Ben cast one last frown at us. “I’ll check on you later, sexy.” With a nod, he added, “Bub,” and slammed the door shut.

Vicki Batman
Raving Beauty” from Just You and Me set


“I’ve been better.” He closed the door, trapping her in his sanctuary. “Care to explain why you left without a goodbye?”

Jacquie Biggar


I don’t give a f*ck, Quin. I don’t care if they find me. I have to go. Goodbye.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


“I’m going to suggest the Long Kiss Goodbye Martini.” He paused for effect. “Vodka, crème de cacao, and shaved white chocolate.”

Joanne Guidoccio


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I am not my childhood

by Kathryn Jane

I’ve taken a side trip from my Romantic Suspense series by writing a Women’s Fiction.

A novel about a woman of heart, courage and integrity. A woman who could have been irreparably damaged by the man who raised her.

But wasn’t. At least not for the long haul. Oh, she made some monumentally  bad decisions as a teenager and young adult, but she eventually learned from them.

And when she became privy to the details of her own childhood and the secrets she’d unknowingly lived with, instead of breaking under the weight of what she learned, she built herself a new life.

She found purpose. And she found a way to realize her lifelong dream in spite of all hope being stripped from her soul.

She became a warrior for her cause. And she changed lives.

She fought for her dream and she won.

She is a testament to women everywhere who do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said, and live with the consequences. Who overcome what appear to be insurmountable odds and obstacles.

She is much more than a survivor.

She is not her childhood.

And neither am I.


Award winning author, Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series. Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.

Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

Sneak Off and Read: Lines about MISSING SOMEONE, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines about MISSING SOMEONE for a great start to the week. Enjoy!


Thinking back, I couldn’t recall a single instance where the smile had been missing. How his jaw must have ached!

Joanne Guidoccio


His gaze held so much tenderness, so much compassion; her tears became a torrent, flooding out of her. He moved into a sitting position on the mattress, holding her together as the most important piece of her world flew apart.

Jeannie Hall


Profound sadness wrapped itself around Dusty’s soul the day Chase walked out, and she was defenseless against it.

Kathryn Jane


I pulled the heirloom necklace from under my shirt, pressed a kiss to the medallion, and glanced up to the sky. “Miss you, Sis. Sure wish you were on this trip with me.”

Follow Me (work in progress)


“I don’t know, but I want the opportunity to find out. I’ve missed him more than I expected.”

Marsha West


Rafe had left the week they’d moved from Fort Bragg’s temporary housing into this apartment, and she’d refused to unpack completely. Without him, it didn’t feel like home.

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


“Miss me already?” Why me? I bit back tears of frustration. Why-why-why? “Kelly?” He scratched the door. “Is something wrong?”

Vicki Batman
Raving Beauty” from Just You and Me set


No matter how much anger and resentment he’d carried, he still missed her. It was as simple, and as complicated, as that.

Jacquie Biggar


As I sit in this hell hole I miss your smile, your laugh, your touch.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


I’ll miss you, Laura Horton. I hope you find another good man to go on with you in your life—one who will love you as much as I do.

Claire Gem


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Sneak Off and Read: Lines about NICKNAMES, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines about NICKNAMES for a great start to the week. Enjoy!


“Don’t tell me they have you working with Jonathan,” Miller said.

Laura bobbed her head and hiccupped. “Jonath-It.”

Claire Gem


With all this drama percolating, you’d think the others would stay quiet. No such luck! Mama Bear had to step up and protect her Goldilocks from the Big, Bad Photographer.

Joanne Guidoccio


“Pete’s right.” Geoffrey referred to his wife Patrice by her nickname, as always.

Jeannie Hall


“Now, cowboy? Now I’m old and wise and know better than to turn down a good offer.”

Kathryn Jane


She turned, staring straight at me with that fiery spirit still there in those deep brown eyes. “I said some things never change.”

Miss fancy pants had no clue what she was talking about.

Sharp Blades (work in progress)


“Princess” might be her name, but Jerrod always thought of her as “Dust Mop.” After she greeted him with her usual yips and tail wags, Jerrod leaned over and rubbed her behind the ears before he scooped her up for the obligatory kisses.

Marsha West


Juliet ran as the other kids chanted, “Come here, piggy piggy. Juliet Porcelet. Who lives in a toilet.”

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


“Hi, beautiful.” Remembering the zesty burger topping and its effects on morning breath, I surreptitiously covered my mouth. “Hi ya, cowboy. What ‘cha doin’?”

Vicki Batman
Raving Beauty” from Just You and Me set


Dani hurried to comply, aware of her teammate’s propensity for speed. “He’s still hung up on her. It’s as obvious as the hook on Dodger’s nose.”

Jacquie Biggar
Tempted by Mr. Wrong (work in progress)


You are my Jeva, Quin – my healer. Because of you I know what love is.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


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The Right Opening

Have you ever experienced the tyranny of the blank page?

If you’re nodding in agreement, you are in good company. In fact, I believe every writer—from beginner to published—has experienced those feelings of doubt and apprehension, especially at the start of a new manuscript. That’s when gremlin thoughts are most powerful.

In this post, I will offer several suggestions on how to squash those gremlins and start writing the first page of your next manuscript.

First, I will dispel  three popular rules:

rule #1–Start with a bang

Some writers believe the first page needs drama: a passionate argument between two people or a man running out of a burning house. One problem: the reader is not yet invested in the characters. The two people arguing could be murderers, and the man running out of the burning house could be a burglar. The reader needs to know more about the characters and their motivations before the drama occurs.

rule #2Start at the beginning

You can use a prologue to cut forward to later events or recall much earlier events. A three- to five-page prologue that introduces the crime or dead body can whet the reader’s appetite for more details. This works well with mysteries and thrillers.

rule #3Never start with dialogue

Used effectively, dialogue can establish the writer’s or protagonist’s voice. This will quickly draw the reader  into the writer’s world

So, what should the “right opening” accomplish?

Very simply, the first sentence needs to draw the reader’s attention to the next sentence and the rest of the first paragraph. And so on. That first sentence does not have to be loud or flashy…only intriguing.

five “Intriguing” examples:

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 1984 by George Orwell.

“They shoot the white girl first.” Paradise by Toni Morrison

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.” Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

If you’re struggling with “intriguing,” start with a simple sentence, and use the rest of the paragraph to follow up with details.

five examples of the “Simple” Approach:

“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

“It was love at first sight.” Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

“We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.” The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

“Nothing happens the way you plan it.” The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

“When he was nearly thirteen my  brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Hard-to-read and grammatically incorrect sentences can turn off readers, agents, and publishers.  But sometimes they work!  (English majors and editors–start cringing!)

Two examples of  the “Breaking the Rules and Getting Away with It” approach:

“You better not never tell nobody but God.” The Color Purple by Alice Walker

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

More tips…

  • Think of opening lines and paragraphs as introductions to new people. You probably wouldn’t be interested in getting to know a person who immediately launches into a monologue about her divorce, her latest car accident, or upcoming surgery. Instead, you want to learn just enough about the person so that you can have a pleasant conversation.
  • Gently lead the reader into the rest of the paragraph and the next page. The reader doesn’t have to fall in love with that first sentence, but she needs to be curious enough to keep reading.
  • Leave the reader with unanswered questions. She should be asking the question “Why” as she reads that first chapter. Why did those characters fall in love? Why did that murder happen?
  • Introduce character goals and motivations early. This creates a sense of direction that guides the reader through the novel.
  • Reread your favorite novels and critically analyze the opening sentences and paragraphs. Ask yourself what intrigued you as a reader and then apply the same approach to your own writing.
  • Keep in mind that the first chapter of a novel is the most heavily revised section of the book. You don’t have to get it right the first time.

Here’s the first page from my new release…

He couldn’t believe he was following his wife’s advice. After twelve years of paying lip service to deep yoga breaths, mindfulness, and all the other New Age crap she espoused, he had finally found a use for it. His midnight run usually sorted out all the stress, but tonight was different. He still couldn’t shake the venom that had been directed his way.

To make matters worse, it had come from eight women, eight very different and very annoying women. He had bedded four, but right now he couldn’t imagine having sex with any of them. As for the untouched four, well, only one interested him, and it had nothing to do with her feminine wiles and everything to do with her healthy bank account.

He would have to take something to get through the night, something a lot stronger than his wife’s herbal teas. The remnants of an old Percocet prescription came to mind. Two capsules might do the trick. The thought of a panacea, albeit a chemical one, calmed his racing thoughts. A good night’s sleep would make a world of difference. And tomorrow, he would sort it out.

The light patter of feet distracted him. Definitely a woman’s gait. Her breath was even, neither shallow nor panting. Younger, maybe in her thirties. His pulse quickened, and a smile spread over his features. A welcome distraction. Just what he needed to erase the built-up stress. To hell with deep breathing, affirmations, and Percocet.

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines about WORDS OF ENDEARMENT, #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines about WORDS OF ENDEARMENT for a great start to the week. Enjoy!


Tears sparkled on Maddie’s eyelashes. “I love that boy so much. He reminds me of my Joseph.” She smiled. “He’s just as stubborn.”

Jacquie Biggar
Hold ‘Em


“You are incredibly beautiful, Zoe Anderson. I’m honored you’re sharing your lovely body with me.”

Claire Gem


“I can’t stop thinking about you,” he whispered as he explored me with his tongue, caressing me, exciting me, removing my clothes, making me lose control as he led me away from the kitchen.

Joanne Guidoccio


But he kept his distance until she was inside and rolled down the window. Then he leaned in and planted a hot kiss on her before saying in a soft voice, “Drive safe, baby.”

Kathryn Jane


“Babe, I missed you so much.” Her eyes filled with worry, and he hated that he’d put that look there. “I am so sorry for hurting you.”

A Twisted Fate (work in progress)


“Mom, don’t try to talk. I love you.” Ah, sweet. Sometimes grown kids don’t use those words to their parents.

Marsha West


Rafe took her shoulders, pulling her close until their foreheads touched. “Breathe, sweetheart. Just breathe.”

Sharon Wray
When Next We Meet (work in progress)


“How are your pogo skills, beautiful?” “I can manage just fine. And stop calling me beautiful.”

Vicki Batman
Raving Beauty” from Just You and Me set


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