Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Detecting a Good Story

Nothing draws me and so many other readers into a book more than a good mystery, and today I am excited to have the opportunity to feature a mystery author. Her new book sounds like it belongs on my bookshelf. Today's guest in My Writing Corner is author Terry Korth Fischer. 

She writes short stories, memoirs, and mysteries. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, was published in 2019. She followed up that book in 2021, with her debut mystery, Gone Astray, introducing Detective Rory Naysmith, a seasoned city cop relocated to small-town Winterset, Nebraska. The Rory Naysmith Mysteries continue this month with a new entry, Gone Before

Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two guard cats. She says that when she is not writing, she loves reading, frolicking with her kittens, and basking in sunshine. Yet, her heart often wanders to the country's heartland, where she spent a memorable—ordinary but charmed—childhood. 

Her newest book is Gone Before. Let's get a new blurb:

A murderer who doesn’t leave a clue. Small-town detective, Rory Naysmith, thought he’d seen it all, but a young woman’s brutal murder is especially hard to stomach. Doubly so, when he recognizes the murder’s MO is identical to that of Tobias Snearl, the killer he put behind bars a decade before. His frustration grows after a series of senseless accidents plague those dearest to him, and a second woman dies. Searching for answers, Rory races against time, plunging deep into the murder investigations, drawing ever closer to becoming a casualty of the dark, angry deeds himself, until he finds no one is who they pretend to be—and none are beyond evil’s reach.

Want to know more about the book? I certainly do!  Let's get an excerpt:

         The detective studied the cloudless sky and tried not to think about his foot. It didn’t work. “Just use the crowbar to break one of these frickin’ stones loose.”
          The jack handle didn’t do the trick. Opening the trenching tool and using the pick end, Thacker swung it against the largest stone. It bounced off the surface. Rory suppressed a scream as pain shot from his knee down his encased leg.


“Sorry, boss.”

“Try removing one of the outer stones. Loosen them, and maybe we’ll be able to budge these. I’ll hold the light, and you make room for these damn jaws to unclasp. Try finding the cornerstone.” A fine layer of perspiration covered Rory’s face. He felt defeated and a little nauseous. He leaned back on his elbows and looked at the sky. “Thacker,” he said, “this is damn unlucky.”

The rookie moved down the mound to the edge of the pile. Using the crowbar and a lot of muscle, he attacked. Finally, he was able to roll one stone out of position. Then another. He was still three feet from Rory’s crevice, working his way toward the more enormous boulders and Rory’s ultimate freedom, when the rock he was prying loose rolled out of place. He hesitated. “There is something funny here, boss.” 

“I could use a good laugh.”

“Not ha-ha funny, peculiar funny.”

“Tell me anyway.”

“There’s someone else in this rock pile.”

Now that sounds like a book that mystery readers should enjoy. 

Thank you Terry, for being my guest today on My Writing Corner.  To learn more about Terry and buy her books, here are her Social Media links and Buy links:

Social Media Links:


Twitter: https://twitter.com/terryiswriting

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerryIsWriting

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/terrykorthfischer

Goodreads Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14349440.Terry_Korth_Fischer

BookBub Author: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/terry-korth-fischer

BookGems Author: https://www.bookgems.com/profile/tkfischer/

BLOG Website: https://www.terryiswriting.com

Newsletter: https://tinyletter.com/TerryKorthFischer      

Buy Links:  


Barnes & Noble 

Are there any questions or comments for Terry?

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A Writer's Journey

The stories about how writers become published authors can be as varied as the stories those authors tell. It’s why readers enjoy hearing more about the people behind the books they read. 

Today’s guest in My Writing Corner,  Alana Lorens, has been a published writer for more than forty years, after working as a pizza maker, a floral designer, a journalist and a family law attorney. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. She writes romance and suspense as Alana Lorens, and sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal mystery as Lyndi Alexander. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVEis set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. Alana lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum, who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by three crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages.

Welcome, Alana, please tell us about your road to publication.

The first piece I ever got paid for was a sentimental column in an Indiana paper, celebrating my grandmother’s family farm. I spent some time as a journalist in my 20s, then went to law school for some crazy reason. As I got into my 40s, I went back to writing and had my first book on divorce published in 1998. Then I turned to fiction and fantasy (so much more fun!!) and The Elf Queen came out in 2010. Since then I’ve published over a dozen books as Lyndi Alexander, in fantasy and sci-fi, and another ten as Alana Lorens in romance and suspense.

What do you enjoy about being an author?

I love when I’m on a roll and the plot points are falling into place and everything’s working. I love face to face book signings where I can talk with people about what they love to read. I love how much coffee I drink, hoping for inspiration LOL.

What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?

The hardest part is when I am NOT on a roll and the points are hanging from the ceiling or hidden in a cave or lost forever, depending what time of night I remembered them.  Fortunately our critique group, the Fellowship of the Quill, is super supportive and we often talk to each other through the tough stretches. Other writers can remind you it isn’t all fun and games and art is work, too.

What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it?

The latest book is A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME, which is a high school reunion, second-chance romance. At the time I wrote it, I was first learning about blogging and Technorati and getting points and all the things. So I got to use some of that knowledge through Marisol and her mommyblog for single moms.

What’s your next project? 

Coming out later this spring is a book I’m really excited about, PROPHECIES and PROMISES, which is an historical romance with pirates! Set in 1898 as the Spanish-American War was just about to happen, it tell the story of Tamsyn MacKiernan, who thinks she’s in love with a good man—who turns out not to be a good man—or maybe with the bad boy pirate—who might just be a good man after all.

Let’s get a blurb on your newest book:

Up-and-coming mommyblogger and single mom Marisol Herrera Slade returns to her old hometown in western Pennsylvania for her 20th high school reunion in 2005, reluctant and yet compelled to see her high school sweetheart, Russell Asher, who dumped her for the homecoming queen.

Russell's marriage to the golden girl, however, ended in a nasty divorce, and he has been systematically excluded from his sons' lives. In his Internet wanderings, he's found feminist blogger named Jerrika Jones, who glorifies single motherhood, essentially putting a stamp of approval on what's happened to him. His group of single dad advocates have vowed to take this woman down.

What Russell doesn't know, when he thinks to rekindle what he had with Marisol, is that Marisol and Jerrika are one and the same. When his group discovers the truth, will their drive for revenge derail any chance the couple have to reunite? Or will they find they have more in common than they ever expected?

How about an excerpt? 

Debbie grinned at Russell. “I was hoping you’d come. We’re just planning some events for the dance at the gym tomorrow night, the eighties splash, you know, and I remembered you and Tiffany doing the Pee Wee Big Shoe Dance.” 

A flash of embarrassment ran through him as he remembered it, too. What a geek he’d been. “Oh, geeze, Debbie. Can’t you remember some of what I did on the basketball court instead?” 

“We haven’t forgotten that,” Angela purred, her eyes hungry as she watched him. “Those thin jerseys didn’t cover much.” 

Russell swallowed hard. “Well. I…ah…” Maybe not that much remembering. “What about that Pee-Wee thing again? What was that song?” 

“ ‘Tequila,’ ” came a quiet voice from behind him. He turned slowly to see who spoke. Marisol Herrera. Marisol Herrera Slade now. He’d seen her name in one of the interim emails from the reunion committee. So she must have gotten married after she left school. At the moment, she sat alone, though.

Marisol hadn’t changed much at all: a little older through the eyes, a little tired-looking, her smile faint as if it would fade away if the light didn’t stay focused on it. But she still carried herself well, her figure slim, and her sharp white tank and skirt showed it off. Older, and better, apparently. He’d always liked her. They’d had some real good times. She was smart, kinda pretty, and always pleasant. 

She just wasn’t Tiffy.


Now that sounds like an intriguing story!  Thank you, Alana, for being my guest today on My Writing Corner.  Here are her social media and buy links:

Website http://Alana-lorens.com

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/AlanaLorens/

Goodreads   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4829967.Alana_Lorens

Amazon Author Page  https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Book trailer: 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alana-lorens

Twitter:  @AlexanderLyndi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexander_lyndi/ 






Thank you, Alana, for being my guest today. Does anyone have any questions or comments for Alana?

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Mixing Art and Words

As we move into the new year, I am starting out 2022 with a visit to the past as well as to the present and future. For nearly 20 years I have collaborated on various writing books with a writing teacher who has worked with me on various projects as well taught with me on occasion. Sue Viders was already well-known in the writing world when I first met her years ago. Her book on archetypes was already in my book collection so it gives me great pride to feature her latest work today.

Welcome, Sue, how did you get started?

Actually, it was quite by accident because a new book was needed. At that time there were no art marketing books. None.

Many years ago I was a national seminar leader on marketing art and I taught all across the country and internationally. I was working for a well-known printing company that specialized in printing prints for artists and they wanted me to show artists how they could make money from making prints of their paintings. You have to remember this was before we had printers that anyone could use to print an image.

The company sent me to large national art seminars where I critiqued paintings and taught art marketing to emerging artists. Teach enough seminars and one has plenty of material for a book. So I wrote my first book entitled, Producing and Marketing PRINTS. Of course, my company printed the book. First run was 5,000. I never dreamed it would sell all over the world and two more editions were printed.

Fast forward. With the success of this book, many more books, charts and art organizers were created. But by then, computers and home printers were readily available, and artists began printing their own prints and large seminars were no longer needed as now much of the information an artist could possibly need to market their work was up on the internet.

Tell us about your nonfiction work

But the writing bug would not leave me and I went on to start writing marketing books for writers as now I was trying my hand at some fiction stories. My first was the now well-known throughout the world book, The Complete Writer’s Guide to HEROES & HEROINES, Sixteen Master Archetypes. It still sells well today.

Soon I began teaching aspiring writers, both locally at various writers organizations, then on the college and adult education level followed by lecturing to various groups across the country via the internet. In my classes, the students were forever asking questions, especially about how to do this, or what should I add, etc., etc…. until I simply had to write my popular teaching book that I use in all my classes, Writing a Novel. It is a workbook and a do-it-yourself book. 

However, even with this workbook and my eye-ball to eye-ball classes, the beginning writer wanted more examples … so I created a Pick-a-Number series of nine books that cover all the elements of a story with over 500 movie examples in each book.

The last one out, Book 3, is DEVELOP A CHARACTER. The book consists of nine sections:  Characters, Name, Occupation, Appearance, Background, Positive Traits, Negative Traits, Attributes and PersonalityTypes.

In each of these nine sections, there are 16 different components or factors that make up that section, and each has four movie examples. Take the section of Name. The various components that need to be considered when deciding on what to name your characters are:  Age appropriate, Alliteration, Animal, Aptronym, County, Double name, Era, Evil sounding, Genre, Nickname, One word, Personality, Popular, Prefix, Sound, and Weird

Each one of the above has its own four movie examples:

Aptronym, for example, is a name that simply describes the occupation or personality of the person. The name “Draco” in Harry Potter is Latin for a terrifying beast.

Movies examples:

Doctor Who (the name) Doctor Who (the movie)

Time Traveler - Time Machine

Superman - Superman

The Kid - Dick Tracy

I particularly like Sound and Weird in the Name section, as Hannibal Lector sounds evil and Silas Ramsbottom is a wonderful name for that character in Despicable Me.

What are you working on now?

Just off the drawing board are more Pick-a-Number books 1 is IDEAS, 2 is PLOT and book 4 is SETTING. I have just started working on book 9, ENDING.

Also have an idea for a log book for published authors and another workbook for aspiring writers … thinking of calling it Blueprint for One Novel and the subtitle is A New Way to Write a Book, Scene by Scene. 

But as I said, I also love fiction. Becky Martinez and I have just finished our first cozy mystery, Secrets and Swindles, about two middle-aged sisters who just happen to get involved in some interesting problems.

And we are starting on Olivia’s and Josephine’s next adventure, Turns and Twists.

What to you like to write most - fiction or nonfiction?

I love non-fiction, but occasionally it’s fun to write fiction where one can lie a bit, make-up all sorts of interesting characters. In non-fiction, one has to always tell the truth.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

The same advice all authors give, in order to be an author one has to write. Because if you don’t write you have nothing to edit, nothing to show to anyone, nothing but a vague idea roaming around in your head.

Want more writing thoughts, you can always drop us a note at our website, writethatnovel.net.

Thank you Sue, for being my guest today on My Writing Corner.  To contact or buy her books, here are her links:



Any questions or comments for Sue?

Monday, December 27, 2021

Looking Back, Looking Forward

For me, the final week of every year has always meant looking back and looking forward. The end of one year is coming (and coming very quickly) while a new year is just around the corner and comes with the promise of new things to do, new places to visit and new people to meet, not to mention new challenges.

It's time to take that sigh of relief over what we have gotten done in the past year and rather than thinking of the things we didn’t quite get done, I always like to think of the things that DID get done.

Usually when we take the time to count up accomplishments versus things we didn’t get done, we end up finding there was a lot more that got accomplished than we realize. The secret is to take the time to think of them and then applaud what we did accomplish, rather than focus solely on what didn’t get done.  (Even those things we didn’t do we still have time to get them done next year!) Confusing? Maybe, but the key is to keep looking forward rather than focusing on what was left behind. We can always start the new year promising to get those things done!

For me, while last year was a crazy, confused and sometimes frightening time, it also provided some new opportunities that will pay off in the future. For instance, while I still couldn’t physically attend conferences that I often enjoyed in the past, I was still able to attend MORE conferences because so many offered virtual opportunities. I couldn’t attend my local writing group meetings, but once they began putting them on virtually,I was still able to see the programs. I was also able to attend virtual conferences and meetings given by other groups all around the country.  (I even attended one given in Canada.)

No, it’s not the same as spending time just chatting with other writers, but the conferences still presented a great opportunity to learn from master teachers and  best-selling authors and to get to just chat with other writers about some of the challenges they are facing.

Being forced to stay in also gave me more time to focus on the writing process itself. I was able to finish two non-fiction books as well as three works of fiction that I had been working on for several years. 

The non-fiction book, Pitching Your Fiction will soon be available, as well as my co-authored books, Writing a Great Villain, and Writing Tips for Authors.  

To me, one of the most exciting developments in the past year was getting two new fiction books completed, edited and sent on the road to publication. They will both be released in the new year.

Secrets of Sara was a book I started writing years ago – the story of a young woman who keeps seeing a ghost with a secret from the past. It’s a romantic suspense novel that will be coming soon from Wings ePress.

When Marianne Lopez arrives in the small Colorado town where she was born and raised, she knows she must face Brad Calhoun, the man who once broke her heart. Rancher Brad Calhoun has never forgotten the special time he spent with Marianne, but he also knows they want different lives. Deserted by his mother and an ex-wife, Brad wants only a calm life to raise his children. Both carry memories of a night of stolen love… and a special connection that draws them together.  But there is something…or someone… watching them… Do the secrets of Sara hold the key to their future?

My second book, coming next year also from The Wild Rose Press is the second in my Dead Man series—Dead Man’s Treasure.  It is currently in the editing stage, and I’m already working on the final story in the Dead Man trilogy – Dead Man’s Secrets. That is my primary goal for this next year—to get it finished and edited.

Good luck with all your goals for the new year, but don’t forget to look back and celebrate what you accomplished in the last year. You’ll probably find you did a lot more than you realized. So here’s to the old year, and bring on the new one!  


Monday, December 20, 2021

'Tis The Season

With the holiday season in full swing, wouldn't it be nice to take a break from all our chores with a new book? That's how I always feel every year as the heart of the season grows closer and there are always new things to do, new places to go, and responsibilities that need to be finished. Sometimes we all need to take a deep breath and just curl up with a new story.

Our guest today in My Writing Corner presents a great possibility for that time of relaxation and enjoyment. My guest is author Jill Piscitello and her new sweet, holiday romance sounds like a perfect book for the holidays.

Jill Piscitello is a teacher and author, and she tells us she is also an avid fan of multiple literary genres. Although she divides her reading hours among several books at a time, she says that a lighthearted story offering an escape from the real world can always be found on her nightstand.

Jill is a native of New England, where she lives with her family and three well-loved cats. (Yikes! That's brave! We have two and they keep us plenty busy at times!) She says when she is not planning lessons or reading and writing, she can be found spending time with her family, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and going on light hikes. 

Welcome, Jill, please tell us about your road to publication.

When I finally dredged up the nerve to query publishing houses for my novel, Homemakers’ Christmas, rejections followed.  Some were standard form letters.  But other editors were kind enough to make suggestions for how to improve my writing.  The most useful replies were quite specific and included various free writing resources.  The message was clear and well-received:  the story idea was worth pursuing, but I had much to learn.  Although the editors weren’t ready to offer a contract, I was grateful for the time they spent sharing advice.  I took the advice, ran with it, and continue to read everything I can get my hands on that relates to improving writing.

After significant revisions, Homemakers’ Christmas found a home with Satin Romance.  Last spring, I was thrilled to sign a new contract with The Wild Rose Press for Tinsel and Tea Cakes.  

What do you enjoy about being an author?

I love playing with words.  I can rewrite a line twenty times and never tire of the process.

What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?

Marketing is probably at the top of the challenge list for most authors.  This is especially true for people like me who are more introverted.  Writing is a solitary activity.  But once you have a finished product, you’re supposed to share it and let people get to know you.  Marketing may not be a walk in the park, but it’s also one of the most important pieces of the puzzle.

What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it?

Tinsel and Tea Cakes is my latest release.   Though I love a good Christmas romance any time of year, the busy schedules of the holiday season inspired me to write a novella.  My goal was to create something fun and heartwarming.

Let's get a blurb:

Hair stylist Scarlett Kerrigan lost her job and her apartment. To alleviate a touch of self-pity, she succumbs to her stepmom’s pressure to attend a wedding in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Unfortunately, she runs into the vacation fling who promised the moon but disappeared without an explanation. Months have passed, but she is not ready to forgive and forget.

After a chaotic year, executive Wes Harley settles into his family's event venue, The Timeless Manor. His carefully structured world is shaken to its core when Scarlett arrives for the Victorian Christmas wedding weekend. The feelings he never quite erased flood to the surface.

When secrets are revealed, will a magical chateau and a sprinkle of tinsel be enough to charm Scarlett?

How about a quick excerpt?

Lights flashed in the side view mirror. Another car parked behind them, but snow blocked all visibility through the back window. Boots crunching through snow announced the hulking figure before he appeared at the door. A scarf and hat covered most of the stranger’s face, and only a pair of emerald-green eyes peered in. 

Scarlett inched down the window a crack. The possibility of this person being a deranged lunatic couldn’t be overlooked. 

“Scarlett?” The man stepped back and tugged down the scarf. 

She knew that face and opened her mouth to speak but couldn’t find a word. This day just kept getting better. Those eyes should have been the first clue, but never in her wildest dreams did she expect to see him again. The blur of memories racing through her mind dropped a throat-constricting concoction of confusion, hurt, and vile hope on her chest. “Wes.” 

“What are you doing here? Aren’t you a little far from home?” A line formed between his eyebrows. 

Clarice leaned forward to get a better glimpse of their potential knight in shining armor. 

“More than a little.” Coherent thoughts took shape in the form of questions and accusations. Every fiber in her being burned at the thought of asking him for help, but alternative options were few and far between. Who knew how long before roadside assistance arrived? Fine, maybe he’d get her out of this mess, but making small talk didn’t need to factor into the exchange.

What’s your next project? 

I recently finished a manuscript for my first cozy mystery.  But every time I think it’s complete, I dive in for more changes.  I am also in the early stages of writing a stand-alone sequel to Tinsel and Tea Cakes.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?

Make time to write.  Easier said than done when life wants to get in the way.  My first novel took ten years to finish.  As a full-time working mom who often didn’t settle in at home until after 9pm, I know firsthand that those snippets of time are hard to find.  I spent more than a few nights scribbling chapters in notebooks or sticky noting away in Writing Fiction for Dummies and other similar books while waiting in parking lots for my children.  As a newly crowned empty nester, I’m finally polishing up those loose leafed stories.

To learn more about Jill and her books, here are her social contacts and buy links.

Social media links:

Website ~ Twitter  ~ Facebook Instagram

Purchase Links:

Amazon Nook

Apple Books

Thank you, Jill, for being my guest today on My Writing Corner.  Are there any questions or comments for Jill?

Detecting a Good Story

Nothing draws me and so many other readers into a book more than a good mystery, and today I am excited to have the opportunity to feature a...