Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Romance in The Windy City

We're in the heart of winter so there's nothing quite like having a good book to curl up with on these cold, cold days and nights. It's even better when you can find one with fascinating characters and a wonderful plot. My guest today in My Writing Corner, Liz Crowe, brings us a book that sounds like a perfect combination of action and emotion that can take us into another world.

iz hails from Kentucky and is a graduate of the University of Louisville. She is currently living in South Carolina. She tells us she is a three-continent expat trailing spouse, mom of three, who was formerly a real estate agent, brewery owner and bar manager. She is currently a digital marketing consultant for non-profits, in addition to being an award-winning author. Her stories are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, inside fictional television stations and successful real estate offices. Her compelling books take place  in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, at times frustrate, and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Her latest book, What Happens in Chicago has just been released by The Wild Rose Press. Let's get a blurb:

I figured it would be just another night at the club. Another chance to put my parents’ expectations and their pressure to return home behind me. But hiding from my issues by entertaining clients at an exclusive club in Chicago wasn’t the erotic buzz it used to be. And then, this smoking hot dude spilled bourbon down the front of my dress...

What had, at one time, been sexy, illicit, and thrilling now felt like one more night stuck on a hamster wheel. I was bored to tears with the whole club scene, forced yet again to verify to everyone that I was as Alpha as I claimed to be while continuing to hide from my responsibilities as part owner of my family’s brewery. And then, I literally ran into her…

What happens between Sloane and Michael in Chicago seems like nothing more than a hookup, a scorching hot interlude for a couple of well-matched libidos. Once they realize that there are legit feelings involved, they find plenty of ways to deflect and sabotage their burgeoning relationship. When they both have to leave their beloved Chicago and go home to Michigan—Sloane to help an ill parent, Michael to salvage his family’s famous brewery—things get even more complicated. Accepting the depth of their emotion for each other means acknowledging their own flaws, which makes for tough conversations…along with steamy make-up sessions.

Let’s learn more about Sloane:

Tell us about those issues with your parents? 

I’m an only child, and while I was spoiled, materially speaking I was lacking in the actual emotion department with my parents. My dad is sort of a bully and my mom does whatever he wants, usually. He runs our family’s large beer and wine distribution business and has always put work before family. She is a sort of classic society wife, does tennis, lunches with her friends, shops and runs fundraisers for charity. They are not bad people, but the only way they knew how to parent me I guess was to give me whatever I wanted. 

In an attempt to get their attention and in response to my father’s jerk personality, I began to act out in high school, and that’s when my issues with food got pretty bad. 

Why did you go to the club?

I was trying to get ahead at my PR firm and taking current and potential clients to the club is a rite of passage—usually reserved for the men in the office. But I made sure they all knew that I had no problem taking clients to their upscale titty bar. You know, you gotta do what you gotta do to get ahead. I always over tip the dancers. They work way hard to do what they do and I respect the hell out of that.

Tell us about this guy? What attracts you to him?

His ass? Ok, that and the way he wears a suit. Oh, and the fact that he seemed like a guy who could match me intellectually, sexually, and financially. Turns out there’s more to him than all that…and it snuck up on me a little. He’s a total care taker, as it turns out which is both great and annoying all at once. He’s also a sports fan, like me. And he loves to drive fast, like I do. We’re scarily well-matched on a lot of levels.

What worries you about him?

His need to control everything around him. Not that I’m any different really. That’s the problem. We’re an awful lot alike, personality-wise which sometimes leads to trouble. But that’s what real relationships are, right? Sometimes awesome, sometimes a struggle. I’m ok with that (the sex is ALWAYS good, lol).

What do you see as your future or what do you want?

I want to have a normal relationship with food. I’m working on it but I know after years of therapy that it will be a life-long battle. In the interim, I would love to spend the rest of my life with Michael Burke. Here’s hoping he feels the same way. Oh, and I want to take a month long vacation in Europe. Maybe he’ll take me there for our honeymoon. But we’re deferring it for work right now. Busy busy busy!

Now let's talk to Michael:

What brought you to the club?

Work. I bring mostly currently clients for drinks and a show. I’m not proud to say that I’ve closed some seriously huge deals for myself while drinking and watching beautiful naked women dance around, but there it is.

What kind of woman are you looking for?

Well, to be honest, I’d always claimed that my type was the ones who’d be kinky, sexy, fun and then gone the next morning. I never was a cuddler, or a breakfast-in-bed-the-morning-after guy….until I met Sloane. Then all my preconceived notions about myself went right out the window. She’s everything I love and a whole of stuff I don’t which makes me love her more. Weird. But I’ve accepted it and I know I want to be with her the rest of my life.

What attracts you to Sloane?

Her ass? Well, ok, her legs, and her lips and…well I mean I’m a guy so I do notice the physical first. The more I got to know her, the more I liked about her, even with her whole anorexia thing. I tried to help her with that but I know it’s outside the realm of my ability to fix. She has to fix it and she’s working on it, after some pretty scary moments. She’s so focused and determined and honestly could do anything she put her mind to and I do love that about her. (and the sex is A ++)

What worries you about a relationship with her?

The food thing is an issue and always will be for her. But now that we’re going to therapy together, we’re getting a handle on how I can help or hurt her in that area. Honestly, I worry that she’ll never feel satisfied with herself. I know that’s a woman thing and I hate that she has to fight her own inner demons every day over her weight. 

Thank you Liz for being my guest today on My Writing Corner.  Here are the buy links for her new book and her social contacts to learn more about her:

Universal: https://books2read.com/WhatHappensinChicago

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/What-Happens-Chicago-Liz-Crowe-ebook/dp/B09PJLJTPQ/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60143420-what-happens-in-chicago

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/what-happens-in-chicago-by-liz-crowe

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/LizCroweAuthor

FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor

FACEBOOK CHAT ROOM: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Lizcrowefans

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/lizcroweauthor/

TIKTOK: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeQoUHjD/

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/liz-crowe

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M

GOODREADS PAGE: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4350864.Liz_Crowe

WEBSITE: http://www.lizcrowe.com



EMAIL LIZ: lizcroweauthor@gmail.com

Are there any questions or comments for Liz?

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?

Mysterious Doings

As the  summer begins, it is time to start selecting those books we want to take on vacation or for sitting around the pool or at  the beach...