My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni ~ Fiction #BookReview

22744701I have mixed feelings about this book. Parts of it aren’t entirely believable, but people are unpredictable and the book is fiction, so . . . might as well just go with it. Maybe a Chemistry teacher really would become a homicide detective after her sister’s murder???

I liked the writing, the plot was well thought, and the characters you were supposed to like were likable. It was by no means predictable, and felt fresh while I read it (so much better than overdone tropes that create a sense of deja vu 9 out of 10 pages).

For those who like both mysteries and legal thrillers, I’d recommend giving this one a try. It felt a bit odd in places, but, overall a success! 5 stars!

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True Grit ~ Tuesday’s Words of Writing Inspiration

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Meme Monday ~ Laughs for #Readers and #Writers

Best Reader Meme of the Week:  (Not funny, but AWESOME!)

funny parking garage designed as giant bookshelf

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Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing ~ Pantsers vs. Plotters

When I start writing a piece of fiction, whether a short story or a novel, I’ll jot down a couple of things I’d like to include, maybe where I’d like to see a character or the journey end up, maybe just a character I’d like to work with, sometimes as little as a sentence I’d like to include, and start from there. Strangely, I tend to do a little more preparation for a short story than a novel. After all, in a short story, you have a finite amount of words in which to develop a complete plot. Image result for pantsers vs plotters

I am what you call a Pantser.

Pantsers fly by the seat of their pants, going wherever the story takes them. This is in contrast to a Plotter, who will carefully develop their plot and timeline before beginning the story. Plotters have a much easier time writing a synopsis, as most of the work has already been done. Pantsers, in my opinion, have more fun. One has only to look at the number of memes already developed for this duel to know that this is an age old debate not likely to be settled. Image result for pantsers vs plotters

The truth is, I only want to write books that I would also want to read, and the books I absolutely LOVE reading are the ones that have twists and turns that completely take me by surprise. I’m sure there’s many a Plotter who plot fantastic twists and turns, but I don’t have enough time or energy for that. I figure that if I don’t know what’s going to happen, then there’s a better chance the reader won’t either.

Image result for pantsers vs plottersThat’s not to say that I don’t put any planning into what I write. I have a white board on which I write my suggestions for the next few chapters, and any ideas that come while I’m writing that I’m afraid I’ll forget. However, a white board can be easily erased – therefore, nothing I write on it is ‘in stone’, but rather points I may or may not touch upon, much like a speaker who uses only bullet points to develop their entire lecture.

Image result for pantsers vs plottersImagine my sheer delight when, 50,000 words into my WIP, everything’s on track and I have a pretty good idea where it’s headed, who the ‘perp’ is, etc., when out of nowhere, I realize I was wrong. What I’m putting on the page is leading up to an ending other than what I was expecting, something I hadn’t even considered, but which is so absolutely perfect, it left me positively giddy. I’m not arguing that Pantsing is better than Plotting, to each their own, but for me, surprising myself is one of the most rewarding parts of writing.

Are you a Pantser or a Plotter?


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Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star ~ Fiction #BookReview

36686338I almost put this book down 10 pages in. I didn’t like the style of writing. It was just a touch too much telling versus showing, which gave the writing a slightly juvenile quality. It wasn’t bad, but that’s one of my triggers. If the characters hadn’t been in the area I live (if only briefly), had I not wanted to see what places and perhaps people I might recognize, this review wouldn’t be happening.

But I did read on. And found many insanely annoying (to me) clumps of writing across the pages that made my eyes roll and my teeth bare in a growl trying to scare off what I didn’t like. What I also found was a plot twist that completely took me by surprise.

So, this book is not without it’s merits. The writing isn’t bad, it’s just not what I prefer to read. The characters are well developed, the pacing was good, and I was blindsided at least once. Not bad for an Amazon free Prime book of the month. 3.75 stars.


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True Grit ~ Tuesday’s Words of Writing Inspiration

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Meme Monday ~ Laughs for #Readers and #Writers

Best Writer Meme of the Week:

Pretty much. This is why we edit several times.

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Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing ~ Meraki it to Me

In December of 2016, when I was last writing (with such intensity that I literally wore the letters off my laptop’s keyboard), I put aside the novel I was writing (#4) to work on a re-write of novel #3 as requested by one of the agents who had requested the full. The re-write was never completed, never re-submitted to the agent, and it all turned into a big, sad pile of squashed dreams. (Thanks, life.)

So, while planning my return to writerly things (it’s not just as simple as sitting down to write, oh, no, not at all), I figured I’d write a short story, read what I had written of novel #4, and then move on to the re-write of #3. Nine hundred words in, the short story stunk so bad that the dogs asked me to leave the room. But the reading of #3? When I had finished the last word written, I typed the next 1000 words. The next day, over 2000. I was back in full force, and it felt incredible. I had 4 fantastic, productive days of writing. I felt amazing. And then  . . . everything else in life got jealous and demanded instant, undivided attention.

*** This is actually the first time I’ve gotten 10 minutes of me time, which does not make me a happy camper. There’s nothing like being on a roll and having it be brought to a screeching halt so soon. But the hard part is over. There is no fear, only ten fingers itching to get back to work. ***

Image result for writingWhich brings me to my word of the week ~ meraki [may-rah-kee], because I am aware of no other one word that so accurately describes how I feel when I write. There’s plenty of emotions – frustration, anger, confusion, love, happiness – but the sum of all these emotions together, everything I am and have experienced and possibly everything I will one day be and know, all these things together are the ‘essence of myself’ that I put into my work. Whether it takes another day or another week (there’s no way in hell I’ll let it take another year) until I’m back to the grindstone, my meraki will be write right there waiting to pour itself out on the pages.

What word best describes your writing?



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Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #39) ~ #Mystery #BookReview

32758320If I had to name my first ‘literary hero’, the first author whose books I read that made me jealous, that made me think to myself, “This. Is. It. This is what I need to do. I need to write stories, mysteries, that makes people feel like this book has made me feel,” only one name come to mind. The author is Agatha Christie, and the book was And Then There Were None (also known by the less PC title Ten Little Indians).

If you added up all the time I spent with Agatha, with her Miss Marple and her Hercule Poirot and others of her creation, I’m sure it would amount to months of hours of reading, perhaps years. If I had had an imaginary friend, she would have been it. Even in my tender pre-teen years, I knew that her books, that she, wasn’t normal (and I mean that in the best way possible).

She was ahead of her time. She pulled no punches. She was prolific and disturbed and wonderful and wacked.

So how does she stand the test of time?

Eerily well. It’s been years (decades) since I’ve read one of her books. I’m quite sure that I’ve probably read this one before, although I couldn’t remember it. And while it’s not one of her best, it’s still darn good. There’s not many books written almost fifty years ago that you could read today and have it still feel rather modern. Still a good mystery with an intricate plot that’s not entirely obvious. Still a few chuckles to be found among the pages. For those reasons and many more, Agatha Christie is and will remain the Queen of Mystery. 5 stars!

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True Grit ~ Tuesday’s Words of Writing Inspiration

68 Likes, 3 Comments - Your Writing Doesn't Suck (@writing_inspiration) on Instagram: “PREACH IT! ❤ #teenwriters #writingquotes #writinginspiration #write #wattpad #wearewriters…”

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