The draft of License to Shop, the second Secret Shopper Mom Mystery is almost done. Pushing myself to write a millions words is paying off, even though I’ve had a lot of obstacles, and am behind in my overall goal.
My hope was that pushing myself would also push me to be more creative, take a few more chances, and avoid my tendency to be a safe and rule-oriented writer. I think it’s working. I absolutely love License to Shop. Who better understands identity theft than woman who is a mom, a wife, a mystery shopper, and an amateur sleuth? Figuring out who she is under all those labels is a full time job for Molly Harbison.
A special thanks goes to Margaret Rushton, who lent her pooch Jasmine to be the model for Molly’s new puppy. Having a real dog to use made it easy to turn the puppy into a member of the Harbison family.
I love the new cover that Hanna Sandvig made. What do you think?
The book will be up for pre-order next week, and on-sale December 1st.
I’ve been meaning to get a new cover for my YA dark fantasy Blood Angel for a few months, but there have been so many other things on the to-do list….
The last two weeks I’ve been in cover-creation mode (stay tuned for a sneak peek at the cover for License to Shop, the second Secret Shopper Mom Mystery, and the gorgeous cover for my soon-to-be released short story, “Maiden Ash”).
While looking at covers to get ideas, I stumbled across one that was perfect for Blood Angel (I think).
What do you think?
Just in case you didn’t know, Blood Angel is available for free in the Kindle Unlimited program, and is free for anyone on October 31st as a Halloween present. A chilling tale perfect for a dark autumn evening, if I do say so myself.… Read the rest
So this is week 4 of the The Million Word Adventure. Wow. I have learned a lot about how much I have let interfere with the writing the last few years.
Monday was my birthday, and the first day of tutoring for the semester, so I did a little less writing than a typical Monday.… Read the rest
I knew setting myself a big goal like The Million Word Adventure (write a million words in 4 months) was going to stir up the Doubt Dragons big time. The DDs this week are about the size of wasps, but there are thousands of them, with the same clouding, stinging effect of a disturbed hornet’s nest.
I have done many unnecessary things, while listening to a running narrative of “I have to write 10,000 words today. I have to.”
In the first two weeks, I have not hit my daily word goal even once, and I missed my first weekly goal. Some people might see failure looming and give up, but I’m not one of them.
I was blessed with a gigantic helping of optimism in the face of reality, but also the ability to recognize reality (yes, leads for a very interesting internal debate whenever I try something new like this).
Going in, I knew the reality was that I have been actively avoiding the actual writing for several years. I’m telling the stories over and over in my mind — in the grocery line, driving, fixing dinner.… Read the rest
I am home, at last, after an entire summer away, having a big adventure. My husband and I drove across the country, from Maine to California, and back again.
We stopped to see sights both iconic (the Petrified Forest) and ironic (The Jolly Green Giant statue). I have pictures to prove it, and I will share them soon.
I even got to travel the Trans-Canada highway for the first time ever (highly recommended; there are many places where you can stop and just take a break by the water).
We managed to help one son transition from East Coast to West Coast into a long-coveted job, and spent quality time with our grandson.
We had a blast living in San Francisco in a furnished sublet, able to walk to the ocean/bay in any direction we wished.
Unfortunately, I did not get nearly enough work done, especially not writing work.
I have so many travel stories to share with you on the blog, in addition to continuing the Secret Shopper Mom Mystery series with License to Shop, the next Molly Harbison mystery shopper novel. Not to mention the new YA fantasy serialization I have been outlining and working on for a couple of years now.… Read the rest
My cover designer, Hanna Sandvig designed another great trailer for me. If you thought secret shopping was a scam job, you should meet Molly and find out what secret shoppers really do.
… Read the rest
I’m so excited to feature the talented Hanna Sandvig, of Book Cover Bakery, on the blog today. A few months ago, when I wanted to re-do the cover of The Ex Files to match my new Secret Shopper series, I had to find an illustrator. Luckily, I came across a reference to Hanna, who has now designed two covers and two trailers for me, with two more covers yet to do. I debuted the trailer for The Ex Files yesterday, and if you want to be the first to see the trailer for Shop and Let Die, sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get a sneak peek on Friday.… Read the rest
I’ve already revealed the new The Ex Files cover, but now it is time to reveal the trailer that talented artist Hanna Sandvig did for me.
Isn’t it cute?
I’ve never been able to draw anything other than princesses (circle faces, bell-shaped skirts), so I’m always envious when I see someone else’s artistic talent. But this time, I got to help create it.
Later this week, I’ll share an interview with Hanna, and maybe give you a sneak peek into our working process.
… Read the rest
One of the most frequent questions that writers get is “Where do you get your ideas.” Most writers I know scoff at that question. I don’t. I am as interested in that question as any reader.
My ideas have come from overhearing a conversation, mishearing a phrase (The Salem Witch Tryouts, for example), watching a movie and wondering would what have happened if the a plot choice had gone a different way….in short, there are story prompts for writers everywhere I look. I have notebooks full of them, and I’d need to write for a thousand years to write them all.
I visited one of Mother Nature’s story prompts in Wyoming on my most recent trip out to visit The Best Grandbaby In the World™ in the Bay Area. Devil’s Tower has been inspiring stories for ages. The Arapaho have one, the Cheyenne have one, the Crow, the Kiowa, and the Lakota. They all feature a big bear, making scratches on the rock. And, like most storytellers, every tribe’s story is just a little different.
Me, I wondered why this particular natural wonder inspired so many stories. My trips out west have taught me that there are so many wondrous formations ready to inspire story in travelers.… Read the rest