Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs Featuring Books by Jude Pittman #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

Since I mentioned this one in the responses, here is the link to purchase Sisters of Prophecy, Ursula and a short blurb

What’s a girl to do? Katherine Shipton has a painting that talks, an ancestor who won’t stay in her own century, and a former boyfriend with a serious ax to grind against her new fiancĂ©. She already has a full plate, but when said ancestor sends her tripping back and forth between the 15th and 21st century without benefit of psychedelic drugs, the poor girl begins to doubt her own sanity. Then her best friend, a high fashion model with more than her own share of psychic energy, and her troubleshooting aunt show up on her doorstep in response to a psychic SOS Katherine swears she didn’t send. Life couldn't get more complicated. At least, that's what she thinks until her oilman fiancĂ© disappears in the Gulf of Mexico and a DEA agent knocks on her door.

My latest published book is a Trilogy containing the first three books in my Texas detective series.  A Murder State of Mind.
A Murder State of Mind Trilogy
A three book mystery trilogy featuring Texas private investigator Kelly McWinter.

Deadly Secrets: A retired cop who suffered a personal tragedy is coming to grips with his grief and considering returning to law enforcement. That decision escalates when he finds a friend murdered. Coincidences, the emergence of a secret life, a treasure, an heiress searching for her birth mother and the ulterior motives of some regular citizens all have Kelly McWinter scrambling to uncover the truth before his best friend ends up behind bars.

Deadly Betrayal: With his new PI license, and an arrangement to help out Augustus Graham at the Fort Worth PD, whenever needed, Kelly McWinter is back in the saddle again. Just in time to catch a call from good friend Stella Davis. Stella's niece Marcy is an up and coming young singer from Nashville and she's pregnant. The married lover is a playboy named Alex Wyatt and Stella's afraid Marcy is about to get hung out to dry. Kelly agrees to look into the case and heads for Houston to meet up with Stella.

Deadly Consequences: Two Texans, Cam Belscher and feisty redhead Stella Davis have picked a remote lodge in Oregon to tie the knot. Flash forward to the middle of the night. The sound of lodge owner Bubba Tate banging away on the cabin door is enough to put a damper on any honeymoon, and when the reason for Bubba's late night intrusion turns out to be murder at Gillian’s riding stable in Fort Worth, the wedding trip is over. Don't miss this third and final volume of the Kelly McWinter PI mysteries.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday - Jude Pittman Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains

Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?

Mainly I write mystery, however, I’ve also co-written a paranormal time travel with author Gail Roughton.  My reading choices definitely reflect my writing choices, I’m an avid mystery fan and always have been.  I would never attempt horror because I’m sure I’d scare myself too badly to finish my book.  I’m also not a fantasy writer – my mind is too full of this one world without trying to invent worlds on my own, but I really admire people who can do that – what a job building an entire world for your characters to inhabit.

2.     Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?

I love writing hero’s – especially detectives and high profile investigators, They come easiest to me, and it’s the most fun for me to imagine myself in one of those personas. 

3.     Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

The hero’s in my stories just seem to find me. I have an image of what they’re going to look like before I even have the story.  I don’t know about all writers but for me it’s important that a hero possesses characteristics that I feel are important in a person I would admire.  The characters always come before the plot in my stories. I have a general idea of what’s going to happen and where I want the story to go, but it doesn’t always happen that way, sometimes right out of the blue a character will take off in a completely different direction than what I envisioned. 

4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

               Heroines are harder for me because they always have to be smart and good at what they do and strong with definite ideas and attitudes, so I have to be careful not to let the heroine overshadow the hero.  Again, my heroines do pretty much the same as my hero’s, they just come along when I’m writing and  sometimes they take a much bigger role than what I had originally envisioned for them.

5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?

               Villains are always bad guys in my stories.  I have very definite ideas of what a makes a bad guy, and they are usually characters that are composites of people that I have known, heard about or read about.  They don’t come to me as full blown characters the way my heros and heroines do – maybe because I do not admire them and am not open to their worming their way into my head, but they are definitely made up of what I consider the least attractive features of my fellow men and women – I just take a bunch of characteristics, shake them up in a jar and pull out the ones that will work the best for the bad guy I’m writing about at the time.

6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?

My latest release is Sisters of Prophecy, Ursula. This book, co-written with another Books We Love author, Gail Roughton is the fulfillment of a dream of mine.  I’m descended from Mother Shipton of 15th century England.  She’s in the history books as a reputed prophetess who prophesied about all kinds of events hundreds of years before they happened.  Like the Civil war in the USA before America was even discovered and planes and submarines, all kinds of stuff like that.  All my life I wanted to write about her as a young woman, but I’m not a historical fiction author, and it wasn’t until Gail and I met up in Hawaii and started chatting about what if Mother Shipton appeared to Shipton descendants and had them carrying out certain tasks that needed to be done back in the 15th Century, but the girls were modern and the timeframe of the book was contemporary, with little side jaunts back into the 15th century.  The more we talked about it the more the story grew until we were both so excited we could hardly wait to get it written.  It’s definitely one of my favorites.

7. What are you working on now?

               I am working on another Kelly McWinter mystery.  This one, A Murder State of Mind, Deadly Lights  brings back some of my characters from my original Murder State of Mind series, Deadly Secrets, Deadly Betrayal and Deadly Consequences.

8. How can people find you?
               Twitter            @judepittman

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday's Heroine - Aria from The Amber Cage by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Aria sat in the audience chamber near the dais where a pair of thrones stood. Her father, King Palos, stood to sing the pronouncements for the last case of the day presented for judgment. His magnificent tenor vocalized the decision. She heard a slight waver. She clasped her hands to control the tremors. The end of his time as ruler of Harmony had begun.

She stared around the room. She would never rule alone for though her soprano voice held a rich and extended range she had no skill with composition. Her ability to use musical instruments was average though she excelled in strings. Aria drew a deep breath. She knew where her duty lay. How she wished there would be love in the marriage she must make but she would do her duty to Harmony.

The moment the audience ended her father came to her. He placed his hands on her shoulders. “You know what lies ahead.”

The sadness in his voice spoke of his need for comfort as well as his gift of the same to her. “I know and I am duty bound.”

The king sighed. “So many generations have passed since the heir to the throne had to wed for duty rather than for love.”

The rich tenor held the birr she’s heard earlier. Soon the entire kingdom would know the king had reached the end of his rule and would become Emeritus.

Aria stepped away. She drew a deep breath. Her answer flowed on pure soprano notes. “Though I yearn for love I will do as I must. I pray a man with a strong voice and talent in the other areas will sit at my side. A man whose melodies will blend with mine.”

Paulus kissed her brow. “You must gather your clothes. The special wardrobe, bed, table and chairs are being carried to the forecourt.” His notes held deep sadness. “I go to fetch the Pipes of Discord.”

“The Pipes. The Pipes of Discord will seal my fate.” Her soprano echoed her father’s emotions.

Aria rubbed her arms. Once her father played the strange instrument she would remain in the amber cage until a man appeared to turn discord into melody. The man who claimed her hand would excel in composition and have a mastery over musical instruments and voice. Hope and fear caused her heart to pound with the booming depth of the sound of a kettle drum.

She gathered simple gowns she could don with no help for she would be alone. When her choices had been made she called the servants. She followed them to the forecourt where they hung the clothes on one side of the wardrobe. The other side was a small room where she could wash, dress and attend to private needs.

Servants brought a bed. Aria stared. Curtains enclosed the space but she was glad she'd packed no nightshifts. Sleeping in her clothes made sense since she would be where she could be seen.

A frown wrinkled her brow. Though she’d read tales of the amber cage she had no idea how food, drink and water would appear. Was magic involved?

Words tumbled in her thoughts. Questions and ponderings that needed music to make them complete. How she wished for the skill to change sad thoughts into a solo. Alas, the music remained trapped between her head and her heart. She placed her lute on the table. The instrument was a necessity. She would need to strum chords for the short recitatives exchanged with her father and the curious who came to view her and the cage. Would the man she would wed arrive soon?

Her father approached. She saw The Pipes of Discord. He held the bag over his shoulder and the mouthpiece beside his cheek. She walked toward him.

“Are you ready?” he sang.

She gulped a breath. “I will miss our quiet times.” Notes of sadness colored her song.

“As I will miss you, my brave daughter. The Academy is prepared to judge those who will try to qualify. Summons have been sent to every corner of the land. Already men flock into town and take a number for their place in the line of aspirants.”

Aria watched her father stride to the steps. Members of the palace staff, the king’s advisors and the noble families stood behind him. Guards formed a line around the square of grass where the cage would appear.

The king primed the pipes and pressed the mouthpiece between his lips and played. No song but ear-hurting noises like the squalling of fighting cats, the screams of a dying rabbit and the growls of forest beasts filled the air. The cacophony caused Aria to press her hands against her ears. Her muscles and joints screamed with pain.

The ground beneath her trembled. Aria’s eyes widened. A slab of amber covered the grass beneath her feet. Along the four sides bars rose to a height at least thrice hers. From the bars amber flowed and met over her head.

“I am enclosed. I am entrapped. I am a prisoner until the man who possesses the three talents needed by a ruler arrives.” Her soprano notes rose above the screeching instrument.

“She is enclosed. She is entrapped. She waits for her rescuer to arrive.” The great mass of people sang in chorus echoing her plaintive song.

Her father approached the bars. He stretched his arm through the narrow space. “It is done, my brave daughter. And now we wait.” His voice reached its lowest register.

“Now I wait. I wait for the man who can turn discord into melody.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Ways of Revealing Your Characters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Now that you know who your major players are and you've forbidden them to do all those things characters shouldn't do, how do you let the reader know who this person is?

There are many ways. One of my favorites is to have other characters give their impression of the character. This can be done by their observation but better in a conversation between, say the heroine and her best friend or the villain and his crony. Of course the heroine's best friend could be kind of a villain or just one who has her doubts about the hero. As for the villain, he wants to paint the hero black for the heroine, but he might be more subtle when talking to a crony.

Another way is to have the character, hero, heroine or villain do some introspection to reveal what he or she is really like. Don't have them look at themselves in a mirror though. This has been overused. Also be careful about the heroine who talks about her glorious blonde tresses. She probably wouldn't think about hair color, eye color of herself but would relish hearing someone else praise her assets.

Showing the character at work can also give a bit about their character. Having someone dash off a note or send a dozen emails might show one kind of character. I've often used this when I'm writing about nurses and doctors. Characters can be one way on the job and different in other ways. I used this contrast in Pursuing Doctor West. The heroine is very serious at work and her life becomes a comedy of errors off the job.

Giving a character something that's important to them and becomes their symbol is a good way to show character. This could be a word, an object but something that belongs to the character and appears when they do.

So there are many ways of revealing the characters. Try to use one of more as you show the readers jsut what your character is like.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - A Bit More From Pearl S. Buck #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Chuckled when I read this bit in an old essay by Pearl S. Buck. "An extrovert finds himself boring and turns to anybody else he can find." She goes on to say "The novelist, therefroe, who is an extrovert by nature or cultivation, stands a fair chance."

I never thought of myself as an extrovert in the way she describes but I do find my life is boring. The life of the characters I invent is more interesting than anything that occurs in my life. What about you? Do you find your fictional characters more interesting than yourself?

I've thought about this for a time. I also find when I'm investing in a character I'm curious about what's happening in his or her life. One I'm finished writing about their story, I'm ready to move on to new characters. Does this mean the writer is also fickle? I'm afraid so.

I've been asked many times which is my favorite of the characters in my stories. My response is I really can't choose but the one I'm working with now is my favorite for the moment.

I remember my father once telling me and I'll try to get it right. This was a long time ago. "Men are like streetcars. There's another one along every minute." Well that's the way this writer feels about her characters. There's another one along, maybe not every minute, but every time I start to write a new book.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor, #BooksWeLove

Meander 1- Contests. Starting in October, I become a contest judge as well as a writer and numerous other jogs. I judge in three contests. One has three parts beginning with reading just three chapters, moving on to entire books looking for the books that will go into the final stage. This is fun and also interesting to see that there are some books I love and some I hate. They are always published books. The first contest is for unpublished works and this is something interesting. What a joy to find pages that tease me to want more. The third is again published books and a preliminary round where a variety of sub-genres arrive for me to read. Have I found new authors when judging published authors. Definitely. Now I don't enter contests. It's not that I don't think my books are wonderful. I just don't enter contests any longer.

Meander 2 - I have nearly finished undecorating the house for Christmas. There are  few more ornaments on the tree to take down. Some of them I can accomplish but others are too high. This year the tree is seven feet, a change from last year's six feet. I could stretch but I can't stretch that extra foot.

Meander 3 - The Goddesses of Solunda is moving, not as fast as I want but I think it will more smoother when I finish cleaning up the old and I do mean old manuscript and can work on beating the story into shape. I did receive the cover for the book. After some tweeking and changing the hero's picture the cover looks great. The hero and heroine are twins so there must be some resemblance between them. Hopefully it worked. I'm really not a cover person.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday - Code Blue by Janet Lane Walters #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

Code Blue is available both electronically and in print. Having been a nurse I experienced one of those moments when this idea came about. So many medical suspense books are about evil doctors who have diabolical plans and murder at will. So I decided to twist things just a bit.

Medical suspense with a twist
Code Blue

This book kept me on edge from the first page to the last. Several times I just 'knew' I'd figured out who the killer was, but each time, there was a bit of doubt there until the very last paragraph! I highly recommend this book. 4 Stars (Excellent!)"--Tracie's Book Reviews by Kathy's Faves and Raves

"A series of murders, suspense, action, a tad of love makes OBSESSIONS an intriguing tale designed to mystify your mind. If you love mysteries, you'll love Janet Lane Walters newest release. 4 Stars!"--Just Views

"Fast-paced mainstream novel ... Walters plots carefully, each scene constructed to perfection. For readers who enjoy being terrified, this is an author to turn to for entertainment. She tells all, while managing to create paranoia among the characters."--Affaire de Coeur