Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Wednesday Murder and Tainted Tea #MFRWHooks #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishing #Cozy Mystery #Santa Fe

Murder and Tainted Tea (Mrs. Miller Mysteries Book 3)

Join the authors at         to find some interesting and enjoyable excerpts. You can find my selection, Murder and Tainted tea if you're in the mood for a cozy mystery with a slowly developing love affair.


Katherine heads to Santa Fe, New Mexico along with a Maine Coon Cat kitten to spend New Year’s Eve with Lars. Her guilty feelings over the organist’s death has her needing an escape. When she reaches Santa Fe, she discovers Lars is missing. She seeks and finds him and steps into another mystery. 

Lars’ daughter dislikes Katherine but when the young woman is kidnapped, they are puzzled. The murder of Lars’ daughter and one of his employees makes solving the mysteries necessary. Can she learn before Lars becomes a victim.

Editorial Review
With every book, I think the Katherine Miller Mysteries can't get any better. I'm always wrong, because they always do. ~ Writer Gail Roughton


     When I reached the turnoff to the street where Lars lived, the temptation to drive into the old town to explore clamored and was pushed aside. The constant complaints of the kitten added a discordant theme to Beethoven’s Fifth. Another day I would drive to town and browse in shops and visit the historic sites I’d read about.
     Lars had promised a tour of the town and surrounding area. As I recalled his invitation, I smiled. “Can I tempt you to stay longer than three weeks? You’ll need months to see everything.”
      I couldn’t stay. A young couple who were friends of mine had planned a February wedding. Since neither of them had a living mother, I’d been tapped to play a dual role—mother of the bride and groom.
     The directions Lars sent took me into an area of large houses. Most of them were behind walls. I counted gates. Had he said four or five?                                                                                                                                                                   Then at the foot of the dead end street, I saw the sign. Casa de Oro. House of gold, indeed. Bonnie had chosen the name, but in a way it suited Lars. Years ago my husband had teased Lars about his Midas touch for nearly every business he touched prospered.
     The gate stood open. I frowned. Lars had said I would have to announce myself and he would open the gate. I’ll surprise him, I thought, and drove into the compound.
     At the top of the rise I saw the reason for Bonnie’s choice. Bathed in sunlight, the two-story house at the top of the rise appeared to glisten. The golden adobe wasn’t my destination. On the lower end of the horseshoe drive were two smaller houses.
     The adobe with a long porch on the left side of the drive was Don’s. The H-shaped ranch on the right belonged to Lars.
     Though Bonnie’s choice was above the gate, Lars’ name amused me. He called the estate Las Casas de Los Tres Osos. The houses of the three bears.
     Laughter bubbled forth. Was I Goldilocks? Not according to my hair color. Mine is a rich auburn shade courtesy of my beautician.
     I pulled into the carport beside Lars’ silver Mercedes, twin to the car he drives back east. The house seemed larger than my “Painted Lady,” circa 1890. The difference was that mine has two stories and an attic while this house is on one level.
     With the kitten carrier in one hand and my purse in the other, I walked to the front door and rang the bell. To my surprise, the door was ajar.
     When no one answered, I rang a second time. Where was Lars?
     What now? My foot beat an impatient rhythm against the flagstone walk. The kitten cried and scrambled around the carrier making my hold iffy.
     I pushed the door open. “Lars, I’m here.”
     He didn’t answer. I set the carrier on the slate floor of the foyer. Since the door was open and his car sat in the carport, he was probably in the rear of the house or at one of his children’s. I returned to the car for my suitcases.
     I left my luggage in the foyer and stepped into the living room. A portrait of my friend hung above the massive fieldstone fireplace. Several Navaho rugs hung on the cream colored walls.
     Through the archway I glanced into the dining room. The table was set for one. The sight of a partially eaten breakfast sent fear surging through my veins.
     “Lars, are you here?” My voice echoed in the deserted room.
     What if he’s had some kind of attack? A stroke or his heart.
     Those thoughts propelled me through the dining room and into the kitchen. I glanced into the pantry and stepped into the sunroom.
     Lars, where are you? Had something dreadful happened? Was my visit responsible for his disappearance?
     Don’t be a fool. The world does not revolve around Katherine Miller. He’s at Don’s or Bonnie’s.
Those thoughts failed to staunch my rising panic. Though I felt like an intruder, I made a quick tour of the house. I found three empty bedrooms, a deserted office, two powder rooms and three bathrooms, one for each bedroom. Nowhere was there a sign of my friend.
I returned to the dining room. The food was cold. A fork lay on the oak floor. What had happened here? Lars and I are in our sixties. He’s my senior by six months, but his health has always been excellent.
     In the living room, I reached for the phone. Whom could I call? Other than Lars and his children, I knew no one in Santa Fe. I opened the directory. Were their numbers even listed?
     My legs trembled. I sank on a chair and glanced through the bay window. Don and his daughter walked across the drive. I went to the door.




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - Scenes and purpose #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishing #writing #Scenes

Scenes make up the book. There are short scenes and long scenes. What is their purpose? Each scene must do something. I know sometimes when I've written a scene, I'll look at it later and think,just what does this scene show? Sometimes a scene does nothing and is little more than words strung together.

So, a scene can show character development. One can write a descriptive sentence that says what the character is. She was so sweet she made my teeth ache. Now this is very descriptive and may be fine for a minor walk on character but showing this  character being sweet, too sweet to another character shows the reader what this character really is.

A scene moves the plot forward. For me sometimes these are the hardest one to write since you want to move the plot forward without revealing all. The scene is used to give clues to what will happen.

A scene shows where the characters are in time and space. This has always been difficult for me. I love scenes showing the characters and how they're developing and ones who really show how the plot inches forward. One of the first rejections I received for a novel "Your characters exist in a vacuum." The editor was kind enough to take one of my paragraphs and show me what she meant. I still have to remember this.

So remember when you're writing a scene "Remember the purpose."



Monday, August 13, 2018

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishing #poetry #writing

Meander 1 Poem - The Well -

My well of love is fathomless
Come, stop and fill your cup
This gift is given freely.
Now, pause, refresh yourself.
Bend over me and let your rope
Into my endless depths.
Drink deep. Drink full.
Return often to me for
My well of love is fathomless
Come, stop and fill your cup.

Meander 2 - Playing catch up - most days I'm able to keep a schedule. That has been until we've had days of heat and humidity. Then I want to hibernate. Though bears hibernate in the winter, I would rather do this in the summer. So I do things like read when I should be writing or doing chores around the house, Maybe even catch a bit of TV. These things are fun and a waste of time. So I'm playing catch up and hoping summer will end.

Meander 3 - Writing - Is moving along slowly and I just found a chapter that might have to be re-written but I will finish the book before I undertake this. That way I'll know what needs to be added and where,.



Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sunday's Book Murder and Mint Tea - Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishing #Mystery #cozy

Murder and Mint Tea (Mrs. Miller Mysteries Book 1)

Katherine is a retired nurse and a retired church organist. The small Hudson River village where she lives in her Victorian “Painted Lady” makes her the neighborhood matriarch. Along with her Maine Coon Cat Robespierre, she guards friends and families.

When amoral Rachel moves into the first floor apartment of Katherine’s house, trouble erupts. The murder weapon is one she recognizes and makes her fear for her friends and family. Finding the killer becomes her goal.

Editorial Review
Murder and Mint Tea is a gem in its genre, combining the voice of a classic American whodunit with that of a traditional British detective novel. Murder She Wrote meets Miss Marple in a beautifully crafted tale that makes the reader want to reach into the pages and dispense justice to the villainess themselves. ~ Writer Gail Roughton



May 17, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

July 8, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saturday's Blurbs features Three Books by Jana Richards #MFRWauthor #romance

Lies and Solace (Love at Solace Lake Book 1)
Lies and Solace - Blurb
Harper Lindquist is convinced she’s found the answer to her financial prayers. Unless she pours cash into crumbling Solace Lake Lodge, she’ll lose her family’s legacy. Her would-be savior arrives in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard and she’s determined to prove to her reluctant, and trapped, financier the lodge is a sound investment. But Harper isn’t completely honest with him. And she has no idea the lake is hiding secrets of its own.

Ethan James is a liar, but his money is very real. He isn’t convinced a broken-down inn is a smart investment opportunity. But the more he understands Harper’s dreams and desires, the more he wants to be the man to make them come true. The trauma in both their pasts means neither can fully trust the other. They must find the courage to love, to trust, and to accept, or yesterday’s sorrows will keep them apart.

Lies and Solace:

Secrets and Solace – Book Two, Love at Solace Lake series - Blurb
No matter how deeply buried, secrets rise to the surface.
Scarlett Lindquist has agreed to help her sisters rebuild the dilapidated fishing lodge in Minnesota they inherited from their grandparents. Although the lengthy restoration is bringing the three sisters closer together, Scarlett’s support is temporary. Her leave of absence from her job in Chicago is temporary and she has no intention of staying at Solace Lake Lodge, where the lake holds dark secrets. When frightening childhood memories resurface, they are tempered by her fascination with an irritating contractor. If only she could trust her feelings for him. If only he could trust her.

Cameron Hainstock meets Scarlett at his brother’s wedding to her sister and their attraction is instantaneous. But Cam avoids the beautiful marketing executive. All his efforts are aimed at battling for custody of his only child. When the unimaginable happens and Cam faces the biggest challenge of his life, he’s reluctant to accept help to halt his downward spiral. Can they learn to trust each other and fight for a future together or will they go their separate ways?

Secrets and Solace:

Truth and Solace– Book 3, Love at Solace Lake series – Blurb
The truth could destroy them. Or set them free.
Maggie Lindquist left Solace Lake determined never to return. Circumstances have pulled her back and she’s helping to restore her family’s dilapidated fishing lodge. When she agreed to the plan she didn’t expect to have to work side by side with the man who abandoned her ten years earlier. She didn’t expect to like him, or want him ever again. But can she trust him as she once did?
Luke Carlsson rushes home to tend to his ailing mother. Her lengthy illness means he needs to stay, at least temporarily. And to stay, he needs to work. Solace Lake Lodge offers him a job and an opportunity to work with the woman he’s never stopped loving. But the restoration is unleashing secrets hidden for decades and no one is left unscathed. Especially not Maggie and Luke, whose love needs to be resilient enough to forgive, and strong enough to build a future together.

Truth and Solace:

Friday, August 10, 2018

Friday's Guest Jana Richards Talking About Who She Was Before #MFRWauthor #Writing

.   What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?

I work part-time as a accountant, mostly doing month-end financial reports and statements. I can’t say it influenced my writing, other than I have made a few of my heroines accountants. And does my writing influence my day job? I hope not. Creative accounting is generally frowned on!

            2.  Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above. 

     I enjoy writing in several romance genres. The primary genre I write in is contemporary romance, but I adore romantic suspense and have written a couple of books in that genre. Hopefully, I’ll write many more in the future.

     I’ve also written historical books set during World War Two, which is one of my favorite time periods for setting a novel. I enjoy paranormal romance, and whenever possible, I like to include a hint of the paranormal in otherwise non-paranormal books. For instance, my heroines in the Love at Solace Lake series each see a ghostly yellow canoe on the lake when they each their happy ending. You might notice a yellow canoe on each cover!

     I’ve tried my hand at writing romantic comedy, and I also like to include a bit of humor in novels that may have a serious theme. Sometimes humor can be added through dialogue or a secondary character. In my current work in progress, a comical Pug supplies much needed humor.

     Sometimes I combine all of the above. One of the series I’m currently working on is a time-travel, and I’m really excited about it. It combines some of my favorite things; historic novels set in WW2, contemporary romance, humor and the paranormal.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres? 

Yes, definitely. I enjoy reading in multiple romance genres. One of the only genres I love reading that I haven’t taken a crack at writing myself is Regency romance. But never say never!

4. What's your latest release? 

My latest releases are the three books in my Love at Solace Lake series; Lies and Solace, Secrets and Solace and Truth and Solace. Three sisters, Harper, Scarlet and Maggie Lindquist, inherit a crumbling fishing lodge in Minnesota from their grandfather. The inheritance is bittersweet because twenty-two years earlier their parents died at the lodge in what was ruled a murder/suicide. You’ll learn more about the Lindquist sisters and their stories tomorrow.

5. What are you working on now? 

I’m working on a contemporary romance that I plan to self-publish called Take a Chance on Me. It’s set in Toronto, Canada and it’s about a couple who clash over the fate of a Victorian mansion. Will it be torn down to make room for a new condo development, or will it be renovated to bring it back to its former glory? How do you like the cover?

6. Where can we find you? 

I’m all over the place!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Thursday's Opening - Words Perfect Becoming Your Own Critique Partner #MFRWauthor #writing

Tonight is your critique group's meeting and you're psyched. You've worked hard on your story. You expect nothing but compliments. Then you read your scene and your high is brought low.

Partner One folds her hands. "The scene is beautifully written. You have such a way with description. But is the scene necessary?"

"Too much description?" you ask.

Partner One shakes her head. "Not exactly, but before you write, remember the three purposes of a scene are to define character, to give added information and to advance the plot."

Partner Two leans forward. "That's where the problem lies. You have a great setting, interesting characters, but your plot has too many holes."

"Holes in my plot?"

"Your plot can be saved," Partner Two says. "You need to think about your story and select the most important elements. Look again at the who, when, where, what, why and how."

You check your work. "I forgot the what and the why."

"You've got it."

Partner Three looks at the notes she's been making while you read. "Your characters have good motivations for their actions, but I think the dialogue needs work. All your characters sound alike and they sound like you."

These three partners have given you indications of where you've gone right and where you've gone wrong. In the process you've learned something, plus discovered the value of critiques. But what happens if you can't connect with a critique partner or a group of other writers who are willing to play the role of critiquers?

Becoming Your Own Critique Partner is designed to help you find the flaws in your manuscript and correct them. The areas where less-than-sharp images can cause a rejection will be illustrated by examples of the wrong and the right ways to create images and a discussion of the various stumbling points to keep you from being led astray. It will also show you where your areas of excellence are. Checklists and exercises will aid in eliminating flaws and help to improve your writing.



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Wednesday Murder and Poisoned Tea #MFRWHooks #BWL Publishing #Mystery #cozy

Murder and Poisoned Tea (Mrs. Miller Mysteries Book 2)

Visit me at and find a pathway to some great authors found here Murder and Poisoned Tea is the second of the Mrs. Miller mysteries.

The moment she hears his mastery of the organ, Katherine covets him as St. Stephen’s new Minister of Music. Handsome, charming and vastly talented, the women of the congregation adore him. Even Katherine is swayed by his manners and ability, But Roger not only brought beautiful music, he brings poisoned notes to the choir. Katherine seeks to find the secret of why he has changed churches yearly. She prays the discovery will be in time to prevent a tragedy.

The Mrs. Miller Mysteries series is a sheer delight. Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher would love Katherine Miller. I know I do. ~~ Writer Gail Roughton


After rehearsal we adjourned to the reception room for coffee and heart-shaped cookies in honor of St. Valentine, my temporary position, and the choir’s monthly refreshment night.
I moved from group to group to chat with old friends and new acquaintances. The choir had divided into several cliques who acted like rivals for my attention. The new choir director would need better than average skills in meshing the dissenting factions.

The largest and loudest of the groups clustered around Judith Hanson. She sat on one of the brocade-covered chairs near the front windows and looked like a queen on her throne. The majority of the group was male. No real surprise. At one time or another, every male in the congregation, married or not, had flirted with Judith. Each had held her attention until she decided to blow them off with cruel remarks.

Her brown eyes slant, giving her an almost Oriental look. Straight dark hair cut to shoulder length added to the image. As she spoke, her hands moved in exaggerated gestures. A constant flow of kinetic energy crackled as she stroked the new tenor’s arm. He smiled.

Martin ended the moment of seduction by handing her a cup of coffee. Bearded, balding and overweight, he appeared to be a weak man, but beneath the surface lay a nurturing kind of strength. Did he mother his daughter as well as he did his wife?

Judith looked up at him. From across the room, I saw resentment on her face and in her body language. Her shoulders stiffened. Her mouth pulled into a tight line. Martin whispered in her ear. She nodded.

“Beth, Beth, darling,” Judith called. “Are you coming to the Pub with us?” Her shouted invitation rose over the hum of conversation.

“I’m taking Mrs. Miller home,” Beth said.

Judith waved at me. “Come with us and get away from this stuffy crowd. I need a drink before I perish. The well’s been dry too long.” Brittle laughter followed her words.

“Another time.”

“Beth?” Judith asked.

“It’s late. Marcie has school tomorrow. Your daughter’s so conscientious she won’t nap while she’s watching Robby. I’ll send her home.”

Judith rose. “Spoilsport. Don’t worry about Marcie. She’d welcome an excuse to cut school. No music classes on Friday. If it weren’t for them, she’d be a drop-out.” She put a hand on Beth’s shoulders. “Take Mrs. Miller home and join us.”

Beth stiffened. “Maybe.”

“I’ll have a drink waiting for you. Maybe you’ll find a man.” She rubbed against Martin. “Three years since your husband’s death. I don’t know how you’ve survived. Men are”

Beth’s face flamed. She reached for her jacket. I put on my coat. Judith, Martin and several other people strolled from the room.

Beth shook her head. “I don’t know why I let her get to me.”

“She likes to watch people squirm. Don’t let her hurt you.”

“It’s not fair.” Beth grabbed her music folder. “She has a string of men. Maybe I hope some of her allure will rub off.”

“Have you ever watched a cat play with a mouse? That’s what she does. You don’t need her friendship.”



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - A Scene's Necessity #MFRWauthor #BWL Publishing #Scenes #Necessity

All books are made up of scenes. Some are short and some are long. Just what it a scene?
According to Webster, a scene is a dramatic presentation. Each scene works to build a picture of the world the writer is creating and the characters who populate this world. The scenes show the characters in action against the background and each other.

Every scene has a beginning, a middle and an ending. The scene shows a character in action. They may be alone, they may be with other characters, they could be acting against or with the environment. The action isn't necessarily the heart-stopping flow of a car chase or a sword fight. The action shows a character or character doing something.

Just what does a scene do? There are three ways a scene works. We'll look at them next time and we'll also explore why a scene doesn't work or if this particular one is really necessary.



Monday, August 6, 2018

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BWL Publishing #Poem #Writing #Summer Rain

Meander 1 - Poem _ Spellbound -

On a frosty night
A couple strolled
Not touching, not reaching
Yet caring. Rain misting
And blurring their eyes
They stopped and turned
And stature thus
They stared
Reaching with a glance
To pierce each other's souls.

Meander 2 - Summer Rain - Last week, we had rain almost every day. At least we didn't need to water the flowers but we more felt like they would drain. I also need to find someone to clean the gutters. These afternoon cloudbursts showed me this was a needed thing. Maybe even to reattach them or something. The days always started as brilliant sunny mornings. Sure there were clouds but not so many. Then after noon, clouds began to gather and around three o'clock, the clouds released water. Then the sun shone again and maybe it would rain again. I know the weather called for scattered showers but these were scattered cloudbursts. It even rained at night and though the streets were dry when I woke, there is a low spot in the road across the street where water gathers pointing out to rain.

Meander 3 - Writing- I am still pushing this book forward and now I have one chapter out of maybe 11 in the hopper. I'll push as hard as I can but hopefully, I'll finish before the endof Septemberor before.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sunday's Book - Words Perfect - Becoming Your Own Critique Partner #MFRWauthor #Writing #Critique

Words Perfect: Becoming Your Own Critique Partner

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Your Tell Needs Showing-Tell vs. Show And How To Make The Transition
Chapter 2. Listen To The Mocking Bird-Ways to Strengthen And Individualize Dialogue
Chapter 3. Is Your Black Moment really Gray?-Ways To Build Toward The Moment Of Revelation By The Character Who Has The Most To Lose.
Chapter 4. Is This Scene Necessary?-Evaluate Scenes To See If They Advance The Plot And Show Characterization Or Are Frankly Padding.
Chapter 5. Modifying To Death-Choosing When And Where To Use Adjectives And Adverbs.
Chapter 6. Just The Senses, Ma'am-Finding Ways To Use The Five Senses To Provide Atmosphere, To Set The Scene And To Add To Characterization.
Chapter 7. Do You Gallop When You Should Stroll?-Hints On The Use Of Pacing During A Scene.
Chapter 8. Don't Follow The Bouncing Heads-Using Point Of View Effectively, Without Giving Every Member Of A Scene, Including The Horse, A POV.
Chapter 9. Can This Plot Be Saved?-Tips On Ways To Plug Holes In The Plot You Thought Was Wonderful And Then Discovered Had Massive Problems.
Chapter 10. The Lean, Mean Writing Machine-How to Trim Away All The Words That Pad Your Writing.
Chapter 11. False Starts-Ways To Tell If You've Chosen The Right Scene To Begin Your Story.
Chapter 12. We've Heard That Song Before-Clichés: How To Recognize And Avoid Using Them.
Chapter 13. Drowning In Detail-Tips On What Not To Do With The Details A Reader Needs (Or Doesn't Need) To Know, Including Research.
Chapter 14. This Isn't Kansas, Toto-Hints On Using Show Or Tell So The Reader Knows Early On Where And When Your Story Is Set.
Chapter 15. In The Mood- Finding Places In Your Story Where Mood Can Affect The Characters And Enrich The Scenes.
Chapter 16. The Song Is You-Finding Your Theme And Using It To Solidify Your Plot.
Chapter 17. It's A Long, Long Time From May To December-Spotting Awkward Time And Place Shifts And Ways To Avoid Them.
Chapter 18. Why Did He Do That ?-All Characters Need Motivations To Drive Their Actions. A Look At Ways To Determine If Yours Measure Up.
Chapter 19. Dropped Eyes At Heartbreak Hotel-Ways To Keep The Heart In Your Writing And Other Body Parts Attached To Their Owners.

Chapter 20. Bits And Pieces-A Series Of Questions Writers Should Ask Themselves About Minor But Pertinent Errors.

on April 20, 2011
I was excited to receive this book in the mail today and I sat down and read it in one sitting. It is full of useful information that I will use again and again. I'm definitely glad that I bought it.

on February 16, 2007
This new book on self-editing written by two very prolific authors is one you'll definitely want to add to your bookshelf.

What are the major problems you should be on the lookout for when editing your own work? The answer isn't always easy, as authors tend to become so involved in their plot and characters they turn blind to the obvious. Sometimes the problems are easy to spot and fix, sometimes not. Whatever the case, Walters and Toombs guide you through the process of completely editing your fiction manuscript.

With specific examples taken from their own works, the authors demonstrate how to handle telling instead of showing, stilted and flat dialogue, weak and unrealistic characters, unnecessary scenes, overuse of adjectives and adverbs, lack of atmosphere, point of view shifts, bloated prose, clichés, among others. They also share the secret to strong characters and the six necessary elements to a master plot. Each chapter concentrates on a specific subject, with helpful exercises at the end of it.

Written in a clear, friendly, straight-forward style, Becoming Your Own Critique Partner is a reference book that both beginners and professionals will profit from.

on February 28, 2007
If you follow the directions and advice in this book, your writing should improve. It will help you in learning how to rid your manuscript of all those little errors that editors hate, as it walks you through the process of critiquing your own manuscript. There's a lot of information in here that has helped me with my own writing. If you don't have access to a critique group or want to do the job yourself, get this book and read it.

I would recommend that every writer have it in their reference library.