Tag-Archive for » best selling author «

Book Review ~~ When We Found Home by Susan Mallery

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing

5 out of 5 quills ~~ A Review


Perfection!  Saying anything more would be superfluous.

If you’re a fan of Susan Mallery, you must read this one!  If you’ve never heard of Susan (fat chance) you must read this story. The writing is (like I said) perfect. The characters are so interesting and believable. And the plot…oh, the plot.  Delicious! 

Readers of my reviews know that I don’t write spoilers…nothing has changed. I’m not a writer of cliff notes. You have to experience this entire journey that Susan takes her readers on.  But I will say this; the way Mallery brings the four main characters together is flawless writing.  

Reminder: In August I will be interviewing Susan Mallery and asking her about her writing processes.

To Purchase When We Found Home 


MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   June: Manning Wolfe. July:  K.M. Ecke. August: Mega best selling author, Susan Mallery. Coming this winter: Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)

To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 


To Purchase



Motivational Moments…for Writers! #34

The first thing that makes a buyer reach for your book is the COVER!  Is it professional? Does it convey a visual story? 
The second thing that keeps the book in their hand is the BACK COVER and what it says about your story!
The third thing that keeps them from putting it back on the rack (or swiping their tablet for more choices) is that all important, FIRST SENTENCE!

 For example:

Swamp sludge dripped off the massive head while the cold, murderous, purple eye watched them.’

‘As I stepped into the street I didn’t notice the bus bearing down on me.’

‘I sat in the prison waiting room about to interview a convicted killer.’

‘Slow down, Al,” Vi screamed and laughed from the back seat of the car that was plummeting down the mountain side. “You’re gonna kill us.’

 ‘My first audition since I had arrived in Hollywood and what if I fail?’

‘The teacher grabbed my math work book and marched to the front of the room. He began to read my poetry aloud.’

‘As the saloon doors creaked back and forth, the trail weary cowboys backed away when they saw him saunter in.’

“Mother must be spinning in her grave. Not in her wildest dreams, or mine for that matter, would she imagine her daughter in a prison.” Kitty muttered, as her chauffeur drove up the long driveway to the main entrance of the State Prison.

Since the buyer hasn’t put your book down yet, you have to ‘hook’ them with your first sentence. Make them ask, ‘what happens next’?

“No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky.” ~~Bob Dylan

“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.” ~~ Charles Dickens

“None but ourselves can free our minds.” ~~Bob Marley

MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author was Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. In December we will be saying hello to English mystery writer, J.G. Dow. 
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

To purchase  






Help Me! Take a 1 minute survey about my Blog!

1..girl.write..mouse_1Now that  I have some time (4 yrs) and some traction under me with regard to my blog, I would love to hear from my subscribers, friends and fans.

What do you enjoy reading the most? What direction should I  continue in?


The series:  Motivational Moments…for Writers


Dean Koontz

Interviewing other authors

Reviews of books

The series: Nostalgia

Drop me a note here under comments (below) and let me know so I can keep providing you with good content and interesting subjects.

Thank you for your on going support of my work and effort.writing, process, writers, style

Warmest regards,  your fellow writer and friend,  Trish

Motivational Moments…for Writers! by fellow author, Mike Wells #18

1..girl.write..mouse_1TS: A fellow writer that I have interviewed was kind enough to contribute to my Motivational Moments…for Writers!  Thanks, Mike!

‘One of the most common questions that novice writers ask me is “How do you overcome writer’s block?” I would define Mike. Headshotwriter’s block as a heavy psychological state in which you’re completely out of ideas about what to write. Usually writers seem to experience it somewhere in the middle of a story rather than near the beginning or end. It can last for days or even weeks and can really get you down and undermine your confidence.

My solution is a simple one, and many writers report that it works for them as well. When you experience writer’s block, jump to some other point in the story, some other scene or episode that you already know will be there, and start working on that. This can included jumping all the way to the very end and working backwards. Writers who prefer to write their stories sequentially, from start to finish, may feel uncomfortable with leaping over to some faraway section of the story, but believe me, if you force yourself to do this, there’s a strong chance that you’ll break through the barrier.

Mike.onBench_nI don’t know how this solution works–maybe subconscious plot connections take place or it’s simply getting your creative energy flowing again, but it usually does. Give it a try next time you’re stuck and see if it works for you.’ ~ Mike Wells

“Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

“A straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.”― Madeleine L’Engle

Did you see my interview with Mike Wells? Click here

Visit Mike at: http://mikewellsblog.blogspot.com/


MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series

Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

Interview with best selling author, Lisa Jackson

lisajackson2010Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

LJ. I write on a laptop in a chaise lounge with coffee near me and my dogs at my feet.  The space is my bedroom, though I’m moving and will actually have a dedicated office within the year.  But this works for now.  I just need the place to be relatively quiet where I can get away from the distractions of life.  You know, that nagging laundry or beckoning cross word puzzle or enticing walk?

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

LJ. No real rituals, but I have my synopsis of the current story close at hand and usually a cup of coffee. As stated above, the dogs (three—two pugs and a beagle) are usually close by and snoring as they’ve already been fed and walked.  I don’t like a mess around me, but at the latter stages of the book my work area becomes a disaster.  Also, I really hate to admit this, but when I’m late with a book, at the tail end, when my stress level is in the stratosphere, I eat sugary things to stay awake and keep at it.  I recommend Hot Tamales candy and M&M peanuts.  But be wary, extra pounds do appear!

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know? jackson-workspace more »

Motivational Moments…from a Fellow Writer! #17

1..girl.write..mouse_1TS. My friend and best-selling author, Jodi Thomas, did me the honor of contributing to Motivational Moments.

‘The hardest thing a writer does each day is sitting down to work.  In 28 years as a working writer I’ve published 45 books and 13 novellas.  The hardest thing wasn’t learning to write, but learning to managing time. I picked up a few tricks but it is still the dragon I fight every day.

Jodi.photo (Small)

Jodi Thomas

Build your nest.  I find this makes it easy for me to step into fiction.  It doesn’t matter if your nest is in a secret room in the attic or a small desk in a hotel room, it needs to be your nest. I usually start with a notebook.  My facts book, my bible for the series.  It includes all characters’ names and basic facts.  Maps of the area—if you’re making up a town, make up the map.’ ~~Jodi Thomas

‘Peace and rest at length have come, All the day’s long toil is past; And each heart is whispering “Home, Home at last!’- Thomas Hood

‘Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.’- Robert Frost

This piece came in a full posting when Jodi joined us in a guest blog

Did you miss my INTERVIEW with Jodi? Click here 

http://www.jodithomas.com/   for more information about Jodi’s books.

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, ghost writer for Robert B. Parker ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!


The Queen’s Accomplice ~~ A Review

queens-accomplic-coverreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing  reviews, authors, writing 5 out of 5 quills          A REVIEW
The Queen’s Accomplice
On Sale: October 4th

Susan Elia MacNeal plunks the reader down on the streets of war torn, bombed out London.  We can see and hear the determination of the British people as they pull together and try to overcome the ravages of war.  So how can it be that a serial killer is on the loose mimicking the infamous London ‘ripper’ from a previous century?  And targeting only women who are ‘doing their bit’ for the war effort; many of them secret agents for MI-5.

Maggie Hope is still working for the British version of the CIA. But, now she’s been dragged into a murder investigation. And it’s suddenly gotten very personal when her own acquaintances and friends are the victims.

As always, with a MacNeal mystery, there are a couple of story lines within one book and at the end Susan ties it all together with a tidy bow.  Fans of MacNeal’s Maggie Hope mystery series won’t be disappointed with this new offering.  I was engaged to the last page by Susan’s excellent writing, and now can’t wait for the sequel, The Paris Spy.

Did you miss the wonderful interview I had with Susan: click here

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes
Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

Interview (conclusion) with Author, Robyn Carr

Robyn Carr was a young mother of two in the mid-1970s when she started writing fiction, an Air Force wife, educated as a nurse, whose husband’s frequent assignment changes made it difficult for her to work in her profession. Little did the aspiring novelist know then, as she wrote with babies on her lap, that she would become one of the world’s most popular authors of romance and women’s fiction, that 11 of her novels would earn the #1 berth on the New York Times bestselling books list.  www.robyncarr.com

Q. …579655_439735352717582_234453917_n and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

RC. It’s complicated yet simple. There’s an idea.  I usually talk to my editor and agent about the idea and it’s barely an embryo.  Then I start typing.  I let them peek at it at about 100 pages and at this stage it barely has arms and legs.  We discuss it to death – and frankly I hate that part.  I don’t want to talk about it, I want to write.  I have never had a good pitch.  I can’t even pitch a book that’s finished!  I’d much rather you read it than have me tell you what it’s about.

During the writing of that book, other writing business interferes.  The line edit on the previous book.  The copy-edits on the previous book. The release of a book.  Q&A’s you don’t have time for (she says, blushing).  Book tours.  Cover art.  Cover copy.  Blogs.  Meetings.  Etc. more »

Interview (part 2) with Author, Robyn Carr

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?RobynCarr_06_hi-res-150x150

RC. I begin with a vague idea of who they are but I have to write about them, put them in scenes, watch them interact with other characters for at least 100 pages before they become real to me. Sometimes it’s longer.  Once I know them I can go back and revise and rewrite.  I love revision.  When the editor says it looks great and we can move right to the line edit and make changes there, I’m almost disappointed!  I love weighing the pros and cons of each suggestion in the revision letter; I love taking that first draft (which is never a real first draft but usually a tenth draft!) and making it better.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

RC. Reading. That feeling of not being able to close my eyes on a good book was so awesome I wondered if it would be even more awesome if I were creating the book. It was.  I thought about the story while I was falling asleep and woke up anxious to get back to it.

virgin.river.coverQ. When your characters are nestled in a small town like Virgin River; what comes first to you? The Characters or the Town?

RC. Always the characters. The town is not only harder to envision, it has to play the best possible supporting role.  With Virgin River not only did I visit the actual place – Humboldt County in Northern CA – but I realized very quickly that the best town to support my story would have to be rugged.  Not cute, not quaint but rough, rural, remote – a place that would demand something of the characters.  When I was there researching a local said to me, “If you last here for three years you’ll never leave.”  What does that say about a place?  It’s not an easy place and it’s worth the effort.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

RC. Oh yeah, embarrassingly so. Once I forgot a speaking engagement. At least it was local and at least I’d already showered and dressed.  I got a phone call asking me if I was coming!  I threw on better clothes and shot out the door!  I was twenty minutes late, but I made it!  I’d been in Virgin River and lost all sense of time and place.

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

RC. You mean I have a muse? Really? Whoever it is, she’s slacking.  I have to rely on myself and my discipline combined with my love of storytelling.  Some days are harder than others.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

RC. Forty years ago. I was very nearly a kid. I was, in fact, a very young Air Force wife with two babies and no car, the closest thing to a shut-in.  I’d never imagined I’d aspire to writing novels and was probably too dumb to know it’s an overwhelming goal.  I sold my first book in 1978 and I was only twenty-seven years old.  When the agent called me and said we’d had an offer from Little, Brown I said, “Little Who?”  I knew nothing.  I just knew I wanted to write this story.  It was only my third completed manuscript but it was historical romance at a time when historical romance was hot.

Q. How long after that were you published?

RC. I think it was only three years after I began. It took longer to write books then – we didn’t have computers.  There was no Google – I had to go toRobyn.Carr.photo the library, babies in tow, and research.  I wrote my first several books on a typewriter and being young and poor, it seemed to cost the earth.

Q. What makes a writer great?

RC. It’s unknown, actually. It’s a kind of magic that happens between the book and the reader. It’s unpredictable and undefinable.  In fact there are many great writers who are completely overlooked and many terrible writers who, for whatever reason, rise to bestsellerdom and fame.  And you might not know if you’ve achieved that magic that has readers talking (and talking and talking) for quite a while after the books have been published. No matter how hard we work or how much PR and advertising we do, at the end of the day it boils down to word of mouth.  It always does.  It’s readers telling other readers who tell other readers.  You might be able to trick them into buying the book with a lot of press or chatter, but you won’t twice and you won’t for long.  Readers, who we don’t really know, have to have that amazing emotional connection and response – and then they won’t shut up.

Q…..and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

Tune in for Part 3 of this wonderful Interview  July 30th ~~~  Did you miss Part 1? Click here

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!  A long awaited interview with Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House)   Michael Saad, Canadian author, was June’s author. Robyn Carr is July’s author. Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!


Time For More Famous Quotes

1a.Headshot.TS.259x300It’s been quite some time since I gave my readers some of my favorite quotes from famous writers…those people that inspire me to be a better one.  Maybe this weekend, after reading these, YOU will write something new or go back and rewrite something old or write a piece of poetry that you were afraid to lay down on paper.

Or maybe these quotes will just make you smile…

Kipling‘I keep six honest serving men. (They taught me all I know); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.- Rudyard Kipling  (I can’t let this go by without commenting on Kipling’s colloquial term of ‘honest serving men’. He spent decades in India.)

‘I have this feeling of wending my way or plundering through a mysterious jungle of possibilities when I am writing. This jungle has not been explored by previous writers. Istaffordt never will be explored. It’s endlessly varying as we progress through the experience of time. These words that occur to me come out of my relation to the language which is developing even as I am using it.’- William Stafford (I am particularly fond of this quote.)

‘In Ireland, a writer is looked upon as a failed conversationalist.’- Anonymous

Reade‘Make ’em laugh; make ’em cry; make ’em wait.’- Charles Reade

‘No tears and the writer, no tears and the reader.’Frost– Robert Frost

take a writer away from his typewriter
and all you have left
the sickness
which started him
in the beginning. ~Charles Bukowski

Elizabeth Barrett Browning ‘Many a fervid man writes books as cold and flat as graveyard stones.’- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back again.’- Oscar Wilde


green‘Thought flies and words go on foot.’- Julien Green  (this is why I type 80 words a minute)


‘What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.’- Logan Pearsall Smith
‘Writers aren’t exactly people, they’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person.’
– F. Scott Fitzgeraldfitzgerald

‘The truth is, we’ve not really developed a fiction that can accommodate the full tumult, the zaniness and crazed quality of modern experience.’- Saul Bellow

‘Writing is one of the easiest things: erasing is one of the hardest.’- Rabbi Israel Salanter

‘The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.’ – Charles Bukowski



Journal/Handbook by Trisha Sugarek


and I’ll finish with a not-so-famous quote:
‘As a writer, I marinate, speculate and hibernate.’   Trisha Sugarek
……that is, when I’m not beating up the writer in me with a large stick in the shape of a pencil. 
DON’T MISS BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   In April, a long awaited interview with Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House) May’s author is Jordan Rosenfeld.  Michael Saad, Canadian author, will be June’s author.

To receive  my  blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  sign up on the home page and enter your email address.  I love comments!  Take the time to write one at the bottom of the post.