Category Archives: Mystery

Working on the words

I’m trying to get the first draft finished for my New Adult paranormal book.I’m a little under 34,ooo words to far.

I managed just over 700 words Thursday night while I was waiting for the Sisters in Crime meeting to get started, and hit the library this afternoon to do some more. Got a total of 1748 words yesterday and today, which is well below my target. Oh well, at least  got something written.



Leave a comment

Filed under Mystery, Nanci Pattenden, occult, paranormal, Writing

Amazon Campaign

Decided to give the Amazon Marketing Service a try and see what happens. My campaign is set to run from the 5th to the 8th. I’ve set my budget at a whopping $5 per day. Wonder if it will be worth it?  LOL I’m running it on book 2. Fingers crossed someone bites. One per day will at least cover the budget. 😀

duchess cover sm


Leave a comment

Filed under Historical Fiction, Mystery, Nanci Pattenden, Writing

Waiting for retirement

Just a little over a month left before my semi-retirement starts. Day one I’ll be taking my car in for a little body work, so I’ll have a rental for three days. broken carI’m going to miss the purple and black duct tape on the driver’s side mirror. I still don’t know what’s happening with me going part-time at my current place of employment, but the plan is to work Tues, Wed & Thurs. I’ll have lots to keep me busy over my 4 day weekends.

I haKids-writing-clipart-2ve two books in progress and another ready to come off the shelf after a few years of collecting computer dust. Also have a couple of adventure short stories in my head (maybe novellas). Still mulling over how to handle them. And yes, I write before typing.

Then there’s the magazine that the writing group I belong to is planning on starting once we get the ‘official’ go-ahead. First issue February 2017 – online and a few print copies.

Maybe I’ll find time to get back into my genealogy and relax and do some cross-stitching. I used to stitch pretty much constantly several years ago, before I got into stitch-clipart-crossstitchgenealogy, then writing.

I still have two more courses to take at the U of T, one of which I might be starting in September. It’s either then or January, and since that one is on campus, I think I’d rather travel in the fall then the first few months of the year as the weather is geneschoolrally worse then. The last course is the ‘final project’ which I’m thinking will be that book that’s been gathering computer dust. It’s based on a story I dug up doing some genealogy.


Oh, I forgot that I have notes for yet another one. I have about 12k words typed up I believe.

Hurry up October!



Filed under Genealogy, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Nanci Pattenden, Writing

Update on latest book

Been busy with courses so I haven’t done a lot on this one. One of the courses was historical fiction, so I started on book three of the Hodgins series. Barely started. About a chapter and a half. Getting back to the New Adult book now. It takes a lot of research to make it believable.

I’ve just barely passed the half way mark of the first draft. It feels like it will be a bit of a cross-over between the whole witch-thing and a mystery. As I said in my earlier post, Marcy, the main character, has decided to learn the family craft that she abandoned in her early teens. She didn’t take well to being called a freak by her so-called friends. With the addition of trying not to be killed by an unknown and basically invisible man (witch/warlock?) she also needs to find out what happened to her grandmother’s baby brother. He disappeared when he was seven and Granny and her sister were never told what happened to him.

Going over the timeline I realize that I need to add a few chapters. I have her going to England but she’s only there for three days. Need to stretch that out to at least a week, maybe longer if I can. I’ve done a bit of digging and think I know what I’ll fill the time with. Hopefully it’s not boring as she will be learning a lot. Somewhat of a history lesson for her, so I’ll need to add some humour to it.

I’ve added a new chapter at the beginning and I’ll try to get a chapter or two done by the end of the week  –  Fingers crossed.

elven star

Leave a comment

Filed under Mystery, occult, Writing

Writing And Selling Your Mystery Novel

Almost finished reading Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, by Hallie Ephron. Wonderful resource regardless of the genre you write in. Yes, some chapters are mostly for mysteries, but a very large portion of the book is general. There are chapters on POV, story line, editing, planning, revising, and selling. Each chapter starts with a quote from a famous author and there are lots of examples pulled from works of fiction.

She talks about how to end one chapter and start the next. Do you use a cliff hanger or not? She covers that. Hallie also goes over characters, from naming them to analyzing them and how to portray them on paper. Each chapter has exercises you can do or not. Your choice.

At the back is an appendix listing organizations, mystery conferences, contests, guidebooks, and more. This is one of the sections geared for the mystery writer.

Regardless of the genre you prefer to write in, if you are looking for a book with good information and an easy read, check this one out. It’s currently on sale on the Writer’s Digest Shop at


Happy writing.

1 Comment

Filed under Historical Fiction, Mystery, Writing

To Beta or Not to Beta

Last week I used a beta reader for the first time. Based on internet research, I was under the impression that beta’s were either free or very reasonable. Maybe $20 or a free copy of the book once published. Something along those lines. Beta buyer beware.

I posted on Goodreads looking for a beta. Someone contacted me. Since he indicated he is a freelance writer and editor, I emailed back asking if he was volunteering to beta read or offering his services. (Volunteer: a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task. ) He said beta read, then quoted a cost which I wrongly assumed was his normal editing fee. (50 cents per 300 words). So, my search for a volunteer beta reader, with the current exchange rate, will cost me about $87.

What did I get for $87? About 6 comments in an email. Was it worth it? I’d say NO WAY JOSÉ. Huge mis-communication. He’s not trying to pull one over on me, it just wasn’t clear to me that I would be billed in the end.

This has totally put me off ever looking for a beta reader again. Lesson learned? Make sure everything is spelled out down to the tiniest detail before you engage a beta. Ask every question imaginable, then ask a few more.



Filed under Mystery, Writing


A week ago Sunday (the 14th), I participated in Bookfest at one of the Vaughan libraries. It was the second year for Bookfest, the first for me. I set my goal to sell a whopping 1 book.  I sold 2.  Woo Hoo. The first was to a lad about 10 who said he wanted something to read at camp. The second was to the library. One of the ladies came around towards the end looking for copies of the books that were not already in their system.  Hopefully people check it out and talk about it.

Still have to visit some of the libraries a little closer to  home to see if they are interested in purchasing a copy. Since part of the book takes place in Stouffville, I’m hoping that their library will be happy to get a copy. 😀

Couldn’t make my rounds this weekend as I was at the Ontario Archives most of the day on Saturday, but Sunday I did manage to hide at the library for a couple of hours to edit book two.

So much to do and so little time. Oh, I still have to finish the index for the Mount Albert Cemetery transcript.



Filed under Genealogy, Mystery, Writing