Monday, August 3, 2015

Camping Trip: Double Rainbows, Blurb for Mystery, Deadly Undertaking, This Week

Amazing rainbow sighted while camping this week.
Hello from J.Q. Rose. Our family just returned from a camping trip where we were blessed to see a double rainbow after two small showers. A rainbow is pretty exciting, but a double one is amazing. In all my years I don't remember seeing a double rainbow, let alone two in one afternoon! Last night my daughter told me she saw another one after a shower here after we had returned home. What can it mean? Are the leprechauns playing tricks on us? The pot(s) of gold must be somewhere!!

Update on my mystery novel, Deadly Undertaking

I thought it would be easy to get back to writing after returning from a fun break with the kids and grandkids, but it's hard to get settled in and back to work. 

I penned a blurb for the book to get me back into the story and I thought I'd share it with you today. 

A blurb is the information that will get a reader's attention. If it's catchy enough, intriguing, and well-written, the blurb can be a wonderful salesman for your writing. If not, know. Hopefully this one will not make you snooze. Please feel free to offer suggestions for improvement in the comments below. Or if you like it, let me know that too!!! Thank you.

Back of the Book for Deadly Undertaking:

Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies around when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, the Staab and Bloode Funeral Home. Still, finding an extra body on the floor of the garage between the hearse and the flower car shocked her. Lauren’s plan to return to her hometown to help care for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease and to keep the books for the funeral home suddenly turns upside down in a struggle to prove she and her family are not guilty of murdering the man. But will the real killer return to kill her, her dad, her brother? More complications arise when her childhood schoolmate, Gary, now the policeman investigating the murder, awakens feelings of love she never imagined she'd ever experience again. Their new relationship makes her heart thud and her insides mushy. Add to that a pesky shadow man, Henry, who interferes in her life. Could she actually take love advice from a shadow man? Her mother’s illness, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life. Welcome home, Lauren!

This Week:
IWSG Support Group Blog Hop on Wednesday

The first Wednesday of the month, August 5, means another Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG) blog hop. That Wednesday truly is hoppin’ every month with blog posts that light up the writing community with support, advice, and just plain fun. Check out all the posts on Wednesday. Each blogger has a link to the over 200 participants and counting. You can join in too. Here’s the skinny on IWSG. Be sure to also take a peek at the IWSG website for lots of resources for writers.

Hope to see you back on Wednesday when I share my insecurity in a video to discuss my insecurity, Making Videos!

Travel the World from Your Desk Chair

Thursday, August 6--This Thursday I asked my guest blogger, Marsha R. West if she could come at another time to share her wonderful trip to New Mexico because I am scheduled to have eye surgery to remove a cataract. I don't schedule a guest blogger when I am not around. I've never had this procedure done, so I don't know what shape I'll be in or if I'll even be allowed to read a computer screen for awhile. After talking with many folks who have had it done, I've learned it is almost as routine as having a cavity in your tooth filled at the dentist. Fingers crossed they are right!

Marsha will be share her trip on September 3. The Travelogue will resume on August 13.

Finishing off the summer Travelogue series are guest authors and their guest blog dates.

August 13
 Joselyn Vaughn
20  Stan Hampton
27  Eric Price
             3 Marsha West

Thank you to all my summer Travelogue authors.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Travelogue Video: Nova Scotia Adventure Part Two with J.Q. Rose

Travelogue Time
Hello and welcome to the Travelogue. I am thrilled to be your host for the second part of our Nova Scotia Adventure. Part One covered the south shore of Nova Scotia. In Part Two we continue driving through the Pudnico area to visit a turn-of-the-century Acadian Village, up into Prince Edward Island to see the *actual house with green gables made famous world-wide by Lucy Montgomery's series, Anne of Green Gables, and a drive along the PEI National Park shoreline. Gardener Ted and I are anxious to get  the tour started. Let's go! 

* To see more photos we took at Green Gables, please visit my earlier travelogue on the Green Gables Park on the J.Q. Rose blog. 

Thank you for stopping in. Please leave a comment below about a road trip you've taken. Sign up to follow this blog so you don't miss out on more travelogues coming up in August!

If you're interested in getting the Anne of Green Gables series, I downloaded this eBook and I'm happy with the formatting. All but two of the series are in the book, plus many other books by L.M. Montgomery, and also the classics, Pride and Prejudice and Call of the Wild.

Connect online with J. Q. Rose

J.Q. Rose blog
J. Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Smartphone Era, Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Image from
Photo by adamr
Hope you had a wonderful, but warm, weekend! Mine was good except for the frustration learning how to use my new Smartphone. Yes, I finally gave in to joining the Smartphone era. We moved our pre-paid account from my simple little phone that showed how many minutes and the date I needed to renew the service to this monster. That info is no longer on the screen. I had to download an APP to have it available to me. Now the screen shows how many minutes I have, the texting, and data usage. Say what? The other phone took off minutes when I talked and texted.

I don't want to become one of those folks who pay more attention to their phone than to their friends who are sitting at the table eating dinner with me.

I don't want to fall over a street curb because I was texting instead of looking where I was going.

I don't want to become so addicted I can't go without looking at the screen twenty or more times in a few minutes.

But then again, I don't want to lose out on the perks that people find so wonderful with a Smartphone. I know authors who write their blogs/books while sitting in traffic on their cell phone.  Crossing my fingers that I can find some advantages to having one.

Do you have a Smartphone? What do you like about it? Don't like about it? Please tell me in a comment below.
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Muffins and goodies at the LaHave Bakery, LaHave, Nova Scotia
Watch my Nova Scotia Adventure Part One to see more.

Blueberry Muffin Recipe

It's blueberry pickin' time in Michigan. Oh so good blueberries on bushes taller than Gardener Ted. No he doesn't grow them, but there are a LOT of blueberry fields near us. Picking blueberries is such a peaceful, pleasant venture. I'm afraid my DH and grandkids come home with just as many berries in their tummies as in the buckets!

My daughter called and wanted my friend Carol's recipe for Blueberry Muffins, so I thought you may be looking for one too. Carol's recipe is below. Enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. blueberries
1 c. sour cream

Mix together. Put in baking cups.
Bale 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Please let me know if you try these and how you like them. I'm always looking for blueberry recipes. Do you have one?

Travelogue--Travel the World from Your Desk Chair
This Week:

Thursday, July 30-- Join me for Part Two of the Nova Scotia Adventure. If you missed Part One, here's the link to the post.

Thanks for stopping in today. Please follow the blog by email so you won't miss a new post. I promise, NO Spam!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Travelogue Video: Nova Scotia Adventure Part One with J.Q. Rose

Travelogue Time
Hello and welcome to the Travelogue. I am thrilled to take my turn this week on the Travelogue. You're invited to join my husband, Gardener Ted, and me on our tour of Nova Scotia, Canada. Because we stayed only one night in an area, we drove 1700 miles (not counting the ferry boat ride back from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia), You can bet I have a LOT of photos, so today I present Part One of the trip. 

We truly enjoyed the people and places in Nova Scotia, Canada. Now that we've had an overview, we might make another visit in the future to the spots we want to explore more thoroughly. 

Enjoy the video! 

Nova Scotia Adventure Part One

Thank you for stopping in. Please leave a comment below about a road trip you've taken. Sign up to follow this blog so you don't miss out on more travelogues coming up in August!

Connect online with J. Q. Rose

J.Q. Rose blog
J. Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Writing Process: First Drafts, Revisions, Synopsis Creation

Summertime glads
54,911. That's the number of words in my latest mystery manuscript, according to MS Word. And may I also add, the manuscript is finished? Woot woot...What a wonderful feeling, for the moment.

I sent the story out to two trusted beta readers, so I know there will be changes to be made when they return their comments.

First Drafts
The first draft is only the beginning.
First Draft
Sometimes the final scene isn't even in my first draft. Things change during the writing. Those characters seem to have minds of their own, so how I planned the novel to end is not always the way it ends!

I've learned not to share the first draft scenes with my critique group as I'm writing the story because these ladies are so brilliant when brainstorming. They give me too many great ideas and I cannot implement them all when I want to, so I get frustrated. Then I get confused and lose my way in the story. It's better to just scratch it out, straight through to the end before sharing. Don't stop to re-write it. Perhaps you have the same problem as author Laini Taylor. 

The one thing I have learned about writing a novel is--it is never done. After the first draft, I set the story aside for a week or more. (I began my manuscript for this story in June 2012 and didn't even look at it again until 2015!) With this novel I have four manuscripts, each one progressively edited not only for line edits, but for fleshing out the story and filling in the holes.

Just as arranging flowers, a floral designer has to fill the vase with the blossoms, perhaps add a little babies breath, step back, add some purple statice. Her eye has to decide if the floral arrangement is complete. A writer too needs to step back and decide when the story is complete. Knowing that important step takes practice, just like it takes practice to develop the eye for floral design.

Ask for Help
After tackling three mysteries, short stories, and non-fiction books, I have learned to ask for help with the writing. It takes a village for a writer to actually get the story idea to a published book. 

My "baby" has been sent out to fresh eyes for feedback. Don't you feel like your manuscript is your baby and you want to hold on to it and protect it from any harm? Don't be afraid to share what you have written. The insights you gain from getting feedback is worth having a queasy stomach before you send it off online or share it in your critique group. In fact, reading your story could make someone's day.

The Dreaded Synopsis Creation 

I won't touch the manuscript for another week. So now what do I do? I face the most daunting task for a writer, creating a synopsis to send to publishers. How do you condense 55000 words into a two page synopsis? (Be sure to check guidelines for the publisher you have in mind to submit your work. Some like shorter, some prefer longer synopses.)

If you need some advice on writing a synopsis, (and don't we all?) Joanne Broadwell shared her Perfecting the Pitch Synopsis Toolkit on the J.Q. Rose blog on the J.Q. Rose blog. Please click on over to read her tips on creating one for your book.

I'd better get to writing that synopsis. I'm so excited to share this book, Deadly Undertaking, three years in the making. The synopsis will introduce you to the characters (Lauren is the protagonist), setting (a small town and her family's funeral home), and situations (she's dealing with her mother's illness, a murder in the funeral home, a nosy shadow man, and falling in love.)
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Thanks for stopping in today. Please leave a comment on your writing process, rewriting, synopsis creation.

You're invited to the Summer Travelogue this Thursday, July 23. If you follow this blog by email, you'll be notified about new blog posts. I promise, NO spamming!

Discover books by J.Q. Rose on amazon.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Travelogue: Europe by Rail--through the Mountains in Bavaria to the Casino at Monte Carlo, Free eBook

Welcome to the Summer Travelogue series! Award-winning British  author Helena Fairfax gets us back on track for a great  trip through Europe by Rail.( I believe in the USA we would say a train trip!)

Thank you, Helena, for sharing your adventure with us!

Europe by Rail: through the Mountains in Bavaria to the Casino at Monte Carlo 
by Helena Fairfax

Map of Europe from Deluxe Travel site
Not Helena's actual trip

Eight years ago (and I can’t believe it’s that long!) my husband and I took a rail trip through Europe.
The whole of Europe - so much to see and do! But we only had just over two weeks, so our trip involved careful planning and ruthlessly abandoning thousands of cultural highlights.
So, on a very, very rainy day in the north of England, I left work for an exciting adventure. We flew to Stuttgart and from there took a train all the way to the heart of the Bavarian Alps. Many, many years ago I spent one summer working in a hotel here, and I still have dear friends from that time. We were all going to return to our hotel – only this time not to wash dishes or serve foaming pints of beer, but as paying guests.
Here’s the view from our window. As you can imagine, as young people working in this hotel we missed the clubs and pubs to be found at home. The cows were a poor substitute for night life. But it was wonderful to return and rediscover just how fabulous the Bavarian mountains are:
The Bavarian Alps
We had a fabulous two days recalling old times and drinking Weissbier, and then we said goodbye to my friends and carried on further south, on a train journey through the even more magnificent mountains of Switzerland towards Italy. Look at this for a view from our train window!
View from the Bernina Express
After the Swiss Alps, we came down into the flat lands to the border with northern Italy, and the shores of Lake Lugano. Unlike northern England, the weather was now HOT.
Lugano, Switzerland 
image courtesy of Pixabay
And then we headed over the border and further south into Italy, to the fabulous renaissance city of Florence. If you’ve read my novel The Antique Love  you might recognise this view of the river Arno, which I used at the end of the novel. (The ending of The Antique Love was voted “Most Romantic Love Scene Ever” by readers of Love, Romances and More. With inspiration like this, it wasn’t hard to write a romantic ending!)
Sunset over the Arno
And then we headed back up north, stopping off at the city of Genoa – a jumble of red houses and steep slopes by the Mediterranean – to take the train over the border and on to the French city of Nice. 
    Whilst staying in Nice, we took the opportunity to visit the tiny little principality of Monaco, once ruled over by Prince Rainier and his wife, Princess Grace (formerly Grace Kelly), and now ruled over by Albert II.
Palace at Monaco
 image courtesy of Pixabay
Guard at Monaco Palace
Monaco Harbour

Readers, have you taken  a train trip? Have you visited Europe? Please let us know about your travel adventures in comments below.

Be sure to follow the J.Q. Rose blog by email so you won't miss out on the upcoming Travelogues. No spamming, I promise.

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Helena, you certainly packed a lot of splendid places to visit into a short time. Thanks for sharing this amazing trip with us. Now tell us about your new book to be released August 2.

My latest release, Palace of Deception, is a romantic suspense novella. The setting is a fictional principality in southern Europe – a country a little like Monaco (although of course the characters aren’t based on country’s real Royal family!) The heroine travels to the principality of Montverrier by rail.
Here is the blurb to Palace of Deception:
A sinister housekeeper, a silent bodyguard, and a missing princess - mystery and intrigue in a gripping romantic suspense.

Lizzie Smith is contacted by her old drama teacher over the summer and offered the acting job of her life. Princess Charlotte of Montverrier has disappeared on the eve of her Investiture…and Lizzie must take her place.

But in the run up to the ceremony, all is not what it seems in the Palace of Montverrier. Why does the housekeeper insist Lizzie keep to her suite of rooms? What danger lies outside the palace walls? As Lizzie learns her role, her only confidant is Léon, her quiet bodyguard…but what secrets is he keeping from her?

Mystery and suspense against the backdrop of a beautiful Mediterranean city.

Palace of Deception is available on pre-order from 
Amazon US
Amazon UK  
and international Amazon stores.

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, JQ. I’ve loved reading through all your own travelogue posts, and those of your guests. Here’s to many more happy times travelling! 
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About Helena:
altHelena Fairfax was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She’s grown used to the cold now and that’s just as well, because nowadays she lives in an old Victorian mill town in Yorkshire, right next door to windswept Brontë country. She has an affectionate, if half-crazed, rescue dog and together they tramp the moors every day—one of them wishing she were Emily Brontë, the other vainly chasing pheasants. When she’s not out on the moors you’ll find Helena either creating romantic heroes and heroines of her own or else with her nose firmly buried in a book, enjoying someone else’s stories. Her patient husband and her brilliant children support her in her daydreams and are the loves of her life.

Find Helena online--

Twitter @helenafairfax

Check out Helena's award-winning romance, The Antique LoveA heartwarming, feel-good romance. Voted "Most Romantic Love Scene Ever" by readers of Love, Romances, and More.

UPDATE: Helena is making her contemporary romance novel The Antique Love *FREE* to download for Kindle for a limited time, from July 19 until 23rd July 2015. I hope you’ll go ahead and download a copy, and enjoy! The Antique Love won an award last year for “Most Romantic Love Scene Ever.” Here are the download links to get your free copy on Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon INAmazon AU.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Writing Tip: Using the Kindle for Editing, This Week, Travelogue

One of the gorgeous roses in the Halifax Public Garden
Hello from Michigan!

Summer is half over and I still have not finished my WIP for my Beta readers. I swore I would have the manuscript (ms) done for my funeral home mystery by the end of April, then the end of May, then the end of June...mmmm....My mother always told me not to swear. At this point in time, I only have seven chapters to go. I plan to get it finished up this week, even if I have to stay up all night, every night!

WRITING TIP--Using the Kindle for Editing
Before allowing Beta reader eyes on the story, I use the Kindle reader as my final tool. I email my MS Word doc to my Kindle address. The address is found on your amazon account information. Then I can read the ms on my Kindle similar to an eBook, but the formatting is not perfect. It's a different way of looking at the words and pages making it helpful to find errors.

Reading the manuscript on the  KIndle
and yes, I do have this old Kindle too.
When I see wording or punctuation I want to change in my ms, I highlight it and make a note. After reading through it, I then pull up my ms and make changes on the ms. The errors are easy to find on the Kindle page because they are highlighted. Sometimes I have a hard time locating the line or paragraph in my Word doc though. I don't know if a program like Scrivener would make it easier for me.

I was amazed at how many punctuation errors I made. No period, too many periods, commas I needed to add or delete, and punctuation marks where they shouldn't be and where they should be.
I also noted awkward or long sentences, sentences that sounded like a second grader wrote them, and formatting issues such as indenting a new paragraph.

The text-to-speech program on the Kindle is helpful too. Listening to the story catches many oddly written conversations or sentences. Yes, the Kindle voice is rather monotone and boring, so I can't listen for long stretches at a time.

Have you ever tried using the Kindle for editing? Please share some of your most helpful ways of editing your stories.

If you would like tips on editing, the writing process, publishing and marketing, check out the eBook, Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing. Fifteen romance and mystery authors share writing tips they have gleaned from their experiences as “on-the-job” writers. The tips are organized into the main topics of writing, publishing, and marketing. The novelists also reveal the “light bulb moments” in their writing journey, questions they are asked most often, and the best advice on writing they have received. By offering their expertise, the authors hope to smooth the sometimes rocky road for new writers toward a rewarding career in writing. All proceeds from the sales of the eBook will go to local public libraries. Find the eBook on amazon.

This Week:

Thursday, July 17-Please join romance author Helena Fairfax on the Travelogue series. This week we are traveling Europe by rail as our British tour guide introduces us to  Europe by Rail: through the Mountains in Bavaria to the Casino at Monte Carlo. Her photos are breathtakingly beautiful. Please join us for a delightful trip.

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Thank you for visiting.