Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The 5 W’s of Story—Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women by J.Q. Rose

Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Five W's in Story event. Mid-way through the summer season, I want to thank the guest authors who have shared the Five W's of their stories. Each one has been unique in how they approached the topic. 

I look forward to hosting Dr. Bob Rich and Diane Burton in August and to more authors in the lineup this summer. If you would like to talk about the Five W's in your book, please contact me to set up a time. We can extend the event into the fall months if there is enough interest. Thanks.


The 5 W's in Story
I like the idea of sharing the Five W's in a story so much, I decided to jump in today and take a turn at explaining the five W’s in my non-fiction book for girls, Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. 

The 5 W’s of Story—Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women by J.Q. Rose



Girls Succeed!
Inspiring and empowering girls to achieve success in their dream careers
WHAT
Girls Succeed! is an eBook filled with stories of women who, just like the readers, had dreams as little girls to embrace their passion and make it their career. The girls will be inspired by meeting the women and how they overcame obstacles in order to achieve their dream careers.

Unique to this eBook is the section about the women’s education and their resumes. Resources are listed to find out more about each profession through books and magazines. Links to websites and videos make the stories about the careers come alive for readers.

WHO
Fifteen successful women profiled in Girls Succeed
I was honored to interview fifteen successful women who trusted me to tell their stories in the book. I appreciate their generosity in sharing their stories so girls can see how important it is to believe they can actually make their dream career a reality.

 The stories include women who have discovered cures to stamp out disease, made people laugh, earned Olympic gold medals, and experienced seeing the country from the cab of an 18-wheeler truck. 

They all have some things in common.  First, they are passionate about the work they are doing. Second, they had people who influenced the decisions they made and helped them achieve their dreams. Third, they worked hard to be the best.


Dream Big
Painting by Julie Ann McKevitt

WHERE
The stories come from all over the United States from Arizona to Pennsylvania, from Michigan to Florida.

WHEN
The women are contemporary women and contributing to today’s society including trailblazers in their professions.

WHY
When I worked several seasons at a girls residence camp in Michigan, I met outstanding young women who were counselors at the camp and smart, energetic campers full of potential to do great things with their lives. I wanted them to know women who achieved success in their chosen professions. These role models can inspire and empower girls to reach for and work toward achieving their dreams.


You can achieve your dreams.
HOW
I was driven to put together this book, but I didn’t know too many women who were outstanding in their professions. So how did I start? I made a spreadsheet in 2008 of all the careers I wanted to cover in the book. Then I began my research. I made up a letterhead and wrote letters to each person telling them about my dream to write a book that would inspire girls and I requested an interview. I had a lot of rejections, but amazingly I had women who were excited to share their stories hoping they would inspire girls. (I’ve had adults review the book and they told me the stories inspired them too!)

Email was not as popular then as now, so all of the communication was done through snail mail. I also set up a time for a live interview via phone.

This was an exciting time for me and I value every minute spent getting to know these kind and giving women. Meet the ladies in the video below. 



Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women
Below is the list of successful women in the project and their careers.


Chapter 1--Horse Trainer/Competitive Dressage Rider, Pati Pierucci
True Love
Chapter 2--Bike Racer, Mackenzie Woodring
Speeding Around the Track
Chapter 3--Children’s Book Author and Illustrator, Jane Stroschin
Practice, Practice, Practice
Chapter 4--Medical Doctor, Cate Bradley
Role Models Rock
Chapter 5--Chef, Sue Chef
Cooking Up a Career
Chapter 6--Technology Expert, Diana Stoneberg
Keep Your Sense of Humor
Chapter 7--Christian Minister, Laurie Haller
Serving God
Chapter 8--Horticulturalist, Sharon Loving
Thank You Very Mulch
Chapter 9--Medical Scientist, Juanita Merchant
Confidence Counts
Chapter 10-Olympic Gold Medalist in Women’s Ice Hockey, Angela Ruggiero
Showing the Boys
Chapter 11-Semi-Truck Driver, Barbara Totten
Freedom of the Road
Chapter 12-Teacher/Coach/Athletic Director, Barbara “Chili” Chiles
Aim Higher
Chapter 13-Social Worker, Lenair Correll           
Overcoming Obstacles
Chapter 14-Entrepreneur/Product Developer, Veronica Bosgraaf
Find the Path to Success
Chapter 15-Professional Clown, Brenda Marshall
A Big Red Nose

Reader’s Guide

The Reader's Guide can be used as a companion to the ebook to encourage discussion on themes in the book and to have fun creating projects to further understanding themes of Passion, Persistence, Trailblazers, Feeling Different,  Be the Best You Can Be, Overcoming Obstacles 
Girls Succeed! Now on sale for 99 cents
Girls Succeed! including the Reader's Guide,
is now on sale for 99 cents at your favorite digital bookseller!
BUY LINKS









Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The 5 W's: Ellen Jacobson's Murder at the Marina, Giveaway, New Release Joselyn Vaughn's A Penny Saved

Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Five W's in Story event. I am thrilled to introduce two friends today who have new releases out for you to enjoy this summer! Excellent writers with funny, entertaining stories to share with you. Congratulations to mystery author Ellen Jacobsen and sweet romance author Joselyn Vaughn!
The 5 W's in Story
Because the 5 W's are the essence of a story, student writers usually listen to a lecture about who, what, where, when and why and the H.  We're focused on story at this blog, so I thought we could learn about the 5 W's by seeing how authors use them in their books.

You'll find this series with my guests informative and entertaining and not a stuffy lecture in a dusty, old classroom with a professor palavering on and on and on. 


* * *
Author Ellen Jacobson debuts her first cozy mystery, Murder at the Marina, during her blog tour this month. I love being a stop on her tour. Ellen is an experienced boater so it makes sense she authored a  mystery packed with humor that takes place at a marina. Read on to find out the Five W's in this engaging story. Then, be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a Murder at the Marina ebook. Deadline for entry is 9:00 pm ET, Sunday, July 15!!





The 5 W's: Ellen Jacobson's Cozy Mystery, 
Murder at the Marina
Who

The main characters are Mollie McGhie and her husband, Scooter, who moved to a small coastal town in Florida a few months prior to the start of “Murder at the Marina.” After Scooter buys Mollie a sailboat, they spend a lot of time at the local marina where they meet all sorts of interesting and quirky characters including:

·         Ned and Nancy Schneiderthe owners of the marina; Nancy runs a tight ship, Ned is more easy-going with a soft spot for cats
·         Captain Dan—a boat broker, who uses his dubious southern charm to try to woo the ladies
·         Penny Chadwicklives aboard her boat and teaches sailing classes at the marina                            
·         Jack and Sandy Holt—had hoped to be retired by now; instead Jack runs a business from his boat while Sandy suffers from health issues
·         Ben Moretti—a wannabe pirate often found drinking beer; struggles to make ends meet
·         Alejandra Lopez—a waitress at the Sailor's Corner Cafe; saving up to open her own nail salon
·         Mrs. Moto—a Japanese bobtail cat who has the run of the marina

What

I've always enjoyed reading cozy mysteries. As a “gentle” read, they can be a nice escape from the real world at times. Cozies typically don't have explicit sex scenes, naughty language, violence etc. They feature likable amateur sleuths, often women, who have a certain hobby, business, or occupation which puts them at the center of the action and provides an opportunity to investigate murders.

Where

Cozy mysteries often take place in a small town where everyone knows each other. I created the fictional tourist town of Coconut Cove on the Gulf Coast of Florida as the setting for my series, inspired in part by my own experiences living on our sailboat in the Sunshine State. I really enjoyed coming up with locations in the town that the tight-knit community could gather at.

Locals and tourists know that you can always find delicious food and a bit of gossip at the Sailor's Corner Cafe. Penelope's Sugar Shack is a great place to satisfy your sweet toothMollie is particularly fond of their brownies. Because there's a big focus on boating in Coconut Cove, Melvin's Marine Emporium does a brisk business. And, of course, Palm Tree Marina, is where all of the action, not to mention mysterious happenings, occur.

When

The series takes place in present day. I do think it will be fun to look back on “Murder at the Marina” at some point in the future and see how dated it will have become. Will young people chuckle at the mention of antiquated technology like cell phones and computers?

Why

I drew upon my own experiences buying a sailboat with my husband in New Zealand, learning to sail, and living aboard our boat when developing this series. Like Mollie, sailing started off as my husband's dream. Fortunately, unlike Mollie, my husband didn't “surprise” me with a sailboat for our anniversary. After initially chartering sailboats, it was actually my idea to buy our first boat and see if this lifestyle suited me. And I guess it must have as we ended up coming back to the States and buying a bigger sailboat in Florida.

It's been a lot of fun having a sailing theme for my series and introducing readers to what life is like at a marina, the types of people one might meet through this lifestyle, and the highs and lows of boat ownership.

How

Writing a cozy mystery requires some level of planning. You need to figure out the suspects, their possible motives, and alibis (as well as which one of them did it); the clues and red herrings; and how the murder was committed. When I wrote “Murder at the Marina” all of this evolved over several drafts. I'm currently working on the next book in the series, “Bodies in the Boatyard,” and have taken a much more planned approach including putting together a detailed outline. As a result, the writing process is going much faster and much more smoothly.

You can read more about the process of writing “Murder at the Marina” here - https://ellenjacobsonauthor.com/2018/04/16/cozy-mystery-publishing-novel-writing/

***
Cozy mystery, Murder at the Marina

Back of the Book

Murder at the Marina is the first in the new lighthearted and humorous Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery series.

A dilapidated sailboat for your anniversary—not very romantic. A dead body on board—even worse.

Mollie McGhie is hoping for diamonds for her tenth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband presents her with a dilapidated sailboat. Just one problem—she doesn’t know anything about boats, nor does she want to.

When Mollie discovers someone murdered on board, she hopes it will convince her husband that owning a boat is a bad idea. Unfortunately, he’s more determined than ever to fix the boat up and set out to sea.

Mollie finds herself drawn into the tight-knit community living at Palm Tree Marina in Coconut Cove, a small town on the Florida coast. She uncovers a crime ring dealing in stolen marine equipment, investigates an alien abduction, eats way too many chocolate bars, adopts a cat, and learns far more about sailing than she ever wanted to.

Can Mollie discover who the murderer is before her nosiness gets her killed?

* * *
JQ's Review: Ellen Jacobson knows boats AND how to tell an entertaining story.  Not only was it a mystery I couldn't solve right away, but also a tall tale filled with engaging characters including a cat! The mystery, the quirky characters, Mollie's antics in solving the crime, as well as trying to discourage her husband's zeal for boating, kept me turning the pages. If you want a fun summer read, this one is for you. I received an advance copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it for readers. 


Buy Links

You can get a copy of Murder at the Marina at:


* * *
About Ellen

Ellen Jacobson writes mystery and sci-fi/fantasy stories. She is the author of the “Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery” series. She lives on a sailboat with her husband, exploring the world from the water. When she isn't working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she blogs about their adventures at The Cynical Sailor.

You can connect with Ellen on her:

The Cynical Sailor Blog - http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/
The Cynical Sailor Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/TheCynicalSailor/
Newsletter Sign-up - http://eepurl.com/dpy5sv
* * *


Released Today! Spotlight on Joselyn Vaughn's Sweet Romance, A Penny Saved

A Penny Saved by Joselyn Vaughn
Marriage is the answer, now what was the question?
Back of the Book:
Penny Pounds has never met a challenge she couldn't plow straight through... until she starts forgetting things and misplacing items, causing her to worry that dementia is creeping into her brain. Recalling her mother's similar descent and the burden as a caregiver, Penny’s solution is to snag a husband.

Ken Hayward, visiting to evaluate the flooding around the dam in Pine Bottom, is the first man she crosses off her list of potential mates. His no-nonsense attitude and ability to see beneath her motives threatens to ruin her perfect plans. He intends to finish his work before he gets swept up in any of Penny's shenanigans.

When Penny breaks her ankle, her brother enlists a reluctant Ken as her primary caregiver. Ken soon learns the motives behind her husband hunt, and he must decide whether his heart will let him prevent her from walking down the aisle with the wrong man. 

BUY LINK for A Penny Saved

Click here for more books by Joselyn Vaughn.

Please leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win the ebook, Murder at the Marina. Don't you love learning about new releases? Leave a note of congratulations for these wonderful writers. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

IWSG: My Writing Goals, Happy Fourth of July

IWSG Badge
IWSG Blog Hop---the first Wednesday of every Month.

Hello and welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop!

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?


Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. 


Alex explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page

July 3 question 
What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

What a coincidence that the topic of this month's question is something I have been churning over and over in my mind. What AM I going to do now in my writing career? 

I began by writing non-fiction articles for newspapers, magazines, and e-magazines in 1996. I loved writing about people and places. Researching, visiting new places and interviewing interesting people fueled my creative yearnings to write. After 15 years of non-fiction articles, I decided to try writing fiction. Afterall, when I was in second grade, I made up some pretty good stories and it was fun.

After my latest mystery was published by BWL Publishing in December, I felt insecure about my next step. Honestly, in this world of terrorism and school shootings, do people want to read a murder mystery? How about more romance? Frankly, I was sick of the same story of  the hero and heroine overcoming conflicts to finally be together.

I have always encouraged people to write their life stories and have taught many workshops on it. Perhaps it's time for me to actually do it. I have started a memoir covering the first year we were in business. The process is enjoyable and allows me to wallow in nostalgia. I enjoyed looking at my life colored now by the 40 years between actually buying the business and the present. New perspectives on people's actions so many years ago and examinations of my responses to them are eye-opening to me. 

So, my ultimate goal is to complete the memoir for my family. I haven't determined if I want to share it publicly, although I do believe the story has an inspiring message for readers.  And some of the people in my story are not pictured in a good light. Memoirs are based on honesty, but I don't want to ruin anyone's reputation. Even if I change the names, residents in the area will still know who I am writing about. Since the persons I am writing about are deceased, they can't object or deny my version of the story. But their families can.

Writing nowadays includes marketing. I plan to continue marketing my published novels, and  I will be chasing down people for reviews. As far as more novels or non-fiction articles? At this moment, I'm not interested. However, those short story ideas are always swirling in my head. !!

How about you? Are you changing your writing goals? 
Do you have plans to celebrate the Fourth of July?
Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
Happy Fourth of July, USA!
 


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

IWSG Blog Hop: Spring Projects and More!

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the June IWSG Blog Hop! June is one of my favorite months. How about you? 
IWSG Badge
IWSG Blog Hop---the first Wednesday of every Month.

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?


Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. 


Alex explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.


The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page

Spring Projects Complete and Ready for a Break!

Let's admit it. It has been one heck of a spring in Michigan. Just look at these snowy shots of our garden and one flower bed. This was taken the day AFTER we arrived home from Florida in mid-April. Well, it's Michigan. 'Nuff said.


Our snowy garden

Flower bed


Not letting snow and cold winds deter my gardening hubby from gardening, 
he put up the greenhouse to house his precious baby plants.


Veggie plants protected by the greenhouse. He starts a LOT of plants in Florida.
The glory of gardening

While he waited for the sun to shine and the soil to warm, he gutted our bathroom.
New tub, new floor, cabinets removed. This was a huge job!


And he turned it into a lovely, 21st-century bathroom. 
I chose gray paint which is "in-style" nowadays and white vanity.

Needless to say, it has been an extremely busy spring for us. 
So, we have decided to take a break in June. 
That doesn't mean I'll take a break from writing, just from writing this blog. 
I can never stop the story ideas and plans for new books swirling in my head
Who knows what our next project might be? The possibilities are endless.
***

Congratulations to the winners of the prizes in my Birthday Grab Bag! 
Helen, Holly, Kris, Joselyn, and Linda.
Actually, you are ALL winners and I'm a winner too with the opportunity to meet you and entertain you through the Focused on Story blog and books.
Thank you!



The 5 W's guest author series will resume in July. 
On July 11, Ellen Jacobson, the Cynical Sailor, will share the 5 W's of her newly released, humorous mystery, Murder at the Marina.

Murder at the Marina (A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery Book 1) by [Jacobson, Ellen]
Click here to pre-order.

Chris Fey's newly released guide, 
Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication 
is now available. Packed with information for writers. 

Write With Fey - Chrys Fey
Click here to orderl

YOU have a glorious June 2018! 
I'll see you on the July 4 IWSG Blog Hop.