Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Arm Chair Travel: Time for a Cruise to Roatan, Honduras

Buenas Dias and Bienvenido to the Focused on Story blog by J.Q. Rose.

This week I'm sharing photos from our cruise to Mahogany Bay on the island of Roatan, Honduras and Cozumel, Mexico. The photos tell the story better than words, but as usual, the photos are nowhere as spectacular as the reality of the scenery and people.

The Carnival Ship Line, Paradise, was our ride.

My husband and I traveled with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. We left on the five day Carnival Cruise from the Port of Tampa, FL. I was so enthralled with everything, I forgot to take my camera up on the deck as we sailed away from the beautiful city of Tampa on the west coast of Florida. I wish I had taken shots of the city as we cruised down the channel and under the Skyway Bridge out to the Gulf of Mexico. BTW, this was the last time I knew where I was in this vast ocean until I arrived back in Tampa five days later.
The lobby was all decked out for Christmas and festive.

This beautiful sunset wished us a good night. And the meal that night on white tablecloths, china, loads of waiters to keep us fed and over fed made us feel like royalty. The food all week was very good, plentiful, and available 24 hours a day!

The morning brought warm showers. The Lido deck with the buffet, pool, water slide and meeting area was wet when we traversed the deck to get to the early morning coffee and juice. The stormy cloud bank with the rains falling from it over the vast ocean was an amazing sight.

Welcoming sign for us at Mahogany Bay.
When we reached Mahogany Bay, the private Carnival Ships port, we hired a guide to take us around to see the island of Roatan. And did he ever! We saw the seedy side, the slums, the parks, the people, the shopping areas, and learned the history of Central America's formation and the political and economic situation of Honduras.

 This family had beads and bracelets to sell to the tourists.

A view of the bay

Shopping at the outdoor market.

 Our guide took us to the Monkey and Sloth Park.
 Ever been hugged by a sloth?
The parrots' colors were brilliant.
 The West End is the tourist's shopping area. and beach. We didn't sit on the beach, 
but opted to do the sight-seeing of the island.
 All kinds of food and shops renting diving equipment, kayaks, boats. 
Such narrow streets, barely room for two cars.
The rusty old shipwreck was left in the bay on purpose because the tourists love to take pictures of it. So, being wide-eyed tourists, we took pictures.

Next week I'll take you on the tour of Cozumel. Thanks for stopping in. Hope you enjoyed the sun and the beach and the water.

Have you been on a cruise? Did you have fun? Did you get seasick? Please leave a comment below and share your experience. Thank you
# # # #
December 15 is the release date for my latest mystery/paranormal, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. Take a peek.
* * * *
Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Mystery/paranormal
Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed? Investigating mysterious murders? 
Not the usual calls in a Florida retirement community for volunteer first responder Jim Hart.
First Responder

Back of the Book:  Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed or investigating mysterious murders are not the usual calls for first responder Jim Hart. He expects slip and fall accidents or low blood pressure emergencies in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort. The ghastly crime scenes turn the winter time fun into a terrifying season of death and mystery when the authorities cannot track down the predator responsible.

Jim and his wife Gloria could escape the horror and grief by returning to their northern home, but concern for their friends and residents keep them in Florida. With the entire community in a dither over the deaths, the Harts participate in the normal winter activities of golfing, dancing, and pool parties with their friends to distract them from the sadness and loss.

Can Jim and Gloria work with the authorities to discover who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard and stop the increasing body count?

Now available to pre-order at 



Available in many online digital book outlets beginning this Friday, December 15.

eBook and Paperback available NOW at AMAZON








Tuesday, December 5, 2017

IWSG Blog Hop: What I Would Have Done Differently in 2017, Announcing Mystery/Paranormal Book Release in December

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog. 
Time for the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 

Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh 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. I hope you'll take some time to visit the diverse list of bloggers.

IWSG Question for the Month

Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

When my publisher, Books We Love Publishing, accepted my mystery/paranormal novel in June, I knew had a release date in December. Did I finish up the manuscript and send it right in? No, I didn't. 

I worked on the story most of the summer with my fabulous writers group. But I dilly-dallied putting it all together. It was a scramble for me to get it in on time to have a pre-order page for the book ready. 

Did I get the images and the promotion material ready so I could shout about the new release? No. I'm working now on images in canva and planning out the promotions/marketing. 

I guess I'm a procrastinator and need that extra surge of having a deadline to meet to get me motivated. How about you?

To answer the question, yes I would have done it all differently--finish the manuscript right away and make plans for promoting earlier. 

December 15 is the release date for Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. Today, I'm thrilled to reveal the book cover by Michelle Lee and the info on this re-release plus of the original novella, Sunshine Boulevard with my friends at IWSG.
* * * *
Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Mystery/paranormal
Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed or investigating mysterious murders 
are not the usual calls in a Florida retirement community for volunteer first responder Jim Hart.
First Responder

Back of the Book:  Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed or investigating mysterious murders are not the usual calls for first responder Jim Hart. He expects slip and fall accidents or low blood pressure emergencies in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort. The ghastly crime scenes turn the winter time fun into a terrifying season of death and mystery when the authorities cannot track down the predator responsible.

Jim and his wife Gloria could escape the horror and grief by returning to their northern home, but concern for their friends and residents keep them in Florida. With the entire community in a dither over the deaths, the Harts participate in the normal winter activities of golfing, dancing, and pool parties with their friends to distract them from the sadness and loss.

Can Jim and Gloria work with the authorities to discover who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard and stop the increasing body count?

Now available to pre-order at 





Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mark Coker's 2017 Smashwords Survey of eBook Trends and Data

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!


Focused on Story Blog by J.Q. Rose
Taking a break this week, but I am popping in here to share an important report on e-book sales from Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords. He does a survey every year finding the trends and insights in the e-book sales aggregated across the Smashwords distribution network.

Mark cautions to use a large amount of skepticism while reading the report.

I came away with the understanding that pre-orders are a huge advantage in bumping up sales for new books. He offers results on the data collected on box sales, series, pricing, top genres, and more!

Mark said,
"Here are some of the questions we seek to answer:
  • What are the top fiction and non-fiction categories?
  • What romance categories perform the best? 
  • How do box sets perform, and which types of box set perform the best?
  • Do authors who release ebooks as preorders sell more books overall?
  • How do preorder adoption rates differ across genres (New!!) 
  • What percentage of overall sales in each genre for new titles go to books released as preorders (New!)
  • What are the pricing sweet spots for full-length fiction to maximize both readership and author earnings?
  • Do longer books still sell better?
  • Does FREE still work, and what about free series starters?
  • Do series books sell better than standalone books, and if so, by how much?
And here you go, the Smashwords Survey!"