Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Author Toolbox: What IS SEO?

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month to share resources and tips for authors. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for hosting this venture. 

Please join us to learn more about the craft of writing and to meet bloggers who are dedicated to helping each other become the best writers possible. Click here for the list of participants and visit them after picking up a few tips on Search Engine Optimization--SEO-- on this blog. Thank you.

What IS SEO? by J.Q. Rose
What IS SEO?
I bumped into the wall known as SEO when I began contributing articles on gardening to an e-zine several years ago. (FYI- E-zine is now known as an online magazine.) No longer could I just write an article packed with information for gardeners. Instead, I had to include keywords in the post to optimize results for search engines to find the article among the thousands of available articles floating around in cyberspace. The importance of using SEO in my articles was new to me. Is it new to you too?
Using SEO in your blog posts is like using a GPS to direct readers to your site. Popular keywords are used to drive readers to your website when readers put a keyword you use to describe your site or article in the search engine. The link to your post will be seen by readers wanting to learn about the information related to that keyword. Your ranking in the search engine improves every time someone clicks on your keyword hopefully landing you on the front page or at least one of the first pages of Google.com or other search engines. 

Just think about how you would talk to your friend about the article you just finished (or your book, short story or product). Use words you naturally use and ones your readers would use when searching for a topic. 

Let's try "author resources" as the keyword--yes, you can use more than one word. In fact, I have heard contrary discussions about the length of keywords. In my research,most gurus believe in using long-tail keywords to engage folks rather than a single keyword.

Notice how many links related to authors resources pop up. Can you see how SEO will help you drive traffic to your website if you can find the right keywords to use?

How do you find popular keywords that increase Search Engine Optimization?

The secret to finding words that readers look for is simple and free. Popular keyword research tools are Google, Amazon, Youtube, and/or Pinterest. Place a topic you are writing about in your blog post in the search box. The predictive text will give you searches made with that word. 

An example:

Talking about keywords like I am today, I typed "keyword" into the search box on Google. The predicted word or phrases show up because users have selected these words to find articles and videos on the topic.


To make my blog post about keywords turn up on a Google page, I should include some of these words and phrases that came up when typing "keyword" into the search box. These have been used by folks searching for information about that topic.

Perhaps you are writing an article about "good websites". Type the term into the search box and the text will give you an idea of what phrases or words people are using to find information on "good websites".

Look back through this article to see if I snuck any of the suggestions in places where they are unobtrusive. You can't put keywords everywhere so they become obvious and annoying to the reader.

Don't overload your copy with the keywords, but add them where it's natural such as in the title of your post, a few times in the article, and metadata. (Metadata is information about your website article aka labels in Blogger.)

Don't be afraid to try out adding keywords to improve the SEO or Search Engine Optimization for your online works. After 3 or 4 months of using keywords, see if you see an increase in traffic to your site. You may also like to go back to older posts that received a lot of interest and add keywords to get even more traffic.
***
I hope I have simplified this complex method of getting readers to your website. If you have questions, please ask in the comments below. If you have information to add on SEO or keywords, please do so in the comment section. I'd appreciate that and so would the readers. 

Check out these articles below for more information and search for educational articles and videos using your favorite search engine.

Click here for How to Use Keywords on Your Site by Nate Shivar.
Click here for What Does SEO Stand For by William Alexander








Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Happy 30th Birthday to the WWW, New Release: Struggle and Suffrage in Halifax by Helena Fairfax


Celebrating the 30th birthday of the WWW

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog. Today is a day of marking milestones! The World Wide Web turns 30 years old today and England marked the 100-year milestone of women gaining the right to vote in February 1918.
***
According to an article in The Verge, 30 years ago today Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal to his boss simply titled "Information Management". The proposal offered a solution for scientists to manage their increasingly large projects. 
This management system, in just a couple of years, transformed into the "World Wide Web: a connected system for sharing information that would revolutionize how the entire planet communicated."
Through these 30 years, his plan has affected our lives in the way we learn, access news and information, shop, and how we spend our free time. One great example of change for readers and writers is how books are now delivered into the hands of readers. eBooks are just a click away from you no matter where you live--in the cities, small towns, rural areas, mountains, and oceanside. 
I remember sitting in our home office in the early days of the web, experimenting with a computer and accessing the "slow as molasses" internet. Frustrating, to say the least, and boring. No pretty colors, photos, or animation as we expect nowadays. Just plain text on the screen. But when I could connect to all the information available in this wondrous space, I was amazed. (You can understand my exhilaration when you know that I used to read the World Book Encyclopedia for fun on Sunday afternoons when I was a girl.)
What are your first recollections of the early days of using the World Wide Web? Please share in a comment below.
***
NEW RELEASE: Struggle and Suffrage in Halifax (England): Women's Lives and the Fight for Equality by Helena Fairfax
Helena Fairfax tells us the stories of the lives of the women in Halifax, England in the county of Yorkshire and how they gained the right to vote in her new release. She writes in her blog "6th February 2018 marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act when all women over the age of 30 who met certain property restrictions were granted the vote for the first time. The Act also gave the right to vote to all men over the age of 21. It’s often forgotten that before 1918, around 40% of men in Britain were also denied a vote because of property restrictions. 
The vote was finally extended to all women over 21 in 1928." Click here to read Helena's article.

STRUGGLE AND SUFFRAGE IN HALIFAX:
WOMEN'S LIVES AND THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY
BY HELENA FAIRFAX


BACK OF THE BOOKBetween 1800 and 1950 the town of Halifax grew beyond recognition. The booming mills and factories were built on the labour of women and their children, and yet their voices are almost completely missing from the history books. For the first time, this is the story of Halifax from the point of view of the women who helped shape the town. This was a period of extraordinary change, but the battle for equality was long. In 1800, many women were illiterate. By 1900, there was a thriving girls' high school in Halifax, and yet one of its most brilliant students was denied a full degree because she was a woman. In 1939, the Vicar of Halifax called women's economic independence "an evil".Families were large and women regularly died in childbirth. Many faced the stigma of single parenthood or else the terror of an illegal abortion. In the 1930s, the first Family Planning Clinic was set up by women in the town. In the 1840s, women in Halifax fought for their menfolk's right to vote. In 1911, when Emmeline Pankhurst gave a stirring speech at the Mechanics' Institute, women had yet to be granted a vote of their own, leading many women to boycott that year's census and at least two to declare their occupation as "slave".From girls in the factories to the first women stepping into public office, this book provides a fascinating and moving account of the lives of Halifax's women through the key events in the town's history.

Order your copy at amazon
amazon US
amazon CA
amazon UK

Thank you for stopping in today to help us celebrate these milestones. Don't miss out on the next blog post. Follow Focused on Story blog by filling in your email address in the box at the top of the sidebar. I promise, NO Spam.






Tuesday, March 5, 2019

#IWSG Blog Hop: Antagonists Are Awesome by J.Q. Rose



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

Hello and welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop! 
Always on the first Wednesday of the 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. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group 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. Click here to sign-up to join.
***



March 6 Question -
Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?
I must admit I enjoy creating the antagonist character. Maybe it's that teenage desire to rebel against being a good girl all the time. My dad was in business in our community and I had to maintain a sterling reputation or Dad would lose business. 

When writing the villain (male or female) I relish in the all the possibilities to make that character as mean, as bad, as greedy, as manipulative and all that "good" stuff readers want their villain to be. 

I also like to make the bad guy a fully rounded character with bad as well as some good traits. I don't want a cartoon character for an antagonist. 

Looking forward to reading comments and answers from other bloggers on this question. Readers, Please leave a comment to tell us what kind of a villain you like in your favorite stories. Thanks.

Thank you for stopping in today. 

Click here to visit more participants in the IWSG Blog Hop.
***

Still a writer?? 😁
***


















Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Late Night Fright, #MFRWbooks Blog Hop

Book Hooks Blog Hop #MFRWbooks


Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today we're joining the Book Hooks Blog Hop sponsored by the Marketing For Romance Writers Group. (#MFRWbooks) Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from a novel. I'm featuring my paranormal suspense, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. Hope it will give you smiles and chills.

You're invited to
c
ome on along to visit authors sharing their books with you.The link to the list of participants is at the end of the page. Have fun!



Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Paranormal Suspense

Back of the BookRescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed? Investigating mysterious murders 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?

Video:
Video: Terror on Sunshine Boulevard Book Trailer 

Excerpt: Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, Chapter 4


Mr Tweeble’s next door neighbor, Doris Hadley, couldn’t sleep. She prowled through her cupboards to find a snack. Sometimes slurping up some raisin bran cereal and milk and watching a late night movie on the AMC channel made her sleepy. She filled a bowl and settled into her recliner.


Placing her spoon and bowl on the table next to her chair, she pulled her heavy robe around her thin body and sat down in her lounger. She clicked the remote and the TV across the room shined bright in the darkened room. Pleased to discover a favorite oldie on the classic movie channel, Doris traded the remote for her cereal and concentrated on watching the movie and indulging in the night time treat.

After a few minutes, she turned up the volume, and then again turned it louder. Ungluing her eyes from the TV screen, she realized she couldn’t even hear the TV with Mr. Tweeble’s confounded dog barking and howling interrupting Casablanca.

Doris set aside her cereal bowl on the end table. She pulled her frail body from the deep seat ready to make a phone call to complain about the dog. Of course once she was up, the pet quit yapping. She looked out the window to see if his owner had let him out into the backyard, but the motion light wasn’t on. Ah, silence from next door. Maybe now she could watch her movie without that annoying barking.

Doris picked up her cereal bowl and returned to the kitchen to fill it with more raisin bran and milk. She settled down in front of the maple TV console. As she brought a spoonful of her midnight snack to her lips, the terrier next door began raising the roof with his howls and woofs again.

She had enough of that damn dog. She wrestled herself up from the recliner as fast as she could and stood mesmerized by a dazzling yellow light blazing through Old Man Tweeble’s house. Momentarily blinded by the amazing brightness, she scrambled out to her screened-in porch to get a better view and caught a whiff of the most putrid odor she had ever smelled in her eighty-three years on this earth.

Doris moved as quickly as her legs allowed to call 9-1-1. Where was that dad-burned phone? Who ever thought of cordless phones anyway? When there were phones hooked up to the wall with a cord on the handset, no one ever missed a call because they couldn’t find the damn thing. She was exasperated, but she was more scared the house next door might explode into flames if she didn’t call right away.

Doris checked the kitchen table, the couch cushions and the night stand by the bed for the phone. Finally she found it where it should be…on the desk in the charger. She grabbed it and called 9-1-1.

“Come quick! There was a flash of bright light next door. Something’s on fire!” Doris couldn’t breathe. “Hurry!” Everything turned black as she passed out and fell to the floor clutching the phone to her chest.

* * * *

Two bodies were discovered in that early morning in the homes on Sunshine Boulevard—Mr. Ralph Tweeble and Mrs. Doris Hadley. The aura of death and mystery overshadowed the gorgeous sunny day.

Meet Jingles
Available in Paperback at Amazon 
and in ebook formats at major digital retailers.
Click here to order at these online booksellers.


Click here to visit bloggers who are participating in the Book Hooks Blog Hop. Enjoy meeting new authors and visiting your favorites. 

Thanks for stopping by.




Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Author Toolbox Blog Hop: Authors are Small Business Owners

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month. This is my first post in this group. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for spearheading this venture. Hop around cyberspace and pick up useful information from these helpful bloggers. The list of participants is at the bottom of the page.

Authors are Small Business Owners
Small businesses in Hebden Bridge, England
Authors are small business owners too. Did you ever look at it that way? Your book is your product. I know you didn't write a book thinking about selling it. I know the story swirled in your brain until you just had to write it down. But because you had a message or a desire to touch people's hearts, you shared it with the public. At the moment the book is published--indie or traditional--it becomes not just a heart work, but also hard work. You need to set aside the creative area of your personality in exchange for the practical reality of being a business owner. Your responsibilities include editor, publisher (indie), marketer, speaker, and bookkeeper.

I never realized there were so many "jobs" associated with being a published author until my first novella was published. The good news is there are many tools/resources to help you learn about running this small business- books and online websites, writing groups, and authors who are willing to share their experiences.
Blog series on Focused on Story
 featuring romance
and mystery authors

I hosted a blog series featuring romance and mystery authors who discussed their tips on writing, marketing, and publishing. Not only was it a wonderful opportunity to meet authors, but also a chance for writers to gain valuable information from the experienced authors. 
AUTHOR TIP: I collected the authors' blog posts into an ebook and published it on amazon. I gave a PDF copy to the contributing authors so they could use it as a giveaway/opt-in.

Today I'm sharing resources I use and websites suggested by my guest authors for use in their writing businesses. Click the highlighted resource to take you to the website.

Publishing

Marketing

Writers Groups
Insecure Writers Support Group 

Search on Facebook for Writers Groups

Do you have a favorite website for finding out information for writers? Please share in the comments section below so we can visit. Thanks.

Click here to visit the participants in the Author Toolbox Blog Hop!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Importance of Book Reviews for Readers and Writers and Tips on Writing Book Reviews by J.Q. Rose

Book Reviews:Their Importance and
How to Write Them
The Importance of  Book Reviews for Readers and Writers

Does the title of this article remind you of your sixth-grade teacher hovering over you making sure the book review you wrote for a grade is perfect? And don't even go there about grammar and spelling or even neat handwriting. Did red ink cover the page screaming at you with all the errors your teacher marked? And then, was a re-write required?

Okay, relax. You can breathe now. We are not talking about a sixth-grade book report. Far from it. I'm discussing online book reviews, a kinder, gentler exercise written because you want to share the great book you read with other readers so they can enjoy the experience as much as you did.

Word-of-mouth is the best advertising when one receives information about a product or service from a friend, neighbor, or family member. Online book reviews work in a similar fashion. Do you read product reviews online to help you decide whether to purchase? Click here for a study showing that 85 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. So book reviews can make a difference in influencing readers to buy a book.

Book publishing has changed the way it does business. Authors and small presses are able to publish their books with easy access to readers instead of having to go through only the elite few of big city publishers. The advent of super booksellers online allows readers to share their opinion about the books they read to help readers find a book as well as authors to get noticed.

No longer is a book published, then off the shelves after a few months. Instead, the book is available for a long time on virtual shelves and its popularity can grow through time. Sales can occur throughout its lifetime rather than a flush of sales when first released. 

Readers and their reviews drive this new model and mindset in book publishing.

If you're a writer, be prepared to market your book forever! Just because your book is a year old or two years old or more, celebrate each birthday and in between with fresh new ideas on promoting it.
Tips on Writing a Book Review
Tips on Writing a Book Review
Consider these tips when writing a book review.
* Go to the page where you bought the book and near the book review comments area, you will find a place to click that says "Write a Review."
* Rate the book using the bookseller's ratings e.g. 1-5 stars. 5 Stars means you really really loved the book, 1 star is you didn't like the book. 
* Because you are on the book's sales page, you do not need to explain the whole plot of the book because it is on the sales page.
* Don't worry about a title for the review yet. Write the review first, then pick out a phrase you used in the review as the title.
* You need not write a long review. Three sentences or more are fine as long as the reader understands if you liked the book or not and why e.g. I liked the book because I really identified with the main character or I liked the way the author described the setting of the book.
*Write as if you are talking to a friend on the phone or at a coffee shop. Keep it casual and write how you talk. 
* Compare it to another book you liked and why this book reminded you of the other book.
* If you feel you'd like to read another book by the author, say so.
* Recommend it to readers of the genre such as cozy mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.
* If you received the book as a gift from the author or publisher, amazon requires you to divulge this. But just say you are voluntarily leaving a book review. 
*You'll receive an email from the bookseller allowing you to read through the review and make changes if needed.
* You can leave your book review at goodreads, amazon, kobo, barnes and noble, walmart and booksellers where you have an account.
***
If you would like a form to make it easy to write a review, please contact me via email or FB Messenger to request a Reader Book Review Form for Fiction developed by Sandra Beckwith.
Email: jqrose02 at gmail dot com
Facebook http://facebook.com/jqroseauthor and while you're there, please like my FB page. Thank you!


The information in the diyMFA newsletter by Gabriella Pereira inspired this blog post. 

Articles on Book Reviews by Sandra Beckwith contributed to this post. 
Click here to visit Sandra's site at Build Book Buzz.
Thank you Gabriella and Sandra!














Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Creating Videos for YouTube, #IWSG Blog Hop

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

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

Always on the first Wednesday of the 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. To find out more, click this link: 
 Insecure Writer’s Support Group



The purpose of the group 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. Click here to sign-up to join.


February 6 question -
Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

While I do love to get lost in writing a great scene or brainstorming characters and their personalities, motives, emotions, I have a few other creative projects I love to play with--Photography and Creating Movies for YouTube  


1. Photography is my first love. I'm no pro at using my camera, but I DO love taking pictures with a "real" digital camera. One with an eyepiece and a zoom lens. Composing a fall scene in the lens, catching a goofy shot of my family, memorializing our travels via photo albums or catching that deceptive hummingbird flitting among the red impatiens baskets always give me a thrill. Unlike the good old days of film photography, the best part of picture taking is I can snap as many photos as I want at no expense to me and keep only the best shots.

Lowther Castle in England
2. I am no Steven Spielberg, but I do enjoy creating videos for my YouTube channel using my photography. "Creating" seems like a big word for dabbling in making videos using PowerPoint.

I must admit the process usually results in frustration for me when I can't put the video together as quickly as I had hoped, but I do enjoy sharing our travels with viewers. I like putting together book trailers for my books too. If you'd like to take a peek at some of my videos, please click here to visit my YouTube site. 

3. My latest fun creations, for me anyway, is live streaming via Facebook Live. The first few videos were definitely learning exercises. Bad lighting, sound, stuttering, forgetting to look at the camera. The great thing about FB Live is sharing it on Facebook of course, but also placing it on your YouTube channel so you can share it there and to all your social media outlets.  


VIDEO: Writers Groups--8 Tips for Having a Successful, Productive Meeting


Have you dabbled in creating videos? What program(s) do you use in your movie-making? Do you have any tips on making videos? Share your YouTube URL with us so we can visit. 
* * *
If you want to use free photos without requiring attribution when making your videos,
Click here to visit Pikwizard. It's a new site. Here's what their representative told me--"We have 100,000 completely free images on the site, over 20,000 of those are exclusive to us. We are also adding new images to our library daily and our ultimate goal is to get to more than 1 million images."

Thanks for visiting. Click here to visit more participants in this month's IWSG Blog Hop.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Can the Pastor Find the Killer? #MFRW Blog Hop

Book Hooks Blog Hop #MFRWHooks


Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today we're joining the Book Hooks Blog Hop sponsored by the Marketing For Romance Writers Group. (#MFRW) Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from a novel. I'm featuring my romantic suspense, Dangerous Sanctuary.

Come on along to visit authors sharing their books with you--Each book is considered romance, but so many sub-genres too.The list of participants is at the end of the page. Have fun!


Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.
* * *

Back of the Book: Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer. Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.

 Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?
***
Excerpt from Chapter 6, Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
The next morning the cell phone blasted Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” through its impressive sounding speaker. Christine jumped from her desk chair and rummaged in her large tote bag to find and answer it. She didn’t recognize the phone number but decided to take the call anyway.

“Hobbs, we need a preacher now!” The voice on the phone was firm and left no doubt about the urgency of the situation. “This is Stephens. I’m pulling into the church parking lot. Get out here right away.”

Christine looked out her office window to see the black Ford pulling into the parking lot and on its way to the double doors of the church entrance. She grabbed her bag and flew down the steps.

She opened the passenger door and hopped in. “What’s going on? You’re scaring me to death!”

“Two blocks from here one of your parishioners is being held hostage with a knife at his throat. His hyped-up grandson is using him as a shield to keep the officers away. We’ve been talking to him since early this morning. He asked for you.”

“Who’s the hostage?”

“Roger Jenkins. His grandson is Jason Jenkins.”

Christine swallowed hard. Roger Jenkins was indeed a church member and had been for fifty years, dearly beloved as one of the saints in the church. She had visited his wife in the nursing home several times.

The morning sun highlighted the new leaves on the trees. The tulips were at their peak of color. This was a day full of beauty and promise. No one would suspect the dark drama taking place at the small white wooden frame house on Pine Street.

Stephens pulled the car along the curb. Christine jumped out and hurried toward the policeman who motioned to her to stay low to the ground. Dread fell over her as she realized the policeman was trying to keep her from being a target if Jason had a gun. He held a cell phone in front of him and was talking to the kid inside the house.

“Okay, Jason. We have your grandfather’s pastor here,” the officer announced into the phone. He ducked down behind the car and turned to the crouching minister, greeting her with a quick nod.

“Hello, Pastor. Can you help us out here and talk this guy out of the house to give us some time till the negotiator gets here? The kid asked to talk to you. He’s threatening to kill his grandfather if we storm the place. We think he’s high, probably looking to steal some money from grandpa to buy more drugs.”

“Anyone else in there with him and Jason?”

“No, no signs of anyone else in there, just the old man and the boy. Let me give you this to speak to him. Maybe you can talk some sense into him.”

Christine slightly rose with the phone pressed to her ear. She used the car to shield most of her body as she looked toward the house.

“Jason, this is Pastor Christine. Can I come in and talk with you?”

“Wait a minute, wait a minute, Pastor. You aren’t going in there to talk. You stay right here. A hostage specialist from the state police will be here soon. You just calm the boy down.” She ignored the policeman’s stern voice and kept her eyes on the doorway of the house.

The strong young man dragged the frail old man to the screen door.  Jason kept his arm around his grandfather’s neck. The blade of a butcher knife gleamed in his hand. His left arm circled the old man’s waist, holding him upright in the doorway.

“I’m tired of talkin’. I don’t wanna talk to nobody! Everybody leave so I can get outta here!” His hoarse voice strained to shout at the surrounding police.

Christine unfolded from her crouched position and moved around the car into full view.

“Jason, let your grandpa go. We can talk. Let me come in. We can work this out.” She moved slowly toward the wooden porch. She tried to breathe deeply and remain calm, but her heart thundered in her chest.

Her eyes held the young man’s as she tried to talk him down. Suddenly the frail old man collapsed and slipped from his grandson’s grasp. Christine raced toward the porch.

“Granddad, Granddad.” He caught his grandfather before he hit the wooden floor and gently laid him down on the porch.

In an instant, the police swarmed Jason and dragged him to the ground, leaving Christine flat on the lawn of the front yard.
Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Romantic suspense
Available in Paperback at Amazon 
and in ebook formats at major digital retailers.
Click here to order at these online booksellers.

Below is the list of this week's participants. Click on the links to enjoy learning about new authors and their books in this blog hop. Thanks for stopping by.