Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Is a Writers Group for You by J.Q. Rose, New Release

My Very Special Writers Group
L to R: JQ Rose, WS Gager, Joselyn Vaughn, and Tess Grant

Is a Writers Group for You? by J.Q. Rose

When I re-read the title of this post, I thought it really sounded harsh. Let me explain. I don't hate my critique partners. In fact, I love them for all their encouragement and support for my writing projects. I would not be a published author without them.

We meet every week in the summer at a local coffee shop. We spread out on the biggest table we can find because there are four of us, eat sweets, and try the different coffees and beverages. Not only do we share our submissions, but also family news, work news, etc. And sprinkled throughout the meeting, are a lot of laughs and just pure joy. 

One of our members was having trouble with stress headaches a couple of weeks ago. She reported to us that after the meeting her headache was gone! 

The Golden Rule of Writers Groups: Treat fellow writers with respect and critique each submission as you would like your submissions treated. Be kind and gentle.

Brainstorming is an essential part of the critique group's meeting.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles
One of the highlights of our meetings is the brainstorming. I love when we throw around ideas to help solve problems in our manuscripts,  develop a character, decide how to kill off the villain, and more. I sometimes check the room to see if any patrons are eavesdropping when we talk about guns, poisons, ways to murder characters!! I hope they realize we are only using our imaginations!

Our group meets to offer critiques of submissions we bring to share. I like the way we do the submissions. We just bring one copy of the chapter--double-spaced--and pass it around to the members. We have four or five in our group at each meeting. We save paper and ink by not making a copy for each member. Also, all comments and discovered typos are on one copy. So much easier to look through when editing when we get time to make the changes (or NOT make the changes. It's completely up to the author to choose how they want to use the feedback.)

***Other groups meet to share their writing but members don't offer critiques of the work unless the author asks for help. 

I love my crit group for offering feedback in my story such as 
  • The mc begins eating her burrito but never ordered it from anyone.
  • A joke or a scene doesn't work
  • The character's name is Brian in previous chapters and Herb in the present submission. Of course, I have to laugh when they look up with questioning eyes--Who's Herb? (Last week I had missed a few chapters of one gal's story and was reading about Hank. I decided not to ask "who's Hank," so I kept reading. When I read "Hank trotted off with a saddle pack on his back," I laughed out loud. He was a horse, not a man!)
  • The same information is repeated several times. Once is enough.
  • The action is going too fast.
  • The scene needs the mc's internal thoughts
I'm sure you've had similar experiences. And I bet you appreciate the constructive criticism as much as I do.

So what do I hate about a crit group?  For instance, I submitted a chapter where the bad guy and his sister had to go to police headquarters. I had them together in the same room to give their statements. The give and take in the conversation was good, and the body language was fine. However, they informed me, this is not correct police procedure. The police would never allow them to be together to give a statement. Aaarghhhh. That's what I hate--I had to re-write the entire scene. 

So I put on my big girl panties, thanked them for finding this flaw, and re-wrote the chapter in a different setting. To tell the truth, it turned out to be much improved over the first attempt.

Not only can a crit group help you in writing your story, push you to complete it, and submit it to a publisher, but the group can market their books together too. We have made presentations to local groups and shared opportunities to promote our books at different venues. 

In this big world of publishing, it's good to know you have friends who will help you through the roller coaster ride of success and insecurity. Everyone needs someone to be a supporter to applaud your victories and be there for your rejections.
MORE INFORMATION--If you are considering joining or beginning a group or decide if a writers group is for you, then click here for my blog post published in February 2017--Critique Groups Points to Ponder.

Do you belong to a critique group or have a critique partner? What has been your experience? Please leave a comment below.

Remember to follow the J.Q. Rose blog by submitting your email address in the box at the top. You won't miss a blog post AND you won't get spammed by the Focused on Story blog.

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J. Q. Rose Author Facebook Page 
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Fellow writers group memberJoselyn Vaughn just released her latest sweet romance, For the Love of Bigfoots and Butterflies. Congratulations, Joselyn!
B&BFor the Love of Bigfoots and Butterflies 
by Joselyn Vaughn
Sweet Romance--delightful and entertaining
Back of the BookFor the Love of Bigfoots and Butterflies:
Fighting for an endangered butterfly is what makes Jane Meeth tick and Tall Oaks Development is her biggest adversary. Little does she know that the CEO of the company, Marshall Linden, is none other than the handsome hiker she meets while running on the trail.
After Marshall discovers evidence of Bigfoot, he wants to establish a sanctuary to protect the creature, but he must keep it secret from the protesters of his Tall Oaks projects. He didn’t count on falling in love with Jane making his plans nearly impossible.
When an environmental disaster threatens both of their dreams, they must throw away their prejudices to make the world safe for Bigfoots and butterflies. 

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KNLDD9T

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Two New Releases Just in Time for the New Year from Ellen Jacobson and Joselyn Vaughn, Reviews

Focused on Story Blog
J.Q. Rose
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog.

Exciting week this week because I'm spotlighting two new releases for a brand new year! My two talented author friends, Ellen Jacobson and Joselyn Vaughn, offer their fun, entertaining books for you to enjoy in 2019. Take a peek.

Bodies in the Boatyard by Ellen Jacobson
A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery #2
Back of the Book: Bodies in the Boatyard

Selling your house and moving onto a rundown sailboat—not a dream come true. Finding dead bodies in the boatyard—a total nightmare.

Mollie McGhie loves her beachfront cottage. When her husband announces that he wants to sell the house, downsize, and move onto their dilapidated sailboat, she’s not impressed.

When the boat starts leaking, she secretly hopes it will sink. Instead, they haul her out of the water and into the boatyard. Fixing the boat up is bad enough, but when Mollie finds someone has been killed nearby, things get even worse.

Mollie takes matters into her own hands and investigates the mysterious death in the boatyard, along with her adorable feline companion, Mrs. Moto. While she searches for clues, she meets more of the quirky characters who live in the small Floridian town of Coconut Cove, learns about sea turtles, overcomes her fear of public speaking, and, of course, eats way too many sugary treats.

Can Mollie catch the killer before someone else ends up dead?


This second book in the Mollie McGhee series does not disappoint. Jacobson’s humor shines throughout the story in the funny personalities and relationships of the characters. The location and boating knowledge is authentic since she actually lives on a boat in real life. The ending remained a mystery until the last few pages for me. If you want to escape from the winter winds or catch the sun on the beach, dive into this warm, entertaining cozy mystery that takes place in sunny Florida. I received an ARC for the book and am voluntarily submitting a book review.


Available in ebook, paperback and large print at:

* * *

B&BFor the Love of Bigfoots and Butterflies 
by Joselyn Vaughn
Pre-order for release on Wednesday, January 9 

Back of the BookFor the Love of Bigfoots and Butterflies:
Fighting for an endangered butterfly is what makes Jane Meeth tick and Tall Oaks Development is her biggest adversary. Little does she know that the CEO of the company, Marshall Linden, is none other than the handsome hiker she meets while running on the trail.
After Marshall discovers evidence of Bigfoot, he wants to establish a sanctuary to protect the creature, but he must keep it secret from the protesters of his Tall Oaks projects. He didn’t count on falling in love with Jane making his plans nearly impossible.
When an environmental disaster threatens both of their dreams, they must throw away their prejudices to make the world safe for Bigfoots and butterflies. 

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KNLDD9T

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

IWSG Blog Hop: I Love Curious Readers, Booksigning Questions, 2018 Goals Results

Happy New Year 2019 
from 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.

January 2 question -
What are your favorite and least favorite questions
 people ask you about your writing?

I can't say I have favorite and least favorite questions from people. I'm just happy when someone asks any question about my writing because that person shows interest and could be a possible fan!. 

If someone makes a comment about one of my books, usually it's to tell me they liked it or they were surprised I wrote a spicy story! The eyebrows shoot up to their scalp line and the shock on the reader's face is priceless. You can see the wheels whirring in their brain about how a woman my age and from such a conservative background could write about murder, mystery, horror, romance. LOL Others are amazed I wrote an entire novel. Many assure me they're going to write a book..someday.

I love signing books when requested, but I always wonder if I wrote something inside that the reader will cherish or think how clever. I worry about sounding foolish or trite. 

After I've signed my book, I always think my handwriting could have been better. I have a horrible time writing on a level line. Somehow the words always float upward. 

Do I sound insecure about book signings? Yes, I am!

What has been your experience when doing book signings? 
* * *
Photo courtesy of rawpixel at Pixabay

In December 2018 I actually listed my goals for 2018. Today I am going to be honest with you and list them AND admit whether I hit the goal or not.

My Writing Goals for 2018 by J.Q. Rose RESULTS

1. Complete my memoir, Looking Through Rose-Colored Glasses (working title) Not complete, but coming along, In fact, the first chapter made the shortlist in a contest this past December.
2. Post FB Live videos on my J.Q. Rose, Author page. YES and it is so much fun!
3. Gather 150 more followers who "like" my J.Q. Rose, Author page. Nope, not even close. Any ideas on how to get more likes?
4. Install a landing page on my website to help build an email list. NO. I have tried and tried to figure this out but cannot discover how to connect the free gift to the reader.
5. Plan a blog tour and visit my hosts this winter to give away prizes and shout about my latest mystery, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. YES and I loved hopping around cyberspace and getting to know my blog hosts and readers. 

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard
Paranormal Mystery
Click here to order at these digital stores
There they are in black and white. This makes me more accountable by sharing it with readers. I'm sure I'll be able to mark off these four items from the list as "Done!" by January 1, 2019. Well, at least I accomplished 2.5 of the goals. 

Be sure to follow the Focused on Story Blog 
so I can keep you updated on my 2019 projects!

Thanks so much for stopping in today.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

New Year's Day Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, Happy New Year from J.Q. Rose!

Hello and Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. I'm J.Q. Rose.

Today I am re-publishing my blog post about the Rose Parade--you know that huge parade every year on New Year's Day in Pasadena, California? My husband and I were in the floral business for nearly 20 years and we always loved watching the parade on TV (and still do) and seeing all the floats made completely from natural materials e.g. roses, my fave flower. Now you know why I chose Rose as my pen name! 
Sit back in your chair, relax and be transported to this special event on this special day of the year.

Roses on a float in the Rose Parade.
Roses are my favorite flower.
Dreams Come True was the theme of the 2014 Rose Parade. That theme certainly fit our situation because it was our dream to actually attend the parade one day. Finally, in June, my hubby announced he was ordering the airline tickets to Pasadena, California, and to the Rose Parade! This trip was even better than we had ever imagined. The people, places, and even the weather was delightful. I only wish I could share all 1000 pictures with you, but, um, no, I won't. Only 900?? LOL!

The Rose Parade celebrated 125 years in 2014. This unique parade did not begin as the elaborate high tech- jaw-dropping extravaganza we now know. Instead, this new year tradition began in 1890 by Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club. According to the Rose Parade Guide, "the members wanted to promote the "Mediterranean of the West" so they invited their former East Coast neighbors to watch games such as chariot races, foot races, polo, and tug-of-war under the California sun.

"The abundance of flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add another showcase for Pasadena's charm: a parade to precede the competition, where entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of blooms".

More Roses! Afterall it IS the Rose Parade!

The tradition of floral be-decked entries into the Tournament of Roses Parade continues, but now on a much larger scale. Flowers and natural materials from all over the world cover every inch of the floats. No paint allowed. Only nature's true colors add the excitement and texture to the elaborate designs.

We visited the float building areas and watched the organized chaos of this huge operation mostly done by volunteers. The tedious process of gluing on each petal or seed, yes tiny seeds, boggled my mind. 

Teen volunteers gluing on flower petals to the opening Rose Parade float. All generations work together to decorate the floats. Kids through senior citizens offer their skills.

These folks are tearing up straw flowers.

The volunteer brushes on glue then sprinkles the petals in the box 
all over the gluey section.
Three locations offered views of the decorators in action. I was worried the floats would not be ready by step-off time at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, January 1. When we visited the sites on Monday morning, a lot of the seeds and grasses were glued on, but the delicate flowers had to wait till the last minute to be fresh for the parade judges. So, the volunteers work all day and all night. Such dedication. By the way, the floats were all done in time!

Okay, get ready. The parade is about to begin!

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds zoomed down the parade route thrilling parade viewers.

Opening banner to kick off the parade. This is the float the teens were working on in the picture above. Finished it too!!
A salute to a famous dreamer, Henry Ford. Behind is a rendition of the Spirit of St. Louis honoring dreamer Charles Lindbergh. 

City of Glendale Let's Be Neighbors. The float is based on a real bear who kept coming down into Glendale and raiding the trash cans.

The marauding bear earned the name of Meatball because he always ate the meatballs.
He wouldn't stay in the mountains, so they had to move him to a preserve. 

I wonder if they serve him meatballs there.

So Close, Yet Safari Away

TheK9s4Cops dedicated its float to the heroic K9 law enforcement units across America and to those who serve and protect our communities. This non-profit organization donates highly trained dogs to agencies who otherwise could not afford them.

A salute to the WWII Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) 
For more information go to the Girls Succeed blog 

These cute kitties are riding the RFD-TV float, You Make My Dreams Come True. Can you find the calico on the float below?

RFD-TV float

Gorgeous, elegant float. Of course, it's Beverly Hills. 

Sea World Park's Sea of Surprises

Adorable candy train

These 3 aliens surprised parade viewers by driving out of the spaceship and traveling along the parade route. This was a first in parade history!

Wonderful Indonesia--This float got my vote for the most dazzling and exotic float.

Photos never can give the viewer a complete picture of this amazing design.

Monster truck--Had to take a lot of pictures of this monster truck for the grandkids! Made me giggle.

Trader Joes, a grocery store in CA, Relish Your Dreams. It's a relish dish with cheeses and olives, etc.
A pickle followed along behind it. So clever.

Butterflies fluttered among the colorful flowers.

The dogs have stolen the dog catcher's truck in this animated float. 
One of the most humorous floats

Yep, he's running after them. What do you think? Can he catch them??

Have no doubt. Your dreams can come true too.
Thanks for visiting. Do you have a dream that came true? If so, please leave a comment saying yes. If you wish to share the dream with us, please do.