Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Scary Stuff for Halloween, Alzheimer's Disease

Romantic Suspense, Deadly Undertaking
A fun read for Halloween!

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog! T'is the season for witches, goblins and ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Halloween has never been a favorite holiday of mine. I think the "being scared is fun" attitude of the holiday rushed out the door when my brothers took me to a horror movie when I was six years old. I still have nightmares about hiding under the theater seat! 

In my adult life, I get scared about other things than Frankenstein. But when I write about my fears, the words on the page help me let go of the oppressive feeling.

I wrote about a topic that scares me--Alzheimer's disease, a form of dementia. It was one of the most difficult scenes I have ever written. I wrestled with my fear of the disease and body-slammed it down on paper. 

In my romantic suspense, Deadly Undertaking, the mother of the main character is afflicted with Alzheimer's, a monstrous disease capable of stealing a person's personality and memories. The brain is attacked until it is rendered useless. No speech, no problem-solving, no reading, no recognition of loved ones. Eventually even the ability to eat and swallow is forgotten. Frightening? Yes! And worse is the fact that there is no cure, no turning back the inevitable loss of thinking, memory, and behavior.

Now you understand why I'm afraid of Alzheimer's because it may attack me and/or someone I love. I have lost friends due to Alzheimer's disease. I imagine someone you know and love has been stricken by this disease. 

By including a character with AD in my novel, I hope to raise awareness and educate folks about AD, a form of dementia. One astounding fact is 5.4 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease according to the Alzheimer's Association. 

Click here to learn more facts about Alzheimer's Disease. The mission of the Alzheimer's Association is "to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health."
Walk to end Alzheimer's

Walk to End Alzheimer's
Photo courtesy of ALZ.org
This time of year the Alzheimer's Association is sponsoring walks all around the country in order to provide awareness and funding. Click here to find a walk near you or click here to register and donate. Donations are used for clinical trials and studies. With research, AA plans to not only relieve symptoms but to reverse the effects of Alzheimer's AND to eliminate the disease. Can you imagine a world without AD? I can.

During October through December, royalties from the eBook and paperback sales of Deadly Undertaking will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association. 

Deadly Undertaking
Halloween is the perfect time to read this romantic suspense set in a funeral home.
A handsome detective, a shadow man,
 and a murder victim kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.

BACK OF THE BOOK: Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose

Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies around when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, Staab and Blood 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 and 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 for her, her dad, her brother? Her mother’s secrets, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life. Welcome home, Lauren!


eBook and Paperback available at 
Amazon US 
ATTENTION Libraries and Retailers--Deadly Undertaking in paperback is available at Ingram.

Thank you for stopping in.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Tips on How NOT to Do FB Live Videos by J.Q. Rose

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

Yes, that photo of me at the right side of the page is taken from a FB Live video I did this month. I can't believe I said that. "I did a FB Live video." And not just one, but several. I took Georgia Lee London's FB Live Challenge to learn how. 
JQ doing a FB Live video.

What a valuable week of learning about the equipment needed--you probably have everything you need on your Smart Phone or Laptop--a microphone and webcam and you're ready to go. 

FB Live videos are very casual and off-the-cuff. I made some notes on a topic and talked to visitors on my J.Q. Rose author page. Click here to visit me when you have a minute and like my page. Thank you.

I know, I know. I hear you asking, "Why learn how to do a video?"  The simple answer is," That's what is and will be grabbing people's attention and keeping it now and in the future." But the best part about FB Live is the interaction in real time I can have with my visitors. (I haven't quite mastered talking on the video and acknowledging my visitors at the same time....yet.) I'm amazed at how many more views I receive with a video. Even more than I get from a meme like an inspirational quote or a funny picture or a beautiful photo of flowers or scenes. 

Now I'm no expert in doing FB Live, but I thought it was important to share how NOT to do FB Live since as a newbie I experienced a lot of things. (You'll notice I roll my eyes in the video when I say " as an expert". I hope you get that joke!) With this video, I hope to help other newbies ease into this new age and get comfy with it.

Replaying the recording of the FB Live video on social media after it's all done is another perk. AND you can still interact with folks who leave comments on the page, but it's not in real time.

So I decided to share Tips on How NOT to Do FB Live with you, my readers. Feedback is welcome either here or on the FB page. And laughter is encouraged! One cannot take doing FB Live seriously.  Oh no, as you will see when watching this video.

Tips on How NOT to Do FB Live by J.Q. Rose
FB Live Video
Tips on How NOT to Do FB Live by J.Q. Rose

Have you tried doing FB Live? Any curiosity about it? 
If you have plans to try it out, Georgia Lee London is offering another FB Live Challenge on November 5-9. 
Click here for more information.

Speaking of  scary things like making FB Live videos,
 how about a scary story with a shadow man and murder in a funeral home???

This reader thinks Deadly Undertaking is a real treat to read.

"Needless to say, Deadly Undertaking was a major page-burner. I really did read all night and miss an appointment the next day. Well-drawn characters, suspense, humor (fortunately, my neighbors are either night owls or hard of hearing because I laugh loudly) combined with good editing—I was in heaven!" Rochelle Weber, Roses and Thorns Reviews
Treat yourself!! 
Click here to download at your favorite digital bookseller.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop: Writing Through My Life, Contests

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. 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.

October 3 questions
 How do major life events affect your writing? 
A writer wears many hats. Dreaming up an idea for an intriguing mystery or constructing complex plots is not the only hat we wear. I classify my writing in several segments--fiction, non-fiction, marketing/promotional, blogging, editing-- to name some of them. When going through difficult times in my life such as the loss of my brother in December or family problems, I handled the promotional writing and blogging. But my creative writing hat fell off completely. The desire to begin a story drained out of me like cooked noodles in a colander leaving me about as limp and colorless as the noodles too. I have worked my way through the stages of grief, but it takes time to recover. Time is helping to restore my focus on creative writing.
Has writing ever helped you through something?
My WIP is a memoir from 1975-76 when we moved from a small town in Central Illinois to start a flower business in West Michigan. We had no family or friends in the area. Placing myself back in that time and remembering what a difficult relationship we had with the previous owners gave me a new perspective on their situation. 
We felt the same way as the previous owners when we sold that business in 1995 to some young whipper-snappers who didn't want to listen to our advice. And yes, that young couple would have been us in 1975 when we opened our business. But in 1995 we were the sellers. Experiencing the giving up of our life's work was a traumatic time. Looking through the lens of time helped me to understand and appreciate the emotions searing through a person in such a life-changing experience. 
I finally forgave the couple who sold us the business for their harsh treatment of us and can now smile when I think about the rocky relationship we had with the couple who bought our business. Now I see how much we were like them, ready to take on the world and be our own boss. Lots of energy and enthusiasm and determined to do things our way, the new way. Writing the memoir has lessened the pain and disappointment I have carried about the couples we dealt with in each situation.
Have you written or tried writing stories from your life? Do you have family stories you remember whenever your gang gets together? How does re-telling those times help you? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
# # #
Upcoming Events

Dr. Bob Rich--Free Edit Contest--Deadline is October 15

Win a free edit of your book by submitting a synopsis and a 1000 words of the book. Click here for details. Good luck! 
Click here to visit his informative and thought-provoking blog, Bobbing Around.

The 5 W's in Story Guest Authors on Pinterest Board

All of the authors who shared the 5 W's in their stories since March 2018 are on the board I created at my Pinterest site. 
You can also be featured on the board by being my guest for the 5 W's Event. 
Click here to see the board
Contact me at jqrose02 at gmail dot com if you would like to participate this winter. Thank you!
October 31--Author Sandy Carlson shares the 5 W's in her ghost story. Perfect for a Halloween guest post!

BWL Publishing
Holiday Contest
Click here to enter for a chance to win!!
Amazon Giveaway--Celebrating this scary Halloween holiday, I am going to offer my first Amazon Giveaway--a paranormal suspense novel, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. A mix of fright and humor in a senior retirement community. I'll announce the giveaway on the blog and on Facebook the week it starts. Have you done an amazon giveaway? Any advice? Thanks.
# # #
The IWSG members blog 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. 
Find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page
# # #

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Five W's in Storytelling: S. Peters Davis' Malevolent, Giveaway

The 5 W's of Stories
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog. We continue with the guest author series, The 5 W's in Storytelling--who, what, where, when and why. This week our guest is multi-genre author Susan Davis. We go way back beginning our fiction writing careers at the same publishing house. Today we're together again at BWL Publishing.

Win $10 Amazon Gift Card from Susan. 

Susan says, "Leave a quick comment on what kind of supernatural/paranormal being you like best, along with your email addy for a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card." Deadline for entry is Sunday, September 30, 10 pm ET. Good luck!!

Thank you, Susan. Now let's find out the Five W's in Susan's latest release, Malevolent.

Trafficked girls marked to lose their souls by a malevolent supernatural entity require someone with explicit abilities for their rescue. 
Will Kendra be able to save them?

The 5 W’s of Malevolent, A Kendra Spark Novel by S. Peters-Davis

Hello JQ, thank you so much for having me at your place. You have a lovely blog: ) Hello to everyone stopping in also. Thank you for taking a moment to check in. I’m honored.

Now for the reason you came – to see the 5 W’s of Malevolent:
Kendra Spark, a mystery-suspense romance author, who also possesses the ability to see and communicate with the dead, aka ghosts, ends up consulting for the FBI. She’s become the translator for Jenna.
Jenna Powers, a criminal analyst for the FBI and BFF of Kendra, died in the first book, but never left Kendra’s side. She continues to analyze criminals.
Derek Knight, a totally hot FBI Special Task Force Agent, leads an investigation team that includes Kendra and Jenna.
You’ll also meet FBI Director Jackson Powers (Jenna’s father); Luke, Ray, and Tressa (the rest of Derek’s investigation team); and plenty of “evil bad-guys” – like Vinny Merretti (part of a cartel), Bertellia Camelia Gonzales and her side-kick, Buster (two malevolent entities). 
A sealed container driven outside of Washington D.C. was found tipped over in a ditch with a number of young teen girls, dehydrated and confused, inside. The driver, DOA, had a business card tucked in his pocket listing Vinny Merretti’s North Carolina businesses along the Cape Fear River.
The case: find the ringleader of the trafficked young women.
Northern Michigan (where Kendra lives), Washington D.C. (FBI headquarters and Derek’s house located outside the city), Wilmington, NC along Cape Fear (location of Vinny Merretti’s “Midnight” businesses).
June 12 – 18, 2018 (My timeline for the story, but more or less, present day; )
Even though the BIG why is - find the ringleader of the trafficked girls, there’s more going on with Kendra and Jenna – supernatural story-threads that also need immediate attention. Their souls are marked by a malevolent entity and the countdown for the soul-sucker’s consumption fast approaches, not just for Kendra and Jenna, but for the trafficked girls as well.
A couple new characters are introduced in this 2nd book, a major one being a voodoo priestess, NaNa Rosa (who I personally adore…and she’ll definitely show up in Albatross, the 3rd book in this series). NaNa Rosa handles most of “righting” what’s happened on the preternatural front, along with Kendra’s grandmother Ellie, who makes a couple appearances even though she’s no longer on the earth plane.
FBI agents, ghost-seers, ghosts, voodoo priestess, guardian angels, and undercover police detectives play their respective parts in “how” the story unravels.
That’s a wrap;) Please don’t forget to leave a comment on your favorite supernatural-paranormal being/entity in the comment section with your email addy for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Card. Who knows, perhaps your favorite will show up in the next Kendra Spark Novel:)
About S. Peters-Davis
S. Peters-Davis writes multi-genre stories, but loves penning a good page-turning suspense-thriller, especially when it’s a ghost story and a romance. When she’s not writing, editing, or reading, she’s hiking, RV’ing, fishing, playing with grandchildren, or enjoying time with her favorite muse (her husband) in Southwest Michigan.
Author S. Peters-Davis
As DK Davis, she also writes YA and NA paranormal, supernatural novels that involve diverse and mature subject matter.

Connect Online with Susan:

Back of the Book: Malevolent, A Kendra Spark Novel
Kendra Spark, suspense-mystery writer and communicator with the dead, signs on to the next FBI Special Task Force case, trafficked girls that are marked to lose their souls.
Jenna Powers, ghostified criminal analyst, sticks close to the case as she and Kendra are also marked by the same malevolent supernatural force.
Derek Knight, lead FBI Agent on this case, learns of the malevolent entity and the deeper paranormal realm of danger.
Kendra’s unfiltered feelings for Derek struggle to take a backseat, and as the menacing threat grows more intense, so does her passion for Derek.
Derek faces uncertainties he’s never dealt with in his past, like malicious entities and the loss of his heart to love. How can he protect Kendra against forces he can’t see?   
As boundless supernatural danger intertwines with the future reality of the trafficked teens, Kendra and Jenna realize only they can shoulder the rescue by calling in a voodoo priestess…

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

When is a Good Time for a Ghost to Interrupt Your Life? Book Hooks Blog Hop #MFRWHooks: Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose

Book Hooks Blog Hop 
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. Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from their book. I'm sharing from my romantic suspense novel, Deadly Undertaking.
Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
Cozy mystery
A handsome detective, a shadow man, 
and a murder victim kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.

Back of the book:
Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, Staab and Blood 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 and 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 for her, her dad, her brother? Her mother’s secrets, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life.

Welcome home, Lauren!

Excerpt: Chapter Four
In this excerpt, the reader is introduced to Henry, the shadow man, a ghost character who interrupts Lauren's life--always at the wrong time. But really, when is a good time for a ghost to interrupt your life?

Gathering her wits about her, Lauren decided she needed to know if the dead man truly was Tony. If so, she and Piper had to find Stephanie.
She returned to her desk, uncovered Detective Richards’ business card from under the files on her desk, and called.
“Richards.” he answered as if he had no time for interruptions.
Lauren was taken aback for a minute, expecting a secretary or switchboard person to answer and connect her to the detective.
“Hello, Detective Richards. This is Lauren Staab, at the Staab and Blood Funeral Home where the murder occurred this morning.” She stalled for enough time to get her thoughts together.
“Yes, I’m quite aware the murder was at the funeral home, Ms. Staab. How can I help you?”
What an arrogant man. “I’m calling to confirm the identity of the person who was killed. I’ve heard several reports.”
“We’re not revealing the name of the deceased.”
“Well can you tell me if his name is Tony?”
“Sorry. I cannot.” His voice softened. “I’m not at liberty at this time to tell you. I completely understand your concern. Do you know Anthony—er. Tony?”
“Yes, I do. He’s my friend’s fiancĂ©.”
“I know the rumor mill is probably producing more names than this, but we have to be sure of the victim’s identity before we release it. Do you understand the situation?” Lauren detected a note of sincerity in his voice. Did the man have feelings after all?
“Oh, yes I understand. But since he was in our garage, will someone call me to let me know?” She couldn’t help using the snarky tone.
“Yes. I’ll be sure to call you as soon as we have a definitive identification. You have a good evening.” The phone clicked to silence.
“And you have a good night too!” She slammed the headset into the cradle, yanked the desk drawer open, and retrieved her bag. She didn’t like being dismissed like that.
She reached into her bag to find her pack of cigarettes, pulled it out, threw it back in, and pulled the beat up pack out again. So much for trying once more to quit smoking.
When she looked up, she glimpsed a smoky shadow hovering by the door. The pungent smell of spicy carnations wafted through the room, bringing on the three little sneezes.  She worked in a funeral home. She shouldn’t be allergic to flowers. Maybe she was allergic to him.
Lauren faced the silhouette of a man dressed in a long trench coat and fedora hat. He stood, arms akimbo, evidently looking straight at her.
She had expected the shadow man to show up sometime after the terrifying events of the morning. He lurked around the rooms in the funeral home appearing whenever he wished. Because no one else ever mentioned the apparition, Lauren assumed she was the only one he communicated with. At times she questioned if Henry was real or just her overtired brain playing tricks on her.
His timing for wanting to talk was usually bad. This murder was definitely a bad time. “Henry, I can’t talk now. I’m leaving to meet Piper.” She shoved the drawer closed with her foot.
“All right,” he said in his breathy voice. “I guess you’re doing okay if you can go off to meet your friend.” Then he was gone, slipping through a fold into another dimension.


Buy Links: Deadly Undertaking is available at your favorite digital bookseller.

Universal Link  for Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc.

Available in paperback and eBook at Amazon

Thanks for stopping in today!

Please click on a blog below to visit more authors and discover their stories written for you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The 5 W’s in C. Lee Mackenzie’s Sudden Secrets, Giveaway

The Five W's of Stories

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog. This week talented author C. Lee Mackenzie joins us with the 5 W's in her newly released YA novel, Sudden Secrets. She's a talented author who loves to write for young readers, young adult and middle-grade students. 
Young Adult Novels by C. Lee Mackenzie

We met through the Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. Their mission is to help writers overcome their insecurities and offer encouragement through the online community. In fact, the Writers Digest recognized them with the 101 Best Websites for Writers award. Lee and I have met so many helpful, generous, sincere bloggers in the group. Click here if you would like to find out more about IWSG.

IWSG Badge
IWSG-- a supportive group for writers
Lee is offering a generous giveaway--if you would like an eBook, just mention that in the comments below and she'd be happy to give you one. Thanks, so much, Lee! 
The offer ends on Monday, September 17, at 10:00 pm ET.

Now let's crack open the 5 W's in this YA mystery, Sudden Secrets.  
I love secrets, but I'm not too good at keeping them. How about you?

The 5 W’s in C. Lee Mackenzie’s Sudden Secrets

Sudden Secrets by C. Lee Mackenzie
YA Fiction


Sudden Secrets is about Cleopatra Brown (Cleo for short). She has struggled to heal after her baby sister’s death, but the flashbacks to the accident won’t go away, and the pitying looks from her classmates make her want to hide herself away, and her grades dive into the basement. When her mother moves them to a new town, Cleo vows to keep her tragedy a secret and avoid those pitying looks. From the first day In her new place, she knows there’s something’s strange about the abandoned house across the street—flashes of light late at night and small flickers of movement that only someone looking for them would see. Everyone says the house is deserted, but Cleo is sure it isn’t, and she’s sure whoever is inside is watching her.


I like to explore what makes people tick—how they manage grief and loss, what makes them hide things or act out with hatred. In Sudden Secrets, I got to do all of that. Cleo, her mother and father, and her grandfather each deal with the loss of a beloved child differently. They have their own secrets, and they keep them tucked away from each other. When Cleo stumbles upon a mystery, she begins to unravel a secret that the small town she now lives in has kept hidden for years. It was interesting to peel away all of the secrets and shed light on them. I wanted that light to be healing for each of the characters.

The story takes place in a small but somewhat upscale town of Morgan Heights. It has some boutiques, public art, and an impressive museum by small town standards. The Brown move to a cul-de-sac in an older section of the town, and, on this street, there are two unique and rundown Victorian houses. One is where Cleo and her family live. The other is across the street and abandoned—at least that’s what everyone says. It’s this abandoned house that captures Cleo’s curiosity and that leads her to her discovery.

Sudden Secrets is set in contemporary small town USA. I suppose that will change over the years when cell phones are a device of the past or nobody needs a locker because every book is digitalized and on a portable reading device. When that happens, this story will be a slice of the “good old days.”


 This is my fourth young adult novel, and I wish I knew how an idea becomes a book. If I did, I’d be glad to share that here. As it is, I’m always amazed when the process starts and definitely when it ends. I can say that the books I’ve written have been triggered by items in the news, personal experiences, and dreams. And if any of those instigators keeps nagging at me, I can’t resist scribbling notes, that lead to a few pages, and then—about a year later—to The End.

One Secret
Cleo has struggled to heal after her baby sister’s death, but the flashbacks to the accident won’t go away. With the move, she vows to keep her tragedy a secret and avoid pitying looks.
One Mystery
Something’s strange about the abandoned house across the street—flashes of light late at night and small flickers of movement that only someone looking for them would see. Everyone says the house is deserted, but Cleo is sure it isn’t, and she’s sure whoever is inside is watching her.
Another Secret
In one night, Belleza’s life changes forever. So famous, her only choice is to hide her secret from the world so she can silence small-town bigotry.
Then Cleo happens.

Sudden Secrets by C. Lee Mackenzie
YA Mystery


I’m C. Lee McKenzie. I love to write for young readers, and I write both young adult and middle-grade fiction. Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative, and Sudden Secrets are my four YAs. My middle-grade adventure/fantasy series is now a trilogy: Alligators Overhead, The Great Time Lock Disaster, and Some Very Messy Medieval Magic. I also have a stand-alone MG fantasy called Sign of the Green Dragon. Italia Gandolfo represents me.

Author C. Lee Mackenzie
I’m very fortunate to have some great five star reviews from readers and reviewers. And I’m really pleased that I’m learning this business. Promotion has been my biggest challenge. I’ve had to learn how to schedule, so I can still write and do the promotion I need to do for my other books. It’s a full-time job.

When I’m not writing I’m practicing yoga, doing sun salutations in my garden (AKA weeding) or scratching my head over how all of this writing stuff started. I'm still not sure, but the ride has been exhilarating and so much different than I'd expected.

Website: http://www.cleemckenziebooks.com

Thanks for guesting on the Focused on Story Blog, Lee!
Circle September 25 when my next guest for the Five W's event is mystery author, Susan Calder.

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